I’m slowing a little this week, spending time with my family in enjoying our yearly tradition of Christmas Eve dinner and games. The day has started at around 8am, and split between my in-laws homes, is a typical functional/dysfunctional mix of human relations, the tone depending on who has gotten the most sleep, or has KP duty. But non-the-less we are all family, dogs, cats and all.
Lots of emotions are shared and the stress in minimal, you know, the usual distractions that happen in homes during the holidays. Oh, let’s say our food-frenzied Yorkshire, decides to jump for the rising rolls, bringing the tray and a rather large potted plant, soil and all, crashing to the floor. Or what if, after weeks of menu planning, it comes to mind that we forgot the Little Smokies?
So with sausage, terracotta and other last minute revision to our shopping list, barked at us my sister in law, Kathy, AKA the Queen of OCD (she proudly wears the title with regal honor), my brother-in-law, Steve, and I mount the sleigh to procure supplies, always a pleasant task at last light of holiday shopping and sister-in-law madness.
It’s 4pm; Steve and I are pulled away from our emerging food coma (what there’s enough food, isn’t there?). Thus creating the ultimate male internal conflict, I’m too tired to move, but food is involved.
So with the promise of an even larger assortment of hot snacks blared into our meal conquering minds, we hit our stride in embarking on our grocery quest, propelled by these encouraging words, (oh yeah, my wife has now joined the cheer section), “Dinner is at 5pm sharp, don’t be late.”
What, two men, the grocery store, Wal-Mart, and home, one hour… Right? That’s gonna happen!
Well, we blow it right out of the gate when we decide to meet the Schwan’s man.
Say hello to Paul, single father of one (I’ve got a lot of respect for single fathers)
The clock is ticking and Steve and I are in fear for our holiday wives, Opps, I mean holiday lives, and not wanting to bear the burden of being responsible for a delayed meal, we cut to the chase in interviewing Paul.
He is on the same page with us, the sun is setting, and knowing that his day started at 10:30am, we feel it right to free him to his life as soon as we can.
What I really like about Paul is his simplicity in comment. What he says is direct and to the point.
Words of council to the world,
“Love one another.”
Wishes for the future:
“I would like to see people be more thoughtful towards one another.”
That’s it, short and sweet.
We’ll see if his words stick. It’s 5:15pm. Yep, dinner is starting late… Wish us luck!