Thanks for the gift, honey. Now save the box so I can eat it later.

December 29, 2011

When you lead a gypsy life, where gaps between employment are often wider than is economically desirable, the idea of exchanging Christmas gifts becomes secondary to, say, mortgage payments or keeping the lights on.

In 2011, however, Viking Woman and I were both blessed with full-time jobs and so decided that a few simple gifts under the artificial tree would not break the bank. I had to keep in mind that she is a Born Again Jenny Craig disciple, while she kept reminding me that my wish list of Toys For Boys would be fulfilled the instant we won the lottery.

Come Christmas morning, however, the presents that were purchased made the desired impression and hardly any at all were mentally tagged for regifting.

But the more I pondered on the items Viking Woman gave me, the more I realised she was sending me coded messages, if only I was astute enough to understand them.

For instance:

The Starbucks coffee? Message: You have a refined and sophisticated palate, even if you are going to slurp back most of this before your eyes are actually open in the morning.

Boutique soap? Message: You are a well-groomed metrosexual with excellent hygiene who needs to stop using my expensive body wash.

Tom Petty CD? Message: You have excellent taste in music and after you’ve inflicted Mr. Petty on me, I’m going to torture you with both of my favourite music genres: country and western.

Lifetime membership to Jenny Craig? Message: You’re a fat bitch.

OK, it’s not like I didn’t see that last one coming. After all, it does take me longer to shave in the morning these days, what with all those extra chins flapping about. And my clothes seem to have shrunk, for reasons I simply cannot explain and so blame the washing machine.

But I have a perfectly good explanation for this sudden growth spurt: It’s not my fault.

In my defence:

I recently spent a week in Las Vegas. Anyone who has been served a meal in the U.S. knows there is enough on that plate to feed an entire African village.

I recently spent two weeks visiting my parents. Mom, knowing I wouldn’t be home for Christmas, trotted out samples of all her baked seasonal goods. Mom, knowing I wasn’t home at Thanksgiving, hauled out the pumpkin pecan pie that had languished in the freezer for two months. One does not, after all, send their first-born back to his wife looking famished.

I know: I put the sick in homesick.

And then I return to the loving arms of Viking Woman just in time for Christmas, which meant an office lunch room filled with chocolate sirens calling me by my first name, like they knew I lacked willpower. It turned out the little bastards were right.

See what I mean: Not. My. Fault.

And so now December is winding down as I belly up to my computer desk and Viking Woman is asking when I will be joining her at the altar of Jenny. Just as soon as the house is emptied of all the junk food we bought for that Christmas Day party you insisted on hosting, I tell her while being careful to smile.

When all the chips and sweets and ice cream and potato salad are safely tucked away (read: stuffed into my pie hole), then I will bare my soul, and my bulging abdomen, to the acolytes at Jenny Craig and begin the long, hard, calorie-less, fat-less, tasteless slog back into my jeans.

It could, however, take me a while to empty the pantry and the fridge. A condemned man would never wolf down his final meal.

While I’m doing all that chewing, I will not be thinking ahead to how svelte I will look once I shed 60 pounds.

What I’ll actually be contemplating is how many days into the programme I will get before I gnaw off my own arm.

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