But that was BEFORE Christmas. You know, he's hanging out doing publicity shots in the warm weather here in Texas while the elves (and Mrs. Clause, no doubt) are back at The Pole busting their arses, so to speak. What's not to smile about? But by the time he hit our house a week later, man, he was a mess. A Total Mess.
First of all, we had been tracking him on NORAD. We are like soooo not the first stop. The dude is not fresh by the time he gets here, believe me. He's tired, sleigh-lagged, slap happy, bloated, and rubbed raw from the chimneys. He's probably suffered a few dog bites, too. So honestly, how happy could he have been by the time he got here? Here. Where he was only halfway done.
First he woke up the dog. The Dang Dog. Was. Barking. Hysterically. This woke up the kids, who were hurried back to their beds by their dad who just happened to be sitting casually in the hallway outside their rooms. And Santa? All I can say is that I would have so much loved to have been there when he stood in the middle of our dark living room at 2:00 AM and popped up Jasper's Spiderman Play Hut. I would have LOVED to have seen the look on his face as it became apparent that the Play Hut was not the size of the previous Play Hut, which held 2 kids and stood about oh-3-feet-tall. It would have been funny to have been there as the Play Hut erupted much like a life raft does when the rip cord is pulled, into the middle of our very small living room made so-much-smaller by the big-huge-gigantic-tree. It would have been hysterical to have seen Santa as it dawned on him that the deluxe-let's-invite-20-or-so-of-our-friends-and-have-a-freakin'-party-in-the-hut edition Play Hut was going to damn near knock over the Christmas tree. I bet he was SOOprised to see that the hut was 5-feet tall with space for a loveseat and a couch, inside. Yes sir, I know he was surprised because I heard him cursing like a sailor in there in the dark with the dog barking and the tree swinging precariously back and forth, back and forth, making little jingling sounds as all the ornaments clanked into each other. It sounded (to me) like someone dragging a body across the floor as he attempted to haul it (fully erect as they say) into the den, where there was no tree and deposit it sideways and half propped up on the couch. Are you seeing this in your head? Are you?
After Santa recovered from what will forever be known in the North Pole as the "Play Hut Incident" he proceeded to unpack from his notorious bag, several other less dramatic goodies. Camille got an un-American Girl doll. She asked for an American Girl doll but Santa was like, "That is a ridiculous sum of money to spend on a doll. Only in America." I would agree. He left her an absolutely gorgeous doll that I have seen in Target (for about $20) named Alexis that looks just like Camille! She was even wearing Camille's favorite color (pink) with her hair all piled up on her head. She came with a casual outfit and a dressy outfit and Camille loves her to death. She has not put her down since Christmas morning.
Jules received his Nintendo DS Lite, which he was sooooooo expecting.
Joel's gift was a relief. In the mall, Santa had asked him what he wanted (in front of all the siblings) and Joel had responded with his low man's voice that he wanted some high-quality pens. You know, for his Manga art. Santa replied with an incredulous tone that sounded strangely Jewish, "What was that, boy? You want some high-quality pants?" Joel, who had been hoping to avoid a conversation with Santa entirely, just said, "Yeah. That's right." This had the little ones in a tizzy. They were so concerned Joel was going to have a pair of high-quality pants under the tree. They've been urging him to write a letter with a correction, stating that he believed there had been a misunderstanding and he didn't really want high-quality pants... This has been the topic of much conversation. Amazingly enough, there were no pants under the tree. And that crazy, magic Santa even left Joel a little flip video cam in his stocking! How did he know Joel wanted that? I know! Don't you just love Christmas????
Ellie had told Santa (after being thrilled that he had not asked her for the 3rd year in a row if she had a boyfriend) to surprise her. He did surprise her with a stereo IPOD docking CD playing thingy that I don't quite comprehend. So - it was a good haul but general mayhem has ensued since Santa's departure.
