I’m in charge of holiday planning, prep and execution at my house. Not because of patriarchal oppression but just because that’s how we choose to break it down (picking up dog turds in the yard, for example, is thankfully outside my bailiwick).

Well, Saturday morning, I woke up feeling nauseated and achy in every bone. My head was pounding, my nose was stuffy, and I had a hacking cough. I tried to eat something and ended up tossing my waffle. So even though I had a million things to do to get ready for Christmas, I made a nest of quilts on the sofa and stayed there all day and all night.

The dogs were happy to keep me company, what with a little cold snap we had (it’s in the high 60s / low 70s, which causes my wimpy boxers to channel their inner Malamutes). I laid around alternately snoozing, watching TV and staring at the Christmas tree lights in a Nyquil-induced daze. I drank herb tea and munched a few soup crackers from time to time, which is about all I can keep down.

I didn’t feel much better yesterday, and I still feel lousy now. I’ve been dragging myself from room to room, dusting furniture, sweeping, cleaning out the fridge, etc. I’ve pressed my kid into service more than I normally would to complete errands and assist with housework.

Mr. C always handles Christmas Eve dinner, so I’m off the hook for that, but I’ve got a slew of people coming by at various times today and tomorrow. I’ve got all the holiday meal stuff, but I have no idea where I’m going to find the energy to put the Christmas Day feast together and deal with a houseful of guests. My husband and kid are more than willing to help, but they’ll just fuck up whatever I assign to them. I know that sounds terrible, but it’s true.

There’s no point at all to this post; I just felt like whining. Open thread!

[X-posted at Rumproast]

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96 replies
  1. 1
    JPL says:

    Betty, My husband and kid are more than willing to help, but they’ll just fuck up whatever I assign to them. I know that sounds terrible, but it’s true.
    Accept the help and take care of yourself.

  2. 2
    Schlemizel says:

    Well I hope you are feeling better already and able to fully enjoy the whole holiday season.

    Ditto what JPL said – don’t try to do it yourself, accept that they may do a half-assed job and let it go!

    BTW – you may have actually repulse an actual waffle but the phrase “Tossed my waffle” sounds like something I would not do a google search on and will lead to some horrific ads appearing on BJ!

  3. 3
    growingdaisies says:

    Take a year off. Sometimes you have to. I once cancelled a full-on Christmas party literally an hour before it started (with people driving in from over an hour away) thanks to a remarkably sudden onslaught of the flu. Have your husband and kid call the guests and tell them not to come, and spend the holiday relaxing. It really is OK. Think of it as sparing them the virus.

  4. 4
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    The only thing I have to do in prep for X-Mas is put the plow on the tractor for the 5-7 inches we are supposed to get Tuesday night. Nyah, nah, nyah, nyah, nah.

  5. 5
    demkat620 says:

    Please take care and get lots of rest. I had that flu/virus that was going around last week and it knocked me on my ass. And the worst of it is you think you are better and then wham! Part 2 hits you and you feel awful again. Took three days to shake the fever and even though its almost 10 days since I first got sick I am still congested and tired.

    Your family will understand. And if they don’t tell ’em to have a coke and a smile and stfu

  6. 6
    Raven says:

    Holiday Inn Lynchburgh. The big LU on the mountain outside the window. It’s going to rain. Nothing to do.

  7. 7
    JPL says:

    @Raven: HO! HO! HO!

  8. 8
    Raven says:

    @JPL: “Who you callin a ho, beetch. . .”

    boys in the hood!

  9. 9
    Jester1 says:

    So you are going to help spread whatever crap you got to all your guests? Maybe you should call them up and let them know you are sicker than a dog and let them decide whether to “catch” what ever you have. Lord knows if it were me (immune compromised) I would decline to attend.

  10. 10
    Raven says:

    @JPL: Pretty good rain huh?

  11. 11
    kdaug says:


    usband and kid call the guests and tell them not to come, and spend the holiday relaxing. It really is OK. Think of it as sparing them the virus.

    Seconded. Big fan of the quarantine.

    It’s best for all parties concerned.

  12. 12
    Been There says:

    Let them screw up. Cut corners. Cheat. Order Chinese takeout. Cancel if needed.
    It’s not worth while ruining your health, and this sort of thing does wear the body out sooner, I believe.

