Christmas letters are sooooo boring…even mine

This is the real Christmas letter I sent to friends and family this year.  They know less about our lives than you do…

How about some astonishing facts to brighten things up?

• Teddy and I are still married after 35½ years. Whaaaaaat?

• We both have jobs! Admittedly, I earn peanuts and only work occasionally. A variety of foolish events companies contract my labor; team building, meeting VIPs and other nonsense. Andy pretends he is a genius and does something with rocks.

• Despite our many diagnoses, neuroses and medications, we are reasonably healthy.

• We have one Egyptian cat still living. Toffee is almost 15 years old, amazingly healthy and very kindly tucks us into bed each night. She jumps on the bed, gives us both a cuddle and then goes to her own bed. Katniss is our feral outside cat, born under our deck a few years ago. She refuses to be tamed and hisses at me when it snows (see below).

• Teddy talks to our visiting Armadillos, at night, and they answer back. This is one of the many new Texan skills he has developed, along with eating too much and dressing like a gay cowboy.

• I still can’t get the hang of political correctness.

• It really snowed in Houston this year.

• It really rained in Houston this year, 51.88 inches to be precise.

• Teddy and I rarely vacation together anymore. That might explain the 35½ years of marriage.

• I discovered I have a long line of Mexican ancestors, including some Maya DNA. For some reason I look like a Swede. Andy is Scottish.

• We didn’t vote for Trump because I’m Mexican nor did most of Houston (which is also Mexican).

• None of our relatives died this year…we think. We might find otherwise in Christmas cards, yet to arrive.

• Mail comes by stagecoach in our area. Why else does it take 3 weeks to arrive from Europe?

• This is the longest time we have stayed in one place during our marriage – I guess its home.

• Teddy will be 60 next year. I’m not sure I can stay married to a pensioner even one that makes me laugh at both ends.

• I am almost through the ‘change’ which might not be apparent from this letter.

 

The Christmas Letter

zed in snow

Zhenny in the Christmas Snow

For some reason I thought it was perfectly okay to announce that my husband was laid off on the world wide web before telling family or friends. It is as if I am writing a diary to a special friend instead of hundreds of people. Once we started receiving email attachment and snail mail letters my husband thought that I should compose one. I had actually written a short note to put in my overseas mail but they were sent before the bad day. It was impossible to think of a way to write a letter. Should I do my usual, list our vacations, health issues and then just finish with ‘and BTW my husband was laid off’? I finally decided that humor and straight forwardness was the best bet. This is, more or less, what I wrote to friends and family (leaving out some personal details). My husband is A.

Festive Greetings friends and family
First, and most important, who sent the chocolates to Auntie M.? She thought it was me, so before any other relatives get embarrassed and have to say, “I haven’t sent you anything” please tell her who the culprit was.

I saw this marvelous quote from NBC News –‘Tis the season to get flooded with Christmas letters — often a litany of bombastic bragging disguised as holiday cheer’. I thought that is a tad harsh but sometimes I have thought that and you might have about our letters… So without further ado, as soon as we came back from a fabulous vacation in Baha, A. was made redundant or laid off, as you say in the States. His company has been really struggling with both the oil price and the hostile takeover. They kept moving him from job to job but I could see the writing on the wall.

A. has been given a good severance package and we figure we have a year to get him a job in Siberia or Saudi… At first you are devastated – what next – but then reality sinks in and you think, ‘I could be living in Syria’. He is most likely going to become an independent contractor and has been given a verbal offer of a contract in the next few months. Given how bad things are, however, we will wait until there is something in writing before we open the cheap wine.

We applied for Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act and are eligible, but not able to apply until our health coverage runs out (3 months as we are, 18 months on Cobra). I was putting off applying for Disability as my doctor suggested I do, so I will think about it seriously in January. In the meantime we had a laugh when my earnings were predicted to be more than A.’s in the next few months between the book earnings and my occasional job as a writer for a local magazine. So far, so good and I am onto my third article.
Blogging is keeping me sane so there are endless blogs for you to peruse when you are bored. This is the one about A. being laid off
A Bad Day
This is one about our vacation in Baha
The Exciting Bus Ride
Our oldest cat
Mrs. Stripe

So have a wonderful holiday season, Merry Christmas, Super Solstice, Happy New Year. I am working on the 25th then will come home and cook my Teddy something reasonably nice for dinner. We swapped offices yesterday and didn’t start divorce papers so all is well and we had great fun at my fancy holiday event.

Love Kerry and A. xxx

We have had a few lovely responses from friends offering commiserations to practical help such as visiting Mum in the Alzheimer’s unit in Scotland. Many people we know work in the oil industry so there is barely anyone unaffected by this current downturn. Misery loves company! I laughed when I read the quote about Christmas letters. We have no children and have traveled frequently so ours probably sounded a bit like that in the past. You tend not to say that you have had vajazzling or many psychiatrist’s visits… Still, this blog is a way for our friends to know more than they ever wanted to about our sex life, my bad mental health and all the other funny things I write about. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ONE AND ALL!