Ah, Christmas memories
In a few hours I will be boarding a plane and going home for Christmas. While it seems each Christmas gets better as my appreciation for my parents and family and friends grows, I was thinking back on my “best Christmas.” If we are to equate best with “got the most stuff” I would have to say it would be when I was in the third grade. And, despite the fact that I got a gigantic stuffed bear AND new computer, both of those things were mine due to cheating and alcoholism.
Jim was the local butcher. My dad and him were friends. In November, he ran a contest to win a gigantic stuffed bear. It was white with a Santa hat. It was the biggest stuffed toy I had ever seen. I thought about that bear a lot. I signed up to win every time I went with my dad to pick up some smoked ham or shaved turkey. Then, as the contest was coming to a close, I got desperate. While my dad was unknowingly distracting Jim, I entered my name as many times as I could. There was clearly a sign that said one entry per visit. But I didn’t care. I thought that bear would be happiest with me. And I think her was, despite my cheating to get him. I still have little pangs of guilt when I see stuffed bears.
In the summer, my family loaded up in our car for a trip to the Oklahoma City Zoo for my dad’s work. We stayed with my Aunt, and one night, coming back from my cousins baseball game there was an accident. Though I was young, I remember my Aunt was going very fast over this hill on an empty road. As she comes over the hill this car slowly rolls into the intersection (despite having a red light) and we crash into him. I remember how there was the strangest smell. Neither of us was wearing our seatbelts, and my Aunt threw her body over mine and her head smashed my window. The car spun a little and stopped.
My Aunt was knocked unconscious (obviously), and I started laughing hysterically because she was snoring. My door was completely jammed shut and it was dark out. There was a dark silence for a long time. Then the firemen and police came. They asked me where my Aunt lived, what her phone number was, but I didn’t know. I wondered if this was it, if maybe my parents would never find me. But they did. The man in the car who hit us was too drunk to know how to put the car in park. I watched the cop jump in to stop it from rolling more down the hill. The drunk man stumbled toward the police car that I was sitting in the back of and saw my leg was bleeding. He looked remorseful through his inebriation, I thought he had a speech impediment as he slurred his sting of sorries and I didn’t mean tos.
My parents and my aunt sued him. We got some money for emotional damage adn bills. That emotional damage translated into a new computer. I was the first person I knew who had one.
A bear from cheating and a computer from a drunk, best Christmas ever.