Christmas (part 1)

So Christmas is here and gone, and so is my long day of initialing returns on the 26th. I don’t know why people buy so much stuff other people don’t want. People who say “oh, you can always return it” should think about the people in stores who take their returns. And it’s not just initialing the slip that I have to do. All the stuff that gets returned has to be put back on the shelf, and The Gap doesn’t have magical elves who take care of that for us.

I’m the elf. A 185 pound 5’11” elf. I reckon they’re making elfs bigger these days lol.

So Christmas was cool. I’m not going to get into what happened Christmas Eve. Let’s just say that Keaton and I had a crazy adventure. And I ended up having my first Wienerschnitzel. No, not the fast food kind. The breaded veal cutlet kind. Dang those things are good.

Anyway, the rest of it is a long story you probably wouldn’t believe anyway. So I’ll skip along to Tuesday.

First thing on my calendar was church, of course. I liked the service a lot (I’m getting used to Methodists who aren’t anything like Methodists back home), and the music was awesome. Almost like being at a concert. The sermon was interesting, and I learned something: Bethlehem in Hebrew translates to “house of bread”. I’m not exactly sure what that has to do with the birth of Jesus…but after hearing and singing the word for so many years, it was interesting to know what it meant.

Then I went back home to call home, change and get ready for Christmas dinner at Joyce’s. I got there around 2, since she said we were eating at 3, just like her family always did it. We did Christmas dinner at 4 at home (or, as Dad always said, 1600 hours), but this was close enough.

Joyce is from New Hampshire, so she’s definitely a Yankee, and she decided that she was going to make us a Yankee Christmas. So she wasn’t going to worry about sweet potato pie and stuff like that. I think it was a good idea to leave the sweet potato pie to Meemaw. It didn’t turn out so good when Allan baked me that sweet potato pie on Thanksgiving.

I wasn’t the only guest, although we were only 4.

The other two guests were Keaton and an older woman from Pasadena, Mrs. LaSalle. Joyce wasn’t sure who else to invite, since making a turkey for just the two of us seemed kinda silly. (I told Joyce she could make a ham, but that was too Southern for her. She then talked about just making a chicken, but we both agreed that that would just be pathetic lol.)

Mrs. LaSalle told us how old she was – 87 – but she’s in very good shape, her mind is super sharp and she can be very funny…the only thing she doesn’t do is drive anymore. I think she wants to, but her family took away her car a couple years ago. Maybe it’s better that she doesn’t drive, but her family sounds pretty dang bad. They all went away to Europe without her, because she was “too old to travel” and left her all alone for Christmas. I can’t fuckin believe that anyone would do that…and Mrs. LaSalle looked like she’d have been fine on a flight to Europe. And a lot of fun to be in Europe with. They were traveling first class, so I’m sure there would have been plenty of room for her to put her feet up. (She told us she has a big problem with swollen ankles. She’s real honest about what it’s like being her age.)

So Mrs. LaSalle and Joyce were at a meeting of some charity they’re both on and they started talking last week, and Mrs. LaSalle said she had nowhere to go for Christmas. So Joyce said Mrs. LaSalle should come to her house and join me and Joyce for Christmas dinner with people who don’t want to end up being pity invites.

Inviting Keaton was Joyce’s idea, too. That was after I told her about what his Christmas plans were: head over to San Gabriel, have a Chinese dinner, and then get in one of those chicks he pays for sex. I was thinking he’d be okay with that – it’s totally his style – but Joyce wouldn’t hear of it. She told me to tell him he was coming and not to take no for an answer. So I got Keaton to agree to come, which he didn’t make easy on me, even if he likes Joyce. They haven’t spent a lot of time together, but they get along fine when they do.

Having Keaton come to diner also made transportation easier, since Mrs. LaSalle has a condo in the super nice building that’s across the street from the building Keaton lives in. So she got to drive up to Joyce’s house in a truck. I didn’t ask, but she might have gotten to hear George Strait for the first time too lol.

But first Joyce and I exchanged presents.

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