Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Christmas Twisty Ties

"You're lucky you don't have to pull these toys out of their packaging," I told my husband Tom as we spoke via Skype on Christmas Day. "I'm about to murder the person who invented those plastic twisty ties. I feel like I'm untwisted so many, that now my hand has turned into a miss-shapen claw." I held up my hand dramatically, my fingers curled into a C.

"You're overdramatic. Your parents are there to help," Tom reminded me.

"Miss-shapen CLAWWWW!" I bellowed. "This is what'll greet you when you return home. I hope you don't mind."

Tom leaned close and whispered, just so no one would overhear, "By the time I get home, I wouldn't care if you had lost all your teeth and were extra hairy." He gave me a seductive smile and I blushed, dropping my claw.

"Speaking of extra hairy, I got a razor in my stocking. It even does bikini lines," I added seriously.

Tom blinked. "Well."

"So I won't be hairy at all. Lucky you. I also got a Coach purse."

This is true. It was a total surprise. I didn't even know it was a Coach purse at first, I just thought it was a nice purse and was thinking, "Nice, a new purse," and then I saw the tag and was all, "And it's a COACH!"

"Open the purse," my Mom had urged.

I thought she just wanted me to check out the inside and ooo and ahh over it. Did Coach have fancy insides? I wouldn't know, I never owned a Coach before. My purses all come from the Target clearance rack. Or Kohls. From the clearance rack.

Inside the purse were gift cards! I don't care what people say, gift cards are a fantastic present. Those old experts drone on like, "Gift cards mean the person didn't care to think about your gift," but I think those old experts need to shut their old mouths. Gift cards are fantastic. And I had three of them.

$25 for Olive Garden.

$25 for Gymboree.

$25 for Barnes and Noble. My heart lifted at that one. I could spend all day in Barnes and Noble. I already had plans to spend it. I'd drop Natalie off at preschool and then head right for the store where I'd wander it for two hours. Well, more like an hour and a half so I wouldn't be late for picking Natalie back up. I imagine her teachers wouldn't be amused if I were all, "I apologize that I'm late, it's just I got caught up in Barnes and Noble! So many books, so little time, you know how it is." They'd probably be thinking, "Actually we DON'T you idiot stay-at-home-mom who doesn't have to deal with angry parents, teacher meetings, angry parents, children who spit and pee on us, ANGRY PARENTS who freak out if little Suzy was looked at funny by another kid..."

"I also got a Ped Egg," I said to Tom. "To shave my feet dry skin."

Tom made a face. "That's gross, Amber."

"And I got chocolate. Santa knows me well," I continued. "Plus a few clothes. And of course, the Sesame Street martian that you bought for me. Yip, yip, yip, uh huh, uh huh."

"I'm glad you had a fun Christmas," Tom said.

"I wish you were here though. It wasn't the same."

"You just wanted me there to deal with the twisty ties."

"Well," I shifted. "That too. But mostly just to have you here. Do you know that I have this shopping cart for Natalie that I have to put together when I get back home and I have no clue how to do it. If you were here, I'd push the box towards you, bat my eyelashes and beg you to do it."

"And then I'd remind you that you were quite capable, that I have all the tools you'll ever need..."

"But you know how I get when I put stuff together. I yell, I throw things, I curse, I cry, and then I end up giving up and using the box as a foot rest," I said.

"It's a shopping cart for a child. You can do it," Tom said, popping a handful of M&Ms into his mouth.

"Well, if Scarlett O'Hara can manage, I suppose I can too," I sighed.

"Who is Scarlett O'Hara?"

"She's from Gone with the Wind. You remember that movie I made you watch, the one that you said if you had to watch a minute longer that you'd pass out from boredom? The one where Rhett Butler said, 'Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn,' which you applauded and said that the bitch deserved it, and to which I threatened to divorce you if you ever said such a thing in my presence again?"

Tom rolled his eyes as his candy crunched in his mouth. "Oh. That movie."

"So I will put together the shopping cart and then I'll show you when I get home," I said proudly, getting all excited over putting together something. Surely it wouldn't be that difficult. It was just screwing pieces together. Simple. "Wish me luck."

Tom scratched his arm. "Good luck."

"And Tom?"


"Merry Christmas. Next year for Christmas we'll be together again."

"Unless I have to work."

"Let's not think about that. Just think that we'll be together again."

"Unless I'm at work. It's happened three years in a row," Tom shrugged.

"Just think that we'll be TOGETHER, dammit!"

"Okay. We'll be together," Tom obliged. "Unless I'm at work."

"You bug me."

"I know. Merry Christmas."


  1. Awwwwwwwww Merry Christmas! I really hope you are together next year!

  2. I hope you guys get to spend next Christmas together too!! And I would like to second the desire to torture the person who invented those twistie ties!

  3. I for one, think gift cards are the GREATEST presents EVER! Frankly, that is all I want for Christmas, or any gift giving occassion. Give me cash or a gift card and call it a day. Amen.

    I hate those twist tie things A LOT!

    Your conversation with tom cracks me up.

    Glad you had a great Christmas, in spite of being apart, and hope that you WILL be together next Christmas.

