Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Mary Burn and the True Meaning of Christmas

My dear friend Jo-Ann is one of the funniest, smartest and most beautiful people I know. We invariably giggle too much when we are around each other. She has the biggest heart and warmest smile of anyone I've ever met.... this is her Christmas Story for this year.

"Abington Woman Crushed by the Blessed Mother
This was almost the headline! Must be because I was planning on launching a baby Jesus ornament at my MIL.

I dropped (son) at CCD the other night (are you catching the religious theme of this story) and ran to Homegoods where dh and I saw what we are calling a tasteful Mary on the Half Shell. For those who don't speak in tongues, it's a beautiful statue of Mary (without the shell) for the garden. It is cement, but made to look as if it's carved from stone. Very pretty, very peaceful for a garden.

So I run to get it after I drop (son) off. I only have an hour window of time and it takes about 10 minutes to get there. I'm in a rush. I find it on a high, glass shelf, reach up to grab it and put it in my cart. But Mary is alot heavier than she looks. She starts to tip off the shelf, gains momentum and comes down on top of my chest (the girls were not happy) and somehow I manage not to fall to the ground. I wrestle Mary into my cart, but one hand is now crushed between Mary's robe and the cart. Of course, Mary is too heavy to lift with my other hand. So I have to wriggle my hand out from under Mary, getting a Mary-burn across my entire hand.

Finally free, I wheel Mary up to the registers where I get behind an employee checking out. She chats it up with her friend behind the register, they eat fudge, discuss current events....I am waiting. I now have 15 minutes until I need to pick up (son). The employee's husband strolls in pissed that his wife is not answering her cell phone and he's waiting outside to pick her up from work. The three of them then get into a discussion about cell phone ringtones, husbands picking up wives from work, the virtues of answering your cell phone and general civil disobedience. I am still waiting. I now have no time to make my purchase, but it's for MIL so I soldier on. I now decide that i will never wrestle Mary into the back of my car. So I ask if there is someone who can help me...there is not. I then ask if they can hold her for me until dh comes to pick her up in the morning. They cannot.

I then inform them that I must leave Mary right there in the carriage in front of the register, as I will never get her back on the shelf and that, as interesting as their conversation was, I am now late. So, I abandon Mary at the register and run for my life.

Clearly God is punishing me. I don't know if it's because MIL has been praying for this punishment every day at church or if it's because I didn't vote for George Bush. Either way, it wasn't pretty.

Mary now sits in my shed waiting to be given on Christmas morning. I will not launch her at MIL because, well, Mary and I have a past together now. A sordid and twisted past, but we have bonded nonetheless. Besides, if I launch Mary at MIL it will clearly kill her(mil), she will die a martyr and will then have the satisfaction of gloating from heaven (or) for the rest of eternity."

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