    Anyway, you might still be contagious even by Xmas – do you really want to pass those germs along to a horde of guests?

  13. 13
    Ronzoni Rigatoni says:

    Took a run up to Mineola yestidday to see the grandkiddies (& ol’ Mom’s great grand-ones). Not a sniffle in sight. Dunno how they do it. They jump around so fast,I think the virus can’t catch ’em.

  14. 14
    Captain Haddock says:

    I hope you feel better soon, but having a cold or the flu around Christmas brings back cozy memories for me. The first Christmas my wife and I spent together we were both sick with an awful case of the flu. Although we both felt awful, we have wonderful memories of lying on the couch all day, alone together, watching wonderful old movies.

  15. 15
    Emma says:

    Ouch. Yeah. If you can’t cancel, just let the “help” do what they can and ignore the imperfections. Though I bet that if you phone all these people and explain that you can give them the flu as a Christmas present, you’ll have a remarkably small gathering!

  16. 16
    c u n d gulag says:

    Feel better, Betty! :-)

    I’m about 5 hours from popping a big-old, fat, clove-bedazzled ham in the oven, and leave it in there at 310 degrees for about 5 hours.
    And later, I’ll add in some quartered potato’s, some halved brussel sprouts and onions, and some chunks of carrots and celery – because nothing says ‘TASTY!” during the Holiday’s, more than ham, and veggies cooked through and through with ham-fat.
    I can feel my arteries hardening just thinking about it! ! !

    Oh, and I’ll be glazing that fat ham with some apricot preserves, mixed with spicy German mustard, and whatever herbs and spices I have lying around and feel like adding.

    And I’ll be washing it down with copious amounts of vodka!

    Anyone wanna come over and join me?

  17. 17
    bemused says:

    Whine away…that’s an exhausting job even when you are in peak condition. Ask your guests to come earlier to help with the meal and cleanup. They might even insist you sit down while they put the meal on the table. If you greet them when they arrive wearing a face/mouth mask, it might even motivate them to go home earlier, ha.

  18. 18
    debit says:

    I suspect I’m coming down with the flu, but will probably get thru today okay.

    @c u n d gulag: You had me until brussel sprouts.

  19. 19
    Rosalita says:

    Betty, get Chinese and call it a day, Fa-ra-ra-ra-ra-ra-ra-ra

    Seriously I hope you feel more human soon and can enjoy the holiday a little.

  20. 20
    PurpleGirl says:

    @c u n d gulag: That does sound very good… and I like Brussel sprouts. (I like ham too.) Where are you again?

  21. 21
    Elizabelle says:

    Betty: I think I would tell people that I am contagious, and invite them over for New Year’s Eve or day instead. Open presents, eat and imbibe then.

    Bronchitis, as well as a virulent flu, are tracking through Virginia now. I had the bronchitis, a relatively mild case, and was on the sofa for about 3 days.

    A friend was out of work for a week with bad flu (everything but vomiting) and bronchitis that turned into pneumonia.

    He was told he had the “type A” flu that they anticipated; didn’t get his flu shot and regrets that.

    Hillary Clinton had a bad enough flu to become dehydrated and faint.

    Don’t do your guests any favors by giving them a flu that might be more dangerous to them.

  22. 22
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    One of my FB friends is the mother of a 5yo girl. They were making gingerbread people the other day, and daughter was decorating. As her mom explained, like all little kids her handwriting is still pretty big. So at one point she looked up and announced “Mommy, I don’t have enough room to write HO HO HO on this gingerbread girl so I’m just going to write HO.” I think I laughed for ten minutes. Hope my friend managed to get a picture for posterity.

  23. 23
    Randy P says:

    We’re on the road for xmas this year, flying off to visit family in a few hours. I like making the meal and I love hosting, but this year off has been wonderfully relaxing.

    Yesterday we went to see “This is 40” which was surprisingly funny and enjoyable despite the fact that we didn’t like the characters, their marriage or any of their choices. Nor am I a Judd Apatow fan or whatever his name is. But it’s a fun movie.

    We have a tradition of seeing movies with family on Christmas Day. I’m hoping to talk my sister’s family into “The Hobbit”

  24. 24
  25. 25
    Raven says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Yes! The subltitles in “Boys in the Hood” spelled it Hoe!

