I just wanted to drop you a note this year and let you know how much I appreciated that “Abs of Steel” workout video you dropped in my stocking last year. Since the kids shoved a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the VCR, I haven’t really had the opportunity to use the video, but I appreciate your thoughtfulness.
I’m pretty sure you consulted my husband before you did your shopping last year, so I thought I would write a few hints about what I could really use this year and save you the hassle of consulting with him.
First of all, you can just avoid the whole fitness aisle altogether when you’re doing your shopping. It’s not that I am trying to be unhealthy. It’s just that I am running after the toddler so much these days that I rarely have time to exercise. Just the other day, when I was packing tubs of hand-me-down clothes up and down the steps to the house, I was thinking that I should make more of an effort to work out. But then I had to run after some cows that had gotten into the yard, and by the time I had finished the vacuuming the house and kneading the bread dough, I was just too tired to exercise.
What I could really use is a grocery delivery service. I have heard that there are refrigerators that have computers built into their doors. When you run out of a product, you can just enter it into the computer, and it alerts a store to deliver the product to your door. I’m pretty sure that this service doesn’t exist in the nether regions of Fergus County, so instead you could just hire a box boy for me to unload all my groceries while I’m schlepping kids into the house and feeding them dinner.
Probably my most pressing need is a very long bench with enough storage space underneath for 113 shoes. I have arrived at that figure using very simple math. There are six people in this house, each with two feet. Each person requires a pair of church shoes, a pair of sneakers, a pair of boots, a pair of play shoes, a pair of gym shoes, a pair of mud boots, and a pair of snow boots. That means there is a minimum of 84 shoes required at any one time.
Since six of the feet in this house belong to girls, you must add a few extra pairs of shoes to match the brown outfits, the black outfits, and the white outfits. Add a few more for the shoes that are outgrown but not yet discarded. Subtract three shoes due to a new puppy, school-aged children who leave shoes on the bus or at school, and a toddler with a shoe fetish who is usually wearing her brother’s snow boot and her sister’s slipper through the house and sometimes stashes a shoe in the toy box.
Quite simply, the answer to how many shoes need storing in this house is 113. Currently the shoes are stacked in the closet, piled in two baskets, and strewn throughout the porch. Just last week I fished three shoes out of the utility sink. I really, really need some shoe storage.
Another gift I would truly appreciate is a small care package with simple items to pamper myself. I would enjoy a nice-smelling lotion, a nail file, a new lip balm, and an industrial-sized bottle of pain reliever.
On a practical note, I could use a new broom to replace the one that was tattered during the kids’ last make-believe rodeo. The old nag just isn’t the same anymore.
Next on my list is a cleaning product that really does what it claims to do. For example, Oxi-Clean claims to remove any stain, but when my husband coated his manure-covered overalls in grease and brought them in for me to wash, they came out a strange shade of greenish-black. My Mr. Clean Magic Eraser cleaner claimed to, well, be magic. I thought it was living up to its claims until I tried to use it to erase my toddler at 3 a.m., but it didn’t work. Maybe I’ll have better luck using the Goo Gone on the peanut-butter smeared VCR.
I would hate to think of only myself this Christmas, so I was wondering if you could bring a few things for my friends. One of them would like a mind-reading device to use when her husband leaves the house without telling her where he is going. Another would like some kind of vacuum for her husband and children to walk through before entering the house. It would suck out dirt, dust, chaff, pet rocks, and the occasional frog in the pocket.
With all sincerity, I would like nothing more than good health for my family and friends this year.
And since he was so helpful last year, could you drop a new watch in my husband’s stocking? I think his must be broken; he never seems to make it in for meals on time. If it’s not too much trouble, I think he really wants one of those “man groomers” that I saw advertised, too. I think he’s beginning to worry about his appearance now that he’s middle-aged.
Thanks, Santa. And Merry Christmas to you, too.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008