The 2010 Holiday Letter

– Posted in: Conservatives are Funny, Dogs, Family, Green Living, Grown-up Friends, Holiday Letter, Mean Girls, Money, Parenting, Politics, Worst Mom Rants, Writing

So every year, for about the past fifteen years, I’ve written a holiday letter. It’s kind of how this whole blogging thing got started. As you might imagine, my letters weren’t exactly laundry lists of the fantastic trips we’d taken or stories about how the kids came home with “Student of the Week” bumper stickers. They leaned more toward what you might call, well. . . snarky, sarcastic diatribes.

So, 2010. Did it not suck for anyone? I mean, besides billionaires. Incidentally, before everyone starts freakin’ out, I’m still an Obama girl (minus the tiny shorts, tiny tank top, and — clearly minus — the huge boobs). But let’s face it. If you were rich this year, you picked up another slice of the pizza. And the rest of us went out and bought you a beer to go with it.

The political scene this year was a giant, complicated, embarrassing nightmare. When I look back, the first thing that comes to mind is the villain in one of my 8-year-old’s favorite books, Captain Underpants and the Big, Bad Battle of the Bionic Booger Boy. He’s sticky, infectious, annoying, won’t go away, and kind of makes you want to throw up. Oh, and he whines. A lot.

All-in-all, however, I’m pretty happy about the way things have finally shaken out. The majority of the population gets a tax break that they still don’t understand and will most likely continue to bitch about until next year. Gay people get to wear camouflage for purposes other than fashion and shoot people overseas. And nine years after the fact, 9-11 responders can be “relaxed” when they die rather than being stressed out about leaving their families destitute. So that’s cool.

Clearly I’m not thrilled about tax breaks for people who could use an intervention from that show about hoarding. Because let’s face it — anyone who goes to the great lengths that these folks have to hold onto their “stuff” has serious pathological problems. Honestly. Think about how much a tax increase on the highest income bracket would actually change any of those people’s lives.  And then consider how much time, effort, and money they put into making sure it didn’t happen. That’s the clear definition of crazy. Or greedy. Or evil. Or Dick Cheney. . .

So, yes, my prez made a bunch of people unhappy this year with the tax break for crazy hoarders. But since it’s pretty clear that he’s dealing with the lackeys of crazy hoarders, I think he came through with a pretty good deal for us. Especially since he was juggling:

  1. A Speaker-to-be who cries all the time because the tanning booth has rotted his brain.
  2. A previously pro-DADT senator who is adamantly against DADT because the POW PTSD has caused significant changes in his EEG.
  3. A bunch of other sheep who come up with ideas and then vote against them when the president says he thinks they sound good.

The whole thing is worst than a tea party attended by tea baggers down in the rabbit hole (“Why is a raven like a writing desk?” “Hell, I don’t know! Can you just extend the unemployment benefits so people don’t end up living in boxcars for god’s sake?”). Anyway, as some smart person once said, if the extremists on both sides are mad at you, you must be doing something right.

Our little family has, for the most part, weathered the recession storm. Our house, of course, isn’t worth squat. But on the upside, at least we aren’t having to squat in it. Tenzin became the victim of incompetent corporate middle management and lost a job he’d had for 10 years. So now he’s taking care of veterans and driving to a hospital in California a few days a month. His latest “I don’t want to be a doctor anymore” fantasy is to start an agritainment organic farm and raise goats. Half of his sentences start like this: “Interesting fact about goats. . . ” So if anyone’s interested in giving us a large piece of land, let me know.

Newt, the introvert-now-extrovert, is in second grade and has definitely crossed over into that big kid mode where he alternately loves us and hates us (mainly me). We have to convince him at least weekly that being an adult isn’t all wine and roses. Or in his case, staying up late, driving cars, and making all his own decisions (I, personally, would rather go to bed earlier, not have to run errands all over town, and be off the hook for every household issue from “Does the trashcan in the bathroom need to be emptied?” to “How the hell are we going to pay for college?” He remains skeptical of such logic.).

Elfie, the extrovert-now-introvert, is in first grade and being mean-girled for the first time. Apparently kids really are evolving since I didn’t experience this until third grade. She’s handling it with much more acceptance and grace than I ever did. Perhaps she’s just so used to her mother being a bitch that she’s had ample practice.

Our 12-year-old German Shepard-Akita, Uno, is losing strength in his back legs. Plus he’s reached old-guy status and doesn’t really care what we think or want. He cruises down to the neighbor’s house whenever he feels like it, has accidents in the house almost every morning, and makes us let him in and out the back door about 50 times a day. We don’t care — we’d walk over fire for him. And with each day that the kids get older and closer to him, he gets older and closer to leaving us. It’s nature’s cruelest joke.

And me, well, I’ve been entertaining at least ten people a day with this thing. And I started, which is entertaining at least twenty people a day. Plus I’ve managed to waste countless hours on Twitter and Facebook, making great new friends who I can add to the list of people I do a poor job of keeping up with.

And now, once again, I shall steal from Mr. Bill Maher (because there’s frankly no better way of doing this, in my opinion).

