Since I didn’t post here for a while, I guess I should write about my winter thus far.
Thanksgiving, just beginning to recover from our grief about Geffen, William and I decided to keep things low key. I made my usual pecan pie and pumpkin cream pie, cranberry sauce, and William made a 20 lb. turkey, home made gravy, and some sumptuous sides. It was just the two of us that day, and I believe I didn’t even wear a robe or nightie during our feast, just remained naked with a blanket loosely around me if I was sitting. We spread our feast on the dining room table but ate on the couch, watching old thanksgiving specials on tv and chatting. Our friend Gladys came over late in the evening, because she doesn’t go home to New Jersey much since her amazing mother died a couple of years ago.
I knew I had to put something on for company, but since it was Gladys coming over, who’s a good friend and pretty easygoing with us, and it was late, I just decided to put on a nightgown. Thought my little black cotton slip would be fine, since it’s dark enough to not be transparent, and lightweight enough that I wouldn’t get hot in it. I get so hot wearing anything thick indoors, or almost anything made of cloth, really. Especially with the oven having been on almost all day. The slip very lightly supports the bust with a thin strip of elastic hidden under it, has a few pretty white satin bows and very thin satiny black spaghetti straps, and ends about mid-thigh. I thought with the color and the lack of sufficient support, that it minimized my bust enough, at least made it not so noticeable.
Gladys rang the bell, and I went to answer it, and as soon as I swung the door open, her eyes were fixated on my chest. I hugged her hello as usual and said, “Sorry I’m just in my nightgown.” She widened her eyes, still glued to my chest, and chimed in an enthusiastic tone of voice, “Well I’m not!!!!” Still staring at the girls. I closed the door and sat with her on the couch, and her eyes were still on my breasts, about which I was starting to feel just a little bit uncomfortable. She told me about her day, the early part of which she spent with this group of vegan friends she’s had since college, who William also knows, and can’t stand. She said the tofurkey was terrrrrrrible, so disgusting, she thought. Seemed like she gave it a fair shot. She described it as gelatinous, like aspic. She told me about how judgmental some of those friends of hers are becoming, against people who aren’t vegan, though they thankfully do not direct any of that rage at her. She told me all of this while continuing to stare at my breasts as we were talking. I almost felt like saying, “Um, Gladys, my face is up HERE!” Haha! I’m used to men sneaking glances, but they usually raise their faces up right away to be polite. I usually don’t mind and try not to judge them for that, especially if they look up when I catch them so as to try not to offend me. But Gladys…she just doesn’t look up. She’s done this a few times before, on a few occasions since I met her about five years ago. But this time she stared even longer. She seems pretty straight, otherwise, I don’t know. William got out of his shower and put on long cozy pajamas and walked out soon after that. I was grateful. It was a pretty pleasant evening, overall.
She brought our Christmas presents early. She gave me a Peeps marshmallow flavored lip balm that was sealed in a plastic cover mounted on a colorful Easter-themed circle of cardboard. The same exact one I’ve seen sitting on an old shelf in her apartment for the past five years. Parts of it were caked in dust, though I could tell she tried to wipe it off. I smiled and thanked her, and she presented William with two cereal boxes. One was empty and had some theme on it, Avengers I think, which William has never cared for. The other was Boo-Berry, from Halloween, and Gladys admitted that the cereal inside might be a few years old. William pretended to be very excited, and so did I. Then she gave us a copy of Muppets Magazine from the 80s with Danny DeVito on the cover, which was pretty awesome, actually. And she boasted that she even thought of the cats, and pulled out a metallic orange strand of mardi gras beads for them, which she said she was given at her square dancing class. I thanked her profusely, and Riley was so surprised when I let him attack that necklace, as I don’t usually let him play with my jewelry. So was Pippa, who stood on her two back legs, rested one of her front paws on the couch, and bopped them over and over with her free paw. Gladys smiled and cooed, “Awww! They like it!” She only stayed for about two hours and then took her leave, not wanting to overstay her welcome. As soon as she left, William and I agreed that as cute as the cats looked playing with those beads, we probably shouldn’t let them have them. We also agreed that we were not going to open the lip balm or eat the cereal, for that matter.
Between then and Christmas, I wrapped my giant 7 foot artificial tree with ten strands of multi-colored lights, spent a few days fastening probably well over 300 Hallmark ornaments onto it (many of them miniature houses and toys), sent out too many Christmas cards with too many festive stickers attached, bought tons of gifts for my husband and my family in Texas, got hooked on the endless stream of excessively cheesy Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel, which I swore I’d never watch but found oddly comforting this past season, and hounded the threadless site’s help team by email until they felt so overwhelmed, they gave me 18 shirts free!
