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Mom, Interrupted: You can't fit this into a stocking

So there you have it, readers. My gift to you for 2023, wrapped in the metaphorical Post-it notes, tape and staples that have held my life together all these years.

It’s December, and no matter which holiday you’re celebrating, gift giving is usually involved. Tipping your fave monthly columnist is a trend that hasn’t caught on yet, so I’m going to flip the script and give you the best gift I can. Let’s unwrap it now!

About 30 years ago I discovered my superpower. No, I’m not Spiderman (Spidergrandma?); it’s even better: I make everyone around me feel much better about themselves. Yes, if you’re feeling like you’re the weirdest, most disorganized, most dysfunctional person around, come and sit by me, because I got you covered. 

Oh, I know that on the surface, I look like I have it all. Consultant with multiple certifications who works from a beautiful home, speaks at conferences, has a handsome husband, four smart, intelligent, kind children with loving relationships and some adorable grandchildren, columnist for a popular local newspaper with very discerning readers and a gorgeous editor…yes, this is a woman who has her act together.

On paper.

When you consider my life, however, know that the only reason my hem is not held up with cellophane tape and staples is that I usually wear a bathrobe to work these days; I have nothing planned for dinner tonight; and I’m too disorganized to have enough in my tank to get to a gas station but I’m secretly glad about that because I’m a terribly shy introvert who dreads human or even pay-at-the-pump interaction. 

Coworkers who ran down the hall in the '90s to tell me that a Post-it note had fallen out of my skirt (there to augment the tape and staples) were the first to know of my superpower. Now it’s your turn. My gift to you this festive season, Valley of the Sun, is The Gift of Superiority. Don’t spend it all in one place.

Yes, our rescue basset hound is classically adorkable and extremely affectionate but don't let him kiss you because, well, let’s just say that he cleans up after himself in the yard and we can't figure out why and haven’t been able to make him stop. 

You don’t have a great meet-cute story? I have a great meet-weird story: Dad, Interrupted met me while we were writing interactive Star Trek fan fiction in an online community that predates dinosaurs, much less the internet.

Still feeling low? 

When my son asked for a birthday cake straight out of a Great British Bake Off archive, I had to produce an Italian meringue buttercream, which means I had to whisk egg whites and caster sugar (where do you even get caster sugar?) over a simmering pan of water for an hour and then I had to search the internet to find out why I wasn’t generating a decent ribbon trail, whatever the hell that is, and my best effort produced a very tasty dipping sauce over inedible Frisbees instead of a silky smooth frosting over five light sponges. I think you know I deserved an expressive gesture when I served it, but it wasn’t a Paul Hollywood handshake and you can’t do that on TV (full disclosure: I did receive a pity hug from my very kind son).

A real estate appraiser once told me that she had never seen so many books in a home, but that’s not going to make you feel superior. When I tell you that about 50% of those bookcases are dedicated to science fiction (and I’ll just admit it: Star Trek novels), well, we’re back on the train to Superiority Land.

Coming to my house? Don’t open an unmarked door, because I’m not sure what will fall out of it. The powder room is marked (with a Star Trek-themed sign, what else would it be?), so just stick with that for your own safety.

I’m a gray-haired grandma whose recent discovery of Lego has left my family room shelves covered in…you think I’m going to say Star Trek builds, don’t you? Ha! I may know how to burp the Klingon alphabet but all my Lego is Harry Potter. Because I’m 12, and still secretly hoping I’ll get my letter soon. 

That’s not even all of it. Tell me how you’re not feeling good about yourself and like the Wizard of Oz I’ll reach into my bag and pull something out that instantly makes you feel better about yourself, or at least not so alone.

So there you have it, readers. My gift to you for 2023, wrapped in the metaphorical Post-it notes, tape and staples that have held my life together all these years. 

You’re welcome!

Elizabeth Evans is a local mother, wife, daughter, sister, former stay-at-home mom, former work-outside-the-home mom, former work-at-home mom and a human resources consultant.