By Tracy Kiely
So, my Christmas present came early this year. It was a charming little thing called “A Root Canal Without Dental Insurance.” While I sat there in the dentist’s chair, trying to answer social questions through an awkward system of hand gestures and grunts that would no doubt lead to my immediate imprisonment in certain countries, I began to think of murder. Not for my dentist. No, he was a nice man, even if he did feel compelled to fish out the calcium deposits that were nestled amid my nerves and show them to me one by one. He seemed particularly impressed with my roots. It seems they are extremely long. Longer than his instruments could reach without, as he so appealingly put it, “breaking off in your mouth.” We both agreed this would be a bad thing and something to avoid. But amidst the grunts, drilling, and show and tell, my mind, perhaps encouraged by our talk of “bad things,” wandered to murder.
And, it being the Christmas Season, I began to think of things that really piss me off this time of year. They are – in no particular order – as follows:
o People who send out their Christmas cards the day after Thanksgiving. Thanks! I’ve barely had time to clean up the turkey mess and here you are wishing me joy for Christmas. Except you’re not. You’re rubbing it in my face that I’m already a holiday behind. “Feliz Navidad" my ass.
o People whose cards look like catalog covers for children’s clothing rather than holiday greetings. Just. Stop. It.
o Mall Santas on a smoke break. Thanks, Mall Santa! You’ve horrified my ten-year-old son. Don’t you know that nowadays they teach kids that smoking is right up there with crack? Next time, why don’t you just wrap a tourniquet around your arm, whip out a syringe, and be done with it?
o People who regift. “Why, thank you! This ceramic angel with the giant eyes holding a puppy is just what I’ve always wanted! And bonus! Not only is it unique, but educational. Who knew that angels could suffer from Graves Disease?”
o People who get far too creative with their Elf on a Shelf. “Hey, Mom! Timmy’s elf was hiding in his cereal box with a little carton of milk and a spoon! Why does mine only move around on my bookshelf?” Now my son thinks his elf – much like his tooth fairy – is a slacker who may have a substance abuse problem.
o People who get all their shopping done in June. And then tell everyone they know what they’ve done. Congratulations, Dante has a special circle in hell for you. And, just like you, he generated it long before you needed it.
o People who are under the age of ninety and wear Christmas sweaters.
o People who are under the age of ninety and give Christmas sweaters.
o Offices that – for their Holiday party – rent out a local bar/restaurant, black out the windows with paper, and then issue a mandate that no spouses/significant others can come. (Husband used to work for firm that did this. People would stumble out of the party too full of the holiday “spirit” to speak.)
o Lawn decorations that aim for both the secular and the religious. We once were neighbors with a family that positioned their Nativity scene in such a way that the baby Jesus always appeared to be moments away from being trampled to death by Santa and his charging reindeer.
So, it may be that once my mouth-drugs wear off, so too will my Grinch spirit. But, I doubt it. In the meantime, please share with me your top holiday peeves. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and wrap my post root canal x-rays. Merry Christmas.