Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Twelve Days of Christmas – Christmas Eve

Bear in mind that, throughout this Holiday Season I was leaping out of bed to run to the internet café. I had to stay in touch with friends and family in the States. I have a time limit on my computer usage at the café: each session is 3 hours. During that time I not only chat with family but also catch emails and try to keep up with the world’s doings. And, because it is winter I want to look at what our weather is going to be like.

So, amidst all the revelry I’m spending the first 3 hours of every morning at the internet café. While it is a great pleasure to connect with everyone Stateside it drains me to get up early every day, no matter what time I go to bed. I am just not an early riser!

On to Christmas Eve, and the day’s doings.

Christmas with Gary and Mask.

My good friends were due over sometime around 3PM, so I had plenty of time to go to the internet bar and talk with everyone Stateside. After that I had to make a mad dash across the campus and up The Street to buy wrapping paper for Gary and Mask’s gifts. While there I treated myself to another breakfast sandwich, which I brought home and enjoyed with sesame crackers. I wasn’t worried about breaking a tooth off this time, so heartily I bit into the sandwich, only to hear Gary hailing me from outside my balcony. It seems he had been trying to call me all day but I had left my phone at home when I went to the internet café. That, coupled with the fact that I get only sketchy reception at my house made Gary’s calls in vain. He had no choice but to interrupt my breakfast sandwich rapture. Dang it: I’m never going to get to enjoy a breakfast sandwich again! I abandoned my lunch in favor of a walk around campus and a beverage at a nearby tea house with my friends. That’s when I learned I was born in 1942 -more on that later!

Before leaving the house Gary offered up his standard gift: earrings. Gold ones this time and, as always, beautifully suited to my face. He really has an eye for jewelry! Mask shyly offered up a pashmina adorned with roses on a brown background with a black border. Again, the colors are so suited to my complexion. How do these guys do it?

At the tea house Mask exclaimed that they had teapot warmers, exactly like the one I have. After seeing mine the last time they were at my house he had confided in Gary that he wanted one, so that is what I got him for Christmas. In the meantime he had been all over town looking for just such a warmer for himself.

Little did he know that he would be the proud owner of a tea warmer. It, and a 100-count bag of tealights was already at my house, just waiting for a sheet of giftwrap. For Gary a countertop grill lay in wait. The time he had dined at my house I had grilled steaks and he declared right then and there that he had to have just such an appliance for his kitchen.

After wending our way back from the tea house I disappeared into my bedroom, ostensibly to get ready for dinner at Aloha’s but in reality to wrap their gifts. In short order I reappeared, dumped their gifts unceremoniously in their laps and disappeared into my room again. The closed door muted the sounds of ripping paper but their shouts of surprise and joy came through loud and clear. One more appearance into the living room to collect my hugs and take pictures and then I started to get ready in earnest. Tony was on his way over and we were all going to enjoy a traditional American Christmas feast at Aloha’s.

Christmas at Aloha’s.

To be perfectly fair, Gary, Mask and Aloha’s happened on the same day but the Aloha portion of the day was remarkable in itself. The restaurant had overbooked its reservations and ran out of chairs and stools and anything else for people to sit on. They also ran out of room.

All the arrangements Carrie Ann had so painstakingly made were shot down. My gang had gotten to the restaurant first so we had seats at the table but Carrie Ann got there last. She, who coordinated everything ended up sitting at the bar, alone. She was not happy and I could not blame her. I offered her my seat at the table but she declined. She didn’t want to sit between Gary and Tony. After all my best attempts to ensure her enjoyment of the holiday were rejected I sat back down and enjoyed the company I came with. We all felt the waves of anger and resentment from the bar and decided to cut our night short. On the way home we sang Christmas carols, proving that we are still quite the merry bunch.

I do have to mention that Carrie Ann did come armed and ready for Christmas. I had given her her Christmas gifts on Thanksgiving because originally I was not planning on attending the Aloha bash. Being as I changed my mind and she and I did in fact meet, she remembered to bring my gifts to the restaurant: a foot warmer and assorted chocolates.

Two more noteworthy, funny things.

Yesterday while Tony was visiting he informed me that I had been immortalized on a placard mounted near the basketball court. I wanted to see it for myself so, as Gary, Mask and I strolled around campus I took them by those billboards. That was when I discovered the misprint: the placard announced my birth month and day correctly but predated my earthly arrival by 20 years! According the the printed biography I was born in 1942 instead of ’62!

Sam is always saying how young I look. It is no wonder the students marvel at my youthful appearance, seeing as, according to that billboard I am nearing 70 years old!

When I told Sam about the billboard he proudly announced that he had a hand in writing that biography.

Imagine his surprise when I started throwing things at him! Only when I told him about the incorrect birth date did he understand why he was being pelted with whatever I could get my hands on.

The other funny thing:

Upon returning to the house from our walk around campus Mask and Gary said something about redoing my makeup. I asked them – threateningly – whether I currently look bad. They were quick to assure me I am still beautiful. It is just that they know all women like to touch up their makeup…

Yeah, sure!!!

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