Thursday, February 3, 2011

It's A Wonderful Life - For Someone Else

It's certainly no longer Christmas time, although you might think so if you peered in my next door neighbor, Howard's, front window at his still standing tree.  Don't act so surprised.  After all, he's never cleaned the house.  He doesn't walk the dog or the children.  The weeds are so high the swing set is completely camouflaged and he now possesses a junk yard to rival Sanford and Son.  The only thing surprising is that he actually found the motivation to put a Christmas tree up in the first place.  Personally, I'm hoping it stays up all year.

Apparently Howard is not the only one with the holidays still on their mind.  Today's post brought a not-so-much-Christmas-or-even-New Year's-but-an-end-of-January letter.  So be it.  At least they made the effort.

These holiday letters are always chock full of every wonderful event throughout the year, leading the reader to envy the blessed lives of the letter writers.  Just once I'd like to see an honest letter, pointing out not just the mundane; ie. fifty trips to the grocery store; a couple of dentist appointments; lots of lawn mowing, raking, weeding, but also the really, really horrible things that happen throughout the year.  Things like bad break-ups, health scares, job losses, dead pets and worse.  I wrote one a few years ago, but never sent it.  Sometimes I wish I had.

Bad things happen.  I want to hear about that more than how CJ threw two touchdown passes in just one game! JUST ONE GAME!

But these letter writers need a reason to use far more than their share of exclamation points!!!  I laughed aloud, when, on page 2! of the single spaced letter, the writer pointed out that she is looking for a job as an editorial consultant.

Now, I suppose I don't have much to complain about these days, as my last post proves, but my loyal followers expect a certain voice .  So allow me to point out just what a horrible mother this particular letter writer is.  Punctuation and grammar are all her.

  • Referencing the aforementioned, multi-talented CJ, she writes:
I look forward to seeing what he can do next year, but he's not sure if he wants to run cross country or do football.  I'm torn.  I don't like watching people run; it's really boring and guys are always throwing up at the finish line (I can't handle that, so I don't go to any meets).
  • About her daughter, also, apparently, a runner:
Virginia ran again this year.  She is not very fast.
Way to support the kids, Mama!
  • It looks like she is disappointed in her husband's lack of career progression too.
Clayton is still teaching 2nd grade (he probably will be for life!)
At least Clayton has a job.  And I'm guessing his second graders have a mastery of grammar yet to be demonstrated in this letter.
  • Lest you worry life is without thorns, take heart.  About the kids, she writes:
They really do have their own little issues.
So cryptic, and also so revealing.  I wonder if one of their issues is a mother who tells all their problems to the world.

Of course, there's plenty of religious nonsense throughout, but hey! this is shaping up to be the horrible letter I was hoping for.  Maybe this year CJ will break his throwing arm.  Or Virginia will suffer an asthma attack on the race course.  What if Clayton gets demoted to 1st grade?

Suddenly I can't wait til Christmas.  If you don't hear from me it's because I'm staring into Howard's window, dreaming of miserable times to come.


Holly Ruggiero said...

Yeah for the year round Christmas tree!!!!!!!!!! ;)

Wendy Sparrow said...

One of my husband's relatives keeps us up-to-date on her husband's prostate health... so.. you know... some of those letters are just fun.

I still have two Christmas gifts to send out to grandparents, so I qualify for granddaughter of the year. Le sigh.

Travener said...

Reminds me that I *definitely* have to take the Christmas lights down from the house this weekend.

Jeanne said...

Hmm. And I have difficulty keeping up the Christmas decorations AND tree for more than about a week. Day after Christmas, down it goes. It would be fun to have a writer's contest of the worst Xmas letters. I personally find all of mine to be charming and reflective, just chock full of juicy bits. I have saved every one since about 1980. Could do a whole book for you, M.C.