It’s the time of year when the fake plastic Douglas Fir makes its trip down from the attic and friends and family come out of the woodwork. Both often are better when lit and best remembered when they’re not in your living room.
As the holiday approaches, anxiety sets in each time the doorbell rings.
Who is it now?
Please, tell me it’s not (___insert name here___) I cant’ stand him/her.
Once your once-a-year guest is in the door, the small talk starts. In an effort to eliminate all this and make holiday visits shorter, I’m providing my own list of frequently asked questions that is required reading for all those planning to visit me this Christmas.
So good to see you, how have you been?
I’ve been wonderful. I’m still breathing, can walk on my own, am not wearing adult diapers and can still use a knife and fork to eat with. I take Lisinopril, Lexapro, Priolsec and Simvastatin daily and a Cialis when needed. I did have a cold twice this year, but thank God I managed to kick it and only missed a day of work.
Oh, you still work?
Yes. My paycheck comes every two weeks without fail. I don’t have a fancy title, but I do have a job description. I start the day every morning at 9, go to lunch around noon and go home around 5. If I smoked I’d be able to steal time from the company every hour by going for a cigarette break. But I drink, and vodka every hour would impede my performance.
What do you do?
The same thing I’ve done for 18 years, if you don’t know by now, don’t come over.
It looks like you put on some weight since the last time I saw you.
Yes I have, so nice of you to notice. I happen to be someone who likes food. I always have an appetizer and desert with dinner, I like bread and pasta and when I cook for myself I use lots of butter. I don’t exercise, I don’t eat spinach and I don’t order things “plain.” I also don’t drink diet soda, skim milk and please don’t insult me by bringing me a bottle of margarita mix with the word “Skinny” on the bottle.
It looks like you lost some weight since the last time I saw you.
Yes I have, so nice of you to notice. Now quit bullshitting me and tell the truth. I haven’t gotten any skinnier, my waist is still a size 46 and butter pecan is still my favorite flavor of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.
Is that tan real?
Yes. Contrary to my internist’s and dermatologist’s advice, I lay in the sun every day which greatly increases my chance of skin cancer. I get a pretty good burn at least one day a week that causes me to lose a few hours sleep and one layer of my epidermis every two weeks. I have a few spots that look like they could be melanoma but I don’t allow my doctors to pick and scrape at my skin and scalp. If I die from skin cancer, at least I’ll have a healthy glow in the casket.
Are you married yet?
Although it is legal in a handful of states, the answer is still no. I’ve reached a point where I no longer like to share things with others, including my life. I much prefer to live solitarily without the confinement a relationship brings. I like to sleep sideways on my king size bed, don’t like to see shampoo bottles in my shower, want to only find my underwear on the bathroom floor and if I want to pee siting down, I will.
Why don’t you return my voice mails, text messages and emails?
Most people would take the lack of a response as a hint. If you get my voice mail, it’s probably on purpose. If you leave me a message saying, “Hi, it’s me, call me back.” I know you’re not in jail, aren’t in the hospital or aren’t in mortal peril, so don’t expect a callback. Texting me pictures of the infection you got from your new Prince Albert isn’t going to get a response from me. Either is a “ut” or a “hi.” Those emails you send me… the ones that have been forwarded from person to person for the last three years? They’re not funny anymore and I consider them spam. If you sent me more than two, you were probably put on my blacklist and will never get through.
Where are you living now?
Like you, I live in a house. Inside you will find bedrooms, a kitchen, a living room, a dining room and furniture. You don’t have to go outside to use the facilities, as they’re all indoors and you’ll find more than one. I have heat and air conditioning and a dog who pees and poops on special pads and occasionally misses.
Now that I’ve got all that out of the way, if you’re visiting me this holiday take note – I like cheap champagne and cheap vodka. Forget the chocolate, bring olives. And don’t bring any of those homemade cookies, I won’t eat them.