I have a secret ambition that rears its head from time to time. And its one that has always alluded me.
It’s not a professional ambition. I’ve accomplished all professional ambitions. I’ve always known I’d be a broadcast journalist. I knew it from a very early age.; when I was six, as a matter of fact. My great-grandmother turned 100 in 1966 and for some reason, that made news and the CBS affiliate came down from San Antonio to film her birthday party. I was standing behind my grandmother’s wheel chair, efforting to get in every shot.
Yes, I’m part Hormel.
As the camera panned and I made sure I was in the sweep. I increased my odds of being “on TV” by trying to be in the cameraman’s viewfinder at all times. I stayed up to watch the news that night–just to see if my camera chasing worked and lo and behold, for a fraction of a second, you could just make out my very blond hair.
That’s all it took. I was hooked.
I was a driven child who grew up to be a driven woman. When it comes to my career, I’ve just about accomplished everything I set out to accomplish. Professionally, my life is and always has been far rosier than it ever was or is romantically. Love is something I want desperately and for some reason, can’t get right and God knows I’ve tried. It’s like I’m not supposed to find love. Like it’s verboten or something. There have been times I’ve accused my mother of having a womb cursed like Constance’s in American Horror Story. Either that or she gave birth to me atop some ancient burial ground and I’m paying the eternal price for trespass. Whatever the reasons are for my romantic challenges (because CERTAINLY the reason HAS to be external. It CAN’T be a character flaw!!!! Moi???? Never. ), they have plagued me all of my life.
I was seeing someone up until August. It last a little over a year and ended up as one incredibly epic failure. I knew I was really nothing more than a welcomed distraction for him and that was only when he could fit me into his schedule. But that wasn’t the reason why if failed. I was the one who walked away….which in and of itself was different, because I’m usually the one who gets left. But not this time. No, this time, I ended it when I realized how futile NOT leaving was. I really didn’t know what I felt…but I know what I wasn’t feeling. Suddenly, the urge to run very, very far was overwhelming. I’d become a flight risk. I wanted him out of my life. I didn’t want to see him, I didn’t want to talk to him any more. I wanted nothing more to do with him at all. To see him or talk to him would be a painful reminder of my stupidity, co-dependence…my desperation. So, I walked away. I can’t shake the feeling that this realization or rather series of realizations that lead to the demise of this ‘relationship’, was vital. Part of some greater plan, perhaps. At least, I’d like to think so.
Even though another relationship has been euthanized by feels like fate, I can’t help but still have a smidge of hope that manifests itself in fantasy. It’s an aspect of domesticity; being a wife, a homemaker….a hostess. I have dreams of hosting wonderful parties–Christmas parties mostly, and they always take place in my m in my tastefully appointed imaginary home. It’s stylish, brimming with elán. In this fantasy, I’m every rich bitch Robin Leach narrated TV special I’ve ever seen. And I’m very, very happy. Everything works in my life. I have a great husband, friends…family. My life works.
And I’ve prepared incredible food….the spread is lovely; could easily be in a layout of the Town and Country magazine Christmas edition.
Everything is perfect. Lovely. The turkey is splendid and I’ve even put those little paper chef hat things on the ends of the drumsticks. I’ve decorated the house for Christmas. It’s beautiful; exquisite really. So much so that all my guests are convinced a gay man did it.
Nope. Just my talented little hands, fueled by imagination and creativity.
I have helped create joy.
Sometimes, I daydream about a family Christmas. The house is the same as the other party scenario, but this just includes family. My husband’s and my own and they all get along. They all like each other. They help create joy.
Which in reality, would be a complete pantload…
Hardly anyone in my family talks to each other. We make competitive avoidance close to Olympic caliber. It took a few years but we finally realized that insults, table clearing brawls and death threats don’t go well with holly. I don’t know why we can’t get along, but we can’t.
