You know those cutesy Christmas letters that normal people send out with a family picture…that they took in like August, because they have their sh*t together and actually plan these things? Yeah…I’m not one of those people. I tried to be. I really did, but after killing myself year after year to take care of Christmas by myself, putting up the 300 ornament, front room clearing monstrosity of a tree, baking the cookies, buying the neighbor gifts, attempting to make it look like the kid had sufficient presents under the tree (a REALLY hard task when there is only one person buying stuff for one kid), all while trying to also keep the little snot humble, I gave up on it.
I had partially given up on it 3 years ago, because the kid refused to help clean up HIS messes everywhere in the house, and I didn’t have the energy to deal with it. I replaced the ginormous tree with a little pre-lit potted tree that sat on my coffee table. The gifts he received looked a whole lot more impressive surrounding that than they did underneath the tree from the previous years. PLUS, I got to pretend we were being “simplistic” instead of the truth: I was too damn depressed to deal with it.
The gigantic Christmas Weed didn’t make a return the next year either, as Mr “I’m too cool for my mom” woke me up on Christmas morning and said “Can I open my presents so I can go to my friend’s house?” When I told him his friends were spending time with their parents, he retreated to his room for the rest of the day so he could talk to those friends who were also forced to stay home with their families through whatever form of social media the “cool kids” were using at the time.
Last year…hard pass on the real tree again. Actually, it was a hard pass on Christmas spirit altogether around our place, since the kid spent most of his time declaring his absolute contempt for having to wash his own clothes and pick up after himself by telling me at every chance he had that he couldn’t wait until he was 18 so he could just move out. In an effort to find something that didn’t completely suck about the season last year, I bought Christmas gifts for the adorable little boys of an incredibly appreciative friend, and of course my own spawn as well. As appreciative as this friend was, my kid was the complete polar opposite, asking if I kept the receipts so he could just go get the money, before muttering a quick “Thanks though” and leaving to go to what ever friend he was making horrible decisions with at the time, which brings us to this year’s obligatory Christmas update.
Dear friends and family,
It’s definitely been a year of ups and downs. Coming off of a tumultuous 2016, we didn’t expect 2017 to be quite as eventful but boy were we wrong about that one!
The kid turned 18 this year, but his attitude reverted back to that of a 2-3 year old. Fresh off of his ticket for minor possession of tobacco and curfew violation during the 2016 Thanksgiving weekend, he celebrated his birthday with a realization that stupid things done now come with much higher consequences.
During the summer, he finally got a job when one of his mom’s friends took pity on him. Surprisingly things were going well with that, until he realized a couple of months later that you actually have to show up to work and lose the attitude to keep your job. He moved out when his mom continued to expect him to do far too much around the house. Cleaning up after himself, washing his dishes, and expecting him to NOT put holes in walls, doors, and mirrors were simply unacceptable rules to have to live with.
Apparently, having not learned anything during Thanksgiving 2016, he rounded out the year with a minor consumption ticket, and since we live in Utah, there will be some pretty hefty fines and possible jail time to go along with that one. Perhaps the only good thing to come out of that is the fact that he’s 18, so the meanest mom in the entire world won’t have to shoulder ANY liability for that one. It’s truly a miracle he’s still alive though, since in a desperate attempt to sound much cooler than he is, he likes to brag that he blew a .55 (I’m not planning a funeral, so obviously he didn’t) when the officer broke up the little shindig that he and the rest of his idiot squad were partying at. .55 and still standing….it’s a true Christmas miracle!
Now for the worst mom in the world….the one who “ruined the kid’s childhood,” 2017 wasn’t a complete loss. She spent some time with some truly amazing people in Minnesota and Washington, DC as the “green haired girl from Utah” trying to get our current Congress to do the right thing and fund cancer research, close a loophole keeping seniors from getting life saving medical services, and other awesomeness. In an effort to keep from joining the parenting ranks of Casey Anthony, she learned how to deflect stress with painting, which she actually kind of kicks ass at. It’s a good thing painting is cheaper than a defense attorney, because the kid certainly gives her plenty of reasons to need one. Yes, she’s still single. No, that probably won’t change ever. Yes, she’s still the black sheep of the entire family…..for now.
2017 can officially suck it, and we look forward to seeing you all in 2018, hopefully still on this side of the Grey Bar Hotel. Merry Christmas, and here’s to a new freaking year!