I love the holiday season. I don't know if I really made that clear two posts ago. I love Christmas carols; I love egg nog; I love seeing people's houses decorated with lights, tastefully or otherwise; I love picking out wrapping paper and wrapping gifts for everyone's kids; I love candy canes; I love creating our holiday cards, I love that I make Grandpa Sam's latkes better than Dan does...
On Sunday, Natalie and I were in the car and "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" came on the radio. And from the back seat she says to me, "Mommy, this is the happiest time of the year." "Why do you say that, Nat?" "Because the song says..." at which point she begins to sing along.
This made me smile through the irony, that although it is the happiest time of the year, no one would let me merge into holiday traffic.
Sometimes I find life to be a big game of 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon. Honestly, if I tried hard enough, I bet I could connect everyone I know to him. Between meeting new people who know old people I know, or even the, "You're from Jersey? Where in Jersey? I'm from Jersey too!" It is a small, small world.
When I first moved to the Boston area, a fresh college graduate with a "great" job, I did my banking with a small, local bank...Watertown Savings. Basking in the glow of my first real pay check I headed to that small bank to make my first big deposit. I stepped up to the teller, and handed her the first of the small fortune I was bound to amass. She took it and looked at the name, then looked at me, then looked at the check, and then look at me, tilted her head to the side, furrowed her brow, and looked harder at me.
"Is there a problem?" I asked.
"You're Kristen Dattoli?" she replied.
"Are you sure?"
"Ah, yeah, I'm sure. Why?"
As it turned out, there was another Kristen Dattoli who grew up in the area with whom this teller went to school. Clearly, I was not the Kristen Dattoli that she was familiar with. However, Kristen Dattoli I was and so she deposited my money for me.
Fast forward nine years and I open my Facebook account to find that I have a new friend request. Really? It is sort of exciting to see who has sought me out. It was, Kristen Dattoli. Bizarre. But even weirder is the fact that this Kristen Dattoli who requested my cyber friendship not only shares the same name as me, but the same birthday. That's right, she was born April 14, three years earlier than me, but seriously, the same name and the same birthday? Before accepting this "friendship" I asked if is she thought it was possible that we have the same name and birthday...she too "appeared" to be shocked by this. This extra commonality that we shared led her to ask all sorts of questions to see what else we have in common. She revealed to me that she grew up in the Boston area, etc. Upon reading this, I shared my banking story with her and inquired if she was that Kristen Dattoli. And as fate would have it....she is! Nine years I have known about this other Kristen Dattoli who I now know shares a birthday with me and honestly if and when I ever care about my hair enough to take a shower and get a proper hair style, she and I don't look too far off from each other.
There's so much that we share, that it's time we're aware, it's a small world after all.
Lite FM has begun their 24 hours of Christmas carols and I am SO excited. I love that I am guaranteed to hear The Carpenters at least once every time I get into my car. I know that the holidays have become a total commercial thing, but I love the feeling I have during the holiday season, that build up of good tidings and cheer. These songs signify cold weather that requires colorful scarves and hats. It means sitting in front of the fireplace with some kicked up egg nog. It means watching Elf, The Muppet's Christmas Carol, and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation too many times. It means that soon my house will be full of friends who I see too little of during the year, but manage to save a place in their calendars every December for my holiday party.
Especially, this time of year means Steve's red holiday wear, which we all look forward to seeing year after year.
Year one, Steve actually wore a light blue sweater, year two is the red and white striped shirt. It was consecutive years three and four when he wore the identical red sweater with white collared shirt that earned him his reputation. Year five he showed up in the maroon shirt "claiming" that moths had eaten his red sweater. There was backlash and I believe he bought a red sweater for last year's party. But I was much too pregnant to care about taking photos.
**After reading this post, Steve was kind enough to send me a picture of the new red sweater. Expect to see pictures of it again after this year's holiday party.
I am always looking to find something that sparks an inner dialogue which I can, in turn, share with you. Lately, I have literally been looking at things, people mostly. My cousin, Alyssa (shout out) will tell you that I'm judging, but she is 21 and thinks it's ok to drink pink wine, so you can be the judge of her opinion.
