A Christmas Card

Christmas newsletters are the worst.  I get a few every year that literally just list the months of the year and what happened during those months.  Usually it says something like:

January: Tom started working second shift

February: I got bored, now that the kids are out of the house, so I took up Zumba.

March: I decided to lose the weight!  No more carbs for me!

April: Tom just refused to do the 5k with me.  But Dave from work said he would…

I take that back.  That’d be interesting.  We could learn the seedy details of the 50-year-olds who cheated on each other (I heard one’s a “cam girl” now).  Usually it’s about how someone got a new dog, and boy she’s a handful.

So I thought it’d be fun to do a fictional one.  Let’s see if The Wife lets me:

Happy Holidays from the Joneses!

We hope this letter finds you in good health and good spirits. We’d like to share what we did in 2018!

As you know, the Joneses have had our share of adventures over the years – being stranded on L. Ron Hubbard’s boat and that time Lindsay mathematically proved the world is indeed flat (and turtles all the way down) both jump to mind – but I think the events of this year really stand out…

Last year the cardiologist, Dr. Light, said that I would have to have open-heart surgery in May to fix a congenital defect (although I’m not sure how “sexually outstanding” is a defect). Because I have what is medically described as “Thor Chest”, Dr. Light recommended an experimental procedure beyond the usual Frankenstein-esque mess of parts from pigs / cows / goretex / serial killer cadavers. So on May 30th – after a few “conflict-based delays” (come to find out he was a “guest” on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew) – we went in for surgery.

Everything went very well. The surgery went much longer than expected because of the mandatory espionage and subsequent destruction of the only copy of the experimental surgery plans, but I was up and walking the next day.

About a week later I was sent home with a list of things to do during recovery. It’s all the normal stuff: keep tabs on blood pressure, make sure to exercise, don’t lie flat, don’t eat the children, take all medication, etc. (I thought the list was weird; if I can lie flat, why wouldn’t I?). Lindsay went back to work, the kids were going to school; everything seemed to be going according to plan. Until my scars started itching.

I contacted the doctor via the iPhone app and the intern who reads the emails asked the secretary to call the nurse to get in touch with doctor’s assistant who was on vacation about the itchiness and weird growth forming around the incision. At the beginning of July I finally got an email back saying that I should contact a dermatologist (which would be free because we met our deductable!) about that lump, but by then it was too late; the lump had detached itself and was learning our language. By the time Labor Day rolled around, Kevin (Quinn named him) was like a part of the family.

Having Kevin around was bittersweet. He’d often volunteer to help Paige with her flash cards and would clean the toilets without being asked (he said that the Ty-D-Bowl residue was like candy to him), but he’d also levitate to the medicine cabinet and steal my beta-blockers.

One of his vices was late-night prank calls. He played me a couple tapes; I have to admit, they were pretty funny, (think The Jerky Boys, but not as dirty; a lot of Kevin’s humor is raisin-based) but toward the beginning of October, he’d gone too far: he called Flagstar Bank, Lindsay’s place of work. The police report says what he did was technically a felony, but the lawyer said “felony” is a stretch because what he suggested is just a natural bodily function. Either way, it was time for Kevin to go.

We had a family meeting while Kevin was out running errands (he said he only had two more days until he “served [his] purpose given to [him] by Dr. Light to answer all questions and put an end to human misery”, but whatever) and we decided the best thing to do was to sell him on eBay. While he was gone, it rained and, Kevin being Kevin, he left the windows down. Needless to say, because of the water, Kevin morphed into a terrible hell-demon and we had to vanquish him by saying his real name backwards. The eBay deal fell through too.

Since Kevin left, we sold the Equinox and bought a Jeep, Lindsay got a new job at Delta Dental, Paige started her orthodonture, and Quinn has started losing her baby teeth.

It’s been a year of surprises and a year of triumph. We all hope 2019 is a little calmer. And I hope this itchy rash goes away.

With Love:

The Joneses

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