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The Therapy Sessions
Friday, December 17, 2004

Christmas greeting time

Oh shit. It's that time of year again: Christmas cards.

Every year at this time, my wife and I begin fighting: what do we want our "Christmas Greeting" to look like?

She opts for the traditional: the cheery, saccharin greeting that leaves every person with testicles choking for air.

I would rather not give a shit (my shit is precious).

But, when pressed, I go for the more earthy greeting: one that gives people a voyeuristic glimpse into the depravity of our strange lives, leaving readers thankful that their own lives aren't so deranged. That way, they won't bother to ask awkward questions at family gatherings, and I can concentrate on the things I do well, like consuming large amounts of alcohol...

But I digress. So it's a fight, every December.

Here's our "greeting" for this year. The parts that my wife censored into oblivion (yes, she won) are in bold:

The Rogers Chronicles - 2004

After receiving cards from the three people who send them to us, we realized that we might be “late” with this thing. But the one time we went to church this year, this “Priest” guy (“Dude, Superfly is sooo 1973…”) talked about Christmas, saying it starts on December 25, and ends when the wise guys (as Sean puts it) get there, some time in January (just like royalty, expecting the party to wait for them).

So, this can be considered “on time,” why even… “early!”

Also, some have complained that the content of our lives is too foul to be sent into your homes. Speak up! After a few expletives, we will be glad to remove you from our mailing list.

On with the news...

Everybody wants to know about the kids. The hell with the kids! We want to talk about ourselves! OK... Betsy almost quit her job and began a new one. But she balked. John continued to loaf through his career… And, well, he likes to cook with fire. And he’s still doing his silly thing on the internet, continuing to argue with, and lose sleep over, his tormenters on the web (“FatBoy37! You know where to find me: therapysessions.blogspot.com!”). The futility of this shadow-boxing doesn’t seem to bother him.

And Betsy runs. And reads trashy books. And well…OK….We’re boring. We always wondered why suburban couples with kids talk about nothing except their kids. Now we know: There’s nothing else. Not much, anyway.

Grandma Harvey stayed with us in January. She was able to see how strange we are close up (sometimes this leaves people a little shaken). She says she liked her time with us, which might be a lie. But hey, we’ll take it. We look forward to her coming again this year, when we’ll startle her even more with weird foods (How about some squid for supper? It was cheap at the market!). Not even the prospect of time with her grandkids will soften that pill!

John took Sean (the older son) to see fireworks on July 4th, and in a long standing tradition, made sure to place himself (and his heir) in the direct path of the falling, burning, spent firework debris. Sean didn't scar (too badly) and is now the proud owner of a few pieces of smoky cardboard.

Somewhere around May, we decided to build on the Rogers’ Nest. One bathroom is becoming a challenge here, even considering that our little caveman would prefer to “go” alfresco. We went through the drill of bringing out the contractors, etc. etc. A few came. Stunned by the sagging structure that we call home, none called back.

Guess we scared them all off!

But one guy’s greed overcame his good sense. He wouldn’t do the big job, but he did change our garage into a small suite with a bedroom and a bathroom (and it was a good thing too: the neighbors were getting tired of John peeing in the backyard). In addition, we now have a nice, big shed in the backyard to hold all the garbage that used to be in the garage. It has the added benefit of being a good place to lock Sean up when he’s being a pain in the ass.

Sean continues to be precocious, earning many back-handed compliments from his teachers. He also can palaver well enough to put Eddie Haskell to shame. Something about those big Harvey eyes and his engaging grin. The fact that he claims to be a Tyrannosaurus T-Rex, growling and biting at every opportunity, almost seems cute.


Unfortunately, Sean has been hanging out with the Lee Circle Gang – the horrible band of holligan toddlers that congregates outside our house – and he has picked up some terrible habits. Look Sean, your parents are old fashioned: no smoking until you are eight.

John’s pride – his new manservant Alhaji (he’s illegal – ssshhh!) – has been instructed to watch the boy and make sure that he doesn’t light up. No smokes and Alhaji gets an extra bowl of boiled cabbage.

Timmy is… well… He’s a toddler. He walks. Eats a lot. Drools some. Fills his diaper. It was especially funny when he pooped all over Sean (a case of "projectile excretion," for you medical types).

Curious Sean was a little less curious after that. Take a tip from your parents, kid: Timmy's dirty diaper really isn't that interesting.

In fact, it's a good reason to suddenly be "busy" with something else.

At least Timmy still finds dumb things funny. A funny face or strange sound is enough to get him guffawing. We will always be sentimental about his first words: “Titus!” and “Get Out!” Such a cutie!

Sadly, Timmy was diagnosed with lice, which he probably acquired from “the gang.” Yes, Timmy was slumming with these horrible toddlers and he picked up a good case of scalp crabs.

They’ll go away somehow, someday.

Concerning the kids: Stop worrying! Learn from our neighbors. They have accepted us as we are: too broke to leave or fix things up, and too ignorant to change.

Many other (less tolerant) people have suggested that we shouldn’t have a third kid, so there is no need to think of new, subtle ways to get this point across. May be we will, maybe we won't: we didn't exactly plan the two rugrats we have.

Anyway, we have at least reproduced at replacement rate – that is, somewhere between rabbits and pandas.

Rest assured – there are no immediate plans for more Rogers. We’re content screwing up the two we have, for now.

Well, that’s the extent of our excitement.

Hope you all continue to be well, etc. etc…whatever.

The Rogers

John, Betsy, Sean,
Timothy, and Titus, the dog

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