Monthly Archives: December 2019

Real Mom Look at Christmas

Image isn’t actually Nancy. Or Julie. But it could be.

 They say Christmas is for children. This was not said by my good friend who has five of them. Her holiday wish list probably includes copious amounts of wine, an undisturbed nap, someone else to decide what’s for dinner, and some space to just vent. So I’m handing her a glass of wine and this space. Go ahead, Nancy (the name has been changed to protect Julie’s identity), this is your opportunity to speak to the Christmas manager.

“I don’t want to see another saccharine-sweet movie about this ‘most wonderful time of year’ where it shows the post-Oprah makeover picture of Martha Stewart decorations and food prepared by Julia Child. Instead, I’d like to see a movie about how dinner is poured from a Campbell’s can or a fancy boxed pizza is thrown in the oven at 8 o’clock. I’d like to see a kitchen that looks like a tornado went through it.

“I’d like to see movie with a room littered with 15 bins of Christmas decorations spilled on the floor just waiting for someone to be motivated or a movie about how a mom is struggling to repair a vacuum that has just sucked up the equivalent of a forest-full of artificial trees. I’d like to see a movie showing how cats are taking advantage of this chaos and making a toy out of giant tumbleweed balls of Christmas lights. I’d like to see a movie about how some parents forget to pick up kids from their activities or maybe one about how a mom learns to navigate all her commitments without losing her mind.

“What I NEED is an all-hands-on-deck approach to helping me even START preparing for Christmas. I’m having a sleigh-full of problems getting in the spirit and focusing on the real Reason for this Season. So while I cry in disbelief at all the decorations I have collected or received with open arms, I’m going to take a few minutes and listen to my Feel Good Not Christmas Music and try to remember that I’m doing all this for the kids (on top of all my regular whirlwind of chores, chauffeuring, scheduling, shopping, oh, does it ever end?).”  

Thank you, Julie … err, Nancy. For all you do. Let’s remember that even the very first Christmas wouldn’t have happened without a special mother. Hug one this season.

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Apostrophe Police

There is a disturbance in the grammatical force! Punctuation Jedi John Richards, a 96-year-old former copy editor who has dedicated his life to the protection of the endangered apostrophe, is giving up the fight and going to the Dark Side. The announcement that he is abandoning his Apostrophe Protection Society and albeit Quixote quest to save the world from written stupidity should strike fear in the hearts of every wordsmith and language lover everywhere. NOTE: If you use words like “theyselves,” skip this whole thing as it will be meaningless.

In a society that struggles with the complexities of the proper use of a turn signal, punctuation, as a whole, has become superfluous. Cellular providers do not charge by the character, and yet most text messages lack the dignity of a single, well-placed comma or even a period. Exclamation points, however, seem to multiply like Viagra-infused field rabbits behind sentences typed in all capital letters. And this, in and of itself, may be why aliens continue to fly on past our planet.

Admittedly a peaceful protestor, Mr. Richards fought the good fight to have the apostrophe’s rightful representation in things like “Ladies’ Apparel” and “Harrod’s Department Store.” While Richards respects a company’s right to delete their own apostrophe, he is baffled at how McDonald’s can get it right but Harrods can’t. If you’re taking notes, “can’t” and “don’t” can and do have an apostrophe.

Richards was also affronted, and rightfully so, by the willy-nilly insertion of apostrophes where they did not belong, like in dates: adding an apostrophe to the 1960s only diminishes its psychedelic impact. CDs on your desk and all Fs on your report card do not require apostrophes – no ifs, ands or buts about it!

erhaps it was Texans who pushed Mr. Richards over the edge with their possessive form of a plural number of groups: y’all’s’s. Used correctly in a sentence, “All y’all’s’s boots still have mud on them.” Texas may very well be where good apostrophes go to die.

Although he did not directly reference Texans, Mr. Richards wrote on the Apostrophe Protection Society’s website before it was overwhelmed by properly punctuated protest posts, “The ignorance and laziness present in modern times have won!” And he is not wrong. Although all y’all still need to leave y’all’s muddy boots outside.  

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