Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Holiday Newsletter for the Modern World

Dear friends, relatives and co-workers who are not on the HR “watch list,”
Merry/Happy Whatever-You-Do-And/Or-Don’t Celebrate! Welcome to our family’s annual holiday newsletter!
We know it’s 2017. We aren’t Luddites. We are on all the major social media platforms (including Anxietizer, D-Nouncer and, of course, TimeSukk). We dutifully document by word, photo and hashtag every meal and movement (even THOSE movements — bless our poor parakeet’s IBS) because, as our youngest child says, “Thank you, Kardashians!”
But the physical act of writing a letter, putting it an envelope and paying a deep-in-debt quasi-government agency to deliver it oh-so-slowly is so comforting, so cathartic, so old-school uncool America. That’s why I’m writing this by hand with a piece of only the finest Appalachian strip-mined coal available from Williams-Sonoma. If it was good enough for Lincoln’s homework, it’s good enough for you! So pardon the smudges, and here we go:

Our youngest, Roget, graduated this year. It’s true: the third senior year IS the charm! We did have to threaten litigation, but that’s what good parents sometimes have to do these days to motivate their children. That and remove all animal proteins, gluten and high-fructose corn syrup from their diets until they get that last credit. Who knew homeschooling could be so trying? Anyway, did we threw a commencement party to remember, with enough pan gravy and Pop Tarts to make up for all those lost carbs! Roget quickly put that degree to work, finding work as a border wall consultant.
After discarding the given name Burton for Hermione (see our 2013 holiday letter) and then Hermione for Mindmelder (re: 2016), our “middle” child has again decided to adopt a new identity and now asks to be called Des Moines with the pronoun preference of “say whaaaaat.” Not to brag, but how can you be humble when you have a child brave enough to choose to be named after the THIRD-largest insurance capital in the entire world! Des Moines is working as a professional objector, intently scanning the news online every day to find something to be outraged by.
Our eldest daughter, Alessandra, has finally made her dream a reality. After brief layovers in bartending, Uber driving and body waxing, she finally received her Colorado dispensary certificate. Our big girl now proudly runs her own head shop/laundromat in southeast Boulder called “Buds and Suds.” It’s been a stone(d)-cold success that’s really cleaning up, har-har! The next items on her bucket list: motherhood and a concealed carry permit.
And finally, her twin brother, Michael, is still an accountant in Philadelphia.
Now on to me and ol’ ball-and-bungee cord. As we now have an empty nest (sorry about that turn of phrase, you incontinent little rascal), we will be retiring from our jobs at the agency next month, selling the old homestead and hitting the road! We have already cashed out all our IRAs, bought the most bad a-double “s” recreational vehicle around, and put what’s leftover into the portable security of Bitcoin. How can we lose? Our travel plans for 2018 include what’s left of our country’s national parks (wildfire and presidential proclamation permitting) and, if traffic isn’t too bad, Dollywood. We’re so lucky!
That’s a wrap on 2017 for our menagerie. Looking forward to a New Year without any real estate taxes to pay!
Me, the Spouse and your feathered friend, Ploppy
A version of this was first ignored by the readers of The Stamford Advocate.

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