Always tweaking something!

Moderation Motivation

Day 2329

Talk about moderation! I’ve had this post in draft form for two days now. Had to significantly edit it to get it current (and sanitize it some) (edited to add, I decided to screw the sanitizing) then add on last nights activities. Here we go:

Here’s one for you. Apart from putting up the Christmas tree this year, we had ZERO other decorations put up. Or out. What ever. I offered on at least two occasions to haul up the 6 or 7 totes of deorations AND the two dozen or so miniature houses (lighthouses, stores, etc.) that we typically display on top of the kitchen cabinets and other tall-ish furniture. Both offers were noticeably ignored.

We also made ZERO Christmas cookies this year. No frosted sugar cookies, no bark, no toffee or peanut brittle, no peanut butter balls, fudge or divinity. Not that I’m complaining on this one. Having none of that stuff around eliminates the need to daily (or hourly) decide that, “no, I DON’T need that right now”.

You may well be wondering how this came about. (You may well also not give a hoot, so you best close your eyes, I’m gonna tell you anyhow.) Early in 2010, at one of our counseling sessions, I commented aloud about how I didn’t understand two things. The first was why we turned the entire house upside down for a weekend so all the regular décor could be packed up and all the Christmas stuff could be put out on display. Then in a month we’d reverse the process just to get the house back to normal. I also mentioned something about every flat surface in the house having some sort of ornamentation on it. To my eye, it looked overdone, crowded, cluttered and I sorta resented the time investment required of me. I resented that time investment even more when my own input to the craziness was not acknowledged. What was my input? Besides hauling every stinking tote and box up from the basement, I was also responsible for putting all the miniature houses up above the cabinets, running the cords to them (in the last kitchen re-do I installed outlets up there!!) and very painstakingly threading the garland between, around and behind all the little *&%*@ houses, tweaking every single stinking branch. The alternative (doing nothing) makes the garland end up looking like a green road-kill squirrel – sorta flat & fuzzy. I’m very anal about it – if I’m going to do it, it has to end up looking decent.

The other half of the deal (the cookies) presented a different problem. We had dozens upon dozens of cookies. We gave quite a bit to the kids & neighbors, but there were always tons left. If I broke down and had some (regularly), Cindy would peck at me about eating all the cookies. On the flip side, if they weren’t eaten they were thrown out. To me, this begs the question – why make shit just to throw it out? Why make it, then give me a hard time about eating it?

When I brought both items up in counseling last year, I offered a compromise. Take note of what cookies got tossed (toffee & white bark mostly – too sticky!) and don’t make any of that stuff. For the rest – make about half of what we normally make.

As for the decorating, I was willing to compromise with just doing a little less. Lets not cover every flat surface with something. Maybe acknowledge that other people invest their time & effort in decorating too. Just yesterday I thought of another compromise position – pick a theme and use decorations that fit the theme.

But. What we got this year was the results of a decision Cindy made long ago. She’d decided (probably when I first brought it up) that she would just not do ANYTHING for decorating or cookie making this year – in hopes that it would elicit some sort of response out of me.

Careful what you wish for, huh? Cindy & I talked about the situation some in between real Christmas and our family celebration. She admitted that she denied herself her own pleasure (going absolutely bonkers with the decorating & baking) in hopes that the lack of it all would bother me and I’d react somehow. Silly girl. All those years in Al Anon have helped me to recognize when my buttons are being pushed. Best reaction to a button pusher? Don’t rise to the bait. Her plan to irk me only made her a martyr to herself and actually went a long ways (too far really) towards giving me what I wanted all along.

This issue is far from resolved (it’s also not a deal or marriage breaker). Personally, I think Cindy’s reaction was misguided and immature. I haven’t told her that, but I have told her that I just didn’t understand her motivations. Her main point? I (and apparently everyone else) didn’t appreciate the effort she was making FOR US in doing all the decorating. In reality, it’s not that I didn’t appreciate it, but I would appreciate it MORE if there were LESS of it and my own efforts were acknowledged and appreciated.

Janine’s position is that it’s once a year, Christmas is obviously really important to her (duh – I knew that), just let her have it. Help out & step out of the way. Well I have, for 20-something years. It’s just been getting crazier, so I decided to offer up my opinion. I have learned (possibly incorrectly) that sharing my opinion often results in odd behavior from the receiver of said opine. Maybe it’s my delivery? Hell if I know.


Bowling tonite. I so excite!! (Read that with a SE Asian accent) It’ll be nice to bowl tonight knowing that I won’t collapse from lack of energy in the 3rd game like I did last week. Oh, the potential last week had! It was one of my higher 2 game totals of the year and typically the third game is my best. Ah well. There’s always this week!

Oh!!! Years & years ago, Cindy & I discussed going to an all inclusive resort in Cancun some year. Well, she has February break coming up soon. I’m thinking a trip is in order. Did some research, prices for all inclusives are scary but considering you never have to pay for a meal or a drink – maybe it isn’t so bad. I need to get a passport (For Mexico? Sad. Can I just use the passport card? Anyone know? Bueller?)

Now we’re at Friday lunch time. Well, I am – I don’t know WHAT you’re doing. Shouldn’t be working, should you? Hmmmm.

Bowling last night was challenging. As a team, we took it on the chin and lost all 8 points. I an clearly claim that A – it wasn’t MY fault, B – the other team just bowled really freakin’ well. For the record, I was the only guy on our team to hit or beat his average for the night. Matter of fact, I beat it by enough to up the old average by another 0.6 pins, so on the league stat sheet I will show up with my highest average ever next week – a whopping 197.1 Keep in mind that my youngest brother, K, is averaging 204 and Lefty (D) was sitting at 230. Until last night anyhow. Early in the season I was at 182 & K was a gaudy 235. Told him I’d meet him at 200 by the end of the season. It’s gonna be scary close.

Couple of oddities from last night. Had 4 open frames all night. Also had 4 splits, but converted one of them. That cancels out the silly single pin spare I missed. The other oddity is that probably half of the strikes I got last night all came in the 10th frame. Struck out (3 strikes) in the 10th of the first & second games and had 2 of 3 in the third game. 2nd & 3rd games also had strikes in the 9th, so there were some big, fast finishes. Too damn bad the other team was so far ahead of us. Just couldn’t close the gap.

Oohh! I have that lovely 5 gallon batch of Irish Stout (think Guinness) to bottle this weekend. In another 3 weeks I’ll be sampling it. Kinda looking forward to it.


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