Saturday, December 24, 2005

The Grinch's Christmas

And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: "How could it be so?
It came without pressure! It came without stress!
"It came without company, tension or mess!"
And he puzzled three hours, `till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before!
"Maybe crisis," he thought, "doesn't come from without.
"Maybe just always about"

Will you just go away and leave me ALONE!!" I shrieked at the dogs. They had permanently attached themselves to my legs even moreso than usual. I couldn't go anywhere without them having to be touching me. It was worse than having toddlers again. They lay on my feet, they leaned heavily on my legs. I wanted to give both of them a good swift kick, but of course I couldn't do that.

I got the trifle I had made yesterday out of the fridge, whipped up the cream and spread it on top. Then I tried covering it with some of that press-and-seal wrap, but discovered the "stick to everything" wrap would not stick to the moist bowl fresh from the fridge.

I wanted to throw it across the room.

What was wrong? This is a tension-less Christmas. No company to worry about. Just the same people who are here all the time and know this house intimately, clean or dirty. It's going to be a small dinner, and it will pretty much cook itself.

Why are my insides churning like they do every other, stress-filled Christmas?

A package arrived from my internet buddy Doug, in Rhode Island. He is determined to get me into a chat group for video bloggers and I am hopeless at getting the computer to recognize a microphone. I have had geek experts from all corners of the globe, literally, giving me advice for how to get a microphone--any microphone--to work and so far nothing has worked. All of my volumes are at the top, none of my mutes are muted, today Andy had me install software. I tried three different programs, including one called "funny voice," but none of them realized that I had a microphone.

The Windows help screens tell me that if I'm having problem, I should make sure to check that my microphone is plugged in and working...but it doesn't tell me what to do if it's plugged in and not working. My XP for dummies doesn't even address the issue of microphones, much less acknowledge that there might be a problem with them.

I realize that a good part of my grinchiness comes from the frustration over the microphone, which I thought would really work this time.

But it's more than that. There is this huge ball of MOM'S ANNUAL CHRISTMAS CRISIS just sitting there in the pit of my stomach, just like I were going to be hosting a dinner for 24.

It seems that no matter what I do, or don't do, I am doomed to go through my Christmas crisis. It's just part of the annual tradition.

You don't suppose that having two people who are supposed to be here and aren't has anything to do with it, do you?


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