For the longest time I have been trying to write a holiday letter merry enough to recount our first Christmas since the divorce/remarriage of one parent. Don’t get me wrong, I love the new family. And I love the old family. But when Crazy Grammy opened the liquor cabinet at four-thirty on Christmas Eve for her own personal happy hour and tried to get us all half-sloshed before my mom arrived with her new husband, Steven, who is a recovering alcoholic, it was more like a Desperate Housewives Christmas special than the actual celebration of the birth of our Lord, although Grandma batted her eyes and insisted we all read the Christmas story aloud. Bryan just giggled and hiccupped.
What was funny was picking Sprinky up from the Indianapolis airport at midnight on Christmas Eve and pulling up to the Waffle House in Anderson to see all the Sprinkles (grandparents included) huddled in a minivan after ringing in Christmas with the locals. Waffle House was the only thing open in Anderson at 1am on Christmas morning.God bless the Sprinkles. The only thing better than Penny Sprinkle handing me a homemade iced Christmas cookie in the Waffle House parking lot was Ben (you know, the one without the smart chip?) running around on Christmas day with a framed picture of the boys yelling, “You guys! We look like twins! All three of us!”
My favorite Christmas gift (besides the pink Iowa t-shirt and the magazine rack my mom grabbed from the downstairs bathroom, wrapped, and shoved under the tree) was the cup of coffee my dad sipped in my mom’s living room when he dropped me off on Christmas night– wait, am I bound by weekend/holiday custody agreements if I’m 25? Well, anyway, when my dad dropped me off, my mom invited him in for coffee, and he said yes.
Moving on. In January, I went skiing for the first time. That should have been the punchline, but it’s not.The punchline is that I went skiing with my dad AND HIS SINGLES GROUP, where there was, amazingly, a rugged looking twenty-something male, who I only saw once when he walked over to get the number of my twenty-something blond friend. Earlier in the day I had fallen over sideways on the conveyor belt and was dragged uphill by my skis while the 14 year-old instructor flagged down the belt operator to turn the thing off so he could unhook my boots. How was I supposed to know you just had to push that little lever down? Also, my dad slipped and fell at the bottom of the ski lift and, of course, the ski lift didn’t stop, so the next 15 people glided right into him, forming a massive pile of skis and 6-foot men. Seriously, why did no one ask for our numbers?