Monday, January 12, 2009

Christmas: The Afterword

Sorry I've been away but I've been kinda busy with work and I actually joined a GYM! If you can call Curves a gym. It's circuit training, and it's kicking my butt. In a good way. I think.

Anywhoo - I promised you a belated crappy Christmas gift story, so here goes. Coincidentally, this gift was also from "Unclue" Mike, the giver of the aforementioned stolen coffee. He got the kids each a book, one that you special order from some company that then inserts the child's name into the story as a protagonist. Sounds like something any 4 or 7 year old would be pleased with, right?

Plato got one of these when he was 3, also from Mike, who spelled his own name throughout the book as "Unclue Mike." Plato couldn't have cared less, but it made JeepMan and I snicker-snort every time we read it.

So I wondered, as these books arrived in the mail, if the same mistake would have been repeated. Plato would certainly notice now, and even Lulu might: she writes her name everywhere she can, and has even learned some other words to read and spell.

The wail that erupted from her as she opened her book was pathetic. I tried to calm her and find out what was wrong, and finally just grabbed the book. He'd spelled her name wrong. Phonetically. As in "Loo-Loo." She was so mad that Plato got his own book and she didn't that she flung the book in the trash and had a temper tantrum right in the living room.

Poor thing. All I could do was comfort her and explain that Unclue Mike isn't the best speller in the world, but at least he tried.

She was having none of it. I think he's on her naughty list until further notice. That girl can hold a grudge, big time.


The next Christmas epilogue involves MIL. You didn't think it would all just stop because Christmas is over, did you? Oh, no!

It must be understood that MIL had specifically asked us not to get her the usual college-team apparel and knick-knacks that we usually get her (she's a knick-knack fiend), and instead asked for some music CDs and maybe a bottle of wine.

My MIL fancies herself a wine snob. Because her friends fancy themselves wine snobs. So I suppose she is a wine snob by osmosis, because she certainly hasn't studied wine or had a wide range of exposures to wine. Regardless. By turns her self-proclaimed snobbery can be humorous (she calls "Riesling" "Reasoning"), annoying, or downright embarassing (complaining over a perfectly good bottle of wine at a restaurant).

Well we got the CDs, and ended up getting her 2 bottles of wine. She only likes sweet whites. Recently she's begun to try reds, but only with ice in them, as she thinks they taste horrid at room temperature. Hmmm....her friends must be dabbling in reds as well...

We didn't go too much out on a limb for fear her head might explode: we got her her favorite brand of Riesling, and a second bottle of the same brand's Late Harvest Riesling (sweeter). Reasoning (ha ha) that the sweeter the better, I figured we could introduce her to something new while not venturing too far outside of her, *ahem* 'area of expertise.'

She seemed pleased with the wines when she opened them, and we had her favorite with dinner. I suggested she open the other so we could compare, but she refused. We told her to just let us know what she thought.

JeepMan went to visit her the week after the holiday, after dropping me off at the airport. He'd actually forgotten about the wine, but he hadn't been in the door for 10 minutes when she told him, "That wine you got me? I had to dump the whole bottle down the drain. It tasted like VINEGAR."

This is nothing new. A few years back, someone she hangs with poured a bottle down the drain for tasting like vinegar, and ever since that has been the fate of approximately 1 in 3 of the bottles she opens. I myself have been told by a sommelier that I have a discriminating palate. Who knew? But at a wine-tasting with a group, I was able to pick up on some qualities of the wines that many others could not discern. Cool. But the point is, of all the wine I have drunk over the years, I have only opened 2 bad bottles. And only ONE of them was actually vinegary.

But here's the real kicker. She asked JeepMan: "Did you even look at the date on the bottle when you bought it?? It's from 2006!!"

(forehead slap)


Were I the benefit-of-the-doubt-giving kind, I might say, "Well, maybe she knows something I don't. Maybe 2006 was a really bad year for late-harvest Riesling in the Sonoma Valley..."

I can't extend that sort of latitude here. She thinks 2006 represents some type of shelf-life recommendation. A "Use By" date.

She thinks the wine was expired.

So what do you think? Wouldn't a normal person just not bring it up? Or if pressed, lie? But she did neither.

That makes me think she is:
a) self-aggrandizing;
b) condescending;
c) both.

I'm going with c.

And next year, I think I'll just skip the preliminaries. She's getting a gallon of distilled white vinegar. She can just dump it straight away.

And hey, it'll clean her drain too!


Drofen said...

Ok, that last one made me laugh out loud, hehe.

Whirlochre said...

Son Of Whirl had one of those books too — and believed it was true till he was 8.

Can I sing up to the Unclue Mike fan club?

fairyhedgehog said...

A great post and I loved the gallon of vinegar ending!

Monnik said...

Oh man. That wine story is funny - you really think she thought it was expired? Ha!

Debbielou said...

Brilliant !!

BlueBella said...

Make sure to check the expiration date on the vinegar!

writtenwyrdd said...

I love your MIL stories! I hope you and the gym remain friends, lol. I have this treadmill which has been missing me since 9/11 caused me to work 80 hours per week and fall off the excercise regime. I still use it...occasionally.

Jess said...

LOL! OMG- I needed that laugh. As a true wine snob (I grew up in wine country, I get to be a wine snob) I honestly don't know what to make of it all, other than to laugh my ass off. :) The red wine with ice though... oh, that got me. Tee hee hee! As for LuLu...I don't blame her. Keep the books though, they will provide LOTS of laughs in the future, I'm sure. At least Unclue sent presents!