People are walking around smiling in anticipation of the wonderful ways their loved ones are going to show their affection come the 25th. These are the people who haven't learned yet, and who will, come January, be some of the bitterest people on earth. But for now, I'll take all the goodwill they're giving.
The arts are in full swing this month. Every radio station is dusting off their Xmas classics. By the 25th, I estimate that I'll have heard Nat King Cole roasting his chestnuts 1,612 times. But it's never enough, because I still don't know the words. I just hear ol' Nat's voice and go all gooey. He could be singing a recipe for pot roast and I'd still sigh.
But by far my favorite is the ballet. I'm a sucker for it. The twinkling lights, the suspended animation of the performers as they swoop and soar and seem to defy the rule of both gravity and common sense... I'm not talking about the Nutcracker. I'm talking about cars on the road and in parking lots. I was negotiating my way out of a popularly-placed spot this afternoon, coordinating with my fellow ballerinas (two giant SUVs and a hopelessly outmatched Toyota). The Toyota and one SUV did a graceful swoop in the background while I backed carefully out of my space, allowing the other SUV to glide gracefully in. The spray from the puddles in the parking lot was vaguely reminiscent of tutus.
Then, on my way out of the parking lot, I happened to be in the outer of the two left-turn lanes. The light turns green, and instantly the car to my right (not in a turn lane at all) shot ahead of me, across four lanes and into the left lane, the car to my left shot ahead of me, across four lanes and into the right-most lane, and I forged ahead, dazzled at the sheer beauty of the spectacle. Spectators held their breath, waiting for the exciting, inevitable crunch of metal, the delightful tinkle of broken glass and the breathtaking glitter of a spray of safety glass. I held my breath right along with everyone else, only to laugh with joy when it all came out okay in the end.
I just can't decide whether it's life imitating art, or art imitating idiots.