(Not) Equally Sharing the Holiday Cards
Sometimes, it's good to share with you when we don't do so well with ESP, right? Our Christmas cards fit this category. We always start out in good spirits, with a discussion about whether we want to send any this year. Yes, we did. Then, we move on to picking them out - usually photocards of the kids. Picture selected, cards ordered (we even did this step together this year, sitting side-by-side at the computer). Then, the little box arrives and the hard part begins.
I buy stamps because, well, I happen to find myself at the post office. I make a list of names because I'm a list person. Then, at least this year, we assign Marc to take it from there while I handle other holiday prep tasks. Then, I wait. Nothing happens - no labels, no writing, no licking and sticking. Nothing except T finding the box and spewing the cards all over the kitchen floor.
I grow restless. I do something I tell all of you not to do - I complain that he isn't doing the cards. He looks innocently at me and says, "But I thought we had enough to do this year, so we had decided to skip doing them." Hmmm.... This doesn't compute in my brain. I clarify, he mutters something I'm not sure means he'll do anything, and I wait a bit more. Then, in a flurry, I print the labels, paste everything on, stuff the cards and write little notes on the ones I feel need little notes, and mail them. Well, I mail most of them, and then Marc volunteers to drop the rest in the mailbox on his way to work the next day - and he forgets - so I mail the rest the following day after glaring at him.
There. Don't I feel good.
No, not really. Even though the task can now be neatly checked off, I did it all - which would be fine except our plan was for Marc to do this chore himself. Why did I take over? Why did Marc stall, forget, abandon the project? He's no slacker; he's been working hard at all sorts of other things. But somehow, this project still reeked of my control. And somehow, Marc didn't own this task - even to the point of remembering to put a batch of completed cards in the mail. I know what Marc would say; he would point out that I sapped the fun out of the whole thing, and made it clear that I was supervising him - two reasons he couldn't get all that excited about doing his part. He would be right.
Unlike most of my stories, I don't have a punch line. ESP isn't perfectly executed everyday. Tomorrow is another day, and next year is another year we'll face the Christmas card dilemma.
Perhaps I will do so with more grace.
And if you happen to get a card from us this year...please know that we picked them out together with the best of intentions and love. Really.