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2005-12-21 @ 9:01 p.m.
men with presents

You know that Christmas song “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”? Well, have you ever really listened to the lyrics closely? Crimany...
”He sees you when you’re sleeping...
He knows when you’re awake...
He knows when you’ve been bad or good,
so be good for goodness sakes.”

That’s like the ultimate nightmare scenario for a paranoid. “He sees you when you’re sleeping.” Oh my God. Ya mean, he’s looking in my window? Like when I’m doing the feng shui freaky?

I was always scared of Santa when I was a kid. Always. And can you blame me? My mother used Santa as a behavior modification device. Like if I was even the tiniest bit naughty, like being a smart mouth during dinner, she’d suddenly get all wide eyed, kinda like this...

And then practically scream, “THERE HE IS, THERE HE IS...SANTA IS LOOKING IN THE WINDOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” And then me, being of somewhat delicate nature mentally, even in those days, would whirl around and try to see this big, ol' fat bearded perv staring at me through a window and never see him. Can you imagine how that made me feel? Even at age 6, I wondered if I was losing it, because there was some guy staring at me through windows, yet I couldn’t see him, yet everyone else could, and yet there he was...somehow monitoring my actions and he always seemed to be there when I was at my worst.

Doesn’t this all sound a bit like President Bush and his policies on domestic spying?

But to say, I have always been suspicious of men bearing gifts is really an understatement. I’m always like, what do they want? Because I know there are always strings attached. My mother taught me that. I'm still feeling karmic guilt for presents she gave me in 1977. I was watching “The Office” last night on TV and Steve Carrell’s character, who is so obnoxiously hilarious, said something to the effect “The more dollars you spend on a gift, the more people owe you.”

On Monday morning, I arrived at my desk at work to find a small box with a red bow on it. I kind of gulped. I then looked at the tag and it said, To: witty, From: J (my married coworker, who I work with on various groups and have gone out to lunch with numerous times and who has brought me home when my car was on the fritz. J is a nice guy.)

So I cautiously opened the box and sure enough, there was a beautiful silver necklace in there with a piece of deep purple amethyst and a tiny dolphin curled around it. I just looked at it for a moment. My heart was beating really fast. I have literally never gotten a piece of jewelry from a guy in my life. And what a lovely piece it was. Why? Because I had picked it out a month earlier at the art show that had been at our office.

I joke and kid around with J all the time. I am relentless, I guess. “A” has repeatedly told me that all the flirting and double entendres I do around men might be taken wrong, and that it might even get me into trouble someday. Humor is my only real weapon though. I’m a mere month and a half away from turning 48. I’m overweight. I’m shy. But, man oh man, can I ever sling me some double entendres. And its really my way of getting noticed. And as much as I hate to admit this, I get it from my mother. At age 77, she still flirts with men and will sometimes say such graphic things, that I just want to slide under the table to retrieve long lost menus.

But back in October, I had been walking near this jewelry table with J and I was feeling pretty good that day, I guess, because people had been giving me the thumbs up on my artwork, so I was being pretty obnoxious. So when I saw this certain necklace, I turned to J and said rather expansively, “In case you’re wondering what to get me for my birthday, I’ll take that necklace there, J. Because I just know you want to get it for me. So don’t forget, that’s the one I want.” This conversation actually went on for a good 5-8 minutes. I was being really ridiculous, as in overly dramatic, as in kidding. I WAS KIDDING “J”!! I had no idea he would actually go out and buy the damn thing. Eep!

