Darn You, Recession :-)

First, an apology: if you’re one who enjoys compiling and sending and/or reading, those annual “family newsletters” which often accompany Christmas cards, more power to you, and I’m sorry if you’re offended by what follows. I don’t compile, send, and only cynically and sarcastically, read them.

Ah, the “family newsletter:” that annual missive that describes (enhances? embellishes? whitewashes?) the goings-on of the clan during the past 12 months. Is there any more ludicrous collection of b.s. (other than that which fills The Congressional Record) to be found in print?

Family newsletters are usually filled with such utopian drivel as…

“Well, another exciting and eventful year for the Smiths! Gosh, where to begin? Well, first I suppose I should say that EVERYONE had yet another FABULOUS year! Once again, we have been truly blessed!

“Husband John continues to be successful at his job at the mill. Not only was he promoted to Assistant Manager (Binding Unit), but he also got a nice raise! Whew (that will sure come in handy, right?)! He and his ‘buddies’ went fishing again on the Gulf Coast in August. They caught so many redfish, we had to give some away, because they wouldn’t all fit in the freezer! Here’s a picture of Johnny on the boat (he’s the one red as a lobster from forgetting his sunscreen…again :-)).

“Can you believe that Brittany turned 13 this year? Me, neither! My goodness how time flies, right? She won first place in the ‘Miss Rainbow’ beauty pageant; her talent was singing ‘America the Beautiful’ while doing her usual FANTASTIC job with her batons! The judges clearly know talent and potential when they see it, don’t they? We are just SO PROUD of our little beauty queen (Miss Teen USA, here we come :-))! This is her picture, accepting her trophy after winning!

“Mike turned 9 this year (remember that his birthday is only TWO DAYS different from mine…weird, huh?) and went out for the 9-to-11 year-old football squad. BAD NEWS: he got a concussion in the second game. Talk about scared! But our Mikey has always been tough; he was ‘back in there’ in just TWO WEEKS! Even though he’s the smallest boy on the team, as usual, he gives it his all, and we are just SO PROUD of our little future NFL Star! Here he is at home, recovering and taking a little advantage by having TWO dishes of ice cream :-) !

“My scrapbooking still keeps me busy. While the ‘business side’ of it is still a ‘little slow’ (darn you, recession :-)), I did get the job of putting together our Sunday School class’s scrapbook. Boy, has that been a fun job! I had no IDEA that so many of our members had so MANY pictures, and want to be sure that ALL of them make it into the scrapbook. It sure is going to be hard to decide!

“Well, as you can tell, we’ve had another WONDERFUL year! Can’t wait to see what next year brings, but don’t worry, I’ll be sure to tell you ALL ABOUT it in next year’s newsletter! Until then, best wishes, Merry Christmas, and all the love from the Smiths!”

Now, if these things were truly honest, here’s what REALLY happened in the Smith house that year…

“Well, it has been another year for the Smiths:

“Those nitwits down at the mill overlooked John AGAIN, thinking that making him ‘Assistant Manager (Binding Unit)’ was some kind of big deal. The pathetic ‘raise’ they gave him means he brings home even LESS, because of taxes. So once again, I’m having to work on that silly scrapbooking that I never liked anyway. And it’s not like THAT has helped any…the only ‘work’ I got with that was from the Sunday School class. And I am getting sick and tired of all those so-called ‘Christians’ trying to MAKE me put their stupid pictures in there. I swear, every dang picture they ever took of their obnoxious little kids, they want in there, and who gets yelled at when it doesn’t happen? ME, that’s who!

“Brittany once again about bankrupted us with her ‘beauty pageant’ stuff. ‘Miss Rainbow,’ my FOOT! It’s not like that’s going to get her into college, or even out of the house. I wish she’d apply a TENTH of her effort into school that she does with that stupid pageant mess.

“And Mikey…of COURSE he had to try out for football, and of COURSE he got really hurt, not two weeks into it. Where does he think we get the money to pay those medical bills, much less the uniform, the shoes, driving to and from practice…it just never ends. And what with his birthday only two days from mine, it’s a wonder we can make it to the end of the month.

“(And don’t get me started on John and his dadgum ‘fishing trip’…shoot, he sold every fish he caught except for one, which barely made one meal for us. And THEN he had the nerve to use the money to buy—you guessed it—MORE fishing gear!)

“I swan, I KNEW I should have married Tom all those years ago.”

Hmm…maybe the “happy-dance” newsletter is the better way to go, after all. Wouldn’t want John to get in trouble down at the mill, or Brittany or Mike to need therapy in about ten years. Plus, think of all the scrapbooks we’d miss.

Photo: Katy Perry at the MTV Music Awards (promotional photo/no commercial fair use).
Richard Eisel

Richard Eisel

Richard Eisel lives in Georgia. Besides writing, he enjoys reading, sailing, and baseball. He has been working on his first novel for about thirty years.  So far, he has written three paragraphs, but they are really good paragraphs.