July is coming to a rapid close. This month has seemed to fly by at a record pace So many things popping up to keep me from posting and this makes me a little sad. What July coming to a close really means.
The majority of holidays are now behind us for the year 2011. The holidays that I treasure so much because they signal at least a day that I can try to forget about the hectic schedule at the office. We now have only Labor Day, Halloween (holiday of a sort), Thanksgiving and Christmas. I include Halloween because even though I do not get a day off of work, it is what now triggers the Christmas Season. Lewis Black said that anymore Halloween kicks off the Christmas Season and Thanksgiving is Christmas halftime. I dread both Thanksgiving and Christmas. The moving up of the kick off season just makes that much more time for me to be in a state of dread.
I don't care much for Halloween either. Strange kids and people coming to my door all evening, upsetting the dog and stealing candy from me. Candy that I could use myself as I prepare for Christmas. Nothing gets you through a rough day like a good sugar high.
The end of July also signals that in just a few weeks school will start. Mind you I don't mind the fact that school is starting, I think it is good to put the kids away for a few hours every day. Makes the neighborhood quieter and you don't have to worry during the day what is actually happening on your block. The problem with school starting is now I will have to be fighting kids walking to school in the middle of the street as well as trying to get around those school buses that stop every ten feet to pick another of the little hooligans. Between the walkers and these yellow monstrosities, I have to add a minimum of five minutes on my drive to work and arrive home as late as ten minutes later than I do during the summer.
Also with school starting, it brings about fundraisers. Fundraisers for band, for football, for the school, and a host of other needy organizations that want my money. Look kids, I vote for school taxes and bond issues every time they are on the ballot because I think it is important to support the local schools with my tax dollars. I don't want to be paying a surplus on my taxes because the school board does not know how to budget. In other words, I gave at the office.
The end of July marks the start of the last phase of the baseball season. It is usually about this time that I look at the standing and for the first time admit that the Royals more than likely will not see post season play again this year. I hold out hope for them all summer long but at around the first of August you finally have to admit that there is really no way they are going to do it. It is also about this time that I look at the Cubs standing and realize that once again St. Louis is going to end up ahead of the Cubs and probably go into post season play. This is a double whammy having the Cards go into post season almost every year while the Royals and the Cubs sit at home and watch the playoffs in local bars.It is a rude awakening indeed.
On the other hand the end of July marks the beginning football training camps both on the college and the pro level. One thing that this means is that along the first of August or so, the stores start to put out Mizzou inventory. Unfortunately they also put out Kansas inventory. By the end of August I am sick of looking at that stupid looking little red and blue disturbingly malformed thing they call a "Jayhawk" My spell check doesn't even recognize "Jayhawk" as a real word or thing. I was in a target store on the Missouri side of course, and noticed that the Mizzou inventory was out. Two whole aisles of black and gold shirts, flip flops, hankies, just about anything you can imagine. The thing that really impressed me though was I did not see one red and blue KU or Jayhawk in the whole place. This Target store has my business for life.
The beginning of August also marks just a few weeks until fall arrives. When August is over the temperatures will begin to drop to a tolerable level and the trees that color the State of Missouri so beautiful will begin their artwork. Fall is truly my favorite season here. There is only two three things that interfere with my total enjoyment of fall. Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.Why couldn't they plop these miserable days into a part of the year that I already don't like?? Then I could get all the misery over at one time.
It is like I am cursed by watching the baseball season come to an end followed by Halloween right behind it. As if that isn't enough I have to watch the racing season come to and end followed immediately by Thanksgiving. COME ON PEOPLE!!! Have you no mercy at all?? At least let me grieve the loss of two of my favorite sports without slamming me afterwards with these two worthless holidays. It isn't right and it isn't nice.
Then comes those weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas where I worry about what different gifts I have to come up with for different people. Thankfully the internet is here and I can shop from my desk at the office avoiding crowds and stores who hire temporary cashiers who have forgotten how to make change.
Then there are the dreaded days themselves. Wasting a perfectly good day from work by having to spend it in a noisy foodfest that has the same menu every single year. That is only thanksgiving. Christmas is even worse because we have to decorate the house, put a tree in my living room where there is no room for it and then go out in the cold for another foodfest with, again, the exact menu every year.
You can't avoid these annual booby traps that life sets up for us. John Grisham wrote a short novella on trying to skip Christmas for just one year. ONE SINGLE YEAR. Nope, turns out that the main characters in the story were not allowed to skip Christmas. It is impossible to run away from. A lot of it has to do with it's religious importance, which you will never find me bad mouth. But they take that religious meaning and before you know it you are in someone else's house with out a place to sit down trying to eat a bland dinner that you have had fifty times before.
There is a good part to Christmas, The cookie and candy dishes my mother prepares for me to chow down on for the week before New Years. I do not mind that at all! I imagine that if I could get a plate full of pecan tassies every holiday of the year, federal holidays included, you may find my protests against these holidays a little less caustic.
It's okay though. When all is said and done and I find myself having survived another year of the madness, I always seem to be able to look back and find some good things that happened during the fight. A special moment with any number of family members. The ham may have been a little more moist and the turkey a little less dry this year.
I can look back at the time I was able to spend with my nephews and nieces and realize how special each of them are in their own little way.
I suppose the holidays does have its merits and its reasons. It is just too bad we have to fight through all the garbage to get to the good stuff after it is all over.
See y'all in August