Today I had an adventure. I borrowed my dad's car keys and left the house by myself. It's the first time I've gone anywhere by myself since Labor Day weekend, when I drove to the airport in Houston and got on the plane. It's only the second time I've been behind the wheel since then.
It was pretty damn scary at first. Almost three months is a long time to go without driving on doing anything independently. I was way out of practice. The fact that I was driving someone else's car didn't help. (My car is long gone. sniffle.)
Mom was in a foul mood this morning, and apparently all day yesterday, too. (I missed yesterday. After all the company and Thanksgiving hoopla, I declared Sunday an I'm In My Room, Leave Me Alone day.) She was upset because she thought she would have all the house done, and there are still boxes everywhere, and she can't find her Christmas stuff, and she was MAD. So while the 'rents went to the Social Security office to get stuff straightened out, I went shopping.
The two things she specifically mentioned were her Christmas mugs, which she always puts out first thing and are very important to her, and the Advent wreath. I found some cheap mugs at Michael's, so I was able to take care of that, but the Advent wreath was a bust.
Michael's had undecorated, do-it-yourself Advent wreathes for a while, but they were sold out when I got there. And they had one pre-decorated one, but it was way over the top and fugly. The whole things was covered with purple flowers and white things crusted with glitter. She would have appreciated the thought (and she damn well better if I'm spending 25 bucks for the ugly thing), but she'd rather die than have something that over done and ugly on her table.
I went to four other places-- four!-- and none of them had ever heard of an Advent wreath. Even Hobby Lobby, which is Christianville USA, didn't have them or know what they were . I was beginning to feel like a freak. I'm not the only one in the world, aside from Michael's Happy Glue Gun Lady, who knows what these things are, right?
One of these puppies. Light a candle every Sunday in Advent. You've seen these, right? I know a lot of people don't go in for the religious aspect of Christmas. I can't say I worry about it too much myself. But I grew up with one of these on my table for as far back as I can remember. My family can't be total weirdos. There have to be Advent wreaths out there somewhere. It's just so bizarre to me that I spoke to at least 7 people in 4 different stores, stores that carry all kinds of Christmas decorations and people who work in and stock those departments, and not a one of them even knew what an it was. Very strange. I knew that Indiana was the Twilight Zone, but come on.
Anyway, even though I couldn't lay my hands on a non-fugly Advent wreath, I did find a few other Christmassy things to brighten up the place. One was a small pillow that says "Those who don't believe get underwear." I was highly amused and had to have it right away. The fact that it was on sale helped. I got a magnet with a snowman on it that says "snow". (I collect magnets, so it's always exciting to find a new one.) And I bought a set of blocks that spell out the word "joy". Mom has a set of acrobatic elves that spell "Joy" that she always puts on the piano. My brother and I delight in scrambling them, so that they say "oyj" instead. One year I hid the J, so it just said "oy!", which I found highly amusing. So I took the blocks and put them on the piano, out of order, of course. So far Mom has noticed the mugs, which she couldn't help but notice since I put one at her place at the table, and the pillow, which she also couldn't help but notice because it was on the couch right where she planned to sit. No one has noticed the magnet or the blocks yet.
The weather is supposed to be cold and crappy for the next several days (plus I totally wore myself out shopping and will need a couple of days of rest to recover), so I think that's all the stealth decorating for a little while. I may call Michael's and see if a new shipment of the undecorated Advent wreaths have come in. If they have, I may pick up one of their decorated wreaths for the front door, too. There was one there that I liked. And maybe I'll get a fake poinsettia, if I can find one that's bushy enough. (Not a real one if I can avoid it-- they're poisonous to cats, and Trouble is dumb enough to eat the whole damn thing.)
This place may start to look a lot like Christmas, whether Mom finds any of her decorations or not!