Tag Archives: holidays

did i tell you how holly cut her fingertips off on christmas?

oh, i didn’t? yeah that’s right because i tried to and then i fainted.

warning: if you have problems with blood (like i do) i suggest you stop reading and go watch funny cat videos.

really. right now. do it.

(i know you’re still reading. i can see you.)

(fine. keep reading. but don’t say i didn’t warn you. i’m dizzy and i haven’t even started writing yet. just try not to hit your head on anything on the way down.)

so it was just an average christmas in butler, pennsylvania (or “pee-ay” as the locals say). and by average i actually mean less-than-average. a ray of light in the darkness was holly’s fancy new french au gratin recipe, which she saw on the cooking channel, her second favorite tv channel after bravo.

she decided she’d try it out on christmas day. i should note that holly has a habit of trying out new recipes on holidays, when we’re having visitors, on special occasions, etc. it doesn’t always go so well. but i digress.

this recipe, it’s actually called, get this, pomme de terra a la boulangere, french for “potatoes a la bakery,” which is equally as vague, if not slightly ridiculous. it calls for a lot of thinly sliced potatoes and onions. a whole lot of them. especially onions. so holly packed her oxo brand “v-blade” mandolin slicer and off we went to pee-ay.

at the time, holly had only used this slicer (pictured below) one time. and the entire time i felt myself getting dizzy and paced around the downstairs saying things like babe, we really don’t need julienned beets. i can do without the damn julienned beets just come here so i can hold you.

the slicer features an alarming array of sharp blades, all of which could easily slice off and/or shred one to four of your fingers and/or digits. what i’m saying is: just looking at this thing makes me picture pints of my blood on the floor, which, in turn, gets me light-headed and forces me to frantically search for a hard candy in one of my thousand purses to distract me and raise my blood sugar, which drops in times of severe stress. (hard candies are a jewish thing used to treat all ailments. kind of like windex for skin problems in my big fat greek wedding. don’t ask me, i don’t get it either.)

oxo v-blade mandolin slicer

anyway, holly and i are alone in her parents’ kitchen. the rest of her family is downstairs in the basement hanging out. as she’s slicing onions with the mandolin, i’m peeling potatoes with an ancient peeler repeatedly inquiring about how many i should peel. i should note that holly was not in the best of moods. she really shouldn’t have been using anything sharp and dangerous. (and i probably shouldn’t have been asking her annoying questions.)

i hand her potatoes and she slices them into gorgeous, even, thin slices. things are going well. she double checks the recipe, and it turns out she needs even more onions. she switches from slicing potatoes to slicing onions, reducing the depth of the blade since they’re thinner than the potatoes. this is the move that probably saved her fingers.

she’s in a hurry and grabs the onion and begins slicing it without the guard. if you’re familiar with mandolin slicers, you may already know that the first rule is to use the damn guard. that’s why they make it! the guard (the round thing in the photo above) attaches to whatever you’re slicing, thus protecting your hand and fingers from complete annihilation.

i’m not sure how long it took for her to hit the blade since i’ve already repressed the memory of almost the entire afternoon. all i remember is her suddenly shouting F*CK! F*CK! F*CK! then jumping up and down holding her hand and me shouting WHAT WHAT WHAT!

i went into panic mode immediately, ran to the sink and put on the cold water, shouting PUT YOUR HAND UNDER THE FAUCET, which, of course, didn’t help at all seeing how she had just cut both nail and flesh off her left middle finger, ring finger and pinky. (i had done something similar, in the very same kitchen, over the summer, cutting off a significant chunk of flesh off the right side of my right thumb with a (*gulp*) apple corer, and the first thing holly did for me was put my thumb under cold water. i almost fainted but couldn’t since her little nephews were there, so we played “i spy with my little eye” in order to keep me conscious.)

by the third “F*CK!” her younger sister, heather, thank G-d, ran up from the basement, followed by her parents.

there was a lot of blood, most of which i didn’t see because i had to turn away. as holly’s stepdad (once a cop, always a cop) went through the sliced onions looking for fingertips to put on ice  (she didn’t cut off enough flesh to reattach; all he found was (ugh) fingernails), heather and holly’s mom tended to holly’s bleeding and i ran around in circles panicking.

