Dear friends, as I write this Christmas letter, I’m sitting by the fireplace roasting my 2020 calendars over an open fire. No, I’m not, but only because my fireplace is fake. The best thing I can say about this year is that there was plenty of time to clean all my closets. I didn’t, but I had time to.
On top of everything else, my husband almost left me on Thanksgiving Day. I’d selected the smallest turkey I could find because it was just the two of us this year. He always gets the turkey ready, then I prepare the rest of the meal. It’s tradition. It’s also tradition for him to eat one of the legs while one of our regular guests eats the other. He never said so, but I think one of the things he was most thankful for this year was that he’d be getting both drumsticks.
Suddenly I heard panicked yelling from the kitchen: “There’s no legs! There’s no wings! There’s no … no … pop-up thing!” Sure enough, our bird wasn’t a small turkey at all. It was a turkey breast. I’d have been banned from my own Thanksgiving dinner were I not responsible for making the rest of it.
There was nothing to do but cook the darn thing, so he shoved it in the oven none too gently, and I busied myself making everything else. I may have been a little distracted by a lack of dark meat myself, because I failed to notice there was something missing in my kitchen as I worked: the smell of roasting turkey.
When I finally checked our turkey breast, it was as cold as my husband was being. I don’t know if he forgot to turn on the oven, or if one of us bumped it off in the excitement. I’m blaming him because that makes us even.
I’m proud to say we did our part for the economy this year. We’d been concerned about our old refrigerator for a long time. It’s 26 years old, and having it break down during a pandemic would not be cool. Sorry. We bought a new one and put the old one in the garage. Now we have two empty refrigerators.
We also traded in our old car in October. With every car purchase, the dealership threw in a free mask with their logo on it. That hooked us. I’m kidding! It wasn’t just that. They also gave us two really nice insulated mugs.
I bought a fitness tracker too. My new Fitbit is kind of like Santa Claus for grownups. It sees you when you’re sleeping; it knows when you’re awake. It knows if you’ve been sitting too long, so get up for goodness sake. Honestly the thing tracks everything except my bank balance, which would be helpful the way we’ve been spending money lately.
We completely blew some on what I now see as the most wasteful purchase of my life. Somehow in the middle of a pandemic and presidential campaign, we still felt optimistic enough to buy a harness and leash for our cat. It seems insane now. The cat thinks so too.
Before you judge us, you should know that a friend of ours regularly takes his cat for walks. Plus, there are hundreds of YouTube videos of people who’ve successfully leash-trained their cats. There are also hundreds of YouTube videos of people who’ve failed to leash-train their cats. We ignored those.
It turns out, putting our cat in the harness was a little like dressing a greased toddler. And when we finally had him in it, he sank to the ground looking embarrassed and uncomfortable and kind of crab crawled under the bed as fast as he could go. I’m hopeful about many things in 2021, but taking our cat for a walk isn’t one of them.
Dorothy Rosby is the author of several humor books, including “I Used to Think I Was Not That Bad and Then I Got to Know Me Better.” Contact [email protected]