January 12, 2022

Christmas bloopers, because I cause shit to happen: THE POEM ADDITION

not quite the final installment, but tomorrow's post is the rest of this story, as is the saying I SAVED THE BEST FOR LAST . . . 



I don't have a photo for
 this post, but because
 we'd been looking through bins for Star
 Wars guys, Curly surrounded my water
 bottle with some spare
figures Christmas morning.
5. My annual Christmas Poem included a line about how we're going to a summer resort twice this summer. Once with my side and once with Coach's side. The same place. I even made it rhyme with a funny-ha-ha by saying that I'd reveal which side was more fun in next year's poem. That's me, just leaving people on the edge of their seats all year long, and maybe encouraging each side to try to be fun. Some family members struggle with this concept. 

When I was gathering info to insert into the poem, I totally forgot that the stay with my family is a SURPRISE. It's how we are celebrating Mom's 80th b-day in March. Oops. My sister, Ann, organized it and we all made our individual reservations back in May or June (eternity ago) for June '22, then chipped in towards my folks' room.

Not the best example,
but see how the lights
 don't reach the end of
the porch, by like 2 feet?
It looks like this caption. 
In my defense, I was busy preparing for the boys to move in when I made the reservation. I was getting organized to stay with them in a hotel room for a week . . . after driving to the no-wake-lake-house owned by Pat and Aunt Leprechaun for a party that had been postponed. Remember? 

Once I paid for my part, I checked it off my list and moved on with chaos central life, completely forgetting that the reason we were going there was to surprise my mom. I was in WHAT DO I NEED TO DO mode and once done, failed to register the details. 

I was out shopping with Ed on the 22nd and my sister, Ann, texted me:

First of all, I'm surprised Ann read my poem. Around 7 or 8 years ago during Christmas dinner, my SIL congratulated Coach on getting his fellowship. Ann was baffled. WAIT, HOW COME I DIDN'T KNOW THAT? Um, you didn't read my Christmas poem. Then she shared that she felt it was weird to send the poem anyway as it was too long and probably something no one would read. 

Sometimes in my family you must read between the lines to hear the very subtle:  Merry Christmas, I love you,.

Example B:  See the gap? I referred
 to our weak lights
 in an earlier post or
 comment, so I thought
 I'd demonstrate. I'm fine
 with it, but it is a little
 underwhelming when you
 drive up to the house.

Well, technically their mailman put the poem in their mailbox, but SHIT. I went weak in the knees. Is there anything quite like a bossy older sister who berates your every move and then has something real to be upset about to make you feel like you're 4 all over again? 

I really don't mean to downplay my role in this. Honestly, I screwed up. I felt terrible. I gripped Ed's arm and said I'd done it again. Landed in deep doo-doo. Ann, in case you don't recall, is the most controlling person alive. God help the fool, aka me, who derails something she has worked on. Even getting in the way of a small thing that she wants or expects can get her crazy fired up. This was a biggie.

I called Coach. Begged him to help me. 



Coach:  OK, HANG ON.

When I got home from the store, Coach re-enacted how the call went: 

Dad answered. 



Dad:  HUH? NO SHE'S READING IT. (the surprise-blowing lines were on the back, we still had a chance. It's a legal size page poem, sp Ann is right - it is LONG)


Dad:  WELL, THIS IS THE SILLIEST CONVERSATION I'VE EVER HAD. NANA, GIVE ME THAT (sound of dad lunging from his seat, grunting, a scuffle in the background), COACH? OK, I GOT IT FROM HER. (sounding winded).

I still chuckle at the visual of my mom sitting down at the end of a day cleaning house (she's obsessed, proof that I'm adopted) and making food for my dad and possibly still wrapping the HUGE pile of gifts she buys before looking at the cards that arrived that day.

My dad answers the phone. Then, despite his old 81 year old age, he starts wrestling rather inexplicably with her for the letter in her hand. 

I know, I know, you all wish I was part of your family because I make stuff happen, keep things lively and fun. (Ann might disagree). It's OK to be jealous. 

Once home, I grabbed another copy of the poem and tried to sharpie over the two 'revealing' lines. Curly was looking over my shoulder:  YOU CAN STILL READ IT. I grabbed the scissors and cut out the lines. I wrote the lines from the front that were included in the redacting on a small note and included them. Then Curly and Tank drove to my folks' house and swapped the tell-all letter with the cut up version. Merry Christmas. 

I called my mom to let her know they were on their way to swap out the uncensored poem with a redacted version. Ann was texting me for updates. Did Dad now know? I hadn't even realized that he didn't know in the first place, but Coach said he hadn't told him and that Dad seemed clueless. Rightfully so. This was a confusing ordeal. 

Tune in tomorrow for how the surprise ended up no longer being a surprise. NOT MY DOING, PROMISE.

