Sunday, June 13, 2021

Life & Style

A Long Winter’s Nap

Sometimes your body and your schedule end up at odds. Spoiler alert: The body always wins.

I’m sitting in a car with my sister-in-law, niece, and nephew. There’s a long snake of red lights in front of us.

“Wow, what is going on?” my niece asks from the back seat.

“Maybe an accident? I have no idea,” I say.

We’re all hoping it’s not an accident. It’s the Friday after Thanksgiving, but it’s late. Too late for Black Friday warrior shoppers out looking for a bargain.

Or is it?

On the good side, it turns out that there is no accident. On the bad side, it turns out that the line of cars is headed to the same stores we want to visit. It’s too late to get out of the middle of the snake’s belly, so we creep along with everyone else. When we finally get to the parking lot the spaces are all full. By an early Yuletide miracle, one empties on our second circle around the lot. My sister-in-law punches the gas, turns the wheel, and gets it almost before the rest of us have seen that it’s open.

There’s only one store we need to go into, so we know this trek will be relatively painless. Still, we have a tough time getting there. We’re like salmon battling upstream through the rapids as we head the opposite way everyone else is going.

“Dear God, it’s a shop-pocalypse!” my nephew cries. We all get in on the joke.

“Women and wallets first!”

“Oh, the humanity!”

As we walk by store windows we can see that merchandise is strewn about everywhere. It’s a tossed salad of items, nothing is where it should be, and the clerks look rumpled and weary. Who can blame them? In the store where my nephew needs to go it’s a line-pocalypse. He eventually gets what he wants. We then trek home to dinner, exhausted.

This is pretty much how the entire holiday season goes. Shop-pocalypse morphs into general holiday-pocalypse. Time speeds along like a runaway mare and there are far too many things to do. In the middle of it all, I get a migraine the likes of which I haven’t suffered in years. Getting a migraine is never good. The one thing that’s positive is that it occurs after I’ve had The Week of Parties and before I have The Week of Relatives. Holiday timing is everything.

I let work know that I’m felled like a Frasier fir and take to my bed. Later, as my stomach rumbles despite the nausea, I get up to gather some food. My physical state is more applicable to Halloween time than Christmas time. I am a vampire, blocking out the sun with my arm, bumbling into walls because avoiding the sun is preferable than having a clear view of where I’m going.

I attempt to watch A Christmas Carol and make it through only one ghost before, well, giving up the ghost. Christmas Present and Christmas Future will have to wait for another day.

My Hallmark Movie Fantasy of a Christmas season did not include a migraine. Nor did it include the flat tire I got at 9:30 p.m. one night when it was a mere 22 degrees out. The season has been anything but ideal. However, as I nestle into my blankets and close my eyes, I can’t help but think that a little hibernation mid-craziness isn’t the worst thing in the world. I’m ready for a long winter’s nap. This wasn’t what I’d planned, but, searing head pain or not, it still feels kind of good.

My blankets are lovely. Deep and dark like a primeval forest. I pull them up over my head and exhale. I have no obligations, nowhere to be before I slip into sleep.

If only I could stay here until spring.

Juliana Gribbins is a writer who believes that absurdity is the spice of life. Her book Date Expectations is winner of the 2017 Independent Press Awards, Humor Category and winner of the 2016 IPPY silver medal for humor. Write to her at Read more of her columns at

Juliana Gribbins is the Columnist for Zip06. Email Juliana at .

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