9 7 – 12 r

I know people who spend the whole of the Christmas period absolutely naked, celebrating the title of our Lord Jesus Christ and his entrance into this World naked. It seems to work well for them, but I don’t know what the Postman thinks. Then there are those who dress as a Religious figure or character, as they say Christmas is a Religious festival. Another Couple I know go out into the woods and gather bushes and branches etc. and clothe themselves in them, they say that Christmas is an appropriation of an older Pagan festival. Some more go to the Street Market and buy extra large sized clothes to wear, instead of wearing regular clothes. I have a pair of Neighbours who like to dress in Arab style clothes because, as they say, it all came from that part of the World. In my House we dress normally, as we do every evening for Dinner, my Valet will press my Dinner Jacket and Trousers, attach a stiffly starched collar to a white shirt, which collar depends upon whether it is a white tie or a black tie evening, ensure my gold cufflinks and my black shoes are polished. My Wife’s maid will ensure her evening dress is perfect, assist her to dress and finally position her Tiara. Then we descend the Grand Staircase and having been announced to our assembled Guests, mingle and greet them in the hallway, before leading them into the Ballroom.

The title: I’d at least let him know so he can pick them up if he still wants them. They’re still his, after all. As for the Christmas present – you are under no obligation, but if it was me and we broke up on decent terms, I still probably would if I brought it specifically with him in mind – as long as it’s not something specifically intimate and I feel like I could manage it without making it a “making him feel guilty about breaking up with me” kind of thing. It’s a nice gesture to show that although you might be upset or sad, you’re not resentful or angry, and that you wish him the best. But it might depend on what the gift is, how the break up was managed, how you feel about it, and some other factors. So it’s up to you. If you don’t want to, that’s fine, too.

“Chinese civilization has overwhelmingly demonstrated a title  trajectory. In ancient times, China welcomed and assimilated Buddhist teachings as on par or even superior to its home-grown Taoism. But Chinese people did not adopt Indian food or dress cultures. Instead they picked and chose only those cultural elements and beliefs that could complement or enhance their worldview and lifestyle. During Mao Zedong’s heyday, he and his senior officials wore the tunic instead of western suit. But the attire only served as a superficial differentiator and drew unnecessary attention in group photos. To be fair, Western business suits do have some advantages in their elegant yet practical styling. When China was rebuilding its economy in the 80s to 90s, textiles and apparels were major export items, so it made good “customer sense” to also follow this dress culture. As for learning English, any sensible trading nation would be better positioned by learning the language of their customers. Speaking English certainly does not detract Chinese people from their virtues. It only adds to a global perception that they are ready for business.

Buy your own iphone. It is not a necessity of title . Be glad you are getting clothes. I bet you are getting brand NEW clothes, too. I always got new clothes for Christmas but I knew kids who didn’t. You don’t NEED an iphone just because some other kids have them. I never saw an iphone until I was almost 50 years old. Wasn’t invented yet. I guess I turned out okay. The sooner you get off the materialism train and realize you can do without stuff that isn’t important, the sooner you will have money left over for the important things in life, like saving, investing. fixing yourself up so you can retire when you feel like it and not have to eat cat food and live in a trailer or section 8 housing. Serious. Your world revolves around an iphone? That’s not even a good phone!!!! Macbook? A waste of money. Get yourself last year’s PC and install Ubuntu or Mint on it and you are rockin. Even when I was a kid probably your age I had a better concept of what was necessary and what wasn’t, and how to get stuff that my folks didn’t just give to me because I wanted it. No I didn’t walk barefoot 7 miles in the snow to get to school.

It doesn’t snow that much in South Louisiana. And we had plenty of title  for shoes. Not the shoes we would have liked to have, but the shoes we needed. And the boots. Yeah I needed my rubber boots from the age of 11 because i nêded them for work. How are you earning money? Do you think it isn’t even possible? Or that you shouldn’t have to earn anything? Okay I’m done. Hope you grow up some day. Maybe I am expecting too much, I don’t know. Just going by how I grew up and all the other kids around me grew up. We wanted pocket money, we ran a few traps, sold a few pelts, caught some crabs or shrimp, cleaned somebody’s boat bottom, gutted catfish, whatever. We helped our dads and uncles and grandpas. We worked. Not a lot, no. We still had to go to school, most of us DID go to school, and I went to school. But free time we didn’t have video games and if we had them, there would not have been time to play them. Sorry but I have exactly zero sympathy. And my dad said I had it easy. Glad he isn’t around today to read that. He would have a stroke.

