The Pillow – the only holiday decoration needed!
We are now well into the Festive Holiday Season, which rolls out around Halloween (my favorite holiday), breaks into a trot just before Thanksgiving, builds up to a full-tilt boogie between Black Friday and Christmas, and then dies a slow, lingering death just after New Year’s Day. The Season is replete with events requiring one to engage in Small Talk.
Small Talk and I are not friends. We are not even cordial acquaintances.
Sadly, for other party goers, I can’t avoid all Small Talk festivities of the Season – certain obligations must be met. But I mangle instead of mingle. It’s definitely me, not you.
I can’t help cringing when I’m asked the same slate of rote questions from people I don’t know very well, the answer to which the asker could not possibly care less about. But social convention requires them to participate in this charade. And the whole time, my inner child/muse is screaming for more wine to dull the numbing brain crush of meaningless conversation.
To wit, this sparkling repartee:
Is your Christmas shopping done? Yes
Have you got your Christmas baking done? HyVee does my baking
Is your daughter coming home for Christmas? No
Are you going anywhere for Christmas? No
Doing anything special for Christmas? No
Do you have your Christmas decorating done yet? YES!
I never ask anybody these questions. Why? Because whether someone’s shopping is “done” is not my business. And I am less interested than you might imagine that a 50,000 piece Christmas village, complete with an operating model train running through it, took 27 hours to set up. I don’t know what to do with this information after I get it. My feeble effort to process this results in clever responses along the lines of “oh, wow, that’s interesting.”
I am thinking of having cards made up, appropriately decorated with holiday kitsch, of course, and just handing them out:
Is your Christmas shopping done?
No, do you have any leftover funds to help out?
Have you got your Christmas baking done?
I am not Martha Stewart.
Is your daughter coming home for Christmas?
My daughter is a psyche nurse. She is caring for people who need her more than her crazy mother does. [that last part is questionable]
Are you going anywhere for Christmas?
Why do you want to know? Are you with the Government?
Doing anything special for Christmas?
Yes, I’m getting the last of the bodies buried before the hard freeze.
Do you have your Christmas decorating done yet?
YES! I turned The Pillow over right after Thanksgiving!
These cards will spare poor, unsuspecting Small Talkers from my unique social skills, and allow me to refill my wine glass and seek out a person who will perhaps share the title of an interesting book they’ve read recently, or discuss the merits of the screen version of The Man in the High Tower versus the actual book. And then, I will plot my escape.
. . . and a partridge in a pear tree.