Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,
  I promise that I've been totally good this year, except when I saw my neighbor had left her white laundry in the washing machine for several hours and I held up my red shirt in a threatening manner over the machine and gave her the evil eye when she finally came in to get her laundry.

There's also the time I "accidentally" spilled some of my coffee on the Wi-Fi freeloaders who kept hogging tables for hours at my favorite cafe (apparently, their laptop bags need their own separate tables). But hey! It's not like I spilled the coffee on their heads! That's progress!

What would I like for Christmas? I would like one of those devices that interfere with cell phone signals. That way, I can turn it on whenever my students start paying more attention to their cell phones than to me during class. Then, when they realize that their phones aren't working, they'll look up with bewildered expressions on their faces and say, "Wait. Who am I?"

I would also like for your elves to make a tiny fire extinguisher that I can keep in my purse. That way, I can whip it out and spray it at the cigarettes of the people who blow smoke in my face.

I'd also like the money to hire people who could be a Greek chorus, like the ones in those Greek tragedies that stand off to the side and speak ominously about the characters. I'd get my own Greek chorus to follow my neighbors around, and then I'd get the chorus to make ominous speeches about obnoxious jerks who incur the wrath of the gods by keeping their neighbors up all night with their loud music, drunken parties, and carnal get-togethers (ahem).

I'd also like a new outfit that would make me look good, no matter how many gingerbread men I eat. Hey! You get to eat cookies! Why can't I? And by a new outfit, I don't mean my own Santa suit, because the only one who looks good in that is you. (And I mean that in the best way.)

I'd like for all students, including mine, to show up to class on time every day, complete their work on time, demonstrate their intelligence (and they ARE smart) in their papers by providing their own insight rather than just regurgitate the notes I gave during lectures, and never ever ever complain about their grades or blame me if they don't get A's. Because if you can make THAT happen, I promise I will not only sing "Oh Happy Day" in the streets for everyone to hear, I will stop being such a workaholic. (Well, I'll try, anyway. Okay, maybe I'll let myself take one day off a week. Or at least an afternoon.)

But most of all, Santa, I want the people in Newton, Connecticut to once again feel the happiness and peace that they were robbed of. I know that it will take a long time for them to feel that way, but I hope that eventually, they will feel it. If you can make THAT happen, you don't have to worry about getting me anything else on my list.

What about you? What's on your Christmas list?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Attention Shoppers

(Here's what I wish I could say to certain people I've observed or encountered when I go Christmas shopping.)

If you keep throwing temper tantrums because the items you wanted are out of stock or if you keep screaming at the salespeople for not working fast enough, Santa won't just put you on his naughty list. He'll put you on his never list.

Eating a candy cane is not the same thing as brushing your teeth.

Scented lotion is not a substitute for soap.

If you not only cut in front of me in line but push me aside and then start talking to the cashier while I'm still talking to the cashier, then I will charge you like a bull.

Salespeople are human beings too. Remember that the next time you get impatient with one of them. They don't want to say the same old sales pitch any more than you want to hear it. They also don't want to have to work throughout the entire holiday season with no break, because the corporate employers who control their stores apparently have the motto: Why rest during Christmas when you can make money? (For US, not for YOURSELF)

If you freak out because Starbucks is out of the Gingerbread Latte, then perhaps it's time for decaf, no?

Thank you for the candles that you gave me as a Christmas gift. Unfortunately I can never light them because I live in a tiny studio apartment, and my smoke detector goes off every time I turn on my gas stove. My neighbors probably either think I am some kind of pyromaniac or just a bad cook.

If you say, "Oh, you don't have to get me anything," do you think that Santa will put coal in my stocking if I get myself something with the money that I would have spent on you?

It's the holiday season again. When I was younger, I used to be so excited for Christmas. This was back when I still believed in Santa Claus, made snow angels and had snowball fights every time there was snow on the ground, ate Christmas cookies, and got up at the crack of dawn so that I could open my presents.

Now that I'm an adult (technically, anyway), I haven't believed in Santa Claus ever since I realized that his handwriting on the gift tags that he left on my presents was exactly the same as my father's handwriting. When there's snow outside, I automatically think, "Great. I just bought these shoes, and now they're going to be ruined." I spend hours at the gym to work off the calories from those Christmas cookies. And I get up at the crack of dawn to shop for presents (and by shop for presents, I mean arm-wrestle fellow shoppers over bargains. This year, I'm going to arm-wrestle AND tickle fellow shoppers in order to get to the bargains first.).

I actually haven't started my Christmas shopping yet. That's because I've been caught up with school and work, as usual. The holiday season brings back bad memories of working in retail during the holidays, when I didn't get to celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year's like normal people do because I had to work instead. (I feel sorry for the people working in movie theaters on Christmas Day. I know because I used to be one of them too.) And you know how a lot of stores play Christmas songs? Yeah. Imagine listening to the same Christmas songs over and over and over again, day after day after day.

But before you think of me as a neurotic version of Scrooge, I'll admit that there is one thing I like about Christmas: the decorations. I like going downtown and seeing the city all lit up. I like seeing the Christmas displays in the store windows, and I like how other people, who normally rush around from place to place, stop and admire all the decorations with smiles on their faces. I like seeing people bringing Christmas trees home, and I imagine what the trees are going to look like once all the ornaments and lights are on them. And for just that moment, it's like I'm a little girl at Christmas again.

What about you? What do you like/dislike about Christmas? How do you feel about holiday shopping?