The 9:30 wall

Every year in my downtown, they light this huge evergreen. It’s in the same park where careful readers will note is the park I go every New Year’s Day, to do the guided meditation.

I debated going this year, because I may not have brought it up but I’ve had a cold, but I went because I am tough and no nonsense.

It was

RIDICULOUS

getting down there, as the night was mild and everyone and their chicken decided going to the tree lighting was a good idea. But I found (free!) parking after driving around and turning to butter, and walked 105 miles down to the park, thinking, “I wonder who I’ll run into that I know?”

Anyway, they lit the tree.

That’s as close as I could get with the thronging crowds. And I saw people from work, and of course Kit because she works down there. (Not only do they light the tree, they close off the streets and keep the shops and galleries open and some stores have free wine, which may be why I saw Ned, who hates Christmas. And who lives walking distance away, if one wants to walk for 45 minutes. Which one never does. Unless one is Ned.)

Kit’s store was full of adorable things as it always is. She runs the shop, see, and has vintage things, then she rents out sections of the store and people sell either vintage and handmade stuff.

She offered me some fine gum but I declined.

I admired the crowds, and looked in at shops, including my midcentury modern shop where the cute man works. It was full of his cute-man friends, all drinking IPAs and speaking in British accents. They ignored me because I am their age.

Also, I looked in at the cat cafe, where you can drink coffee and play with cats, and when I go there I always feel guilty about spending $10 to do what I could do for free at home. Gettin’ some strange.

Anyway, I always enjoy the Christmas thing downtown and despite my huge cold I’m glad I went. About 9:30 I hit an “Oh my god I’m so stuffed up” wall and went home.

On Saturday I cleaned and did some shopping, and in the afternoon I got up with an old friend. An old, old friend.

S and I have known each other since we were tiny. First of all, her brother and my Uncle Leo were friends in high school, and I remember him coming over to our house, having band practice in the basement. It’s like I grew up being Stella McCartney without the success and riches.

Then S and I went to elementary school together, and were at Michigan State at the same time, and anyway she was in Greensboro this weekend because her oldest kid is in some soccer thing for his college. The hotel she stayed at would have been walking distance to my old house. Not a ridiculous Ned walking distance. A real one. But it was a 10-minute drive and that’s not too shabby.

Anyway, we ate desserts and drank coffee and had ourselves a time. It was so good to see her. I had to go, though, cause I had to get ready for Lottie Blanco’s partayyy.

Lottie Blanco and her wife, Lottie Blanco, live in another town and I don’t know how she stands that commute. I’ve been to her Christmas parties before, but I giggle when I get there. “Oh, is this the house?” I ask myself, then fondle self cheekily on the way in, giggling.

I adore this photo of us, because inevitably she is astonished at something I did. I know I told her, as I was reapplying it, that I invented this lipstick. “You know those Instagram ads, that read, ‘Design your own lip color’?” I asked her.

“No,” she said, turning the channel to another football game on her 70-foot TV.

“Well, there IS such an ad and I made this color, AND I opted for the rose scent!” I said. I have no idea why LB likes me.

The Lottie Blancos have two Corgi puppies—Wrigley and Addison, which I guess has something to do with sports?—but my heart belongs to Riley.

Oh my god, Riley is so beleaguered. I adore him. He is still on the fence about those damn puppies, too.

After I’d eaten all the food and made out with every dog 12 times, at about 9:30 I hit an “Oh my god, I’m so stuffed up” wall and had to drive home for 17 hours and then I fell into a dead sleep.

Yesterday, I finished all my damn Christmas cards. Do you know what I need? Some sort of stamp that puts my return address on the envelope. Why do I never think to purchase such a thing until my cards are done, and then next year as I’m writing my endless address I’ll think of it again? Why?

I mentioned on Facebook yesterday that filling out Christmas cards is a great time to get online and Zillow your friends’ and loves ones’ houses to see what they’re worth, and that is what Christmas is all about.