it was quickly decided holly would go to the emergency room to stop the bleeding and for a tetanus shot. holly, of course, was fairly calm. she was mostly a) in an extreme amount of pain and b) irritated at the thought of getting a tetanus shot–and the fact that she had had the accident at all.

i, of course, was far from calm. this was not the type of health crisis that called for a hard candy.

after handing holly–who was standing near the door waiting to leave–a superfluous amount of paper towels to replace the blood-soaked ones she was holding and promptly running away from her, i ran around the house in tears looking for what she’d need on the way to and at the hospital.

i grabbed her cell phone, a charger and her driver’s license. remembering she hadn’t eaten lunch yet, i also found the rather large square of what could only be described as artesian caramel we purchased at the wexford, pa whole foods the day before. because when you’ve chopped off both nail and flesh in a mandolin slicer the thing you really need most is artesian caramel.

“heather,” i said to her sister, who works in the medical field and who was therefore acting normal, unlike me.

surely i had ramona crazy eyes by this point. the fact that heather did not run from me is a testament to her love for her older sister.

“here’s stuff holly’ll need at the hospital: her cell phone, charger, driver’s license,” i plopped everything down in her open hands.

“and caramel. she hasn’t eaten and her blood sugar’s probably low.”

heather looked at me, blinking. she may have laughed a little, i have no idea, i’ve blocked it out.

then it was time for holly and heather to go to the hospital. i couldn’t hold it together any longer. i grabbed holly around her neck and blubbered something about how much i loved her, i’m so sorry this happened, i’m so worried about you, i love you so much, i love you and i love you and etc. i swear you’d think she was about to go into battle.

her mother may have had to pull me off her. again, i have no idea, i’ve blocked it out.

once they left, i sat down on the couch and sobbed into my hands. it was a crap week and this was the cherry on top. she was bleeding and in pain and i couldn’t do a thing to help but hand her sister a piece of artesian caramel.

her mom told me that it was ok and not to worry, that’d she be fine. susan (her mom) and frank (her stepdad) threw out the onions holly had been slicing, cleaned up the accident scene, finished up the recipe, and went to visit with family downstairs.

i stayed upstairs, immobile with worry. incapable of doing anything else, i picked up my phone and played words with friends, then walked around in circles. honestly, i don’t really remember what i did until they came back. luckily they weren’t gone for long (about an hour).

when i saw holly’s fingers (below), of course i burst into tears again.

holly's fingers after her mandolin accident

as instructed by heather, i met them both at the door with two glasses of guinness –and a rather large shot of whiskey for holly.

soon, more family came in for christmas dinner. despite her cooking injury, i’m pleased to report that almost everyone ate the pommes de terre a boulangere. the ironic thing is that most people thought it was “too onion-y,” so i guess holly didn’t need to cut up all those extra onions after all.

i can say with great certainty that this was our worst christmas ever. however, there is much to be thankful for: her injury could have been much, much worse. if she had been cutting the potatoes, she would have sliced off way more and this would be a much different blog entry.

since christmas, holly has changed her bandages many, many times, and, now that the bleeding and oozing has stopped, i’ve forced myself to take a deeeeeep breath and look her fingers and i gotta say: it’s pretty damn bad. seeing them kind of makes me want to hold her and tell her to never slice or julienne anything ever again.

when she got home from the hospital, i told holly we’d be throwing out the slicer. but frank said it was “operator error” and that there’s nothing wrong with the slicer. it was, in fact, the operator. which was holly. so, despite  my pleas, we brought the damn thing home.

last week, when i was upstairs, and holly was downstairs and therefore unsupervised, she secretly julienned zucchini and yellow squash for a pizza. i got kind of mad that she was using it again, but what can i do? she’s a chef, she needs to express herself through her culinary creations and has vowed to never, ever use the mandolin slicer without the guard again. i, on the other hand, am investigating blade-resistant gloves.

this concludes what i hope will be the bloodiest lunch at 11:30 post ever. if you fainted, you can wake up now. here are two funny captioned hamster pictures to help ease you back into consciousness.

