Monday, December 08, 2003


Tis the season. I seem to start many a post this way. But, in the month of December you have to say, "Tis the season." Because it is. This time, it's a "tis the season for the UPS delivery person to drop boxes at your door, give a quick courtesy knock and then run away quickly. On Friday, I got a visit from St. UPS.

*Knock* *Knock* *Knock* (run away)

First of all, nobody who knows me comes my front door. The front door is reserved for Pizza Guys (always welcome), Political solicitors (a polite "go away" is adequate) and Religious solicitors (always best to pretend we're not home). So when I get a knock at the front door and I haven't been waiting 28 1/2 minutes for my dinner, I am pretty sure it isn't anything good.

Of course, the peephole does me no good. Porch light? Burned out. GreenTuna? Too lazy to fix it for the past several months. So I peer into the darkness and see....nothing. I shrug and open the door.

And there it is! My first box of the season. I drag it inside.

"What is it?" TinyTuna asks excitedly.

"A box," I answer with an implied "duh" sound.

"Who's it from?" Asks TinyTuna.

"Grandpa and Sandra," I tell her turning the item over and over and over again.

"Open it!" TinyTuna demands.

So I go at it. I can remember as a kid our family getting gift boxes of one sort or another. It might be the big box of enormous pears or apples. Every year my great uncle Albert (Song cue: We're so sorry, Uncle Albert) would send us a box of dried fruit arranged on a wicker plate. I would go for the dried apricots while making a MPF at the prunes. This of course would launch the dreaded two-pronged lecture: 1. Don't hog the dried apricots, and 2. Prunes are good for you. They're really delicious. (Ewwww. MPF)

I'm opening the box. TinyTuna tries to wrangle it out of my hands to "help." I'm looking at GramTuna saying, "I don't know. I just don't know what on earth it is." Finally the wrapping is off, I lift the cardboard lid and find...

A roll of Paper Towels.

A roll of Toilet Paper.

A box of Kleenex.

A package of butt wipes.

I shoot a "what the???" look at GramTuna. She cracks up. I start laughing and shaking my head.

"What is it? What is it?" TinyTuna demands to know.

"Toilet Paper," I answer, bewilderedly. "Kleenex, paper towels, toilet paper and butt wipes."

"Why did they send you that?" Asks TinyTuna.

I start laughing nervously. "I don't know," I say. I shoot a look at GramTuna. "Don't ask me!" she says, laughing all the more.

"Maybe it's a sign from God," says TinyTuna, attempting to be oh-so-funny.

"A sign? Of What?" I ask incredulously. "That God is going to toilet paper my house??"

By now I'm half amused and half concerned. It's not everyday that I get toilet paper in the mail, and I have to admit, I am unaware of their holiday significance. I suppose even Mary was more than a bit surprised with the Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. I understand apples, pears, cookies and candy. I can even wrap my mind around the way a Swiss Colony Beef Log screams Silent Night in it's own beefy loggy way. But paper products? What does this mean?

I don't know if it is a joke or if I'm in big trouble. "You'd better confer with your siblings," advises GramTuna.

After a weekend of investigative sleuthing, I am relieved to report that we all received holiday butt-wipes. Mystery solved (I guess). Now I need to consult Miss Manners to find the appropriate way to express my thanks for the paper products bestowed upon me. Maybe some retaliatory Holiday Peeps?

Christmas can be so complicated.

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