If I have said this once over the past five days then I've said it 22,067 times. Oh! Hold on! Dad just farted as he opened the back door to let out the dog. He thinks that means we haven't heard. 22,068.
I was absolutely, categorically, 100% intending to have the month of December sort of trickle off into a quiet Christmas, proudly without angst or worry about the apparent lack of direction I currently seem to have in my life AT ALL.
I've had no deadlines and no obligations to end the year, not really, and so I was absolutely, categorically, 100% going to buckle down, stay out of the cold, and try and get a head start on 2011.
I was absolutely, categorically, 100% not just going to lay in bed and rent movies from iTunes (IT'S JUST TOO EASY) and I was absolutely, categorically, 100% not just going to piss off to mum and dad's and start the Christmas holiday ten days early.
But you see, The House of Pastelle just got so quiet. And it has been so cold. And Dad might have mentioned after my last visit home that what with actually only living half an hour away and fixing plans to move back to America quite soon, I might want to think about coming home more now. You know. Whilst I can. I don't think he expected to find me kerb-side two days later with four suitcases, my slippers, and dirty laundry.
What's the betting I get a plane ticket from Santa?
So I've been hanging Chez Williams for nearly a week already and boy-oh-boy, has something hit me slap-bang in the face. NEWSFLASH. We fart a lot. And then laugh.
Mum often trumps and then looks surprised. Dad does it as he walks, to keep the air moving. The dog lets it build up for hours and gasses us slowly. I'm loud, proud, and entirely unapologetic. My brother just goes to the loo.
My American friend Chelsea (She's American. Of course she is called Chelsea.) is coming to spend Christmas with us. I met her when I was in Detroit earlier this year and she is studying here in the YUK with no family to call her own over the holidays. So she gets mine for four days.
I hope she sees the funny side.
And doesn't inhale.
Texting me today she asked, "Is there anything I need to bring?" I had already briefed her on the itinerary of the break- Christmas Eve lunch at a cosy pub, locking ourselves in the house for 24 hours thereafter, possible baking of mince-pies, lots of soap operas, most definitely some in-family bickering, selection boxes for breakfast, and a Boxing Day walk somewhere pretty where we let our thighs rub together to keep warm.
"A walk?" she had asked me.
"Yes, a walk," I had replied, "so bring some sensible shoes."
"What? No pumps?" she had said.
"No, no pumps," I had replied.
"What about these?" she asked, pointing to her heeled boots.
"Urm, not really what I had in mind," I replied.
"Oh" she said.
"Just... don't worry." I decided. "We'll find you something."
So when she texted finalising the arrangements I thought long and hard about if she should bring anything. I went with, "Yeah- a sense of humour. Farting and toilet jokes come as standard here."
She replied with that horrendous, "LOL" and I thought to myself, "Hmmmm. Perhaps she won't be so much laughing out loud as out-and-out choking." I hope we don't ruin her illusion of how we refined English celebrate en famille.
Or even worse: join in.
(And before I go- Merry Christmas, Internet! May all your holiday wishes come true and remain scentless. Ho, ho, ho.)