first christmas.

I left you hanging about Christmas and my terrible yuletide fever. I know that you were so worried that you were unable to even enjoy your own celebrations. Your assorted friends and family kept asking, "What is it? Whatever is wrong?" but you did not tell them because you didn't want to ruin their merriment. You were unable to even eat pie, because your stomach was just in knots.

I'll tell you how it went. Approximately four hours after I whined on the internet, Josh burst into the house, a grocery bag full of soup and soda, declaring "I'm sick." The meanie I'd picked up wasted no time in jumping to another host.

We spent the next four days in bed. It was a very whiny Christmas. When I'm sick, I like to moan and groan, and I like indulgence, sympathy, and bedside service. Josh is similar. We were a fussy, fussy pair. Josh spent the day declaring that he was dying, he was sure of it, this right here was his last day on this mortal coil. The next morning, he woke up and immediately expressed surprise that he was still alive. I would've rolled my eyes at him, but they hurt.

We had lots of plans, and we missed them all. Josh was supposed to work Christmas Eve and then sing in the choir that night, but instead we watched Christmas movies on the futon. We were supposed to go to his mom's on Christmas morning, but instead we watched crappy Christmas movies. And we were supposed to be at his dad's place in the mountains the day after Christmas, but we watched sitcoms that had Christmas episodes. And we were supposed to be in Winston-Salem for Josh's show two days after Christmas. We made it to that, but we spent the day watching some really terrible and frequently inexplicable Christmas cartoons. We officially exhausted the Netflix holiday catalog, and we even rented Miracle on 34th Street from Amazon.

Around 3 PM on Christmas Eve, Josh announced, "HAM."

No context, just the word. The thing is, I was pretty sure what he wanted, but I didn't want to be right. So I mumbled, "Huh?"


To be clear, it was about three hours before the grocery store would close, and Josh wanted a Christmas ham. Since we'd been planning to spend the holidays with his family, we did not have any of the traditional foods. It looked like a Campbell's condensed kind of Christmas. I was totally okay with that, because the very thought of the grocery store exhausted me. It became a whining match, with him saying HAM and me just groaning.

But he won. We went to the grocery store, and then we stomped out and went to another grocery store because seriously, Harris Teeter, I am not going to pay $30 for a stupid ham, I don't care how nice your hardwood floors are. We got one at Food Lion for $9. The thirty minute excursion depleted us completely, and we came home even whinier than when we left. But after a couple of hours and some instructions from the Pioneer Woman, we had our Christmas dinner: ham and baked sweet potatoes. Of course, we didn't actually end up eating much of it because our appetites were poor. But hey, Christmas. I told him the ham had been a good idea, and he thanked me up and down for making his request come true.

At some point, maybe it was while finding out that Jingle All the Way was just as bad a movie as I'd always suspected, I realized that this was our first married Christmas. While it was not ideal, I think that being sick together was actually better than being sick alone. When one person is sick, the other person is still forced to endure their whining and has to decide whether to stay home with their invalid. This way, there really was no question of either of us going anywhere, and I think we were each able to be more sympathetic to the other's prodigious moanings. So it was feverish and full of groaning and snot, but there is no one I'd rather spend a miserable Christmas with.

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