Monday, December 9, 2013

I Think I Have Developed TLDBCSD

That would be The Little Drummer Boy Challenge Stress Disorder. What is The Little Drummer Boy Challenge? Essentially it is a game where in the player does his best to avoid hearing the (dreaded) Christmas song between Black Friday and Christmas Eve. If you hear it, you are dead. Out. Done for. Now, you can't be tricked into hearing it (as my beloved keeps wanting to do to me) and it doesn't count if someone who knows you are playing sings it to you or otherwise sets you up, but all other instances count. This has led to some rather ridiculous behavior on my part.

Er, more ridiculous than usual, anyway.

On Saturday, my beloved and I were returning cable boxes belonging to a certain company that I shall not name, but will tell you rhymes with Hay Schmee & Schmee. (Huzzah for faster internet and the ability for all of us to operate devices in the house without feeling like we want to murder someone!) As we were waiting in the UPS store, I could hear the dulcet crooning of Nat King Cole singing The Christmas Song and I began to get antsy. I could feel my heart begin to race and I looked at my beloved and told him that if Nat started wrapping up the tune before we were done, he was on his own, because I would be exiting the store. (I also made him go in before me to make sure it was safe to enter.) As we finished, Nat was finishing too and I pretty much ran out of the store in an "every man for himself" manner. Yeah, I love my husband, but I am not responsible for his meandering ways and if he gets himself knocked off, that's his problem. (TRUE LOVE!)

Last week, I was in a large discount store. I had been in there for nearly an hour and just KNEW that I was pushing fate. The Drummer could come for me at any moment. I was standing in line at the checkout behind an older couple. They were a little slow moving, which usually is no problem, but this time was causing my palms to sweat. I was polite, but was ever so slowly inching my cart forward as they took their time putting on coats and gloves and carefully rearranged the bags in their cart. (Even now I'm breaking into a bit of a cold sweat thinking about it.) As I pulled forward, ready and eager to pay and beat a hasty retreat, the cashier smiled at me and said with a big grin that showed she was blissfully unaware of The Boy and his bent on destruction, 'Just a sec, gotta change the receipt tape!" I shifted back and forth on my feet, I cleared my throat. 'Sure! No problem!' I lied. I was listening to the current carol wind down and was certain that the sound of pah-rum-pum-pum-pumming would be coming for me. As the cashier got the tape in and proceeded to ring up my purchases, the audio loop changed to an in-store ad for something and I started to breathe faster. When the commercial was done, the cashier was still ringing things up and happily chatting to me. I had no idea what she was saying, for I was nodding and uh-huh-ing absently while listening for the dreaded drums. And suddenly, my friends--IT WAS A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!! The next song was no carol. Instead, my ears were treated to the sweet, sweet sound of Blondie singing "Call Me." I very nearly broke down and wept. I kept willing the cashier to move quickly on my purchases, because I still had to exit the store. Blondie was well into the second verse by the time my packages were bagged. I lobbed a hasty "thank you!" over my shoulder and veritably SPRINTED for the exit. I made it to my van, sweating, breathing heavily, and only able to whisper a hoarse "thanks!" to the Muzak Gods who intervened on my behalf.

That evening, it was a simple yawn that kept me from being slain along with my son. We had been watching the SNL holiday show, giggling as Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg gave inappropriate gifts in a box, when suddenly I yawned. Not a dainty yawn, but a great big, gaping, canyon of a yawn. It was then that I decided that I should hit the hay. I bid my boy goodnight, went upstairs, performed my evening ablutions, and crawled into bed, exhausted from the trauma of earlier in the day. I wasn't in bed long when I heard an unearthly wail from downstairs. My son came up and told me that The Boy had just slain him via Will Ferrell as Robert Goulet. (Every year, this skit kills thousands who don't mute or leave in time. The humanity!) You know how experts are always saying that we should listen to our bodies? I BELIEVE. That yawn saved me.

It's just a minefield out there, friends! I've taken to going to the grocery with headphones on. Yes, I've become one of those people! I make my non-playing/slain family members enter buildings before me. I've always liked shopping online because I can shop in my pajamas. Now, I know we've all seen those girls who are out in public with their hair piled on top of their heads, no make up on, and in pajamas. I'm pretty sure my own daughter has done this. And they can get away with it. They look cute, even. But y'all. I'm 45 years old. NO ONE wants to see me sans makeup, in my pajamas with a messy bun. (My beloved sees my this way last thing at night, first thing in the morning. LUCKY.) So really, shopping online is serving both myself AND mankind. (You are welcome. I am a giver. Again. So. Generous.) I've done most of my shopping online this season to avoid The Boy. I changed the presets on my radio. I have a Drummer Boy Free playlist of Christmas songs on Spotify. I gave my 9 year old daughter the third degree regarding her choir concert, making sure that no drumming of any kind would be taking place. I may or may not have told her that if The Boy was making an appearance, I would be in the bathroom for that performance. Fortunately for all of us, her concert was percussion free.

I'm jittery every time I go out. It's like waiting for the other shoe to drop. Part of me wants to just jump in front of the Drummer Boy train to get it over with already. But the competitor in me just will not give up. Last year, I went down early thanks (NO THANKS AT ALL) to the unholy pairing of The Boy and Bob Seeger. I refuse to be slain in such an inhumane way this year.

So if you need me, I'll be here. In front of my computer, trolling Amazon, wearing my pajamas and blissfully Drummer Boy Free.

Be safe out there, y'all. He's just waiting to do you in.

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