- Someone doesn’t like a spouse
- There are political differences
- Major personality conflicts
- Differences in personal tastes
And man of man, did THAT have an effect on gift giving!!!!!!!! No one ever liked the gifts they received. And that made the Christmas morning gift opening routine just awful. After years of forced smiles, feigned gratitude and eye rolling when the gift giver looked the other way, we stopped faking our ‘giftgasms’. In fact, we even stopped calling it Christmas and just referred to December 25th as the Annual Kendrick Family Holiday Receipt Exchange.
So yeah…I know what my chances are of any of these fantasies ever happening. Had I been smart, we would’ve given the gift of psychotherapy instead of that Texas shaped mini pecan pie and that Jean Naté Body Splash gift set (regularly priced: $9.99; marked down to $5.99) that I snagged at Walgreen’s, four minutes before closing time on Christmas Eve.
I learned that Christmas that my rather different Aunt Barbara was more of an Old Spice kind of “gal” . She made it clear that was a scent that went better with her love of sensible shoes and Indigo Girl albums. I gave her the receipt and told her to knock herself out. That, by the way, was the first salvo launched in the receipt exchange battle.
So yeah, I long for storybook normalcy. A Brady Bunchian existence…and please, no lectures about not needing a husband to host fabulous holiday parties. I know this. I know I don’t need a man to be happy or fulfilled or to host a fabulous party. I am woman; hear me roar–I get it; I get it. What I’ve expressed is a nothing more than a fantasy that moves into my head around Halloween and stays through New Year’s. By the middle of the first week of January, ‘m back to my old nasty, man hating, love scorned self.
That said, another Christmas is almost upon us and once again, I’ll spend it as a single…not plural.
I’ll do what single, middle-aged women do. I’ll allow myself to cry for an hour or so when I endure my annual, “Oh my God, I’m Sally Rogers, TV’s spinster from the Dick Van Dyke Show” moment. Then, I’ll compose myself and then head west, to the Texas Hill Country. My mother and I are the only ones in the family still talking and we’ll get along fine as long as we don’t talk to each other. We’ll spend a nice, quiet Christmas together. No big family scene–just a few nieces and nephews stopping by, so once again, no big party in my future, but I do intend to tantalize their taste buds with this sweet treat.
These are Oreo Truffles and to make things interesting, I add a little Amaretto to the mix.
They’re tasty as hell and relatively easy to make. Here’s the recipe:
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA (Philadelphia only. Scranton just won’t do) Cream Cheese, softened
1 pkg. (16.6 oz.) OREO Cookies, finely crushed (about 4-1/4 cups), divided
2 pkg. (8 squares each) BAKER’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted (Personally, I like milk chocolate and I also like to melt a little white chocolate, too. You can alternate your dipping and use to opposite chocolate as a decorative drizzle)
MIX cream cheese and 3 cups cookie crumbs until well blended.
SHAPE into 48 (1-inch) balls. Dip in melted chocolate; place on waxed paper-covered baking sheet. Sprinkle with remaining cookie crumbs.
REFRIGERATE 1 hour or until firm. Store in tightly covered container in refrigerator.
How to Melt Chocolate
Place unwrapped chocolate squares in micro-waveable bowl. Microwave on HIGH 2-1/2 min. or until chocolate is completely melted, stirring every 30 seconds. I prefer the double boiler method. Place a Pyrex bowl over a pot with water in it….just get the water warm–you don’t want to boil the wa wa Just get it warm and whatever you do, don’t let the water touch the bottom of the bowl. If it’s too hot, your chocolate will seize up and become this nasty mortar like stuff.
How to Easily Dip Truffles
To easily coat truffles with the melted chocolate, add truffles, in batches, to bowl of melted chocolate. Use 2 forks to roll truffles in chocolate until evenly coated. Remove truffles with forks, letting excess chocolate drip back into bowl. Place truffles on prepared baking sheet; let stand until firm.
How to Store
Store in tightly covered container in refrigerator.
If you try making these, let me know how they turn out.
AND YOU’RE WELCOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!