My assigned responsibility each holiday season is to send out the family’s Christmas cards. I enjoy writing, so this task suits me. Plus, all of my other holiday skills suck.
Since we mail some of our cards to relatives who have wealthy estates and valuable heirlooms, I usually follow strict holiday protocols. All cards must include snow cherubs, prancing reindeer or glittery wreaths. But there’s a limit to my submissiveness. For instance, one year I bought Frankenstein, Dracula, Mummy and Wolfman commemorative postage stamps and used those to mail out our Christmas cards, just to see if anyone would notice and acknowledge the quirky selection. My wife found out and scolded me when the post office returned one of the cards.
I recognized the recklessness of my decision – a rich relative could have concluded that we were unstable and untrustworthy with large sums of money and highly appreciated Fortune 500 stocks. Another year I labeled our return address on the envelopes “Cell Block D, Alcatraz, CA.” For another Christmas past I sent out mahogany cards, which many of my relatives were too afraid to comment on since they have never met my wife in person.
“I think we should string some popcorn and decorate the barn’s cross beams,” Mary suggested.
“What? Is that like tinsel?” Joseph asked. “Anyway, I think our first priority should be hauling in a freshly cut pine tree to try and neutralize the odor coming from that donkey over in the corner!”
“Fine! Cut down a perfectly good conifer! But at least make yourself useful by stringing up some bubble lights and inflating a yard Santa or something. It’s Christmas Eve!” Mary proclaimed.
Joseph decided to think his response instead of speaking it. “I have no clue what she’s talking about. And I’ve never heard of Kriss Miss. The labor pains must be polluting her sanity. She’s a saint, but why doesn’t she like my ideas for baby names. What’s wrong with Bert or Penelope?”
Here you go, as a community service from me, "Mr. I Do." I'm sure a few of you will never need these lines. If you're one of these men, some day we'll be referring to you as "St. Bob" or "St. Bubba."
- “I’m sorry."
- “Please forgive me. I promise to take you to a movie that includes relationships in the plot. Plus I’ll buy you a box of Nestle Sno-Caps and warm them up in my pants pocket to the perfect chocolaty consistency you desire and deserve.”
- “I’m really sorry.”
- “I’m not worthy of being loved one-sixteenth as much as you loathe me right now, which converts to 6.25%.”
- “I’m extra sorry for that ‘one-sixteenth’ mathematical apology accompanied by a percentage calculation. I was not implying that you’re incompetent at fractions.”
- “If time could be reversed, I would separate your white angora sweater from my new, red Bucky Badger stadium blanket in the washing machine. While traveling backwards in time, I’d also open up a bottled water business as well as a coffee shop chain that extorts $4 from customers for one fricking cup."
- “I’m a sorry glob of DNA.”
- “Do you remember that steak I ate last week at the Chubby Cow Chuck Wagon Restaurant? The steer must have been fed massive amounts of growth hormones, which tainted the filet, then entered my bloodstream, settled in my brain, enlarged my mind beyond its ability to manage a higher level of consciousness and forced me to speak insensitive remarks. On behalf of the ranching and meat processing industries, I apologize for their atrocities, which made me temporarily dumber than a box of tractor parts.” (Note to cattle ranchers: You are the manliest of all men, the idols of soft city husbands like me, so please keep the steaks coming! Fyi, the next ready-to-go make-up forgive me line is limited for your use only).
- “Like if I care! And when you finally come to your senses, ring the dinner bell and I might, and I stress ‘might,’ take a break from branding the herd, return to the homestead and consider allowing you to use my rugged, western-style body for your selfish pleasure."
- “Why don’t we invite your book club to stay with us for the month of July?”
- “I am oh-so sorry and you don’t have to be.”
- “Would you like to attend a Yanni concert?”
- “The left side of my brain is trying to force my vocal chords to say ‘I am sorry,’ while the right side of my brain is attempting to make my hand write you a love note. Since I can’t resolve this intracerebral conflict, can we just have make-up sex?”
- “I’ve got $500 in $20-bills jammed in my wallet. If I give them to you, may I please have my spine back?”
- “If I say ‘I’m sorry,’ who wins?”
(next post: "Managing the Manger" during holidays)
Not all boys pose a threat to your daughters. There might be one, somewhere, who does not. I’ve not met him yet, so I conclude that every boy who enters my perimeter is strapped to a live nuclear warhead.
Some male youngsters, though, should be more feared than others. Using a safety scissors with rounded tips, cut out the following list of indications and post it on your refrigerator door, held in place by your NRA and Prozac promotional magnets. And be sure to keep a vigilant lookout for these teenage terrorists listed below.
1. Any boy who arrives to date your daughter driving a Winnebago motor home.
2. Any kid who skips to your front door whistling the Theme from Shaft (choreographers say that it’s impossible to skip to that tune, so this kid is obviously highly advanced, an over-achiever and untrustworthy with your daughter).
3. Any boy who presents your daughter with a corsage containing Baby’s Breath.