New Rules

• If there’s a good chance that you’re going to be dead from old age before your kid graduates from high school, you’re too old to be having kids. Sir Elton, I understand that you’re self-absorbed. And deciding to have a child is, by definition (at least in my mind), a completely self-absorbed thing to do. But for the love of William and Kate, you’re 63. Talk to my dad and my father-in-law. They like their grandkids. They think they’re nice. They think they’re fun. But they also think they’re loud. And they like it when they leave.

• Manufacturers of organic products need to stop double wrapping all of their stuff in plastic. My chicken breasts and tea bags do not need to be individually wrapped. We aren’t in Japan. I don’t mind if they all touch each other. I promise to use the ziplock seal to close everything up if I don’t use every piece. And I won’t hold it against anyone if I wait three years to drink the tea and it gets a little dry (which is what tea is anyway. . .). Seriously — somebody think about the polar bears.

• Cops and sportscasters can no longer break the rules. Cops have to drive like the rest of us when they don’t have their lights and sirens on (because otherwise, police cars just look like regular vehicles being driven by colossal, irresponsible dickheads). And sportscasters can no longer make up words like “demolishment.” Nor can they continue the obscene insertion of adjectives where adverbs should be. I think this would all help tremendous.

And finally. . .

• No one else is allowed to make a million dollars from a pillow you fold in half to make into an animal, a piece of stuffed felt that’s been cut into an ugly little monster, or a button that you can stick into the hole of your Crocs (or an ugly rubber shoe called a Croc, for that matter). At least not until I’ve done it.

Sorry about the 2011-ness of this year’s letter. Could be worse. Could be like that one year when I didn’t send it out until Valentine’s Day (so why are you people even bitching?). Anyway, I hope the good in your lives is outweighing the bad. And if it is, I hope you notice. And if it isn’t, well, don’t look at me. I’m the one on medication who calls herself “Partly Sunny.” Maybe you should go find one of those Pollyanna, happy-ish blogs. Or try the opposite approach and read about people in Afghanistan. I don’t know. What do I look like, a therapist? Dang, you try to help one person. . .

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12 Comments… add one

MultipleMum January 2, 2011, 2:32 am

I wish I got Christmas letters like yours! The ones I did get were of the 'look at me, aren't I fantastic' variety and made me want to puke into my rumballs. Happy New year dear Partly Sunny. I look forward to reading more of your take on life this year 🙂

Sherri January 2, 2011, 9:44 am

I loved this letter! It was the first blog entry that I ever read outloud to my hubby!! Such a great read! Happiness to u in the New Year! Sherri

Getrealmommy January 2, 2011, 11:32 am

Awesome post. Perhaps your best yet.
My five year old thinks that being a grown up is swell too, but he also knows that grown ups can go to jail and kids can't. When he got mad at me this morning he told me “That's it! You're going to jail.” I thought to myself… wouldn't that be a nice break? Happy New Year!

Heidi Ayarbe January 2, 2011, 12:38 pm

First of all, I like that you've already labeled my comment witty and insightful. This is a great way to make me feel both witty and, well, insightful. Neither of which I am.
Second of all, I LOVE that you used Captain Underpants as material to back an argument (especially the Big Bad Battle of the Bionic Booger Boy).
Third of all, there's a man in Colombia that walks around with his goats selling fresh goat milk. For real. I see him almost every day. People buy this milk for sexual prowess and calcium, I suppose. It's another alternative income source for said future goat farm.
Fourth of all: HAPPY NEW YEAR!

She Said January 2, 2011, 2:38 pm

I know a certain husband, ahem, who would love in on the goat farm. I. AM. NOT. KIDDING. Fuck the man.

Seriously, we need to hang out.

She Said January 2, 2011, 2:42 pm

OK, I just realized my above statement could be misconstrued. I meant fuck the “establishment”, as in, live off the grid. My husband may not know about goats, but he would love to sell hops up in the Pacific NW.

My comment was not meant to mean anything negative against my beloved. 🙂

TerryD January 2, 2011, 5:06 pm

Way to reference Pilkey. Nice.

KD January 3, 2011, 1:19 am

Okay, I've never been one for the Christmas card letter thing, but now I'm inspired 😉

Laura January 3, 2011, 8:24 pm

“Nor can they continue the obscene insertion of adjectives where adverbs should be. I think this would all help tremendous.” I LOVE IT! As a fellow grammar nerd (if I may make that assumption about you), things like that drive me crazily. 😉

Verity January 4, 2011, 4:21 pm

You made my day – as I lay here in bed, head pounding, sneezing, with my tea, my “anti-viral” drops from the doctor (my husband sniffed them and said “this smells like snake oil”) and read your blog, I laughed for the first time today. You are absolutely brilliant and I'm so proud to call you my friend. Now, I really should get some rest, but I see you put up another post.

Alysia - Try Defying Gravity January 5, 2011, 8:38 am

separated at birth is all I can say.

well, except that my husband would like to give up his high-tech job and be a hay farmer. 'Cause he's a vegan and wouldn't want to have/sell animals, but wants to grow the food to feed them. And who will feed us, I say?

PartlySunny January 5, 2011, 3:59 pm

I really need to get one of those apps where you can post underneath the individual comments. Because responding to each of you guys now would just be annoying. Anyway, thanks for reading the diatribe and stoking my junior-high-level self esteem.

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