I've just realized that I posted two highly emotional and dramatic entries in a row, and then promptly disappeared. I hope no one got too worried. I just got busy, and it was my usual problem of underestimating the amount of time it would take to get things done. Wednesday I had to finish a writing project and bake bread while getting my laundry done, and then there was the epic quest to find a copy of the Serenity DVD (I had to go to three stores to find one in stock!). Then Thursday I headed to the parents' house, and yesterday we went to visit my uncle, cousins and cousins' kids and grandkids.
In spite of the amount of time it took me to get ready to leave town, I still managed to forget my toothbrush and didn't discover this until I was getting ready for bed, after my parents were already in bed. My mom's guest bathroom is better stocked than most luxury hotels. It has multiple kinds of shampoo, conditioner, body lotion and body wash; shaving gel; antacids; packets of razors; styling gel; toothpaste; and a full sewing kit. But no toothbrushes. I improvised by flossing well, then scrubbing on toothpaste with Q-tips. Then I found out in the morning that there were, in fact, some travel toothbrushes from airline courtesy kits in the bathroom, the kind of toothbrushes that are cleverly disguised as anything but a toothbrush (because God forbid someone think that you're the kind of person who brushes their teeth, I guess). I thought those toothbrushes were part of the hair dryer. I bet on my next visit there will be a stash of new toothbrushes in one of the drawers in that bathroom.
The newspaper here doesn't publish on Christmas day, so we got tomorrow's newspaper today (hey, that might make an interesting TV show). More accurately, we got all the post-Christmas sale ads today. I think our society may have reached the materialism saturation point, given that apparently the must-have gift of this year (according to the newspaper ad inserts and TV commercials ever since Thanksgiving) is a chocolate fountain.
I'm not sure what you'd do with a chocolate fountain. I would say "other than lie underneath it with your mouth open," but they don't seem designed with that in mind. I've been to two events in my life where a chocolate fountain was involved. One was my junior prom, where lying underneath it with my mouth open might have mitigated the misery of the evening. The other was the Serenity premiere, where I did not partake because attempting to eat food dipped in liquid chocolate while in the middle of a room full of movie stars would have been asking for disaster (on the other hand, I might have inspired a sitcom). I suppose if you have a lot of parties, you might use a chocolate fountain, but then after the first time, it wouldn't be cool, fresh or special anymore. I can picture the guests on the way to a party, saying to each other, "I hope they don't drag out that stupid chocolate fountain again." I'm sensing that this year's hot holiday gift will be this spring's hot garage sale buy.
Then, also in the "gifts for people who already have everything useful" category, there's the hot cocoa maker. The ad copy claimed that it made hot, delicious cocoa from a mix. The idea of hot cocoa mix is that it's easy and that it doesn't require a specialized appliance. It takes a teakettle, a mug and a spoon. It's almost enough to make me want to move into a cabin in the mountains to live simply (as long as I've got a high-speed Internet connection there).
Pretty soon we'll be getting ready for Christmas Eve service and then a quiet evening at home with cookies and mulled wine. I may even sneak some writing in because I think I've finally figured out the scene that's been bothering me.
I hope everyone out there has a wonderful holiday weekend, whichever holiday you celebrate. And if you get a chocolate fountain, invite me over and I'll bring a bib.