I also mentioned this: Many of my friends, from years past, have since gotten married and had children and here’s my problem. I don’t KNOW the people they married or their children, and what I really want to be doing is sending a card to my old friend, and making a Barry Gibb reference, but I feel stymied because I’m sending the card to the whole family, and feel certain there are young adult asshole children out there who say, “Your weird friend sent a card again, mom.”

Look here, you little imagination-less millennial twit. I am not your mother’s weird friend. I am her friend from when she was fun and drank at 10:30 in the morning and wore nipple clamps. It’s not me who’s weird. I just haven’t changed. I stayed true to myself. Okay, sure, I go to bed at 9:30 on weekends now. BUT EVERY TIME I CHEW MY EARS CLICK RN. I HAVE A COLD, YOU IMAGINATION-HAS-LEFT-THE-STATION MILLENNIAL TWIT.

Anyway, my point is, can we make it acceptable to send cards to JUST your friend, and not the whole family? Unless you’re the kind of person who makes a Christmas post card that’s already signed and addressed, and you don’t write anything personal anyway, in which case why do you send Christmas cards?

“I still exist! It’s December! Love, Person you once knew.”

Oooo, and by the way, I was in here, writing something personal on EACH CARD and then Zillowing everyone’s house, when I heard helicopters. Not parents, real helicopters. In LA you heard them all the time, but here, not so much.

I ran outside in my Jessica Savitch bunny slippers. Oh, not Jessica Savitch. Those are wet. The one Jessica who used to sing and now she makes slutty heels. I like all her shoes, including her bunny slippers. What’s her name?

Anyway, FOUR military helicopters. I felt tempted to run dramatically through my backyard like I was a nurse on MASH, but I did not. I did fondle self cheekily over the thought, though.

Also, at some point a few years back, I bought a GROSS of depressing austere deer Christmas cards on sale, and who knows what kind of blue period I was in, but I felt the need to apologize for them in each card.

Also, I have return labels from not giving any money to St. Jude’s, and I am a wonderful person, and I found myself matching the color of winter berry stamp to the color house on the particular I-gave-nothing-to-St-Jude’s label I used, and I probably need professional help.

Or a cheeky adress-label stamp. Will you remind me to get one?

Last night I watched Call the Midwife until about 9:30, when I said Oh my god I’m so stuffed up, then fell into a dead sleep.

All right, I have to go. This was an entire post about nothing and I hope you enjoyed it. Remember you don’t need a name or email to comment, fuckers.

XO,
Christmas June

62 Comments

  1. “They didn’t talk to me because I am their age.” Snicker. Whenever I’m out and happen to speak a word to a man under 70, they go all bunny in the headlights because they think an old lady is going to hit on them. Or because women over a certain age truly become invisible to them and they thing a chair just asked them directions to the can.

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  2. “They didn’t talk to me because I am their age.” Snicker. Whenever I’m out and happen to speak a word to a man under 70, they go all bunny in the headlights because they think an old lady is going to hit on them. Or because women over a certain age truly become invisible to them and they thing a chair just asked them directions to the can.

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  3. I’m REALLY curious if the penis gum is vintage or hand-made (file under sentences I never thought I’d write).

    BeeBelle

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  4. I love your little downtown area, and I want to browse Kit’s shop. I will forever hold hope that you and Mid Century Modern Guy will go on a date sometime.
    Whenever you mention people’s blog names, I try to guess their real name (in my head. I like dumb games!) Each time you talk about the Lottie Blancos I think what a coincidence it would be if they were both really Charlotte White. What’re the odds?!
    It’s late. Everyone has hit the wall. Me too, but I’m waiting for bread to finish baking, so.
    Lovely, fun post, June!!

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  5. Love the hats too and I agree – that IS your color! So – Ned was there?
    Looks like you had soo much fun!
    Stay warm.

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  6. I don’t know how you can write this well & with this much humor with a crappy cold. You’re amazing June.

    Every year someone in my family is felled by one of those never ending sinus head cold bugs. An ENT finally gave us a fix that either actually provides relief or is just so much work that the placebo effect kicks in. Yes. That’s right. The neti pot.

