For the last four years or so, my dad has written a Christmas letter to go along with our family Christmas card. He got tired of hearing about how perfect everyone's lives were in their Christmas letters, so every year he takes the opportunity to glorify the family pets and make fun of his children. This year he took the opportunity to out my being unemployed to all our friends and family. Here's his 2008 version. Enjoy:
THE CHRONICLES: “Tony Arriveth”
A big thing happened this year. Yes, indeed! Oh, the human family members have done passably well this past year: no arrests, one tattoo, piercings holding steady—more about all of that later. However, as I’m sure you each recall vividly, our cherished miniature Schnauzer, Cleo, passed away in Dec. 2007. Obviously, we have suffered much greater human loss, but we loved that little Devil. So we got Tony: as in Tony Bennett. Anthony: as in Antony and Cleopatra. Pretty clever, eh. Tony is a miniature Schnauzer as well, but with a pleasant disposition. Who knew they came in that flavor.
This Season’s Greeting letter should conclude right here. The highlight of the year has been revealed. It’s all downhill now. But, Gloria won’t “Let It Be”, so (in alphabetical order):
Kimberly: As part of the two-headed “kimybrian”, Kimberly traveled to Peru and Bolivia in the winter-spring of ’08. She volunteered with a non-profit (what else), teaching Spanish and English, and generally improving the world. The Brian part of “kimybrian” pushed Kimberly to high altitudes in Bolivia (no drug jokes), optically deceiving salt flats, and other cold places that made for great pictures and adventure. He also undertook humanitarian work. Unlike my band, The Beatles, “kimybrian” play on. NEWS FLASH: Kimberly accepted a for profit job in Dec. ’08. She is paid (a little) and receives benefits. She is a sell-out, but her parents are prideful!
Lizzie: Elizabeth embraced adventure, wilderness, and a return to the Bennett roots. She rented her house, loaded up the truck and moved to Missoula, MT. Montana that is: outdoor streams, cowboys and Griz football. It was a good experience. Then, the economic collapse: the company went from 16 employees to five by Thanksgiving. In early December, it went to four employees: the two owners and two others. Lizzie went to the front of the soup line. Welcome home, Lizzie! As part of my on-going plot to acquire Jackson, the team’s star Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Elizabeth has been encouraged to join the Peace Corps (I feel like George Steinbrenner). A posting to Africa would be nice. We shall see.
Will: Remember turning 21, drinking too much, getting a tattoo, and guiding white-water rafting trips? Me neither. But, Will has added this line-up to his growing resume. Youthful exuberance—what more can we say. Will is still a collegian at the U of W. Nursing is his idea for future employment, probably an idea generated by observation of his parents’ degenerating condition.
John, Gloria and Jose: Life’s good. Our friends keep plugging along with us, and we manage a little leisure here and there. Jose has been stockpiling kitty kibble since the financial collapse, but I think it is an over-reaction. He could afford to lose a couple of pounds anyway. In sum, we go to bed earlier and remember less, but we are happy to be sending out this letter. Merry Christmas!