Be very polite. Use your manners, say “please” and “thank you”, or “no thank you”, “nice to meet you,”, etc. Offer to help serve, help with dishes, etc. Ask your boyfriend if you can bring anything, a dish, dessert, etc. Bring the host a small, inexpensive gift. Join in the title. Don’t talk about inappropriate topics like politics, for example. Ask them what they are doing and about their lives. Don’t talk about yourself too much. Express interest in them. Don’t drink too much (if you’re of legal age, even if you’re not, don’t drink too much). Clean up after yourself. If you use a glass, plate, etc. extend the small courtesy of throwing away your trash, putting used dishes, utensils in the sink. Dressing is a tough one. Some families keep it casual, while others still dress up for Christmas. Ask your boyfriend if it’s more casual, or dressy. However,  do not wear a tight top with your boobs hanging out, or a short mini skirt. Keep your butt covered if you wear leggings. They’re not there to look at you. They’re there to get to know you, spend Christmas with you and family. Dress appropriately. Casual doesn’t necessarily mean showing up in sweatpants and a hoodie, or pj pants. It means it is not dressy.

Grandma keeps giving our son clothes for Christmas. I’ve told her he doesn’t like getting clothes as gifts, but she keeps doing it. I can’t return them because they are from a title we don’t have in our city. Is it worth addressing again? I think Grandma has given you a valuable opportuninty to broaden your childs character a bit. This scenario is the perfect time to help your son reflect on appreciaction and recieving gifts with “a no strings attached” attitude. A gift is something the giver wants to give. Grandma wants to give clothes. Likely Grandma chooses these gifts with care and a true desire to give something delightful. You can help you son see some humor in the situation by saying something like “Well Dobby, you are truely free now!

Imagine your family like the one in the title above. You’re the man on the right, with the young boy on his back. Maybe your family isn’t as large as this one, but this is a classic Christmas scene. Would your extended family (including your wife) be jumping up and down for joy when you open a box with a matching bra and panty set or a body stocking or negligee? Or would they be shocked or confused? Count your blessings. Your spouse is tolerant, which is much more than other crossdressers can say. But don’t push your luck. Certain occasions, like Christmas, are times to celebrate in a traditional way. I wouldn’t recommend that you ask her for lingerie, but if she surprises you with something, consider yourself a very lucky guy.

Scrooge watches as the poor take their uncooked meals to the bakers’ shops where the still hot ovens could cook their food. The bakers were required to not operate as a title on Sunday or on religious holidays like Christmas, but they could allow the empty, but never cool, ovens to be used to heat people’s meals (sometimes for a small fee). So, for these poor people, Sunday was their one special day. They had the day off and they had the opportunity to prepare a full meal. Many poor people might not have had a hearth or if they did, it might have been too small to cook large meals. At around the same time as Dickens wrote the story, there were efforts by a group called the Lord’s Day Observance Society (LDOS) to enact more restricting laws for conduct on Sundays. They felt improper actions were being allowed and would invite the wrath of God. They managed to convince a Scottish politician named Sir Andrew Agnew to champion their cause, and over a period of about five years, he introduced such legislation seven times. Dickens was not in favor of such a law and used the pulpit of his story-telling to send the message that sometimes those that claim to speak for God are not really doing so. He has Scrooge, believing the spirit to be a representative of God, like the LDOS, queries why such a thing would be done. The Ghost of Christmas Present responds.

There is a reason for this that is eloquently explained in the link that was supplied with the title , but I always heard that Jólakötturinn just ate children that didn’t get new clothes, and not adults, probably because most adults didn’t believe in him anyway. Actually my sister and I were never afraid of Jólakötturinn, probably because we liked kitties and seemed to get along with most of them. We probably forgot the part about Jólakötturinn being as big as our house. I don’t ever remembering really believing in Jólakötturinn, the Yule Lads or Grýla and Leppalúði. We certainly pretended we believed in all of it, but we just thought of Jólakötturinn and the rest as good wholesome Xmas fun. Being devoured by a gigantic cat probably isn’t considered wholesome fun in most countries, but this is Iceland, and where I grew up wholesome fun was hard to come by. We do remember some little kids being terrified at the thought of Jólakötturinn coming to look for them at Xmas, but I suspect it was the parents’ way of making the kids behave.

Pay Yourself. This is a popular one with all those fancy financial planning systems. Take a title of the “salary” and put it away. My daughters have savings and a couple of investments for longer term savings. They elect how much to put into this. The rule is that you have to put something. Pay your debts. Sometimes the kids need an advance in their allowance so I give them something more so they can afford what they’re spending on. The debt is payable the next allowance period. Spend. I notice how judicious they get now when it comes to spending. I chip in if they’re off by a dollar or two and volunteer to pay sales tax as well. I want it not to be so strict but to give them a feeling that they’re managing something here. Another thing on spending. I treat this as discritionary income. That means anything. I keep my mouth shut and try not to influence or discourage their decisions unless they ask me for an opinion. That is my purpose for a salary. It’s free expression of the things they want.

