Skip to content
Advertisements

Archive for

lying to your kids about santa

Tate asked me this morning if today was Christmas. It’s November 26th. It’s going to be a long month. Especially since my kids won’t stop grilling me about Santa. Below, actual questions I’ve fielded about Santa in the last two weeks, and my actual responses.

Q: “Is Santa real?” A: “What do you mean by ‘real’?”

Q: “Is the Santa I saw last year for pictures real?” A: “He was kind of real.”

Q: “If that Santa is not real, who is he?” A: “He’s the real Santa’s brother.”

Q: “What about the Santa we saw at Lloyd Center, was he also Santa’s brother?” A: “Yes.”

Q: “Can Santa fit down a chimney?” A: “Yes he’s very flexible and squishy. Like playdough.”

Q: “Can Santa fit down a chimney that has a wood stove, like ours?” A: “Usually. But sometimes he needs to use the front door.”

Q: “How does he open the door to the wood stove from the inside?” A: “There’s a handle on the inside.”

Q: “How does Santa get to every house in the world in one night?” A: “He flies super fast. Plus, the concept of time is malleable.”

Q: “What is a malleable?” A: “It’s something that’s very bendy.”

Q: “How does Rindy (my kids’ elf on a shelf) fly back to Santa every night if he can’t move?” A: “He can move. He just can’t move while you are looking. And he gets picked up by Rudolph.”

Q: “We left 8 carrots on the plate last year for the reindeer but there were three left. Why didn’t the other reindeer eat the carrots?” A: “What the hell? I don’t know. But carrots give you night vision so you guys should try eating one sometime.”

Q: “How powerful is Rudolph’s nose?” A: “Powerful enough, buddy. Powerful enough.”

Q: “How does Santa eat all the cookies that all the kids leave for him?” A: “Santa doesn’t eat for days beforehand.”

Q: “How can he do all that work on Christmas eve just by eating cookies when you say cookies have no protein?” A: “Well he has to stay awake all night and there’s a lot of sugar in the cookies and sugar can be good in situations like that.”

Q: “Well maybe he would like meatballs instead. Do you think he would like meatballs?” A: “I’m pretty sure ‘Santa’ would love meatballs.”

Q: “Where do all the elves live?” A: “In apartments.”

Q: “The North Pole has apartments?” A: “Yes.”

Q: “If I wake up on Christmas Eve and come downstairs, will I see Santa and be scared?” A: “Maybe. That’s why you should never wake up in the middle of the night.”

santa

 

Advertisements

spinning to nowhere

Used to be, you couldn’t mention the word “bike” without prompting Tom to launch into his standard tirade about bike commuters. But listen. Tom’s white. He’s an attorney. And nearing middle age. You put those three things together in a Venn diagram and the overlappy bit in the middle will say “soccer” and “bikes.” So the bike thing was inevitable.

Tom started getting into bikes last summer, when he began riding his giraffe bike to and from Timbers games. We call Tom’s silver Globe the giraffe bike because if a normal-sized person stands next to it, it looks freakishly tall. It also weighs approximately what a giraffe weighs. I’ve seen people try to hold it up only to have it topple onto them.

“YOONA!! You don’t even know how awesome a Timbers game is until you’ve ridden home with the Timbers masses,” he told me. “Mmmm,” I’d respond, having tuned out everything after the word “Timbers.” He started to treat his buddy Ethan like he was a loser for driving a car to the stadium. “ETHAN! You HAVE to ride your bike to the game. Stop being so lazy.” Ethan, who rode his bike to and from his house way back in law school and once had the nerve to show up at my house in a bike unitard, would become visibly annoyed in the way that you get when a friend becomes newly and loudly obsessed with something that you discovered ten years ago.

giraffe bike

Next, Tom started spinning. I don’t regularly work out with Tom, but I’ve worked out next to him in hotel gyms, so I know what that intense regimen looks like. 15 minutes of a loping, horse-like canter on an elliptical trainer while paging through the New Yorker, followed by a couple sets of half-hearted chest presses with eyes glued to ESPN. Rinse, and repeat. I’d observe from a distance and wonder how he didn’t gain weight during his workouts.

But once Tom got a taste of spinning, he became an animal. Not having broken a sweat during a workout in years, he viewed all the new-fangled wicking fabrics with the skepticism that the rest of us would reserve for, say, a muscle tank made of mesh. “Now, Dri-Fit–do you think that’s trying too hard??,” he’d ask. I didn’t have the heart to point out that the only other guys at the gym still wearing cotton t-shirts were all 80 years old.

Tom started making his own spinning playlists, which I only learned about when I received an email receipt for my Amazon account with a bunch of song purchases. I took a quick look at the email and concluded that my account had been hacked. I forwarded the email to Tom and Cuz, both of whom have access to my Prime account, before I called Amazon’s fraud alert line. I got an immediate response. “That’s for my spinning playlist,” emailed Tom. Spinning playlist? I took a closer look.

20131117-203418.jpg

Ah. This explained why he’d been turning up “Royals” whenever it came on in my car, eyes rolling back into his head. “I LOVE this song,” he’d moan. Tom habitually discovers a pop smash three to six months after it first becomes popular. A month ago he turned up “Get Lucky” and gave me a knowing look. “You’ve heard this, right? It’s awesome.” I expect he’ll discover “Blurred Lines” sometime in early December.

I looked again at his spinning playlist. Eminem, ok. As a white guy from the wrong side of Detroit (Ann Arbor), Tom has long identified with Eminem. Ke$ha is like, workout gold, so I respected that. But Bryan Ferry, for SPINNING? The Smiths? What kind of depressing workout was this? And what about Gordon Lightfoot? Who plays Gordon fucking Lightfoot during a workout?

Anyway. The bike thing’s not going away. On his trip to Ann Arbor last month, Tom mailed back to Portland his dad’s Schwinn Le Tour III. Once it arrived, he texted our friend Dieter, who gave him advice about how to (pay to) convert the bike into a single-speed. I observed it all with amusement. But when he brought it home from Velo Cult, I got it. It was orange, a very good color. For a 35-year old bike, it seemed rather elegant. Best of all, it was a connection to Tom’s dad, who I never got to meet. A man who was responsible for raising my irrepressible, inimitable Tom.

So welcome to the family, Mr. Schwinn. And do watch out for the giraffe bike in the garage.

20131117-203435.jpg