Guess how much I love you

For the past two years I have hassled you poor souls to join my card exchange, going against my non-participatory personality for the sake of receiving cards in the vain attempt that I will at least, in my head, be awash in popularity. Both years I have cursed this odd desire to orchestrate such an event, which always seems like a good idea at first. However, as soon as I realise it's the second week of December and Christmas is a mere handful of days away, I wonder if I've made a huge mistake.

I spent the middle part of last week trying to catch up on work (who knew so many kids want to go to university?), and writing those damn cards. I'm a firm believer in putting personal messages in cards, so in essence, fucking myself over. I can't just write, "Merry Christmas!" and be done with it. I need to write a paragraph. Or two. At the end of it all my right hand was temporarily in the shape of a claw due to nasty hand cramp, and I vowed never to do this again. No doubt next year I will forget all of it and cheerily invite you all to exchange cards. I will then curse you, as well as myself, and then moan about it on here. I'm good like that.

With about 40 cards in claw, I made my way to the Post Office last Thursday. I went to a different Post Office, as the main one in the city is known for its hour long waits this time of year. They have serious comprehension issues regarding the staff required for lunchtime periods over the holidays. Two windows open for a huge queue at 12.30pm? Makes sense to me!

I'm rambling. At New to Me Post Office, I was greeted by a haggard, toothless old crone who shouted at me to not stand at the service window as one would logically do, but to go to the till next to the Post Office window instead. I did as commanded, and gave the gummy bitch the first of my group of cards. She grabbed the cards out of my hand, paged through the envelopes whilst examining the addresses and said, "Too late, too late, too late", slammed them back onto the counter and pushed them back to me with a self satisfied smirk. I looked at her, waiting for her to take the cards back, or at the very least tell me to put them on the scales so postage could be determined, but she said nothing.

I told her that I was aware that I had missed the last recommended posting day for cards going to the US, but this did not please her. She sighed heavily, and gestured at me to weigh the cards. When the weights were determined, she said, "You can't have any Christmas stamps, or self-adhesive ones for that matter. Since you're so very late posting these there aren't any left. That's what you get for waiting this long to post your Christmas cards." Pardon? Was this woman really lecturing me on my card-writing punctuality? I'm not even trying to hear that shit when The Dude is rabbiting on about it. I even had the courtesy to separate my cards into same-weighted groups and by continent, yet still she was vile, the dentally challenged cretin.

Hoping that the aggression would subside, I got my card out to pay for my massively overdue haul. When the total of £35 was announced (that's $70 American dollars kids, which is just how much I love you, no more), Madame Sans Dents snapped, "That's a lot of money to be spending on Christmas cards." I said it was just a side effect of living 4000 miles away from where your home country, to which she sniffed, "It's perhaps a bit too much money to spend on cards." And with that, my dreadful exchange with the evil old bat was finished.

Anyway, carrying on the so-very-festive nature of this post, I thought I'd post a photo inspired by Cecily's caged tree post. As the mother of a very destructive and inquisitive toddler, we also had to barricade our poor tree. Otherwise, P would eat the tree (fake) and wrapping paper, and likely crack some teeth swinging around and gnawing on the heavier ornaments. We don't have a suitable gate to surround the tree as Cecily does, living in a mousehole-size British flat and all, so we stuck our bedroom blanket box in front of it instead. There is a gap between sofa and blanket box, so we have stacked about 4 cushions in the space. However, P is also a climber and often tears apart our cushion wall in mere seconds. I need a nap from this preventative activity alone.

The kid loves this tree. It's the first thing she rushes to see in the morning, and the last thing she says goodnight, or in her case, "ta ta" to before bed. I don't want to think about the tears when it has to come down.

Stupid blanket box! Trying to keep me from my beloved! Hey - you with the brown hair and boobs too big for your frame, stop taking pictures of me!

P after making peace, however temporary, with the blanket box. This is her winter casual look.

So taking off on this - what sort of tree blockade do you have to set up? Pictures on your blog people, pictures!


Suz said...

Ohhh...I can do this. We have no barricade. Rather, our tree is completely naked from about three feet down. No lights. No glitter. No garland.

