Then it arrived.
On January 15, in a red, holly-trimmed envelope, we got what is annually The Most Annoying Christmas Letter Sent By The Most Annoying Family We Know. I'd been wondering where it was, since every year I look forward to making fun of TMAFWK and their horrifyingly posed photo and the wife's grammar-massacring prose. This year's offering did not disappoint.
Guess why it was so late? Because TMAFWK spent their Christmas on a cruise ship, sailing to a tropical locale that was "like a dreaming." The photo included the whole family in matching swimwear, showing off some pretty scary Midwestern-white skin and featuring the wife's newly tightened face and, if I'm not mistaken, newly enhanced breasts.
Good news. The kids are still perfect geniuses, the husband's job is going great (five extravagant vacations this year!), and the wife is "filling her days with children and managing the dally lives of their sports achievements and schoolwork!!!" (you can't make stuff like that up)
Seven poorly written paragraphs that are sure to set your teeth on edge, ended with the inevitable "Love! The Smith's."
What's with the excessive use of exclamation points? And people, will you stop with the unnecessary apostrophes? Sheesh.
Which brings us to the Skoog Annual Christmas Letter, a direct response to those chirpy TMI, OMG-Isn't-Our-Life-Great missives that make actual normal people want to barf. Is ours perfect? Nope. But, well, it kind of sums up what our particular family is all about.
Here is our 2013 edition:
|The smart, cute, and well-behaved Skoog children.|
After a pathetic showing last year (writing the letter on a laptop on our way home from Christmas dinner), we’re excited that this might actually get to you all before actual Christmas. But what are we doing, taking up valuable time like this? Let’s get to the news!
· 19 years old, a freshman at Gonzaga University
· Ended a superlative high school debate career and was actually recruited by several universities (no! seriously! we’re not kidding!), including Michigan State and Mary Washington, but ended up choosing Gonzaga because of its coaches, philosophy department, and because it’s included on the list of 28 mom-approved schools.
· Shortly after arriving on campus, ducked into McCarthey Athletic Center to avoid the white stuff falling out of the sky (he later learned it’s called “snow”), and accidentally joined a shoot-around with the men’s basketball team. After Joe hit seven straight threes, Coach Mark Few instantly offered him a scholarship. Joe’s initial “no thanks” to Coach Few has evolved, over the past few months, from “Please, I need to get to class,” into “What are you doing in my room?” Apparently the poor guy doesn’t take rejection well—but he seemed to take the restraining order OK.
· 21 years old, a senior at Marquette University
· Was accepted into MU’s Physician Assistant Program and is currently in the first year of her master’s degree studies. She was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa in the spring and is currently the facilities manager at McCabe Hall.
· Inadvertently caused the government shutdown earlier this year when a high-level government worker found and plugged in the website she developed in her high school HTML class and launched it as healthcare.gov. After several panicked phone calls from Kathleen Sebilius’ office, Catharine was able to use her excessive amounts of spare time (freed up when she ended her urban farming venture) to completely redo the website while, at the very same time, brokering a compromise with members of Congress and getting the government back up and running.
· 7 years old, a cocker spaniel
· During a summer visit to the vet, we learned that Lady has become a much sweeter, calmer dog, making her the first member of the family to actually become less dysfunctional during her time as a Skoog.
· Because of her obvious intelligence and copious amounts of free time, she was tapped by Amazon to be one of their first drone test pilots.Initial results seemed promising, until it came to light that deliveries were being delayed because the drones were constantly dive bombing unsuspecting bunnies. Apparently it’s all fun and games until PETA gets involved.
· Vice president of marketing at JDA Software.
· Is splitting his time between Scottsdale and Chicago, where he has been hired as Derek Rose’s personal trainer and rehab supervisor due to the storied success he enjoyed after his own meniscus repair. His job has just gotten more complicated with the addition of a new client, a young and extremely demanding man named Kanye, who is determined to have a better meniscus tear/rehab than anyone else’s and is really putting Mark through his paces.
· Recently left my job and am now devoting myself full time to my art (mark my words—the previously undiscovered beauty of doorknob decoupage is about to sweep the nation) and resuming my freelance career.
· Thanks to a flaw in the facial recognition software of onlyfarmers.com, I’ve spent a good deal of my time these days trying to answer emails/inquiries for someone named Marge from Wahoo, Nebraska, who apparently is looking for a sturdy man who can help her move pivots, tend the cattle, and whose interests include animal husbandry, aquifer conservation, hand harvesting, and beet canning. I’m just sending along the messages, but if I was Marge I’d go for Dewayne, who looked downright sexy in his (obviously) new overalls and seemed sincere when he wrote about his love for calving.
In other news:
· We moved Mark’s mom, Jeanne, down here in April. She’s living in Belmont Village, an assisted living facility about a quarter mile from our house, and she seems to be adjusting well.
· Catharine will graduate from Marquette on May 18. Anyone who’s up for a trip to Milwaukee is more than welcome. Just a warning, though: there might actually be some beer consumed.