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Last night’s dinner went well. I always do that. Get myself all wound up, and make up scenarios in my head, and then – wonder of wonders – it turns out to be fine. I’m a freak.

And Bobby and I are officially suckers. We’ve had two guys come by in the last week asking for money, and we gave $5 to each of them. Bobby’s working from home today, so he was here for the most recent one. But I was by myself when the first guy came, and I felt a little creeped out. Funny how a little thing like that can bring all those horrific true-crime stories to the forefront. It’s getting dusky by 4:30 these days, so the dark house lends itself to all my morbid imaginings. I’m glad Bobby was here today…

Now, about being a sucker – the Christmas season is looming, which means all the bell-ringers are going to take up their stations outside the stores in just a few weeks. In high school, when I got my first job, I had a policy that I would not walk past a bell-ringer without giving. And I took my vow very seriously – I never, ever passed a pot without dropping in a few dollars or at least some change. I had several friends spout facts at me about how the majority of the money goes into the pockets of the sponsoring organization, and my money would be better spent if I donated directly to the cause rather than through a liaison organization. But there was something about those people – men and women, old and young – who were donating their time to standing on the sidewalk and soliciting from hurrying people like me. I continued giving without fail, and would even assure them on the way into the store that I would give on my way out. You know, just in case they thought I was a bad person.

The first Christmas of my scrooginess was Dec-06. Mama in the hospital due to a non-cancer-related infection, and oh my, how it sucked. We spent close to a week in the shittiest excuse for a hospital that I’ve ever been in, and I stalked past my first bell-ringer, practically daring him to ask me for a donation. After that first time, it grew easier to ignore them. I finished the 2006 Christmas season with not one cent given, and headed into 2007. Dec 2007 – yeah, well, I probably would have punched a bell-ringer if it would have helped ease the stabbing pain.

So now before us we have Christmas 2008… will my generosity return? Or will I still be smitten with an attack of the scroogies? Only time will tell.

Before I close, random story. I have to document the dream I had the other night. Will preface this by saying that my dreams are frighteningly real… like I often have to poke Bobby to reorient myself upon waking. So in this particular night saga, I was pregnant. Very, very pregnant. With twins. And Bobby had convinced me to not find out the gender ahead of time (never, ever, in a million years would this really happen). So I go into labor and it’s very confusing because it appears that I’ve done zero prep work for this event, and I don’t have a birth plan or a toiletry bag packed or anything – I’m just birthing these children by the seat of my pants (literally). Anyway. So they give me drugs and knock me slap out, and I don’t wake up until the next day when it’s time to leave the hospital. But before I leave, I am told by the hospital staff and my darling husband that my babies, which are both boys by the way, have already been named without my input. That Bobby and Jennifer did some research and found the two perfect names for my little boys, and the whole family LOVED these names, so I going to LOVE them too. Now are you ready? They named my babies Jesse and DeShawn. DeShawn? What the hell. The last thing I remember, I was sitting in the back seat of the car (Bobby was driving, Jennifer was in the passenger seat), and I was rocking the two little tots and whispering “I promise I’ll have your names changed. I promise nobody will ever know what your first names were… I promise, little babies.”

*Disclaimer: To all those who are named Jesse and/or DeShawn, this was my subconscious speaking. Please know that I mean no disrespect to your monikers.