Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Gift That Keeps On Giving The Whole Year

You know the story…it’s Christmas Vacation month here at F.M.S! The final installment:

Cousin Eddie: Clark, that’s the gift that keeps on giving the whole year.
Clark: That it is Edward, that it is.

I hope your Christmas went swell. Mine didn’t involve nearly enough rum though I believe I made up for it by mainlining the box ‘o wine…for three days.* I would like to drift off into an alcohol induced haze somewhere around December 23rd only to wake up on the 27th underneath a pile of bills and my kids shaking products under my nose that require assembly. If only.

Is your Christmas day like mine? Are you forcibly awoken by a bedroom light, which at some point during the night was replaced with a police quality spotlight, beamed on at 6 am by on over eager 9 year old? Are you pulled downstairs to a gift scattered living room and morning calisthenics in the form of gift hurdling and pole vault (hiding)**? Do you weep silently underneath a pained smile as you watch all of these overpriced and unnecessary items unwrapped before your blurry, hung over eyes? Do you “accidentally” kick the dog on the way into the kitchen for more coffee because “someone’s going to be in as much pain as I am goddammit”?

Christmas Day! Welcome to hell. My day usually unfolds as follows:

- 6am: Wake up.
- 6:10: Unwrap presents.
- 7:00: Kick dog
- 7:05: Add a little something to the coffee to dull the edges and restore some holiday spirit.
- 7:10: Start assembling the first gift handed to me by one of my kids.
- 7:12: The first profanity of Christmas screamed over a stripped screw!
- 7:20: Search for batteries.
- 7:30: Second gift handed to me due to “some assembly required”.
- 7:31: Deep breath and another trip into the kitchen for daddy’s “special” coffee.
- 7:35: “Motherf*ckin’ screw won’t line up with the mother*ckin’ hole!”
- 7:37: The search for a 9 volt battery begins. Who uses 9 volts anymore?
- 7:40: The dog hides behind a chair.
- 7:45: I try to fake sleep on a chair but am woken up by another product being jabbed into my ribs that…requires assembly. It’s a big one too.
- 7:50: Screw the coffee. Bring Dad the Jack Daniels bottle. Quickly.
- 7:55: Assembly is not going well. Prison language. I’ve already threatened to “find out where the idiots who wrote these instructions live so I can jam this thing right up their asses.” It’s a Nitmos family tradition.
- 8:10: Fingers cut and bleeding from screw drivers and jagged, plastic toys.
- 8:13: “Where’s the goddamn batteries?”
- 8:20: “Look kids, no hands.” I pick up the Jack Daniels with my jaw and toss it straight up, drinking in big gulps while I clap my hands maniacally and then belch the bottle out on to the floor with whiskey pouring down my chin.
- 8:21: I fall back in the chair. Black out.
- 11:30: Shaken awake. My filly pushes a box that needs assembly into my booze soaked gut. I stare at it groggily looking for the entrance to hell.
- Repeat for the next several hours.

Okay, so maybe I exaggerate but the day seems to proceed somewhere along those lines. Once you become a parent – specifically, a father – Christmas Day becomes about three magical little words: Some Assembly Required. S.A.R. = code for The Gateway to Torment Lies Within. If you’re smart, you’ll learn to avoid these words at all costs.

But I do find time for happier thoughts as well. Sometime between Christmas and New Year’s, I like to take the sore-ribbed dog on an exceptionally long walk so that I can escapereflect on the Year That Was. The last two weeks of every year for me are all about sloth and gluttony. And more sloth, more gluttony…and frosted, sprinkled Christmas cookies. Sometimes I combine the sloth and gluttony by napping on a pile of Christmas cookies. I applaud those of you doing Christmas Ass Buster challenges and other various ‘stay fit’ tricks. Nah, not for me. I try to stay in shape for 50 weeks out of the year. These last two weeks are all mine, baby. If it contains sugar or >5% alcohol, it goes down my gullet. No apologies. No questions asked. No guilt.

During the walk, I reflect on my yearly goals and what is in store for the New Year to come. I think about my physical fitness and how running helps me achieve those goals. I like jelly too but it doesn’t make a nice monthly gift despite what Cousin Eddie says. I’ll stick with my training plans and Gu diet.

