No spirit, none at all

 I’ve never been a Christmas person but in years past I made a little bit of an effort – and in the last 20 years that effort has been very little indeed. This year – no effort at all. It just doesn’t mean anything to me. 

My husband and I had a long conversation about all the holiday bruh-ha-ha at Thanksgiving and he said it is all meaningless to me him too. He said he used to love Christmas but hasn’t given it much thought in years. I reminded him that he had children and most folks “do” Christmas for their kids. 

Actually the only time, since reaching adulthood, that I did anything for Christmas was when I was living with someone – I did it for them I guess. Or they wanted a tree and all that stuff. When I lived alone I never gave it a thought except for presents for other people. Some years I spent Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day with Jewish friends so – Chinese food and a movie. 

I used to get all excited about making Christmas cards, sometimes I was planning and designing them in October. This year? Not an idea in my head. Zero motivation. And I can’t say it has anything to do with the the virus lockdown – that has had no significant impact on us at all. We’ve been living in social isolation for the past 8 years – in the early days we had a problem with getting food but that sorted itself out after a a few months. Our lives have not changed at all other than wearing a mask when we go out once a week to the grocery store. Not changed a whit. Same old, same old. 

I have a few decorations and my Charlie Brown Christmas tree and they are in the closet and will stay there, I mean, what is the point? Plus, aside from the bell wreath which I usually hang on the (inside) door of the apartment, I have no place to put out tchotkes – Christmas or otherwise. I have a dining table, 2 very small end tables near my husband’s chair and a narrow 2 shelf thingy near the door that holds a bowl with my keys, laundry card, glasses, hand sanitizer and masks. That’s it, that’s all the space I have. The window sills are very narrow and besides the curtains cover them – it’s a good thing I’m not a collector of ‘stuff ‘because there is no where to put ‘stuff’ except in the closets, of which I have many and they are mostly empty. 

I just can’t care. I just don’t care. I can’t think of a reason TO care. And I don’t know what I’m supposed to care about. 

I send people presents when I think they might need a little pick-me-up or when I see something that is just perfect for them. I give to charities throughout the year, when I do the bookkeeping and see that there are a few extra pesos I can spare for someone else. 

What else? What is the driving force of Christmas anyway? Giving? Okay, I do my giving all year long. 

I’m happy for other people to be happy – And I do love all the “Ohh, shiny!”

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No patience, none at all.

 I’ve always been a bookworm – I’d read anything printed. And I always finished any book I started even if I hated it, with the exception of “War and Peace”. I truly question that anyone has ever read that whole damn thing – so boring, and long. So long. 

But it seems in the last 10 years or so I finally have allowed myself to close a book if it doesn’t hold my interest. Also I don’t seem to have interest in, or patience for, really good literature. My reading list is murder/detective mysteries, oh and yes, Elizabeth Strout. 

Last week the writer Alison Lurie died. I had heard of her but never read any of her books. Naturally there was a run on her books at the library but I managed to snag 2 or 3. While the description of her novels seemed like they would be right up my alley turns out they aren’t. 

I just finished, more or less, ‘The Last Resort’. By more or less I mean I read a little more than half the book and then just skipped to the last 2 chapters. I do that a lot – read half a book, then skip to the last 2 chapters because you know once the premise is laid out all the stuff in the middle is just exposition – lots of yadda yadda yadda and in many cases lots of description – of people, places, things, scenery – oy, who the hell cares who or what something looks like if it has no real bearing on the story. Tell me the damn story and do it quickly – move it! 

Do it quickly – that’s my new motto it seems. I can’t read or watch or even listen to anything that meanders along. Spit it out, move it along, let’s go – chop-chop. What’s your point? Where is this all going. Skip the nuance, I have no time or interest. 

I used to joke that my motto was “Instant gratification isn’t fast enough”. Now it is no joke, it is my reality. 

Maybe because I am old and time is of the essence? Or maybe there are no new plots, no new stories, same old, same old; been there, done that. Tell me something new; show me something new; gimme a new angle.

Kinda like sunsets – especially the red ones (and I really should look up why the sky looks red at sunset – remind me to do that) – seen one, seen ’em all. 


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Yes, it is scary –

 Yesterday’s ‘Pearls Before Swine’ comic made me a little angry. 

One can infer therefore that those of us who do not like hugs are lesser beings. Or I could be just projecting and being too sensitive. 

I’ve written about this before because it is something I feel strongly about. 

I don’t perceive a hug as something positive. I perceive a hug as a physical assault.  Let me repeat that – I feel like I am being physically assaulted when someone hugs me. Most especially if I don’t see it coming or the assault is by someone I don’t know or don’t like. 