For one thing, we’re just co-workers. And then of course, he’s married and how would his wife feel is she knew he was out buying his female coworkers jewelry? The only thing Married Guy ever BOUGHT me was a t-shirt that said, “Jersey Shore”. And he got to see me nekkid. But I did put it on, since I wasn’t really sure what the Married Co-worker Buys You Silver Jewelry Unexpectedly protocol was. He seemed pleased to see it on. And I did give him a thank you hug. Again, not exactly sure what the Co-worker Giving You a Gift protocol is. But I am kind of a hug slut anyways, so maybe that part was (ahem)

Our meeting afterwards was interesting. J, of course sat next to me. And the Younger J was on the other side. He’s about 30 and shyly flirty with me. He’s not my type at all though, because his idea of humor is as follows: He showed me two of our gifts from our party last week. One had a jock strap in it and the other one had a nutcracker. And then once I saw “the joke”...jock strap...nutcracker, har, har...he just stood there kinda going “ook, ook” like some oversized chimp.

Now what grade of high school are we in?

On the other side of Older “J”, was “B” a newer male employee, who has a razor sharp sense of humor. And I’ve caught onto it already, and we’ve been kibitzing. He was the guy who was comparing the size of his “Grinch” with “J” a couple of weeks ago. Well, during our meeting we were going around the table talking about what we had accomplished this year at work. I hate talking in front of people, but I said that I thought that it was really important to try and do anything and everything possible to help our clients, since they don’t have many resources. And then about a minute later, out of the corner of my eye, I see this handwritten note being pushed along the table towards me. And I really couldn’t tell who it was from since I was still nervous from talking. So I opened it up and it read: “witty, could we talk in private about what I need? You did say whatever I need.“

And I was like WTF? Because I was still feeling kind of angsty about getting the jewelry, and then I see this note being slid over by “J”. I thought it was from HIM. And I was thinking, I knew there were going to be strings attached. I did laugh nervously, but still....WTF?

After the meeting though, it was “B” who apologized profusely and said he didn’t mean anything by it. Stupid asshat. And then “J” started asking me what was in the note, and “B” said he didn’t need to know. And then I think the Younger “J” might have possibly been balancing a chair on his forehead, somewhere in the background, for me. In other words, the men in my department were all about witty, but in the weirdest, pretty much most disagreeable way.

So I talked to “A” about it on Tuesday and he once again mentioned how dangerous the double entendre thing is, although I think there might have possibly been .0001% of proudness, that little shy witty had three guys acting like geeks around me. He was a little perturbed that I had put the necklace on, however. He said I was sending the message that “Yes, I’m receiving your gifts...what’s next on the agenda?”

(Nothing!! One Married Guy episode in one’s life is quite enough, thank you).

He also thought I should take the necklace off when I see “J” and then put it back on, when I’m not. That’s way too complicated for my poor brain though. I just bought one of those old people’s pill boxes that has the days of the week written on it, because I can’t remember when to take my pills. What makes “A” think I can remember which day to switch my jewelry?

So I’m just going to wear the necklace. “A” and I did have a nice chat about the holidays. He lurves Christmas more than anyone I have ever met. His office looks like Santa barfed on it. I gave him a card and a gift and in typical “A” fashion, he dug into a big bag, turned away for a second, madly wadding something into this massive sheet of wrapping tissue and then meandered around his office in search of a 53 inch long piece of tape. Once that was applied, I had to go out for a pop-up fly in left field. Yup, “A” tossed me my present....AIR MAIL....from about 15 feet across the room. Fortunately I was somewhat expecting it and was able to catch it. Also fortunately, it wasn’t Watersford crystal.

I guess in all the excitement of catching air-bourn Christmas presents from my shrink, I left my beloved beret in his office, so I called him once I got to work. Gotta have my beret. Its the thing that makes me “COOOL”, so I called his voice mail and asked if he could leave it in his reception area and I could stop and get it on my way home since he’s going on vacation next week. Well, after work, I stopped by, and looked all over. Was it on the chairs? No. Under the chairs? No. On the coffee table? No. Under the coffee table? No. On the table where the fish tank is? No. On the book shelves? No. There was just no beret anywhere. I was starting to think he had forgotten to set it out for me. And then I just happen to glance up.

And where was my frooking beret? Up on the very top of his 6 foot tall folk art Christmas tree. Oy!

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Lyrics by Lennon/McCartney. All angst copyright by awittykitty