Wow. What a Christmas.
I wish I remembered more of it.
You may recall in yesterday’s thrilling episode I was lamenting the fact that NewWifey(tm)’s Christmas presents got Aleppo’d thanks to UPS’s policy of hiring retarded sea slugs to deliver their packages. But the story’s heartwarming Gift of the Magi conclusion featured NewWifey(tm) declaring that Christmas was not about presents and packages under the tree, but rather it was about fucking our brains out until I had to go back to work. And NewWifey(tm) was better than her word. She did it all, and infinitely more. (See what I did there, English Lit majors?)
So yesterday morning – Christmas morning – turned out to not be a bust after all. I sat there and opened present after present while NewWifey(tm) just watched, having no presents of her own to unwrap. It was every husband’s dream.
However, we did both have stockings. There are a few Christmas traditions that NewWifey(tm) absolutely insists on, and stockings hung by the TV with care is one of them. We both have fairly small versions – mine a novelty golf bag, hers a slightly tattered traditional model that she made in the 5th grade and still cherishes – so not many things can fit in them. In fact, about the only thing that fits in them, and perfectly, is little airplane bottles of booze. So every year we always end up with a veritable battalion of them lined up in formation on the window sill by the time we reach the toe box.
This year was no exception. I shook bottle after bottle out of my bag, interspersed with a few chocolate truffles, and NewWifey(tm) did the same. We had everything from ridiculous novelty liquors (bubble gum schnapps!) to serious single malts, and everything in between. NewWifey(tm) looked at the pile and said, “Let’s try them!”
“What?” I said. “It’s 6am. I haven’t even peed yet.”
“Well go pee, then let’s get hammered. I mean, I don’t have any presents to open. Might as well get blotto.”
Tough to argue with that logic. I went to the bathroom, came back, and started opening bottles.
Well actually, we didn’t start opening the bottles immediately. NewWifey had the bright idea to see how each of the liquors would taste straight, in regular coffee, in hazelnut coffee, and in eggnog. So she brewed two pots of coffee, pulled out the tub of eggnog I made the day before, and lined up a bunch of styrofoam cups. She also hauled out a bottle of Amaretto di Saronno, her gold standard for eggnog libations. We started with that to set the baseline, then methodically compared it to, oh, 3 liters or so of other mixtures.
By 9 am we were passed out under the tree, and I know at least one of us threw up.
Around noon I finally came around, and realized with a start that, bleeding eyes or no bleeding eyes, I had to begin making Christmas dinner. NewWifey(tm)’s other adamant tradition is her insistence on having a full-on Norman Rockwell feast, even if it’s just the two of us. I looked over at her. She was still snoring like a Gatling gun, bottom half under the tree, top half lying across the threshold to the dining room, but I knew when she finally regained consciousness the first thing she was gonna ask was how the turkey was coming. I stumbled to the kitchen, threw up, and started cooking.
It turned out perfectly, of course. Half drunk, half hung over, half insensate, weak from blood loss, I’m still a better cook than you and any 10 YouTubers you know. I earned that fucking Michelin star back when it still meant something, dammit. I can throw a turkey and 15 sides on the table faster than most of you can microwave a package of instant oatmeal, and have it look ready for its close-up in Sauveur, Mr. DeMille.
So that’s what I did. While NewWifey(tm) slept it off among the dust mites and old corgi poop stains, I was slinging ingredients and thundering along to “An Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas” on the Wollensak. At 1:30 she gave a last shuddering belch-snore and came to. After a quick glance to make sure I was fulfilling my chefly duties, she staggered to the bathroom to scrub crusted snot and drool from her hair, then retreated to the living room recliner to watch “A Christmas Story”. And drink some more eggnog.
By 4:30 I had the dining room table threatening to collapse. Aside from the bird, there were two kinds of soup, a fresh loaf of bread AND a tray of Parker House Rolls (insisted upon every year), salad, pasta course, six different veggies, nut and olive assortments, fruits fresh, frosted, and candied, three kinds of stuffing, two kinds of gravy, and several chutneys and preserves. All home made.
And two bottles of wine.
Oh, and…three kinds of liquors, all of which I prepared months ago and had macerating all this time (including the long awaited Slivovitz). They were each produced to be ready on Christmas Day. I was gonna try them even if it meant crossing over into acute alcohol poisoning. I’m sure insurance would cover my treatment. Or burial costs.
NewWifey(tm) had no such worry. She’s Irish. A half an hour in the recliner and she was ready to get right back into the ring. So she did. An hour after the dinner bell rang both bottles of wine were polished off, along with about 5% of the food – a pretty impressive amount, believe it or not. Afterwards we tried each liquor with dessert, which was a sampling of cookies and a tub of brandied pear and pandan ice cream I made last week and had curing in the freezer. It was awesome. As were the liquors.
Finally though, it all came to an end. I had to go to work the next morning, which meant hitting the sack by 8 o’clock. I wasn’t happy about cutting such a good time short though, and I guess it showed.
“What’s the matter? You look like the Grinch before his heart grew three sizes that day” said NewWifey(tm).
“Ahh, it’s nuthin'” I said. “I just hate being the first to leave a party. I guess I do feel kinda Grinchy.”
She looked at me, then suddenly smiled. “I got something that’ll cheer you up. Wait right here.”
I busied myself putting 2 cubic yards of leftovers into Tupperware containers while she was gone. Five minutes later she called me into the living room. She had cut down a shirt hanger and jammed one end into a rubber ring that she pulled her hair through, and the other end of the wire held a spray of plastic mistletoe.
“You KNOW the Grinch really wanted to fuck little Cindy Lou Who. Wadda say?”
To quote the good doctor, “What a wonderful, awful idea!” I don’t think I need to tell you what I said. I’ll just defer to Doctor S one last time: “I came without ribbons! I came without tags! I came without packages, boxes or bags!”
And everyone in Whoville rejoiced. Except the roast beast. The end.
G’night kids. Don’t forget to bring Max in before you go to bed.
Scary, huh? I didn’t even need to close my eyes to imagine it (for once)!