Things I Don’t Appreciate: A Christmas List

My younger son used to keep a running list. “THINGS I DON’T APPRECIATE” was a masterwork of comprehensive soreheadedness. He didn’t expect anyone to do anything about it, and it wasn’t categorized or ranked or put into context. He just needed to write it down. I wish I had saved it. I do remember that Nazis and tuna noodle casserole both turned up.

In that spirit, and in the spirit of it’s only Wednesday, here is my Christmas List of Things I Don’t Appreciate:

Pentatonix. That’s not a music group for adults, that’s a gimmick in boots. Come on.

Bing Bloody Crosby. The only good thing about his singing is that now he’s dead and there won’t be no more. I’m still waiting for someone to apologize for his face.

Cookie swaps. Every time I open my email, there’s another “invitation” to contribute cookies. First of all, that is not how you use the word “invitation.” Second of all, I happen to know that cookies don’t count as volunteer hours, which I am approximately 9,000 hours behind on. Cookie invitations are just a massive masochistic holiday scam where we all stay up late crying into our KitchenAids, saying stupid things like, “Is this does this look light and fluffy to you? Why isn’t it light and fluffy?” and then we show up after school instead of going home to have a nice drink, and we sell them to each other. Oh, no, sorry, we only take cash. Because people have cash with them, all the time. That is a thing that happens. Cookie cash! Cash and cookies, and it’s not time to go have a drink yet! I’ll show you light and fluffy.

Speaking of scams, can I tell you something? One gift does not turn into thirty-six gifts. Not if it’s books, not if it’s $10 trinkets, not if it’s homemade ornaments, not if it’s bottles of wine. The reason for this is that one is one and thirty-six is thirty six, and the only way that things magically multiply in a glorious cascade of pressies for you is if you’re committing mail fraud. If you don’t understand this, then at least stop bitching about how nobody needs Common Core.

Pressies. It has two syllables. It is not any easier to say than “presents,” which also has two syllables. And it refers to something which is already, by definition, fun and nice. Let’s save the cutesy nicknames for words that need the help, like “chlamydia” or “ostracized.” Hey, guys, I just got ostied again because I got the chlam-chlams! Now, there is a missive from a world with some order to it. The rest of you need to shut up.

I actually really like the dresses they are showing these days. So that’s not on the list. Although that cut-out shoulder thing is fairly intrinsically slutty. I remember when my grandmother took me shopping, when I was in about second grade, and I wanted a sweater with a tiny little keyhole in the neckline. She said that it would make boys say, “What’s in there, eh?” So now we have kids parading around and they’re flat-out showing us what’s in there. Shoulders! Gawd. You’re killing my dead grandmother, so Merry Christmas, I guess.

What else? My stupid kids all have jobs, which really messes up my schedule. I need them home to babysit so I can go lie down. What kind of system is that.

(Hang on, let me check Facebook for more stuff.)

OH YEAH, “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” The only thing worse than everyone swooning over the consentified update is being put in the position of having to defend a smarmy, irritating duet (I DON’T LIKE DUETS. WHO IS SINGING? PICK ONE, AND THE REST OF YOU WAIT YOUR TURN. WE LEARN THIS IN KINDERGARTEN, FOLKS), unless it’s being agreed with by guys who think that all you have to do is get married and then it is categorically impossible to do anything that your wife doesn’t want/need/deserve. See, see, what I need at the moment is to have love, sex, and marriage explained to me by a 53-year old neckbeard who has gotten kicked out of three seminaries mainly because of his homemade haircuts. Thanks! Awesome! I’m so glad we’re all on the same page.

Christmas songs with all the rum pa pum pum patapan ding dong ding dong rooty toot toot dibble dibble dopp. USE YOUR WORDS. Or I will use them for you.

Singalongs. Singalongs. Look, I stayed awake until nine o’clock. I got dinner on the table so we could all get to your stupid auditorium in time. I took the kid to the bathroom repeatedly, braving the ravages of the special Low Self Esteem View High School Girl’s Room Mirror (MY HIPS LOOK LIKE THAT, AND I’M GOING TO KILL MYSELF). I sat through eleventy four thready, wobbly renditions of Generic Holidays Around the World, including way too many vocal jazz pieces, all entitled “We Bit Off More Than We Could Chew, Dooby Dweetin Yes We Did,” including, and I am not making this up, “Mary Did You Know” WITH BEATBOXING. I almost bit through my own hand, trying not to scream. I clapped every single time, and I did not (as one member of the audience did) groan out loud when we all realized that last song wasn’t actually over yet. BUT I DO NOT WANT TO SIT UP STRAIGHT AND SING FUCKING FROSTY THE SNOWMAN AFTERWARD. Even when I was seven and they wanted me to sing along, I knew this song sucked ass, and it hasn’t lost any of its embouchure since then.

Here is something I do appreciate:

Now you know something.