White Christmas

With Christmas two weeks away, I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve done very little to prepare. Things have been very hectic around here, what with Ken and me opening another booth at the antique market, this one on the third floor so we have to lug everything up three flights of stairs or use the dreaded, ancient, and evil freight elevator. But the rent was really cheap because “sometimes the roof leaks a little above the left wall”, so we’re making sure we don’t put anything there that could get damaged. It’s mostly for large furniture ie the furniture that spent the summer on the porch because we have nowhere in the house to put it, and I’ve given up trying to sell anything online because people are so annoying:

Rando: Hi, is this available?
Me: Yes, it is.
Rando: Will you take $100 less and will you deliver it?

So we decided it was better and less stressful to just take another booth. I’ve already paid the rent on it with the sale of a single vintage wool blanket, so it was definitely worth it. Also, I didn’t take the job at the bank. I had an interview and it went really well—all I had to do was one last thing for their external HR recruiter: VIDEO RECORD MYSELF ANSWERING QUESTIONS. I clicked the link, saw the first question, and ran into the kitchen:

Me: I can’t! I can’t work at a bank! I RETIRED so I wouldn’t have to do stuff like this. I like the job I already have!
Ken: So don’t work at the bank. I told you it was fine if you didn’t want to.

And my decision was a good one based on what happened on Wednesday when I rang through a customer, who wanted to pay with cash. I entered the amount and was making change when he suddenly said, “It’s probably easier if I give you another $1.55.” I looked at him, confused, as he counted out more money, especially since I had his change in my hand, ready to give it to him. I started to panic, and my 23-year-old boss came over:

Boss: What’s wrong?
Me: I—money—calculator?
Boss: Just give him back a ten.
Me: I’m not good at math.
Boss (laughs): That’s okay.

I don’t think the bank would be as forgiving. Plus, it’s good exercise, walking around a 90 000 square foot warehouse.

At any rate, it’s been busy, like I said, and I’m starting to have Christmas inadequacy, especially after buying a decorating magazine called Farmhouse Christmas. I saw it while Ken and I were waiting in line at the grocery store, and there were some cool instructions inside for making different kinds of ornaments. Of course, when it got rung through, I realized that it was literally the most expensive thing we bought at FIFTEEN DOLLARS. Was it worth it? Yes, if only for the laughs. Because there are several things in this magazine that are just bizarre.

1) Despite it being called Farmhouse Christmas, every featured house is decorated in white. Pristine white walls, pristine white floors, pristine white furniture—which leads me to believe that NONE of these people actually live on farms. If I owned a farmhouse on an actual farm, everything would be decorated in brown to hide all the mud and manure. Apparently one of the farms is an alpaca farm, and there’s a picture of a guy outside with two alpacas, but they look fake, like giant friendly stuffed animals. And I just did a lot of alpaca research for this (thanks Google) and discovered that alpacas are not actually that friendly, and that there’s a real thing called Berserk Alpaca Syndrome and that alpacas will spit at you and also scream at night. The two alpacas in the picture are called Scooter and Handsome (exactly what I would name stuffed alpacas) and that the owners love to “watch them interact with the sheep.” I can only imagine.

2) There are at least four different families represented in this magazine, and every single person in every single photo is BAREFOOT. With the exception of the guy with the alpacas, demonstrating that the only lucrative farming is alpaca farming, even if they spit and scream. But seriously—why is no one wearing any shoes?! Family posing on the couch—no shoes. Mother with child on her lap—no shoes. Woman standing in her kitchen—no shoes. Ken grew up on a dairy farm and I don’t recall anyone in his family running around the farmhouse without shoes or socks. I can imagine the photo shoots:

Photographer: OK folks, I love the matching outfits. Kids, those rosy cheeks are precious. Everyone ready to smile? Oh wait—why are you all wearing shoes?! This is a photo shoot, not a visit to an alpaca farm! Take those damn things off right now—you’re ruining my feng shui and disrupting my chakras.
Child 1: But the floor is cold…
Photographer: I don’t care. You remember what I said about shoes?
Child 2 (whispers sadly): They’re the devil’s footwear.

3) The most out-of-touch with reality thing in this entire magazine has got to be the story about “Cindy”, a blogger who decorates in white but likes to “sprinkle” other colours around to inspire her readers. In the photo, she’s also barefoot. But that’s not the crazy thing. THIS is the crazy thing: “My husband cooks and prepares all holiday meals. He takes the week off work to shop for all the ingredients. Our entire meal, desserts included, is made from scratch,” Cindy says.  He takes THE ENTIRE WEEK OFF WORK TO GROCERY SHOP?!! Is he just really bad at it? Because Ken can literally buy a week’s worth of groceries in under an hour. And she’s bragging about making all the food ‘from scratch’? Did he personally raise and then slaughter the turkey? Then it’s not from SCRATCH, CINDY.  Also, if Cindy’s husband can afford to take a week off work to grocery shop, then I bet he can afford to buy her a pair of slippers.

