Friday, November 25, 2016

November 25: Hard Work, Miller Williams, "If Ever There Was One"

The holidays are hard work, starting with the cooking of Thanksgiving dinner.  I am not complaining.  I'm always the first person in my neighborhood to have my Christmas tree up (the day after Halloween, usually).  I listen to Christmas music all year long.  It calms me down, makes me happy.

But the holidays require a lot of energy and effort.  Sort of like a marriage.  There's good days and bad days.  There's happiness and sadness.  Tonight, after two days of cooking and family, I am beat.  I have a feeling that I will be in bed pretty early, right after I watch the fiftieth anniversary broadcast of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

Miller Williams talks about the great effort of happiness and love in tonight's poem.  It's a depressing little narrative, but it makes sense.  No matter how hard you try, you can't be a perfect husband or wife.  And no matter what present you buy, what cookie you bake, what carol you sing, you can't have a perfect holiday season.  There will be disappointment, no matter how much effort you've expended.

The trick is not to expect an Irving Berlin kind of Christmas.  It doesn't exist.  Never existed.  However, happiness is attainable.  It's just a matter of letting go.  Don't expect gingerbread and Bing Crosby all the time.  Find small moments to celebrate.  Take time to read the Christmas cards that come in the mail.  Treat yourself to a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows.  Watch A Charlie Brown Christmas.  Drop a few coins in the Salvation Army bucket.  Like I said, small moments of Christmas joy.

Saint Marty recommends adding some Bailey's Irish Cream to your hot chocolate.  It warms his chestnuts every time.

If Ever There Was One

by:  Miller Williams

She could tell he loved her. He wanted her there   
sitting in the front pew when he preached.   
He liked to watch her putting up her hair
and ate whatever she cooked and never broached

the subject of the years before they met.   
He was thoughtful always. He let her say   
whether or not they did anything in bed
and tried to learn the games she tried to play.

She could tell how deep his feeling ran.
He liked to say her name and bought her stuff   
for no good reason. He was a gentle man.   
How few there are she knew well enough.

He sometimes reached to flick away a speck   
of something on her clothes and didn’t drum   
his fingers on the table when she spoke.
What would he do if he knew she had a dream

sometimes, slipping out of her nightgown—
if ever God forbid he really knew her—
to slip once out of the house and across town   
and find someone to talk dirty to her.

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