Baby, It’s Cold Outside
Dear Aunt Bossy,
You usually come off like a combination of Mother Theresa and Little Mary Sunshine, with all your do-good advice and insane positive thinking, and I want you to spare me that crap, but you do seem to have some experience and common sense, so I am turning to you for advice.
I hate this time of year. I have no close family, need nothing material, and don’t think anyone except my grandkids need any more material stuff either. I send them funny socks from Lulu Burgess.
The only celebrations I get invited to are mob scenes where everybody is invited or those pathetic get-togethers for people like me. Ugh.
I do get depressed with the knowledge that everyone else seems to have the “Christmas Spirit,” whatever that is. I don’t like being depressed, and I hate missing out on fun things, even if I don’t really know what they are.
Please, please, please, do not advise me to visit the sick, count my blessings, go to church, volunteer at a soup kitchen, or take in a stray animal. I’m already depressed without those burdens.
PS. The news that the lyrics from the great Frank Loesser song, “Baby it’s Cold Outside” are being changed because they encourage a “rape culture” has nearly put me over the edge.
Dear Madame Grinchette,
I will resist asking you if you are like this all the time, or if the full Moon and the combination of two holidays full of gratitude and love are just too much for you to handle. And, of course, being French only complicates things.
However, even curmudgeons are people, so let me give this a try.
To begin, you have to decide if you can bear to leave the house and come in contact with people busy pulling together what seem to be perfect family celebrations, or if you prefer the misery of your own company. If you are willing to leave the house, you should drive to Hilton Head to the always obnoxious Fresh Market. That will relieve you of any idea that perhaps you are mistaken in your disgust for crass materialism and frantic shopping, and you will be able to find the best Stilton, which is most probably unavailable in Beaufort, and is a key ingredient for Christmas.
You need that Stilton (which must be eaten with a spoon from an earthenware pot) to go with the bottle(s) of Port you will pick up from that nice French fellow in the liquor department at Publix.
You’ll also need to make a stop at The Chocolate Tree to pick up some sweets, and various food vendors for whatever else you consider indulgent.
The next step is to sit down at your computer (you don’t want to risk a breakdown by doing this at a brick and mortar shop) and order flannel or fleece pajamas or a silk negligee, depending upon your style or sexual orientation, and perhaps some socks or slippers to complete the ensemble. The extra charge for overnight delivery is well worth your privacy.
After that, stop by Nevermore books and pick up something wonderful to read. If you haven’t already read it, try Terry Sweeney’s “Irritable Bowels and the People Who Give You Them.” His family will make you feel like a member of the Von Trapp Family on Christmas Eve.
You are now all set for a fabulous time. In fact, just writing about this makes me rethink my plans. So far all I have scheduled is one of those big group parties and another one for people like me.
You didn’t ask about New Year’s Eve. I’m glad. That would be too horrible to consider. In fact, if you have any ideas, pass them along.
Pax Vobisum, and Hairy Merry from Aunt Bossy.
Note to Readers: Thank you so much for being there with our publisher and editor, Jeff Evans and the great Margaret Shinn Evans , writer and editor extraordinaire, and the rest of my writer friends and me. It is a wonderful thing to run into you about our lovely town and get acknowledged for our dedication to informing, amusing, and stimulating you. I am honored to be even a small part of your life.
Have a Merry Christmas and/or Lovely Holiday of your choice. We all have so much to celebrate.
Aunt Bossy is Susan Murphy, an internationally known Communication Skills Coach who adores spending every winter and spring in Beaufort. Ask for advice at firstname.lastname@example.org