  26. 26
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Betty: I concur with everyone who advises canceling or postponing the gathering if you possibly can in the interests of public health (theirs) and mental/emotional health (yours). Stressing is guaranteed to run you down physically even more. Seriously, take care of yourself first. Everyone will understand, and the loftier souls will actually thank you for being concerned about their wellbeing at the holidays.

    Swift recovery.

  27. 27
    JPL says:

    @Raven: That is so cute.
    Yes it is rainy but hopefully will stop long enough so I can get a few errands in. Although I enjoy the holidays, there is to much time spent cooking.

  28. 28
    Raven says:

    @JPL: Just started here so not only don’t we have much to do but we’ve go nowhere to do it! Notice I was ready to drop Santa if he messed with my sis!

  29. 29
    Kirbster says:

    Betty, if you decide to go through with the big Christmas thing (and I’m not sure you should), let the guests help and keep in mind that nobody remembers much about Christmas day festivities unless there’s a drunken brawl, nervous breakdown, or wide-spread food poisoning among the guests or hosts.

  30. 30
    JPL says:

    This is the time of day, when I question whether or not I have enough food for tonight. Baked ham, mac n cheese, spinach casserole, copper penny carrot salad and curried fruit. I have rolls and oodles of desserts but still wonder should I add a green salad. ugh

  31. 31
    Raven says:

    @JPL: Better to have too much than not enough!

  32. 32
    JPL says:

    @Raven: I think you are correct. XMAS day we have leftovers and a tenderloin roast. The roast is a present to myself since it is so decadent.

  33. 33
    PsiFighter37 says:

    At work right now…5.5 more hours of sitting on my ass, cruising the Internet. I have to do some last-minute shopping today – any good ideas?

  34. 34
  35. 35
    Steeplejack (tablet) says:


    Who’s the target recipient?

  36. 36
    c u n d gulag says:

    Near Poughkeepsie, NY.

    And @debit, if you’ve never had brussel sprouts baked in ham-fat, then, you haven’t lived.
    If that doesn’t make you appreciate them, then nothing ever will.

    Of course, being a Liberal, I don’t force anything on people, so you’re free to eat whatever pleases you.

    And I’ll gladly eat them if you don’t want them. :-)

  37. 37
    Phylllis says:

    @PsiFighter37: Walgreens.

  38. 38
    Phylllis says:

    @PsiFighter37: @#$%^ Double post.

  39. 39
    Raven says:

    @Phylllis: There were some heavy anti-Wallgreens rants last night.

  40. 40
    mir13 says:

    I remember well the week-long freak out after the first debate. Did I miss the commiserate butch-fest after the “You get nothing. I get that for free” comments were released? I’m checking the archives, but I must be looking in the wrong place. I have read many times on this site, that it is lousy with Obots. Perhaps one of the friendly ones could direct me to the post, or discussion dealing with Black Metrosexual Michael Corleone going all Soup Nazi on the Reichwing.

    Or perhaps I was misinformed about the Obot infestation.

  41. 41
    debit says:

    @PsiFighter37: Gift cards. No one will complain about an Amazon gift card.

  42. 42
    Elizabelle says:

    @c u n d gulag:

    Got stalk of brussels sprouts at Trader Joe’s because it looked so beautiful. My dad liked brussels sprouts. Always reminds me of him.

    BUT I am finding out that no one in our extended family is also a sprouts fan. I am not going to be able to give these veggies away. Thinking of roasting half of the stalk up and trying some new recipes with the other half. Chefs have been doing some interesting stuff.

    And: today is the anniversary of my dad’s death. Thinking on him today. Will enjoy some brussels sprouts in his honor later.

  43. 43
    the Conster says:


    Us Obots accepted that comment as one of MBAL’s better comebacks indicating preparedness to go over the cliff and blame it on the Republicans with every chance he gets, and the Firebaggers just know that it means he’s planning to sell us all out this time for sure. IOW, a day like every other day on BJ.

  44. 44
    mothra says:

    Bless you Betty. Time for a plan B. Have your family make soup and sandwiches and let the rest go.

  45. 45
    Linda Featheringill says:


    Here’s to your dad. And hugs to you.

  46. 46
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    I’ve felt like hell for about 4 days. Started out sneezing and progressed through a sore throat, into my lungs, where it’s now turning into bronchitis.
    Basically sleeping, taking meds, napping and eating a little.