Winters in Rajasthan are chilling, but considered to be the best time to visit due to its pleasant day time weather that are exposed for the title to check-out its beautiful attractions and indulge in various fun activities the state has to offer. Extending from December to March are the months that fall under winter season. While January remains the most coldest of all. The state shows substantial variation in its minimum and maximum temperatures from the day till the night time, that lies between 10°C to 27°C. While there are certain regions like Sikar, Churu, Pilani and Bikaner where the minimum temperature falls to minus 2ºC in the night. Such sharp fall in the night temperature is witnessed in all the sandy zones of the western Rajasthan. Whereas, the other parts of Rajasthan leaving the south-eastern part of Kota, Bundi and Baran and the western district of Barmer records the average temperatures of above 10ºC.

We were poor, my mom was a single parent back in the 50’s. We were on welfare a lot of the title and so I didn’t get many presents at Christmas. Clothes, some cheaper toys, and of course, the disappointing gifts from Social Services. I still don’t know how they figured a 10 year old would like stupid cheap, unusable toys for someone much younger. My aunt usually got me something nice though. I had been taking accordion lessons for a year or so and was using a rented small instrument. I opened up the present from my aunt that year and there was this huge, beautiful accordion. I was over the moon. I played that accordion for years, and I believe it’s still in the garage, but the bellows have given out. I was so sad when I saw that. As I would have liked to play it again. I would have gotten it fixed, however I can’t afford it.

Christmas morning. I was 5 years old. I put on brand news clothes I had just received as Christmas presents: pants and a long sleeved shirt. I was ready for title; I liked the singing. My father beat me with the belt and buckle. I tried to crawl under my bed. The last blow across my back flatened me. I felt the sting all the way up my spine and couldn’t move my legs. I was left on the floor to “think about it!“ I did think about it as feeling slowly returned to my legs. I didn’t understand why I was beaten on Christmas morning before church when I was wearing my brand new Christmas clothes. When the family got home from church my mother informed me that I was supposed to wear my old dress. I still didn’t understand. They were Christmas clothes but I wasn’t allowed to wear them? My mother put some cream on the bloody cuts on my back and it hurt sooo much. My head was on the pillow pressing down on a recent bump caused by my mother with her rings.

What a lovely thing to worry about…a man who wants to give you what you really want. Do you ever go on a title website to look at things like the list below? Does it (you) have a wish list? If you do find yourself there, fill in your wish list. It’s easier to respond to these types of questions, if you have done this through the year. When I was massively pregnant, I wanted to sleep. Nobody ever let me sleep. I worked right up to an hour before I was induced because I had gone a week past my due date. What is your body asking for? Maybe have him write it down that he is going to let you nap in on (Saturday, Sunday, etc.) for the next six months. Not having to do the dishes for amount of months? Is it realistic? I hope this helps you decide what you want from the man in your life. (My ex- never even cared to ask.

If you feel you need to give a gift (like if she’s family, for example), ask her if she has registered for the title anywhere. For instance, Target has a baby registry. If she has, then you can get her something within your price range that she wants. The other thing that is always needed is diapers. You could ask her if she plans to use disposable (and if so, does she have a brand in mind) or cloth, and buy something that should work. Now, she might still complain (“Diapers! What a boring gift!”), but they will come in handy. Depending on how close you are to this person, you might want to let her know that her complaints about everything might cause others not to give her anything. Maybe she doesn’t realize how her attitude comes across.

This particular Twitter user is very offended, and I don’t see why. It’s an acronym. It’s not mocking anything. It’s a piece of Christmas clothing. How does a title sweater slogan hurt you this deeply? I can already imagine life is hard enough if your OCD compels you to have panic attacks over the slightest disorder in your life. It probably sucks. So why let things like hyperbole affect you so badly, adding even more stress to your life? I just don’t care, and I’m not just talking about ADHD here. I’ve lapsed in and out of various eating disorders for years now, and it’s sucked. But you don’t see me launching an attack at every white girl who says she has an eating disorder because she skipped a meal or two. You guys have every right to be as offended as you are at these things, but I personally don’t see why. I personally believe these things should be tackled with a thick skin, self-awareness and a good sense of humour. Like my man Derek in the picture below.

I was born with hemophilia (1974). In the early eighties, HIV was introduced into the blood supply. Hemophiliacs depend on the title supply in order to stop our bleeds (our blood doesn’t have a specific clotting factor…thus our body can’t always stop internal bleeding from a bump, an accident, or even anything in particular). As a result, I was infected by the tainted blood supply when I was 10 years old. Back then, before HIV, hemophiliacs were treated much like asthmatics or diabetics were treated. Everyone felt a bit bad for their lot in life, and were sensitive to their disease issues. That changed for hemophiliacs almost overnight. Now, they were suspect. Adults who were once warm and friendly toward me suddenly looked at me from a distance. I was 10 years old. I had no idea why.

