It’s beginning to look a lot like … FAILURE

Monday, November 9, 2009Koala Crop
Christmas Tini

I’ve decided that minty drinks really aren’t my thing.  Yes, you’d think I would have learned this after the Nyquil disaster of last week with the Broadway Martini, but I’m a slow learner.  Just ask Sue how I am with regard to acquiring boyfriends I shouldn’t be with and she’ll confirm the slow learner aspect.  And Monday evening proved to be a tough one. 

The day itself was okay, not the best.  I should have gone to yoga in the morning as I had planned but I was still nursing a sinus headache from the day before and figured Bikram Yoga in a 105-degree room wasn’t the best idea for that.  But I did get some work done on a book that an old boss of mine wants me to format for him, did laundry, sent out my usual “any news yet?” query regarding my security clearance for a job I applied for two months ago, and so on.  So the evening brings us to my 10-year-old son’s soccer practice.  His team is undefeated thus far and they’re now in playoffs.  I’m not sure how they remain undefeated but I’m glad he was able to be on a good team this time around and I think he is enjoying it.  It’s funny, his AYSO soccer team parents are such a contrast from the makeup of, say, the typical parents at his school, who are a lot more like the parents of the “Cardigan Club”, detailed in this delightful blog post I found recently:

The parents of the kids at my sons’ elementary school seem to be all happily married and a majority seem to consist of the stay-at-home Mom who, of course, is fully active in the PTA, volunteers in his/her child’s classroom and for all fundraising events, works out regularly, scrapbooks, chauffeurs little Junior or Missy to various sports and music practices, and only cooks organic or vegan foods.  These are also the same Moms that hang illegal U-turns in a Range Rover in front of the school during morning drop-off, while holding their cellphones to their ears, naturally.  Of course, that is only my perception.  I suspect that the parents who feel like total failures on this spectrum, such as myself, simply don’t bother to come to school events so they don’t have to be surrounded by this crowd.  Or maybe I’m the only one.  It’s hard to say.  I’ve never been one to fake a smile and socialize with people I really don’t have much in common with, and it could well be the Moms I have the most in common with at the school are the ones I never meet.

Now the soccer parents are a different story.  At a certain point, you pretty much meet all of them, because even if they just drop off their kids at practice and pick them up later, they do usually come to the games on Saturdays.  I think one kid on the team is being raised by his grandparents.  At least three others are there with a parent and a step-parent and a younger sibling who is a product of the second marriage.  A couple more just come with one (divorced) parent, usually Mom, and I think another one is usually there with his uncle.  All from different walks of life and different ethnic backgrounds.  Only one of the kids on the team goes to Sean’s school, the rest are from different schools in the area.  One of the kids on the team has come to my house for a playdate with Sean after a couple of the games on Saturdays and seems to think my house (4 bedrooms, 3 baths, 1800 square feet, 2 stories) is a palace.  When he found out I was unemployed he suggested that I could clean houses like his Mom does, and also that he heard Burger King was hiring.  You have to smile at the innocence and naivete of a a child who can’t quite understand that not all jobs are created equal, and if I’m seriously thinking about going from the $43 an hour job I had in the spring to minimum wage, well, there’s a lot of places I’d rather work than Burger King.  In ‘N Out, for instance.  But I don’t think either of those would even come close to paying a $2500/month mortgage. 

Anyway, for whatever reason, this just ended up being a sh*tty day all around.  I think what really triggered me, though, was talking about Thanksgiving plans with the kids during the breaks in my son’s soccer practice.  This year, their Dad gets the kids for Thanksgiving day/dinner – one of those holidays we trade off every year.  He also gets Christmas Eve this year and I get them back on Christmas morning.  I finally started thinking about all this and realized that, figuring my brother would have turkey day with his girlfriend and her kids, my boyfriend would spend the day with his (grown) kids, his brothers, his mom, and most likely his wife (yes, he’s still married, but separated), and with my kids over at their Dad’s house, that leaves yours truly sitting at home with a martini, a turkey sandwich, and four cats on Thanksgiving Day.  Not exactly a cheery thought.  Oh yeah, and probably still unemployed and worried about money, paying the mortgage, and how I am going to be able to get my kids anything for Christmas.

I pretty much always had crap Christmasses as a kid, usually because my mom would find some way to pick a fight and ruin it all.  But I still hold onto this naive notion that Christmas is supposed to me more than that, and that somehow everyone is supposed to be happy and harmonious, loving and forgiving, at least at that time of year.  Like the families I always saw in the Sears Wish Book where Mom and daughters had the matching velvet dresses and the guys all wore plaid shirts, and Dad got one of those red rolling multi-drawer toolboxes for a gift and was ecstastic, while Mom was totally stoked with her new iron or electric mixer and the kids got trucks and dolls and Lincoln Logs. 

By the time we got home and I got the kids fed, I figured maybe, just maybe, a sprightly Christmas Tini was the just the ticket to lift me out of the doldrums. I even found a random candy cane in one of my junk drawers to use for a garnish.  Granted, I suspect it was probably well over a year old but hey, they’re wrapped in plastic.  How does one tell if a candy cane has gone bad?  I kept trying to hum the “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas” song in my head.  Originally performed by Perry Como, re-done by Johnny Mathis, and became a big hit after it was included in the soundrack for Home Alone 2.  The weather is finally cooling down in San Diego, in a few more weeks I can start using my fireplace more often at night, and by jove, it will feel like Christmas. 

So I mixed up my Christmas Tini – 6 parts vodka, 1 part dry vermouth, 1 teaspoon peppermint schnapps – same recipe as Sue’s earlier one but with vodka instead of vermouth.  Can’t go wrong with that, right?  WRONG.  This just didn’t work for me.  No, it didn’t taste like Nyquil (nor look like it, the drink is clear save for the festive candy cane garnish), but I couldn’t help be reminded of mouthwash.  Maybe mint drinks and I are just not cut out for each other.  I like mint in my gum, my toothpaste, on my breath and in my mouthwash, and by and large, that’s about it.  While I’m sure it’s a fine drink for others, I give it only a three star rating.  Did it lift my spirits?  No.  Drown them in alcohol?  No.  I could only legitimately say that if I’d had more than one, and I stopped at one, had myself a good cry for the evening after the kids were in bed, and went to sleep.  Tomorrow is always another day … and a another cocktail!



~ by rachelroust on November 13, 2009.

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