Okay, I'm going to take you back to THE most traumatic moment of my young and innocent life:
Picture it: Hollister, California.
|Please note the added attraction of the San Andreas fault running smack dab through my life from 1967-1971.|
I was the very tender and impressionable age of having just turned 6 in 1968.
My evil sister, Andrea, was 8.
|Evil Sister Andrea. I'm not kidding. This is really her.|
I'm not sure why, but Andrea HATED me. (When I would whine and cry and ask her why she didn't like me, she would hiss, "Because you're annoyingggggggg!")
|:Me. I was NOT annoying.|
Torturing me in the most diabolical ways possible was my sister's biggest delight. She would lie awake nights, plotting. I could hear her in her room, cackling demonically with glee, and I would pull my covers up to my chin and quake in fear.
Meanwhile, back to Christmas.
We were always told (which I later discovered was a big fat lie) by my mother that if we got out of bed and sneaked out to the living room to see our presents and Santa saw us, he would not leave us anything.
So on Christmas morning, when my sister would wake me up at 3 a.m. (which she did, every year) to ask me if I thought Santa had come yet, I would refuse to get up and see, in case that was the precise moment that Santa was coming down the chimney.
But this particular year, my sister had something extra up her sleeve.
She was nice to me.
|Andrea, Christmas 1968. I swear. THIS IS REALLY HER.|
My wildest dreams had come true! My big sister liked me... she really liked me!
She asked if she could crawl into bed with me and together, we would wait until it was time to get up.
I scooted over happily and cuddled against her, whispering about what we had hoped Santa would leave us under the tree.
At 4 a.m. she had an idea.
An awful idea.
The Grinch... I mean, my sister... had a wonderful, awful idea.
|My sisters wonderful, awful idea. She posed for Dr. Seuss for this portrait that year.|
She smiled her Grinchy smile at me and said,
"You know, I'll bet Santa has already come."
Me: "I don't think so... we should stay in bed until Mommy tells us we can get up."
(Shut up. I was not annoying.)
Andrea: "No, I'm pretty sure he's already come. I heard him going back up the chimney a few minutes ago."
Me: *wide eyed and gullible* "Really? You did?"
Andrea: "Of course I did. I heard Rudolph on the roof, waiting."
Me: *gazing at her with adoration and awe*
Andrea: "Come on, let's go see what he brought!"
Me: "But what if he's still here? What if he sees us? He won't leave us any presents!"
(Hey... I might have just turned 6 but I absolutely had my priorities straight. Christmas = presents. Ain't NO way I was jacking THAT up, after my hideous birthday of snow globes and Rudolph records.)
Andrea: "If he sees us, I'll tell him it was my idea and you will still get your presents."
|That's me, with blonde hair. Seuss thought it would be more believable if stupid little Cindy Lou was a blonde.|
I was sold.
We crept out of bed and tippy-toed down the hall.
As we reached the living room, we heard the distinct sound of Santa sliding down the chimney.
Andrea put both of her hands on my back and shoved me, as hard as she could, into the middle of the living room, and then hauled ASS back down the hall and into bed.
I was soooo freaking busted, and standing there alone, like the giant cheese, exposed and guilty and getting out of bed before Mommy said we could.
I did what any rational 6 year old who had been betrayed by her sister would do:
I squeezed my eyes shut and started wailing like a banshee.
My mother appeared before my eyes, pissed off and accusatory.
I was whisked back to bed, sobbing the entire way down the hall.
My sister's ass was grass.
Shockingly, my mother blamed... her.
I was put gently back into bed and assured that Santa understood and I would still get presents, after she talked to him and explained that it wasn't my fault.
My sister laid in bed and sobbed out her innocence, swearing she had never left the room.
My mother informed us that Santa had decided to give us another chance, since even though we distinctly heard him coming down the chimney, we hadn't actually seen him.
And I gained a little bit of street cred in my sister's eyes for having actually been in the room to witness the arrival of Santa Claus.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Season's Greetings and much love to all!