funny hamster picture

funny hamster picture 2

haha. until next time! happy 2013! and if you need to use a mandolin slicer USE THE DAMN GUARD.

p.s. if you live in the baltimore area, be sure to pick up the current issue of baltimore bride, which features my essay, “Four Weddings And a Referendum: A love story about two women and their many weddings,” which chronicles our multiple nuptials (including some of the less-than-perfect things that happened on the way to our first wedding–the BFGW, if you will. kind of like the “dvd extras” you never got to read the first time around.) the entire issue is pretty goshdarn gorgeous and i’m honored to be a part of it. (plus they drew a picture of us!)

holly and i as CARTOONS!

us! as cartoons! (look at my shiny hair! FABULOUS!)

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well apparently i’m 60 because i started shopping at chico’s

before nicole’s wedding, i went to chico’s looking for a dress. i went to chico’s b/c they make “dressy” clothes specially designed for ladies with curves. sometimes, but not all the time, these “curves” are actually rolls. (not dinner rolls, folks; the other kind) other times, they are actual curves. the kind that used to be revered, but are now frowned upon b/c ppl think they represent a poor diet and lack of exercise–even if your diet is actually pretty much fine and you occasionally drop-kick bathroom locks in the ladies room at under armour–when you’re actually just of eastern european descent and hello, hispanic guys totally love you.

chico’s gets a bad rap amongst the younger set, and it really doesn’t deserve it. here’s why:

first of all, chico’s makes clothes you can roll up in a ball and they won’t wrinkle. it pretty much blows my mind. (see “travelers collection.”)

they also have fives sizes: 0, 1, 2, 3 and 4. size 4 is actually, like, a size 22. for example: i wear a size 2 and i’m basically like hell’s yeah bitches! i’m a size 2, kiss it! kind of like going to a weight watchers meeting in suburban baltimore (like i did before our big fat gay wedding) and you look around and think: damn i’m fine! which prompts you to leave early to buy an 8,000-calorie celebration frappacchino no whip (hello, whipped cream probably adds like two points!).

chico’s also has the best damn salesladies on earth. they are so friggin attentive i can’t even deal with it. i want to be like YES! yes i’ll take The Big Lady Belt–in black and silver! b/c i love you. b/c you are not judging me like those skinny bitches at Express. and you remind me of my mom. and i want to hug you, let’s hug right now, i don’t even care that i don’t know you, let’s just hug.

so i go to chico’s looking for a dress–this is, yeah, like a week before the wedding. and they don’t have anything for me. i wind up finding a dress at macy’s. oh but what did i find at chico’s? i zero in on this silver sparkly tunic sweater that i decide i really need to have. hello, it’s a TRAVELERS piece, which means i can take it to san francisco without it wrinkling to wear for…something!

oh it’s so sparkly, i say to Judy the Attentive Saleslady.

oh i know, isn’t it *fabulous*? she says back. and it looks wonderful on you. just wonderful.

ohmygoshthanks, i say breathlessly. but it’s too expensive, i continue. i…i couldn’t. 

i’ll give you $25 off, she says.

how could i possibly say no?

ring it up, judy! i say. ring it up before i change my mind!

so i bought the damn sparkly tunic, much to holly’s dismay. and i bring it to california, and of course need to wear it to the pre-wedding party at nicole’s parents’ house in sebastopol. as soon as we arrived i knew it was a mistake.

you know how, at every party, there’s that girl who’s overdressed? you try not to look at her but you have to? i was…that girl.

that’s because it’s a *holiday sweater*, holly told me when i got back to baltimore.

what, because it’s sparkly? i said.

holly: yes because it’s sparkly! it has sequins in it! 

me: so you mean to tell me that i wore a chico’s holiday sweater to nicole’s parents’ party–in october. in california. because i felt really overdressed. 

holly: yes, honey, you wore a chico’s holiday sweater to the party.

me: why didn’t you tell me i was buying a holiday sweater at chico’s?!

holly: i tried but you didn’t listen to me! it looks good but it’s for the holidays!

me: so you mean to tell me i spent $75 on a sweater i can only wear one month a year?

