Friday 30 Sep 2016

End of World
Jennifer Flaten

Here is my prediction, the world is not going to end this Friday, but if I am wrong, I will owe you a coke. This offer is not valid in Canada. I have two other predictions, first there will be many people with really bad hangovers come Saturday and, second, there will be a very large baby boom about nine months from Thursday.

Besides, it can’t end on Friday; my new freezer is set for delivery that day. My freezer is a Christmas gift from my parents, yes, we are nothing if not a practical people, and I refuse to have the world end without getting my Christmas gift.

No matter how boring and appliancy it may be, I enjoyed shopping for my freezer. Yes, I had to buy my own practical Christmas present. See, doesn’t your family seem better now? Think of it as my Christmas gift to you. 

Plus, I still have some Christmas shopping to do, for other people, so really I just can’t fit an apocalypse into my schedule. See me in about 20 years and maybe we can reschedule.

Of course, I haven’t finished my Christmas shopping, why does this even surprise you. I did, however, finish all my Christmas baking. Not that I need a reason to make chocolate chip cookies, but the holiday is a good excuse to make a double batch to, you know, give away.

What that didn’t sound sincere to you? Okay, here is the truth, if the world is going to end than I am sure as hell going to end it with a chocolate chip cookie in my hand. I did make sugar cookies, but instead of the usual Santas and Christmas trees, I wanted to make them in the shape of Mayan calendars. That idea didn’t get the green light from my decorators. They insisted on boring holiday shapes and are party poopers.

Fortified with chocolate, chocolate chip cookies, I did go shopping for a few presents and after this trip to the toy store, I’ve self-diagnosed and determined I suffer from present anxiety. Since I am positive I am the only person with this condition, because I made it up five minutes ago, you shouldn’t worry about catching it.

This condition is non-fatal, but it does leave the patient sweaty and disorientated, especially if forced to go to the Barbie aisle in the toy store, all that blinding pink color.

The symptoms appear only at major gift giving events such as holidays and birthdays. I am perfectly capable of buying a present to cheer someone up or “just because” but simply cannot make a snap decision about holiday presents. I will stand in the Lego aisle for 25 minutes dithering between the Harry Potter Castle and the Alien Conquest Space Ship.

I spend less time choosing a new handbag, and I take handbag shopping very seriously.  In fact, it doesn’t take me that long to buy four days’ worth of groceries. No, I don’t buy and entire weeks’ worth of groceries at one time, if I did that I’d need a U-Haul to get it home. These kids eat a lot of food.

Luckily, the kids are getting older. I foresee a time, in the not so distant future, when the kids want cash for gifts, so they can go shopping by themselves. This is fine, I can take them to the mall and set up a base camp at the bookstore and they can go spend their money, while I enjoy a cup of coffee and a chocolate chip cookie.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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