May You Get It All Just Right
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The Holidays are upon us, and again this year, The Urban Man wants to send a personal greeting out to all his listeners.
Whether you're huddled with your iPod, or driving down the freeway hard, please imagine these words printed on a really clever card: You know, with some nondenominational or even deconstructionist artwork only hinting at whatever seasonal imagery most appeals to your personal background: a glowing menorah or snowy church...yard.
Anyway, here goes:
Just this once, just this year, may you get it all just right:
May you enter many a warm house from many a cold night,
Offering just the proper gifts and greetings at the door.
I mean, surely, you deserve to pull that off, and more.
May you remember to ask about all the kids in school;
May you shout out a toast without making yourself a fool;
May you avoid politics with friend Dave, and G-d with brother John,
While completely and entirely avoiding Cousin Ron.
May you nod at all the proper moments, exit chit-chat before you tire, and find your way, at least once, close enough to warm your hands at a genuine wood fire — even if you live in, like, some hyper-modern space with a severely minimalist fireplace.
In fact why shouldn't everything this year come together like a dance? You know, as if by chance all your friends and relatives had lined up for the Macarena... I mean who could blame yah for wanting that, or imagining for a moment that everyone you knew teamed up to fund not just parties and gifts, but a sort of complete holiday musical, staged with the help of a bang-up Broadway director? (After all, some of your friends do work in the financial sector.)
Okay, this director may not get the whole cast he'd like for this musical — I mean he's pretty much stuck with the same contract players as last year — but suppose he nevertheless manages to work with them, while keeping in mind their limitations and following all those non-negotiable union rules: You know, like Aunt Emily making you drive out to Ontario airport at some ungodly hour, or Uncle Ted forgetting to take a shower.
Suppose this Director nevertheless and miraculously succeeds in producing, somehow and against all odds, a show lavish and harmonious and well-conceived — even though it's really just a December mash-up, a kind of Rockettes hash-up of all the strange plays you've played in during your confused and unplotted life — including old college buddies and your hostile ex-wife;
Only this time the show is so effectively staged and orchestrated and with such exquisite complications of candles and twinkly lights and turkeys and witty conversation and colored foil that the critics, driving home afterward, wowed by the many sights and sounds and the one or two extra big and really expensive numbers, along with the free intermission drinks and hors d'ouevres, each turns to their spouses on lonely freeways late at night and says, “Damn, but wasn't that good? Wasn't that done just the way it should? Wasn't every line said exactly as Will Smith or Meryl Streep would? And hey, did you notice how our hero gracefully opened that second cappuccino-maker as if he'd never seen such a thing before?”
You deserve such praise, and more:
Not just the tinsel and the gelt, but the liquor and décor—
Especially after all your years of practice and prep,
After learning how to execute every step...
No kidding, it's completely possible that just this once, just this year, the whole month might really come together, and you'll awake rested and relaxed on New Year's Day, placing a call home to say, in tones both carefree and bright,
“Hey mom, I finally got it all just right.”
Copyright © 2009. Marc Porter Zasada. All Rights Reserved.
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