Before I can even commence with this post I have to share that I noticed in my list of site stats that someone actually googled “Big Mama chicken on the outside” and “Big Mama Blog raw chicken” yesterday. Which makes me feel like somewhere, someone was talking about me (maybe contemplating giving me some sort of important assignment or task) and then thought to themselves WAIT. I THINK SHE HAS ISSUES WITH CHICKEN. And then my blog confirmed it and that was the end of my possible career in the CIA.
Or maybe it’s possible it wasn’t nearly anything that exciting.
So this past weekend was the magical weekend of the year that Gulley and I spend the entire weekend both child and husband-free while we complete all our Christmas shopping and wrap all our presents and drink one or four bottles of wine. It is always one of my favorite weekends of the year and I’m so glad that we established this tradition over twenty years ago. Even while I’m baffled that two twenty-year-old college girls who actually once basically hitchhiked to Oklahoma (true story) had the foresight and wisdom to come up with such a brilliant idea.
The only real problem with the whole thing is we need to come up with a way to stretch it to three days of shopping instead of just two. Not that two days isn’t enough time to get our Christmas shopping done. It just doesn’t allow enough time to try on multiple pairs of Frye boots in Nordstrom for reasons that have nothing to do with Christmas and the spirit of giving.
We began our shopping weekend ‘o fun at 9:30 Friday morning when I picked Gulley up from her house. After a quick stop at Starbucks for caffeine nourishment, we drove straight out to The Shops at La Cantera because we actually employ a strategy and we figured it would be a zoo on Saturday so we should finish our bisness (I really meant to type “business” but I accidentally typed “bisness” and so I’m keeping it. Like we were two gangsta shoppers finishing our bizness because we are just that hip and cool.) there on Friday.
(Actually I just remembered our first stop was Hobby Lobby. I should remember this because it’s where I started to gripe to Gulley about all the logistics of Caroline’s third grade class party and might have been stressing out about the chocolate fountain when Gulley looked at me and said, “I think you need to hashtag this conversation #FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS”. And then we laughed until we cried because what elementary school party has a chocolate fountain? Except for my daughter’s?)
Technically our first stop should have been Toys ‘R Us but we were mistakenly under the impression that we would be able to avoid Toys ‘R Us entirely this year and so we made a strategic error. Sadly, it was around 5:00 p.m. on Friday when we realized that, YES VIRGINIA, we would have to go to the place that makes Santa want to die, but acknowledged that neither of us could handle it on a Friday night and decided to save it for first thing Saturday morning.
But we managed to find several gifts at La Cantera and TJ Maxx Homegoods. Then we ventured to Target for a few things and ended up at Cost Plus World Market in search of various odds and ends.
Finally, we made a quick stop by my house to unload our packages and then treated ourselves to a delicious Italian dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. Then we came home, watched five episodes of Friends and went to sleep.
First thing Saturday morning turned out to be 11:00 by the time we woke up and got dressed, but what’s the point of having an empty house with no kids if you don’t sleep late and enjoy it? Gulley also asked me if I would use the You Curl on her hair so she could see if she might want one for Christmas.
And so I You Curled. And I’m here to tell you that Gulley had to fight a stronghold of hair pride the rest of the day. She said she hadn’t liked her hair this much since the night of her Junior Prom in 1989. I can only imagine how much she would have loved herself if she’d been able to wear that same peach lame’ dress with shoes dyed to match.
But I do have to say her hair pride was warranted because it POURED DOWN RAIN all day Saturday and her hair was still standing strong when we got back to the house that night.
It was like a hair miracle. Like the fishes and loaves that fed the multitudes but with hair and styling spray.
By the time we got home on Saturday night we were soaked from the rain, exhausted, and cold. But we rebounded after I got a fire going in the fireplace (SHOUT OUT TO LIGHTER FLUID) and put on our pajamas. That’s when the wrapping party began.
Each of us has a pile of presents that need to be wrapped and evaluated and sorted. Then we eat some cheese and crackers and possibly some chocolate chip cookie dough and get to wrapping while we watch girl movies. We started with When Harry Met Sally which led to a hilarious conversation about our worst dates ever. Sadly, I cannot share all that information here but sufficed to say that I once set Gulley up with a guy who didn’t order any food at dinner because he was “on a diet” and then proceeded to eat her entire plate of cheese enchiladas when they arrived.
There was also a time we went on a double date in college with two guys that had us drive out to their “house” that turned out to be a single-wide trailer surrounded by so many random dogs that I finally just stopped my car in the middle of the road for fear of running one of them over. The dogs, not the dates. Just wanted to clarify.
Needless to say, it didn’t work out for us. But we did end up having a nice night at the Bellville County Fair where our dates bought us each our own turkey leg.
And speaking of single-wide trailers, we watched Urban Cowboy next. We both admitted there was a time we dreamed of having our wedding receptions at Gilley’s and dancing to “Can I Have This Dance?” while wearing white cowboy boots and maybe remarking “Mama, my legs are sweatin’.”
Of course I don’t know what’s more disturbing. That we ever dreamed of those things or that we both saw the movie while we were still in elementary school?
But like Gulley said, “It was a different time back then.” Yes. A time when someone cast John Travolta to play a cowboy.
We stayed up until around 2:00 a.m., but finally every present was wrapped (except for the two I forgot about until the next day) and we went to bed. On Sunday morning we faced the sad realization that another Christmas shopping weekend had come and gone all too soon.
But on the bright side, Gulley’s hair was still curled.
And that’s more than Sissy could say by the end of her wedding reception at Gilley’s.