    It is not without risk (mmmm! brain eating amoeba, etc etc) but we follow the good, beneficent internet instructions & that darn neti pot gets rid of the head pressure, the crinkle ear, the echo head and all other wacko head cold symptoms. Bless that ENT.

    Hope ya feel better soon. Everything ends eventually, right?

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      1. June that phrase applies to sooooo many things. And the universal answer is: don’t try it alone the first time. Find a friend who has done it before & can be your guide. Just, you know, pick a *smart* friend who also wants to protect their brain from amoebas.

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      2. Hi June, I have a brand new NetI pot sitting quietly in the cupboard. Don’t be surprised by the simplicity and thin plastic of the design. I’ve used it before and it made me feel all clean in my nose and innards. I need to buy some distilled water and I’ll start using it again. Just follow the directions … don’t cheat and try to read while tilting your head while pouring water in to one nostril. To avoid water going the wrong direction, your head needs to be positioned with one ear at 12oclock; the other ear at 6oclock. With one hand, plug up the nostril that’s at 6oclock while shoving the NetI pot spout into the other nostril. Tip the pot, and don’t jerk away… warm water will be running out of the bottom nostril. It’s the equivalent of bungee jumping for me.

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      3. Hi June, I have a brand new NetI pot sitting quietly in the cupboard. Don’t be surprised by the simplicity and thin plastic of the design. I’ve used it before and it made me feel all clean in my nose and innards. I need to buy some distilled water and I’ll start using it again. Just follow the directions … don’t cheat and try to read while tilting your head while pouring water in to one nostril. To avoid water going the wrong direction, your head needs to be positioned with one ear at 12oclock; the other ear at 6oclock. With one hand, plug up the nostril that’s at 6oclock while shoving the NetI pot spout into the other nostril. Tip the pot, and don’t jerk away… warm water will be running out of the bottom nostril. It’s the equivalent of bungee jumping for me.

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  7. We have helicopters and military jets overhead all the ding dang time. I have a teen son who is willing to untangle Christmas lights and set up the tree. Life is good. I like to print my return address labels my own self but my husband puts them on crooked so the entire look is askew. Love dogs at parties! I would select the “stay home from the tree lighting because cold and people” option. Thank you for attending and sharing your photos!

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  8. I want to be friends with the Lottie Blancos! And their dogs!

    Ooh, love the old I.O.O.F (International Order of Odd Fellows) lodge sign. Way cool.

    Did you hear “You’re a mean one, Mr. Ned(Grinch) when you saw ol’ Mr. Christmas Cheer himself?

    I haven’t sent out Christmas cards in years. Decades, even. But one year, a friend (fmr) wanted to send out one of those “Brag and Gag” Christmas family newsletters but didn’t know what to write. So I went to her house to assist her and while she was getting some coffee, I actually wrote the entire family Christmas newsletter in less than 5 minutes because I knew everything that her family had done that year that was worth bragging about.

    Since I live between a military base and an airport, I get military aircraft fly by’s on a regular basis and of course I always go running out the door to see if I’m about to get bombed. Once in a while, fighter jets fly so low over my house that I can see the pilot in the cockpit. I always wave but those bastards never wave back. The best, though, was when the B-2 Stealth Bomber did a pass over our neighborhood. That was an incredible sight to see.

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  9. I am happy to hear that you are able to soldier on and go out on the town! It sounds like a fun weekend, and those dogs…So Cute!

    Hope your cold is done soon.

    Lovely post, lovely June!

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  10. Re: Zillow. For whatever reason, they show a house trailer for our address instead of our house. They have the price about right for our house but I guess folks wonder why a trailer costs that much. Kind of makes me laugh. Though if we ever sell I hope the real picture is used.

    I’ve had ‘the crud’ or whatever is going around. This is day 4 and the first day I have felt like sitting up in a chair. Don’t go out, don’t get this. I got mine from going to the doctors office for lab work and was well before sitting in the waiting room for 20 minutes.

    Merry Christmas everyone!

