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Monthly Archives: December 2008

This Christmas


I had a good Christmas Day. It wasn’t at all what I expected and I was really happy about it. My initial feeling about Christmas Day was not a nice one. My sister had announced to me a week before the day that they were coming to my apartment to celebrate Christmas. Huh? What? When? Who? Why? I didn’t understand how a decision to come to MY apartment could be made without me being consulted.  Then again, my mother knew that I wouldn’t object to the decision once it had been made. I would hem and haw but still allow the event to take place.

 

What followed afterwards was a series of reminders being sent to me by my mother on:

1.      The Guest List

2.      The Lunch Menu

3.      Dessert Menu

 

I instructed everyone that I would be providing dessert, so everything else had to come from them. There was no objection. (Hmm how strange!)  I also informed my mother that I would not be picking up any relatives to transport them to my apartment since I would be too busy preparing for everyone’s arrival. No objection either. (Hmm something is up)

 

It has been years that my mother has been threatening me with spending Christmas Day at my apartment but somehow it never seems to materialize. Now, all events leading up to the big day seemed to have been planned and I had absolutely no excuse for not being ready for the day.

 

Christmas Eve Afternoon met me at my apartment wrapping gifts (well not really wrapping but placing them in small bags with kite paper being used to cover the item. I swear this is the best thing ever thought up to avoid wrapping presents). I got a call around 5pm from my mom asking if I had drinking glasses for everyone. I gulped. No I didn’t. Despite being an adult, I owned very little drinking glasses (two actually) since I NEVER entertained at my apartment. My apartment has loads of plastic cups (most tastefully done).  I am clumsy, and I knock things down constantly. In my first apartment I had bought myself a set of nine glasses. They all broke, I either dropped them while  taking them out of the closet or kicked one or two of them across the living room because I forgot where I had placed them after meal or after entertaining guests in the past.  After these broke, and I spent hours looking for the missing pieces, I vowed to stop entertaining and to only use plastic cups. It had worked so far.

 

Anyway I digress, I panicked. I told her that I didn’t own much glasses and that I had no intention of going into a mall at this late hour to be stuck in traffic etc. She agreed on it and promised to buy me some for Christmas. (Disaster averted). She then informed me that seven people will be having lunch with me on Christmas Day.

 

“SEVEN? Seven? People…who pickney allyuh bringing?”

“Oh, your aunt wants to come along and your sister and your brother are bringing their respective people.”

“Steups,, they don’t have families to harass? And…ummmm.. one more person is missing.

“Well my old school friend is in the country for Christmas and I invited her as well”

(SILENCE…)

“Stef…..Stefan you still there?”

Yes, I am here. Ok. It’s fine but I did not buy any presents for those extra people “

“ Ha ha ha ha Ok Stefan it’s fine.”

 

There was mild panic within me. That the number was way too much for my apartment to hold and for me to control. I suddenly realized that people would be wandering around (especially my aunt) and even though I have nothing to hide in my apartment, there are some things that I just don’t want people touching.

 

Then another revelation came: I would have to let people use the bathroom in my bedroom as well. Given the number of people coming and the amount of drinks I had on ice. ..sigh… that meant keeping a watchful eye on the snoopers. “THIS is too much work”, I thought to myself

 

I thank my lucky stars that my housekeeper had been in my apartment days before, so it was very presentable for general public viewing. I just had to pack my magazines neatly and keep my CD collection locked away in my wardrobe, just in case one of my siblings’ significant others wanted to touch them, soil them or (gulp) have me burn them a copy of something.

 

So much needed to be done now. I had to make a list. Would there be enough time? Is it too late to get a flight out of the country? Why don’t I watch Home& Garden, they prepare you for this type of thing!!! It was official. I felt like an old woman trying to hide her best china from the invading grandchildren.

 

I went to bed tried that night and I still knew I had lots of stuff to do.  The list in my mind however, was simple one and it didn’t occur that I should’ve made a last minute run to a supermarket. Oh wait, I did at 7pm and found 3 of the 4 in the area closed and the other one causing traffic for a mile. Somehow in my mind, I thought that supermarkets would open on Christmas Day and that I  would get the stuff then.

