Thursday, November 12, 2009
Sweet Sam marks out his year from one special occasion to the next.
Weeks (often months) before any event, he's up and running in a state of full anticipatory excitement. Easter, Halloween, Guy Fawkes Night, Remembrance Day, two weeks over the T.T Races, another two weeks over the Grand Prix Races, every family birthday (including pets), Mother's Day, Father's Day, Red-Nose Day, our wedding anniversary - you name it, each and every one of these gets the humongous count down.
Exuberantly compulsive, it's what Sam does best.
Our happiest teenager, he never mopes, rarely throws a tantrum, and is completely unmaterialistic. The only complaint I have is that he talks. Talks and talks and talks. Non-stop. Always on topic. The same one. Over and over again.
Weeks before our bikers arrive for the T.T., he is clutching his calendar to mark down the days. He follows me from room to room, repeating the same conversation, which I then must echo back to him. Not that he can help it, it's who he is, his entire life is a countdown to the next party.
He is totally and utterly fixated.
With it comes the rituals. He has a mug for each occasion, and Lord help me if I get the wrong one (not a hard thing to do, since he has over a dozen) not only will he not drink out of it, he'll throw the entire untouched cuppa' down the sink, he HAS to have a fresh one in his right mug. Same with his clothing, for example, he must wear a commemorative t-shirt with the correct year on it for the T.T. I am talking about him wearing this self same shirt over the entire two week period, up to and even including him sleeping in it. Yup, it gets pretty ripe a few days in, and that's when he throws his annual melt-down, when I virtually have to sit on him to pry it off for the wash.
He has boxes and boxes of decorations for every occasion. Not that we encourage this, but earning pocket money from his various chores, I guess it's his call as to what he opts to spend his hard-earned cash on. Despite energetically encouraging him to limit most of these to his room, they almost always spill over and multiply to take over our living quarters.
For Sam, unquestionably the biggest party of all, and the complete and utter highlight of his year by far, has just got to be Christmas.
Which begins in October.
(Inject deep heart-felt sigh.)
His room is transformed into a Santa's grotto. He has his own (gold) tinsel tree up there, laden down with the gaudiest baubles ever known to man (his motto is, "the louder and glitzier, the better"). He has yards and yards of fairy lights strung up to cover virtually every square inch of window and wall. I tell you, it's brighter than walking into Blackpool's illuminations stepping in there. But hey, if it keeps him happy, eh?
It's the Christmas CD that drives us bonkers. He's been playing it for weeks. See, Sam doesn't watch telly, well, not unless it's the football, and even then, he'll lose all interest if a goal is scored against his side. (Naturally, he has to wear the full kit and to have all his mascots out around him before any game starts.) In fairness, Sam does mainly listen to his Christmas Carols up in his room. The trouble is, another of Sam's rituals is to constantly come down to check we are where he last left us. Every ten minutes or so he slams the door open to yell, "Alright?", before almost knocking it off it's hinges, as he slams out again.
This can be slightly distracting when you are settling into a good drama, but it is even more so when it's accompanied by a full-volume rendition of "Jingle-Bell's" from his portable ghetto-blaster.
Drive's you bloomin' demented.
Still, I love his logic. At sixteen, he's heard the rumours Santa isn't the guy who actually brings his presents, but he is very philosophical about it. He's worked it out that Santa needs our help, "'Cos it's a very busy time of year for him, that's all." It still doesn't stop him leaving a carrot and a glass of milk out for him on Christmas Eve. And every year he is always just as awe-struck as the last, to discover nothing but a few crumbs and an almost drained glass left there, come the morn. (Grin.)
Forget the fancy lap-top's, i-pods or designer clothes: all Sam ever wants for Christmas is chocolate - lot's and lot's and lot's of it, please!
The trouble is, this year Sam has spied and fallen in love with a new tree for his room, a full bells and whistles flashing lights number, and it's plain knocked his poor golden, once loved old tinsel tree way out of favour. He has nagged, begged and pleaded for this must-have bit of bling, and since he's even been good enough to stamp up his own good money for the purchase, it seemed nothing short of churlish to deny him.
What's the problem?
He only wants to "gift" his old one to us, doesn't he?
It's a complete monstrosity.
He's even selected the perfect place for it. Slap-bang in the conservatory window, so it can be the first thing every visitor to our door will see. Knowing we always erect a real pine tree in our living room, he was sage enough to seek a place where he felt we could use it. (No flies on him, eh?)
It wouldn't be quite so bad if our drive wasn't already littered with countless illuminated Santa's, reindeer and Frosty-The-Snowman's. This is in November for Christ's sake's, we are clearly the laughing stock of the neighbourhood as it is.. there HAS to be a limit, right?
Even our regular tree is the subject of huge mirth. Forget those colour coordinated, tastefully decorated centre-pieces that grace most people's homes. We have the usual home-made offerings our once young children brought home from school, and I am still proud to hang them out for all to see.. but, erm.. well, Sam still makes them, big, bold, bright and numerous, more and more, each and every year. Seriously, people laugh (and yes Chewy, I am looking at you, too, Ms. Tasteful Artiste, and don't you give me that innocent stare, as I recall you almost wet yourself laughing at my tree last year, so you did. Aw, don't worry hon, you were far from alone, everyone does, it's par for the course)!!
Ah, what the hell, so what if Christmas is forced early upon us? I sure have the happiest boy in town right here with me just now, so why should I care about what the neighbours might think? (wink).