Ahhh, the holidays. They have always been my favorite time of the year, despite the fact that every Christmas something catastrophic happens to me, and also, I don’t believe in Jesus. I have never let this stop me from decorating, caroling, buying presents, and hoping that I wake up to find that I was, indeed, adopted.
This year is extra special, because of little Mavbling. I am not going to let the fact that he is at the developmental stage in his life where he actively tries to eat his hands stop me from acting like he will remember this holiday season for the rest of his life.
I am, as you can see, an optimist.
A large part of the Holidays are Holiday Parties. We know how much mindbling loves a party, so you can imagine how much I was looking forward to Hot Mama’s Tacky Sweater Party. If I love a party, I want to marry a theme party. They are my favorite. Since neither I nor Mavrick actually owned any tacky holiday sweaters, I was going to have to go buy some.
And what better place to buy them than the bastion of tacky itself, Walmart. There are several things I will buy at Walmart. Food, health and beauty items, electronics, pet supplies, home décor… basically everything BUT clothes. It reminds me too much of growing up poor. When everyone else was wearing Jams, a hot clothing item from the late 80s that looked like tropical clam diggers, my mother could only afford to go to Kmart and get me a pair of Gams. I, unaware of the difference between the two, blissfully wore them to school and was teased so bad that my face burns to think about it to this day. Lesson learned.
I will, however, ironically buy a festive holiday sweater from Walmart. Because they have racks and racks of that shit. I went and purchased myself a bedazzled red sweater vest, festooned with snowmen, snowflakes, and all things wintery. I looked at the men’s section, but there were no male festive holiday sweaters, a fact that actually surprised me.
I get home, show Mavrick my purchase, and he says, Why didn’t you get me one? Well dear, they didn’t have any men’s. Ok, he says, so get me a women’s XXL. I guess he figured if he was going to wear a festive holiday sweater from Walmart, he might as well cross dress while he’s at it.
The next day, Saturday, jr. and I go to Walmart. People. If you don’t NEED to go a Walmart on a Saturday during the holidays, don’t. And I mean really need. Like, someone is going to die if you don’t go. The place was a mad house. I was stabby before I even parked. Not a good sign.
We make our way through the polyestered masses to the women’s section. Parked in front of the rack of holiday sweaters were three very large, very loudly dressed women. They had their carts set up like a blockade, lest someone reach the wall of holiday sweaters before they decided on a purchase.
In the day since I had been there, there had apparently been a run on festive holiday sweaters. There were hardly any left. I make my way through carts and flesh, only to discover there are only two XXL vests left; a black one with poinsettias, and the same vest I had. I decided that if we were going to do this, we might as well match. I reached for the red vest.
At the exact same time as the tallest, fattest, most wearingest purple of the group did. Our hands reached the vest at the same time, and a tug of war commenced. I look back to jr. He had panic in his eyes, and I could see him desperately searching for something to use as weapon, lest this woman attack. “Excuse me!”, the woman said. As if that would make me drop my vest. MY vest. I actually heard myself say, “I had it FIRST.”
Okay. Now I have just become the person that says that. Over a festive holiday sweater from Walmart. A sane person would have let it go and taken the black poinsettia vest. Except. Except one of the other women had already taken it and was in the process of trying it on over her festive holiday sweatshirt, complete with the eyelet collar.
These women were serious. They were here to get these sweaters, and wear these sweaters. And not to some holiday party either. They were going to wear them, and brush their cats, and make their cats wear festive holiday sweaters, while they made jello molds and fruitcakes for the church bake sale, with the Dr. Phil Holiday Special on in the background.
Leaving this store alive, with the goddamn vest, was not going to be easy. I steeled myself for battle. She gripped the vest with both hands, and was preparing to yank it, when my salvation came, in the form of her friend. “Sheila,” she said, “you have GOT to see these festive holiday Garfield sweatshirts!”
My adversary, Sheila, was distracted enough that I was able to wrest the vest from her talon-like grip. Before she could react, I spun around, grabbed the cart, and starting fleeing down the aisle, calling for jr, who had by now hidden himself in the Jaclyn Smith collection rack.
We did it! We sprinted to the check out. I had jr. keep a look out while we were rung up. Sheila was no where to be seen. We made our way back to the car, triumphant.
And that, my friends, is how Mavrick and I came to look like this for Hot Mama’s party:
Did we win? No. Did we care? No. Because by the time the contest happened, we were too drunk to really know that there even was a contest. We had a great time, and I got the vest, and that’s all that matters.
I hope that you are all enjoying your holidays. I hope your season is filled with love, laughter, joy, and enough booze to medicate yourself into a state of calm when your mom starts asking you if you are ever going to get married.