Saturday, 29 December 2007

A Valuable Lesson

What kind of intelligent, progressive human beings would we be if we failed to learn anything from Christmas? For example, I learned that I can only buy my husband so many watch fobs before he becomes exasperated at having to remind me for the tenth year in a row that he doesn’t actually own a pocket watch, and he learned that fancy hair-combs do nothing to improve the appearance of his wife’s newly-shorn locks.

I learned that, while my in-laws are unlikely ever to improve to a degree that I voluntarily seek out their society, with a lot of determination, effort and forbearance on my part, Christmas Day spent with them can actually be more bearable than I would have thought possible. Sure, they’re still going to swear like troopers, blaspheme like they haven’t just been to Christmas Mass, and scream like harpies in a most un-Christmassy manner. They’re still going to tell appalling so-called ‘jokes’ that aren’t funny in the least (one was about bringing my baby home from hospital and burying it in the back yard; another denigrated Jews and made light of the Holocaust). But, keeping in mind the promise I’d made to myself to try reeeeeeeally hard to get along with them on that of all days, I somehow managed to rise above the despair-inducing fug which emanates from them with each utterance.

I ignored the idiocy! With an iron will I kept my face a mask of impassivity! I initiated conversation! I chatted with the ill-mannered child, my niece! I managed a tolerable show of graciousness! I even smiled at the less offensive jests. And as if my unaccustomed efforts jolted the planets out of their normal courses into some rare alignment, my in-laws were seemingly less objectionable than usual.

Perhaps they responded subconsciously to my improved behaviour. Perhaps it was extraordinary luck the usual noxious stream of prattle remained largely dammed behind their teeth. Perhaps it was a Christmas miracle. All I can say is, I’m glad I’ve learned that maybe, just maybe, time spent with them doesn’t have to be such a trial after all, if I only try to be a (much) more tolerant person.

Just don’t ask me to try it too often – after all, Christmas comes but once a year.

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

A Return to Normal Programming

Christmas Day is over for another year; strife on earth and ill will to all men may now resume.

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

God Bless Us, Every One

I don’t usually write serious blog posts, mainly because I’m too ignorant to construct rational, reasoned and well-informed essays on important issues, or because I’m too selfish and self-centred and petty, or because earnestness and sincerity tend to seem trite and affected when my inadequate little brain tries to convert them into the written word. I’ll keep this short, then, and trust to your goodwill to regard this humble Christmas offering in a favourable light.

As hollow as it sounds to me, given that Christmas is a difficult time for more people than not, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a New Year filled with health and happiness.

Without wishing to pontificate on philanthropic gestures (Lord knows that would make me an insufferable hypocrite), this year I’m really going to try to be thankful for what I have, even down to spending the better part of Christmas Day with my (really) annoying (and not-usually-to-my-liking) in-laws. It’s a prospect which, though not exactly my preferred option, is a darn sight better than that facing many people at this time that all the corny movies and cynical ads rub in the faces of the lonely and bereaved as a time to spend with family. I will try and remember others who are less fortunate than I; in particular, L and T – God grant you comfort in your time of grief; my thoughts and prayers are with you.

Stay safe and happy, and God* bless us, every one.

P.S. Confused and disturbed by this uncharacteristic post? Normal posting (ie: meaningless, small-minded twaddle) will resume whenever I can stir my spreading derrière into action.

*Substitute with deity/life force/benevolent entity of your choice.

Friday, 7 December 2007

Christmas is a cruel time for the lonely

My poor, neglected blog. Who would you have to love you, if not me? If you're very lucky and very well-behaved, Father Christmas may bring you an early present of a new blog post, sometime during the 0.5 free days I have before Baby Polony makes an appearance.

In the meantime, rest well and dream of large statcounts.