Friday, December 21, 2007

The Christmas Letter

I have received a few Christmas letters from friends and family again this year. Before l@w school, I created handmade Christmas cards to send out in lieu of the dreaded letter. This was my way of escaping saying anything about my life. Now, I have no time for handmade Christmas cards and those letters just keep coming. The friends from college have started generating those same letters that we once mocked for their self congratulatory and boasting tones. They have babies and houses and property and careers to announce. Conspicuously absent from those letters are divorce, miscarriages, mental illness, crushing debt and rentals. So, this is the letter I have been trying to get Husband to write for us...

Dear Friends and Family,

It's been another banner year here in the land of gorges and waterfalls. January began with a scramble to get together money for Nicole's tuition and books. Even though she failed at her attempts to get a summer job at a lucrative law firm, she decided to keep going through school. Why stop at $75,000 in debt when you can go for platinum at $150,000? And you thought that new house you wrote to us about was expensive!

We managed to keep Nicole from jumping into one of those lovely gorges (photo enclosed), by focusing her efforts on conception. Scheduled romps in the hay may not be sexy, but they do keep you warm for 5-10 minutes. Given that the Gas and Electric Company now keep up correspondence using personal visits for bill collection, that warmth came in handy in the cold months of Winter.

By mid-February, we were doing the "I think I see two lines!" dance. We went through March alternating between bleeds and onesie shopping sprees. By the time April came around, we announced, "IT'S A D&C!!!" We were the proud parents of "the products of conception" named: Percocet, Chlamydia, and Ser0quel.

By Summer, Nicole was diagnosed with the same cholesterol numbers that came before the death of her father, so we quietly mourned the loss of our reason for living: Cheese. At the end of Summer, we realized that Nicole could no longer sit on her ass anymore and had to get a second job. Someone had to pay for mistakes made during our two divorces as well as for the medical bills from Nicole's bipolar fallouts. After a B.S., a Ph.D., and 2 years of law school, she proudly accepted a job selling wine at a retail shop and thoroughly enjoyed catering to former science colleagues and fellow law students freshly back from their $5000 per week summer firm jobs. She never tires of the question, "So what, exactly, are you doing with all your degrees?"

Just as she returned to her futile efforts at law school in the Fall, we discovered that she had managed to miscarry another one when the doctors compassionately wrote off another "product" as a chemical pregnancy. Good times were had by all. But by October, what do you know? It's time to do the "It's a two liner" dance again. After a few more weeks, we joined the misfit uterus club when Nicole discovered the words "bicornuate uterus" in her medical records.
So now we go into this grand new year wondering how we will feed, clothe and house the three of us once the school loans stop coming in June. With a June due date, taking the bar is out and so is lining up her first post-law school job. But, that's OK, because so far, there aren't any jobs for Nicole anyway. Good thing she just got a raise at that wine job. Oh, this maybe baby is in for a real treat at the rented house in the land of gorges and waterfalls.

Happy Holidays!!!
The Husband.

P.S. If you happen to see Nicole around any of those gorges or waterfalls, can you please ask her to wait until after June before she plans any high dives?

26 comments:

Cate said...

Excellent letter. I have often wanted to write one of my own in the same vein.
Sorry you had to give up cheese. I think the world would stop turning if I wasn't able to eat it.

Sara said...

Hey, my Christmas letters have featured the SWAT raid on the crack house next door, the neighbors blasting Thai folk music at midnight, Will's neurologist referral, and our distaste at spending 7 freaking years in a slumlord apartment. My friends report loving them. Probably because they make all the DoctorLawyerProfessors who are VPs for marketing, Chief Counsel for Patents, or Assistant Secretaries of State feel extra superior.

I say - send it :-)

From Here To Maternity said...

Hey I love it. I'd like to get an honest Christmas letter for once.

Julia said...

Kick ass letter. I hate the saccharine kind, and am very very glad we don't get many and are not expected to send one either.
Good luck surviving the letter snowstorm.

Caro said...

Great letter, we don't see many of the "Christmas letter" but I've seen enough to know that this one is fab!

Aurelia said...

I laughed at this post, but geez I kind of feel sad as well, since I've been reading this with you for a while, all of 2007 in fact!

