Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

January 2, 2006
By: Debra Dickerson

Enough Christmas a'ready. Bring on the disfunction....I don't know about y'all, but I am Christmas'd out. I spent most of the last two weeks squinting at directions written in Elvin runes and talking with nice ladies in India (aka the Toys R Us help desk. My fave was the one who suggested I "ask a man. Sometimes they know best." When I pointed out that a "man didn't buy the bloody play house," she laughed so hard her bindi probably popped off.) All this while squatting in my freezing utility room lest a wandering toddler make mean old mom be the one who breaks the news about Santa really being a middle-aged black woman with fading eyesight and poor mechanical skills. Then I got to spend the big day itself trying to remember whether it was the fuzzy bear's right paw or left foot that made him (creepily) carry on like an infant. Was it the baby in the red onesie (with my two year old, all dolls are named "Baby") or the baby in the pink onesie who cooed and cuddled, and, in either case, what was I supposed to push, pinch or strangle to make it happen? I ended up making a chart 'cause the good Lord knows there aint enough crap on my refrigerator door. Last Christmas, we spent most of the first half of 2005 discovering that toy trains, etc. were mechanized in some way. So I forgot. So shoot me. It's my job to teach them about deferred gratification, right? Next year, they'll be 5 and 3. I'm switching to cash.

Debra Dickerson 12:03 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (30)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

Another moment from "What Christmas Means to Me."

Trust me, Ms. Dickerson, I feel your pain.

Posted by: Dave McLemore on January 2, 2006 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

Just tell them Santas dead, Bush killed him when he tried to drill in ANWR.

These kids need a dose of the real world, the starving in Africa, the flood in India, the Earthquakes, etc. They have no rerason to be happy - grow up its a terrible world out there.

They don't need toys, they need hemp clothes and give all their possesions to charity to help AIDS in Africa.

And what about free health care for all the freeloaders, shouldn't your kids be contributing to Kevin Drums dream??!!

Posted by: Patton on January 2, 2006 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

Alice-Patton obviously woke up and had her regular bowl of "Sugar Frosted Dumbass" for breakfast.

Posted by: Pat on January 2, 2006 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

she laughed so hard her bindi probably popped off.

Not all Indian women wear bindis. Kinda sounds like "laughed so hard his turban unraveled" or "laughed so hard he dropped his bucket of fried chicken". A bit tone deaf.

Posted by: uhuh on January 2, 2006 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

Debra, great post: i can't recall having seen you post here before, but i hope to see you again.

and, as Pat notes, feel free to ignore Patton, who is merely a resident moron.

Posted by: howard on January 2, 2006 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

Debra, why do hate America?

Posted by: ecoboz on January 2, 2006 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

Another classic description of how America has totally lost its hinges in relation to its own culture.

Posted by: Chris on January 2, 2006 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

Oops...
Debra, why do _you_ hate America?

That's what I get for trying to be a smart ass right after I get up!

Posted by: ecoboz on January 2, 2006 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

Next year, by 'em Legos, Lincoln Logs, and an Erector set...Coupla years, and they'll be putting their own damn toys together...

...Unless it's a Barbie playset and Barbie clothes, both of which require freakin' bolt cutters to remove from the packaging...

Posted by: grape_crush on January 2, 2006 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

I shoudl clarify: the description by that Guest Author is a classic example of people who hate their own culture, but nonetheless feel compelled to take part in soemthing they obviously detest. So instead of spending time with her kids, that person chose to fall "victim" to the consumerist culture that she no doubt then trashes in her writings against republicans and conservatives. What a sad, cynical person she must be. get a life. enjoy Christmas for what YOU make it, Debra. Dont' allow yourself to be a victim to someone else's concept of it. TAKE control of your own life, damnitall, this is America, where you have every and all opportunities to do what you want. Geesh. What a whiner.

Posted by: Chris on January 2, 2006 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

"Christmas" is a RACKET! It places families further in debt and aggravates family tensions; depresses those without families, sometimes to the point of suicide; increases auto and other transportation related deaths; teaches and furthers the poisonous gospel of consumerism; and all for no other purpose than saving from economic loss those retail outlets that can't survive without artificially generated buying pressure. Is there any reason why businesses that can't survive without Christmas SHOULD survive? END CHRISTMAS NOW!!!

(Not a joke; I'm serious, though there's about as much chance of ending Christmas as there is of ending war.)

