my winter christmannukkwanzyuletide solstice vacation, days 3-7: the wisdom of omi
well the rest of our trip went by relatively smoothly. the baby settled into something resembling a sleeping groove. mater-in-law stayed home with the kid one night so the wife and i could take in dinner and a movie. saw The Squid and the Whale -- excellent. the perfect heartwarming holiday movie for when you're young and hopeful and starting a new family. set in my neighborhood, no less.
and there were parties! two parties, to be exact. one christmas eve ham dinner (the host was charmingly concerned that i would object to the main course due to my semi-jewish extraction. no darling, my religious persuasion does not prevent me from eating ham. what prevents me from eating ham is that pigs are filthy animals and i refuse to eat dirty swine like a rabid dog. i spit on your christmas pork! pass me more of that delightful salad, though. do i taste pomegranate?!) and one generic holiday christmannukkwanzyuletide solstice party. at both parties the wife and i had to bolt our food and leave before 7 in order to get the kid in bed. while revelry continued on into the wee hours for everyone else, mrs nice guy and i sat joylessly on the couch in silence, staring into each others' empty eyes.
then on the Big Day, we opened presents. the baby received more presents than anyone has ever received in one sitting in the history of all time. we thought we had been clever by packing an empty bag with which to haul home loot. ha! fools! we would have needed a fleet of uhaul trucks to get all those fluffy, blinky, chirping, bouncing, educational, rolling, cuddly gewgaws home. this kid has no idea how good she has it. i've played with her toys and they're awesome. i love having a kid. i can take her new gadgets away from her to play with myself, give her some torn wrapping paper in exchange, and she won't notice the difference!
it was my second christmannukkwanzyuletide vacation ever spent away from my parents -- who are bizarrely traveling in thailand and bangladesh (i have not heard from them since they left a week ago and fear they have been sold as chattel. poor mater and pater). but it would be incorrect to say i spent it without family. my family is bigger this year and this christmas with mrs nice guy, the baby, the in-laws and especially the kid's great grandmother was an occasion to be cherished.
mostly because mrs nice guy's dutch-slovenian omi has packed in 84 years of living and can totally kick your dutch-slovenian omi's ass. my child's great-grandmother is indeed both grand and great -- and she is not afraid to sit you down and break off a piece of wisdom for you in a very close approximation of english (she speaks eight languages. how many do you speak?). i listened closely to baby nice guy's great-grandomi this week and i have recorded some of the best bits of her insight here for posterity. enjoy:
on moderation (a favorite theme): In the world they give you all advices. One is don't eat too much. Don't drink too much. Don't make too much love. And so it goes further. But anyway everybody drinks too much, he eats too much, he makes too much dingas-dongas.
on american culture: You don't sing much in the States. Maybe in Texas.
on philosophers: I like to read Emerson because he is so light, so understandable. I'm not intellectual but I can understand him and I like the things he is telling me. He tells the truth and we don't listen. He's a kind of Jesus. Jesus tells the truth and we don't listen.
on sex: Love is not enough in bed, but ... HAHA! HEE HEE!
on the pills she has to take every day: If you don't have to use this you are young. I hate it. You cannot drink. You must only eat these small things. White round and miserable! And I take a cookie.
on christmas presents (she received a natty sweater and scarf, among other things): When I was young I was dressing my child. Now my child is dressing me.
on santa claus and gift-giving: The Chrismas Man come and bring many things. Old Omi doesn't go shopping.
on doctors' orders: They tell me no drinking. No working. No enjoying myself. "Enjoying," yes, but with no drinking it's not possible.
on the baby, who was hooked on great-grandma like marion barry on crack: She loves me more [than] she loves you.