Today is the day I decide I hate the freaking holidays and would be just as happy lighting a menorah. Because Hanukkah is over and done with. I actually sat down and did the "It's a Wonderful Life" bit on myself today. I realized there would be absolutely NO change in the cosmos if I hadn't been born. Seriously. This moroseness started with the weather.
No, it started a month ago, when the unemployment ran out and, in spite of the notice with the last check that said "you're eligible for an extension. Don't do anything, we're going to do everything for you." we've heard nothing. That was a month ago. Well, after two weeks of trying to get through the phone lines, which is an amazing system denying all entry while making you think you're questions have actually been answered, I finally found an e-mail question form which, they said guaranteed a response.
The response, timely though it was, told us to shut up, they were working on it. If we didn't hear from them in 10 days we could ask again.
Lord have mercy!
I've tapped everything I can and managed to pay the power and gas. And half the rent. A week from right now is Christmas night and I've got a 22 year old autistic son who, though on the lower end of "high functioning" and really is more Asperger's than true Autistic, still believes in Santa.
About a week ago I hung a wreath on the door and figured I was done. Not even hardly.
I've no idea what I'm going to do about gifts for the boys but I'll figure something, I always do.
Anyway, the weather. Well, it got cold and rainy. This is cooking weather. A few days ago the hubster had a few bucks and brought home, on spec, a pound of ground round which I decided I could turn into a shepherd's pie. It was, btw, damn good. We're living on dollar bags of pasta and canned tomatoes, so this was a bit of heaven.
The carrot peels, however, were the last straw for the garbage disposal. No, not the disposal, but the u-trap. This was Friday. The sink was draining slowly, but it was draining.
Yesterday morning. Dark and raining. I talk my son into going to storage and getting the Christmas tree. This will be the very first year since we were forced to move we've been able to get the tree. AS I have no car this involves the bus. So there we are, hauling a bagged tree and two cartons of lights and ornaments home, in the rain, on a bus. At least no one else was crazy enough to go out in the pouring rain to ride the bus, we had it pretty much to ourselves.
I went out again, we needed milk, flour, eggs. I came home thoroughly drenched and tired, I decided to take a nap. I had scored a chicken the other day and planned on roasting it for supper. About 4:30 I got up, ready to start the chicken only to find out that the sink was now hopelessly backed up and the kitchen is an explosion of dirty dishes, pots and pans that couldn't be washed. This is what I get for leaving them on Friday night for someone else to do.
Out again to the store for Liquid Plumber and a new plunger, because the one we have is a piece of crap that isn't working. Back home, cold and wet to find out the Liquid Plumber isn't working either. I straighten up the kitchen as best as I could and looked under the sink. I studied the pipes and decided the clog must be in the u-trap. I poured boiling water down the sink and went to bed, hoping it might work. I woke up every hour on the hour and, as long as I was up, I went to check the progress. No dice.
I woke up, got my slip joint pliers and my crescent wrench and went to work. I disassembled the pipes while the hubster read his e-mail and watched. Yep, the u trap was a mess, and so was the pipe leading from it to the outside. I couldn't find a snake, but the hubster came up with a wire hanger which he untwisted. I pulled our as much junk as I could and poked a hole in the rest, re-assembled the pipes and turned on the water.
I had done it. I was now wet, filthy, there were bits of something slimy in my hair, but the damn sink drained. I could have called the landlord, but, given the current situation with the rent, I figured it probably wasn't a good idea to call attention to myself.
I showered, put on clean clothes and commenced doing three sink fulls of dishes. I made lunch. Then we finally started on the tree.
An hour later, all the branches were finally sorted and unpacked, organized by size and the assembly begun. I forgot. I bought the tree for my house. I don't have a house anymore. What I have is a 5 x 8 ft tree in an apartment living room. Looks like freaking Birnam Woods in here.
No one is running "Die Hard" so we put in the DVD. It's not the same, in spite of our family love for this classic Christmas treat. "Now I have a machine gun. Ho-Ho-Ho."
For some reason we're just watching it, the dark, hulking tree obscuring all views of the rain, the night sky and the buildings across the street.
There are boxes all over the floor. Trash, ornaments, and DVDs. The hubster is working on a project and there are DVDs being delivered to us. Tons and tons of them. None of them fit to gift or display in public, btw. I have no place to put them so they're stacked in boxes in the living room. The dining room table, beautifully clear and organized on Thanksgiving can't be found. The coffee table is a pile of papers. And I'm having company for Christmas Dinner, a week from today.
The hubster, for all his good properties, doesn't seem to grasp the idea that leaving all the damn cleaning until 11PM on Christmas Eve is NOT the way I want to spend the holidays. I'm off tomorrow and Tuesday and I do NOT want to spend my time off tripping over and dodging boxes and papers and DVDs and God only knows what else. He just sits and writes and drops stuff. I try not to sit and cry.
But once again Alan Rickman has flailed his way out of Nakatomi Plaza to the ground. I have dragged a chair to the monolith in the living room we call the Christmas tree so I can start on the lights and the chicken has finally made it to the oven. The hubster has gone out, we're looking at at least four more days of rain. I'll get the damn tree decorated, I'm hanging the swags that I made for the house on windows they don't quite fit and I'm going to have to spend no small amount of time with a hot glue gun repairing broken decorations.
And in two weeks I'll end up doing it all over again, in reverse.
And no one will look around and say "Holy crap! I can't believe what you've managed to do in here." They'll just sit and text their friends, listen to their iPods and watch "Sponge Bob's Holiday Spectacular" while I haul boxes to the trash and boxes to the bedrooms and gather up year old magazines that have never been removed from their plastic delivery bags but can't be thrown out because "I want to look at that first!"
See? I HATE the holidays!