We had our weekend all mapped out, which should have been our first clue that something was about to go horribly wrong. I do love gettin' a jump on the special family times of holiday joy, making the most of each moment in this magical season both practically and celebratorially speaking, it's just that in My World, making a plan is basically the same as phoning up Mr. Disaster Himself and inviting him over for cocktails, cheese fondue and an all-night Scrabble tournament.
It all started out so perfectly! Friday afternoon Nicki came over along with the Bubster. Bean and Bubba played while Nicki and I chatted about the upcoming progressive Christmas party, and then the minute Al got home from work, I mean the very minute people, the front doorbell rang and upon the stoop stood the pizza man with a hot, fresh, delicious pizza for us to all share, which we did. Then Bubba and Bean went back to running around like a pair of drunken banshees and Nicki, Al and I sat in the family room watching them, nearly comatose from the massive quantities of pizza we'd horked down.
Bedtime for the kids rolled around, so Nicki and Bubba prepared to make the return trip across the street. As we bid them both goodnight, I congratulated myself on having perpetrated the perfect, relaxing, fun, early Friday evening for the family began to envision the rest of this blissful night that lay before us. We'd get Bean ready and tuck her into her own warm cozy bed, then we'd go jammy-up ourselves and retire to our room for a little Christmas flick, a little hot toddy, and a lot of snuggling. Saturday we'd awake early, bundle into our warmest clothes, coats, scarves and mittens, grab hot coffee and breakfast at the diner around the corner (Where everybody knows our na-ay-ames.) and zip out into the country to pick out our Christmas tree, which we'd deftly lash to the top of the car and drive home to get into its stand, so that by the the time first flake of the predicted snowstorm flitter-fluttered down from the heavens, the FriedOkra family would be snug as bugs in the proverbial rug, listening to old-fashioned carols by the crackling fire, drinking rich, delicious hot cocoa and encrusting our carefully selected Tenenbaum with sparkling lights and sweet, nostalgia-laden ornaments. We'd spend Saturday night basking in the glow of the holiday come home and then have all day Sunday to just BE, together.
But as the door closed behind Nicki and Bubba, the needle violently scraped across the glistening vinyl of my peaceful little weekend fantasy, when Al muttered, "Why do I all of a sudden feel nauseous?"
Let's face it, we were naive, very naive, not to see this coming.
I shuffled him off to bed with a bucket on the nightstand and rustled Bean into her pajamas and under her covers. About the time I blew Bean a final kiss and turned out her light, I began hearing the first few notes of Al's All-Night Porcelain and Pizza Symphony.
Al was violently ill for most of the night Friday night. I confess I spent my time hiding under the covers in the guest bedroom, to which I had fled very hastily when the barfing began in earnest.
Saturday featured no picturesque drive to the tree farm, and the only thing that got encrusted with anything was the the master bathroom potty. Nothing sparkly about that. Saturday night I basked in the glow of the bedroom TV as Al lay beside me, so completely spent that he could manage no other facial expression than dogged, him passing in and out of a flinching, moaning doze, me stroking his arm and forehead occasionally and whispering, "My poor sweet Daddy..."
Al awoke "some better" on Sunday but we lay low anyway, against his protests that we should go get the tree. Confidentially, I still do not see how a man who 8 hours earlier was unable to support his own eyebrows planned on carrying a 9 foot Christmas tree across the front yard, up the steps into the house, and wrestling it into its stand. Talk about naive!
We're all on our feet and back to normal today, except that I'm about 36 hours behind on Operation Holidays, which I have scheduled down to 30 minute increments through January 1. So unless I find a way to catch back up, ya'll have a great New Years Eve for me!
Contrary to my carefully devised Holiday Plan, I'll be ringing in 2008 at 12 noon on January 3.