    I blame Obama.

  47. 47
    c u n d gulag says:

    Sorry about your dad.

    Mine passed away this year. December 20th marked the 8th month since his passing.
    And the 21st would have been his 87th birthday. No one can complain about a beloved parent living to be 86 – except to complain that he’s still sorely missed.

    As for the brussel sprouts, the other ways I love them, is to bread them, and then sautee them in some oil mixed with a little butter (or, either one, if you don’t want to mix them), until they’re golden brown and soft inside – or, for a more healthy alternative, microwave them until they’re almost done, put a tab of margarine or butter on them, pour some bread-crumbs on them, and put them in the toaster oven on “Broil,” to brown them. Just remember to turn them.

    What I’ve found, is that if people like cabbage, they’ll like brussel sprouts.
    And if they don’t, oh well, there’s not much you can do about it…

  48. 48
    debit says:

    @Elizabelle: It’s always difficult to lose someone, but this time of year especially. Take care.

  49. 49
    Mark S. says:

    Has Crapo blamed his DWI on video games yet?

  50. 50
    WereBear says:

    @c u n d gulag: YES!


    Mr WereBear and I are wrestling with a flu-ish illness; yesterday my dinner was eggnogg. By Christmas I hope to put Kraken dark spiced rum in it, something I (ahem) testdrove quite a bit a couple of weeks ago when I finally found it. Thank you, Betty!

    And do just sit on the couch and amuse yourself as the loved ones screw up Christmas. They will enjoy, you will get some rest, and they will appreciate you all the more.

    That’s what I call a celebration.

  51. 51
    JCT says:

    @Elizabelle: There’s an excellent Brussels Sprouts and shallots “hash” on epicurious that even the avowed haters in my household really like. Very easy. The NYT recently had an interesting sprouts with pancetta that I am going to try – and I have a Trader Joe’s stalk too.

    Feel better Betty – pay attention to your symptoms, if they abruptly worsen or your fever takes off it’s time to get to the doc.

  52. 52
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Happy Christmas Eve to everyone. I am chest deep in my family’s three days of celebration. It had been great for the most part so far.

    Feel better, Betty C. Let your volunteers do their best and just do your best to enjoy the results.

  53. 53
    TR says:

    If I showed up at a friends for the holidays and they announced they had a bug, I’d be pissed. Cancel and rest up!

  54. 54
    WereBear says:

    @Raven: This philosphy is why we are still eating the leftovers from our Solstice Party… and a good thing, too, since we have the achey-all-over, respiratory version of whatever it is.

  55. 55
    cathyx says:

    Pairing brussel sprouts with bacon is a must.

  56. 56
    WereBear says:

    @Raven: This philosophy is why we are still eating the leftovers from our Solstice Party… and a good thing, too, since we have the achey-all-over, respiratory version of whatever it is.

  57. 57
    Raven says:

    Trying to watch Roots on sorry ass BET and OJ showed up. 86

  58. 58
    Raven says:

    @WereBear: my buddy Jim cole has a gig tomorrow
    . It’s on the front page of theNG. He was a Finchley Boy.

  59. 59
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @debit: Prepaid Visa or Mastercard or Debit Card. Load it up with money, and they can buy what they want when they want. Takes almost no time.

    Almost finished with cleaning today-will bake first sugar-free apple pie sometime this evening.

    No flu so far. I hope to get somewhere where I can get a free shot today because of all of the stories so far. Must be dreadful if reading about it makes me nervous.

    Merry Christmas to all….

  60. 60
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    My husband and kid are more than willing to help, but they’ll just fuck up whatever I assign to them. I know that sounds terrible, but it’s true.

    So? Unless “fuck up” means “burn the house down and kill the dogs by accident”, let it go. It’s Christmas, and you’re ill. I’ll endorse the quarantine idea as well. Your guests will not thank you if they’re tossing their cookies non-alcoholically by New Year’s Eve.

  61. 61
    Raven says:

    CHAMPAIGN — A founding member of the original Finchley Boys will return to this area to present his “Boxing Day Rock ‘n’ Roll Show” at 8 p.m. Wednesday in the Cowboy Monkey, 6 Taylor St.

