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Janice Wells: Start by five, home by nine

Red and white pointsettias. — Telegram file
Red and white pointsettias. — Telegram file

Newman gave me a birthday card that said “A birthday is like a cat. You wake up one morning and it’s right there in your face.”

I was one of those unfortunate Christmas week babies; not exactly in the stable, but close enough that celebrating it with friends, followed closely by Christmas Eve with one branch of the family and Christmas Day with another plus some of the intertwined limbs makes me decide just about every year that I am not going to celebrate my birthday at all, but of course Sister and Janine would never let that happen.

So I had three late nights in four days. One night would have been even later but I got Newman up to dance to a Marty Robbins song and all the kids decided it was time to go home.

How many times have I said, “Next year I am going to be like the Queen and have an official birthday on another date.” Of course, I forget about it until the next birthday comes around.

This year however, in my newly recovered Christmas spirit, I decided to have a big party of wonderful women, not exactly to celebrate my birthday but to celebrate not being 70. I made up a guest list, planned the menu, made up an e-vite and tried for two days to figure out how to send it out.

Then I was so glad that I was so hopeless because I decided I couldn’t handle a big party anyway, and not everyone understands being uninvited as much as do my nearest and dearest. It’s like the big trip around Europe that Newman and I were going to take in the fall; planning and deciding all the stops wore me out and I wasn’t a bit disappointed when other circumstances made it not happen.

 

Even though I am feeling better in many ways, I have gotten so used to staying home that I like it. As I write this, it is the day after Boxing Day, another cold misery-guts of a day. If I had to go out this morning I would be ready to shoot myself.

The problem, if it is a problem, is that even though I am feeling better in many ways, I have gotten so used to staying home that I like it. As I write this, it is the day after Boxing Day, another cold misery-guts of a day. If I had to go out this morning I would be ready to shoot myself.

Yesterday I didn’t even get dressed. Well I did sort of. As long as I put on a bra to even out my chest I feel like I have made an effort to get dressed. I do have my standards. There’s nothing that takes the elegance out of a new floor-length gown quite like one lonely breast, even if the gown is flannel.

One of my Wells cousins has a party every Boxing Day. It’s a lovely party, especially because it’s often the only time in the year that some of our extended family members get to see each other. Some years I’ve had to miss it. This year I missed it because if George Clooney invited me I wouldn’t have gone out. (Maybe I would have gone for Johnny Cash, if he was still with us and invited me).

Not that I care more about Johnny than I do my Wells family, but Johnny would be a once-in-a-lifetime event and I can, and will, invite my family over here and therefore will not even have to go out. Plus it will be just family and not a big crowd so I won’t get overwhelmed and un-invite them.

Some of you are probably making big party plans for New Year’s Eve. I have plans ,too, plans that involve spending some quality time in bed with a much-loved member of the opposite sex. And no, I am not giving away personal information about Newman and me and the kids can stop saying “eeeuwh.”

Four year old Grandson is coming for a sleepover so his mommy and daddy can go gallivanting like his grandmother used to.

Don’t get me wrong. I can still be a party animal, as long as I can start by five and be home by nine.

But not on Boxing Day. That ship has not only sailed; it has sunk. I’m just happy to have a warm place to stay home in.

 

Janice Wells lives in St. John’s. She can be reached at janicew@nf.sympatico.ca.

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