Before dinner on Sunday afternoon Susan's Christmas tree was at the curb. That's right, at the curb! As far as she can tell, her tree was the first in the neighborhood to assume that location.

There's really nowhere in Susan's house to fit a dead tree anyway. There's no picture window to prop it in front of and no corner that doesn't already have something in it even if it's only a few shelves to hold her Santa Clara pottery.

Traces of Christmas remain in the house; lights and snowflakes and things, but the biggest offender is out. The Christmas cards are gone too. 

She's ready for the NEW year.


Susan went to the mall and came home with a car with no steering wheel.

It's been probably close to thirty years since Susan had a car broken in to, so she was overdue for a robbery. Luckily, they didn't take the air freshener or the stuff in her trunk, but they took the husband's wallet because he likes to leave it in the car even though she's told him a billion times that it's a stupid place to leave his wallet. 

Now he knows.

Mercifully, Susan & the husband had a little bit of money and were able to afford the expenses related to having somebody f*ck up their car. Unfortunately, that money was earmarked for other things.

The next day, three days before Xmas, they went out and got a tree. 
A very well priced tree too, Susan thinks it's the cheapest one they ever bought. The husband & daughter took care of dragging it into the house, installing it in the livingroom & decorating it without any help from Grinchy Susie.

As it should be.

Ed. note: Photographic credit & a lift home are courtesy of little sister.


This morning Susan went absolutely berserk when she couldn't locate the nail clippers.
She clenched her fists and screamed and yelled and jumped up and down and flung spittle then threatened not to control herself. 

One of those clenched fists is going to punctuate the next outburst so everybody in her house better learn how to duck. It's not going to be her fault since her family members refuse to return the f*cking nailclippers to their designated location.

There's still no Ex-Mas tree in Susan's house which is PERFECTLY FINE by her. The place is tarted up enough for the season even without it. Unfortunately, the daughter is still pretty vocal about wanting one and shows no signs of simmering down.
Damn that sweet teenager! Now Susan's going to have to waste a Friday night making her happy.

And Susan wants to know how anyone finds anything on etsy.
Really, there's a billion things up there, usually she gives up and just orders the last thing she looked at.


Susan protects herself when she has to. 
Generally it's in response to a heightened feeling of anxiety left behind by some ancient panic attacks. She'll stop reading the papers, limit her TV watching, avoid phone calls and withdraw till she feels better.

Periodically something happens in the world that's so awful she has to shut herself off from it. She won't be able to avoid it entirely, but she'll try. 

Like many people, Susan has to work to maintain her buoyant mental health, one way she does that it by not taking her brain where it doesn't want to go. She's pretty firm about that.

She'll be skipping the newspapers this week.


Susan had an interaction with a catering hall chocolate fountain.

She's seen these things for the last few years and has purposely avoided them; cascading milk chocolate just isn't her scene, if she wants something that's too sweet she'll eat sugar directly. However she was filled with just enough alcohol from Acme Sweatshop's holiday party to ignore this and dive in.

She loaded up on the standard assortment of things to hold under the running chocolate; pineapple, marshmallows, strawberries and bananas. She wasn't totally sold, but she was committed to see the plan through to its completion.

Susan eyeballed her plate expecting the chocolate to ultimately encase the fruit and marshmallow in a hardened shell but the chocolate stayed in its liquid format. Susan's enthusiasm wilted. Other party guests assured her that this would not be a problem because everything should be eaten with melted chocolate poured over it. 

Susan stuck a chocolate drenched marshmallow into her mouth. It only took a moment after the slimy chocolate hit her tongue for her to spit the entire mess into a napkin.


More to her liking were the small chocolate cups into which could be poured any number of sweet liqueurs.

Later in the evening when Susan was making the rounds to say goodbye, many of the party guests were still drinking, some were drunk, and she was glad to be going home with the husband and a tremendous winter table scape centerpiec


Susan watched Miracle on 34th Street twice this weekend.


Susan's body is in the throes of a post holiday party recovery.

In mid November Susan flipped the page on her social calendar and saw that she had one invitation for all of December. 
The singular engagement to which she looked forward was Acme Sweatshop's annual bash, which is a lovely, sparkly upscale thing filled with high heels and laughter and alcohol, but she needs more.

So, in the span of two minutes Susan had invitations ordered and commenced dreaming of her very own festive cocktail party. Two more minutes and her daughter agreed to be a low paid employee.

Susan doesn't like to host lots of people because her retarded entertaining abilities get overwhelmed then they lie on the floor, kick their feet and cry, but 20 people was a manageable amount. She became preoccupied with finding a grown up punch to satisfy her non-drinking friends but into which a shot of liquor could be added for the alcoholic enthusiasts. 

Ginger ale, pineapple juice, lime juice with optional dark rum was the winner.

Since this all went on when Susan's mother was in town she accompanied Susan to find some sort of festive fabric to throw across the dining table. 

What's more festive that three yards of gold sequins? Susan was giddy. 

She returned with a load of white candles from a trip to IKEA during which little sister finally bought a coffee table to replace a very impractical upholstered bench that Susan always hated.

Susan selected a reserved palate of silver, white and gold from her established Christmas decorations. Her daughter spent three days making chain garlands from wrapping paper. Susan bought snow flakes in every size from the dollar store which she hung in the windows and from the ceiling when applicable.

The day before the party Susan sent her son upstate for a wrestling tournament, then moved furniture, cleared counter tops, strung lights and made tapenade from olives, sundried tomatoes & garlic. She also worked in some time to visit with one of her best, oldest pals

The day of the party Susan filled her house with friends from all areas of her life. When it was over all two gallons of the punch, for which Susan had late onset misgivings, was almost completely gone. Same for the rum.

The day after the party Susan woke up with a headache to a house that smelled like bacon. She wandered around like a sloppy, constipated mess eating left over party food. She made a list for next time of what worked and what didn't and determined that 15 people is the magic number for optimum hostess socialization and that she will line her walls with gold sequins.

Also, Trader Joe's Creamy Toscano soaked in Syrah is friggin' fantastic.