Our "alone time" has been spent doing one thing since Santa left. Mi Esposo received The Matrix trilogy on DVDs. So we have watched a movie every evening. This will make, what.....10 years or so that Jeff has been trying to explain The Matrix to me? I try. I really do. But I don't entirely get it. But here's the kicker. Jeff doesn't entirely get it, either. He would never admit it. And he doesn't seem to need to "get it" because there are really long fight scenes and car chases in the movies and this makes him happy and he doesn't need any deep understanding of the plot in order to feel satisfied. Me? I need more. Long car chases and fight scenes are like long guitar or drum solos at concerts. After awhile all the women in place are saying, "Okie dokie - let's move on. Really. Like now."
So with The Oracle....I'm like, "So - is she like a person?"
Jeff says, "No! She's not a real person. She's in The Matrix."
"So, what....is she like a programmer?"
"Yeah, she's like The Frenchman. She's a programmer."
"So is she plugged into the Matrix?"
"Yeah, she's plugged in."
"So she's physically in Zion lying in one of those chair-things and she's plugged in?"
"Then where is she?"
This stumped him. I could tell.
"I don't know where she is. Why do you care?"
"I just do. How can you not care? How can you sit here and watch this movie and not know whether The Oracle is a real person or not? I mean, is she simply a program? You know, like not real?"
"Yeah, that's it. She's a program. She's nowhere. She's just a rogue program."
"Then who made her?"
"Who wrote the program?"
At that point he got huffy and made some comment about how some people can't enjoy a decent fight scene and aren't happy until they've ruined someone else's Christmas.
Now let me tell you what I got for Christmas.
1. A wrapped Sonic kid's meal toy from Jasper, that I helped him wrap. It had 3 pounds of tape on it.
2. An alarm clock from Ellie because I can't see the one on Jeff's side of the bed so I never know if I have like 2 hours left to sleep or 30 minutes left to sleep and then I get all neurotic...
3. An Orlando Bloom calendar from my sister (I get this every year)
4. A Garmin GPS from Jeff because he is tired of me calling him when I get lost.
I was happy about the GPS thing. In fact, I was excited. We used it today. It has some kinks. First of all, it says that our house is in our neighbor's barn, which is across the river about 1 and 1/2 miles from our driveway. No problem. I know where my house is. It also has the wrong name of the road that we take to well, almost everywhere. No problem. I know the name of the road. While we were driving it very clearly said, "Turn Right" when turning right would have gotten us killed. No problem. I knew that. I put up with all of that because I couldn't wait to get home and magically make my GPS have a new voice. I have heard of these things, you know? I'm technically challenged but strangely savvy. I knew, for instance, that there is an Orlando Bloom voice you can download to replace the irritating female voice that is the same person who tells you how many new messages you have in your voicemail box.
But do you know what???? Jeff bought me a Garmin. A Garmin! Why should I care? I wouldn't normally care. Honestly. But Orlando's voice is apparently only available if you have a Tom Tom. A TOM TOM. I do not have a Tom Tom. Why don't I have a Tom Tom? It just sounds better, doesn't it? It sounds way cooler than Garmin. It figures I got the nerd-o GPS. Maybe it is better. WHO CARES? If you can't listen to Orlando Bloom tell you to go the wrong way down a road you've never heard of to land yourself in your neighbor's barn then what the hell is a GPS for anyway? WHAT??? SOMEONE TELL ME...WHAT IS IT FOR? All I wanted was to drive down the street with all my kids screaming in the car with Orlando there to remind me that I was still a person. A person with feelings. A person who could still occasionally spiff herself up a bit if she so chose. I wanted to hear his gorgeous voice with his delicious British accent saying, "Turn here, Love, and stay to your left. I like it when you stay to the left, you know." Is it too much to hear Orlando breathlessly say we've arrived at our destination as I pull into my neighbor's barn?
Apparently, it is. Bah Humbug. Next year - I'm talking to Santa - going straight to The Man, Himself. I want Orlando Bloom, dressed as an elf (it is more Christmas-y than a pirate) from Lord of the Rings, sitting under my Christmas tree.
That - or a really high-quality pair of pants.