By Paula S. Robin
There was an unadulterated and innocent joy to counting down those days until Santa Claus came to town. What a legendary character Santa has become. Let’s shake the snow up in the snow globes. Tighten up the tinsel. Set the scene with some milk and cookies. Crank up the fire. Slide on those fuzzy slippers. Excuse me, while I put my Christmas records on. Now, it’s time to lean back in our favorite recliner to ponder. Are you naughty or nice? Why am I asking you? Scarcely ever are people what they claim to be. The word “naughty” itself isn’t a controversial word. Did you know that “nice” used to be considered a negative word? You might need to double-check that fun fact. The word “nice” comes from the Latin word nescius. The word nescuis means: ignorant or unaware. The word nice continues to transform over time and has become a morally scrupulous and quite a nasty little word. Nice can be a compliment or a curse, depending on how it’s used of course. Most people are attracted to being naughty. It’s mysterious. Nice!? Who wants to be described as nice? Naughty is sexy, and sexy isn’t a bad thing, is it? Is Santa naughty or nice? Placing elves on shelves with devilish smiles to judge the actions of children all around the world? Doesn’t sound nice to me. Don’t blame Santa. The blame should always fall on the parents. Do we love to hate the elf or hate to love the elf? The elf on the shelf: a Christmas pal, or child stalker?
There is a lot to ponder on during this season, regardless of whether you embrace the elf or not. Most parents are inconsistent with limits and expectations. Can we really blame the children? How can a parent judge their children for not controlling impulses, when they themselves don’t control their own urges? If life gives me lemons, make lemonade? Is this all you got? This is the suggestion, to drink something that creates insulin resistance? How is this a positive life quote? Summer’s most refreshing drink, I think not. Do you beg to differ? Led had it right, you know, Led Zeppelin-The Lemon Song. ”I should have quit you a long time ago.” The lemon is one of the healthiest things in nature. My apologies to the lemon and to you the readers, I let my little hamster run loose. Reeling him or her back in and placing her or him back high up on their tiny pedal-stools, so that we can ruminate together, just a little longer. Where were we? Lemonade, naughty or nice? Lemonade is a love or hate thing. There seems to be no in between. Naughty and nice can have similar outcomes. An alcoholic loves to drink. Some drink and drive. He’d argue that he is being nice. He doesn’t have to pay for an Uber if he drives. It’s always nice if it works out in our favor. I’d argue that naughty or nice, it is in the eye of the beholder. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so nice people, the odds just went up in your favor. For the record, I am against drinking and driving. I was once hit by a drunk driver. There was nothing nice about it.
Thirty-plus years ago, my drunk uncle told my aunt at our Christmas Eve party, “the difference between you and me, dear, is that I’ll be sober in the morning, but you’ll still be ugly.” Some people laughed. All I could think about then and now is that he is an offensive person. It doesn’t matter if you think the joke was naughty or nice, or just kidding around. It was unnecessary and hurtful. “Oh, Paula, it didn’t hurt anyone. Don’t be so dramatic.” This is what I was told to console me. For those of you that are mean-spirited and callous, he hurt her more with those words than with his fist. Not so funny anymore, is it? Sober or not, he is and always will be the ugliest man I know. My aunt might not have been a model but her inner beauty and strength brought her confidence, and I have to say, many people thought she was sexy. She didn’t need a bottle to hide in. She wasn’t his genie in a bottle. I won’t leave you dangling on a cliff, my readers, she remarried and lived happily ever after. The uncle, he was forgiven. My mother always taught us that we can all be forgiven. She would say, “God even uses jackasses in scripture. God can use you, too.” How comforting.
Chin up, this is a Christmas story. Those who believe in karma, he did not age well. He looked like he was drug through a knothole back’ards. I am well aware backwards is spelled b-a-c-k-w-a-r-d-s; it isn’t as funny without the Cajun slang. Oh, and before you get your tinsel untucked, I am not against drinking. I’m against hateful people. I don’t drink any more, and I don’t drink any less either. I wrote that as a nod for a few special people reading this. When I drop this well-timed joke, they pause, shake their heads at me but still laugh. I love Christmas. Knotholes are natural blemishes in trees. We had pine trees where I grew up. My favorite pine tree had a knothole that added such character and charm to it. We didn’t hide things in it like in To Kill a Mockingbird. We could have, probably should have, but we didn’t. When the wind blew across our yard you could smell the pine flowing through the air. It brings back so many fond memories. Luckily for me, I had many more happy memories than I had rude uncles. We didn’t have a Boo Radley; we had our own weird Harold, though.
Is there anything sexier than confidence? Confidence is the one thing I find extremely attractive. Confidence is hot. Does anyone think of confident people as naughty? No! Sexy is naughty, confidence is sexy, so naughty equals confident. It’s in the math, so why don’t we equate it together. Confidence is the one thing that most people are extremely attracted to. The most stressful time of year? Really? Naughty or nice, that is the question to ponder? Before you are too harsh or judgmental, remember, diamonds start out as coal. Exactly the reward for being bad, pact tight enough, could bring you diamonds. The ugly duckling story has a fine ending. Cheer up nice people, cheer up. The diamond is a girl’s best friend. It’s also the end to a fine gentleman’s bank account. Stop throwing out the coal. Coal is now the world’s most expensive fossil fuel. Nice! Mama, stop kissing Santa Claus and start shoveling me some coal. Move over you little creepy elf, Paula needs a new stocking. Things are about to get real naughty around here. Why wasn’t I born a coal miner’s daughter? Oh yeah, I am the milkman’s kid.
Now, that got me in a lot of hot water in first grade. In school, we had a “Who’s Your Daddy Day.” Let’s say it had to be revamped after my remark sparked attention. Now you have the bring your blah blah blah to school days. When I was a kid, we didn’t bring our parents to school. Our parents had to work. We had to stand in front of the class and report what our parents did, who they were, and such. I stood proudly in front of my class with my homemade dress and with my homemade haircut. I was the last student to present that day. I looked out the window. There was no snow. It was Southeast Texas for Pete’s sake! The smell of pine was in the air, well pine-sol, the cleaning lady was ready for us brats to go. She was mopping up every footprint and wiping every fingerprint. Soon no one would know we had been there. I cleared my throat, stopped my shivering, and spoke loud and clear, “My daddy is the milkman.” The mothers gasp and workers laughed, and the kids went wild. I was snatched up by the ear and drug down the hall to the principal’s office where I learned that this meant something else. My mother cleared the fiasco up. My father was the milkman. The top salesperson for Cable’s ice cream. I was given an A+ for my report. My teacher never jumped to conclusions again. If you could see me now. I’m giving you that wink I give, and that half-tilted smile. I’m just saying, I may or may not have been being a little naughty that day. Coal anyone? One lump or two?
I remember that wink and half smile very well. By the way, I’ll have 4 lumps !! 😉
4 lumps it is. Thank you.
Reading this was like watching slapstick comedy. Hilarious and witty!
“I don’t drink any more, and I don’t drink any less either.” Cheers to that!
LOL “Sexy is naughty, confidence is sexy, so naughty equals confident. It’s in the math, so why don’t we equate it together.”
I’m not good at math, but this makes perfect sense to me!