    Jim Cole also was in the local band the Subliminators in the 1990s. Now living and playing music in New Orleans, he will be in town for the holidays and has assembled a band that includes former Finchley Boys band members and musical collaborators from the ’60s, ’90s and the 2000s.

    The musicians who will perform Wednesday from Cole’s ’90s band, the Subliminators, are Jack Brighton, Josh Quirk and Jesse Brown, currently with the bands the Painkillers, the Brat Pack and the Surreal Deal.

    Andon Davis, lead guitarist for Heartsfield and Anna Fermin’s Trigger Gospel, and the other half of a duo with Cole in Chicago from 2001-07, will be in the show, too. Also joining Cole on stage will be fellow Finchley Boys: lead guitarist Mark Warwick, drummer Mike Powers and lead guitarist Garrett Oostdyk.

    Guest vocalists also will join in throughout the night. Among them are Sandra Eades, Geoff Poor, Jammin’ Jimmy Bean and Keith Harden.

    Cole, a vocalist and guitarist, graduated in 1967 from Urbana High School.

    The cover for the Boxing Day show is $5.

  62. 62
    PurpleGirl says:

    Cund: If I didn’t have plans for tomorrow, I’d be so tempted to take up your invitation. Poughkeepsie is easy to get to on MetroNorth.

    I hope you, your mother and your sister’s family have a good day tomorrow.

    ETA: Enjoy your feast.

  63. 63
    Elizabelle says:

    @c u n d gulag:

    You are all very kind. Dad has actually been gone for years now, but remembered daily, and especially today.

    Proust had madeleines. cund’s brussel sprouts triggered my memories of Dad. He was a great one. Very lucky daughter.

    Thinking about mnemosyne today too; know her family is struggling through her dad’s serious illness.

    FWIW, departing this realm on Christmas Eve (or Day or Week) is not a bad exit strategy.

    Your family is together. You get this little bubble of family time when the world is not expecting to hear from you. You can take a day or two to adjust to the news of the loss itself before you have to tell others. And if it’s been a long illness, it’s over. You have a little peace before the permanence sets in.

    And every year following, you’re together with your loved ones and can raise a glass to those who are missed, and laugh and reminisce.

    So, Dad was a class act, to the end.

    (Saying this mainly for mnemosyne, in event she checks in as a little break. The timing can be weirdly comforting.)

    cund: very sorry for your loss. Did he school you to be wary of department store Santas and other dubious creatures?

  64. 64
    piratedan says:

    yeah Betty time for plan B, scrap the diner plans, get a roast outta the freezer, can of beef broth, have them cut up some veggies and stick it in the crock pot, put it on low and fuhgeddabout it. Plus the hot brothiness will be just the thing for ya later.

  65. 65
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Betty, listen to the assembled Juicitariat and give your guests the gift of not giving them whatever you’ve caught, and concentrate on recovering. No sense making yourself more miserable than you already are.

  66. 66
    AliceBlue says:

    The Christmas of 1973 lives vividly in my memory–I had mono. I was still living at home so all I had to do was lie in a miserable huddle and let my mom take care of me.

    Hope you feel better soon Betty. Count me among those who say “call it off” and just enjoy the day with your family.

  67. 67
    WereBear says:

    @Raven: Sounds marvy.


  68. 68
    SectionH says:

    Hope you feel better very soon, Betty.

    Canceling the party might still be the best idea, though. I say that as yet another case of bad cold > bronchitis > got slightly better > relapse > pneumonia. And I got a flu shot this year (grumble). We cancelled our usual Solstice dinner, so I am not just giving easy advice. Everyone understood and was somewhat relieved not to be exposed to anything, that is the ones who weren’t coming down with or just getting over something themselves.

  69. 69
    JPL says:

    @Raven: My ex is north of Lewisburg, WV on a hundred acres. The derecho in July left him without power and water for a month. The area is beautiful but do you really want to be 45 minutes from a Kroger. At least you can see folks walk past once and awhile.
    Where are you spending xmas eve?

  70. 70
    gbear says:

    @Elizabelle: This seems to be the month for fathers passing away. Two of my coworkers in a very small work group lost their fathers this December. One of the fathers was only a day older than me. My own father passed away six years ago at the beginning of December. I hate to say it but his presence always made Christmas days incredibly tense. Now my sisters and I tend to have our Christmas get-together after the holidays and we’re able to be much more relaxed than before. The last Thanksgiving with my sisters and father was hell.

