Sunday, December 11, 2011

598. Radiating Guilt

So I’m out to dinner with my Mommy Friends Group (code for Drinking Club) and a new acquaintance Amanda up and says something about “My Christmas cards are sitting on the dining room table, still in the packaging, radiating guilt.” I did what I always do when someone says something super-clever that I totally plan on plagiarizing for my blog later: I got out my tiny notebook and scribbled it down.

When I went to read it later, it didn’t look so much like “radiating guilt” as “rating gut.” That’s okay—I can read my own writing.

I thought about Amanda’s Christmas cards, already purchased. She is, like, five steps ahead of me. If her cards (that she already owns) are calling out to her, then mine (still at Target) are broadcasting: “MOV! If you don’t buy your cards this week, then:  A.) There won’t be a decent selection left, and you might in fact have to buy an assortment (gasp) and then all the cards being sent to friends on opposite coasts who don’t even know each other and will most likely never meet unless it is at your funeral will receive completely different cards! And B.) You are totally running out of time to write them in the first place, what is your problem, are you not really a Virgo anymore? I am totally calling the Administration of Horoscopers to get you fined or at least a warning.”

My (future) Christmas cards are not so much radiating guilt as broadcasting shame and screaming obscenities.

Last year was easy. I stuck the photo chip from the camera into some sort of magical photo card slot on the computer adapter, clicked a few keys starting with “Shutterfly,” and Voilà! beautiful cards with Tall and Short were mailed to me mere days later (in retrospect, I should’ve just paid the extra to have them mailed directly to the recipients).

This year is a different story. When I bought my new computer (you can come back and read that whole saga here), it did not have the special adapter thingamajig to upload photos and order from Shutterfly. I was forced to walk a block down the street (okay, I drove) to my favorite drug store and have them print up the photos. So that part is done, at least. (And this Christmas, it is not just the kids. For once, I am in the photo—as is The Husband—because I was having the rare occurrence, a “Good Hair Moment” and those types of events need to be celebrated and recorded. And oh, yeah, Tall lost about five baby teeth and the new ones sprouted in. And Short grew four inches in two days and is almost taller than Tall, I might have to switch their names.)

I show The Husband the wonderful photo we are using, and he says (typical male), “Why is the photo just loose and not part of a card? The ones we sent last year had the photo as part of the card. I think you bought them on Shutterplace or something like that? And as long as we’re talking about it, the one your cousin Jessica just sent is super-cool because on the back of the photo card it has her ‘Top Ten Highlights for 2011’—we should do that. And did you know one of her top tens was that she ran a marathon?”

The Husband gets a wistful look on his face, possibly thinking about how hot my cousin Jessica is and how she ran a marathon while his lovely wife (me) can only run three miles tops and that is if I am being chased, or possibly he is thinking about the time he ran a marathon (oh, goody, another story!) and wondering if I wrote that in the Christmas card that year.

“Sweetie,” I say through clenched teeth, “Jessica obviously has a lot of free time on her hands to run marathons and write perky Christmas cards …”

“She has five kids. The youngest is a baby.”

“Okay, well, I didn’t mean time so much as craziness. She is a Virgo.”

“You’re a Virgo.”

“You are totally missing the point. The point is, our stupid computer does not have the magical converter thing to do photos.”

I shrug, emphasizing my point. If our computer could read photo information, my life would be completely different and the cards would already be ordered, addressed, sent, received, and displayed.  Like Jessica’s.

“That’s not true, MOV. If you just press on that panel on the front of the hard drive, it opens up and that is where you put in your memory card. I’ll show you.”

We walk upstairs (well, he sprints because he wants to show off that he is right for once, and I lag behind as I hate hate hate being wrong, especially when it comes to anything electronical) and he shows me what he was talking about.

“See, MOV? Right here.” He points. “Our computer is really smart! It can do a lot of things!”

My computer does not radiate guilt. It radiates superiority.

*with thanks to Amanda for the inspirational phrase


  1. Your book is here! I dropped everything to quickly read through it. I'm not done yet but I love it!!!!! I also found my husband laughing after he found it on our bed. I'll try to comment on Amazon. I just don't want any english mistakes there.
    I'm considering sending one to a friend in CA. Mother of two boys. But now I am not so sure because I also got her perfect family picture Christmas card yesterday.

  2. By the way..I ran ONE marathon in 1999 in Chicago. That was our honeymoon trip. AH AH AH!

  3. Véronique,

    YAY! You made my day! I am so glad you love the book and that your husband is laughing after reading it, too. :) It would be fabulous if you want to comment on Amazon.

    As for your marathon, YOU GO GIRL! YOU ROCK!


  4. Personally, I'd be pretending that Jessica was drunk when she did the cards and mispelled a bunch of words.
    At least you do cards. Some of us don't even mess with them anymore and radiate guilt in an unhealthy sort of neon-nuclear way.

  5. I feel your angst. I'm converting to Judaism next year. I don't think cards are as important. I would miss my village though....

  6. I haven't done cards in 2 years, disguising laziness with environmental concern. I radiate...something. Probably bullshit.

  7. Um, well, I probably shouldn't say this here, but I did make photo cards, and a newsletter (with photos) and mailed all the cards on Dec. 1. Ok, you can hate me. Sorry. I'm a Leo. Does that count for anything?

    I don't think rating gut is something I want to experience.

  8. I have that same little book to write down clever little things. I'm still trying to figure out how to weave Penis Genius into a post.

  9. tuna-- uh, you just did?


  10. Jo--I wish Jessica misspelled something, like possibly her own name. No such luck. And not only is she gorgeous, smart, mom of five, younger than me, marathon runner... she is supremely NICE. I know! Why can't she just be bitchy so I can hate her?

    marianne--you will always have your village. It is covered with fake snow and tears of joy and wonder.

    kelly--see? this is why you are so smart. "Environmental concerns." Wish I woulda thought of it.

    couse--yes, it does count for something. Leos tend to be geniuses but can be (ahem!) show-offy. (They also have REALLY GOOD TASTE in the blogs they like to read-- ha!)


  11. *&*^WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY SHOW_OFFY?!(*(*^% (Aren't I pretty and festive and such?)

    Just in case you can't tell, I'm being sarcastic. Thanks for the "genius" nod -- not sure it applies, but being a Leo I like to hear people say nice things about me, true or not. ;-)


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