I have been threatened by people who know hugs make me uncomfortable – “I don’t care if you hate being hugged if we ever meet I’m gonna give you the biggest hug” That is a threat to me. That makes me angry. Thankfully I’ve never met those people in real life. I have no idea how I would react but I’m guessing it wouldn’t be pretty. 

Why? Why would anyone do that to another person? It is cruel. It is criminal. It is assault. 

There have been too many times when I have tolerated a hug from someone because it was the thing to do. An arbitrary act that people think is expected or required. I have no idea what they think when I do not return that hug; when I hold myself as far away from them as I can; when my body goes rigid; when I move away as quickly as possible and never make eye contact. 

Please – don’t hug anyone unless you know that hug will be a welcome gesture instead of a trigger. I suppose you could ask, if for some reason you have a need to hug someone, “Can I have a hug?” but don’t get bent out of shape when they say No. 

Stephan Pastis may feel that people who don’t like hugs make the world a scary place but there are those of us who feel that rather it is the hugs that make the world a scary place. 

I might feel enormous affection for you, I might even love you, but I’m not going to hug you.

Sunday night is my favorite night of the week.

 Why? Because Sunday I change the sheets on the bed. Come bedtime on Sunday, I put on a nice clean nightshirt and pop into a perfectly made bed onto nice crisp cool clean sheets – Ahh! 

Even tho I ‘fluff’ the bed every day it never feels as lovely and cozy as the first night with clean sheets.  The ultimate luxury for me would be to have fresh sheets on my bed every night – *sigh*

My preferred sheets are 300 thread count 100% cotton. Lots of folks think that the higher thread count the better the sheet and they would be wrong. Check out these links for more information than you ever wanted to know about sheets and thread counts – HERE and HERE. At best, and most, anything over 800 thread count is a rip-off. Some say anything over 600 thread count is a lie…there is only so much thread you can weave.

I can tell you from experience that 500 thread count sheets are much thicker and heavier than 300tc and warmer but I like to sleep cool and I hate heavy sheets and blankets – I feel like I’m being smothered and held down. Those trendy weighted blankets would give me an anxiety attack. They say the weighted blankets are like being hugged and we all know how much I hate hugging. 

If you click those links you will learn all about sheet fabrics and finishes. My preferred 100% cotton wrinkle like crazy because, you know, they’re cotton! But I can smooth out the wrinkles easily when I’m folding them, it’s just the hems that roll up and I can never get them smooth. 

If I were a total walnutto I would iron my sheets but since I don’t own either an iron or an ironing board that’s not happening. I could get a mangle, or the new-fangled  Miele Rotary Iron which is just an update of the old time Ironrite Automatic Ironing Machine (video).  If you take a quick peek at those links you will see that there is nothing new under the sun.

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Idle thoughts

For the last several days my mind has continued to drift towards – gloves. Leather gloves. Fine leather gloves.

It’s been decades since I owned  a pair of fine leather gloves. Back in the day fine leather gloves were what I wore. I bought them in fine stores like Saks 5th Avenue or even at the fancy glove counter in Macy’s where all the goods were kept in glass cases and could only be accessed by Macy’s fine sales clerks – you know the ones. Or maybe you don’t if you had never shopped in Macy’s New York where the sales clerks are taught how to ignore you. It’s Macy’s folks, not Saks 5th Avenue where one expects to be ignored if one is not wearing mink and dripping diamonds.

I have gloves in a bottom drawer with all kinds of assorted Winter wear, which I don’t…wear. The gloves are a variety of one-size fits all stretchy gloves and cheap leather and knit S/M/L size gloves, probably bought at Target. 

Fine gloves come in specific sizes. If you didn’t know your size the sales clerk would measure your hand – the width of your palm at its widest and from the tip of your middle finger to the base of your hand. Often only the palm width was used. Sizes started at 5 and increased by halves, my glove size was 7.5. But fine leather gloves also came in narrow, regular and wide. What I always found odd was that very, very often your glove size was equal to your shoe size. 

Gloves came in lengths – measured by buttons way back when, and as I remember, described by how far up your arm the gloves went – cuff length, bracelet length, elbow and opera length. I found a little graphic – 

There is/was a whole etiquette to gloves – really fascinating I suppose, if your mind wanders to esoteric fashion history. I would add links to various web sites that recount the history of gloves, their uses and meaning but I know you are really not all that interested. I scanned through a few and some of it is quite interesting, right up to today when it seems opera gloves are making a fashion comeback. Oh, here’s a link to a very short history of gloves.

The thing is – I have no idea what prompted my thinking about gloves, or why the thoughts and images kept recurring over several days – so much so that here I am writing about it.

Perhaps because I have more important things I should be thinking about, I chose to spend my mental energy remembering when gloves were a thing…

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