Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Lesson 23: Christmas by the Numbers
Granted, this has aroused much curiosity from visitors to the lamp post. It also annoys my father and he asks every time he enters my house when they are coming down. Dad one day will learn to play my game. The more you ask and show the slightest bit of annoyance, the longer and more gleefully I do just the opposite. He should know how to play, because word has it, he was the one who invented the game.
Since I am out of the running for candidacy, it is bad for the island because I believe I would be an excellent keeper. Having watched the entire series two times through, I know where to find water, where the caves are to hide in, the location of all the dharma stations, and which house is the best to live in at the Others Barracks. It is good for all of you though, because this means I will keep writing my blogs, which you all seem to be enjoying.
One of the famous LOST quotes is, "Jacob (the island's keeper) had a thing for numbers." I think I would have been the perfect replacement because I also come from a line of people who have a "thing" for numbers.
My mother counts things, namely people. Weird habit, I know, but she's done it all my life. If you see her head bobbing silently in a crowded room, please know that she has not gone insane---she's just counting heads. Often when we are together in a crowd she will sidle up to me and say, "Can you believe there are 55 people here?"
My dad is also good with numbers, years in particular--anything from models of cars ('57 Chevy), to the year of the Magna Carta (1215). He also is a whiz at estimation. He can figure how much something weighs, can estimate height and distance, as well as how many beers he has left until he needs a new case. It's a gift.
So it seems fitting that my apple wouldn't fall from their tree. I mean that in both the literal and figurative sense as I live next door to my parents. I too, like numbers and now heat up my coffee for 108 seconds in the microwave if I lose my cup somewhere, thanks to LOST. I also can't get off of the treadmill, no matter how bad my side stitch is, before 23 minutes are up as a tribute to my hero Jack. When it comes to the numbers relating to Christmas, here is my big number--TWO. This is how many Christmas presents I asked for this year.
Usually on Black Friday, I go out Christmas shopping on a solo trip, between 5:00 and 6:00 in the morning. I usually return home just as the kids are getting up and they "surprise me" every year by putting up the Christmas tree. It is a fun tradition in our house that gets everyone in the mood for my favorite holiday.
Eventually on Black Friday, the conversation rolls around to what I want for Christmas. I have a different answer every year. My responses range from "world peace" to "a cure for cancer." All things that cannot be purchased. I am a simple girl at heart, and don't need much to keep me happy. It's better to give than receive, so whatever I do get for Christmas, I am always happy with. My husband and kids do a great job choosing just the right scent of bubble bath, the perfect pair of slipper socks, or a new book to keep my mind occupied. But this year, I stopped all four of them dead in their tracks when I didn't give the answer "brotherly love" when asked what I wanted for Christmas this year.
When I spouted off that response, I had to walk over to my husband and use my index finger to push his bottom jaw up to close his hanging-open mouth. We have been married for 16 years and he still is bewildered over the Overdorff style Christmas. Generally conservative spenders throughout the rest of the year, well except for Karen that is, we go all out for Christmas. $179.99 is a drop in the bucket for us. My Italian in-laws have the way bigger piles of delicious food on their plates, and we Germans have the way bigger pile of presents under the tree. Maybe we should try to work a deal and form some sort of alliance, but I guess that didn't work too well in World War II, so on second thought, who cares. I get the best of both worlds.
I thought I'd put a little extra pressure on Louie by getting in the kids' heads a bit. I told them that this year--no me with the camera waiting at the bottom of the staircase to grab a shot of their joyous faces Christmas morning. I am beating them to the tree this year. And if I don't find two wrapped gifts marked ELOISE, containing my Complete Collection and new Blu-ray player, I told them I was going to light the tree on fire. Dad has lots of gasoline out in the barn. One match and that tree is toast. We can roast chestnuts over that open fire. How nice.
Mean, I know, but I was trying to make a point really only to Ellen. She has the most leverage with Louie and is a pretty good gift-picker-outer herself. The comment went right over Sam's head, and Natalie heard, "fire" and ran to get her poker stick that she used at the Outback this summer. Ellen can make this happen for me, I just know it.
If the spaces between my blog posts grow a little longer after Christmas, know that I am busy on my third trip through LOST on Blu-ray, apparently the ultimate experience. If Santa brings you a boxed set of the series and you need a tutor, I heard there is this great teacher who lives at the lamp post. Her name is Eloise and I am sure she will help you through.
See you in another life, brothers and sisters.
Posted by eloise hawking at 10:55 PM