Saturday, December 25, 2010

Snippet From My Day #8

He loves lemon rice soup and orders it anytime we eat at Paragon; today was no exception. The waitress returned with his soup and plunked it down in front of him while he was preparing his coffee. She turned to me for my order.

Waitress: What'll it be?

Me: I'll have the melting pot skillet, but could you replace the American cheese with mozzarella?

I hate American cheese.

Waitress: Sure can! How do you take your eggs?

Me: Scrambled.

Waitress: Toast?

Me: Wheat, buttered.

She turned to Jim for his order, and for once, he was the one scouring the menu with indecision. He flapped his sugar packets back and forth, forcing their contents to the other end of the tiny envelope they dwell in, and made his decision.

Jim: I'll have the Confederate skillet.

Waitress: How do you take your eggs?

He tore open the sugar packets, completely bypassed his coffee and upended them directly into his soup. Without missing a beat, he nonchalantly began scooping ruined soup out of his bowl onto its accompanying saucer.

Jim: Uh, scrambled. Rye toast, buttered.

I blinked at him. Was he trying to play this off?!

Me: Did you just dump sugar in your soup?!

He glared at me.

Jim: Yes. Yes, I did.

Waitress: Oh, I'll get you another bowl! You can't eat that one, it won't taste right!

Jim: . . . thanks.

He looked like he wanted to crawl into a crack in his vinyl booth seat. I snickered at his discomfiture- this is the sort of gracelessness he usually gives me shit for. The waitress departed to retrieve his cup of do-over.

Me: I'm telling everyone. I'm sending a mass text right. now.

He whipped out his phone and waved it menacingly at me.

Jim: I'll text first and tell everyone you did it. You know they'll believe me, and your text will just make you look bitter.

It was true. Everyone would believe him, and to make matters worse, he texts much faster than I do. Reluctantly, I lowered my weapon, and he resheathed his. But that's alright, I have a secret weapon he has no defense against: a blog.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Jesus May Or May Not Be The Reason For The Season, But. . .

I was out yesterday, shopping for Christmas cards. I LOVE sending Christmas cards! It usually takes me several days of careful shopping and comparisons involving pictures of packages taken with my cell phone, labeled with the store I found the contender for the title of Christie's Christmas Card of the Year; and possibly stashing a contender in an unrelated department (if it happens to be the last of the package) while I take my time deciding if it'll make the leap from Runner Up to First Place. Once I decide, I buy pens with ink that match the card, and I buy envelope sealers that complement the card inside, and I even get complimenting address labels.

Yup, I'm obsessive about sending the perfect Christmas card.

Here are several criteria a package of cards must meet in order to be considered worthy of the 44 cent badge it'll eventually wear on its way to my loved ones:

* Size matters! I don't usually have a whole lot to say in my cards (hard to believe, right?), and nothing emphasizes that lack like a big ole card full of unused writing space. That's right, I like my cards small. So I'm looking for something around the size of a printed photo (what're those, 4 x 6?).

* The design must be simple; austere, even. I hate busy cards.

* The design can't feature anything religious. No manger scenes, no fish, no doves, no baby Jesuses, no wise men. . . you get the idea. Those usually fall under "busy" anyway.

* No funny! I've got nothing against funny cards. I like receiving them just fine, but for some reason, I just don't like buying or sending them.

* The message inside can't be religious. I'm not a religious person, and that just feels like hypocrisy.

* The message must be simple. Nobody reads all those lengthy, long-winded cards anyway. Let's face it- they're just looking for the check.

* The message MUST reference Christmas.

This last criterion's the meat and bones of the problem I encountered yesterday. I found lots of wishes for the happiness of the season, lots of season's greetings, stupid numbers of warm holiday wishes, various encouragements to enjoy the holiday season, happy holidayses, happy holiday seasonses, blah blah blah. Holidays, seasons, and holiday seasons, my friends! Very few cards outside the religious category actually said CHRISTMAS!

Now, I think I already mentioned that I am not a religious person, and yes, I'm well aware of the Christian connotation of the word "Christmas". But doesn't "Happy Holidays" just sound so dry and generic? And how many of us actually grew up saying "Happy Holidays" or "Seasons Greetings" to one another?! If there are any, I'm sure yall're in the minority; if one of my third grade class mates had said that shit to me, I'd have likely stuck a Kick Me sign on his/her back at the earliest opportunity. Say it out loud to someone today- I guarantee you'll feel and sound like a complete tool.

Most of us who celebrate December 25th grew up saying "Merry Christmas". So why is it slowly becoming more difficult to find a damn Christmas card that says Merry Christmas, and does NOT feature a manger scene or a lamb or a blue-cloaked lady holding a beatific baby? Let's hear it, Hallmark! I'm all ears!