Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas and I Have Rock Band!

Christmas Tree in the Dark

First of all, let me apologize for not writing in over a week.

To assuage the fears of those who’ve been wondering if I keeled over under the anesthesia, let me assure you that the surgery went very well and my recovery was unusually swift.

All four of my wisdom teeth were removed on Wednesday, and by Thursday I was munching down cautiously on solid food.


My facial swelling was brief but hilarious, giving me at its short-lived peak a set of marvelous chipmunk cheeks that I happily paraded around, and a photo of which became my Facebook profile picture for the better part of a week.

The best part of the ordeal was being pampered by my mother during recovery, an experience that, given her self-described non-nurturing nature, I found surprising and touching. On the day of the surgery I didn’t even have to get any of my own food, and for the first half of the week she kept track of my pill schedule for me.

Several days in she came back from the bookstore with the first volume of the Stephenie Meyer “Twilight” series, an early Christmas present. She then promptly read it before turning it over to me.

After a bit I was comfortable enough to stop taking my pain medication, though I was obliged to resume it before bed each night once my stitches had opened (having to squirt the holes left by my teeth after each meal is not fun).

Dad's 45th

December 22nd was my father’s forty-fifth birthday, an occasion we celebrated with a homemade cake. He and my brother, with their birthdays in December, are constantly robbed of glory by another, somewhat more significant birth that took place two thousand years ago.

On December 23rd, Aunt Ostentatious, Bratty Cousin, and Idiot Cousin arrived here for Christmas. With that in mind, I’ve decided to announce a pseudonym change. It just doesn’t seem right to refer to my two young cousins as “Idiot” and “Bratty,” given that they will likely soon be living here, so seventeen-year-old Idiot shall henceforth be known as Blonde Cousin and ten-year-old Bratty shall be known as Pretty Hair.

Their family is having a very difficult time this holiday season. The house they own in Humid State is nearing foreclosure (their mortgage hasn’t been met in months) and they teeter on the verge of bankruptcy.

Several years ago, when their troubles were just beginning, my parents discussed in secret the idea of a $50,000.00 bailout. Under the conditions of this agreement, which I learned of recently, the Ostentatious family home would have been put on Our Family’s name, leaving my parents essentially in control of my aunt’s finances. Given my fascination with power relationships, what would have been essentially the acquisition of one family’s assets by another did highly interest me on a level, but it was a project my parents never undertook and couldn’t now.

Having them here has been enjoyable.

Ostentatious and Bratty (Pretty Hair) Put Gifts Under the Tree

I think I will enjoy them living with us. The house will be more crowded, certainly, but more lively, warm, and active, too. As my father said, they’re family and hopefully they’d do the same for us. We can’t just leave them with nowhere to go.

Aunt Ostentatious will remain Aunt Ostentatious, though Uncle Fake may become Uncle Car Salesman. It’s harm to demonize someone you share a roof with (even though he won’t actually be staying here himself).

On Christmas Eve, Fake, Ostentatious, Mom, Dad, Blonde Cousin, Pretty Hair, Thomas, Grand Pa Hick Family, and I went to a nice little church for a service, the only time our non-religious family attends any type of ecclesiastical function all year.

It was fun, with lots of singing and tender stories about the Baby Jesus, the man He grew to be, and the sacrifice He made for us.

Arriving at the Church

After we got back, Pie posed for an informal portrait.

Pie After Church

Seeing her in a dress was a Christmas miracle in and of itself.

We got home, had some crab dip that Uncle Fake had brought from a restaurant in Native State, and opened one present each. Then Powell and I stayed up way too late (until three in the morning) reading. I’m currently working on “Twilight,” which I like very much, and “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” which completely horrifies me in a way I don’t even want to identify.

Christmas morning was happy and lucrative. The eleven of us (our family, Aunt Ostentatious’s family, and Grand Pa Hick Family) sat around the Christmas tree opening presents. I got pajamas, deodorant, shaving materials, nail clippers, candy, many smaller things, and this lovely letter from my parents:


“As promised you will be awarded $300.00 for books. We also decided that since we are giving Powell money to fix the car that we would award each child equally with the same amount of money. With that being said, you will receive 1500.00 for the Spring Semester. We are very proud of all your hard work at school, your grades are outstanding. Keep up the good work. We know you will be a success!!!

“We love you and are very proud of you.

“Dad and Mom.”

This was so nice of them. They also gave Thomas and Pie each $1,500.00, depositing the money into two CDs in my siblings’ names.

While the money may have been the most significant and far-reaching gift, the most-lauded was certainly Rock Band, which promises to keep us all occupied for the rest of the day. My personal best record so far is 97% on singing with the level set to Hard.

It’s an awesome game, and ensures that the downstairs basement is filled with noise and merriment as we prod and laugh at each other.

I hope everyone is having a very merry Christmas. I’m sorry that I haven’t responded to any comments or anything recently, but I’ll get to them very soon.

Pretty Hair and Blonde Cousin Get Back From Church

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