  4. Sorry you weren't with your hubby, BUT you got a Coach purse...AND gift certificates! That should sort of make up for it, right? And you'll be clean shaven upon his return from the sound of things! You know he says he wouldn't mind if you were toothless...I think most men wouldn't mind a toothless woman! haha

  5. Dude. . . I hate toy packaging. It's like they go out of their way to make you crazy. Let's see how many kids we can get to scream and cry while their parent takes, like, 12 years to find their way through this maze of twisty-ties and plastic *MWA HAHAHA*

    I undo all of ours while I'm wrapping, so it's instant gratification on Christmas morning.

  6. Gift cards rock I agree I love them! Awesome Christmas minus Tom the handy man not being there I hope next year he is off work! Have a great last week of the year!

  7. You guys are so cute.

    Merry Christmas.

  8. I love the details. Of course the fact that the details were M&Ms might be part of that, but still, detail is important.

    So glad you got to skype with Tom on Christmas. Next year: hairless, dryskinless, and togetherness.

  9. Good luck getting the shopping cart together.

    Coach purse? What a lucky girl you are!

  10. Lucky, lucky girl! Getting a gift card to Barnes & Noble!! Oh, yeah. And the purse rocks too.

    Next year Tom will be home for Christmas. If we all keep saying it then it's bound to be true.

  11. Skype is a poor substitute, but at least you can see his handsome face while you talk to him. I remember (damn it) when 'picture phones' were a crazy, futuristic idea...

    Can you & the kids visit your man overseas? The military should fly you over once a year - it's too much to ask that a family be separated so long. What an adventure that would be... My New Year's wish for you is that you all get to see Tom in person long before his assignment is over.

    Happy New Year Amber.

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  13. I LOVE gift cards!!!
    You and your family are in prayers -- I really hope you guys are able to spend next Christmas together

  14. Sounds like you had a great Christmas and next year Tom will home! I think gift cards are perfect!

  15. I certainly hope you and your husband are together next year for Christmas. I also think gift cards are great gifts. Here's hoping his time away from you passes very quickly!

  16. the coach purse and gift cards are freaking awesome. way to go mom!

    and Chris was in the air force and missed 3 christmases in a row too. i'm sorry. it sucks.

  17. Those shopping carts are a breeze! You can do it :)

    I am totally jealous about the Coach purse. Every time I walk past a Coach store I droll a little. I think they have a dude on standby with a mop LOL

  18. Ooh, did you get the Schick trimmer thingy?

    I bought that for myself and was quite pleased with my ability to be like a grown up.

  19. You know, I could feel just how much you missed your husband and yet you made me giggle too, I hope your 2011 Christmas includes your husband.

  20. Hee, hee, hee love Tom's comment about Rhett's line to Scarlett. And the "Unless I have to work." Grrr... it must be ingrained in their brains, I swear.

    Hopefully all of your followers are sending positive thoughts that next year he will be with you. I'm sending those thoughts right now.

    Merry Christmas.

    Did you get the cart together?

  21. I totally get the twisty tie thing. Did you get any of the newfangled plastic-disk-you-have-to-twist-it-just-the-right-way-to-release-the-toy-from-the-package ones? UGH!

  22. Um Hello? COACH purse!?! WITH 3 GIFT CARDS?!? I think Santa reads your blog!

    And a little hint for next year... open each gift as it's bought, snip all the twist ties, repack the box, THEN wrap it. Saves alot of aggravation Christmas morning.

    And no claw hand. :)

  23. Every princess needs a Coach purse! And those gift cards. . . they are the best!

    Some Nazi invented those twist ties! I just know it!

  24. I agree -

    those twist ties bite the big one...I know its some evil chinese who does the extra push down on the first stupid americans, I hate you, he says as he pushes it down and a little out so that you can untwist all the others till that one and finally give up and get a scissor.

    and gift cards are da' bomb! unless someone gets you waht you want from a cards the most thoughtful gift, here get what you really want, it says!

  25. The twist ties are EVIL!! The little clear rubber bands they used to hold the "littlest pet shop" critters in their place also evil! I hope you entire family can be together for Christmas next year. Also enjoy Barnes and Noble, maybe you can replace the books you donated to the library :-)

  26. My fingers were so sore from those dang twist ties! SO annoying.

    I too got a nice purse for Christmas. A real leather one. I was surprised, as I too usually carry one from Kohls or Target and usually on sale or clearance!!! haha

  27. Men are such butts! But we love them anyway. I hope he doesn't have to work next year. Merry Christmas!

  28. Yes - next Christmas together! (unless he's at work)

  29. Sounds like a great Christmas!

    Your posts always crack me up! They're like "how not to be romantic with your partner" and "how to have a happy marriage" all in one. :)

    I just started dating someone in the army... he's stateside and I already don't know how I'd handle him leaving. I admire your strength! Also, I have always been fond of sprawling out in my own bed - I have read you on OD long enough to know you share that appreciation! :)

  30. The shopping cart must be the latest rage for little girls!

    Sounds like a great Christmas.

    Here's hoping that next Christmas you two will be together!

  31. LOL! MEN!!!!

    Tell him to take leave and then he will be home for sure!

    Did you get the cart put together yet???

  32. LOL! :)

    Hey! With a handicap like twisty claw, no wonder its hard putting together a shopping cart....

    I'm going to go wash my brains off... it went somewhere when you said bikini lines...

  33. We had a horrible time getting toys out of packaging. It was a mess.

  34. Sounds like the perfect Christmas... and I'm with you, gift cards are the bomb!


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