BUTLER: "Please be factual, Mark. You and Bagman danced. I was reading the latest edition of Emily Post's Etiquette until I was forced to leave the room because of the noise."
And last week a package from France arrived!!!
I decided to put it under the tree where we could all open it and taste it on Christmas morning.
The paper ripping frenzy begins! At two years old...
Conner discovers Christmas for the first time.
Noah just sits on his mother's lap and enjoys everyone laughing.
And finally we get to the box...
Karen: "Where did this box from France come from?"
Karen: "Well, duh! I mean who sent it?"
Mark: "It's the jam I told you about that I won in Nan U's random drawing!"
Karen: "How did it get here?
Mark: "The mailman?"
Karen: "You gave out your home address over the Internet?!"
Mark: "I also gave out our home address to Amazon.com, and I don't know them as well as I know Nan."
BAGMAN (stage-whispering in my ear): "Shhh, Mark! You've done it now!"
Karen: "So how well do you know this woman? Who did you say she is again?"
BAGMAN: "Better start tap-dancing, Mark."
Mark: "I'm not going to start tap dancing. I've got no reason to tap dance."
Karen: "Tap dance? You don't even waltz. So who is she again?"
Mark: "She's a wonderful photographer and a genetic scientist. She shoots pictures of a pink rabbit, drops rocks on toys, dips stuffed animals in frozen nitrogen, and is one of the bloggers that I follow."
Karen: "Pink rabbits? Sounds weird. What does she look like?"
Mark: "I don't know what she looks like. I just like her blog."
BUTLER: "May I remind you, Mark, that you have seen a picture of her on her blog. Just tell the truth and it will set you free."
BAGMAN: "Nan's hot!"
Mark: "I'm not saying that!"
Karen: "Not saying what? And who are you talking to?"
Mark: "I'm telling Bagman to shut up."
Karen: "Oh yes, your little imaginary friends."
BAGMAN: "I'm insulted!!!!"
BUTLER: "Calm down, Bagman. We are imaginary, after all. In a Jungian kind of way."
BAGMAN: "Speak for yourself, Butthead! I'm as Freudian as they come."
Conner: "I got more horses!!"
Mark: "I don't really know what to say, Honey. Nan's got a picture on her blog spot but it is small."
Karen waits quietly to see if I am going to hang myself or answer the question correctly. I smile. Fortunately, I've been happily married long enough to be quite good at the traditional husband-wife Jeopardy game. I even know how to answer the dreaded question: "Does this dress make me look fat?"
Mark: "Honey, if she was Marilyn Monroe, she couldn't hold a candle to you. I'm just happy that we have this Christmas together as a family."
Brian: "Wasn't Marilyn Monroe famous back in the silent movies?"
Mark: "I'm not that old! Can we taste the jelly now?"
BUTLER: "It's jam, not jelly."
Karen, smiling at being chosen over Marilyn Monroe, hands me the box and I give the camera to Brian so he can take a photo of me smiling that I can post on Blogspot.
Before Karen can hurry back from the kitche, I use my fingers! Mmmmm..
Karen tastes it. Brian shoots but the flash doesn't flash. Karen likes it!
I look up with a photographer's sudden obsessive worry, wondering why the flash didn't flash -- and Brian proves it does.
Brian: "You'll love this one, Dad, because you weren't posing!"We pass the jelly to Melody..
BUTLER: "Jam, Jam, Jam!! Not Jelly!"
I look on, nervously, while Melody tastes it. She likes it too! .
We all liked it! After the rest of the presents were opened, we put it on bread that Melody had made. It was a great Christmas and we were all appreciative that Nan's culinary expertise was part of it.
Later, when I was back in the studio with Bagman and Butler, preparing this blog, Bagman said, "I still think she's hot."
BUTLER: "You think everyone's hot, you Freudian deviant!"
BAGMAN: "And you just think everyone's so creative and interesting, you Jungian monk."
Merry Christmas, boys, I said, smiling contentedly, licking last drops of delicious jam from my fingers.