We stayed here in Utah, where E’s family all is. E’s family knows how to do the holiday. There is a lot of food, and a lot of drinks, and a lot of giggling–if you do not leave a family party with your face hurting, then probably you spent the entire time locked in the bathroom with some kind of stomach flu and that is very sad. Everywhere there is a flurry of wrapping paper and shiny things and everyone’s racing around, hiding bags and yelling at you if you open the wrong cupboard and asking each other in whispers, in front of the person you’re whispering about, what you got for them. It’s all secrets and lies and deceptions and tackling to keep you from ruining the surprise.
There was an enormous amount of running around and door-slamming and me being physically pushed from rooms while I protested and phone calls in which it was demanded that I swear I didn’t see anything. Long sighs and wistful looks–I’m sorry your holiday is ruined, honey. I said, You can just get me a pony made of diamonds! And he did! But I couldn’t have it yet, because it had died and he had to fill it up with pudding. He was having a lot of trouble getting a hold of the pudding, he said.
Then the night before, which would be Christmas Eve, when we returned from the family party (at which I triumphantly recalled almost all the words to “The 12 Days of Christmas”), he covered my eyes and yanked me into the room and thrust me forward and said “Surprise!” and it was not a pudding-taxidermied pony at all. It was my desktop computer, painted a beautiful shade of pink. Covered in unicorns and skulls and curlicues, my nickname. The screensaver was pictures of ponies and diamonds, and the desktop was a pony and the browser was Firefox and the homepage was Gmail and Twitter and it was the most ridiculously thoughtful thing you’ve ever seen in your life, and I burst into tears as if Obama had just been elected in a landslide or something.
Are those happy tears? he said, as I clung to him and sobbed. Yes! I wailed. I’m so haaaaaaaappy, I bawled.
When you’ve got a shiny pink computer and shiny computer games loaded on, you think of very little else. If you are me, anyway.
For the past week we’ve eaten up all our Christmas candy and played all our Christmas games and laid on the couch in between candy and games and dozed and watched television and then went back to playing and it has been the best kind of vacation from life that you could ask for, really. But life is still up there and even though it has significantly less sugar and fewer achievement experience opportunities, it is required that I return to it. Here I come, reluctantly and a little bloated, picking tinsel out of my hair.
How was your holiday? You look very fetching in tinsel.