You know what I wonder? I wonder how on earth it is that people can make it through this life without the slightest scintilla of a sense of humor. And what’s more, I wonder how those without the slightest scintilla of a sense of humor make it through life taking themselves that seriously, with an inflated sense of self-importance.

And even more, I wonder how it is that those with not the tiniest sense of irony or fun, manage to unerringly make it to my web page, repeatedly. And then email me to tell me that they TRIED to read what I write, but I’m so HOSTILE that they just couldn’t force themselves to read me, despite many attempts, and so they email me to make sure that I understand this.

The thinking is, I believe, that since the world does, in fact, revolve around THEM, not around ME (silly, stupid, misguided Robyn. How could you not know that the world revolves around THEM? Did you not get the memo?), that it’s terribly important that I know their feelings.

Without the tiniest scintilla of a sense of humor, taking themselves and everyone around them serious unto death, they would probably be apoplectic to know that when I get such an email, I snicker, read it aloud to Fred with the appropriate snarky remarks, snicker some more, and delete it. I don’t, in fact, frame it and read it every night, holding it close to my heart and memorizing every word. I’ve got better things to do, after all.

Because, I mean, let’s be honest. Of course my world revolves around me and the people I care about. And yours revolves around you. Except when it revolves around me.

Like, duh.

I spent hours and hours Christmas shopping today. It was surprisingly less stressful than I had expected, even though I WENT TO THE MALL. Before that, I hit the grocery store, the post office (I mailed out 115 Christmas cards, and have about another 50 to go – I’m still taking names ’til Saturday, so follow the instructions at the bottom if you want one!), and the movie store. I ran home and put the groceries away, then left again (poor Miz Poo had no clue what was going on, with me running in and then right back out) to go to Target, where I needed boxes and bows, ’cause I’m thinking about actually wrapping Christmas presents sometime soon, here.

While I was there, I went to grab a couple of Designer Whey bars – the chocolate mint flavor – and found that all but one of them was open on the end, with chocolate dripping out. Like the machines fucked up when sealing the wrappers, though for all I knew someone had steamed open the bars, inserted a some tasty anthrax and tried to seal them shut again. I was ticked, because the only place I can find Designer Whey bars in this area is at Target, and it’s a pain in the ass to get to, so I wanted to stock up on them and not have to go back in two days. Bastards. Designer Whey bars are the only ones that are high in protein that I can stand these days.

After I picked up a pair of headphones for Fred to use with his Walkman, I left Target.

Then I went to the mall. That’s right, the mall. Two weeks before Christmas, and I was GOING TO THE MALL.

It wasn’t so bad. I knew there was no way in hell I would be parking anywhere near the mall, so I simply parked in the first parking spot I saw, wayyyy in the back. I wandered through the mall, stopping at the bathroom, eyeballing the Godiva stand, checking out the Disney store, browsing in Hallmark, buying a few things along the way. I went into Lane Bryant and bought a sweater for Christmas, and then headed to the destination I’d been heading for all along: Bath and Body Shop. God. MAN. I just love that store to death. Thank god it’s in the mall, and it has been decreed that I can only step into the mall twice a year, or I’d spend us into the poorhouse at that store.

And apparently everyone else in Huntsville felt that very same way. Damn it was crowded in there. People milling about with a basket on their arm, trying to duck the way-too-helpful salesgirlies who would chirp "Buy three, get one free!" while spraying you with the only scent in the store you don’t like. I filled up the basket (literally)(thank god for that coupon) and stood in line for twenty minutes, but it just smelled so damn good that I really couldn’t be impatient.

Besides, I had my cheesy romance-type novel to keep me occupied.

When it was my turn to be rung up, the cashier – with frighteningly perfect blond curls piled perfectly atop her perfectly made-up face (I suspect she was actually, like, a robot or something) – informed me of all the bargains I was missing. "These are 4 for $14!" she said, waving the single bottle of something-or-other around.

What I thought, but did not say, was "If I WANTED four of them, would I not have PUT four of them in the basket, ya think, huh?" Instead, I smiled and shook my head. "I don’t think so."

Oh, poor cashier lady. Her face fell, her heart broke, and I think I saw her surreptitiously wipe away a tear. It’s a rough, tough little life in Bath and Body Works-land, and there I was heartlessly turning down her offer to HELP me save money by buying stuff I neither wanted nor needed.

"Oh!" She waved a bar of soap at me. "THESE are buy three, get one free!"

I smiled frostily. "No thanks."

I don’t remember what happened next, I think she went into hysterics and had to be carted away. All I know is that I had two heavy-ass bags to haul out to the Jeep, and the trip from the mall to the Jeep seemed a lot longer than the trip from the Jeep to the mall.

Once home, I ate lunch (I missed meal #2, with all that running around. I am fading away to nothing, I tell you), and started opening the TWELVE Christmas cards that had been waiting for me at the post office earlier.

You guys just rock, you know that? I’ve gotten in the area of 35 cards so far, and the door between the foyer and the kitchen is almost covered. Thank you!

Oh, speaking of cards. The spud got a card from her aunt – the ex’s sister – who signed the card "Derek and Cindy." The aunt’s name is Cindy, but as the spud asked, "Who’s Derek?"

Fuck if I know. Her boyfriend, I guess. But my question is this – why’d she sign his name first? Obviously I DO need to write a book about the subtle rules of a civilized society, because the card-signing rules go like this:

If I’m sending a card to someone on my side of the family, I sign it "Robyn, Fred, and the spud."

If the card’s going to Fred’s side of the family, I sign it thusly: "Fred, Robyn, and the spud."

And the Christmas cards I’m sending out to y’all are signed: "Robyn, Fred, and the spud", because you requested them from me, not Fred, even though you might like him better.

Got it? Good. Mwah!