holly: yup. i tried to stop you. you didn’t listen.

ladies, this is the magic of chico’s. while everything else there fits like mom jeans, there will be that one item that absolutely dazzles you. you will be blinded by its beauty. an attentive saleslady will bring it to your dressing room, pump you up with compliments and then give you a coupon. bolstered by a false sense of self-esteem from the fact that it’s a fake size 2, you purchase it and then wear what turns out to actually be a sequined holiday sweater to san francisco in early fall.

so yeah, i play bingo. and i stare out our windows at our neighbors. i shop at chico’s. i’m a senior and i don’t even care. and so help me i’m going to rock that damn sweater the entire month of december. so if you’re here in baltimore and you’re blinded by a silvery tunic’ed figure, it’s actually me. and shut the hell up b/c i’m still from jersey and i’ll kick your ass or hire someone else to do it for me.

“well i don’t like your moccasins” aka jessica gets lost in the woods part 2

by now, you know me. you know that, despite my best efforts not to (and holly’s unreasonable aversion to them), i like the jeggings. you know holly’s from western pee-ay and that once i got lost in the woods (by myself) behind her twin sister’s house while on a quad, got stuck between two trees b/c i didn’t know how to do a k-turn and then thought i heard a big brown bear that would inevitably maul & kill me in my low-blood-sugared state.

in other words: yes, i am a city girl. (and there’s a reason i brought up the jeggings.)

so we went to pee-ay for thanksgiving. one of holly’s family’s traditions–at least among the women in the family–is to go out shopping at the local mall the day after thanksgiving (Black Friday; just the thought of it makes me shudder). if that’s not bad enough, they go out at the crack of dawn. literally. actually they went earlier than dawn this year–at 4am. (i know. i threw up a little when i heard that, too.)

shopping in general is not something i love to do. perhaps it has something to do where i grew up–in north jersey, home of the eff-you eye socket punch THAT’S  THE LAST ONE AND IT’S MINE (ok, maybe i was never punched in the eye socket but it sounded funny and i’m basically trying to tell you that ppl are rude there). it also has more than a little something to do w/where i live now–baltimore, maryland, home of I’M ON MY BREAK cashiers/salespeople that throw daggers at your from their eyes (again w/the eyes) and give you looks that say why are you bothering me? i’m sexting my boyfriend right now and if there weren’t security cameras in here i’d totally cut you. (ppl can be pretty rude here, too. the difference is that they’re armed.)

yeah so i’m not so into shopping. i have zero patience for crowds, dressing rooms and food courts. so i didn’t go w/the rest of the girls friday morning. holly did, however, convince me to go later in the day. i was frozen w/black friday fear from the looks of the packed parking lot. but for whatever reason, the mall wasn’t even that crowded. and hot damn! the salespeople are really nice in butler, pee-ay. even the other shoppers are nice. it’s very disarming. and i actually found myself…(gasp!) having fun (!).  

soon i was in a poorly ventilated dressing room surrounded by at least 15 variations of these new-ish strategically droopy yet strategically clingy sweaters and sweater dresses. i haven’t truly shopped in a very very long time (despite my two entries on going to one of our local malls–total blip) and, must admit, was pretty jazzed to try on any and all 80s throwback sweater gear since my tomboyish ways back in the day kept me from wearing them the first time around (well, that and the fact that i was like, 10).

i decided on one that i liked, proud to have zeroed in on a good buy in less than 10 minutes. holly was with her younger sister and her new niece. when i found them, i mentioned my new buy to holly and she was happy that i was happy.

“can’t wait til you see it on me!” i said.

“i can’t wait either,” she said.

all smiles, hugs and butterfly kisses, right? sure. (ladies, you know what’s coming next.)

when i tried it on for her later that night, she was pretty much half asleep from waking up at 3am (!!??) that morning. she told me she liked it, but didn’t seem elated (and she *must* be elated when she sees me in something new–ladies, do you feel me on that one?) or anything. i blamed it on her exhaustion. it had to be the exhaustion, right?

the next day (saturday) holly announced that she and i were going to make a special trip to a local tree farm, a christmas tree farm, to pick out a fresh tree to bring back home. not only b/c it seemed like a fun thing to do, but b/c they’re about three times more expensive in baltimore. if they didn’t have one in the lot that we liked, we could actually go and chop it down, she said.

chop it down! woah!

