I Want My Christmas Eve Back

Weird day.  Not at all the festival of merriment that I was anticipating. 

Yesterday was so good.  Jeff and Carter were both in exceptionally good moods.  We talked and laughed together all day.  No one had to go anywhere or do anything.  It was the first time in a long time when we just got to BE together.  I painted off and on most of the day…8 hours total…to finish the series of 4 8″ X 8″ paintings of Asian flowers to go in my parents kitchen.  Unfortunately, it looks terrible.  I don’t know what to do.  I know if I give it to them they’ll say they love it, but every time I look at it I’ll think about all its shortcomings.  I certainly will not be getting another gift at this point as the dinner and gifts at their house starts in less than 2 hours.  I guess I’ll just have to do it and see what happens.  You’ll notice I didn’t even take a picture of them to post.  If you know me at all, you know that this is making me absolutely CRAZY.  I don’t like to do things wrong or give something that seems half-assed.  

I went to Wal-Mart on Pelham Rd. yesterday evening to pick up a few last minute things and had the nicest experience.  I overheard so many happy conversations and got so many smiles in passing from people.  It really perked me up.  And, about 5 people told me Merry Christmas.  So refreshing.  

Then, when I got back to the house I could tell Jeff’s mood had deteriorated.  Earlier he had been so psyched about buying me 9 gifts.  What the heck?  Why 9 gifts?  I don’t know what to expect.  But, then he had to sit on the bed in the guest bedroom to wrap them all which caused big problems with his back.  He feel out of a tree when he was 18 bear hunting in Alaska.  He broke his back and had to be airlifted to a hospital.  He has metal screws through his bone and this is the source of a lot of pain for him from time to time.  He rested on the couch while I was gone to the store, but it wasn’t enough.  He was not feeling well and it showed.  

We started getting out the Christmas plates and glasses to wash and I mention that I don’t think we’ll have enough chairs for Christmas Eve.  Well, he sort of freaked out and that didn’t set well with me at all.  He went on and on about how it’s not like me to not plan everything out to the last detail and how if I didn’t want to host this year I should have called everything and how it is unacceptable not to be worried about where people will sit.  Blah, blah, blah.  I looked at him and told him that I was not going there with him and I stuck to it.  I refused to respond when he continued to speak about the chairs.  Then, after the storm died down I picked up the phone, called my grandmother and asked her to bring 4 chairs.  She said she would.  I looked at Jeff, smiled and said, “Problem solved”.  That probably made him more angry.

Then there was today.  We got up, ate some oatmeal and started getting our ducks in a row for our 24 guests arriving at 1:00.  Jeff was walking back and forth from my parent’s house carrying chairs over.  At some point Lizzy (our cat) started following Jeff.  He picks her up and carries her.  When he gets to my parent’s house, she jumps from his arms and into the fenced in back yard with the 8 dogs that my parents have.  They attack her and corner her.  Jeff jumps in after her and manages to get the dogs to back away.  The cat is in shock.  She is laying on her back daring anything or anyone to touch her.  Jeff grabs her to get her out and she clamps down on his finger.  He can’t get her to let go and there’s blood shooting everywhere!  Finally, they get near a tree and she lets go of him to scale it.  Jeff runs into the house to take care of his wound and my dad puts on his welding gloves to get her out of the tree.  

He brings Lizzy here and puts her into the garage.  She’s not bleeding so we assume she’s going to be fine.  At some point she brings herself out of the garage and into our flower bed.  Meanwhile, Jeff’s finger is getting really red and is swelling.  He WebMd’s it and figures out that he’s going to have to get a tetanus shot.  But where do you do that on Christmas Eve?  I make some calls and figure out he’s going to have to go to the emergency room up at the new Village Hospital.  This is at noon.  24 people are coming at 1:00.  AH.  He takes off and is back within 30 minutes.  There was no one there.  Amazing.  He got a shot and a prescription for some antibiotics.  We think this is the end of the story, but no.  My brother’s girlfriend (Alla) is very sensitive about these things.  Everyone says we shouldn’t mention what has happened to her.  We manage to get an hour into our party.

At around 2:00 everyone is sitting down eating.  My always late uncle, aunt and 2 children show up and see the cat laying in our flower bed.  My aunt walks in the door talking about it because she looks dead.  Alla asks what happened and I have to tell her.  She runs out to see Lizzy and starts crying.  We decide to move her to a box so she’ll be warm, but when my dad picks her up we can see something hanging out her backside.  And, she’s shaking in pain.  Alla freaks and is calling for someone to get a car so she can take her to a vet.  My aunt tells us of an emergency animal clinic on Haywood Rd.  The agreement is that they will have her put out of her misery.  That is all we can pay for.  I know that some people believe in mortaging their homes and spending their life savings to save an ailing animal, but we can afford to do neither.  I tell them that.  My mom says she’ll drive and she takes the cat, Alla and Chad (my older brother) at around 2:30.  At 3 we hear from them.  The cat is back with the vet.  It’s now almost 6:00 and they are still there, obviously not having the cat put to sleep.  Oh my.  

They miss all of Christmas with my mom’s side of the family and we are supposed to have Christmas at my parent’s house shortly but I’m having a bad feeling about that.  What happened to Christmas Eve?  This is my favorite day of the whole year.  I want it back.

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