December 24th, 2003

Flying Ace

So this is Christmas...

and what have you done?

Well, today I developed a working theory about families who go see movies on Christmas Eve and Christmas DAY. Most of them are either disfunctional or simply don't like each other much and the thinking goes like this:

Culture has dictated that we have to be together this time of year. Let pick an activity where we don't have to actually TALK or generally bond as a family. Aha! A MOVIE!!!

And while they are there they generally are short tempered and mean and abusive to the poor schmucks who are actually WORKING on these particular days. We found it hard to keep control of tempers and holding it together in this holiday mash of humanity. By "we" of course, I mean "ME."

I could have handled today much better if things had played out like they were supposed to. I was supposed to be there at 8:00 and so were the rest of my team...except somebody had told them they were to come in at ten (our first show was at 10:30) and the phone rang within 5 minutes of coming through the door.

"Jett," I heard a voice say, "I can't close tonight."
It was Jason, the lead who was to shut down concessions that evening. He was scheduled to come in at 2:00...except his live in girlfriend (who also was to work at the theater that day) went in to labor that morning. They are both 19, they live with his MOTHER in her TRAILER HOUSE...and since June her stomach has been swelling noticibly. She has insisted it is something else and would we please quit asking when she was due? Three WEEKS AGO she finally admitted to everybody she WAS pregnant...and was shocked nobody was surprised.
She had her FIRST DOCTOR APPOINTMENT what is now with only 3 weeks to go!!! AAAUUGGHHH!!!! I mean, AAAUUUGGGHHHH!!!!
They are keeping him...though to hear them talk I think they think they are getting a puppy. GLAH!

I digress but I was annoyed. All I had asked for was Christmas Eve off. I said I would work during the day but I wanted to be out by 2:00. Done, sez the schedule...and then BOOM, I was suddenly having to work an open/close shift with my certainly not best staff (and one of my best guys showed up with bubble gum colored hair and information that Dick says he can't be on a till until it grows out. NIiiiice.) AND I have to work an open/close TOMORROW on Christmas day. So...I got from startled to anxious to frustrated to angry to losing it with wyckhurst on the phone when I called her at 4:00 saying I was going to be late. It was one of those you think you are fine...but the instant you have to talk you realize you are just going to CRY and there are too many people in the room so you can't...and then the other person on the phone has to play 20 questions finding out if you're mortally injured or not. It was BAD.

I finally got out of there and zoomed down to my sister's place with my presents. I hadn't had a chance to wrap ANYTHING so most of the presents got stuffed into shopping bags. Classy Aunt Jeanette. They are young enough now they don't care but I can't pull that stunt for too many more years.

They liked their toys though. S liked his scented markers and H LOVES his popper. I weighed getting it. How much would H love it vs how much Sooze would want to kill me. In retrospect I should have made sure he got it last because the whole rest of the night he raced around with a big grin and POOPOPOPOPOPOPOPOPOPOPOPOPOP!!!! sounds left in his wake.

It was nice to be there and it was interesting looking around the room and realizing all the Atwood kids were there. Fun. Interesting dynamic. I wonder if Brent and I will ever reach a point where we can actually acknowledge each other but right now, this works just fine. Every time I have tried to extend the olive branch he shoves it right back in my face...unless he needs something. It does not keep me up nights.

It was so nice to spend a pleasant evening with my family. S's kids are adorable as ever and they really make it feel like Christmas...the joy, the wonder, the sheer delight of it all.

The big news I already knew but my dad stood up and announced he had offically resigned from the board of directors at Golden Eagle. No more Bolivia. It is strange. He has been going for back and forth for over 10 years. I guess the last bout of being seriously ill in the middle of the jungle with no medical care scared him enough that he figured his health was more important.
He will continue with consulting for them but he has some other projects lined up in Texas. A kitty litter mine of all things. How fun that my parents have realized they are indeed cat people. To quote my mom, "We don't want another pet. We want Beowulf." Heh.

So the time spent with my family has sufficently calmed my nerves and made me reflect more on what the spirit of Christmas should be and is.

I think of my sister's story of talking to her little boy...and how he proclaimed it is impossible to ruin Christmas. That is when we celebrate the birth of Jesus so it is impossible to ruin it. That's my nephew. He helps keep me on the straight and narrow path.

I think of Luke II. I think of Mary and Joseph...and the older I get, the more real they become. They were people. They struggled, they made decisions, they had to make a road trip and while there she gave birth in a barn.
All births are miracles...but this one was something else. This one put in flesh God's first born and only begotten Son...and he became the Savior of the world.

I can deal with the masses tomorrow.

Peace on earth...good will towards men.