The merry bells are jingling

Me in 1974 or '75.
Me in 1974 or ’75.

The pug and I have been holed up in the master bedroom all day, knitting, catching up on television (namely the Doctor Who holiday specials), and sipping non-alcoholic drinks. Pajamas have not been removed but a sports bra was added. Last night’s holiday merriment, which started with my brother and I splitting several bottles of wine and ended with me finishing the night by imbibing in one vegan White Russian1 after the other means that my liver needs a rest. I’m indulging in one of my favorite non-alcoholic drinks, Shirley Temples, because the thought of drinking any more alcohol makes me ever so slightly woozy. My goal in becoming an alcoholic is clearly failing.

The holidays are nearly over and I am in mixed feelings of these events. The experiment, “Ornaments for Cookies” has been a resounding success as so many fabulous people from across the internets sent all the lovely things that decorate our tree. But experiments in dairy free baking have frustrated me, which meant that I chucked it up for man and made “regular” treats to send since my numerous attempts to create vegan condensed milk, which was needed for many of the treats, were illuminating failures. Illuminating in that no matter how hard vegans like to think they can replace every animal product with a vegetable one, there are just some things that do not work well. Cheese is one, condensed milk is another. Because of the dairy free baking failures, my plans to be prepared for cookie distribution was slowed since since I ended up replacing the dairy free items with their original counterparts. I thought I was going to be behind in shipping of the goods, but it seems majority of the people waited until the last minute to send me their ornament so the unnecessary pressure I put on myself was for naught. So far, I shipped/gave nearly 20 boxes of cookies over the past week with another few boxes to go.

I will tell you that If I look at another fucking cookie anytime soon, I may slit someone’s throat.

My brother and I reconciled earlier this month after months of palpable tension and yesterday’s big holiday dinner was the first time since TheHusband’s and I wedding meal in May, 2010, that my brother, mother, and ourselves had a dinner together. It was not as painful as I had suspected it might be – though we did find out that my mother is a snitch and quite judgmental of her fellow Retirement Villa peers. According to Mother, any female that had a boyfriend (granted, the average age of the residents is well into their 80s), was clearly suffering from severe Alzheimer’s, but Mother never explained the the correlation between sexual freedom and dementia. This launched into a conversation between TheHusband, my brother, and myself of our generation getting older and that the uptightness exhibited by my mother and her peers would be flip-flopped by our generation with our tattoos, piercings, and shocking blue hair trolling the hallways and byways of retirement homes.

The younger generation shuddered in horror.

Friends came later in the day, with Mother meeting most them as my brother hustled her out the door. The general consensus of our friends was that it was clear Mother preferred the company of my brother to any other, and we all drank to dysfunctional family relationships.

Shaking of fists occurred several times in the night, primarily when we all know that we should be standing on our own and rallying against the societal expectations of hanging with the blood family during the holidays instead of taking a stand and creating our urban families. One year, we all proclaimed, we will take a stand! Then we ponied up to the kitchen counter to pour ourselves another drink.

And with that, another holiday is over.

1. Instead of half-and-half, I use very vanilla Silk soy milk.