Running is the gift that keeps on giving the whole year…starting January 2nd. Until then, hand me the rum, the remote, and a tub of frosting. That's the gift that keeps on giving during the holiday season.

That it is Nitmos, that it is.

Happy trails.

*Mt. Veeder Cabernet was this year’s selection.
**I’m still wearing my boxers which doesn’t go well with morning Mr. Peek-A-Boo. I don’t have a “pole” in the sense that you think I meant.

I don’t buy race photos anymore. I have enough pictures of me with a pained, grimacing face drenched in sweat. So, it was hard to find a photo to select as my official Race Photo for 2010. Here’s a picture before my half marathon PR from September. As usual, Mrs. Nitmos isn’t in the picture as she’s the one holding the camera. One of these times, we’ll ask someone else to take the photo.



Vava said...

Very nice, and much like my experience except for the fact that us Europeans tend to do the whole present thing on Christmas Eve, which makes for sleeping in on Christmas Morning as probably the best gift a Dad can receive.

And the only place to find a 9-volt in a pinch is a smoke alarm. Raid!!!

Sun Runner said...

Last week I remarked on facebook that I was on the "all-Christmas cookie diet." You have carbs, dairy, and protein all in one delicious buttery sugary bundle, right? That's why I was eating them six at a time.

Washed down with beer, if course.

Chanda M. DeFoor said...

I feel happy knowing that I'm not alone in the holiday drinking and eating. Most runners are so hardcore--they make me feel like a loser. :)

David said...

Great pic, but just think how much faster you'd have run if you'd gone with short shorts.

Razz said...

It looked like it pained you to take the picture with your kids. Although, it's probably the other way around.

Laura said...

Merry Christmas, Nitmos!

Elizabeth said...

I too am on the end-of-the-year, two-week alcohol/cookies/no running diet. My jeans are a bit tighter and I am in a bad mood, which means it's working nicely. Marathon training, ready or not, here I come! Happy New Year!

Pretend this is real said...

"I try to stay in shape for 50 weeks out of the year. These last two weeks are all mine, baby." YES!

One Crazy Penguin said...

Happy New Year, Nitmos!

Running Through Phoenix said...

Verily he ate the Christmas pudding... and then the carrot cake, the bread with butter and on and on, and then verily he began to run again. Ahh January 1st, you couldn't come at a better time. Take care Nitmos!

Julie said...

Hi Nitmos,
I love the picture of you and your kids!

I hope that you have a wonderful New Year! Cheers to a rocking 2011!:)

Reluctant Runner said...

It all sounds pretty wonderful. Enjoy!

Lisa said...

We used to have the same craziness on Christmas morning, but now my kids are teens. I've discovered that teens are nocturnal and left to their own devices will not awaken before noon.

My daughter actually called me on her cell phone at ~10am to see if anyone else was up because "it would be too much work to get up and figure this out" on her own. Hahahahahahah

Robin said...

I'm impressed - it took you an hour and 12 minutes before profanity was introduced. You have more restraint than I! Happy New Year!

Amalfi Girl said...

"Sometimes I combine the sloth and gluttony by napping on a pile of Christmas cookies." Cracked up at this one.

Al's CL Reviews said...

Don't think you will outgrow dad had to fix my mixer and had blood all over it, which then started the jack daniels drinking.

Here's to a great 2011!

Irene said...

Tip - Teach your kids how to use power tools. Batteries? You don't need batteries if you have an imagination. (No that comment doesn't work at my house, either.)

My kids were never early risers. We'd wake up WAY before they would and have to wake them up.

Happy New Year!

Adam said...

Huh, you look less drunk and disorderly than I thought you would. But, I suppose you're still way faster than me, so you must be doing something right...... Bring on the Jack Daniels!

Jess said...

Ha! Next year get them sweaters. Then they can cry and kick the dog and you can go back to bed.

Xenia said...

Technically I'm part of a bust your butt holiday challenge, but you wouldn't be able to tell from my stats from the last few weeks. Your plan is way better.

Nick said...

I think your terminology is off. I believe it is your yule log, not that you have a log. Tis the season to be Mary!