 

I jumped out of sleep Christmas morning when I realized that eight people were going to be eating at my house and I didn’t have enough knives and forks for the event. I have a nice blue handled utensil set. It contains 4 of everything. This of course does nothing since I need utensils for 4 extra people.  I rushed out of my house.

 

Nowhere is open. The road is clear. There is not even a stray dog or vagrant in sight. I am alone on the road except for a few cars and three men eating doubles in St. James. I spot a Pharmacy and it was open but this yields no assistance as they don’t have utensils.  I called a friend in desperation for assistance and I was grateful that she was going by her parents for lunch so I borrowed her utensils for the event.  I apologized so much for being that neighbour that had to borrow stuff at this last minute. She just laughed at my silliness as she called it.

 

I was relieved. Everything else was just about ready , I now had the extra knives and forks and all would be fine. While I am driving back home, my friend Matthew calls me from Geneva to wish me Merry Christmas, and I inform him on what my day is going to look like. I am boasting that I am fully prepared now. He then puts his friend Yinca on and then she asked me one something simple question: “do you have enough utensils for dessert as well?”. My car slowed to a crawl at this point, as all was lost. A simple thing like spoons for ice cream and cake went ignored. I thanked her for her help but at this point, I was going to use what I had and make it do.

 

I got back to the house and the race began. I set up the dining room table, put fruit into a nice bowl, brought out the cakes so that they would be room temperature when lunch was over and placed utensils and the like all strategically around the table. Too bad the plates did not match with anything. No biggie. I am a bachelor…this is expected of me.

 

My mom calls at 11am to announce that lunch will be minus 3 persons. No aunt or significant others.(YES!!! Jesus loves me, my CDs are safe!! Malicious macos reduced tenfold).  I was relaxed now and ready for their arrival.

 

They came at 12:30pm and everything moved really smoothly. We took dishes out of the car and I set them up on the table. Some things needed to be heated and that was done and we were on our way to lunch an hour later.

 

Lunch passed without incident and everyone felt relaxed in my apartment. My mother’s friend kept munching on the almonds I put out and even though she had a hearty meal, she took up the bowl of almonds and sat in front of my television set only to fall asleep in 5 minutes.

 

Gifts were exchanged and conversations throughout the day were extremely lively and at one point in time there was not a dry eye in the apartment as I related to them my paranoia over preparing for today.  My mother doesn’t know where I get this streak from? Hmmm strange how she can’t remember BEATING it into me as I was growing up.

 

Dessert came much later and consisted of two types of cake, (a Bunt Cake and Fruit Cake) along with ice cream. Everyone was satisfied and well filled up.

 

I kept monitoring the wares in the sink as I am not a fan of washing them, but all seemed under control. When they decided to leave around 6pm, my mother wanted to leave every dish, container and bowl she had brought filled with food for me to eat for the next two months. I packed some of it away in my containers and got them to take the rest home. It was a bit of a fight but I managed to convince her that I would just come up home for more food should I run out. (Yeah Right, I made sure I had enough stuffing to last me for a long time,  no need to go for replenishment).

 

All in all a good day was had by all and everyone complemented me on making them feel relaxed in my apartment. It was certainly my pleasure.

 

Oh I can’t find my bowl with the almonds anywhere……….

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2008 in Holidays

 

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Somebody’s Watching Me


I think I have a stalker. Well not really a stalker but a stranger who seems to know how to find me and wants to get to know me better.   I am not 100% sure but based on events that transpired between Friday night and Monday morning, I think I need to be very aware of my surroundings going forward.

 

On Friday night I got an email from someone with the initials KMB with just the following message:

 

KMB: You cold or what?

 

My Response: Who dis?

(Yes my response is a bit abrupt but I do not like unknown ppl messaging me out of the blue)

 

The individual responded the next day:

 

KMB: You from Arima right?

 

(Well this upset me because once again they are failing to answer my question)

 

ME: Who dis? Please identify where I know you from?

