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2007-11-14 / Loose Ends

Loose Ends

Here come my celery days and cream cheese nights
Susan Nienow

I am preparing myself, practicing reaching for the celery without the cream cheese and cheddar dip, pretending I really know what dressy casual means and thinking about the Christmas cards in the closet. To take advantage of a very low price, I bought Christmas cards in January that are blank inside. I plan to emboss them with holiday messages any day now.

The math comes out to $3.95 per box of 20, so not including the embossing materials that I already have, each card cost me .1975 cents plus tax. Just today I saw great cards for $5.95 per box of 20 with the message inside. They are .29 cents each. So, I am going to spend an afternoon embossing to save $6 on 60 cards. Or, if I throw out the cards without messages, I will be throwing away $11.85.

So now that I have a headache over all those numbers, a serious case of guilt over the possibility of wasting nearly $12 and no empty afternoons for embossing in the near future, I put this issue in a mental file to deal with later.

I am still looking for an acceptable definition of "dressy casual." Does that mean sequined jeans or a satin shirt with velvet lounging pants? I really prefer comfy casual.

There are other holiday issues I am facing. I don't know anyone who has everything, but I do know lots of people who have everything but the gifts I can't afford. So my other half and I turn to what we call "the consumables list." We give other people the peanut brittle we shouldn't eat and the chocolate-covered pretzels I covet.

Shopping for my offspring is even more of a challenge than ever before. The male wants only what's on his list - exactly what's on his list. What is the fun in that? No surprises. He doesn't even like me to get him extra socks.

My daughter, on the other hand, is flying through the area this month before returning to Africa. Flying through means she will park her things here but mostly be out. So her Christmas will be early. She has a 50-pound weight limit for her luggage so we can give her toothpicks and maybe a deck of cards.

Everything she owns is evaluated on the basis of weight. The weight limit is for inside the country she works in - not the same as international travel. She lives near the equator so her clothes are lightweight. She did mention - several times - that jewelry is acceptable.

Back to the celery. I have made it a goal through the holidays to eat my share of cream cheese in celery sticks. In fact, it may require bringing my own. You will be able to recognize me - I'll be the one carrying celery sticks in a sandwich bag instead of having an evening bag in my hand. But my dreams will be of cream cheese.

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