Today is Christmas, which means that I spent the first few hours of the day wrapping presents and, in the case of the Irish cream, making presents. Actually I had tried to make the Irish cream the night before, only it spilled freaking everywhere because my piece-of-shit food processor is a piece of shit. I swear it took nearly an hour to finish cleaning up the kitchen, and I am not too proud to admit that I considered whether I could slurp up the spilled liqueur from the countertop.
I didn’t actually do it, but I considered it.
I was so very angry at the piece-of-shit food processor that I heaved it into the trash can. This seemed like a much more attractive idea than cleaning it up.
Eventually I retrieved it from the trash can, not because I was thawing toward it, but because unemployed persons should probably not throw kitchen equipment in the garbage. At any rate, it had several minutes in the slammer to think about its actions and the consequences of misbehaving.
Thus it was that I made a second batch of Irish cream the next day, late on Christmas Eve, only at that point it was actually Christmas day. Also at that point it was actually Kentucky cream, since a certain piece-of-shit food processor had spilled all the good Irish whiskey all over my kitchen counters and floor. Instead I substituted Kentucky bourbon, which as far as I can tell is whiskey fortified with American hubris. And then I went into the spare room and dug into the closet for the wrapping paper. I had everything squared away by two o’clock on Christmas morning.
Christmas was lovely. Among other things, I scored some pieces of clothing that I both needed and wanted. One of the great things about being an adult is that you can get excited about a plain black sweater under the Christmas tree, even if, especially if, it was a sweater that you had yourself selected the week prior.
Back at home, I decided to take care of a few minor chores. I wanted to play with a new toy that Santa got me (a toy that is just possibly even more thrilling than my new sweater), but unemployed girls need to devote their time to responsible, grownup activities, even if it is Christmas day.
Let me deal with that briefly, and then we’ll move on. I quit my job. I quit my job, even though I have no other job lined up. I am without health insurance and without income. It seemed like the right thing to do. (Granted, my life is filled with instances of doing the right thing. I am not a compelling case-study in the value of doing the right thing.) Whether it was a good decision or not, it was my decision, and I stand by it. Among other things, I can report that I no longer feel the overwhelming depression and anxiety that was plaguing me around-the-clock with that job.
Put it this way: I’d rather die of malnutrition than of depression.
I’m plenty scared about the future, but I am no longer feeling ashamed. I’ve got my name in with the temp agencies, and I can earn a little bit of income with some writing gigs, and I am not the sort to feel degraded by menial labor. I can bag groceries and assemble widgets with the best of them. It’s not what I want to do for the next 30 or 40 years of my life, but right at this moment I am feeling fond of most any job that isn’t morally bankrupt. And that doesn’t have people yelling at me.
Where was I? Right: it was Christmas evening, I was back home, and the heat came on. This was dismaying. Heat is for the morally bankrupt.
Just kidding. Tolerance for the cold is not a moral issue. My preference for cold weather and cold temperatures means that I am a badass, but it does not mean that I am morally superior to everyone else. But anyway, the heat came on unexpectedly, so I hopped on over to the thermostat and gave it what for. I implored it to think about its actions and the consequences of misbehaving. And then, since I was up anyway, I figured I would visit the toilet in the guest bathroom.
There I was, having a nice Christmas evening pee, when I heard a plaintive meow. And then I realized that I hadn’t seen Gremlin all day long. And then I thought back to the gift-wrapping episode of the early morning.
My sweet little Gremmy Lou spent nineteen hours on Christmas trapped in the closet where I store the wrapping paper.
Poor baby! It wasn’t tragic, but it was certainly unpleasant. It’s bad enough being locked in a closet, but it’s especially bad to be locked in a closet on Christmas, when all the other Gremmy Lou Whos down in Gremmy Lou Who-ville are singing songs and clasping hands and eating roast beast and so forth.
I call my cat Gremmy Lou or, sometimes, Gremmy Lou Who. That was really none of your business but it sort of came out as I was telling the story.
It could have been so much worse. I rarely enter that room, and it could have taken some while before it occurred to me that I hadn’t seen Gremlin in a long time. She is curled up on my chest as I type, so I assume all is forgiven. Or maybe she’s just seeking warmth because it’s kind of chilly in here.
Merry Christmas to all you folks out in Whoville. Check back next week, when I’ll have my annual book runndown. You know you can’t wait.