The other night I was putting the finishing touches on my homemade Christmas decoration for work. The contest: make a creative homemade Christmas decoration or ornament using at least one item from your work area. Tricky assignment for me who works with women who wet their pants...
But I rose to the challenge and turned a specimen pan (the kind that slips under a toilet seat and collects urine) into a hot tub for Santa and Rudolph complete with a rectal probe Christmas tree.
Anyhow, while cursing the fact my probe tree wouldn't glue to the plastic pan (suture saved the day) my daughter text messaged my phone out of the blue --
Her: I'm a plescatarian now
I sighed with relief. We raised her Lutheran and she turned Catholic when she got married. I was Ok with that. I mean I always considered being Lutheran kind of like being Catholic Lite. But a couple of weeks ago she announced she was going to be Buddhist. "Relax", I told my husband. "She is newly divorced and just rebelling against anything her ex-husband participated in. It won't last long". I texted her back --
Me: I think that you will find it fits you better than worshiping Buddha. What is it? A cross between a Presbytarian and an Episcopalian?
Her: It's not a religion, Mother, and yes I'm still studying Buddhism. I just don't eat meat anymore, only fish.
Her: I can't bring myself to eat anything that caused suffering to another being, but I can't give up sushi.
Me: I wasn't aware that fish were offered a valium when pulled from the water....
Her: So we'll be eating Cuban grilled fish when you are here Christmas Eve. I'm starting a new tradition and each year the kids and I will adopt a new country to study and enjoy the cuisine. They can eat turkey blah blah at their dad's house.
Suddenly the memory of the last time I talked my husband into taking me to a pricey seafood restaurant sprang to mind. He doesn't really care much for fish, but can tolerate shrimp once in a while. The first thing he said when we entered the restaurant was "It smells like fish in here"!
"Really? What was your first clue"? I replied a little sarcastically.
I noticed when we were seated and perusing the menu that he was beginning to look a little pale. He shut the menu abruptly and asked me to just order him some shrimp. I got the Chilean sea bass. We hadn't taken two bites of our entrée when he suddenly stood up and bolted for the door. I summoned the waitress to box up our remaining food, paid the bill, and left only to find him throwing up all over the front steps of the restaurant. I saw people turning around in disgust and walking back to their cars. I knelt down beside him and asked couldn't he have made it to our car - or at least some place - somewhere away from the FRONT steps? All the while I was waving my styrofoam box around his head. He looked up at me and proclaimed:
"EXCUUUUUUUSE ME FOR BEING SICK! AND DON'T EVEN THINK THAT YOU ARE TAKING THAT SMELLY FISH INTO THE CAR"! I chucked the $25.00 Chilean sea bass into the bushes...
I texted my daughter back --
Me: You will cause your father to suffer.
Her: He can grill a steak. I'm trying to establish my own traditions. Humor me. PLEASE
I broke it to my husband, hollering down the stairs to where he was watching TV:
"Your daughter is a plescatarian now".
"You were right" he replied, "The whole Buddhist thing was a phase"
Oh little does he know....
Despite the knowledge that my Christmas dinner would not be my white wine and butter basted turkey with twice baked sweet potatoes, I rustled up some Christmas spirit as I finished my decoration and started writing a little poem to go with it. After all, I thought, Christmas is about celebrating Christ's birth with your loving family. Not about what we eat.
Twas The Day After Christmas
Twas the day after Christmas and Santa was done.
It was time to relax. It was time to have fun!
So he filled up the hot tub and called, "Come on Mrs. C"!
As he sank into the bubbles -- it was pure ecstasy!
He closed his eyes and laid back letting his thoughts scatter
When all of a sudden he heard a great clatter!
Hooves on the hot tub -- right before Rudolph jumped in --
Landing with a splash right up to his chin.
"Oh no"! Santa cried. "You're not invited"!
But Rudolph narrowed his eyes and refused to be slighted.
"Hold the phone, Fat Man -- I seem to recall
A certain someone promising me ANYTHING at all
If I'd guide his sleigh that foggiest night"!
At that Santa laughed and said, "You are Right"!
"You not only saved Christmas, but therefore my rear,
So enjoy a good soak, Rudolph my Dear".
And to all who are reading this, I have one thing to say ---
Ho Ho Hope that you have a GREAT holiday!
(Even if it means eating Cuban grilled fish....)