Friday Afternoon Confessional: Too jolly
I confess I’m exhausted. On December 15th, my wife and I had our first family Christmas thing. Since then, I’ve gone to two of my nephews’ Christmas concerts, driven three hours to east Ohio (and back), and driven up to metro Detroit for four straight days. There were three or four days in that span when we didn’t have to hustle off somewhere and each was spent doing at least a little Christmas shopping. I don’t regret any of it and have been glad at the opportunity to spend time with family, but it’s certainly left me feeling spent. I wonder if I’d get through this harried time better if I liked Christmas more.
I confess that some number of years ago, when people asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I answered “something that doesn’t take up any space”. This was my answer because we were still renting and we were moving about once a year. I had tired of seeing boxes full of crap that we hadn’t opened since our last move. I only made that request one year, but it seems to have stuck. This year, after I had opened all my gifts at my mom’s house, I realized they probably would have fit in a shoebox. Most of that space was taken up by a jar of pickled eggs and a six pack of a microbrew from the town where I went to college. Neither of which will be taking up space in our refrigerator for very long.
I confess I’ve known my wife for thirteen and a half years and in all that time, I had never once drank enough to make me vomit. Let me rephrase that. In all that time, despite drinking far too much many, many times I had somehow managed to never vomit at the end of the night. Until Saturday. That night, we went out with my brother-in-law who works full-time, is taking classes, and takes on most of the parenting duties for his two girls because his wife – who he may soon divorce – is an unemployed alcoholic who is very likely also combating mental health issues. I detail all that because I’ve always believed that as a friend, when another friend needs to have a drink, you should make arrangements to go out with them and go toe to toe with their drinking while offering a sympathetic ear. On that night, it took about a gallon of beer for him to temporarily get out from under the burdens listed.
The funny thing about my getting sick at the end of the night was my wife defending me. “There must have been something wrong with those chicken wings. I’ve seen him drink a lot more than that before.”
What about you? Did you puke all over somebody’s Christmas cheer? Forget the “true meaning of Christmas”? Snap and tell somebody at Toys ‘R Us to kiss your holly jolly butt? Do share.
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