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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Under Pressure

Here we are, half of a month into the new year and I've yet to tell you guys about our Christmas. It was very redneck. Something was amiss. I don't know exactly what was wrong with us, but we just couldn't seem to get into the mood. Normally, I'm not into it but the rest of the Lanes can get me going. This time, no one was really up for all of the hoopla.

We didn't go out to the tree farm this year. We didn't even get a fake tree. No tree or decorations decked our halls.

That is, until the littlest Lane took matters into her own artistic hands.

She fastened several papers together, got out her tape, glitter and paints and made the best damn tree we've ever had. She also set a crocheted blanket on the couch because it, "looked like a snow tree skirt."

In a very Christmas Story way, we found ourselves dining in a Chinese restaurant. It was only Christmas Eve, so it wasn't entirely like the movie.

My daughter's friend Mojo Jojo came out to eat with us. Lane 2 dared her to eat a clam. When it turned into a double dare, she couldn’t refuse. Mojo Jojo never had one before and felt it necessary to dissect it before putting it into her mouth. As she picked it apart, she said, "Ewww, what's that? It looks like a bug!"

That sent all other restaurant patrons' heads turning in unison toward us like a Meow Mix commercial. The kid is a teenager, certainly by now she ought to know that is the last thing you say while out dining, right?

Quickly, the young, beautiful Chinese waitress came over. Concerned she said, "I help you?"

Before I could stop her, Mojo Jojo asked, while frantically poking the insides of the clam, "What is this?"

"It mus-sir."


"No, mus-sir."

"Muscle, Mojo. Muscle," I said, knowing she was gearing up to ask her to repeat herself... again

"Oh, well why is it in here?"

The waitress looked at me as if she knew this kid was about one drool drop away from a crash helmet. I said, "I'm sorry. She isn't mine. She is my daughter's friend."

"Okay den," she forced a smile, bowed slightly and walked away. She was very patient, but we Lanes were embarrassed. Finally noting my annoyance, Mojo Jojo pushed the clam plate away from herself and admitted defeat to the dare. She knew she went over the line and had a sad puppy dog look in her pretty blue eyes.

Other patrons periodically looked in our general direction long after the waitress left. The rest of the meal was silent. In fact, the whole place was. That is until our check arrived with fortune cookies.

There was one for each of us. Mr. Lane was the first to take one. He cracked it open, jabbing his finger into the cookie, pulverizing it to sugary dust, and loudly said, "Hey! What's that? It looks like paper! Why is there a fortune in this cookie?"

The whole place busted up in crazy laughter, and Mojo Jojo finally got a dose of embarrassment. I couldn't get out of there fast enough. The kids followed behind quickly, as Mr. Lane apologized and wished everyone in the place a Merry Christmas, waving like he was a friggin' celebrity.

It wasn't traditional by any means, but as you read and will see in the photos below, it sure was fun.

The kids and I still baked like we do every year. I love that they still get along well enough to work in the kitchen together.

The fruits of their labor were shared with family, friends and neighbors.

Lane 1's bedroom is decked out very zen-like. He's always said he wanted a fountain, and Santa brought him one. Apparently it was the one he wanted.

Lane 2, thankfully still loves dolls. Here she is getting the doll she didn't expect because she, "Didn't see any left at the store." Looks like Santa managed to find one.

Since Lane 1 has taken over my 100-pound set of weights, I thought one of these benches might be a nice addition to his regiment. He never saw it coming. He didn't even ask for one. Santa just knows.

Moon Shoes! Holy hell... um, this would be one of those, "Good thinking, Santa!" moments. Knowing Lane 2 wanted a pogo stick, which aren't made by elves and apparently aren't sold at all of the stores I went to, this was the next best thing. Turns out, Lane 2 saw a commercial for those a long time ago, but forgot about them when it came time to making her list.