So about the job thing...you know that lots of firms hire people while pregnant or about to go on mat leave anyway, right? At least my hubbies did all the time, so instead of assuming the worst, why don't you call someone higher up and see what kind of advice you can get. You might be able to get a job starting in September, which isn't too bad...I know it seems far-fetched, but honestly, if they do it up here, they could definitely do it down there.

Electronic Goose said...

It feels good to be honest!

Unbalanced Reaction said...

Wow. Just stumbled upon your blog. You've had quite the year.

Nadine said...

Merry Christmas, Nicole!

Hope you have a lovely day.

peep said...

What a great letter. It was funny, I guess from my perspective.

niobe said...

Funny, but very painful. May 2008 be a much, much better year.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

We put some bad stuff in our Christmas letter. It starts off saying, "Our year got off to a bad start--Mary's mother died."

But yeah, it would be nice to sometime write down all the bad things that happened. :-D :-(

Maybe 2008 will be a much better year! I hope so! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Tink said...

Ooooooh.... I would LOVE to write one of those! I think my mother would have a fit though. :-) Hope you had a wonderful holiday - - - and in old fashioned terms, a very Merry Christmas!

Thank you for that comment as well.... time to go, might be a good idea to start my '08 letter now. lol

Heather

Veronika said...

:)

alley said...

hey, things can only get better, right? (reader, non-poster)

Job thing's tough though, don't know what to offer there, except to say I know how it feels, and you will get past this.

Flicka Mawa said...

I loved it! This was only my second or third visit to your blog, but I definitely will keep reading. I can totally relate to all the financial worries, I suffer from the mental illness of depression, and I want a baby really badly too.

Your ability to make humor of it is a good sign. :-D Hang in there.

LIW (Lady In Waiting) said...

That letter was fantastic!! I SO could write one alot like that. I feel like that's what I do all the time, just in spurts and starts via email or in person when I see people that I haven't seen in a long time. My very favorite line was that you never tire of the question re: "what exactly you are planning to do with your degrees." I felt like you were my soul mate at that moment!!! :-) When people ask me what I plan to do with my PhD in political science (now that I am temping and job searching) I literally want to cry. I SHOULD say something like, "I plan to continue to pursue positions that involve tasks that high school graduates could accomplish. Why "use" the degree that, while in its pursuit, almost drove me to a white, padded room?" Getting a PhD = a series of depressive episodes. Good times like that should only be followed up by the unending joy of a job search full of disappointment, especially one that involved a torturous process in which I believed I had obtained my dream job - only to find 4 months later that it was not to be.

Glad your doctor put your concerns at ease!!

XOXO

The bean-mom said...

For years I have wished to write a snarkily honest Christmas letter. Did you have any luck in getting your husband to send it?

But, laughs aside... Congratulations on your pregnancy, and the impending birth of the June baby. I hope 2008 is much better than your Christmas letter predicts!

Barbara said...

Well, this letter tells it like it is. Happy New Year! I hope 2008 is better.

Dino aka Katy said...

i luv the letter I think I may need to adapt it to our family life down here

Wayfarer Scientista said...

Hi, I came over from Natural Scientist and I just want to say bravo!! If only we were all so honest in our communication with friends & family. Love that you manage to preserve your humor in spite of it all.

ymp said...

I laughed, I cried--often about the same lines.
what else can be said? I'm sorry and can't wait for more baby news.

kate said...

I just came over from Creme de la Creme. What an excellent post! Very, very funny- how often I've wanted to write one of those myself!

Kathy V said...

I came via the Creme. I HATE those all bubbly, Look at all the goods things that I have done and good things that have happened to me letters. I was just telling someone I have never seen a letter that said the year was just plain miserable and here are the reasons why. I thought about sending one of these kinds of letters so people quit asking me when we are going to have kids. You know because we have been married a year already and my younger sister (by three years) delivered her first earlier this year so it should be about time. I really want to say so people it takes more than sex and seeing two lines to bring a baby home. I appreciated this Holiday letter for all the truth in it.

Congratulations on a pregnancy that made it past the products of conception and miscarriage stage. Hopefully you can write one of the "Here's all the good things that happened to us Letter" this year.

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