Posted by: fyrelye on January 2, 2006 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

What a bunch of cynics and whiners! christmas is a religious holiday celebrating the birth of a cd that is thought to have been god. I dont' go for any of that, but I can still see christmas as a time of renewing the concept of hope, love and peace, if for no other reason than we need at least one week a year where we think along those terms. If you all are anti consumerist, then why take part in it? I, for one, give a calendar and a card, and spend most of my time spending time with people at christmas, not with lines in Malls, or fake gift giving ceremonies. walk the walk, if you talk the talk. If this is an example of liberals, my god, I'm going back to the LIbertarians

Posted by: chris on January 2, 2006 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

ignore Patton, who is merely a resident moron.

Resident? I'm sure I saw her walking the streets, arguing with the pigeons. Accused them of being commies. I think the poor thing doesn't have a home.

Posted by: snicker-snack on January 2, 2006 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

Why bash some poor Indian girl? She is not forcing Toys R US to set up a call center in India.

Actually the terrorism problem will be solved very quickly if the administration aids the Middle Eastern countries in the same way that it aided India during the sixties to help improve technological education.

Posted by: lib on January 2, 2006 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps the call center personnel were trained by the people who write instructions for IKEA.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 2, 2006 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

Fuck Xmas. Just fuck it. Most people don't think they have the courage to do what's really in their hearts, but I'll bet they're wrong. Just remember that the WINTER SOLSTICE is the true festival of light and the beginning of the new year all rolled into one.

Last year I didn't "do" Xmas at all. It was gloriously liberating. I walked around for weeks marveling at the insane greed and hoopla, feeling like a visitor from another planet. If you ABANDON THE COLLECTIVE, you can get in touch with reality. (Hint: Xmas isn't it.)

Good luck, and there's no charge for this advice.

Posted by: John on January 2, 2006 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

I shoudl clarify: the description by that Guest Author is a classic example of people who hate their own culture, but nonetheless feel compelled to take part in soemthing they obviously detest.

Clearly, you have no children in your family. Spend Christmas morning with an eager child tugging at your arm as you try to figure out what the heck can be holding that one last piece of their new toy to the packaging and you'll become a Scrooge, too.

Oh, and giving a calendar to anyone under the age of about 10 immediately marks you as a bad present-giver. Even socks are better to a five-year-old.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on January 2, 2006 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

my dad was a proverb person and i wanted a pair of shoes and then i would have two pairs. dad said this chineese guy wanted a pair of shoes , but then he saw a man without feet. i got a sack of fruit and nuts , but no shoes. had a proverb dad.

Posted by: PROVERB MOM on January 2, 2006 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

Mnemosyne: so you choose to raise your children against your own beliefs? talk about having no guts. Of course I dont' give socks and calndras to kids, but i also dont' feel the need to give the newest, best, most expensive. Yes, it marks them in school as different. but part of being a parent, if I may briefly lecture you, is to raise your kids according to your own morality and beliefs. Walk the walk that you talk, my friend. I do.

Posted by: Chris on January 2, 2006 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

Er, I don't have kids. I have nieces and nephews. So I can give them anything I want.

You're the one who seems to think that giving presents that kids can actually enjoy -- like the pirate ship I gave to my 3-year-old nephew this year -- is wrong.

Why do you hate Christmas, Chris?

Posted by: Mnemosyne on January 2, 2006 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

You obvioulsy haven't' read my posts higher up. I very much like christmas, and I love celebrating it with friends and family. I jsut don't choose to take part in the hyper commercialism that the guest author was so decrying. My point was that you can love christmas, and enjoy it, and still create joy around yourself for others....without falling victim to the peer pressure of commercialism.

Posted by: Chris on January 2, 2006 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

Just love it on web log political site, whenever a commentator introduces a "non-political" light hearted thread. Invariably within minutes, some pedantic Elmer Gantry of either the right or left comes on to pontificate.

Lighten up. Listen to Mozart as this is the start of the 250th Anniversay Celebration of his music. Go joust with the trolls on another thread. This type of thread is R & R from the rigors of the battle. No Gantry, Billy Sunday, or Falwell needed here.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 2, 2006 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

I jsut don't choose to take part in the hyper commercialism that the guest author was so decrying. My point was that you can love christmas, and enjoy it, and still create joy around yourself for others....without falling victim to the peer pressure of commercialism.