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    1. I’ve read through June’s non-blog five times now, and I STILL don’t see a Little Black Sambo reference. I see references to Wrigley Field and the Chicago Cubs, but that’s about it.

      What am I missing?!?!

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      1. Also, HOW did we all go around saying, “Oh, Ima buy this book. It’s called Little Black Sambo.” HOW DID WE NOT SEE HOW AWFUL THAT WAS??

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        1. An awakening . When I was young it was an innocent thing, not meant to hurt or demean.
          The times they are a-changin’ .

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          1. I have a wonderfully illustrated book called The Story of Little Babaji, which is Sambo word for word, but the people are renamed Mamaji, Papaji, and Babaji, and are pictured as clearly South Asian Indian and middle class. The tigers are hilarious. But I’m afraid that wouldn’t be enough to take away the bad history.

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          2. Word Press ate my comment, with tiger butter. I have a wonderfully illustrated book called The Story of Little Babaji. It’s Sambo word for word, only the people are Mamaji, Papaji and Babaji. They are South Asian Indian and middle class, the tigers are hilariously drawn, and I like it. But it can’t erase the historical ugliness.

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        2. I loved that story. Little Black Sambo was so cute and he lived in a jungle where there were tigers and he outsmarted them and maybe if they had called him Little Fast George it would still be a classic. I mean a tiger who ran around a tree so fast for so many times that he turned right into butter because he was chasing cute little Sambo, how cute is that? I just liked the kid and his little village and the tiger butter. Sue me.

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          1. I tried to send this twice yesterday but Word Press ate my comments with tiger butter. I have a book called The Story of Little Babaji which is Sambo word for word except for the names: Mamaji, Papaji, and Babaji. The illustrations are by Fred Marcellino and are great: respectful and humorous of the (South Asian Indian) family, hilarious of the tigers. In a historical vacuum it doesn’t seem racist to me, but I suppose it can never be anything but a whitewash, if that’s the right word. I wonder how South Asians feel about it: is it cultural appropriation?

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        3. You are a good human.

          I live in the recently awarded “nicest place in America.” When the “step into a Hallmark Christmas movie” parade night was held I opted to stay home and snuggle dogs.

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  11. Glad you could join the tree-lighting festivities and Lottie Bs’ holiday party. Love their decorated house and their doggies.

    I had every intention of working on Christmas cards this weekend, but something always seemed to come first so congratulations on finishing yours. I know what I’ll be doing this week.

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  12. I too thoroughly enjoyed your use of the visa jingle/motto- whatever. And thank you for pointing out the helicopters were real and not annoying parents. Too funny! I do not think I would have walked far for a tree lighting or anything with a cold. I live in Chicago, so I assumed they named the dogs after Wrigley and its location. Even though I am a sox fan. Feel better!

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  13. So glad I am not the only person who matches the address label to the stamp. And since I rarely mail anything anymore, it’s a bit of a thrill.
    P.S. Hi Keli…see you tomorrow! 🙂

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    1. I guess I should clarify that I wrote like 50 of those cards before I thought, don’t I have some address labels from not giving to St. Jude’s? And then with my stuffy nose I bent down and looked in my “all things mail” cupboard and there they were and right then I knew. So the LAST 50 had return address labels that matched the berry stamps. There. Now everyone can rest easy.

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  14. What a lovely weekend you had!
    I missed out the work party to watch my son not play in the Christmas parade since he forgot his mouthpiece at home . So I watched him carry a tuba.

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  15. I use the labels, and even have the gall to be irritated when they have my name wrong. I also keep the dime.

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  16. It’s 10:53 AM and I’ve hit the wall with this cold.

    I’m glad you got out and hit all the high spots and had some fun.

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  17. Who can take a nothing day and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile. Well, it’s you, girl, and you should know it!

    Sorry. Could not contain it.

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  18. I have an abundance of return address labels. I get so many, along with solicitations for money, that I throw a lot of them away. Would you like my discards? Love the dogs. It’s just not a party without them.

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  19. I don’t think your Christmas cards are depressing at all. Two bucks, two large connected acorns–they “make the Yuletide gay.”

