When the Gingerbread House Crashes In
Divorce spawns many puns and parallels. Anyone who has been through it has experienced the jarring feeling when your house and your family and your world collapse, or someone burns it down or blows it up for you. There is nothing like the holidays to bring it all bubbling back up again. Switching custody on Christmas, one less stocking, far fewer presents, over imbibing and general Grinchiness. I have spent three years rebuilding my life, my home, and my world. It isn’t easy but I think I’m doing a pretty damned good job of not falling apart. I even made it through the holidays this year in one piece. The gingerbread house wasn’t so lucky.
My son and I attended a lovely holiday gingerbread house gathering a few days before Christmas. The Moms ate festive appetizers and chatted about holiday plans. The kids sat around a well-covered table armed with large piles of candy and enough icing/glue to spackle a sidewalk. My son, being the clever boy he is, made sure to hide all of his leftover candy inside the house, saving it for later. We left the party and headed home. I carefully kept one hand on the newly constructed still wet masterpiece on the center console of my car, protecting it with the same care I gave the gold fish bowl during its near-perilous transport last year. Less than a mile from home, in slow motion, the car in front of us just stopped. My son said it’s my fault for driving behind an old person, but that is aside from the point. As one would expect, as I hit the car, the candy residence was propelled at the dashboard and windshield, covering everything with red, green and white sweet cement – which by the way hardens very quickly. The gingerbread was still wet, so it managed to embed itself inside the air-conditioning vents and will forever blow crumbs all over me. The icing found its way into the CD player, glued the radio buttons in place, and seeped into the cigarette lighter/charger so that it smokes whenever I plug in my phone. The best part was the said secret stash of sweets. By saving all of the red hots, gum drops, M&Ms and other tiny pellets intended for decorating – the house essentially became a piñata which exploded candy bullets all through the car like a dirty bomb.
Once again, symbolism in its finest. So I did what I always do. I cleaned up the mess, consoled my son, embraced the fact that neither of us were hurt, and moved on with high hopes for a better 2014. Happy New Year my friends.