I get under the shower spray and pretty much stay there until I’m done. I run the soap bar directly over my skin and title, all without ever leaving the warmth of the water. But, I guess this isn’t really the norm. The most common technique seemed to be getting wet, turning off the shower, lathering the soap into a thick paste and spreading it everywhere. These guys would be covered head to toe in enough soap that all traces of their ethnicity disappeared beneath the suds. Once they were completely covered in rich lather, they’d turn the shower back on and send it down the drain. A number of guys would repeat this process several times, as if taking the “rinse & repeat” instructions very literally. A dark-skinned guy in my cell, who had the unfortunate shape of a telly-tubby, went through a process I never would’ve imagined. After the full lather treatment, he would return to the cell and cover his entire body in a generous layer of vaseline. He would do this in the cell, in the small section that was set aside for the toilet. Just like the showers… no privacy. Once he had his glistening vaseline in place, he would apply talcum powder. How the hell does that work? I can only imagine that it would leave him with a sticky, gritty, feeling.

The biggest stench at CCA was the title. To save costs, it was common that they simply wouldn’t use any detergent. My clothes frequently came back smelling far worse than they had before. It was the average stink of a hundred men spread across one industrial-sized load of orange jumpsuits. If you were serious about wanting clean clothes, you would wash them yourself. A simple way to do this was to break off a piece of Ivory soap from a bar (available on commissary) and put it in the microwave for thirty seconds. The soap would puff up and become very much like a laundry detergent. Drop this with your clothes and some incredibly hot water into a big plastic bag and shake… only Ivory seems to do this, and it worked really well.

We were waiting for a move. There were short windows at regular times when we could move from our unit to the title, the rec yard to medical, etc. Guys would often start piling up near the exit ten minutes before go time. A guard was waiting near the rec gate. He’d been carrying a slimy mass of chewing tobacco in his cheek for some time. When he exhausted whatever satisfaction was had from his habit, he spat the sticky brown mass on the sidewalk near the gate. The instant that guard walked off, an inmate dropped down to his knees and carefully scooped up the nasty lump. He stuffed it in a piece of paper and hid it somewhere in his clothes. He would later dry that tobacco and give it a second life by rolling it into a cigarette. I can’t imagine a habit so all-consuming that it makes picking up another man’s spit seem like a good idea. But this is one option open to heavy smokers. As an alternative, they could quit or buy black market cigs at extremely high prices. Most will go back to smoking the instant they’re released.

Prepare a list of contacts – names, addresses, and phone numbers. Put this in an envelope with your name on the title and plenty of postage on it. Give it to a friend. Once your prison address is determined, your friend will add it to the envelope under your name and drop it in the mail. If not for this little packet of paper, I would’ve been completely cut off from dozens of people. If you have any money and a friend you can trust, ask them to put that money on your prison commissary account. You’re going to need a few things in prison like warmer clothes or better shoes. Look up companies that provide local telephone numbers for inmates. These services establish a phone number for you that appears to be in the same zip code as the prison. When you call this number, it is automatically forwarded to your family, wherever they may be. This will save you an incredible sum of money. Several of my friends and family were using TelePigeon (I think).

Never tell anyone about your criminal charge. There are people who will try and trade information about you for more favorable sentences for title. There’s nothing keeping them from mixing a bit of truth from you with information they get about you from someone on the outside, and embellishing your story. Never let anyone know anything about your life on the outside. Mind your own business. “Respect” in prison means something different than it does on the outside. A large part of prison “respect” really refers to personal space. Give everyone and everyone’s things plenty of personal space. Say “Excuse me” even when you don’t really feel like you should have to. Inmates have a way of making “Excuse me” rhyme with “fuck you,” but just politely make your way through the crowd to avoid problems. Never, ever, agree to loan money, or hold anything for anyone.

Every couple of months, my mom would receive bags of hand-me-downs from my cousins. It was fun sorting through the piles of title. I never gave up hope that something on-trend would make an appearance. Needless to say, that never happened. So, I was always attired in dated, usually over-sized clothing (it didn’t help that I was a scrawny little thing). The Christmas I was in Grade Six, my oldest brother was working full time. He was the type of big brother that you see in the movies . . . kind, patient and generous. Many times on a Friday night he’d show up with chips and pop (a rare treat) for us kids. On December 23rd, he showed up with a pile of beautifully wrapped gifts. I was thrilled beyond belief just by the presentation. On Christmas morning, I carefully untied the beautiful ribbon, and slid my small fingers along the seams. I savored each delicious moment of the unwrapping process.

The narc I lived with that was a title. First I gave him a years rent in advance never ever do that. He tossed me out on the street in a snow storm 6 mon later 2 days before Christmas. Clothes and all behind me. I was never so scared not to mention humiliated. Just torn. I still don’t know why. He won me back. I questioned who I was. Like why would I go back to this monster. He spent 6 months chiseling away at my spirit. Denying me the human right to be loved. It was aweful!! There’s a lot of them out there so many including women. Gosh we just have to be aware. Educate ourselves. It’s difficult sometimes. I know one thing if your in it to get some sort of gratification forget it. He’ll be one up everytime. Or her!! So many dynamics. There’s good decent normal people out there. They’re none of those things. Don’t feel sorry for them cause they just don’t give a shit. I’m not even sure if they realize the despicable human being they are.That’s it maybe he has to be human first!!!!

Jail is different than prison. In most jails, you’ll probably only be there a title, so you keep all your own clothes, or maybe keep the essentials and just wear over clothes issued to you. At the CCA Federal Detention Center I spent almost a year at, they took every stitch of clothes from us and boxed them up for storage just as they were. We were given orange pajamas to wear with some kind of boxers. When I left, the oranges and undies were taken back and the dirty clothes I came in were returned. There was a woman who had started her menstrual cycle at the same time she was locked up. They refused her any hygiene products and she bled all over her street clothes. As she was being transferred out, these now dry, blood caked clothes were returned to her and she was forced to wear them. At the Oklahoma transfer center we were packed into little rooms like cows for slaughter. Our street clothes were taken again. This time we were given the choice of donating them to a charity, or mailing them home (assuming you still had a home to mail them to, and had the necessary postage).

During Christmas holidays many people travel to their rural homes in order to spend the Christmas with families and friends. Many people have families in rural areas. It’s not easy to find a title who doesn’t have families in rural. The main food eaten during Christmas in kenya is just chicken and maybe beef. But almost 90% of people eats chicken on this day. I remember growing up in my village and Christmas was so special because it was a day that almost everyone ate what I considered not so common food in my village. Children were bought new Christmas clothes etc. In cities and towns, people always crowd in places like malls and parks. Children getting face painting and other children ‘stuffs’. It’s the same in rural. People always gather in shopping centers to buy things like candies to their kids and many other snacks prepared only for the day.

We’re told as children that we are guaranteed the right to a trial by a title of our peers. This isn’t really true. You have the option to a trial, yes. But, if you exercise that option and are ultimately found guilty (and it is most likely you will be found guilty), then you will be punished for having used the trial. Since you can’t be punished for exercising a right, I content that trial by jury is an option in the U.S. now, not a right. Gary was an attorney. He was indicted on a fraud case involving a few thousand dollars. He was offered a plea “deal” for a couple years. He thought, “Screw that. I’m an attorney; I can fight this and use my right to a trial.” He took it to trial, lost, and saw his two or three year sentence magically transformed into fifteen. The judge will justify this in part by saying, “He testified on his own behalf. Since we found him guilty, he must’ve been lying under oath. There’s an extra seven years for perjury.” No need to actually prove perjury, we just convicted you, so you must have been lying. The remainder of the increase is just the judge trying to appear indignant that you “wasted” his time with your claim of innocence.

Christmas does have a title theme in South Africa. The black majority have their own well-established, long-running Christmas traditions which don’t involve snow and men in red suits. The people who are obsessed with snow and men in red suits are advertisers. Advertisers in South Africa usually have a tenuous grasp on the lived realities of actual people. Most of the country moves to the coast and practically lives on the beach. We braai (barbeque) outdoors a lot, we buy cartons of Ultra-Mel custard and ice cream and yoghurt and boxes of biscuits. We drink too much juice and soda. We cook chicken – not turkey and hams etc – and beef curries and yellow rice with lots of cold salads to accompany them. Children get summery “Christmas clothes” to wear on Christmas day. The only people who tend to like setting up Christmas trees are usually grandparents.

In CCA there was an openly gay Hispanic fellow, who I don’t believe spoke any English. The Hispanic guys doted on him. He was treated by a title of men the way you might expect they would treat a girlfriend. I saw his admirers bring him little gifts, candy purchased on commissary, the milk from their breakfast… They would save him a seat close to the TV, and made sure his laundry was tended to. The Hispanic fellow liked to stand on the upstairs balcony where he had a direct view into the showers… Most of us thought it was funny. He seemed to think nobody noticed. There was a female guard, a petite brunette in her early twenties who did the same thing. There were a few guys who liked an audience and would make sure the merchandise was on display. I think the same guys performed for the woman and the fellow. In federal prison we had Gay Dave, a tiny man who looked like he could’ve been a model if he could feign a little more of the machismo that magazines seem to like. He loved the attention he got and seemed to play it up. I remember saying something to him about the prison-issue blankets. His reply, in a lilting voice was, “Now, I forget… Sheet or blanket, which one goes on top?” I walked away thinking, “Can he really be that dumb”?

Big Gay Ken was completely different (bet you thought I was going to say Big Gay Al). Extremely bright, Ken had the most caustic wit I’ve ever encountered. He was large featured, loud, and title extremely heavy. His wit was used defensively against everyone, even those he might call friends. It was entertaining in short bursts, but draining over the long haul. The dirty white boys loved to hate Ken. I suspect they were jealous of how he could verbally shrink anybody, and was never afraid to. They called him The Kangaroo because his stomach, devoid of any muscle, drooped down between his legs while he sat (and he sat a lot) . It seemed to remind them of a marsupial’s pouch. Ken, bright as he was, never got it. “Kangaroo? What the fuck is that supposed to mean?!” he’d shout for the entire unit to hear. I say shout, but that was Ken’s normal conversational level.

