That meant I had to move my car in two hours, so at just before 11:00, I ran over to Cameron Village, where I purchased a gift card for Goodberry's Creamery, and returned to the same area, but parked in a different place for another two hours.
Since I was one of the very few people in the office today, I was elected to present the university housekeeper assigned to our building with the annual holiday collection from the people who work in our building. Although I am totally baffled by this "tradition," I agreed to collect the money and present it to her today at 10:00.
I was grateful that about six or seven people came down to the lobby when it was time, and I thanked her for taking care of us, while handing her a card with the cash collection in it.
At another point in the day, I said, "Happy holidays," to someone, and they responded, "You can say Merry Christmas to me."
"Oh okay, well, you never know," I said laughing.
The retort came in a very serious tone, "Well, I know. I honor Christ. So, it's Merry Christmas," he reiterated with the clear message that his right to hear "Merry Christmas" unequivocally outweighed any right I might have to say, "Happy Holidays."
Gee, although I prefer "Happy Holidays," when someone says "Merry Christmas" to me, I thank them and then say, "Happy Holidays," back to them, each person's humanity having been acknowledged and affirmed. I guess recognizing each other's humanity is not very Christian. ♫♫And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love.♫♫
I love this first letter to Prudie today, both the question written in by the parents, and the response provided by Prudence. It's a very compassionate letter from the parents, as well as a very compassionate—and informative—response by Prudie.
—Conflicted at Christmas
When he opens his present, he will see that Santa heard his plea and delivered a skirt. But Tuerk said you need to have another conversation, one that's going to be a little harder, about the skirt. You have to explain to him that not everybody understands how many different kinds of boys there are, and so if he wears his skirt to the playground, or to school, there are going to be people who say mean things or make fun of him. Tell him you want to figure out the places he can wear his skirt—at home, maybe grandma's, etc.—where he can enjoy it and feel comfortable. This conversation is not about conveying shame, but about giving your child good options, and not locking him into a limited identity ("The boy who dresses like a girl!") with his classmates.
Needless to say, if more parents loved their children like this, and thought about how to help their child feel good about themselves and negotiate their way through this sometimes cruel world, there would, without a doubt, be fewer if any LGBT youth suicides.
The rest of this week's Dear Prudence can be read here.
When I got home from work, I took a glorious 2.5-hour nap, which I noted with a Facebook status as, "I'm going to go watch the back of my eyelids for a while. #REM," and to which my friend Karen Fraser replied, "We call it 'checking for light leaks.'" I love that, and I'm happy to report that I did a thorough check and I did not find any.
After that, I made myself go to the gym after running through several excuses, including: "I don't have time," "I don't really feel like," "It wouldn't hurt that much to skip it," and "I really need to get my greeting cards done."
This is precisely why I like being on a "diet" this time of year; that is, rather than starting one in January, which is the national obsession. :-) Without a doubt, if I wasn't at least watching my weight right now, I surely ("Don't call me Shirley!") would have blown off tonight's workout, which would have been the worst thing to do in this season of extra overeating.
I stopped at the grocery store after my workout, and I'd just like to note that ADHD is not a quality I admire in a checkout cashier. I was holding my hand out with a nickel and a dime in it for the cashier, and he was looking away long enough (at someone doing something in the aisle nearby) that I finally had to say, "Dude!"
He looked back, and said, "Sorry."
In writing out my holiday greeting cards tonight, I came to my friend Karen Caouette, who is the daughter of my Uncle Frank who passed away a couple of years ago, and the stepdaughter of my Aunt Annette, who died in February of this year. At the time of my Aunt's funeral, her long-time companion was fighting a wicked, aggressive, rare form of cancer.
I was going to write to her saying, "Please give Joe my love," but wondered if he could possibly still be with us, although I hadn't heard otherwise. A quick trip to Google, and I was both saddened to read and surprised about the coincidence contained in this obituary column containing his name, Joe Shaheen. (His is the last one on the page.)
The coincidence about this is that the column also contains the obituary of my Uncle Rene! They died so close to the same time, that if I'm reading this information correctly, both of their funerals were going on at the same time in different churches in Fall River.
Joe was one of those rare people, who as soon as you met him, you felt his spirit. Just an all-around fun, loving, and living-life-with-gusto kind of guy. It's really our loss that he passed so young. Rest in peace, my friend.
I went to Trailer Park Prize Night tonight, where I thought it was the "For Colored Girls" show, but it turns out that that's next week's show. However, Mary K. Mart emceed, so of course, the show at least had a chance.
I caught up with Alex, Glenn, and Bob there tonight with the highlight being the farewell to the plus-sized NeturaGina, who was moving to Michigan—to go to law school no less. There's an unusual career trajectory.
Okay, I lied. The highlight was bourbon and Diet Cokes for $3.75 each.