2006: A Summary,

published at 11:01am on 01/03/07

I think that the year 2006 was summed up nicely in an event that took place on Christmas day at my parents’ house in Westchester County, about an hour outside of New York City, where I have spent every Christmas day since I was little, waking up early(-ish), going downstairs with my sister, having breakfast with mom and dad and then walking (calmly, so calmly) into the room we call the museum to open our stocking stuffers and then to the living room (alternating between the more formal living room, which would have plastic on the sofa, if we were that kind of family, which we are not, and the less formal, but not nearly as intimate living room, which one might call a Family Room in other houses, i.e., the room with the television) to open our bigger presents sitting under the tree.

We had just finished the aforementioned ritual (I got a Roomba! Holy crap! A robot that will vacuum my floor for me! I am totally in love.) and were in the kitchen having Christmas morning pancakes (which, I will admit, I bullied my mother into making because, well, I really, really wanted pancakes) when one of us remembered that A Christmas Story was being shown in an all-day marathon on television. The remote was procured and the television sprung to life.

Now for those of you who are unfamiliar with this movie, it was made some time in the early 1980s and takes place in the midwest somewhere in the 1950s. The protagonist is the unseen narrator of the film providing commentary to his memories of this one particular Christmas. What I didn’t know was that the movie and the book it was based on were both penned by Jean Shepherd, who I had not heard of prior to my father making that connection this year, but who I am sure I would like and whose work I should probably pick up at some point when I a) have more time and b) am not trying to get through a book that I have been working for, and I kid you not, over three months. I mean what the hell is that all about? They’re just words. I should not be scared of words like that. Plow through, young man, plow through!

In any event, we were watching this movie, and the protagonist as a young man has just blurted out an unfortunate curse word and was having his mouth washed out with soap by his mother (and though I recall blurting out that same word when I was of a similar age, I do not remember receiving the mouth washing punishment; I probably just got a stern talking to and was made to feel incredibly guilty for what I had done). He begins to muse, in the voiceover, that over the years, he had become quite the connoisseur of soaps, over the years.

For some reason, this statement resonated with my father, who all of a sudden made the most grotesque noise and as we all turned to look at him, he began drooling tea out through his hand and onto the kitchen floor, which continued until he regained his composure (as much as a man who has tea running down his face can do).

And that is what my 2006 was all about: my father, his eyes bugging out of his head, with tea running down his face.

I am really, really glad that this year is over.

Other Lessons Learned In/Memories of 2006:

1. I learned how to ski this year. In Montana. Nobody learns to ski in Montana. In Montana, they are born with skis attached to their feet, and their idea of the “easy way down” involves a slope so steep that you can not see where you are going when you are at the top of it. Suffice it to say, I loved every minute of it and came back to New York and bought ski pants.

2. If you ever spill wax on your clothing, do not wash said clothing! Instead, gently scrape off the wax that you are able to and then place a dry paper towel over the affected area and use an iron to melt the wax through the paper. The wax will melt and will get wicked up into the paper towel. You can also do this with brown paper, but I found that the paper towel worked better. Also, you’re going to have to move the paper towel around a bunch because once you get wax into one piece of it, you are not going to want to use that area of the paper towel again (otherwise the wax will melt right back into your clothing). Also, make sure the iron isn’t going to start spraying steam all over the paper towel.

Filed under: Personal

At 9:45 pm on 01.04.07, Katie said,

Where can I post just a regular ol’ comment that isn’t tied to a certain article. For instance, I would like to say, “How come you don’t do the advice column anymore? That sure is good shit.” Where could I put something like that?

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