This past weekend a friend invited me to go with her to the “Annual Christmas Open House Tour” that takes place in a little town not too far from here. Those who participate in the “Open House” are local folks who decorate their homes and sell crafts, baked goods, and gift items. As a visitor, you have a map and you drive from decorated house to decorated house to shop for lovely Christmas goodies in this quaint rural area. As a rule, I should never be invited to go along on one of these things because despite my morphing into Martha the odd time, I am not a fan of crafts. Especially crafts that involve angels, cheap-smelling candles, and Avon gift sets as seemed to be the norm for this particular *Tour*. I do enjoy this friend of mine, however, so I went along like a trooper and tried my best not to be my usual bitchy snob of a self.
The first house was a teensy place with plastic candy canes lining the walk. We entered the house to be greeted by a huge woman sitting on a very puffy sagging couch. Between the couch and the 6' big-screen TV across from it, there was a walkway about six inches wide. We marched in to see what she had on display. There was a lamp made from a cup and saucer, several odd-colored candles in canning jars, and some wire hangers with knitting on them to make them into sort of a padded hanger thing. T-A-C-K-Y. I always feel like I have to say something at this point so I don’t start laughing…so I exclaimed, “How WONderful!” My friend looked at me like I was completely nuts. “Just look at these candles…and how cute is this tea cup lamp?” The lady kept watching her humongous TV so we turned around in-place and headed towards the front door. I uttered the obligatory yet jolly “MERRY CHRISTMAS!” as we proceeded down the candy cane lined path.
Another house (again, this place was teensy) was festively decorated with bows and lights. We were met at the door by a woman with tons of makeup and the largest rear end I have ever seen. She introduced herself and led us by her waddling bum to a kitchen and dining area filled with more knitted hangers and several dishes of food that looked a bit difficult to identify. She exclaimed how she is a Tastefully Simple Rep and this food is sooooooooo fantastic because you never have to add more than one or two ingredients! Not only does she do the home parties, she will take orders DIRECT for all of our favorite foods! “How NICE!” I exclaimed as I viewed her lovely display of pre-packaged foods...all loaded with fat, sodium, and mysterious preservatives that make them so wonderfully yet tastefully simple. I pictured myself suddenly growing an ass as large as hers and I went into a slight panic. "Wow, only two ingredients to add...this stuff looks amazing!" I said with enthusiasm. I am the reigning queen of sarcasm after this day of crafts and festive holiday food.
My favorite house was the “Christmas Cabin”. The place looked like a log cabin kit. Under H’s watchful eye, I have become an unwilliing yet highly educated student of quality house construction. (See blog- Summer, 2005) This most definitely qualified as a homeowner special. H would have marked it with a big red F. The “cabin” was decked out in light pine paneling kind of a tongue and groove look…all decorated in holiday cheer. The “Cabin” ambiance would have had me had it not been for the blue shag carpeting and overstuffed, misshapen couch/loveseat with matching coffee table in the living room. What the hell kind of log cabin has shag carpeting? And cheapy Wickes furniture?? As we proceeded to the dining room/kitchen, the flooring changed to a white linoleum. Not only white linoleum but white linoleum with heat registers cut into the floor. Little House on the Prarie Not. FAKERS, I wanted to scream, WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE KIDDING WITH THIS CABIN. Instead, I glowed, “Quite a house…did you build it yourself?”
Just a bit more holiday cheer from rural Indiana. I am so going to burn in hell someday.