Merry Christmas, everybody! Christmas is a time for gifts, celebration, and, as I understand it, having your parents threaten divorce, run down the thirty year backlog of familial grievances, and ultimately make up in time to give Grandma a hug at dinner. Well, this year, Christmas was in full effect, and you're not gonna believe how many I celebrated: FOUR. FUCKING. CHRISTMASES.
Yep, count 'em. One in the morning at my house that looked like a deleted scene from The Jersey Shore, followed by another at my Aunt and Uncle's house, followed by a stop at my Grandma's house, and capped off by Christmas round two at the Witz household, which nicely bookended the day, and, as far as I can tell, the cliche holiday movie my family starred in. Four.
Unfortunately, the Christmases didn't pack as much hilarity as the movie Four Christmases, which I actually saw, and while it wasn't as terrible as I expected, I did find myself surprisingly thinking, "Ya know what? I think they coulda used another Christmas." What WAS hilarious (read: shameful and sad) was the bounty under the Christmas tree for yours truly.
I knew something had gone horribly wrong in my life when I unwrapped a box and heard these words come out of my mouth: "Oh! I know what this is-- these are my bowls." I froze.
You see, I asked for a couple of useful kitchen items: two pans and a wooden spoon. With no other input, my parents took this theme and ran with it. This isn't to say I didn't get things that I like and will use, but when those four words came out of my mouth, everything suddenly came into focus. Panicking, I looked around at the my gifts: bowls, pans, spoons, strainer, steamer, tongs, spatulas, cheese grater...these weren't Christmas gifts-- this was a WEDDING REGISTRY.
When I was in junior high, and didn't have a girlfriend, my mom once told me, "You know, Witz, it's ok if you're gay, you know that, right?" and I had to explain, "I'm not gay, mom!* I'm just unlucky, awkward, and you've bought me an inordinate number of corduroy pants." (In addition, when I was five, my parents had furnished my bedroom like Willy Wonka's Gay Playhouse and decided I'd be better served leaving it that way through high school and college. Just take a look at the picture below from my family's recent tag sale.**) This was just like that-- my parents had given me the "Sad and Single Christmas Package," aka the "Better Learn to Cook, Hun" collection.
I turned and looked at the one remaining gift. Medium sized, heavy, contents unknown. I knew exactly what it was, but wasn't ready to turn that corner in life. "Why don't you guys finish opening your gifts?" I suggested, but they weren't having it. I turned back to the box; to my future. Guys don't buy rogaine because they don't want to admit that they're going bald. Middle-aged men wear their pants lower because they don't want to admit they've gained belt sizes. I didn't want to open my last gift, because it's just not the time in my life to own--
"..." (read: expectant parental silence)
"Awesome!" (read: Oh god...Oh. God.)
"We thought you could use one." (read: You're not getting any younger. Or more employed.)
"Yeah, definitely. Thanks!" (I love you mom and dad and I do like the present, but what has happened to my life and what in the hell am I going to use a cuisinart for?
"Even if you don't know what to do with it now, you'll have it forever." (read: Get used to it, because cuisinarts are a useful, quality product and ours has lasted for about thirty years. This cuisinart will last longer than most of your pets, relationships, goals, and dreams.)
"Thank you, I really do like it." (read: I will glue on a mustache and chef hat and call it Sergio.)
So there it is. I own a cuisinart. I can pulse, blend, whip, chop, and puree almost anything. I am officially in my late-twenties. And when that time comes, when I get married and it's time to put things on the registry, William-Sonoma can get the hell out of the way, because you can bet your ass I'm going to Best Buy. Until then, I'll use my pans, my spoons, my bowls, and, yes, my cuisinart; and as I hold down the button to slice that onion, nobody will be able to tell which tears are real.
At Least Now I Can Use the Line, "Let's Put the "Sin" Back in Cuisinart,"
*"Not that there's anything wrong with that."