 

(Not the best English but I am sure the individual is not bright enough to correct it)

 

The response saw a telephone number being passed on as well as an email address

 

(I didn’t respond to that message. All I am thinking is that this person must be mad)

 

Then I got this message:

KMB      Okay perhaps i should b honest and just admit that i found u 2 b quiet attractive and decided to write.  I am sorry if i offended. U don’t have to confirm my invitation as a friend nor do u have to reply if u don’t want 2.  It’s just that i am shy when it comes to conversations of this nature and too and i am extremely discrete and overly protective. Once again sorry.

 

(This sent me into a mild tailspin as I am trying to figure out why someone whom OBVIOUSLY I don’t know is trying to speak to me and revealing all this stuff. And what was with telling me that they are discrete? Do they thinkI’m inot s&M or something?)

 

I responded.

ME:       Sorry but I only add ppl on FB that I actually know or have at least spoken with on more     than one occasion.

 

KMB:    We’ll i can b open for meeting if only u would allow me too. I ent no weirdo…I happened to review your contacts on facebook and found that u looked like a cool person. I think though            that i may have seen your face may be at the Bank.

 

(The last word had me leaping off my chair. Bank? Bank? Who works in a Bank? This person is obviously being fed information from someone at some point in time. My blood starts to boil as I want to know what the hell is going on here. Reviewing my contacts? We have no friends in common how is this possible?)

 

ME:       Hardly likely that you have seen me from the bank and I have no intention of ever meeting             up with you.

 

SUNDAY-

KMB: Well I will conclude by saying that i know u do work at the Bank since as i told yuh b4, i have seen u there b4. Did we have any contact, no we did not, but i would have asked u for some info. that being about 4 to 5 yrs ago.  Anyway, i conclude u have no interest but i guess it is for the best

 

Just when I think I am not responding because the last line was that of goodbye, I re-read the line before and realize that someone is feeding this person some kind of generic info to arrive at such a conclusion.

 

ME:       Ok someone is obviously feeding you info and wrong info at that. 4-5 years ago I did not     even live in Trinidad. I find this discourse disturbing and I am not responding to any other       message sent.

 

KMB:    Wow u r a difficult person. I have no source and u don’t seem 2 believe. I am simply           looking to meet people like me.  My only source or medium is right here, Facebook.    However, i do believe i have seen u in Arima b4. I am a genuine person. I just found u     seem a nice guy and decided 2 try.

 

No response from me. None whatsoever

 

Yes (I know I know) it took me this long to stop responding to the messages.  I like to be “in the know”. I like to know what is going on in my universe and why strangers would try to contact me in disturbing ways.  Normal people would’ve just ignored the message and just moved on but the side of me that watches way too much Monk, CSI, NCIS and House M.D. (I really like this show) wanted to get to the bottom of this matter. Yeah, the idiot in me who fancies himself some kind of sleuth thought he could solve this mystery. The sad part is that I realized it was futile and that stupid me was starting to give out information rather than collect any.

 

In life, you sometimes meet people that for some strange reason or another know personal details about you that send a little shiver down your spine. Let’s face it, you are never capable of remembering everyone you have interacted with nor is it possible for you to know who is talking about you (whether good or bad). You just hope that in the end, good things are said about you or that people don’t shy away from meeting you.

 

There have been numerous times that I have met people that seemed to know a lot about me but it was primarily because we had friends in common. Strangers don’t come up with facts out of thin air. When they do, you know that something is not what it seems.

 

 

MONDAY

While on my way to a 9am meeting, my extension at work rings. It is the creature calling me. As soon as they announced who they were I quickly said. ”OK I’m hanging up now.” And I did.

 

WHAT THE HELL!!! Calling me at my workplace? What is up with that?

 

My first thought was to send them a stink email demanding that I be left alone and then I realized that I would be giving them more personal info on me. So I decided to wait until I got home and then send them a message on Facebook, but I was advised to just ignore them and hopefully they would go away.

 

I have sent nothing and hopefully will not receive any other messages.

 

So here’s to the rest of week being uneventful.

 
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Posted by on December 18, 2008 in Uncategorized