Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas crap.

Supermarket queue, O and I, eleven a.m. Thursday morning. In front of us, a grandparently-aged couple packing their groceries onto the conveyor belt.

She turns and coos at us "Look at that gorgeous face! And you must be so excited about Santa coming to visit and bringing you LOTS of LOVELY presents!" O looks slightly confused, possibly wondering who this deranged woman is. I smile awkwardly and just mumble a rough "Uh, kind of..."
My confusion gets translated into "Oh, I suppose he's a bit too little to understand about Christmas and Santa."

(You blogreaders who know me will now be shaking your head sorrowfully at the foolhardiness of this woman, as declaring any child "too young" or "too little" to understand a concept indicates an alarming deficit on the part of the adult, and often directly precedes an explosion on my part.)

"No, I think he gets the whole christmas thing, and he knows who Santa is (gleefully recognizing him sticking out of people's lawns, atop their houses and half-stuffed down their chimneys)... We just don't make a big deal out of it." I smiled, she looked awkward, they paid for their shopping.

In the cold light of the following day, I feel more indignant about this. Yes yes, wonderful meaning of christmas and all that tripe, but the way we celebrate it is ridiculous.

What if we were a jehovah's witness family? Ah, we don't DO Santa. What if santa has a one-present rule? What if I'm on welfare and this child's father is fighting me for christmas-day custody and the day itself is a riot of drunken, abusive relatives? Just saying. The distribution of wealth in our immediate vicinity is such that any of these options are perfectly plausible. Yes, it probably helps that I was not wearing any visible (a) religious paraphanalia (b)body piercings (c) needle marks and neither was the child; no, I am not perfectly fine with you foisting your middle-class preconceptions upon me.

Now I kind of feel like saying "You know, we celebrate Christmas as a pagan ritual and will sacrifice a black cockerel to the dark lord." (No, not Sauron). Just call me grinch.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

You have to laugh... or stomp on toes

It's been a week of high drama and we're up to... Wednesday. Awesome.

There's really nothing to make you question your life choices like dancing about in front of eight hundred people. Wearing a pink tutu. With a crying five-year-old on your hip. Who only stops crying when you keep dancing. I mentioned the pointe shoes, right?

Pointe shoes are bad enough when my own sixtyish kilos are sloshing about on top of them; add another twenty of lumpen child (also wearing spiky pink tulle) and they're instruments of torture.

But really, no concert would be complete without the class who can't seem to see the audience (and therefore perform half their dance facing the back, the wings, and (only by chance) the front.

Such are the joys of kinder-aged children cavorting about in front of their adoring parents. The more recent concerts, with school-age children, have been more successful.

Sure, there was the boy who announced (in the middle of a quick costume change between ballet and tap) "Oh, my tap shoes don't fit me any more." Mmhm. In the five days since dress rehearsal your feet have grown THAT much.

Thank goodness for the senior student who retrieved his shoes from the bottom of his bag and undertook to stuff his feet into them. Miraculously, they somehow fitted again.

Oh, there were also feather dramas. Idiot me undertook the manufacture of swan lake headpieces. This means feathers hot-glued onto a paper base in a wing shape, two per girl.

So, making eighty-odd of these took a fair amount of time and used up my 2010 quota of swear words, but that's fine, they'll look great. They did look great. Even better when pinned in with WHITE bobby pins (I know, I'm OCD). And I made six spares. SPARES!

They looked less great when, five minutes before the performance, four girls are telling me there aren't any left. Of COURSE there aren't any left. Some featherbrains have take them HOME after the dress rehearsal and failed to bring them back for the real concert. And so the spares have been used by stupid people and we're STILL short.

Seriously. Would you not check that you have, oh, your LEOTARD? Do me a MASSIVE favor and check on the status of your headgear as well. Thanks so much.

I have the distinct feeling that my lovely flowers post-concert were guilted out of the girls who faffed about in the following way: "We can't find the white castle headpiece!"

Addressing this crisis requires problem-solving abilities far beyond the reach of any normal human. Clearly.

"Have you checked in the chess headpieces box? Have you checked in the pawn hoods box? Have you checked in the box of black and white skirts? And what about looking on the list to see who wore it last and asking them?Hmmmm?"

Invariably, five minutes later: "Oh, it's ok. It was..."
UhHUH. Because it would have killed you to have looked in more than one place before you made it someone else's problem. Skilled. Is it just me, or are we failing to invest our teenagers with common sense?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It's not really very super then, is it?

Today I got my superglue privileges revoked.

It went like this: broken violin (teeny, tiny violin, not mine. Well, belonging to me, but not MINE per se). Hmmm. Scroll detached from body of violin. But superglue cures all (doesn't it?).

Find superglue. Open tube of superglue. Forget consistency of superglue (like water). I'm sure you all know what happened next. SPLASH!

Hmm. Ok. There's glue on my fingers, on my jeans, on my kitchen table... everywhere except the detached bit of scroll, in fact. Oops. I was expecting consistency more like cement? Spakfilla? You know, MOULDABLE, not "Hi, I'm REALLY sticky adhesive and I'm now going to coat every surface in sight!!!"

 I mentioned my fingers, right? MMmhm, now they're sticking together. I run to the sink, but water only makes the glue go off faster. This is good, since it's not so sticky anymore, but I can now feel that four of my finger are effectively COATED in the stuff and THAT feels like rubber bands tied around each finger (no circulation).

A panic-stricken few minutes later, I have nail varnish remover. Unfortunately, it's the gentle, non drying stuff, making it relatively ineffective against my good friend super glue. I wound up basically moving bits of my skin back and forth until the glue crackled and then flaking it off. And feeling very weird and light-headed all afternoon - possibly from the fumes, possibly the rampant chemicals being sucked through my fingertips and into my bloodstream.

AND, to add insult to injury (really STICK it to me, as it were), my lovely husband (after piecing the white smears on the table *thankfully gone now, my obsessive peering at my fingers, and the violin in two pieces together....) declared "Oh, you should have used PVA."
Dammit. I wish he'd asked me why I wanted the super glue in the first place.  Because, you know, enriching as the experience of sicking my fingers together and hallucinating all afternoon WAS, I'm sure I could have done better things with those brain cells. Thanks.

I should also mention that I am now in concert-aftermath mode. This mostly involves feeling like I have glandular again. And I will reconnect my fingers to laptop and actually compose paragraphs of edification amusement random.