Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Jeremy Crow Christmas Countdown 2009 #9

Do you ever get that “bad person trying to get into heaven” feeling around the holidays? I'd be lying if I didn't say that I notice a lot of people that are rotten assholes, that seem to transform into something mildly human within a month of Christmas. I'm sure some of them do it because they just realized that they have kids, and the PTA people get on their cases about the rotten little clones that they are raising, some might just snap into a haze, as looming holiday loneliness is upon them, and others might actually get happier around Christmas. I happen to operate a bit differently as Christmas reminds me of financial burdens and whatnot, but I put on a mask and enjoy it for the sake of the kids all the same.

I prefer to work on my Christmas spirit year round. I don't always succeed but then again I don't always fail. I also tend to credit myself with a Christmas Spirit Gold Star {CSGS} every now and then for the “out of the ordinary” things I do that I know could go the other way. Take some of these scenarios for example. One of the few things that God has blessed me with is that I aged a hell of a lot better than almost everyone my age. Many would say that I pickled myself with such awe inspiring alcohol abuse that formaldehyde couldn't have done the job better {and they don't get Gold Stars for the record} but with that out of the way they could be right. This does of course give me many opportunities for could be, could be situations.

Men my age, who haven't lost a hair on their head could of course have many a witty reminiscence of how all those guys who beat me up in school are quite bald now. The ones that aren't bald are still pretty old and ugly looking. Now just the fact that I don't rub this in, isn't really the reason I brought it up. Think about this scenario a bit differently when you apply it to ex-girlfriends, ex-wives, or even that bitch {oops minus a CSGS} “woman” who used to treat you like gum on the bottom of her shoe. This gets thrown into the realm of “women rarely naturally age as well as men” and there is new possibilities. I can't even tell you how hard it could be to treat an ex-girlfriend that gained a few hundred pounds with any decency at all if I didn't make a conscious effort to be above my carnal nature. This actually happens a lot more than it should but I do spend a lot of time in the gym, and I think I get 2 CSGS for each one since it would be doubly horrible to be mean to them. I should get extra ones if I give them diet advice and I often do.

This relates to the way I drive. I so very rarely get any form of road rage. It doesn't do me any good, and usually I find a lot of the idiots on the road to be amusing. I have had a couple of moments where I stopped the car to kill the person behind me, being all threatening, but I don't think I lose any CSGSs as I have never actually killed anyone. I will gladly turn a few in, with some of the people that have tailgated me blaring their horn, if they weren't usually old women. The last time that happened to me, I jumped out of the car at a stop light to kill the person behind me and it was a white haired old lady, flipping me the bird and screaming obscenities. The old man with his face in his hands sitting in the passengers seat beside her was a moratorium on what my life would have been like had I not gotten rid of the first ex-wife. What say I get a CSGS for the sympathetic thought?

Yeah I could always use the fact that my kids are still alive and relatively healthy as a good example of CSGS moments. I have logged so many hours driving kids back and forth to this and that and of course they almost always punish me for it. To be fair to myself I have gotten a HELL of a lot better about this but I think my hearing is finally starting to go. The kid that used to be good in school is falling apart and the one who used to do horrible in school is now making the honor roll. I haven't figured out a way to take full credit for any of this because as usual it took me totally by surprise on both counts. The fact that the little one has finally demonstrated to her teachers that she doesn't shut up, has made life a bit easier on that front because at least I am dealing with teachers on a more realistic level.

The most important thing about myself that I changed, that helped me in carrying that CSGS moments into everyday life was the most innocuous of them all, and I started doing it years ago. I even blogged about it, in one of my first “From the Desk of the Jeremy Crow R & D Department” blogs where I talked about simply smiling and saying hello to everyone. Eye contact and a smile doesn't just make it easier on you to establish interpersonal relationships, but in a lot of cases I have noticed over the years is that little nudge that often starts someone's day going in the right direction, even if it is only mine. Call it the voyeur in me that often can see the people around me walking around in a frump and then take credit for seeing them often quickly coming out of it, but I will. It's part of the general justification for making myself a better person in the name of helping others. This level of Christmas Spirit is a 365 days a year thing that often gets forgotten between the traffic jams and the long line at the Starbucks. Don't hesitate to take a moment to remind yourself of it, until it becomes second nature ;8o)