Ginny was all, “Okay, 300 words blah blah blah Christmas blah blah blah last sentence blah blah.”
Sure, like I can do anything in that short amount of time. You get like, 1,000.
Second of all, I want to say that this is probably the highlight of my week. Writing for Ginny’s blog and everything. Way better than what I did on Sunday, which included brainstorming costume ideas for a comic book birthday party (I’m thinking Marrow, because that’ll look neat, but then everyone’s gonna follow me around saying, “throw me a frickin’ bone, here.” But ideally? Kitty Pryde), and supergluing my fingers together.
I’ve always loved dressing up for theme parties. It’s like being a superhero. Well, in the case of this party, I will be.
But the obsession with dressing up extends past theme parties. It’s a childhood chronic. Partly because my dad is addicted to all things costumed adventurer, and partly because some parents sat around and Venn-diagrammed the most embarrassing things they could do to their children and decided to dress up their daughters for themed family Christmas card pictures. For the first twenty-five years of my life.
Sometimes the themes focused on a pivotal change in the family. When the parents started their own CPA firm, they forced us into accountant garb: plastic visors, glasses, gargantuan calculators with overflowing receipt paper, tax returns.
Usually though, the cards were modeled after a pop culture event. The Olympics, the Bears winning the Superbowl. In ‘89 we did Batman (for the release of the movie), and my sisters were Batman and Robin, and I was a nerd reading The Dark Knight graphic series (this was a big deal within the family, because it’s what the dad wanted to do in ’86 when the series came out, and the mom exercised her power of filibuster. “No one is going to know what that is except for you.”).
But the best and most memorable Christmas Card ever was in ’97, when we did Men In Black.
As usual, like three days before Christmas we started scrounging around for costumes. I was knocking on neighbors’ doors looking for black ties and suit jackets. Being three daughters, me and my sisters were sans proper attire.
We did, however, have a massive MIB galactic gun replica, since Yellavitch liked that sort of thing. Katsisch was always a bitter old maid, even at thirteen, so the serious scowl came quite naturally. And I like to think I’m MacGuyver, so I fashioned a memory Neuralyzer out of a pen, duct tape, and a shiny red Christmas ball. We were clothed in borrowed suits, armed with plastic, and very bad ass. There was no way we were gonna fuck this up.
Immediately before the photo shoot we ate dinner. Fettuccini Alfredo. Love. The mom utilized the Notre Dame leprechaun mascot-shaped noodles the dad and I got at the ND/Navy game back in November. The dad, aside from an obsession with comics, is a die hard Domer. Katsisch did not partake in the eatery, since she’s anti-anything-yummy.
I annihilated that Fettuccini Alfredo like a secret agent in a scrimmage with a giant space cockroach. Didn’t even chew properly. Noodles are like that.
After dinner the dad left the house to take the dog for a walk. The Dad was not allowed around during photo shoots, because he’s a nervous nut job and freaks out when people get distracted and things don’t happen in a timely manner, and everything I’m involved in gets bojangled. Hence, leaving.
It was mild at first. My stomach. Gassy. But after a few minutes, once we set up the backdrop, those little leprechaun noodles started getting rowdy, like they’d conquered a trampoline. Pretty soon there was a full on battle royale in my guts.
“Oh. Crud. Hold on.”
“What’s wrong?” The mom peered around the side of the camera, and glowered a little.
“I gotta. Oh. I’ll be right back.”
“Hurry up. Dad’ll be–” There was no way I comprehended the end of that sentence. I ran straight for the bathroom and projectile baffed all over the place. At the time, I didn’t realize I was “baffing,” because that’s a term coined later in my life, but I baffed nonetheless.
Tiny little leprechaun kamikazes launched out of my mouth. They were all, “Take thaht, Epegloh-is, weeay’re geyttin’ the feck ouwwt. For Ireland!” in their little accents, and splattered themselves on the walls, the floor, the back of the toilet, the suit jacket that wasn’t mine. Then someone knocked.
“You okay?” It’s Katsisch.
“Well, take your time, because Mom and Yellavitch are upstairs puking.”
(Sigh. Brace hands on the toilet seat to keep from slipping in vomit. Lock knees. Oooohppp, no, don’t lock knees, nevermind. Oh, God, it fucking smells so bad. Don’t breathe through your nose, Jesus, seriously. There’s a reason Yankee Candle hasn’t made a Regurgitated Alfredo and Stomach Acid scent yet.) “This sucks.”
“That’s what you get for eating gross things.”
“Fettuccine. Is not—graawwwwwcchhkk.”
“Haha, you’re si-ick.”
“Oooohhh….I neverwannabeababybird.” Spit. A string of saliva dangled into the toilet, which was all decked out in ittybitty bits of leprechaun. Spit. Screw you, Notre Dame. Spit again. God, I hate Alfredo.
Ten minutes later: bathroom redecoration complete. Pale-faced and queasy, I wadded up the borrowed suit jacket and threw it to bottom of the basement stairs. Yellavitch wasn’t looking so good either. At least she had the foresight to take off her jacket before her little Alfredo extravaganza. And once the mom came back downstairs, she’d changed into a robe and pajamas.
She picked up the camera and grimaced at us. “Okay. Let’s get this over with.”
And that was the most I ever threw up.