Radiogurl a la Carte

Monday, Dec. 25, 2006
Christmas at Ex-Radioland

I'm afraid to write this, fearful if I attempt it I'll doze off mid-post and end up with keyboard face and a gig or two of zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

I'm just as afraid NOT to write it, lest I forget something in the retelling.

It's ungodly o'clock at night and I'm waiting for the load of laundry to finish cooking, though, so will attempt something resembling an entry.

Grandson made the trip, and his gift unwrapping was a whole 'nother kind of trip. I hadn't seen him in so long I know he didn't remember me, and of course it was MC's first opportunity to meet the boy. Grandson tore through boxes and ribbons and wrappings with such excited comments as, "I don't need that," and, "Clothes?? For Christmas??? I don't want no stinking clothes!" and, "I've already got that."

My poor daughter was mortified at this little boy's ungrateful display, though MC and I took it in stride.

Grandson, by the way, is about 6-1/2 years old, very small physically for his age, and is 00's son - the one whose father gives assholes a bad name. So Grandson's attitude, while sadly lacking, was also thoroughly understandable.

Underneath it all, however, was a perfectly delightful child who needed the right coaxing to come out and play. Between MC and I, we managed to find the little boy beneath the cynic. He did like the walkie-talkies we got for him, for example. And all of a sudden, he realized that in order to use the walkie-talkies one had to install batteries - and in order to install batteries, one needed a real screwdriver. Which, incidentally, MC had insisted we give him.

There was a dawn of comprehension that rivaled a genuine sunrise, there, for a moment. Didn't take long for a few other things to get through, either. The toys were fun, but a newfound grandpa has the advantage of being willing to PLAY with little boys. (Something that apparently jerk-dads don't bother to do.) Second major flash of illumination for the day.

During the few hours we spent with him, he was transformed from a sullen and ungrateful thing to a giggling, funny, intelligent little boy who threw his arms around us both before he left us.

I had the privilege of seeing MC with the grandchildren and seeing them both take to him like ducks to water, reinforcing my certainty that he's a keeper. (As if I didn't already know.) My adult children have accepted him, too, though they're still getting to know him and with their respective histories, they're a little more reserved so far.

Our newest grandson, due in just a couple of weeks, won't ever remember a time without grandpa MC, and I think that's a good thing.

Everyone was pretty happy with the gifts they received. I'd made jewelry for all of the girls - mostly sterling silver and gemstone beads, though for Youngest Daughter I paid an astronomical sum to get solid gold findings, as she's allergic to anything else.

For 00's part, when she realized we were unloading a computer and that it was to be hers, her eyes went round as saucers and she said, "You're kidding, right?" As she was helping to carry the components I overheard her add, "I'm still in shock." She promised to set it up on her bed, if necessary, and sleep on the floor. I think she may have pinched herself a time or two to be sure she wasn't dreaming.

So yeah, gwtw, it went to a good home and will be much-loved.

The boys all worked today - my sons and my son-in-law - but we got to watch each one of them get their goody baskets. Youngest son devoured about half the food in his immediately after he walked through the door. Turns out he hadn't eaten all day. They ALL loved the flannel pants. In fact, one recipient had been looking for a pair but hadn't been able to find them in his size.

The girls liked their jewelry, and my sis said she did. (I think it didn't hurt that she raided her hubby's goody basket, either. The homemade bread worked perfectly for leftover turkey sandwiches.) Plus I brought her chocolate. Chocolate is never a misstep.

On to the family drama, which took on Vaudevillian dimensions this year.

My niece and her new hubby came over to my sister's house yesterday afternoon to show off their 6-month-old daughter, whom I hadn't yet seen. After an hour or so of familial ooh-ing and ah-ing, during which time niece and hubby also were fed (at ours and sis's expense, no less) they drove home to inform her mother, my sis-in-law, that we weren't coming to their house because sis-in-law didn't like me.

Mind you, at no time was there ever an invitation extended for me and MC to visit their home, or even for Sis and her new hubby to visit my brother's home. What's even more fun is that at no time did the aforementioned conversation ever take place - i.e., any conversation to the effect that we weren't coming over because sis-in-law didn't like me.

Sis-in-law phoned my sister, literally sobbing that she does like me, and how could we not come, yada yada.

Does anyone besides me see this as right up there with Abbott and Costello or Laurel and Hardy? (Or at least Midsummer Night's Dream?)

Supposedly I was the injured party, yet she phoned my sister (and never bothered to ask for me.) She actuallly DOESN'T like me, by the way. However, I'd have to care in order to issue such a momentous snub, and I don't. And for her to phone on that note, crocodile tears and all, telling my new brother-in-law how she'd spent allll this money on allll this food, and she and her family would be eating [expensive seafood] for the next week...

That struck a note with my new brother-in-law, who got the picture with absolute clarity.

See, with my sis-in-law, it's all about appearances. She doesn't like me and considers me and my family to be considerably beneath her and hers. However, she does enjoy the ability to lord their money over me.

And my brother-in-law, bless his heart, just burst out laughing, observing succintly, "That woman needs therapy."

I wiped away a tear of pride. Yes, whatever nut on whatever branch of our family tree, the need for therapy is still our most consistent family trait.

Well, pride or not, laundry or not, I'm at the end of this rope and have got to turn in. I saw a couple of people elsewhere on Diaryland who listed all their Christmas presents, and maybe I'll eventually list mine. I actually did receive some extremely nice Christmas gifts this year, but the best gift of all was getting to see every one of my family members who counts to me.

Before - After

In the grander scheme of things, no soul can truly be replaced. Each one of us has a place in the universal tapestry. We each contribute our own color and texture. When one thread is snipped too soon, it distorts all the threads around it. Other lives can unravel and tear. If the wrong thread is ripped away, the whole fabric of life becomes dangerously fragile.
- LeiLani, aka Radiogurl aka Bright Opal (1957 - )