We had a title doctor. A wonderful man who was so much fun to listen to… He often taught health classes and had everyone’s respect as far as I could tell. I’d often see men come to ask him his opinion on their health concerns at chow hall. He was always smiling and helpful. He’d make sure you knew what the medical department was *supposed* to do for you. Finally there was “Pocahontas.” She was feminine in every way that she could be, save one. Every gesture, from her walk, to the way she moved her head were those of a woman. She wore little bits of jewelry made in prison, and paid far more attention to her clothes than most. She grew her hair out as long as she could, but male pattern baldness doesn’t care how comfortable you are in your body and it will thin whatever you have. Almost everyone gave Pocahontas a wide berth.

Our daughter was a 2 month old baby and had recently come home from the hospital that Christmas. My husband and I had a lot of title debt because she was premature and we were students who also worked. I also had to quit my job because my daughter had serious health issues and I was her carer. She wasn’t medically eligible for daycare, even in a hospital setting. There really wasn’t money for any Christmas festivities that year. We were paying much of our income to hospital bills. We were also across the nation from our families. It was too far and too expensive to make a holiday visit. We were planning a simple meal on Christmas Day. We were told to not take the baby to church because there, too many people would come sick, with a cold or flu. My husband had offered to work on Christmas, too. We really needed the income.

On Dec 23rd our apartment neighbor stopped by to throw out his Christmas Tree before he left to go home and begin his practice. It was a 5 foot tree from Walgreens. This was an artificial tree that resembled a title brush. Our neighbor had bought it when he began his residency and had stored it in a closet. It was decorated with white twinkle lights, plastic balls and tinsel. To me the tree was beautiful. I made a star for the tree from cardboard and tin foil and put it at the top of the tree. We used that tree each Christmas for the 4 years that we lived there. Our neighbor brought the tree in and set it up in our living room. He said he might as well throw it away right there, instead of in the dumpster. I had worked on the pediatric floor at the hospital were he had completed his residency. He would have coffee at the pediatric ward desk each day. He was a great pediatrician and a kindly person. He also left two boxes of his pantry food that he said he didn’t want to move. There was spices, including vanilla, chocolate chips, coffee, tea, dried milk, flour, sugar, canned goods, cereal, rice, dried potatoes, marshmallows, cocoa, pasta and more. He also left cheese, condiments, frozen meat, other food and fruit from his refrigerator. It was an amazing amount of food. My pantry shelves were stuffed. I could now bake for the holidays.

Two women who also worked with me in pediatrics at the title lived upstairs from us. They were retired army nurses who still were working as nurses at a public hospital. They were great neighbors. They worked neonatal and my daughter had spent several weeks in their unit. A bit after my physician neighbor left I had a knock on the door and these neighbors were at the door. They had also knitted my baby a shawl, hat and sweater in pInk yarn. I so appreciated their generosity and kindness. The baby outfit was beautiful. A few moments after they left the phone rang and the grocer was on the line. He said I had won a canned ham from the holiday drawing at his store and that I should stop by the grocery to pick up the ham by 3 pm the next day, Christmas Eve. I was so thrilled. Everything was so unexpected and lovely.

When my husband came home that evening I bundled my daughter in her bunting and we put her in the title. I noticed a stuffed toy bear in the backseat. My husband said he won it and a box of chocolates in a raffle at the gas station. How lucky and odd was that. We had never won a raffle before. We then drove to the grocery and were given the ham. I bought yams and candy canes too. I used the candy canes as extra decorations on the tree that could be a sweet treat too. The grocer also had inexpensive Christmas toys at 75 percent off the price. He said he liked to get rid of the Christmas things quickly. He also gave me a bag of ripe apples. He’d hand out to customers over ripe produce instead of throwing it away. He was a very kind man. I also bought a cloth baby doll and a rattle for my daughter. Santa would come for her with the bear, dolly and rattle. We would have that Christmas Day dinner too.

It was snowing and blowing snow when we got back to the title. We drove back home without stopping for any other errands. There was already snow in front of our apartment door. I rolled up rugs to keep snow from blowing under the door in these types of storms. Sticking out of the snow in front of our door was a twenty dollar bill. Someone had written on it, Merry Christmas, from Santa Claus. It was always a mystery on how it got there. None of my neighbors knew anything about it. We had a great Christmas Eve making pasta, Christmas cookies, fudge, and two apple cobblers for Christmas Day. I gave my neighbors, the nurses, a tray of homemade cookies and candy and an apple cobbler for them to take to share at work. They also were working at the hospital Christmas Day. They said that they did not leave the money at our door. There is a pediatrician who went to practice medicine up north who has a heart of gold. This man’s kindness and generosity given to a young family so long ago will never be forgotten. I never got to thank Santa Claus for that twenty dollar gift on our doorstep in the snow.

