Are you ready to rumble?

“Are you ready for Christmas?” they ask me. No, I’m not hiding the fact that I’m converting to Judaism, but I am not buying billboard space either. “Are you ready for Christmas?” is replacing “Hello.”

I always say “No.” How can you be, even if you do celebrate the day? The fluffy women’s magazines are chock full of articles, written and photographed during last year’s holiday season, detailing how “ordinary families” like ours, supposedly, celebrate the season, if we have done all we should do.

I know that they do these things in advance because one of those magazines — which one, I forget… I mean, they’re all the same, right? — did one of the big layouts many years ago on the family of some friends of ours. He’d told Buck, just before we were married, not to anticipate the wedding night too much because it wasn’t all that great. Yeah, love you too, guy.

So of course, shortly after that article came out, he and his wife divorced — turns out he’s gay. Wife came home early from a trip once to find a full-scale orgy going on in her house, and that’s all she wrote, as they say. He went on to become the (slightly aging) boy-toy of some closeted millionaire somewhere. He’s sort of on the outs now because his only real job was from his ex-wife’s dad, and he has no talents of his own, he’s a bit too old to be a boy-toy anymore, and he has no money to get a boy-toy of his own with.

I saw his ex-wife a few months ago, with a cousin of mine at a bar, celebrating her (my cousin’s) birthday. I wished her many more, etc. They were both tossing back the beers in a practiced way.

So, are you ready for Christmas?