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Location: Northern California

Read all about the adventures of the Tsao Family during the summer of 2012

Thursday, December 15, 2005


The Rhyme of the Perfectionist Housewife

It starts in November, an innocent thought
Last year's pain all forgotten, what Christmas cards wrought
It's my biggest project, the one I do best
It's my chance to reveal what goes on in my nest

New clothes are chosen for me and the kids
Nothing new for the husband (He'd rather be dead)
I spend agonizing moments at ponder in the store
An eternity later I purchase my score

Which day shall we ruin? Which friend shall we pain?
We don't pay for professional photographers, nay
Which corner of our house looks appropriately merry?
Which couch is the cleanest and doesn't look scary?

I lay out on the bed what I want us to wear
I worry about clothes and makeup and hair
I know that my kids will look good wearing bags
It's me that I don't want to look like a hag

We set up the shot, this shouldn't be too hard
I sit up straighter and shout out loud
C'mon, everybody, remember your places!
Wipe the tears from your eyes and put smiles on your faces!

But why don't these kids understand what to do?
Why won't they smile? Why did Emily poo?
Don't look at the kids, I hiss to my husband
Just be glad we only have two not a dozen

Finally we think we may have the one
Emily Rose has had it, she's definitely done
But Thomas--my baby!--my cute little guy
Looks dazed and confused, rather stunned. Oh my!

But there's no time to try to get all four to smile
After eight-three takes I begin to taste bile
I declare that we're done, we're finished, it's great!
I decide that another would be to tempt fate

We choose the pic that shows off our best
Getting out the red eye puts our skills to the test
But once it's done I'm glad that we did it
I surf to Shutterfly and order over one hundred

After the photo the rest seems so easy
Until the cards with the photo make my stomach all queasy
It's back to the store that I race with my money
How much I shell out is not very funny

But it no longer matters, the cost to my purse
I've come this far and I've an ego to nurse
I find the cards that do the photo justice
My husband knows better than to ask what the fuss is

Now to the hard part that takes me all night
Lots of patience and wine, I think I'll drink white
I make out a list and check it twice
I address all the cards, don't they look nice?

After working for hours I start to get dizzy
My tongue tastes like glue and my eyelids feel fuzzy
But I continue to work, my time's not my own
These cards must leave both this house and this town

To the 100th envelope, I give my last lick
Swearing that next year this habit I'll kick
But come December I know the lure will be strong
And back here I'll be, up all the night long

With the cards in the mail I'm not feeling wild
It feels like I've just given birth to a child
But I know that my hard work has not been in vain
For the cards will bring joy and it seems I'm still sane