Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

FFP poses with a stuffed Santa at a party at the Headliners Club.

The Visible Woman...celebrates.

There are no more presents to open. I got my present earlier and I love it. FFP liked his new muffler and umbrella (or so he said). It's not the one in this picture because I didn't let him open until Christmas Eve and this was the day before. 

We got up around 7:30. At that moment when a hot coffee from the Capresso machine sounded better than staying in bed. I sorted the ads to throw away out of the paper. Just glanced at a couple. I have no intention of shopping after Christmas, but I like to see what they are pushing.

Yesterday we walked down to SoCo and ate at a favorite spot, Snack Bar. I had a salad of avocado, pineapple and quinoa and FFP had the same and we shared an order of crispy Brussels sprouts although I ate most of them. There were lots of people down there, presumably getting last minute gifts. We only went in to Off the Wall, Tesoros Trading Company and South Congress Books. At South Congress Books we bought a book of jazz essays by Phillip Larkin called All What Jazz: A Record Diary  Who knew he wrote about jazz? And a biography of Peggy Lee. I guess you could say we bought ourselves some presents. We refused the gift bags offered however. FFP came home and immediately started reading the Peggy Lee book. I wanted to take up the Phillip Larkin book because I'd started one essay in the store and it sounded great. But I'm going to finish Kansas City Lightning by Stanley Crouch first. It's my bedside book. (I read papers in my chair in front of the TV and while eating.) I finish books, but slowly, since that's usually my only book reading time.

We came home and finally decided to stay in for the evening. We watched Le Notti Bianche on a disk rented from Netflix. We listened to an extra on the disk which was a reading of the Dostoevsky story it was based on. (I love this movie. The way it looks. The way they film flashbacks. The atmosphere of the streets.) I read papers all the while, missing this and that in the film and reading I'm sure. We ate a dinner of what was in the refrigerator. And we had drinks. I had two lovely Manhattans on the rocks, mixed by FFP. On Monday at our club party they had Bloody Marys and I had two and they were delicious. I think FFP even had one. (We did walk to the party!) FFP started thinking about mixing one and had to run around the neighborhood and find some mix. He tried the store in the building but it was closed early for the holiday and so he went about four blocks to a liquor store he called to see if they had it.

So we celebrated with cocktails and an old movie and reading. Happy Christmas Eve to us. It was nice, actually.

Early in the evening I called my Aunt Cappy on the phone. She lives near Dallas and my cousin and his wife and one of their daughters and her family live not too far away. However, I think everyone was in Taos for Christmas. My cousin in Houston has a wife and mother-in-law not doing that well. We don't like to drive IH35 this time of year. So there she was, alone. (Her husband died in January. She couldn't attend his memorial in February because she was in the hospital with pneumonia. I helped her return his ashes to his native state of Maine in the summer and she did quite well on the trip.) She said she'd saved our gift for Christmas morning. It wasn't much: some ballpoint pens in a retro style and a package of note cards with a typewriter as decoration. (She still has a typewriter and uses it occasionally!) She said, yes, she was alone. Then: "I spent lots of time alone in the barracks before I was married." (She was a career Navy woman. She married a Marine within a few years of both of their retirements.)

I thought of a Christmas I spent alone, before I was married. My parents went to Colorado where they had grandchildren. My aunts who lived nearby (the older sisters of my Aunt Cappy who never married) had gone to West Texas where there were two other sisters, married with children. I didn't get an invitation from anyone I worked with. It was a sort of wonderful experience, actually. I had presents from my parents and sister and probably some from my aunts and I saved them for Christmas morning. I opened them and then later called Colorado to thank them for the presents (and hear the chaos of the kids and their presents in the background). I don't remember any of my gifsts except one. It was a pencil sharpener. A crank-style one, heavy duty. Instead of having to be screwed to a shelf like in our schools at that time it had a lever that activated a powerful suction cup to stabilize it. That was back when I dreamed of writing a book on yellow pads with Number 2 pencils. Back before computers for the home. (I programmed computers at the time, having my code typed onto punch cards for the compiler by a room full of ladies. Yes they were all ladies.) I never wrote a book on yellow pads with pencils. I never wrote a book, period. I kept the pencil sharpener for a long time, however.

That Christmas I made myself some coffee, maybe a little breakfast of bacon and eggs. I got the Dallas Morning News and I turned on my stereo and listened to the Beatles or something while reading every single page and section of the paper. If I'm not mistaken, I may not have owned a TV at that time.

Like my Aunt Cappy, I can deal with being alone. Even on the holiday when it seems most people gather in large groups. But I almost never am alone and I almost never was at Christmas before I married either.

Today we are relaxing with coffee and papers. We may have a walk this morning. Probably have some chicken and veggie tacos for lunch. Then we join a family gathering for dinner and drinking. 

No comments: