Monday, December 27, 2004

Post-Christmas blues - and all the other news…

So, here am I… back at work. And if that's not reason enough to have the blues let me add this interesting factoid: I have nothing to write about. Nothing at all. No crisis. No impingency. You kind of get used to living with craziness, with all your balls up in the air (so to speak), but when normality (even, dare I say, happiness) strikes… it can be devastating.

Vicky's probably the strangest woman I've ever known. (He said, changing the subject with whiplash-inducing rapidity.) Or, perhaps I should say, she's so different from any other woman I've been with that it's just strange. For instance, last night we cuddled for the first time in months. I kid you not. I'm not saying she's not affectionate but she rarely discards huge amounts of time just for cuddling. Normally, she's just too busy. Busy with the house. Busy with work. Busy times three. And she's so great at busy because, well, I'm not. I spend a lot of time thinking and processing, so I can seem a bit ponderous. Meanwhile, Vicky's getting shit done! And I can't help but think that other women I've known have been so quick to cuddle and so slow to get things done! So, what does this mean? Does it mean I'm not happy with Vicky? Oh, hell NO! I think she's great. I just look forward to a time when she's less busy. I'm trying to keep in mind that we've only known each other half a year. Yep, only half a year.

And it was our first Christmas. How weird it was.

First of all, Vicky is decidedly anti-"opening presents on Christmas Eve". She said, "When we have kids, we won't be able to." She's all business, that Vicky. Okay. Fine. But I really wanted to give her the gifts I bought.

The next morning, she woke me with her normal, "Ken, wake up!" She's like a drill-sergeant, as unromantic in the morning as John Phillip Sousa! Now, if she's said, "Honey, let's go open our presents," I would have been there in a heartbeat. As it was, I thought it was a work day… and I was in the army. I really didn't want to wake up. I hadn't slept well the night before. Insomnia kept me up until about 3:30 and then, at around 5am, I had a nightmare. (The house had burned down and we were being put up in a hotel and the pets had run away…. I woke up, and woke her up, asking her to help me find the pets.) So, I didn't sleep great.

But we went down and she opened her gifts, the highlight being an ear-ring/necklace combo that I was afraid she'd hate but she loved it. (Whew!) And Vicky surprised the hell out of me with a very romantic card and gift. I asked, "Why can't you be like this in real life?" I think she wants to keep me off balance.

We headed out shortly after that, making our way up to her parent's home. Now, again, this is weird. I'm really not used to this. They like me. See, when I was married to Rosa, her whole family hated my guts. I was the stuck-up gringo. It took them 12-13 years to accept me. But Vicky's family already welcomes me with opened arms… so, obviously, there must be something very wrong with them. And I hope it remains that way, cause I love it! It's amazing. And I know some of you must think I'm nuts to even mention it but this is entirely new to me. The night before, we'd visited my mom and Joe, who are both very welcoming of Vicky. That morning, I'd spoken with my dad and Blanche, who can't wait to meet her. And now, I walk into Steve and Noriko's home and even her brother comes over with a gift for me. How cool is that?

Now, this is a holiday set-up I'm not used to. A huge meal was made (and can I just mention how cool it is that my future Mom-In-Law is a chef?), we serve it up, and then everybody gathers around the TV to watched the Raiders play Kansas City. In my family, this would have been grounds for an argument - "We're going to sit around a table like a family! No television!" - but here it was a tradition. Oh, I can't wait for everyone to meet!

Then, we opened gifts. Again, very different. Every member of Vicky's family sets out to give the other a hard time. I mean, they tease the hell out of each other. In my family, teasing was grounds for therapy. It just wasn't allowed because, inevitably, somebody would start crying. (My family's not known for its thick skin.) So, when I first saw how difficult all of Vicky's family is with each other, I figured her family to be as dysfunctional as mine! But then, her brother gave her gift after gift and her dad gave her mom a gag gift with the real one hidden inside and I realized that they just have a sense of humor different from my own. To them, the teasing's all just a joke; it has no teeth. And out in the high desert, it was very warm that night.

We went home and I had another nightmare. (This time, my wallet was stolen and I bolted out of bed to find it… cause you never know.) Okay, so the home purchase has been on my mind of late…

And speaking of nightmares… I gave Vicky a set of this year's CDs… that's not the nightmare… and they had errors - that's the nightmare! Now, I'm trying to get them out in the mail to everyone but it looks like I have a quality problem (probably with the burner or the disks because my master copies are good) which might take a couple days to iron out. But the "Christmas 2004 collection" will be going out… honest…

Yesterday, Steve (Vicky's Dad) came by to see our place, and I got the feeling that "hunk of junk" might have encapsulated his opinion pretty well. Vicky and he both spent the day fixing the shower, hooking up the water line to the fridge, rehanging shower doors, and talking about all the other projects that are going to cost me more money than I could ever make in a lifetime but will be cheaper because we'll do it ourselves.

Meanwhile, I played Sims2 and tried to remain in a state of ignorance or, at least, denial. Yep, Vicky and I are really different.

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