Saturday, November 12, 2011

Dear Season

Today is the opening day of the rifle hunt for deer season here in Missouri. Scents of gunpowder & doe urine fill the air, while merry visions of camouflage and freshly skinned carcasses are visible all over town. Bucks and does, gun racks and neon orange accessories, self-inflicted injuries and "I almost had him, but..." stories abound.

Sounds exciting, doesn't it? Nah, doesn't sound that exciting to me either - too much blood and being outside. We don't own any guns, and to be honest, I've never even shot a gun.

Enjoying coffee in  the warm comfort of my living room this morning, I got to thinking about the seasonal transformation I go through every year from November 1 - December 25. While the hunters spend as much time as possible outdoors for the next few weeks, I will do the exact opposite and spend as much time as I can inside - hunting for empty space to stash all of the random junk that accumulates between the months of January and October, and scrambling to get my life in order before Christmas. We'll call it Dear Season.

Over the next six weeks, Mommy Dearest here will complete a different pain in the ass project each weekend that I've been putting off, and there's no doubt that by Christmas eve, I'll be saying to myself "Dear God, just kill me..."

This weekend's Dear Season project is clothing. To begin, there's roughly 10 loads of laundry to wash, dry, and put away. Tomorrow I'll start cleaning out the closets and dressers, thus creating a bigger pile of 'treasures' in the garage for dear old Daddy to haul to the attic. It's cold enough in the mornings now that summer clothes could result in Family Services knocking on my door, despite how warm it is in the afternoons. I'm not willing to take that chance, so it's going to be on like Donkey Kong.

I'm praying that my little dearies take the day off tomorrow from their typical Sunday crime sprees - attempted murder (Marlee), cyber-stalking (Mia), and tampering with evidence (Miles) - and just play nicely together so I can take care of business. Three closets, three dressers, enough attire to clothe a small African nation.

Each year, the goal is the same: spotless house, delicious food, cheerful decorations, and completed shopping all done before Santa's arrival and each year, the mission is accomplished. Not flawlessly, and not always completed with a constant smile, but accomplished nonetheless. I'm similar to Clark W. Griswald during the holidays and want everything to be perfect for the ones I hold dear, despite the road bumps along the way. I'll cuss, oh yes, I will definitely cuss but eventually the cussing leads to good tidings.

Bless the stress, my dears.

"Where do you think you're going? Nobody's leaving. Nobody's walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We're all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We're gonna press on, and we're gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he's gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse." - Clark in 'National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation'