Well, by Jingo! If it isn't the Twelfth of the month already! Time does fly. It's been freezing rain on and off (and on again) for the past week here in Michigan, leaving the world a startlingly unpicturesque melange of mud and ice, with a generous helping of road salt everywhere there are roads to be salted (which, as you know, is everywhere around here). On Sunday I took an afternoon drive down to Hillsdale to see my friend Matthew's voice recital, which was awesome. On the way down there though I was caught for some time almost directly behind a salt truck, on a section of highway which afforded no passing zones for several miles. The poor Cousmobile was both forced to travel at speeds so slow as to be unsafe to the sanity of its driver, and was subjected to a horrible, corrosive barrage of the hateful sodium. It actually made me glad for the freezing rain coming down all the way back, cleansing my poor car of the disgusting gray film in which it had been enveloped. Secretly, I sort of enjoy bad road conditions, because they give driving anywhere a sense of adventure, and demand more attention of the driver. I think I would enjoy it more if there were no other drivers on the road to worry about. Yes, true to human nature, I trust other peoples' driving abilities far less than I trust my own. I've taken two more cracks at Christmas shopping since posting last, not counting one or two of the online variety, and have reached two useful conclusions:
1. Christmas shopping isn't that bad, when you know exactly what you're looking for and where to find it (though I can think of one notable exception which I cannot discuss here at this time). All you really have to put up with is the bad music, and the fact that you're in a store (as a general rule, I'm very uncomfortable in stores).
2. Christmas shopping takes forever when you don't know exactly what you're looking for and/or where to find it.
I also discovered that while I prefer shopping alone for myself, Christmas shopping is far more pleasant with company, and that I am so lazy that standing and walking around in stores for as little as two hours makes me very tired. The good news is that I'm done with it all. Being an unmarried (at the moment) man, this means that I'm done with any and all Christmas-related stress. I don't have to host a big get-together or bake cookies for a hundred children or put up with relatives I don't like or any of those other things that some people (women) seem to find stressful about the Hallydays. I just show up at someone else's house, eat someone else's food, and put up with someone else's crazy relatives. Actually, that's a lie. I put up with my own crazy relatives. You can't outsource everything. That said, I actually get along pretty well with my family, so I'm probably the one they have to pretend to like. Maybe I'm easy to fool.