My holidays were fine, if a little short. I like it better when Christmas falls on a Friday or a Monday, so you have an excuse to create a four-day weekend out of it. My little niece is cuter than ever. I feel like I have an unrequited crush on her. She breaks my heart regularly: Often, if I offer to pick her up or get a hug from her, she’ll consider the request for a second and then say, “no” and turn to something else. It’s not that she doesn’t love me, she just loves her mom, her dad, her grandma and poppa so much more. They see her a lot more than I do. In a few months I will start my secret campaign to turn her against all of them.
Two holiday anecdotes:
1. My mom is a psychologist or a psychotherapist (I don’t actually know the difference… shh!!) and one of her patients bakes her many cookies for the holidays. This year she baked more cookies than ever – dozens and dozens of like five or six different kinds. This kind of largesse is confusing for us people who take an entire afternoon just to produce a couple of sheets of Toll House. Mom implied that her patient didn’t really have any family that was worth doing all of that cookie-baking for, which started this exchange (extremely paraphrased):
Me: So, did she decide she shouldn’t bake cookies for her family this year, or did you “help” her decide?
Sc: Did you tell her, “You know, your family doesn’t really deserve your cookies. They don’t understand you. Better to give them to people in your life who help you.”
Me: “They’re probably really ungrateful too, never thanking you for your kind and loving cookie-baking gestures.”
Sc: … “By the way, thank you for the cookies.”
2. I gave my niece a small My Little Pony named “Hula Lula” several months ago, and Hula L. had come along to my parents’ house for the holidays. My sister has given Hula Lula a kind of trashy-sounding southern belle voice, because “she looks southern.” (I guess it’s the blue eyeshadow on the half-lidded eyes, and the long and lustrous purple hair? Apparently women in the south are all painted-up whores.) Anyway, the Hula Lula voice is best when my brother-in-law does it, because for some reason his version of the voice speaks extra slowly, as though Hula Lula just woke up and it’s 4:00 in the afternoon and she’s got dried vomit in her hair. Things like “yer real pritty” and “can ah sit awn yer knee?” sound even creepier than they would normally. I thought she should say, “honey, have you seen mah cigarettes?” and “where’s Pony’s medicine?” but he didn’t follow along.