“bundle up!” she said with a smile. “it’s cold out there!”

oooh! i thought! how rustic! bundling up to go tree-hunting! i buttoned up my most rustic flannel (western-ish; purple with pearlescent buttons) and added a multi-zippered black vest under my pea coat for good measure.

we jumped into holly’s stepdad’s red pick-up (ok i didn’t so much jump as gingerly step into it–but “jumped” sounds so much better) and started down the windy road to the tree farm. holly took  my hand in hers and looked at me.

“babe,” she said.

she’s going to tell me how much she loves me and how excited she is to go to the tree farm with me, i thought. the only thing that could make this more perfect is a thermos of hot chocolate.

except for she didn’t tell me she loved me.

“babe, i don’t think i like your new sweater on you so much.”

what?!

was she KIDDING?! this felt like a repeat of our ill-fated “perfect ten” episode. (if you’re unfamiliar w/the whole “perfect ten” debacle, i strongly suggest you read it.) my first instinct was to elbow her in the mouth or kick her in one or both shins. but she was driving. safety first, i thought.

instead i took a deep breath and told her that i actually thought it looked good on me and i couldn’t believe she was ruining a potentially perfect afternoon by dissing my new sweater that i was really excited about.

“you had to choose now to tell me that? thanks. a lot.”

“honey! i just…i just wanted to tell you! when i ask your opinion on something i’m wearing i always want to know what you really think.”

“yeah but i don’t randomly bring it up out of nowhere when we’re going to do something new and fun like go to a tree farm!”

“but you tell me when you don’t like something and i don’t get offended.”

i was silent for a moment.

“well, i don’t like your new moccasins ,” i said flatly. “i wasn’t going to even say anything b/c they make you so happy but i’m saying it anyway.”

she started laughing like she does when i’m being ridiculous, which is often, according to her.

i told her that this wasn’t funny and that she had ruined everything and let’s just go pick out a damn tree and i’m wearing the sweater anyway and i’m going to get more jeggings while i’m at it and wear them all the time whether she likes it or not. afterall, they make me happy like her friggin moccasins make her happy.

i dropped it when we got to the tree lot b/c damn, it smelled so good there. (“like candles except real!” i told a bewildered tree farm lady who smiled at me politely.) within about five minutes it became apparent that we’d have to go out into the wilderness (ok, the tree farm but still. it’s really big) and chop down our own tree. which would prove, of course, to be an adventure.

and b/c i just realized this entry’s already long enough, i’m going to have to leave you hanging and finish the rest tomorrow. in the meantime, pls feel free to express your annoyance with or at holly that she chose our special tree farm experience to tell me she didn’t like my new sweater.

benadryl + synagogue = bad idea

hair straightener, yes. benadryl, no.

tonight at sundown kicks off one of the most important jewish holidays of the year: yom kippur. last week was rosh hashanah, i.e. the jewish new year. [if there was a “greatest hits” of jewish holidays these would be tracks 1 and 2, if you will. (wait, is that on itunes? just kidding, just kidding.  lil jewish humor for ya there)]

anyway, last week i made the silly mistake of taking benadryl right before services the second day of rosh hashanah. this was an astronomically bad idea. see, i was convinced i had allergies b/c my throat was sore and my tongue felt swollen (please, i don’t know. don’t even ask) so i decided, in my infinite wisdom, to take an antihistamine. so i wouldn’t be uncomfortable in synagogue and could at least try to listen instead of a) staring across the sanctuary wondering which women straighten their hair (uh, yeah–that would be all of us) and b) obsessing over just how swollen my tongue could get and could it choke me, do i need to see a specialist and etc.

