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
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.
*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.