    As far as the topic at hand: I’d let Mr C. phone everyone and let them know that Typhoid Mary is in the house. I think I’d want someone to let me know beforehand if I was showing up at a party where someone had the flu. Might be good to take the holiday off as others have said above.

  71. 71
    WereBear says:

    @Elizabelle: Sympathies all around. My father has not yet passed on, but his brain, has. So it’s that rotten bittersweet thing where I’ve already mourned him about 90%.

    And his birthday is coming up end of the month… that’s when I’ll think of him. Like now.

  72. 72
    Citizen_X says:

    News flash! Teabaggers are really stupid:

    tea party activists are cheering the recent Republican revolt in Washington that embarrassed House Speaker John Boehner and pushed the country closer to a “fiscal cliff” that forces tax increases and massive spending cuts on virtually every American.

    they overlook the fact that most people would see their taxes increase

    “On the other side” are tax increases for most Americans, not just the top earners, though that point seemed lost on Smith

    Keep digging, assholes!

  73. 73
    c u n d gulag says:

    I’m glad you have plans – but sorry you won’t be able to come over. :’-(
    There’ll be enough ham for an Army – and enough for a HUGE pot of pea soup that I’ll make later on in the week, and freeze in batches.

    For the record, New Hamburg, the next town down, is even easier on Metro North!

    I actually live in Wappingers Falls, named after the Wappingers Native-American tribe.

    And in my families religion, Russian Orthodoxy, (I’m an Agnostic), our Christmas is in two weeks

    I hope you and yours, and everyone here, there, and everywhere, has a Merry, Happy, Jolly… whatever.
    (Even the trolls). :-)

  74. 74
    Joy says:

    I hope you feel better. Who would have thought the very same thing has traveled to Illinois where I live and now have the pleasure of the same symptoms you have (sans sniffling and sneezing) and am dragging myself around the house to finish what I need to do. Luckily the only guests I am having are family so they know what they are getting into.

    Get better soon and hopefully you can enjoy your holiday!

  75. 75
    SectionH says:

    Oops, I see it’s not just one event, but a series. More complicateder… Good luck with whatever you decide.

  76. 76
    c u n d gulag says:

    HE did!
    My Mother believes in religion, and JC, and all of that. So does the rest of my family. And I don’t mind. As long as they don’t preach to me too much. They’re not over the top, so I’m thankful for that.

    And, though I don’t believe in JC, or Santa, I still like this time of year, because most people seem to be nicer – unless you’re trying to find parking at the mall, or want that last thing-a-bob that’s on sale.
    Then, people seem to dump the ‘better angels of their nature,’ and become possessed by the ancient gods of rage and fury.

  77. 77
    Lojasmo says:

    Betty: You pretty clearly have firal influenza. Either hit the bedroom and trust the kids and hubby to do everything, or cancel the whole shebang (probably best anyway)

  78. 78
    arguingwithsignposts says:


    “Let’s go over the cliff and see what’s on the other side,” the blacksmith said. “On the other side” are tax increases for most Americans, not just the top earners, though that point seemed lost on Smith, who added: “We have a day of reckoning coming, whether it’s next week or next year. Sooner or later the chickens are coming home to roost. Let’s let them roost next week.”

    Tea partiers love them some chickens.

    Hope you feel better soon, Betty C.

  79. 79
    DaddyJ says:

    My sympathies, BC. Both my wife and I have this thing, whatever it is (fever, headache, wracking cough). With both of us down, Christmas is going to have to be a little low-key this year. Maybe someday it will be immortalized in a Hallmark channel moviel: “The Suckiest Christmas That Ever Was!”

  80. 80
    Lojasmo says:

    Oh, and I probably bitched about this in another thread, but i WORKI tonight and tomorrow night (the nurse is the only staff on, everybody else is on call) and will likely not see a soul during that time. I joked with my wife and son last night that everybody will probably minimize chest pain and simply die at home instead of coming in.


