Saturday, November 23, 2013

Holiday Entertaining Tips for the Socially Ineffective

If you’re throwing a holiday soiree, and you know you want to, even if it’s just you and your dog, there are several things you’ll want to ensure you’ve considered to make it the best soiree you’ve ever had, especially if you haven’t had any.

1. Only invite people you like. If these same people are also the ones most likely to show up with gifts for you, even better.

2. Only invite people who like you. People who don’t like you are may just decline, which will cause you to feel bad, or they may attend, and spend the entire time insulting you. This is fun for neither you nor your other guests.

3. Consider the dietary habits of your guests. If they only eat organic free range cookies baked that day, do not offer them a plastic tray of grocery store cookies.

4. Provide a variety of liquid refreshments, including wine, all colors, several different hand crafted beers, juice, water, both plain and fizzy, sodas, both regular and diet and zero, and hot chocolate, and mulled cider. And mulled wine. Mulled anything.

5. Make sure you have plenty of peppermint schnapps on hand for the hot chocolate.

6. Post a sign on your front door that states unacceptable behaviors. Example: fighting, politics, religion, school districts, slurping, double dipping, teasing the dog, and spending inordinate amounts of time in the bathroom.

7. Offer to hang up your guests’ coats when they come in, unless you’ve chosen to keep the temperature chilly.

8. Provide entertainment. You with a lampshade on your head does not count.

9. Introduce your guests to each other. This is especially important if you’ve invited people you don’t know, which goes against tips 1 and 2, but it happens.

10. Ensure you have a safe place to hang out in case fighting breaks out. This could be your any room that has a lock on it.

By following these simple tips, you can have a stress free fabulous soiree, one that your guests will remember fondly and that you will be happy to have in the past.

Friday, November 15, 2013

A Friday Story

I love Fridays. I’m not sure why, since I often end them by saying to self, “Self, you didn’t get enough done, and now you’re going to have to work tomorrow!”

I don’t always work tomorrow when I say I will, but I’ve had some health issues that have been annoying me and I use them as an excuse. I’m all about using excuses to get out of work.

I’m also all about calling myself lazy when I’m not, but that goes back to some of the early lies, the ones where I was told I was lazy and sneaky and a bitch. Those lies lodged in my brain in a back corner where it’s really dusty and the inventory has never been inventoried, so not only is there no telling what all is back there, it’s also hard to get what is in there out again.

For my accounting friends, it’s all LIFO in there. Last in, first out, as opposed to first in, first out. There’s so much last in to get out first that I never get back to the first in, so it molders back there, huge steaming piles of shit that aren’t reflective of who I am.

Does anyone else have this problem? Does anyone else keep the remnants of the early lies lodged in their brain?

This hasn’t been a story yet.

Once, when I was young and believed what people said to me and my father and stepmother were still getting accustomed to having all their children living together, my stepmother started yelling at me for being sneaky and lying and a bitch. I was, what 11? 12? One of those ages where one can be really sneaky and evil. I hadn’t meant to be sneaky, or lying, or anything else. I was just trying to survive day-to-day, but I wasn’t the most intuitive kid, and I didn’t know that stepmom and dad weren’t talking . . . to each other. Oh, they were talking, but not to each other, and that little detail went right over my head.

So when I told my dad when my grandparents were coming to pick me up, I thought I was telling both of them, as if he would let her know.

A day or so later stepmom asked if there had been any changes in the plans, and I, being the oblivious one, said no.

Except she didn’t know about the original plans.

I may have this whole story wrong. It’s hard to tell after a few years.

But stepmom lost it, and because I was such a sneaky lying bitch, my dad was blamed for having brought me up to be such a heathen. As if he could help my secretive bitchy psyche! There was screaming and yelling and general mayhem. There may have been furniture flying, I don’t know.

Here’s the awesome part of the story: my older half-sister and my older step-sister, who was halfway between my half-sister and me in age, decided this wasn’t working for us, and the two of them took me away from the madhouse for the day. My oldest sister could drive, being a grown up and all, and so we left the parents to their madness. I wasn’t used to being taken with them – they were older and cool, and I was the youngest girl (but not the youngest child – there were boys of varying ages around, but they had their own private hangout back behind the garage), and I had been a disappointment to my stepsister when she found out I was 4 years younger and boring. But they looked after me.

What I should remember from that time is that my sisters cared enough about me to take me out of there, and that at a particularly low point they were looking after me. I shouldn’t even remember being called a sneaky lying bitch because that wasn’t the important part, was it? That was the part that should have faded away as soon as stepmom said it, but it wasn’t the first time, nor the last, so the repetition of it made it stick. That’s how I learned accounting – repetition.

I chip away at it. Sometimes I get back in there where it’s all dusty and it makes me sneeze, and I pull at a piece of nonsense, like the piece that says I’m stupid, and I tug at it, and sometimes I fall on my ass trying to get it out of there. Afterwards, as I stumble back toward the light, I may feel lighter, if I got any of it out, or I don’t, because the piece was tougher than I was, and I may wonder why bother? Why not just let those pieces stay there? Maybe they’re a permanent part of me because maybe they’re true.

But I go back in anyway. I’m just as stubborn as I am bitchy, and I don’t want those pieces to be part of me, as charming as living the past sounds. It’s just not for me.