THE SONIC BOOMER
The other day I stepped outside and had my hair tousled by a bit of a breeze.
“Hark!” I said to myself (“hark” being a word I use quite a bit in daily conversation). “Is this not a harbinger of fall?” (“Harbinger” — another staple of my vast vocabularic repertoire. “Vocabularic” — well, enough of this.)
And it was true. Carried on the wings of September was the subtle nuance of a gust.
I live all year for this. In fact, any meteorological disruption that promises air flow to Florida has me all atwitter.
I like the state, don’t get me wrong. I just like it so much better when the air starts to move, and, as you know, that rules out May, June, July, August and most of September. One year it also ruled out October and I had nearly suffocated by the time November rolled around.
Actually, I don’t understand it, because if you go down to the ocean, there’s always a breeze. I mean, something is pushing those waves around. The air just seems to die down by the time it gets to land. It’s Mother Nature’s way of thumbing her nose at us transplants. “You want air? Then go back from whence you came!” (Mother Nature and I evidently speak the same colloquial language.)
But, as I was saying, this week my hair got tousled, and I was immediately sent into a reverie of expectation. Fall!
For the uninformed, here’s what’s good about fall — Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. For me, that’s it in a nutshell. The rest of the year, the Earth can go rotate itself. I live for the end-of-year holidays.
Of course, the publishing industry plays right into my hands with this. No matter how bleak the rest of the year was (with articles about scaling back and making do), fall pages bring a bombardment of over-the-top costumes, more-is-more decorations, life-threateningly rich epicurean delights and gifts, gifts, gifts.
And, no, I cannot afford to buy everything I see. But that does not mean I don’t want to see it. In my mind, it is perfectly reasonable to assume that I will be able to recreate everything I’ve seen in magazines and at the mall for my own family.
If my Halloween costume is made entirely from coffee filters, it’s not because I’m broke, it’s because Martha Stewart said I could.
If I’m setting the Thanksgiving table using mismatched jelly jars instead of goblets, it’s not because crystal was out of my price range; it’s because I’ve chosen to go “kitsch” this year.
If everyone’s Christmas gift had its roots in a Walmart bag, it’s not because I’ve had it on their layaway plan since June, it’s because Walmart has “something for everyone.”
And I am blessed to be surrounded with people who think that coffee filters, jelly jars and battery-operated snowmen from Walmart are just fine for the holidays. Put them together with enough food for a small army and some chilled alcohol, and you’ve got a party whether the piñata is leaking cheap candy or not.
So take a deep breath, let the wind blow through your hair and get ready — the holidays are on their way.