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  20. I used to get address labels all the time, but I think the charities caught on to me, and no longer bother to send me requests for $$. I’ve had to print labels a couple of years now. I also was going to get a stamp, but it didn’t happen and I’m over it. I woke up with the Headcold today and thought, “dammit, June, how did you give me a cold from a distance?” I just applied a great big hot chocolate (with chocolate/chocolate chip marshmallows) to the problem and once that kicks in, I’m sure I’ll feel oodles better.

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  21. The visa comment was genius!

    I heart Riley. Look at his face all “do you understand what it’s like?”

    I hope your cold is on the way out.

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  22. Last night my 9:30 wall happened at 7:30 and no stuffiness, just plain old.
    LB likes you because you are as cute as a bug, with all your lipstick talk.
    Riley looks like the one dog who “thinks” in human thoughts. A cutie pie.

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  23. Colds suck so much. And if any of my friends wrote a personal note in their card I would be gleeful that it was for only me and I didn’t have to share it with all the freeloaders that live here!

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  24. Loved this post. So glad you were able to soldier through all the holiday activities. You are a strong woman! You look so great in that cute hat. I wish I could wear those, but my fat face looks like a basketball with a hat stretched over it. I haven’t send Christmas cards in years. I have a million of those address stickers from places I’ve never contributed a dime. I was seriously thinking about having a self-inking return address stamp, but I just can’t justify spending money for a stamp when I have all those millions of free address labels. We hear helicopters all the time, because we live close to the hood. They are always police or news helicopters.
    Tee

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  25. That sounds like a very nice weekend! For an hour or two Sunday afternoon I felt like I was in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. I had put up a garland and wreath and only half the lights worked. I had other strings of lights, spare bulbs, etc. around so since it was nice out (well, 45 degrees nice) I dragged all the lights out on the driveway, changed fuses (not worth it, never do that), threw out stuff that didn’t work, untangled and re-wound lights around the garland (never buy anything that’s not pre-lit), and probably narrowly avoided tripping and hurting myself amongst all the light strings. Meanwhile I could hear the neighbor’s kid practicing Christmas carols on (I think) a trombone. It was hilarious. Somebody should have taken video. I did end up with a lit wreath but the white lights are the cool “blue” type which do not match the warm “gold” lights on the little tree out there and that is going to drive me crazy. But I like lights. End of story.

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  26. I have to go into work (blahhhh) so I didn’t finish reading and will do so during my lunch. But! I had to stampede to comments because the Lottie Blancos are MY PEOPLE!! Wrigley and Addison!! Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs, is on the corner of Clark and Addison.
    I know you disapprove of emojis but I must!
    💙🐻❤️

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    1. Oh my god, I can’t believe you knew why they named them that. They’ve told me but I always tune out. Cute doggies, though. They didn’t bark even once all night!

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  27. I hate hitting the 9:30 wall, it’s the pits! I think your cards are very restrained, but pretty. I wish my smallish town had things to do like that, although now that I think about it, I probs wouldn’t go anyway…too people-y.
    Glad you were able to soldier through and have a lovely weekend despite your illness.

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  28. I immediately thought Jessica Rabbit but I think you really mean Jessica Simpson. I get her confused with Madge Simpson. Fun fact: Jessica Savitch was my graduation speaker. Before she drove…..well obviously.

    Helicopters: We live close enough to both West Point and NYC that we constantly hear helicopters, military and otherwise. Invariably one of us will say, “Incoming,” as if that’s even remotely amusing any more. And by “one of us,” I mean me or HH because the kids have no clue. (Also, in the not remotely amusing category, I was out shopping with Jackie and we heard a car beep. She said, “Oh, there’s my ride,” and I about DIED.)

    Zillow lies.

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    1. Jessica Savitch was a DJ on my local radio station when I was growing up, WBBF. They called her the “queen bee”.

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    1. Anonymous is right. That hat IS your color, and if I looked that good in hats I would wear one every day. Lovely post, lovely June.

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