All this magazine did, besides giving me a good chuckle, is make me realize that I would rather live in a house where people are allowed to wear shoes, surrounded by warm wood and love. And tacos. Which Ken is going to make tonight. From a kit.

The decorating has begun!

46 thoughts on “White Christmas

  1. Your boss is amazing!!! I would need a math rescue every second, if I worked a cash register. And the alpacas! I forgot, Alex used to take violin lessons from someone who raised alpacas–and her grandchildren, I think, chose them as 4-H projects. She would make the most wonderful alpaca wool socks. Alpaca wool socks are the spitting image of sheep’s wool socks, except without the itching, allegedly. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I hear ya my friend, I’m barely getting my shit together and believe me I barely put my tree up. Okay I put my tree up a week ago but it only had lights, the decorations were not put on until yesterday. As for the alpacas, there are some at the university where I work. They are definitely not friendly. Actually they seem to be bigger assholes than cats, lol. Wow a second booth at the antique mall? I’ll say it’s better than working at a bank, I’m with you I can’t do math in my head so giving change out is traumatizing for me. I mean I work with grant money all the time but it’s different than giving someone change, ugh.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Let’s see. Let me run through the salient points : no, no, sheep, no, no, OK, here I take exception to letting a boy ride a hobby horse barefooted. This is the kind of shoddy upbringing that leads to grown men wearing flip-flops while riding motorcycles.
    I just had to laugh at the husband who shops for days and cooks everything from scratch, as I am loath to prepare anything more complex than Kraft macaroni and cheese, and maybe, when I’m feeling frisky, stirring in some browned hamburger. It’s like a little cheeseburger in every bite! But that’s it. Maybe cereal.
    Anyway, thanks for the multiple chuckles, even though multiple is a noun and not an adjective etc. etc. 2 spaces after a period. Merry Christmas. The clock is ticking.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Believe it or not, sometimes people bring their small children barefooted into the antique warehouse where I work. I tell them to either put shoes on them or carry them—the floors are old wood and we can’t guarantee they’re splinter-free!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ha, don’t read my “Cultivating Winter” creativity post! There aren’t barefoot people wandering through the post, but there is some distinctly uncozy decor suggestions. Too funny with the white on white on white…lucky guess on my part in a way, for “trendy” holiday decor! ROFL! (I’m a fan of not only cozy, but very vibrant colors! Color everywhere! <–anti-neutrals) And, can I grab a taco, or two, before I leave? My feet are getting a little chilly. Ha!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Another great Sunday—should say morning but I read too long in bed—because of your blog.  I sent it in to my daughter who will be driving home from Casper today after soccer. Those trips get rather boring and I asked her to read it out loud to her daughter since they’ve lived on a ranch with horses and donkeys. I’m sure they’ll appreciate the barefoot comments. Love your posts!

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Decorating all in white seems to be very popular now. Every time a house in my neighborhood is sold it’s knocked down and replaced with one that’s not only too big for the lot but also white with black trim. For realtors that makes sense. They can say to potential buyers, “Imagine this house in any colour you want.” But then the people who buy these houses leave them white with black trim because they have no imagination and probably overworked cleaning staff.
    Also I see so much story potential: the evil freight elevator, berserk alpacas, and the shoeless people. Ken probably knows that going barefoot on a farm, especially a dairy farm, you risk getting hookworms which really are terrifying.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love your sense of humor, Suzanne. Those farmhouse decorating magazines are fun to look at and sigh (and wonder about who has the time and money. Honestly). Our house is all earth-tones… to hide the earth that gets tracked in on a daily basis, and we don’t even have a farm! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. My idea of a storybook Christmas looks nothing like the pictures presented in magazines and movies. Nothing makes me happier than a Bronx Christmas, with lights strung on fire escapes and sidewalk Christmas-tree “lots” under the el tracks along Broadway. Nothing fills me with the spirit of the season like that!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. As usual, your post gave me a good laugh. As you know, my wife and I own an old dairy farm in Vermont. We walk around barefoot all the time, though my wife prefers to wear socks in the colder months, even in bed. Who wears socks to bed? She does. I don’t understand it, but that’s her thing.

    Also, we decorated the house with a combination of relics from my fire department career and train memorabilia. Most people appreciate firefighters, and everyone I know likes trains.

    The part about the husband shopping for groceries really made me laugh. Never send a man to the grocery store, as they will do one of two things; call you for clarification, or buy the wrong item. Usually a combination of both. I do all of the shopping, Amelia tags along sometimes. We are both good at shopping because we’re both women.

    Life is good.

    Thomas 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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