Well, times sure have changed. When I was younger, a gentleman’s suggestion of a game of Truth or Dare usually ended up with a memorable five minutes of fumbling in a darkened cupboard. Not anymore, I’m afraid.
When Christopher arrived at mine, let’s just say it was obvious he had already been drinking in the beauty of the season. After pouring me my evening tipple, he asked if he could join me. I, of course, said of course. Once a few bottles were emptied, Christopher suggested a round of the Truth or Dare.
Now when I was a child, our Christmas Eve rituals often involved game-playing so I thought it a rather charming suggestion. Although my plan was to subtly increase the “danger” of the dares (a strategy successfully used against myself on many an occasion), I was a bit disappointed that Christopher continually opted for truth and extremely disappointed when he told me his first kiss was nothing like I had imagined (in minute detail, at least once a day) it to have been. Soon the mood turned: the game itself was abandoned entirely and I ended up spending my Christmas Eve—a time when other women were being cherished and showered with gifts—listening to a long list of rather vicious admissions, sprayed across my person like graffiti on a bridge. These included the indictment of my hats as “less than flattering,” the confession that not a single one of my books has been read cover to cover by Christopher or any member of his immediate family and perhaps most hurtful, despite every indication to the contrary, Christopher does not in fact enjoy brushing my hair before bed each night.
This holiday assault ended with a quick rush out of the room followed by a disturbing eruption (Malibu is just as unpleasant coming out as it is going in). Vomit is well known for snapping people out of their stupors; it worked its acidic charm on Christopher, and the apologies began to be begged. I laid him down on the sofa and placed a damp washrag on his brow. He was weeping and asking my forgiveness (in between dry heaves). He has only just now fallen to sleep. It’s no wonder old St Nick chose to bypass our address this Noel.
If there is one thing my family has taught me, it is that Christmas is not Christmas unless someone’s feelings are hurt (or someone blows chunks): the fact that both happened here tonight can only mean Christopher and I are indeed a real family. Tomorrow I shall give him his gifts and, once he’s cleaned up the messes, our December 25 will carry on as usual. This hasn’t really been my favourite Christmas Eve, but it certainly hasn’t been my most dramatic. A silly drunken boy hardly holds a candle to the night I became radioactive.
Many of you will be waking soon and I hope Santa Claus has left you everything on your lists. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.