Really? Because it came across as, "Everyone who doesn't celebrate Christmas the exact way that I do is an asshole."

Posted by: Mnemosyne on January 2, 2006 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

I'd like to second thirdPaul's sentiment.

Anyone have anything else about how they celebrate the holidays that really annoys them? And if it is annoying, why do you do it?...

Posted by: grape_crush on January 2, 2006 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

Mnemosyne: really? I cannot help how you interpret things. You can choose to see anything you want to in my words. But people like Debra who first take part in something, and then whine about how much they hate it, to me are people who need to do some self-examination, much like the rest of us. perhaps you, too, could use that. enjoy the day, perhaps youre' having a bad one, and like to pick fights. relax, I'm not going to play with you in that way.

Posted by: Chris on January 2, 2006 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

But people like Debra who first take part in something, and then whine about how much they hate it, to me are people who need to do some self-examination, much like the rest of us.

Or perhaps Debra was taking part in the traditional after-Christmas complaint of how difficult it was to build the childrens' toys. People have been making jokes along those lines since at least the 1950s, if not earlier. I'm surprised you took such a traditional complaint so seriously.

If you didn't want to start a fight, you shouldn't have posted:

I shoudl clarify: the description by that Guest Author is a classic example of people who hate their own culture, but nonetheless feel compelled to take part in soemthing they obviously detest.

That's what you said in response to the kind of thing that you will hear from every American parent every single year. That seems combative, to say the least.

Do you take everything people say to you so literally? When people say, "How are you?" do you give them a detailed list of your medical condition that day? Or do you get angry with them for being so nosy as to ask about your health and demand they get a HIPAA release before they ask the question again?

Posted by: Mnemosyne on January 2, 2006 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

Giving a gift can sometimes be difficult...

Posted by: parrot on January 2, 2006 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

The post would have been better without the sarcastic bindi remark that I found to be quite insulting.

Posted by: RC on January 2, 2006 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

Debra, Thanks for the laugh. Nothing beats self deprecating humor at which you clearly excel. A lack of same may be why America seems so uptight and freakin' weird these days, brought to us by one dimensional, self important, boring people---from the rightie-tighie, fundie eejits to the leftie- bereftie, professional killjoys. The culture wars are SO mindlessly boring.

I have never heard so much self righteous, humor-impaired analysis and judgement of someone just trying to lighten things up since my last visit to my angst-ridden, Scandinavian,* midwestern, fundamentalist-ish family members. Gawd. They are an entire genepool of Ingmar Bergman-esque depression and mirth-impairment on steroids...but lacking the salutary, edgy, artsy quality of Bergman. Ten minutes there and I want to yell "Just kill me now!"

So glad to see that humorlessness is an equal opportunity socio-political employer.

Anyone who has kids and cannot laugh about the often frustrating, absurdist theater of it all will find themselves, by the time they become empty-nesters, sitting in a cuckoo's nest of their own making.

Third Paul is absolutely right: how 'bout some Mozart? They use Mozart to calm psych cases, don't they? Afterall, music has charms that can soothe even the savage beast. Someone with a good sense of the absurd once said that but I am not sure if his literature is still viable in humor impaired America.

So, Debra, my sister in maternity: enjoy em while they are tykes. To rip off a great line from Max: "Let the wild rumpus begin!"

MAMA
* Sorry if I caused any ethno-sensitivity reactions from any Scandinavians out there. Afterall, we are such a marginalized minority of natural blondes who constantly get accused of being stupid and vapid, [ironic joke] despite being the ones responsible for such things as the Noble Prize, edgy design, saunas, interesting sex and pickled herring [another joke] but perhaps the stupid meme is all correct: witness the bassackwards IKEA instruction booklets someone mentioned.[another joke] Worry? Who me? Everyone knows blondes always have much more fun. [yet another brilliant joke performed by a blonde with one hand tied behind her back...just to make it fair, to quote someone who's literature is unfortunately very much en vogue in America. Now, that IS a bad joke.]

Posted by: Mama on January 2, 2006 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

Nice liberal hypocrisy here. PC is good for your special interests but can be waived to dig aqt outsourcing.

Bashing Indians to score points on outsourcing is sad. Not their fault, that they want to work rather than whine for the government to save them.

Posted by: McAristotle on January 2, 2006 at 10:21 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly