Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Robert Goulet, Stolen Barbie Dresses and Tinfoil Boots

I love Christmas. Almost obsessively. At least, I have for most of my life. When I was a kid, the moment October was upon us (usually before Halloween, even) I pulled out my mother’s Robert Goulet Christmas album and started to play it. Repeatedly. Loudly. And I sang along. Honestly, my mother either drank heavily through my childhood or the woman should be sainted. I think I lean toward the latter. Anyway, to this day nothing says Christmas to me like hearing Robert Goulet’s dulcet tones belting out Ave Maria. To the point that I blogged about it once upon a time and Alison Tyler hunted down the album and had it sent to me. It was shipped in a pizza box of all things.

So, that is one thing that Christmas time means to me. Nostalgia.

Then there was the year that Santa brought me a replacement Barbie negligee (that is right it was a freaking black and yellow Barbie negligee that I had picked out at the toy store, and if we’re honest about that little bit of doll clothing, the damn thing should have come with a whip. But I digress…) because a girl who had been my friend had come to play at my house and made off with my favorite Barbie ensemble. She stole it! That cow.

I was devastated—I don’t know if it was more that my outfit was gone or that a girl I liked and wanted to be friends with had sticky fingers. Either way, in the midst of a mountain of wrapped gifts that Christmas was this present marked to me from THE COW (it actually said her name. Which I won’t say. It was Laura, okay. There. I said it.). And I thought: what? What is this??? But Santa had brought me a replacement of that slutty little—I mean slinky little Barbie nightgown on that girl’s behalf. Santa rocked (and he should also be sainted and possibly looks a bit like my mother maybe).

So, that is another thing Christmas time means to me. Righting wrongs.

And finally, there was the year I had candy cane striped footy pajamas. For some reason I was damn near obsessed with those things. I never wanted to take them off even though since they were footy pajamas it meant every time you had to go to the bathroom you had to damn hear disrobe. So I decided it would be very, very clever to dress as a tin soldier. I would wear the striped footy pajamas and cover my legs in tinfoil from knee to toe (to simulate boots) and put rosy red dots on my cheeks (courtesy of a chunky Avon blush stick). Then I marched around the house. Repeatedly. To the point where, looking back, I would have snapped and tied one of my children to a chair. But my mother never batted an eyelash. Even when I slid down the steps (not on purpose).

Seriously, it was the seventies. Maybe my mom was on drugs…

Anyway, that is another thing that Christmas time means to me. The freedom to be joyous and strange and maybe a little bit silly.

And I think I represented most of that in my little novella Pretty in Pink. I sure hope I did. I wanted it to show off all the good and crazy and odd and endearing stuff that comes with Christmas, family, friendship and love.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go find my Robert Goulet album. October will be here before I know it!




Bekki Lynn said...

Too funny! Thanks for the morning laughter. It's a great way to start the day.

Cheryl Pierson said...

ROBERT GOULET!!! I LOVED HIM!!! Did you ever listen to John Gary? He did a lot of stuff that sounded like Robert Goulet. The album I remember most from my childhood Christmases were the ones that Firestone put out--they were promotional and had different artists (ROBERT GOULET INCLUDED) such as Julie Andrews, Mahalia Jackson, Bing Crosby, etc. singing one song. Every year they put out a new one. I have to say, I bought my kids those candy cane striped footie pjs to match. They had Rudolph on the front. They didn't want to ever take them off. Great memories. Oh, I'm older than you, I grew up in the 60's, but my dad had an 8 mm movie camera that we had to endure every Christmas morning, complete with the light bar. LOL Great post.

Celia Yeary said...

SOMMER--what a delightful post. I loved reading about the things you remember about Christmas. Thanks for the chuckles...Celia

shadow_kohler said...

lol Great post! I loved it! I loved reading about your christmas memories! Thanks for sharing!

Savanna Kougar said...

"Anyway, that is another thing that Christmas time means to me. The freedom to be joyous and strange and maybe a little bit silly."

That's exactly what made me extra fond of Christmas time. And I so remember Robert Goulet singing Ava Maria... gee, I missed that Barbie regalia... but, being older, I didn't miss the white go go boots.

Sommer Marsden said...

Hi all, thanks for your great comments. I giggled through this whole post and even sent it to my mom. So thanks for saying hi :)


Teresa K. said...

Summer what a wonderful memory. Thanks for reminding me of Robert Goulet. My Christmas album was Elvis. Noting said Christmas in our house with out Elvis singing Silent Night.

P.S. How dare that Cow steal your Barbie doll outfit.

Teresa K.