It’s one of those moments that makes me feel like an absolute dork. It happened at the Thanksgiving table last week when I was jabbering on about something and trying to sound wise and grandiose when a tiny bit of the deviled egg I had just eaten shot out of my mouth like an ICBM. Where it landed, I couldn’t say, but trying to be nonchalant, I think I said something like, “oops.”

I’ve been replaying that incident in my mind ever since then and hoping no one noticed, but whatever the case it can’t be unseen, and it totally negates the suave demeanor I ineptly strived for. No Cary Grant here, for sure.

But really, it comes down to another one of those embarrassing public boo-boos that just happen. And ultimately make us more human, like walking into a room and forgetting the reason you did. Or actually forgetting the point you were trying to make after getting sidetracked by making some anecdotal comment.

Who can say none of these foibles haven’t happened to them?

  • Waving back at someone who was waving at someone behind you.
  • Pulling on a door that says push in big letters.
  • Talking about someone and finding out they’re standing right behind you.
  • Getting caught peeking into someone’s shopping basket.
  • Getting hiccups during a serious meeting, or worse, a funeral.
  • Pretending not to see someone at the store because you don’t have time to chat.
  • Calling your child by your other child’s name, or brother’s name, or sister’s name.
  • Talking with your pet as if it were a real person.

And one more. Having a conversation about something and wanting to relate it with a movie but forgetting both the name of the movie and the star of the movie. “You know. That guy,” you say. “He’s the one that was also in that other movie that was so good. You know who I’m talking about…”

When the topic of the conversation has changed, you suddenly blurt out the name you blanked out on.

Sometimes I think, “Man, I am getting old…” or, “I’m having a senior moment.” Yes, that may be true, and if that’s the case, I think I was having senior moments even when I was a little kid. I mean, back then I could remember everything, whether it happened or not.

Hey, I don’t mind growing older, it’s just that I never know at what point I will be “old.”

Christmas shopping, however, is one thing that never gets old, and I’m fighting off the temptation to do it all from the comfort of my couch and laptop. Gone are the days of thumbing through the Sears-Roebuck catalog and picking out things that fit into the Christmas budget.

I remember reading an article a couple of years ago in the Wall Street Journal about how Sears has closed a lot of its stores, portending the end of an era. But they used to not have actual stores. Way before the internet and eBay and what-have-you, Sears Roebuck was, in a way, similar to what online shopping is today; you might say the Amazon of the 20th century. Its catalogs were mailed far and wide, so people living in the middle of nowhere could order anything without ever having to walk into a store, even automobiles and DIY houses.

But just as importantly, those catalogs could be recycled. They were extremely useful in that little brown shack out back, as folk singer Billy Edd Wheeler put it:

“Where I would sit me down to rest, like a snowbird on his nest

And I’d read that Sears Roebuck catalog.”

Maybe I’m wrong, but you haven’t lived the American experience until you’ve gone through that wooden door with the crescent moon. In the wintertime. At night.

Sorry, I was reminiscing again.

The wreaths and holly and lights decorate the poles along California Street, and the plaza is all decked out in festive finery. The Electric Light Parade will light up the darkness on Saturday night and there will be a fine seasonal celebration around the plaza, with luminarias galore.

It’s December and life is good. Christmas is a-comin’, the proverbial geese are getting fat, the winter solstice is just around the corner, and before you know it, spring will be here.

Well, sure, there’s that winter thing to shiver through first. If you’ve got a good stack of split firewood near the back door, you’ll be alright—if, as Merle Haggard sings, “we can make it through December.”

It’s 2022 and holiday spirits ensue in this modern world.