Not Quite Screaming, but Still…

I had one of those dreams last night. The kind that have you waking up in a cold sweat, grateful to be under your own blanket in your own bed. I would call it a nightmare, but the truth is, it wasn’t all that scary, when I was dreaming it.

I was zipping down the road at a nice–but perfectly lawful–clip, and trying to buckle my seat belt.

A blue hybrid–one of those old, boxy things, with the enormous battery in the back–hit me head-on. The car was really, really blue. He was out of his lane, and I was distracted And for a second, I was flying through the air, or at least, knocked firmly around.

Everything went black–probably due to far too much TV–and then, I woke up.

That makes the second bad-enough-to-wake-you-up dream in the last couple of weeks.

No, I really don’t know why you have to know about this.

And yeah, maybe this is just a sign that I need more fish in my diet, or an extra vitamin pill before bed.

But at the moment…

Buckle your seat belts before you get on the freeway, and don’t drive distracted.

This has been a public service announcement from Karen’s subconscious.

Horrifying Gifts for the Holidays

If your family is like mine, it’s big, and ungainly and the truth is, you just don’t know each other well enough to buy each other anything but an Amazon gift card. This will, of course, in no way stop you from wanting to play Happy Families, so you will spend a massive amount of money to say “Look, I bought you a Gift.”

In general, the rules for these Gifts are simple:

  1. The Gift must be something durable enough to result in the on-going ownership of something the recipient does not want, or  the awkward disposal thereof.
  2. Recipient will, of course, feign gratitude and acceptance of said Gift, even if Giver has had a lifetime to notice that she/he does not use __________.
  3. Anaphylaxis in no way excuses you from rule #2. Eat another nut bar.
  4. Gift will most likely be identical to Gifts given to every other family member of your Rank and Gender. (ie: Female Cousins, Uncles, etc.)
  5. In the event that Pansexual Nymphette is the Giver, you MUST maintain the pretense that Gift is as G-Rated and Family Friendly as Possible. Do NOT say “figging oil” when you could say **ahem** “massage oil” or better yet, “gourmet cooking oil.”

There is, of course, an unspoken 6th rule: Gifts given to people other than yourself will be even more inconvenient to you.

Your Grandmother will be given a photo-calendar made from a picture of you taken at a Ballroom Dance exhibit. She’s not going to throw it out. That would be hurtful, both to you, and to the relative who gave it to her.

Nope.

She’s going to drive a new nail so it can hang prominently in the living room all year long.

You will spend the entire year fielding questions from random acquaintances about a dance partner you don’t even perform with regularly.

No. We’re not getting married.

No. He’s not special… well, I guess his wife and kids might think so.

Yes, his wife knows we dance together. That’s her on the left.

Yes, I’m sure he’s not special!

No, he’s not Gay. Pretty sure his wife would have told me. And no, I will not introduce you, Steven.

No, We are NOT GETTING MARRIED.

No, you do not get to meet him. No, he’s not with his family for Christmas this year. He’s with them for Hanukkah.

What? You got all six of my great-aunts the very same calendar? In smaller sizes? Oh, well, then…

Fuck it. What’s his name and I are getting married. It’s just more convenient.

I’m sure his wife will understand.