Christmas morning. I was thirteen. My fifteen year old twin sisters Tracy and Lori and I were huddled in my bed waiting to be able to go down and open our gifts. It was a tradition and the girls would come into my bed in the morning and talk about gifts we gave to mom and dad, gifts we’d receive, the wonderful dinner we’d have together later and so on. Just a fun Christmas morning thing we always did. I really wasn’t feeling very good but didn’t say anything about it. I felt a little dizzy and stomach was upset. Finally, mom and dad called us down and we all ran down to the tree and Lallybroch Manor House Est 1743 Scotland Sassenach Shirt around it like we always did. Dad had put Christmas music on the record player and dad and mom had their coffees. This year Lori was the designated Santa who handed out the gifts.
There ought to be a Lallybroch Manor House Est 1743 Scotland Sassenach Shirt sheet of muscle, the diaphragm, overlying the liver, separating the chest cavity from the belly. But there wasn’t. I groped deep into his right chest, and pulled out— small intestines. Colon. Half his abdominal contents floating in the blood bath where his now collapsed lung used to be. Finally, I found the Lallybroch Manor House Est 1743 Scotland Sassenach Shirt , lying crumpled behind the liver, completely avulsed from the rib cage and liver anteriorly. Total devastation. More packs to stem the bleeding and I pulled my head out of his abdominal cavity to meet my partner’s startled stare. Long, long deep breath.
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That I must give gifts to all my relatives, even to those I am not very close to, especially because I am already a working professional. (Okay, my relatives overseas won’t count because, heck, that would be beyond the impossible.) That the gifts have to be somehow “practical”, often to the extreme. In fact, our family is so “practical”, most of our presents are in the form of clothing; toys for the kids are out of the Lallybroch Manor House Est 1743 Scotland Sassenach Shirt because they would be eventually forgotten and/or broken, and besides, the kids “already have smartphones and tablets anyway”. That for some reason, we as a family just have to go to church on Christmas Eve, and then go to church again on Christmas itself.
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I went back out to the Lallybroch Manor House Est 1743 Scotland Sassenach Shirt and told my stepfather to take me to the White mall, where there was a Belk’s. Got there interviewed with a White woman who was doing the interviews as she’d worked there for 40 years, we chatted so long my stepfather had to leave for work. She even told me about supermarkets downtown that had different foods and products I liked from up North.
Apparently, that is a stance that I am required to defend. I think that is pretty representative of how obnoxious this is, no? But because I generally prefer civil discourse, I try to give a very G-rated, sanitized version of the above. The next phase is that they try to change my mind and “help me see the light” on why I’ve got it all wrong and Christmas is actually amazing. If I can’t find a way to extricate myself from the Lallybroch Manor House Est 1743 Scotland Sassenach Shirt , at this point I have to start giving more detail. And now, it’s war. My personal views, even including ones based predominantly on my personal life experiences, are an attack on their love of Christmas. And by extension, I’m attacking them – possibly even their values. And who am I? I’m some piece of s**t who doesn’t even like Christmas. Oh goodie, I’m the whipping boy again.