how to survive the holidays

For many Americans, myself included, the last two months of the year are a happy time of reckless drinking and excessive binge-eating.  It all begins like clockwork at approximately exactly 9:37 p.m. on October 31st when, shortly after putting your kid to bed, you begin to steal his Halloween candy.  At first you show admirable restraint taking only the loose Tootsie Rolls at the bottom of the pail, but by the end of the first week you’ve moved on to a breakfast of snack-sized Kit Kats and mini-Twizzlers. A midnight raid early in week two takes out the last of the king-sized Milky Way bars and you know you’ve hit rock bottom when your son asks what happened to the jumbo Reese’s Cups and you suggest the dog ate them.

No sooner are you beginning to show signs of early onset diabetes when you abandon the candy and move on to a gluttonous carb-filled Thanksgiving feast where you consume enough food to feed all the starving children in China dating back to the 1950’s when parents still said things like, “You eat that meatloaf.  There are starving children in China.”  Your reward for all your hard-eating is a 72-hour turkey coma…followed by four weeks of Christmas cookies for dinner.  Your shame spiral then comes full circle when, moments after receiving your yearly visit from the ghost of Dick Clark, you wake up hugging the toilet, your face plastered with bits of pork gravy and sick.

It truly is the most wonderful time of the year.  So complain all you want about holiday store displays in October and Christmas music in November.  Not me.  Those eight weeks are magical.  Give me Perry Como and The Carpenters.  Give me Bill Murray in Scrooged and the whole of Britain in Love Actually.  Give me all the Christmas crap the Hallmark Channel can make.   Kit Kats, Reese’s Cups, Todd’s carrot souffle, row after row of brightly decorated Christmas cookies — I surrender.  I’ll buy new pants.  I’ll run tomorrow.  I’ll join a gym in January.

But for now I’m going to be a kid.  I’m going to remember when the day after Halloween meant Christmas; when Santa Claus seemed possible.  I’m going to take my kid to the Christmas tree farm, cut down the biggest tree we can find and then make Todd drag it back to the car.

How to survive the holidays?  Give in.

the week that was

The biggest news this week was that I had a cold sore.  Left to wander the rain-soaked streets of Pittsburgh like a syphilitic 19th century whore, my oral Scarlet A told a story. It let people know that I had been places.

Of course worse than actually having a cold sore is having to go to the store and buy cold sore medication.  I was a bit unnerved to discover that Rite-Aid keeps these medications locked up and that if you want to buy them you have to go up to the sales clerk and say, “I need to purchase some medication for my fever blister which is NOT herpes despite how many questionable sex acts I engaged in while in college.”

I was applying the shame salve when Chris asked if he could borrow my ChapStick.  I told him it was not ChapStick and then hid it on an upper shelf after having a vision of my eight year old in his room smearing herpes meds all over his face.


Also of note this week was the election.  A former talk radio and cable news junkie, I no longer partake in political catnipping as it left me with the urge to gather up all Republicans and hold them prisoner in a raunchy gay sex club/third trimester abortion clinic.

The truth is I only know there was an election because Facebook (from where I get all my news) told me about it.  Or rather, the people in my newsfeed (who apparently invented voting) took pictures of themselves with stickers that said “I voted”.  Sigh.  I’m currently printing up stickers that say: “This is NOT herpes.”

I think it’s great that you voted and I love a sticker as much as the next 5 year old, but I noticed as the day went on that it went from statuses of “I just voted!” to “I voted.  Have you?!” to “I’m morally superior to you because I voted.” to “People who don’t vote should be held prisoner in a raunchy gay sex club/third trimester abortion clinic.”  Hey, whatever.  I could use a vacation.

I just wish people could vote and shut up about it.  Why does it have to be a “thing”? Why does it have to be cool?  Why does it have to be celebrity endorsed?  Why does it need a sticker?!?!


Halloween was also this week(ish).  For the second straight year it rained.  This did not deter a skeleton-clad Chris who was determined to fill up his 37-gallon plastic pumpkin with enough candy to feed all those Republicans I’m currently holding prisoner at my raunchy gay sex club/third trimester abortion clinic.

As someone who came to this parenthood thing a little late in the game, I have to say that walking around in the cold, wet dark for two hours while my kid becomes pre-diabetic is, well, kind of awesome.  It’s one of those moments I never thought I’d get to have: trick-or-treating with my kid.

I do hate that the only time I seem to truly big picture my life is during these seminal moments.  Trick-or-treating.  Christmas.  Birthdays.  It makes me a little sad that I take for granted the every day.  That each moment isn’t significant.  But then I think of my instagram feed with its “I voted” pictures of mugging adults and I realize: not every thing in life can be a sticker moment.