About that last thing, what happened was my Christmas order, half of which contained the bulk of my gifts to my sisters in Texas, was over a month late. As Christmas approached, it became clear the order was not going to arrive in time for me to ship the appropriate shirts in time, and the email help team would not give me any information about when they would be ready or what had been holding up the order. (They do not have a call center.) Finally, about five days before Christmas, they offered to overnight-ship those shirts over there for me, so I got excited and line-item-listed the shirts and their info from my order confirmation email from a month before, gave them the new shipping address for those, and then they waited a couple of days and told me they had to ship all of the shirts to the same address and asked me which address I wanted them to use. Pissed off that I had to choose between my husband getting his presents on time for Christmas and my sisters getting their presents on time, when I’d placed my order before Thanksgiving, I picked my husband, but ROYALLY told them off and gave them a terrible online review. They were so disturbed by my email and review apparently, that they sent me an email telling me that my $275 order was all free, and would be shipped to me overnight for free that afternoon. Eighteen fucking specialty shirts, a few of them sweatshirts or long-sleeved t-shirts, for FREE!!! And they gave me a code for $25 off my next order. That more than satisfied me, and I thanked them, and they sent me another service review to fill out, in which I boasted about how well they’d satisfied me, not going into too many details in case someone could get in trouble for giving me all that free merchandise.
Christmas Day, some of our usual stragglers had plans of their own. Timberly took his virginal 21 year old girlfriend on a trip to Tennessee so that he wouldn’t have to deal with his family or be alone, even though he planned to break up with her as soon as they got back, which indeed he did. Crazy Bea had a party of her own on Christmas Day, and invited some of her legal clients. She invited us too, though we declined because we wanted to chill at our own place, and because we didn’t trust any food she might make. We always joke that she’s going to put cat food in a quiche or something, because she really is that crazy. Sullivan usually comes over, though after that insanity in October, we’ve been avoiding him, hoping he’ll just drift away from us, which he mostly has now. I made lots of cookies with cherries and chocolate and such, very festive cookies, some jellied cranberry sauce, and a pumpkin cream pie, and William made an 18 lb. turkey and a wide array of sides. We made tons of food together, and invited a 600 pound jewish attorney to come help eat it. Angus. He’s barely mobile, but manages to get around without using a wheelchair. He can be really obnoxious and sometimes takes a position purposely against someone just to be argumentative, and reveals at a later date that he didn’t even agree with his own position. He was on good behavior, though, probably because we didn’t have any additional guests. Last year, he spent most of his time slyly hitting on Crazy Bea, and the bastard very nearly scored! This year, he ate a ton of the food we’d made, and had several extra helpings of red cabbage, which William usually eats by himself, since I can’t get past even the smell. But Angus kept asking for more and more red cabbage, and William kept bringing it to him, and then finally, when Angus tried to get up out of his seat, he blew several loud bombastic farts! I tried very hard not to laugh too much, and so did William. I had wondered about him eating alllllllll of that cabbage…
William and I had bought so many Christmas presents and stocking stuffers for each other that we weren’t able to finish opening them that morning. When Angus left, we resumed taking turns watching each other open them, and it still took a couple of hours to finish. His shirts did manage to come in just in the nick of time, and he adored them!
After Christmas, things were pretty peaceful. We ate our leftover turkey and enjoyed each other’s company. I detected a gas leak emanating from the kitchen one evening as William was about to put a casserole he’d assembled into the oven. Freaked me the fuck out. He didn’t smell it at first, but after a couple of minutes of arguing, he realized it did smell like gas, and we turned off the oven and I opened all the windows and the giant screen door. The smell dissipated within a few minutes, and after William hounding the maintenance hotline for the apartments several times, someone agreed to come out and fix it. The maintenance man found the problem right away and repaired it. He turned the oven on after and there was no smell. I was so relieved. A little bit shaken from before, though. William baked his casserole then and it was delicious.
The quietness I’ve been craving for months set in after that, aside from the deaths of so many beloved musicians and actors, which was very upsetting. The dead of winter set in as well, as did last week’s blizzard, the first snow I’d seen yet this winter. It snowed 29.5 inches where we live, and we were stuck in the apartment for about a week. William made a turkey again, this time a 14 pounder, and a few side dishes and vegetables in large portions, on the second day of our captivity, as the heaviest part of the storm raged on. Luckily, we kept our electricity the whole time. I’m very grateful for that. I went out today for the second time since the storm hit, and some of the roads still seemed kind of dangerous. In our apartment complex, some of the turns are still greatly obstructed by snow in the streets, and we still have no sidewalks, as they are all caked in several feet of blackening snow. Things are really just starting to get back to normal. I kind of like snow storms, though, and how everything just stops. For a little while. The way my home feels encapsulated in a little snowglobe with whirling white dust, like the ones still hanging on my Christmas tree. The glass around it is invisible, but if you press a button, you can hear a beautiful song play. A cheerful and festive melody, with a hint of sadness and wistfulness, if you pay attention to the tone.
Last updated February 02, 2016