Monthly Archives: December 2011

Only a Matter of Time

It’s a two weeks before Christmas, and I’m still shopping for little stocking stuffers for the kids. Roxy has a polycarbonate, stylish watch for under $50–great, right?

But then I realized not one of our five kids wears a watch! They all use their cell phones to tell time.

Like the home landlines and CDs, do you think we will see a decline of time-bearing accessories?

Major tragedy! What will we do when we’re running late and need to send a hint to loquacious acquaintances or verbose salesperson in the kiosks at the mall? Is our only immunity to glance at our phones? But how will our time-assaulting assailants know we’re running late and not just reading a text from Aunt Carol about mochi-making day or an email from Chase that my payment was received?

As I see it, the only defense we now have is our thoughtful SIRI. Instead of looking at a nonexistent watch on my wrist, she can broadcast a reminder: “You are five minutes late for your next appointment.” (Is there a hotkey for that?) Imagine the possibilities:

-Creepy guy at the nightclub wants your number – SIRI: “READING TEXT FROM SEXY SURFER DUDE – CAN I BUY YOU A DRINK?”

-Your mom wants you to come over for dinner – SIRI: “YOU HAVE 12 EVENTS PENDING. SHALL I SCHEDULE THEM NOW?”

-Waiting in queue at a department store – SIRI: “FOUND: SAME DRESS ON SALE AT NORDSTROM’S 40% OFF.”

-long-winded meeting with an ex-spouse – SIRI: READING TEXT FROM [insert name(s) here] – YOU ARE PERFECT FOR ME. NEVER WANT TO LET YOU GO.

Okay, so maybe these are not so subtle hints for running late or creating other excuses, but watcha’ girl going to do?

Hopeful for the Holidays

The Christmas tree is up, the wreath’s hung on the door, and we await the arrival of all the kids for the holiday season.  I seem to be caught in the middle once again, bridging the generations, taking care of my mom in her foster care and her finances, taking care of my children who are finding their own way in this world, and helping my partner prepare for his mom’s options for long-term care. It would be great not to think about all those things.

In December, our home was filled with every possible Christmas paraphernalia my mom could get her hands on: santas  in the windows, red gossamer ribbons knotted to the fridge, and presents. My parents lavished upon us multiple presents per child. I never knew until I was a teenager.

“Where’s everyone’s Christmas gifts?” I had asked my next-door neighbor when I went over to play after school. She told me she gets one present from her mom and dad each Christmas. One.

“Wow.” I think any response would have been inappropriate at that point. And it’s not that their family didn’t have money, they just had different priorities. Their family still travel once a year together. They still have their health. They all seem to have made their way though this world.

No, I’m definitely not encouraging anyone to be Scrooge this holiday season, but to consider the preciousness of the gifts we give and receive. Some things I’d like to give to my mom, like more time and good health, cannot be bought–even with my wallet filled with 25% off Macy’s coupons. There’s no Black Friday special for estranged family members to make amends and move forward in their relationships, and no Cyber Monday will bring back loved ones we wish we could spend one more holiday season with.

But I am hopeful for the holidays. I will still anticipate the smiles of surprises on the kids faces in the mornings, I will look forward to calling my mom and wishing her a Merry Christmas, and I am hopeful that all the ornaments and decorations will fit in the boxes marked “Christmas” and make their way down to storage in a timely manner.