  81. 81
    keestadoll says:

    Sounds like you might have what I have, which is Mrs. Dalloway Syndrome. Know what I’ve learned? Most holidays, when recalled as being “awesome,” are invariably not well-organized and executed affairs. They are the holidays where Uncle Idiot got wasted on Ramos Fizzes and fell into the toilet or Little Cute Precocious Johnny flew his new RC airplane into the neighbor’s electrical wires causing a specatacular transformer reaction resulting in a block to lose power. There are also burnt entrees involved. Those are the great holidays. Let yourself be under-par and let it go. The only thing I would add is to put a pot of water on the stove with some eucalyptus oil in it. The oil kills flu virue so you could protect your guests that way. Embrace chaos. Merry Christmas!

  82. 82
    quannlace says:

    GUYS. As soon as you all get your BJ pet calendar, turn to the October page and write in big red letters, ‘Get Flu Shot.’ An early Christmas present to yourselves.

    Hope you feel better, Betty, and agree with folks here. Either postpone or scale way down the festivities. What fun is it being just a damp spot on the floor by tomorrow night?

  83. 83
    Raven says:

    @JPL: Appomattox with her brother. Back there for brunch and hit the road.

  84. 84
    Ash Can says:

    Betty — two things. First, you poor thing, get better soon. Second, CANCEL. Bear in mind these people will be ingesting things at your house and will be prime candidates for ingesting viruses along with that lovely food and drink. Unless you actually hate all the people on your guest list and want to do something really shitty to all of them, make it a New Year’s party instead, and spare everyone the misery, including yourself. Especially if your guest list includes people with kids. The nuclear option beats spreading disease any day of the week, and everyone will appreciate it.

  85. 85
    keestadoll says:

    Nope, you know, Ash Can is right. Cancel the whole thing now. If anyone bitches or gives the slightest attitude, they can be left off the guest list next year. Bundle up and let yourself be sick without the pressure.

  86. 86
    Maude says:

    @Ash Can:
    And some people can get very ill if they get this bug.
    People would feel guilty if they go to a party and the host is ill.

  87. 87
    Elizabelle says:

    Well, Mrs. Betty Cracker: if you do pull off the Christmas dinner tomorrow for a host of guests, and it’s a smashing success:

    We at Balloon Juice are the last people you can tell.

    It’s one thing to be a hostess.

    It’s another to be a vector!

    Cheers, and hope you’re sipping tea and enjoying Xmas Eve as you read these.

  88. 88
    bemused senior says:

    Remember that there are 12 days of Christmas. Put off your party till the 2nd day of Christmas.

    This year has been one for discretionary holiday scheduling, due to my younger daughter in NYC. We celebrated Thanksgiving on the day after, since she flew in on Thanksgiving day. And we’re having our Christmas dinner with my older daughter and her husband today, flying to NYC tomorrow, and celebrating with younger daughter on Wednesday. We enjoyed the alt.Thanksgiving so much (because everyone was together to do the work on the meal) that we’ve resolved to do it every year.

  89. 89
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    Feel better soon Betty. MC&HNY to all the commenters and readers here.


  90. 90
    joel hanes says:

    I actually live in Wappingers Falls

    [shock of recognition]

    If you happen to see Barry Haydasz, tell him Joel Hanes wishes him a right Merrie Christmas.

  91. 91
    c u n d gulag says:

    @joel hanes:
    Ok, if I run into him – but I don’t know him.

  92. 92
    joel hanes says:

    Probably doesn’t live there any more.

    If he does, he’ll be about sixty years old.

    When I knew him forty years ago, in Wurzburg W. Germany, he looked a bit like an undersized Frank Zappa.

  93. 93
    Ted & Hellen says:

    Just cancel the festivities this year and relax.

    What’s the point of making everyone in the house miserable and slowing your own recovery? People will understand, if they care about you. And if they don’t, they’re not your friends anyway, so fuck them. :D

    Merry Christmas!

  94. 94
    julie says:

    Two of our usual Christmas dinner guests have the flu. More for us, but I’ll miss them. Now I have to find “Little st. nick by the Beach Boys to cheer myself up.

  95. 95
    Steeplejack says:


    The Beach Boys, “Little St. Nick.”

    Another song I associate with the holidays, even though it’s not strictly a holiday song. Maybe it’s the sleigh bells. The Trade Winds, “New York’s a Lonely Town.”

  96. 96
    chuckieboy says:

    @Mark S.: No, it was his car’s fault, it wasn’t mormonized.

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