Colored lights have been on my “holiday things I hate” list for as long as I can remember being judgmental… so essentially, as long as I can remember anything. The way they gleam, all horribly rainbow-like, on the rooftops and in the yards of middle class America in a way that screams, “WE LOVE CHRISSMASS, YA’LL” has always resounded to me some sort of trailer park meets video arcade hybrid. And if they flash or alternate, I feel a bah-humbug seizure coming on. But when your child’s eyes light up brighter than the Griswold house at the sight of such festive glory, and he shrieks with genuine glee (because babies don’t know how to be fake yet), you have to give in to your holiday conservatism and learn to embrace your inner tacky. Because a child knows no judgment of one’s landscape choices; they just know joy and spirit when they see it. And if that joy comes in illuminated rainbow colors and wraps around every lamppost, bush, and banister you got… well, you just shine on then.
Speaking of channeling my inner redneck… today at the service station, I had an extra dollar after buying a fountain Dr. Pepper as large as my head, and I asked the gentleman behind the counter to give me a $1 scratch ticket. This is not common practice. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve purchased a scratch-off lottery ticket since college. But I pulled my snap barrette out of my hair and scratched my “Lucky Super 8s” ticket with the narrow end of it. And whaddya know!? I won $5. So I went on about my day, enjoying my luck and my Dr. Pepper.
On the way home, though, I thought I’d try my hand at luck once more. And I cashed in my winnings for 5 shiny new tickets. HA! Six more dollars! …Six more tickets yielded $507. No shit. The look on my face must have been priceless, because a toothless man who pumps gas for minimum wage (and regularly sings B-I-N-G-O while doing so) even giggled at me, as I flapped my hands and squealed “I’m a winner, I’m a WIN-NER!” What a rush! I can see why Gamblers Anonymous exists… but I’m a quit while I’m $507 ahead kind of girl. And so I drove home, feeling unbelievably blessed… and relieved.
You see, my husband’s shop at the shipyard shuts down just before Christmas through New Years Day. And although most of it is paid time, there are 2 days for which he is shorted in wages. “It’s in the contract.” Don’t get me wrong, all the family time together over my holiday break from school is so nice, and I <probably> wouldn’t trade it for the money. We always seem to “make it work.” But it’s kind of an inconvenient time of year to be down 2 days pay, what with Santa just robbing us blind and all. So needless to say, I was thrilled to come into FOUR day’s pay on change from a soda. My hubby met me at the door with hugs as usual… and don’t you know I squeezed him extra tight and said “Everything is going to be alright!”