So what I saw was this, a young woman, younger than me that is, with a fabulous shade of purple for her hair, but that is not what I found most striking. It was the amazingly accurate tattoo of Freddy Kreuger's face that was taking up the greater part of her right calf. I am not against tattooing, and I have worked for and with people who are tattooed from head to toe, but I feel as though (really hope is a better word) that one day this young, purple haired woman, wakes up to regret this decision and can purchase some Wrecking Ball to remove this disturbing tattoo from her body.
This past weekend I was involved in the planning of my fifth, and hopefully final, wedding shower. I do have a few near and dear to me who are still unwed, and if they choose to make that commitment and want me to be a part of it, I would of course say yes, but let it be known, I will put on my best wedding smile, but only because I know it is the path to an open bar somewhere.
My big bro is getting married this February, I have been given the distinction of being the Matron of Honor for the third time, and mother of the flower girl for the second. (I am happy to continue offering up Natalie for weddings, as she really is exceptional at her flower girling duties.) Having this title means that you need to be super involved in dress choices, and flower choices, and hair choices, and shoe choices, and you get where I am going with this. This is from the girl who admitted just last week I don't even care if I shower anymore. Nonetheless, my brother is getting married and there are rites of passage that all brides must suffer...bridal shower being one of them.
The shower was in NJ, so planning/coordinating from MA wasn't the easiest thing I have done, but having birthed two children without drugs, it probably wasn't the hardest either. Mi prima favorita and I (and Natalie) are the bride's wedding party, so it was up to the two of us to make this happen. Location - free of charge...Thanks WCL Fire Dept! Food - free of charge... Thanks family members. But not everything is free...there was a peacock chair. A few things you need to know, Maria (the bride to be) not particularly outgoing so sitting in an over sized white wicker chair in front of 35ish people you don't really know, probably isn't her idea of a good time. Unless she were watching Twilight or some movie with Shia LeBeof from that chair, with those people. But Jennifer (prima favorita) ordered the peacock chair becuase that is what you do.
Ah the peacock chair. On Friday, Jennifer and I were ready to leave our children with my mother and pick it up. "Oh!" she (my mother) says, "I thought I was picking that up." Jennifer and I look at each other, shrug our shoulders and say, "Ok." That was our first mistake. Saturday, 12:15 my mother arrives to the shower (which is set to begin at 12:30) without a peacock chair in her possession. I will let you imagine how my Type A, controlling demeanor felt about this. Jennifer and I get into the car and head to Taylor Rental to pick up the chair that we knew we should have picked up the day before. As we enter the rental store, ripe with the smell of gasoline, we approach rental store worker with our receipt to obtain one peacock chair. "I hope we have one." If he was trying to be funny, this was not the time. I was set to unleash my inner Jersey girl, complete with accent, but alas he returned with the chair. Down girl.
Jennifer and I head back to the shower (it is now 12:26) hoping to get the chair into the firehouse before Maria can see what we plan to make her sit in. We park the car, get the chair out and start walking to the door, when who pulls into the parking lot...the bride to be. Here we are holding this awful chair from the 80's (the only thing of the decade that has yet to come back into style), and we freeze like deer caught in headlights. She's seen the chair! With that, we begin to run, chair in tow to pretend as though this scene outside has never happened.
A few weeks ago, Dan commented on a pair of socks I was wearing. They were these camel and turquoise striped socks that were way in the back of my sock drawer and the only reason I was wearing them, was because all of my other socks were buried deep in the hampers, which were overflowing with dirty laundry. His comment was something to imply that I used to wear fun and unexpected socks like this all the time. To which I responded, "I used to wear pink, too." But now I wear cheap black t-shirts from Target because by the end of the day I will be inevitably covered in food, or tears, or snot, and I won't have to care about my $7 shirt.
This sent my mind into a tailspin of things I used to do, those which were priorities in my average day, say like, showering. Yeah, I used to do that everyday...at least once a day if not twice. But today, like many days, showering took a backseat to coloring.