I know I’m a middle-aged woman who long ago stopped believing in you, but can I just pretend this year? Can I time-travel back to that naïve state of mind where my brain trusts that a hefty stranger with an overabundance of facial hair and bad breath will grant me wishes by simply sitting on his lap and admitting that I desperately want a doll that pees herself?
I’m fully willing to do it, despite the high creepy factor. In a year ripe with ridiculous conspiracy theories and willful refusal to believe in facts, I’ll jump onboard the crazy train for a day and suspend my disbelief. Why the fuck not? Sprinkle your glittery holiday magic all over my dry-shampooed hair and stained leggings. From six feet away, of course.
I’m not looking for the traditional asks. I don’t want a stuffed Baby Yoda, a shiny skateboard, or a PlayStation 5. Can I just get my normal, crappy life back? A single one of these scenarios will do, Big Guy.
I’d like a date night at the movies. Where my husband and I drive around for ten minutes looking for a parking place. Then we can’t believe how long the ticket line, even though we got there so early. Next, we complain about how stupidly expensive the tickets are, and then bitch that a small popcorn costs eight dollars, and we’ll have to share a soda because there’s no way in hell are we buying two. Then I’ll get completely annoyed that a super tall guy decides to sit right in front of me when over half of the theater is empty. What a dick move. And the end of that movie totally sucked!
I’d like a day full of flying across the country to meet up with my college bestie for a long weekend. One where I have to drag my ass out of bed at 4 am and deal with an overly caffeinated Uber driver who forces me to listen to her MLM pitch about skincare products. Then a boarding delay due to a toddler who vomited on the jet bridge, and so much turbulence, there is no beverage service on the flight. Throw in a missed connection, so that I have to eat awful airport food for dinner, and I arrive so late at my destination that the car rental desk is closed and I cry a little in exhausted frustration.
Or how about a Moms Night Out at the local Mexican restaurant? Where it’s jampacked and they can’t find our reservation. So, we just decide to stand at the bar and drink margaritas and eat stale chips for dinner. And our friend Suzy, who does one too many shots, monopolizes the conversation all night and lets me know she thinks I’m “ruining my son” by allowing him to play video games on school nights. I go home pissed and rage-eat a pint of Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip.
And I’d freaking adore a little self-care trip to the nail salon for a pedicure! I can almost remember how lovely it felt to have someone massage my calves and use a cheese grater to scrape off all the dead skin from my scaly feet. And to have scalding hot towels wrapped around my shins, and a cute young lady try to upsell me into paying ten dollars more for gemmed hibiscus flowers on my big toenails, and then talk rudely about me in a language I do not understand once I decline.
I’d also like a stuffy afternoon at the Department of Motor Vehicles, where I get to sit in a wobbly, plastic chair and wait three hours to renew my driver’s license. Put me next to a cranky old man who is being forced by his ungrateful children to re-take his driving test. Let me sit and listen to him drone on about his cat and his lazy daughter-in-law and how our damn state is going to hell because our politicians are tax and spend imbeciles. Let my phone battery die so I can’t doomscroll or block fools DMing me about their awesome collagen supplement sale.
And lastly, for the record, I’d give my right and left ovaries for a normal Christmas. When my relatives all descend upon our house and I scream at my kids repeatedly to help clean up the dirty dishes and my husband burns the ham, and my cheap ass brother “forgets” to pay me for his portion of the extended family meals we all agreed to share payment for, and the dog gets sick from my nieces giving her too many cookies, and we all stay up too late drinking strange concoctions that my cousin’s fiancé makes and I have a killer hangover on Christmas morning and forget to bake the breakfast casserole.
Can you make any of that shit happen in the next few weeks, Santa? Because I’ve realized this year that my crappy life wasn’t all that bad. In fact, most of the things I used to bitch about were only normal, messy parts of human existence. I promise that once life resembles anything near normal again, I’ll try not to complain about crowds and overpriced drinks and assholes on airplanes.
I think I get it now – the spirit of Christmas and all. Goodwill and peace on earth, and just smiling through all the bullshit that isn’t anywhere approaching a tragedy. Good talk, Nick.
Just don’t try handing out those tiny candy canes this year, dude. After the shitstorm we’ve all endured, toss us some bottles of the good stuff – booze, pills, whatever. We’re going to need it for a while still.
Happy Holidays, be patient, and make sure the elves keep wearing their masks. Peace out to 2020, and give your old lady a squeeze from me.