22 December 2006
Saint Nick the Louse
Marc’s gone again today (no surprise there I guess). While we were discussing his next round of meetings (“It’s the last one for this group this year!” he said, with forced optimism), he asked me what time LeClerc opens. Me thinks the elves have fallen down on the job again. He also asked a bunch of questions about things I added on my not-too-cryptic Dear Satan Claws letter. “What’s Madagasgar about?” “It’s a funny movie. I think Eddy Murphy did it.” “Never heard of it.” (Has he been living under a rock?!) (No, don’t answer that.) “It’s kinda like the Âge de Glace.” “That’s a cartoon. “Yep.” “But you said it’s got Eddy Murphy.” “He does a voice or something.” “Oh…” At which point I imagine the poor, lost, and pitifully so because he’s still sick, man stumbling upon the DVD in his rush to get in and out of the stores in France days before Christmas and freaking the fuck out because it’s not at all what he expected. In which case I’d have probably ended up with a DVD of badly made lesbian porn. Sadly, that’s still a possibility.

We’re expected to put in our annual appearance at the in-laws for Christmas dinner Monday afternoon. I volunteered to make the entrées this year because it’s something I love doing and I am purty darn good at. The Evil MIL accepted my offer and then kindly informed me that “making” the entrées means, basically, putting crap on a platter. She’s buying everything and I get to make it look pretty. There just seems to be something missing in the “making” part. So we’re probably going to be stuck with the same round of cold cuts and cornichons that we usually get, with a plate of smoked salmon tossed in to be elegant. I must really resist the temptation to hide all of her groceries in the freezer and do something really fun and elegant and… (dare I say it) TASTY, but here, change is bad, bad, bad. I can only imagine the war we’ll have (war? OK battle of wills) when and if we ever get our house done and we try to convince her to have the dinner there as it’s so much bigger and they’re expecting two more grandkids between now and then.

I’ll just save all my kitchen ingenuity for New Years when we have “real” people coming, ones who not only appreciate good food, but have come to expect it here. Menu planning for that shall get me through Christmas’s Arrange-an-Entrée nightmare. Gah.

My Christmas shopping is done and has been done for a while. Even the wrapping part is all taken care of, except for the two gifts we got Marc that Minion 1 unwrapped. I know he’s just practicing, but I had them wrapped perfectly. Which brings me to my rant. Am I the only one who finds the French way of gift wrapping, what’s the word I’m looking for?…Messy? All of my gifts are wrapped with the paper cut to the correct size, seams hidden as much as possible, ribbon and paper coordinated with recipient. Here, things are wrapped up like meat in a butcher shop—or like sandwiches in a NY deli, which I swear is the first thing that came to mind when someone in France gave me a gift. I thought it was just this person, but all gifts are done that way here: paper rolled up on top, folded down on the sides and tied with string/ribbon. Grr. I get the feeling it will be the gift wrap more than anything else that kills the Satan Claws mystery in our house.

I am so looking forward to Monday morning. My camera batteries are charging, the memory card cleared, trash bags strategically placed to catch all the flying paper. Minion 1 will have a blast this year, and Minion 2 will surely enjoy being allowed to shred paper. Christmas is as close as little kids get to orgasms, and I want them to enjoy it thoroughly. It’ll make acepting those lesbian porn DVDs easier.
posted by Doc at 06:50 | Permalink |


  • At 07:53, Blogger Linda

    Everyone here that gives me gifts use those handy gift sacks so I haven't seen evidence of bad wrapping.
    Traditions are rather cement like here, I think. We were having people over for dinner once and instead of the usual champagne-don't get me wrong I love it, but must we have it every time?-I suggested making margaritas. My husband was shocked and a little panicky. It turned out, when I finally served some margaritas, that they French guests loved them. And, I am not a fan of salmon, but every home I ate at, had it as an appetizer. I never serve it. I'm with you-I like change and good food.

  • At 20:48, Blogger Wendz

    Darlin'..you just do as you want and hide those nasty little 'amuse bouches' in the trash and make something divine. Pffft! They have no fucking imagination here. If it's Christmas it has to be salmon, snails and fishyor creamy/cheesy stuff. Gah!

    So you got The Man his pressie eh! Cool! I have to dash out tomorrow and get something for my Mom - I dragged her around today and had a look at what she admired so I could have an idea of what to buy. She drooled over a cream cardigan with a fake fur collar and a silk scarf so voila! it will take me a minute.

    If I don't get a chance later - have yourself a smashing Christmas. Wish I could be there for New Year but Mom will still be here. POst your NY menu OK! So I can drool from afar.



  • At 09:40, Blogger Deb

    I can't wait to be able to go Christmas shopping for our little one! I say that now, but I am sure when the time comes it's going to be a nighmare!

    A lot of people are going to the in-laws for Christmas this year....myself included. Unlike you though, I can't cook. My MIL can, but she decided to get our meal catered this year. Nice!

    If you don't post again before Christmas.....I wish you and your family a happy one! ;o)

  • At 10:46, Blogger Pam

    You do realize, of course, that I am not able to ever have any liquid reading your blog as my laughter would cause a not very pretty spray all over my keyboard?!

    Happy Holidays to you and your family!

  • At 08:29, Blogger meredith

    Your stories make me laugh Doc. My MIL comes to our house now for Christmas, but just in case the food I make is weird, she shows up with a dinner bis. Merry Christmas!