Here we are, Kids. It’s November 30 and the month is over. This is my last post for National Blog Posting Month. My friends are finishing up their word counts for National Novel Writing Month. Tomorrow, we start counting down the last 31 days of 2015.
It’s been a whirl-wind of a year. I watched my odometer tick off almost 10,000 miles this year. I drove through about 21 states. I earned nearly 50,000 Hilton Honors points. And I earned a free night on Hotels.com. Honestly, there were times when I thought I was spending more time in hotels than in my own house. Now that we’re coming to the end of the year, however, I get to slow down. No more traveling for me until well into 2016. I get to stay home, cuddle with my cats, and do a lot of baking. I get to focus on me, my family, and my friends.
Interestingly, I still get asked, “What do you want for Christmas?” In all honesty, that’s a question I’ve been hard-pressed to answer since I was about 25. When I was a kid, it was easy – toys, games, skateboards, etc. As a teenager I was more into music and movies. In college, I wanted cash for laundry, going out with friends, and more music. After that, I was more likely to ask others what they wanted than to think about what I wanted. Christmas mornings around the house were spent very briefly opening presents (no more than 15 minutes, seriously) and then cooking for the day. Mom, Gram, and I would end up giving each other gifts throughout the year. “No, Carleen! Don’t spend your money.” “Gram, it’s an early Christmas gift. I know you wanted it.” “Well, okay. But that’s it. No more.” (Of course, she would get more. And the conversation would be repeated.)
I’m in my late 40s now. As I get closer and closer to 50, I realize that what I want for Christmas isn’t material. I don’t want things. I have enough things. Sure, cash would be nice. But if I need cash, I’m still young enough and capable enough to earn my own. What I want for Christmas, ultimately, is what I already have: family and friends. There are people in this world who love me; people who think that having me in their lives is worthwhile. These people bring love and laughter into my life. What more can a girl ask?
There are a few things that the world-at-large can do to reduce the annoyances and idiocy in life. These would be fabulous Christmas gifts.
- Stop listening to Donald Trump. Seriously. Stop. Just stop. Take away the attention he’s getting and he will fade away like a putrid fart on the wind. (Ditto for anyone else spewing hatred and lies in an effort to be the top sound bite on the evening news…or the next trending Twitter topic.)
- The occasional image of a sexy person can be a mood lifter. But image after image after image of bulging breasts, toned buttocks, six-pack abs – all scantily clothed (or just naked) and leaving nothing to the imagination – gets really flipping old after a while. Honestly, if I wanted to see soft porn all day, I’d be watching Skinemax. Or Netflix.
- Good on you! You’ve had a book published. Is it really necessary to fucking beg everyone 15 fucking times a fucking day to buy your book? Hey. I get it. You need to make a living. But, c’mon! And making cute memes out of your book covers and shit – and posting them 15 fucking times a fucking day – doesn’t make me want to buy them more. Yes, please tell us about your new release. Yes, please tell us where it can be purchased. Yes, please try to do so in creative ways. But for the love of cheese, do so in moderation!!!!!! Once, maybe twice a week…MAX! The constant repetition of “Buy my book! Buy my book! Buy my book!” makes me want to avoid your book like the fucking plague. (And, really, if that is the ONLY thing you’re posting day in and day out, I suggest you step away from the computer and go outside. There’s a big world out there.)
- Hey, clickbait folks! OMG! Stop! I totally understand that you don’t want to spoil the story in the title. Truly, I do. But can you at least stop with the awful teasers? “She puts soap up her ass. What she does next? I’m dying!” Really? C’mon. Try to be more creative. I have problems with titles too. My blog posts don’t always have great titles. I find it difficult. But, damn! At least I’m not trying to use ridiculous shock value just to get a click. (And if the rest of us would stop reposting that crap, maybe their clicks would decrease and they’d stop doing that crap!)
- Drivers on one-way streets: If you need to turn left, then get your ass to the LEFT side of the street. People who need to turn right shouldn’t have to wait on you! I live on a street like this. It’s one-way. At the end of the block, drivers choose to go right or left. I’m about to get a can of spray paint and make my own right and left turn lanes! Common fucking sense, people! It’s a thing!
- It’s the holiday season. The stores are going to be packed. So, go with a plan! Don’t be one of those people who just wanders around aimlessly – looking at everything except the people around you and where you’re going. Don’t leave your cart in the middle of the aisle and block traffic. When you get to the checkout, have your method of payment ready. Make sure there are pricetags on the things you’re purchasing – price checks are annoying as fuck to the cashier who has to go running to the aisle to find the price. Because, when it’s all said and done, it’s that cashier who is going to incur the wrath of the 20 people who are in line behind you. Not you. You’ll be skipping your way back to the car with your purchases.
- Holiday season or not, be kind! Say “please.” Say “thank you”. Say “excuse me”. Say “have a nice day.” Hold the door for people entering or exiting behind you. Be aware that the woman shopping with three small children – who are just not having it right then – may have no other choice than to bring her children with her because she can’t afford a babysitter. The person reading a label for longer than normal may have poor eyesight. Have compassion, not contempt.
- Whenever you can…pay it forward. In a drive-thru? Pay for the person in the car behind you. Someone struggling to put a large item into the car? Help out.
So, yeah, that’s what I want for Christmas.
What do you want for Christmas?