The COVID Diaries: Grinchster Goddess of Minnesota

So Darling Ones,

I did a thing! Even though I’m still feeling pretty much like the Grinchster Goddess of Minnesota, I had a lightning bolt of an idea for a Christmas Gift and it was so brilliant that I created it and bought it and shipped it out this morning before I even finished my coffee. I wouldn’t be so cryptic about it, but you never know out of all the people whose addresses I know which one might decide to read this post right now.

For the most part, I don’t think the people in my life read this blog very often, which is fine by me. It allows me to be freer without having to deal with the “why didn’t you tell me that?” or the “I had no idea!” Barf. It’s almost like people don’t realize it’s easier for me to type things than to say them. This might come as a shock, but I’m kind of a closed book in my actual life. I don’t often reveal emotional things unless people ask. 99.9% of people never ask. Plus, I ask a lot of questions about everything all the time because I am nosy and curious and it keeps people talking about themselves and not about me. It’s a sneaky reporter trick I learned in journalism school.

Anyway, I’m pretty excited about these gifts. I pride myself on making and/or giving thoughtful gifts. I get really grouchy if I’m just giving someone something they put on a wishlist. In fact, I had to do that today for Sister #2’s birthday gifts. I included a note that said, “these are just placeholder gifts until I think of something better.” My BFK and I, whose birthdays are a day apart, have vowed to only give each other gifts if we see something that make us think, ‘that’s perfect!”

The best gift I ever gave was probably a super-rare (I think there was a typo in the jacket copy or something), signed copy of Infinite Jest to an adorable orange-haired boy who is the reason this website exists. I got him that book because for my 28th birthday he gave me 28 tiger lilies. So adorable I could puke. Still.

The best gift I ever got was a copy of Cat’s Cradle that was personally inscribed to me, “Dear Jodi,” by Mr. Kurt Vonnegut himself. So thoughtful I could puke.

This is not to slight other gifts I’ve gotten over the years, I’ve loved each one and I can tell stories about half the crap in my house. Owl penny bank on the coffee table? Christmas gift from Sister #4. Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret bookcover poster on the wall? Just because from FFJ. LEGO First Ave? LEGO Back to the Future Delorean with Marty & Doc? Both from Jaycie and Max (though Sister #2 chose them for me). That orange vase at the tippy top of the bookshelves? A Valentine’s gift from Seamus.

Don’t you love when I just list random shit I have around my house? Me too!

Speaking of gifts, my Christmas present to myself came today. It’s a Norfolk pine tree that I named Janis, because of course. Between reading that biography and then watching the documentary, I got Janis on the mind.

Last night I confessed in the family group chat that the pine tree was coming today.
“JODI,” Sister #4 typed in all caps. “WE TALKED ABOUT THAT!”
“Girl,” I typed back. “I did it.”

Then I got lots of HA!s for my excellent use of a TikTok joke.

It’s the little things, Darling Ones. I need to find and hold onto as many little things as possible because there’s a very real possibility that I won’t be seeing another human being until December 23rd.

Thanks for helping me stay sane,

P.S. I remembered all the words to Cornershop’s “Brimful of Asha” today. So I like to believe I haven’t slipped into dementia yet.

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