All those times I complained in the summer…
“It’s too hot…man, I hate it.”
“What, no air-conditioning? I’m staying home.”
“All I do is sweat all day…this is crazy. Where is the ice cream man? I need ice cream…STAT.”
I take it back…you hear me summer? I take it back! Please come back. Where are you sun? It’s cold. I see you, but something is blocking you…something is blocking your precious warming rays from my poor, frostbitten bald head. I think it’s called Winter..or something like that.
I don’t like sweaters…and now I have to wear them every day. And I don’t have many sweaters…so my sweater rotation game is not strong. And I notice you are gone because my PG&E bill is huge. But, i have to make that decision, either we live polar bears in igloos…or continue to pretend we don’t have to walk around the house with layers and layers of clothes covered in blankets.
But, winter isn’t all bad. Because Santa is here. Making appearances all over the world. And one of Santa’s biggest fans couldn’t be more excited.
The magic is real and I love it. Santa is definitely a rock star in our house. And her Christmas list for Santa is ready to go.
“Santa, I want a Science kit…to do experiments.”
Whoa, what? Are you sure you are my kid? A christmas gift..to do work? Are you feeling well? Did we forget to get your flu shots done?
Sadly, this is really what she wanted. I asked her if she wanted any toys…and she said no. But, I guess it’s ok for my little one to grow up to be a scientist…and not a procrastinating video game addict like me.
But, along with the man in red comes other happy things. Like food. And this is a holiday tradition for me:
I eat one of these bad boys once a year…and it’s that time of the year. After driving around for hours looking for parking…and standing in lines…and watching adults melt down and get angry for nothing…I eat one of these to calm my nerves…and my stomach.
I know what you are thinking.
“Whoa..that looks really good. But, only once a year? Why? Why deny yourself this happiness? Aren’t we meant to be happy, Dan? Don’t you want to be happy?”
And I would say:
“Yes, once a year. And yes, I always want to be happy…but have you had one of these things before? After you eat one of them, they literally sit in your stomach for a year. I think my body is still digesting last year’s Cinnabon.”
But, seriously, I love this time of year. The Christmas songs…the smell of chimneys…the walking around at the malls to look at stuff that I will probably never buy. Have you ever been in a Brookstone store? I go in there all the time…and have never ever left with a Brookstone product in my hand. Besides, I have other things to spend money on, like more food.
I spend as much time at the mall as I can during this time of the year. Why? Yes, it can be annoying…and crowded. But, I think under all that stress…and outward anger that people may feel during this time…is a little kid, excited about christmas. Memories are made during this time of the year…like the one I had after I bought the Cinnabon I showed earlier.
I sat down to enjoy this miracle of Christmas and received a beep on my phone. My wife was calling me.
“Where are you? We are at McDonald’s….Bug wanted a Happy Meal.”
“On my way.”
I packed up my treasure and thought that McDonald’s fries would go great with this meal. I found my family and sat next to them. I finished my Cinnabon and started to clean up our area. I looked in my daughter’s McDonald’s bag and started to put my trash in it…but noticed something hiding in there…something near the bottom of the bag…one lone french fry. A poor french fry that somehow was left out of this meal. A french fry that was meant to be enjoyed by someone. To fulfill its destiny…who am I to deny this french fry its destiny? So, I grabbed it…and rejoiced outloud.
“WINNER WINNER…woohooo last fry! All mine!”
And ate it…I chewed it happily…but the happiness was short lived as I watched my wife laughing in front of me.
I was confused.
“When we first sat down, Bug took her apple slices and fries out of the bag…and that particular fry fell down on the ground along with a couple of apple slices. That thing has been on the ground for a good half hour. I picked it up before you got here to clean up the floor. And you just ate it.”
I felt horror….and my mind started to wander.
I imagined how many people have walked into McDonald’s and sat in this very spot…who stepped on that very spot that that lone french fry laid on…where have those peoples’ shoes been? What if some worker had mopped that specific area…right after they mopped up a mess in the bathroom…and all the germs that stampeded onto that poor french fry. And now all those germs are all dancing in my stomach.