Ho Ho H-oly Cow It’s Heavy
I’m not a big Christmas celebrator. My only concession to that esteemed, but badly misused holiday is dinner with Allen’s (my husband) family on the 24th. Usually attending Allen’s are mom, Pat; stepdad, Don; sister, Vicky; and maybe a niece or two. It’s usually nice, quiet, and congenial, especially because Don has a quirky sense of humor that matches mine and he breaks out the Johnny Walker—something I indulge in only once a year.
I’m an ex-lush. Had enough of “party hearty” in my twenties. Then it wasn’t a successful evening out unless I spent the rest of the night riding the porcelain bus. BLAAAGHGH. What can I say? It was the 1970s. I’m an ex-hippy turned cool party dudess, turned, I don’t know what, maybe eccentric old lady?
Back to Christmas at the inlaws. One of my most memorable holiday celebrations with them was the year I nearly didn’t go. Allen’s daughter would be coming with her military hubby and her many, many children (cue dramatic music and flashing letters CHILDREN). I hadn’t seen daughter-in-law in ten years, never met her husband, and only saw the oldest child once—when he was in diapers.
It’s no secret that I’m not a real kid person. I prefer to avoid the little angels whenever possible. I find them noisy, irrational, always in motion, and constantly demanding attention, again and again and again and again. If maternal instinct hormones were passed out in heaven before I was born, I missed that meeting. I have never wanted children of my own. When I was younger, the very thought of being a mother was enough to make me start shaking. Oddly though, I always made a great babysitter. For some mysterious reason, kids generally love me. Perhaps for the same reason cats always snuggle up to dog people.
I think I’d better clarify, though, I am not a child hater, not even a child disliker. I really like children, from a distance, in TV commercials, movies, and shows, and I enjoy SOME children face-to-face—on a case by case basis. Some children are delightful and fun to be with for a little while. I practically raised my best friend’s two boys while she was in nursing school. It was a blast (70’s term). For a while I could get down and be a kid again then turn them over to mom or dad and go home. Best of worlds. Spoil them then run away. Maybe that’s why people like being grandparents. All the fun, little of the long-term responsibility.
Anyway, Christmas at inlaws that year turned out to be a wonderful surprise. Daughter inlaw, Amanda turned out to be a terrific mom with really smart, delightful children. I only knew Amanda briefly during her difficult teen years, and liked her. I was disappointed when she married a military boy at sixteen and proceeded to crank out children like a baby factory. Actually there are only four but that’s gargantuan to me.
Her children, all with unique and melodious names, are beautiful and, I think, at the time ranged in age from 7-12 but not sure about that. They are really great kids. Smart, funny, happy, and they all liked each other. Imagine that. Another point for Christmas cheer—stepdad inlaw opened a special Johnny Walker single barrel, just because he knew I like it. tTamales were dee-liscious. Of course the decorated tree was—well, it was a good effort. We had a warm and happy Christmas.
So why the title Ho Ho Holy Cow it’s heavy? Although we don’t exchange gifts in the family, I received a surprise present, a humongous, Binford Turbo Charged, Multi Rocket Treadmill. Well, actually it was a Proform model EX some-numbers-I-don’t-remember.
Who says we can’t manifest. I had been thinking that I really wanted a treadmill. A couple of things were in the way. First, the huge amount of money a good one costs. Second, where in blazes would I put it?
At the time we lived in a medium-sized, two-story house with just enough squeak room for the four of us to fit. It was mother’s house. We moved in to help take care of her after my stepfather died. My ex-husband/adopted brother also lived (and still does) with us and was an invaluable helper with Mom.
First I thought I would put it in that vast wasted space called a living room. Why do they call it a living room when all the “living” goes on in every other room while the living room just collects dust? Anyway, that was out because my mother had a fit about it messing up her 80’s blond furniture decor. Don’t get me started on that.
Well, it had to go upstairs in my 10 foot by 11 foot office. Hah! Stuff from one end to the other. So, I put on my “neutral space” creative thinking cap and let inspiration come. I didn’t need half of the stuff cluttering my office. I was actually able to rearrange, throw out, and give away tons of clutter that turned into other people’s treasure or made the recycling fairies happy.
Eureka! I shouted, just enough space. I asked the two men in our household to bring it upstairs. Their enthusiasm was less than zero. “Are you crazy?” they asked. “It must weigh 500 pounds!” “Maybe we can take it apart?” I asked. “No,” snapped my husband.”There are a gazillion parts only a few come off. The rest weighs about 475 pounds.” (Vast exaggeration but it was HEAVY)!
I called on a friend who is both kind, a beautiful soul, and very strong. He would be happy to help in a few days but was sure we would need more manpower. He said it would take at least two strong bodies. I asked if he knew anyone else. No luck.
Back to creative thinking. I called my friend Marisa, who is one of the most resourceful people I know. After some ideas were bounced around, she said that her tall, strong son and another burly friend were driving my way anyway and they would come over and move the beast. Phew! They were wonderful. Great kids, well, young men. After much grunting, the thing was finally and permanently in my office. Thanks Sean and friend who I didn’t get a name for. I know, that statement is grammatically incorrect. So sue me.
Now I just needed to wait for the treadmill belt lube I ordered from Amazon to arrive and I would have no more excuses for not exercising. If I didn’t use the monstrous machine, was afraid it would retaliate by falling through the floor into the garage and crush my stored treasures.
I also wanted to name it. Anything that so many sweated over deserves a name. It became the Hulk.
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