Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Christmas. In Quotes.

I like to think of myself as a good writer. But sometimes, this Christmas for example, my friends and family can tell the story better than I can.

"Why don't you get him something for his garage? He looooooves hanging out in his garage.
" --my friend Lindsay on what to get my brother for Christmas.

I got him a dart board (for his garage, of course).
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"Well, you only go around once," -my Dad about going overboard on gifts.

"You better hurry up, because I'm going to be listening to Fox News and you don't want me to get brainwashed." -my Mom when she reluctantly dropped me off at the busy mall to pick up one more Christmas gift.
"Dad, that gift is way too big for those little bows." -Me
"Well, I was sort of thinking I could do a collage." -my Dad

Honestly, his "collage" consisted of three bows scattered randomly on the front of the gift. My dad and I could make a Father-Daughter wrapping presents reality show. I believe it would be highly entertaining.

"She uses really bad language. You know, like you." -my Mom describing her friend's daughter who she says tells hilarious stories. What Christmas is complete without hearing about your parents' friends' kids? I mean, really?

"This says I live in Alabama." -my brother Jeff

Whoops. I wrote the wills my dad requested but wrote the wrong state.

"I think Jeff might quit drinking in 2012." -my sister-in-law Katie
"Well, have fun with that." -my Dad

"I think there is something wrong with this hoop. It's not heavy enough. Or maybe I'm just heavier." -my Mom

I bought everyone hula hoops for Christmas this year. They were a hit. For at least 15 minutes.
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"This thing is so powerful it'll suck your toenails off." -my Dad

"The guy told me it's the nicest vacuum you've never heard of." -my Dad

"I just watched my Dad vacuum the floor with my brother's new vacuum and was highly entertained. I think this is rock bottom." -Me in an email to a friend.

All of these quotes are in reference to the biggest hit of Christmas, my brother and Katie's new vacuum cleaner. That's right, we have now reached the age that we are not only receiving vacuum cleaners as Christmas gifts, but we are also blissfully excited about them.

"Stephanie, you need to buy a house." -my Dad
"I know, but what if I decide to leave Atlanta?" -Me
"You've been saying you're leaving Atlanta for five years." -my Dad

"Well that's bullshit." -my Mom on her fortune at the local Chinese restaurant. The fortune said, "Turn your thoughts within. Find yourself." This quote was both funny and shocking, because my mom almost never says "bad" words.

"That key lime pie is on time." -Katie
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I hope your Christmas was "on time" as well. Please share your favorite quote from your celebration.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas to Me.

Despite getting completely out of hand while shopping for others during the holiday season (I almost bought my dad a Pabst Blue Ribbon t-shirt the other day, certain that it's EXACTLY what he needed), I've managed to keep it together when it comes to purchasing things for myself.

But this Christmas, I did something I've never done. Say hello to my new friend; my very first self-bought Christmas present.


Isn't she lovely?

I'd been thinking about investing in a good camera for a while, ever since I lost my POS point-and-shoot in the snowy streets of New York in January. And because I think and obsess over doing things for months and months and then pick the most expensive month of the year to actually bite the bullet, it's only natural that I'd buy the camera just weeks before Christmas.

There were several challenges that almost prevent this purchase -- I thought that the universe was conspiring against me for my poor timing. But I refused to let a less than intelligent saleswoman, a personal in-store freak out about spending this money on myself during the month of December, and a domestic dispute at Best Buy that involved quite a few F-bombs and all of the shopping center's rent-a-cops rushing to the scene to prevent me from establishing my new tradition.

I pushed through. And now this beauty belongs to me.

We're still getting to know each other and I have a lot to learn. IMG_0059

But we've already shared some good times. Some laughs, even.

Merry Christmas to me. And a very Merry Christmas to you.


And while you're here, avoiding your family, you must tell me, what's the best Christmas present you ever bought yourself? Please, because I'm starting to feel bad.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Funnies

A few weeks ago, my dad sent me his Christmas list (I realize that we're adults and are probably too old to write lists, but the Gallmans are list people; we always have been) and it seemed pretty standard: a shirt, a suitcase, a golf club, a belt.

He closed his email with,

"The most important thing I want from my children is for each of them to have a will written. You both own property and need to have it in writing who gets what if anything should happen to you. Jeff needs to have one so Katie doesn't have to go through hell if anything should happen to him."

I read it twice just so I was clear that what my dad wants most for Christmas is for my brother and I to write wills. He wrote it. In an email. A CHRISTMAS email.

Then I burst out laughing at the coffee shop. So much so, that people stared at me inquisitively.

I responded, "Dad, is this for real? If so, you just made the blog again!!!!!!!!!! Freaking hilarious."

He was serious. Jeff and I not having wills has been on his mind for a while. Knowing our desire to please him, especially at Christmas, he just threw it in there with everything else, even if it sort of sucked the joy out of the holiday momentarily.

I had to consider, between this and the life insurance policy he's been giving my brother and me for years, that perhaps my father is planning my death.

Not to be outdone, when my mom sent me her list, she ended with, "I think I'm going to have to block the Hallmark channel from our cable. They've been airing Christmas movies 24/7 and I can't get anything done."

I keep telling myself I need to start doing new things or I'm going to run out of topics to blog about, but with parents like mine, I think I'll be good for a while.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Punctuation is Important

Back in September, my mom sent me an email asking me what I wanted for my birthday. She aims to please, and always feels more comfortable shopping with guidelines. I was busy at work and couldn't think of anything specific that I really wanted, so I hastily wrote her back a generic list of things that I certainly didn't need, but always appreciate receiving as gifts -- clothes, shoes, books, jewelry.

Later that week, I remembered that there was something that I wanted that wasn't on that original list, so I emailed her again.

Subject: Also . . .

Email: ...I would like some good sunglasses for my bday...if Jeff and Katie ask what I would like. Haha RayBans are about 100-150

I said "Haha," because I would never expect my brother and his wife to purchase $100 sunglasses for me. "Haha" = That's funny!

My mother read "Haha," however, went to Sunglasses Hut and told the salesman that she was looking for a pair of "Haha Raybans." The clerk, puzzled, searched high and low for this brand of Raybans he'd never heard of, even opening up the merchandise catalog to do a search for "Hahas."

The day of my birthday, my mom called me in hysterics. She could barely catch her breath as she told me, in between her bouts of laughter, that she'd been purging old emails. When she reread the sunglasses exchange, she saw how I intended the "Haha." She couldn't believe what she'd done, but blamed me for not putting a period before starting a new thought.

After our conversation, she sent me an email.

The manager even tried finding them in the catalog! I'm such a dork, but YOU really need to work on your punctuation.

We've shared quite a few laughs over this story, and now refer to all sunglasses as "Hahas." I recently asked my mom what she wanted for Christmas this year and she said, "The only thing I can really think that I want are some Haha Raybans."

I think she's earned them.