Now that Halloween is done its full speed ahead into the holiday season. In my TV cable surfing I note that both home shopping networks already have their host stage sets trimmed with twinkling trees, ornament dripping wreaths, and frosted fake window panes. That all sort of annoys me as it creates a false urgency to trim one’s own home. Or at least in my head because my mother is the queen of ‘beat the neighbors’ game.

What I mean is this: whatever the holiday mother must be the first to have the wreath on the door, the flapping porch pennant, or garlanded lamp post before any of her neighbors. I don’t know why she needs to do this or how or when it exactly became a race. One year, when I still lived at home, our neighbor Dorothy came into view assembling her Christmas tree. Mother barked orders and within an hour we too were in the living room bay windows rapidly putting up our tree. My dad was always amused with her quest to be first. Mother is the neighbor decorating her mail box at 4:00am minus a flashlight. You’d think with all that competitive spirit in the house I’d be better at sports but no, not so much at all.

CLARII was, in retrospect, one of the three boys chosen last for any gym class team sport. Dead last. They would rather have the science geek, skinny kid who played clarinet or the fat kid who smelled like PONDS cold cream and wet dog fur rather than pick fey, doe-eyed moi. The curly-haired fat kid was retarded. You could use that term back in the day and not have a picket line on school property. Nowadays he’d be developmentally challenged or gifted but in my era he was simply the class retard. Life is cruel.

No. Actually kids are cruel. I’ve never been back for a high school reunion. Not one. Why would I go back? I don’t need their judgements or validation at this late stage. On the other hand it would be awesome to stroll in all semi fit and trim in my best Hugo Boss and PRADA belts and shoes. I think we all harbor revenge type scenarios when it comes to memories of high school. Like I said, kids are so cruel. I learned very early in life how to become invisible and how to build tall walls to shut out the hurt. Meh. Let’s not pick at scabs today. I got a tree to trim.