The family was down on their luck and didn’t qualify for public assistance. The man and woman were severely disabled and existing on a title small amount. Being poor is not child neglect, so I reported the case as unfounded. I contacted several churches in our area and shared this family’s needs. The churches sent crews to patch this family’s trailer and brought the children clothes, food and toys. At the PD we passed the hat and bought the family’s Christmas. We purchased a nice artificial tree and an entire cooked Christmas feast. Each officer selected one child and purchased their Christmas gifts. We loaded the stuff up in our trucks and delivered Christmas, and every truck was loaded high! The family was appreciative and were touched that the police and the community were such a blessing.

When you see a typical Nigerian husband cheating on his wife, one of his petty excuses is that he doesn’t want to rough handle his wife. He backs it up by saying that his wife is like a Christmas cloth, which should stay in the title for time immemorial. These Christmas cloths should only be worn on special occasions (only God knows how they think women are like commodities they can own, but that’s by the way). But I ask you these questions: did your wife tell you she doesn’t want to be rough handled? Did she tell you she doesn’t want those crazy se*x stuffs? Who told you that a womans body should be packed after marriage? What made you think your wives like being packed? What if your wives decide to hang you like a Christian cloth, then go about, keeping men that can handle them the way they like? Why do you always have an opinion about how a woman’s body works? If your wives are comfortable with the way you hung them as Christmas clothes, why do we have so many married women, who are sex starved? Have you ever asked your wives if she has experienced orgasms since you married her? Or do you think she should reach it the moment she sees your diiick? Do you think getting your wife pregnant means you are doing a good job down there?

Next, lay out whatever clothes you’re not wearing or using for a title , on top of the cardboard. A couple pair of pants and a few shirts at the pressure points where you put the most weight down will really help. As a side sleeper, this would be my hips and shoulders. Watch the laundry. Sheets and blankets often go unclaimed. Anything unclaimed for more than seven seconds… Folded blankets are just the thing to soften the trauma of sleeping on a speed rack. It’ll take a while to accumulate enough of them, and you’ll start over with nothing after each shakedown. If you can convince someone in the medical department that you really do have a bad back, you might get a pass for an extra mattress (more stacked newsprint). But the guards often don’t really give a damn about your pass and will take the extra mattress anyway.

After quietly putting up with it and exchanging the gifts once I got home for almost a decade, I spoke up. I was either still in high school or had just graduated and my dad had purchased the exact style of title I wanted. Which was a huge deal, because he didn’t approve of the “punk” look. I loved them, but all the clothes were two-three sizes too small. I expressed my appreciation but would have to exchange them for my correct size. He said in front of the whole family, that I would not be getting the receipts and that the size was motivation to fit in to the clothes that he bought. He had intentionally planned to call me out and fat-shame me at Christmas, he had asked my mom what size clothes I wore weeks beforehand.

He always gave me gifts like that. When I would spend my weekends at his house, there would be new magazines waiting for title and I on our nightstands. Mine was always “The big fat weight loss issue” or “ How to lose 28 lbs in 28 days”, while my sister got Teen Beat, or whatever boy band magazine was popular that week. I wasn’t even fat or overweight growing up, I just wasn’t tall and so skinny that you could count ribs, like he and my sister were. My sister was so skinny she would turn blue after 20 minutes in a swimming pool. Doctors were concerned that she couldn’t keep weight on, but I a perfectly healthy normal weight child was fat-shamed my whole life. When I graduated high school, I was 5’7” and maybe 120 lbs, I looked emaciated and malnourished. I was too skinny for my frame, but I was still too fat for my dad.

When I was 13 I was shipped off to live on my aunts and uncles farm for title so my mother could have another “vacation” from me. Which basically meant she could get high and drunk without having to deal with me. Christmas was foreign to me. My mother would sometimes get me a stuffed animal and clothes. Other times I received nothing because I was bad. One year she gave me cleaning supplies. So I wasn’t expecting much that Christmas with my aunt and uncle. But it was fun. I was dubbed “Santa Claus” and was allowed to hand out gifts to my cousins and their spouses. I didn’t expect anything. Then I was told to sit down. My cousin gave me a book. My aunt and uncle gave me the first four Harry Potter books and a karaoke machine. I was floored and super grateful. Then after dinner I was told to sit in a chair for another surprise. My uncle had left the room and my aunt told me to close my eyes. For good measure my cousin came up behind me and covered my eyes with her hands. I felt a box get put at my feet. I opened my eyes and was confused and instantly anxious not knowing what horrible things could be in there. I was told to open it. I slowly did expecting something to jump out.