sometimes benadryl doesn’t make me tired. so i figured, hey, i’ll just take one. let’s just say after 30 minutes in the synagogue sanctuary i felt like stapling my eyelids to my eyebrows. even the really old ppl seemed sprightly next to me. basically i was asleep with my eyes open. holly wasn’t even there (she was in class, unfortunately) for me to poke and whisper to [oh and you know us jews are so good at whispering, esp. in synagogue, (i.e. LOOK AT HER! DID SHE LOSE WEIGHT? HOW WAS THE BRISKET LAST NIGHT? DID YOU GET YA HAIR SET? IT LOOKS GAWGEOUS!) so i could stay awake.

it was a rough ride, those two+ hours in synagogue. so i pledged to myself come hell or high water, no antihistamines tonight and/or tomorrow before services. no antihistamines ever before services, actually. another case of jessica stating the obvious. some things you don’t need to try to figure out they’re a bad idea (like feeding birds alka-seltzer. i’ve heard they explode? not willing to try to find out). other things you need to try (indian leftovers for breakfast, flipping off anyone in baltimore city, leaving things on the basement floor even tho you know it floods every time it rains) in order to grasp that perhaps they’re not the best options for you. not that i’ve ever done any of those things. i’m just saying.

happy new year!

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bring on the pizza!

passover ends tonight and omG what a week’s it’s been. i genuinely like passover but this year was tough. i’ve actually been looking fwd to it ending. we’ve had…a rough eight or so days. i can’t even tell you about it. you’re going to have to wait for book #2 for that info. [now, if only our lives could quiet down for like, five minutes, i could actually finish the proposal for book #1. (tho all the sh*t going down in our lives sure does make for good book #2 material.) i am so close to finishing that proposal, btw. (hey it’s hard summing up your entire life in a creative business proposal!) i’m telling you, folks, this is gonna be good. you all can say you knew me way back when.]

i’ve been distracting myself from thinking about puffy pizza crust and crunchy breaded fish sticks by reading ozzy osbourne’s memoir i am ozzy. talk about crazy! i don’t even know how that guy’s still alive, let alone functioning (ok, some could argue that point). hell, i can barely wrap my mind around the fact that he’s fathered multiple children! you’d think that, at a certain point, his sperm would yell, OZZY! ENOUGH! YOU’RE KILLING US DOWN HERE! but no. like i learned in slash’s memoir (and a million little pieces; oh that one’s a real doozie, too), the human body has an amazing capicity to process toxins. it’s mind boggling. and makes me feel a hell of a lot better for hittin’ the advil. (man i am such a dork.)

in any case, YES, bring ON the pizza. tonight at sundown, baby. poor holly’s been trying to convince me to eat pizza all week. she’s such a sport for going along with the passover thing. tho she did try to convince me it was tuesday yesterday, simply to eat pizza. i nearly fell for it, too. little stinker. ha.

some things are an acquired taste

gefilte fish: what's in it? i'm not sure and i don't want to know or else i'm sure i'll stop eating it.

like gefilte fish. if you’re jewish–or an “honorary jew,” as i say, i.e. you spend so much time w/us jews that you’re practically jewish yourself and “oy vey” with the best of us–you’re no stranger to this food. i didn’t realize it was…well, a little weird, until holly and i were together a couple years and i introduced her to it.

“what,” she whispered discreetly in my ear as we attended her very first seder, “is this?”

“it’s gefilte fish,” i whispered back. “it’s…” i paused. suddenly i didn’t know how to describe it.

how could i get this girl from western pee-ay to try a food made from a number of fish–man i didn’t even know what kind of fish were in it. hell, some gefilite fish has carp (overgrown goldfish, basically) in it, something i purposely ignore or else i wouldn’t eat it.

to add insult to injury, it’s preserved on dusty supermarket shelves nationwide in fish jelly. (yes! fish jelly) it also has eggs in it. and matzah meal. and it’s boiled. oh and you slather it with horseradish (horseradish w/beets) before you eat it. and…yeah.

