Posted on | December 25, 2011 | 4 Comments
Today’s the fifth day that I’ve been on the east coast visiting the boyfriend. I’m here til the 2nd…it’s an extended trip for the holidays. Most of the folks at my job take off during this time. We’re fortunate that our job gives us 4 days off during this period. I haven’t really been at the job long enough to take many vacations days off, but our company is rather informal about vacation days. We don’t accrue vacation time: we just take off when we need to. This benefits the company in that we can’t accumulate vacation time (vacation time is a debit in accounting “books”) and when someone leaves there’s nothing to be paid out. So you take as much time off as you can, and keep track of it to make sure you’re taking your fair share of it.
I spent quite a bit flying back here. My ticket was one that was quite flexible. I was scheduled to fly back on Thursday, via Chicago, but I saw that they were due for some snow so I rerouted through Denver. Then Denver was projected to have a 90% chance of snow starting on Wednesday afternoon, maxing out on Thursday. So I change again. This time through Denver (no other choices) but a day early. Well, the vacation gods decided to shit on me all the same. My flight was delayed in Denver for 4 or 5 hours and rather than arriving in Philly at 6PM, I think I found myself in baggage around 11PM or some late hour. The other half was peevish as he had an early morning drive into NYC. I was supposed to go with him, but I was so wiped out that I slept til 11AM the next day.
The last few days have been filled with errands, buying and wrapping presents for his children. Last night we had a lovely dinner in downtown Philadelphia with the boys who were amazingly well behaved for their years. I was elated as we were in quite a nice place – I think we had no less than 5 people attending to our table.
This morning the boys woke us up at 7:30AM. I was disappointed that they woke up so early as we’d kept them up late and had hoped they would sleep in. But no. No sleep for the weary.
This household here is a bit mixed with this holiday. My boyfriend’s ex is Jewish and doesn’t really do Christmas well. In addition to other presents, the boyfriend’s mother (grandma) had given each of the boy wallets for Christmas with $100 in them. The mother quickly took the money and proclaimed that they would lose it and it needed to go into a bank account. She put the money into her own personal wallet. We both protested as she (the mother) had depleted the children’s bank accounts years ago to pay her own personal bills and never replenished it (or at least this is the story conveyed to me). She’s terrible with money – she has trouble paying her tax bills but seems to have personal deliveries from Rue_La_La at least once a week). It was also odd that she would abscond the children’s presents – what would we tell the boyfriend’s mother? We protested and pretty much put our feet down on the matter and said that we’d take care of the money. She opened up her wallet and threw down the money. “They will lose it. 100% guarantee of that!” My own personal take is that the money has a lot better chance surviving with US than it does with her.
While I left the room to dispose of Christmas wrappings in the recycle bin, apparently they “got into it” and she retreated upstairs to her room. When I returned, the boyfriend was holding his head. I asked what was wrong and he was quiet. “She’s still griping over the money?” and he affirmed she was.
So we returned to the last few presents. I’d bought her a set of hand-painted drink coasters that an artist friend in Austin had made for me. It was the perfect present because she constantly complains that people are putting cups and glasses on her antique Chinese furniture (her greasy pizza boxes and kid’s popcorn kernels don’t seem to bother her though). They are quite lovely and were quite pricey for what they are. Each one is signed and dated and the set of four came in a pretty purple velvet bag (which is her favorite color). I know a lot of work went into these. I hate to feel ungrateful, but I was a bit miffed that her present to me was clearly something she regifted to me (some fuzzy white socks with pink bows on them – something I know she’d never buy in a million years. They were something that you would see in a “dollar store” – a dollar store that she would never set foot in).
There’s more…but I think I need to lay down and sleep a bit.
Hope your Christmas is merry and filled with love!