Thursday, December 16, 2004

Merry Christmas From The Banals

Hi, Barb Banal here. I can't believe another year has passed and I'm sitting here with a nice glass of wine, ready to celebrate my favorite holiday tradition: the writing of our Christmas letter.

Get ready for a year's worth of The Banals!

We are blessed to have three boys in the house! Waterfall, Landscape, and Purity are all growing up faster than I can believe. Waterfall is sixteen now, and the big news is that he's taking German in school. He's also developed a real interest in German history and artifacts, and even has a few flags hanging in his room. He's joined a social club with some other boys, and of course they all look and dress alike--shaved heads, Army fatigues, and steel-toed boots. He looks so grown up!

Landscape is ten and just started the fourth grade. I'm sorry to report that he's having some trouble in school this year with other children, and I just don't understand it. Why, I watched his first month of recesses from across the park with binoculars and I didn't think he was having any problems with the other kids at all. I even talked to some of the bigger boys and told them that Landscape had a delicate constitution, and that I'd appreciate it if they'd watch out for him. Now he says his lunch money is getting stolen every day. I'd just make him a lunch, but I have Pilates at nine and I can't possibly do everything.

Purity is our youngest, and he's just turned four. He's finally potty-trained and I'm so proud of him! I've never seen a child with so much charisma--whenever we go out, every single person is looking at him, and they just never stop! He's also got some real athletic talent--a coach saw him in the Little Sluggers Pre-School T-ball League and just HAD to have him on his Select team. The coach said that if Purity practices four hours a day for the next fourteen years and plays 1,000 tournament games, then he might get an athletic scholarship to college. Can you believe it? Our son? And it's only costing us five thousand dollars a year!

Well, we have a new Christmas tradition this year. For the first time ever, a second glass of wine as I write this letter. I think I'll drink it before it gets warm.

Another new tradition. Three glasses. Hell, with the size of these glasses, I might as well finish off the bottle.

So what about Barb's year? Does anybody care about good ol' Barb? Why should this year be any different? I think I'll tell you anyway. I'm following my muse and signed up for art classes at the local community college. I created my first installation with a sledgehammer and Bob's car. Man, I love art.

Wither the future? People ask me--Barb, what will the kids be when they grow up? I need to clean my crystal ball, but here goes. I think Waterfall may be a fireman. At least, if he can put out fires as well as he sets them. Either that or a veterinarian, because he seems to have taken an interest in animals and what's inside them. Landscape can sit and stare for hours, so maybe he will be a secret shopper for a chain of strip bars. As for Purity the pants-pisser, I envision a long life for him in our basement. Great. At least I won't have to pass through a metal detector to visit him once a month.

I don't even want to talk about our relatives, but to just stop short all the whining and crying if I didn't, here you go.
The Johnsons: Two dead, one dead drunk, and Josephine went off and married a gypsy. I guess an earring and chest hair is super sexy if you come from Kentucky.
The Maxwells: Dead, dead, dying, dead, in prison. Make that pregnant in prison.
The Williamsons: I don't know how they are, and frankly, I just don't care. Like they ever did a damn thing for me.

You've probably noticed the 4x6 insert that says "MY HUSBAND IS AN ASSHOLE." Well, some of you damn people still want an update on him each year, and there it is. If you're still on his side, then stay the hell away from me. I mean it.

Thank God for spell-check. Merry friggin Christmas.

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