“it’s good,” i assured her as she stared wide-eyed at her plate. “it’s a traditional jewish food. try it. you might like it.”

sport that she is, she tried it. and…didn’t like it.

how could this be? i wondered. how could she not like gefilte fish? and this was the homemade kind. not even a hint of the gross, translucent jiggly fish jelly. (ok, now i’m talking myself out of liking it. i’d better stop w/the jelly talk or else i’ll never eat it again.)

suddenly it dawned on me: gefilte fish is an acquired taste. one of those ethnic foods you just grow up with and ignore its inherant grossness/weirdness b/c it’s been a part of your life for so long.

i’m bringing this up now b/c it’s passover. passover is the holiday for gefilte fish and other odd foods such as chocolate-covered matzah (omg i LOVE chocolate-covered matzah; the exact reason i didn’t buy any this year. i will eat it all.) yeah, passover is basically the festival of gefilte fish. if you love gefilte fish, this is your time to shine, baby.

please share your acquired, ethnic foods w/me. let’s see if you can beat minced whitefish/pike/grown goldfish preserved in a translucent fish jelly served with horseradish and beets. happy passover!

so there you have it.

on the way home from the holidays in pee-ay, holly and i took a quick verbal inventory of the new stuff we were bringing home. 

 we got some presents–always wonderful, as you know. we got gift cards, holly got jeans, i got a steelers jersey (troy polamalu; i love him. he’s cute, has great hair and is close with his mom. he also seems really nice. oh yeah, and he plays well, too, ha. you see my priorities in football! i also unintentionally call uniforms “outfits.”).

holly’s family, her mom’s side, also does a grab bag game at christmas. the gifts need to be at least $20. if ppl aren’t putting in gift certificates/cards, $20 bills or lottery tickets (scratch-offs; omG i love those. i get them whenever i can. always lose but it’s the thrill i’m after, i keep telling myself…) they usually choose gifts they’d like to win themselves. i mean, why not, right? we put in some pyrex containers (i know, hold your excitement, but we do a lot of cooking, so bear w/me) and some flannel sheets, as it sometimes seems to get exceptionally cold in our room during the winter. holly assured me this was a good choice. i’d never slept on flannel sheets before. i was worried they’d be too hot, but holly said they’re really cozy so i was in. anyway, we won back the sheets.

we bought holly’s grandma a new electric blanket for christmas to replace a new-ish one she bought that wasn’t warming up as hot as she’d like. she gave us her old one, which seems barely used. (never used an electric blanket before either.)

then, before we got on the road back to baltimore, we went to the local walmart (SO much nicer than any walmarts in baltimore; shocker, i know) to look for some salt for her grandma’s front steps and porch. but of course we have to look thru the whole store first, right? since we’re women and naturally drawn to “the marketplace.” (it’s in our genes, even bypasses the gay gene.)

“hey look at those travel pillows!” i said.

 i get excited about travel pillows b/c i need massive neck support on long car rides b/c of the neck/nerve condition that causes my migraines (i was recently diagnosed; if you get migraines that start in your neck and shoot right thru your head to your forehead, behind your eyes, etc. click on that link).

considering we’re about to take the autotrain down to florida to take a cruise with great uncle ben, i figure we both ought to look into some good travel pillows. we also looked at these small, figure-eight-shaped pillows that go between your knees while you sleep (if you’re a side sleeper). the physical therapist i went to in oct/nov for my aforementioned condition recommended that i sleep with a pillow between my knees for proper spine alignment. holly and i had never seen pillows like that so in addition to neck/head travel pillows, we bought the “knee-spacer” pillows.

so, as i was saying, we were taking that verbal inventory of our new stuff.

the gift cards, the clothes, travel pillows…

“oh and the sheets,” holly said.

“the knee-spacer pillows,” i said.

“oh right, right.”

there was something else, we kept saying. what was it?

“oh! my grandma’s electric blanket!” holly said.

“right! the electric blanket!” i said.

we sat there driving along the highway for a minute or so, pleased with ourselves that we remembered everything.

“honey, did you realize those last three things we listed?” i said. “flannel sheets, electric blanket, knee-spacer pillows? WE’RE OLD!!!”

we laughed til we just about peed our pants.

“honey, we’re old,” i said, holding my stomach, barely able to breathe thru the laughter. “we’re officially old.”

so there you have it. we’re old now, i guess. now if you could just reach over and get my prune juice over there for me… yeah yeah, right there, next to my walker. thank you. you’re a dear 😉