EJW said...

Too late? We got your card on Monday, a solid 2 weeks before Christmas. Although now you have me nervous that you'll get mine in mid-January since I haven't even thought about taking it to the Post Office.

PiquantMolly said...

UGH. What a fucking BITCH. I would have made sure to give her a big, nasty papercut.


We have one very inquisitive kitten in our house, and I am loathe to imagine the destruction we would witness if we had a Christmas tree. Instead, we light up the cheesy neon palm tree that was left in our apartment when we moved in. Hey, it's green! It's festive! We even have ornaments on it.

Say, are you going to de-mullet your kid soon? Just wondering.

statia said...

See? Aren't you glad I didn't join in? You would have had to shell out MORE money for postage. You're welcome. Merry Christmas. (Or do you say Happy Christmas, like all those crazy Brits over there now?)

We totally have a play yard around our tree. He has no interest in it at all.

DD said...

Jeezus! You have P dressed like an elf on speed. What the hell? I didn't even notice the mullet, per Moll's comment.

We did not barricade our tree when XBoy was that age (and with two rabid cats in the house). Instead we did similar to Suz: I hung the styrofoam ornaments low and the glass ones high. Toddlers are strange creatures. They want what they cannot have. He pretty much ignored it after the first couple days.

Eva said...

Luckily, the menorah fit nicely on the dining room table (now that you mention it, I meant to get a photo and never actually did. Darn). I'm very nervous about the tree at my ILs, though, I think I may spend the whole week pulling children off the tree and removing glass ornaments from their mouths.

I can't believe how rude that woman at the PO was. Surely you must be exaggerating?

Non-personalized holiday cards are one of my (many) pet peeves. I don't write much, but I have the decency to actually put the recipients' names in the card. It bugs me when someone clearly just signed a stack (or sometimes didn't even stack), and stuffed them into envelopes without needing to worry which goes in which.

Thalia said...

and you know, those strikes were all about how they are doing everything right and there's no need to change the royal mail...

Love P's sartorial elegance. She's really rocking the pink snowsuit look.

Amyesq said...

What a horrible snotty BEYOCH! We got our card yesterday so you can go back and tell that miserable so and so that she is dead wrong.

LOVE the pics of P! What a total doll! I fear we will have to do the cage next year, but for now they are too slow to get to it. Not too slow for cat food. But to slow for the tree.

realitytesting said...

Got your card today---thank you! Yours was sent two days ago....hope it comes soon (and that I put enough postage on it)!

Flicka said...

Evil bitch! And you know I don't say that lightly. She needs to mind her own business, is what she needs. I got my card today, btw, plenty of time before Christmas. And I loved your little note. I could hardly even tell you were using your claw and not calligraphy.

(I am totally late with mine. They may get there for the new year. I am really, really sorry about that. :-()

Becky said...

The Post Office must be a frightening place no matter what continent you are on. I boycott it as much as possible. It seems easier that way.

Nico said...

I also got my card on Monday so I think you should go back to that New to you Post Office and give that old lady a good smackdown.

It is also unlikely that you will get my return card until post Xmas as I just mailed them on Tuesday. Queen procrastinator here!

I love P on speed, and the tree barricade. We haven't figured ours out yet, as we just got the tree yesterday and haven't put it up yet. Did I mention that I'm a procrastinator???

S said...

We have it barricaded inbetween 2 couches. Pictures to come, as per your request!

fisher queen said...

I love P. What great photos!

Amanda said...

I am a raging failure, ass with a capital A. I have not mailed your card. I will do it. I swear, and if you feel inclined to write a post excoriating me for my failure, I totally understand. I loved the card you sent and I think we both know who the word "lacking" should be applied to.

A Card-Exchange Loser

tonya said...

Coming a tad late to the game, but I LOVE those pix. The one of P screaming is especially endearing (and something I am seeing more and more with Tiny Boy lately). ;-)

I'm surprised that self-righteous beeotch at the Post Office was not happy to simply take your money. Guess the uninvited opinion was free? (For the record, I didn't even mail our cards until Dec. 24. Hey, at least it wasn't January this year!!)