Well. It seems there is a conspiracy afoot.
Every year, my sister, the-former-mayor's wife, hosts a Christmas Eve dinner. We play party games, and she gives prizes. Prizes! Sometimes these prizes fall into the category of re-gifting, as Sis parcels out treasures given to her by her kindergarten students. Sometimes Sis buys fresh gifts at The Dollar Store. This is actually quite a milestone in Sis's life, since she used to make our mom do her Dollar Store shopping due to Sis's embarrassment lest she be seen entering such a pauper's palace. I guess it had something to do with being the-former-mayor's wife. Though I don't know who would look down on her for Dollar Store shopping, unless perhaps Queen Elizabeth dropped in just to see how Hillmomba rolls.
I don't mean to brag, but for the past three years, I have been a major winner of Sis's party swag. I have a soft, Santa-print velour throw in green and red, a gift bag full of Christmas oven mitts and potholders, a big cranberry mandarin candle, assorted soaps, and a gift box shaped like stacked presents. Don't you go feeling pity for the other party guests. They also won some prizes. But I had first pick. That's because, in the words of a famous leader, I WON.
At Thanksgiving dinner, I informed Sis that I was not going to accept any prizes this year. In the spirit of fairness, I would still compete to the best of my ability, but let the prizes go to latter finishers.
This afternoon, I was sitting in the dentist's waiting room, waiting (duh!) for the boys to finish their six-month check-ups, when in walked Sis. After berating me and the newly-polished Pony over usurping her 3:15 appointment with our 3:30s, she casually mentioned that this year's Christmas contests would be a bit different. Rather than being based on knowledge, they would be based on skill.
Ain't that a fine how-do-you-do! I envision double-twisting-layout parallel bar dismounts, MacGyver-like bomb defusing, balloon-animal twisting, tattooing with ballpoint pens and toothbrush bristles, crocheting toilet-paper cozies, and that between-the-fingers, table-stabbing, knife trick that Bishop-the-android performed on Hudson's hand at the breakfast-table scene in Aliens. None of which are skills mastered by Mrs. Hillbilly Mom.
I smell a conspiracy.