So let me know if you'd like to me join your family around the holidays to liven things up. I'll see what I can do. Want me to draft a Christmas poem for you and share your true feelings about how irritating your Uncle Frank is? I'm here for it.


Nicole MacPherson said...

Whoops! Glad you were able to retrieve the poem!

Ally Bean said...

Ditto what Nicole said.

Unrelated, I see from your blogroll that Book of June has retired from blogging. I lost track of her over the years, and now feel a wistful about her ending her blog... even though I didn't keep up. She was one of my earliest blog crushes.

Beth Cotell said...

Oh my goodness! This is crazy! And Ann would have every right to be annoyed with you even though it was an honest mistake.

There is never a dull moment in your house! Sure makes for great blog reading. :)

Busy Bee Suz said...

Holy Moly! YOU ARE THE LIFE OF THE PARTY. Or are you the PARTY POOPER? Who cares? You are making things lively.
I had a good giggle imagining your dad and coach on the phone, and then him ripping the letter out of your mom's hands! Too damn funny.

I can only hope it is Ann who blows the secret.

ccr in MA said...

This is one reason I hate secrets! My dad used to say it's easier to tell the truth than it is to remember who you told which lie.

Ernie said...

Nicole - Me too, *wipes sweat from brow*. That was a close one.

Ernie said...

Ally - I am relieved that I didn't 'go down' for ruining the surprise. Nothing like messing that up to give me weak knees while shopping.

June just posted a few weeks ago - but hadn't posted in maybe 5 or 6 months. Not sure she has retired per say, but she was an everyday blogger. She is a comedic genius.

Ernie said...

Beth - Yes, I understand how my screw up would've ticked Ann off. Read tomorrow's post though and then tell me what you think of how this all wrapped up.


And really, Mom finding out that she was going to get to go on a trip with the family in advance would not have taken away from the actual event which is the main event.

Ernie said...

Suz - I keep things interesting, which is why Ann loves me so much. I'm going to keep telling myself that. Coach re-telling the phone call is pretty funny. He's not typically one to yell at my father, so that was fun. I mean, unless you count when we were in Glacier National Park and he YELLED at my dad to get in the Great White and stop thinking about approaching the bear that he was taking photos of.

Ah, Ann. Well, she's in charge. Of course. I'll share the wrap up tomorrow.

Ernie said...

ccr - Secrets are tough if you are expected to keep it a secret for better part of a year. I mean, my brain isn't always tracking stuff and once something falls off of my radar - well, I guess I can't be trusted. I honestly think the fact that this was a surprise didn't register with me as much as the logistics and the cost for us to do this (but now that we don't have H and L we can probably pull it off without 2 rooms - rooms sleep 6) and try to wrangle all of our kids there. It's Lad's b-day that weekend, so it might be tough to make sure everyone holds that weekend open. When we were shopping and I told Ed what happened, he was like OH CRAP, I HAVE PLANS TO GO TO A CONCERT THAT WEEKEND. See, the surprise factor wasn't the main component for me.

I love your dad's quote.

Pat Birnie said...

Oops is right. However I’m of the opinion that looking forward to a special event is half the fun. So you letting it slip would have doubled your mom’s pleasure!

Ernie said...

Pat -Yes - oops, but I am also of the mindset that the actual event is a big deal and while I wouldn't have wanted to rob anyone of seeing how pleased she was that it was coming up, I don't think it was the end of the world either. Her birthday is in March so the plan was to tell her about it then. My mind was not in the right place when I found out about the plan, I just made my reservations, gagged a bit at the cost and moved on. We're scheduled to go in June, let's hope all of the pandemic stuff has died down considerably by then so we can go and enjoy. My dad is immune compromised.

Suzanne said...

OH MY GOODNESS. So glad you were able to snatch the poem from them just in time!

Ernie said...

Suzanne - Felt like we were part of a Seinfeld episode. ;)

Kari said...

I can only imagine your mother's confusion.
I would love to hear your Christmas poem.
I think you need to share it with the class now. We are all invested now. :)

Ernie said...

Kari - Yes, totally confused - she was probably like WHAT KIND OF FOUL LANGUAGE DID SHE PUT IN THIS THING THAT I CAN'T SEE IT?

I did offer to mail a poem to anyone who sent me their address . . . the offer stands. It's long as all get out . . . you've been warned. :)

Charlie said...

Hahaha! This is why your blog is the best, you can’t make this shit up! Only your mum would be reading the poem as Coach called to get it back. Looking forward to to part deux…..

Ernie said...

Charlie - Well, exactly - what were the chances that she'd just started reading it? At firsts my dad told Coach that she just got photos, no poem. Ah, elderly guy was ALREADY confused thinking it was just a sheet of photos. Coach was a good sport - instigating a wrestling match.