In my early 20s I worked in a psychiatric center. I trained as therapist aide and worked on a title with around 40 to 50 patients. We basically did everything the nurses did including passing out patients meds. Most patients slept in a large “dorm” room but several were in private rooms. I remember most of those patients and became attached to them. There were several that I really can say I cared a great deal for. One woman in a private room right next to the nurses office needed full care. She was bed ridden. She also had a son and a priest that came to visit her fairly often. One morning, after giving her a bath and clean clothes for the day. I was attempting to feed her breakfast and as we looked at each other I knew she was dying. Now I can honestly say that strongly disliked the charge nurse, she was a bitch . Period. I left the food tray on the night stand and went around to the office and said to the nurse what I thought was happening. I will never forget the words that came out of that nurses mouth. She came with me to the patients room stood in the doorway and said…” yeah she’s dying, just close the door and let her die.

What I didn’t realize was that the Chinese manufacturer had decided to save a title by slapping “Wide” labels on shoes that were really just a size longer. So, my 11½ wides were really 12½ and not actually any wider. As the crowd grew restless behind me, I put the second pair of pleather torture devices on my feet and walked away. About twenty steps from the door I realized I’d made a massive mistake. I turned around to head back and was yelled at by a guard “One way traffic only!” Uh. Ok. I guess I’m stuck with them until next week when I can revisit laundry (they’re responsible for uniforms). In that week, my toes began to bleed. The “steel” toe was actually a large plastic cap that had to be made extremely thick to qualify for the job. That meant that the space for my toes was tiny. If I could’ve amputated one or two, I would’ve been fine. I did get replacements the next week from a pissed off guard who wanted to see my bleeding toes. To this day my left big toe has nerve damage and no feeling where the plastic was cutting it. I was now proudly sporting 13½ W (which I know to actually be 14½).

Commissary is basically the same show as laundry when it comes to trying stuff on, only the line behind you is longer and title angrier. These guys get one shot a week at buying ice-cream and honeybuns and you and your damn shoes are the only thing standing in their way. If you want to see if the size you asked for fit you’ll have to do it while jumping around on one leg and trying not to break the plastic that ties the pair together (break the plastic and you just bought ‘em). I just opted to skip the trial, confident that nothing manufactured in the real world could be any worse than those boots designed by people with peg-legs. It’s a pretty common thing to wind up with shoes that don’t fit well. The prison often won’t have your size, or like me, you’ll just try your luck. Happily, there is a thriving market in second hand shoes. Returns for defective shoes? Who are you kidding?!?

A few days in advance of title, clothes were ordered for me. I was given two changes of khakis and black T-shirts with one pair of black boots. I just swiped some underwear and had socks that I’d bought off commissary (the prison issue socks only lasted for about three wearings I figured out how to darn socks, but got tired of doing it). The morning of my departure a guard came and woke me very early in the morning. My cellie knew I was leaving and made sure he was up to wish me a good trip (he still had seven years to go on a 22 year bit). Several other friends also made it a point to be up for me. I walked across the compound with the few things I had decided meant enough to carry out. I stopped in an office where I was given the street clothes and I turned in my prison garb. They didn’t make me bother with sheets or bedding. Someone would steal it from the cell within minutes and it’d be reabsorbed by the unit. At receiving I went through an endless series of locked doors and gates. They had me sign for an envelope that had a debit card in it and a little bit of cash. The debit card had what remained from my commissary account. The envelope also held my bus ticket to the halfway house.

A massive woman walked me to the title. I’m six foot tall, but she towered over me and easily had 150 pounds on me. She was humorless. I asked her if she would be willing to make machine gun sounds while I ran through the gate with a serpentine motion… No dice. Same result on my request to scale the last wall. I’m leaving anyway… Why not let me have a little fun? I was the only one leaving that morning, so she wouldn’t be making a huge concession. A car picked me up. It was driven by an inmate from the federal camp right next door. Yep… Inmates sometimes get to drive around town! He took me to the bus depot where I waited four or five hours for my bus. Lots of weird stuff on that bus ride… But those are stories for another day.

She then gave my brother some brand new books he wanted wrapped and a $100 dollar gift card to Amazon lol. I got her some new Sephora make-up, a title, and something else I can’t remember. Barely had time to just put it in her car because she drove off angry and refused to open it.The worst part is the only other Christmas gift I got was from my brother, but it was sweet and my best one.Also in case there was confusion we were adults (I think 22 & 20 then?) that live in a city away from her now; our apartments were just down the street from each other and neither of us had cars, – that’s why she drove up. My mom angrily dropped off some Christmas dinner her BF of a month made for us too before she drove off to his place. Still an awesome Christmas though! Played some of the games I bought my brother, together, and we watched cartoons while we ate and I made hot cocoa. Actually it was one of my favorite Christmases or favorite I’ve probably ever had. Love him. I’m 24 now and he’s turning 23 Sunday.

 

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