35: All I Want for Christmas is A Hat of Beef (to the tune of "All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teef")

I’ve always made Christmas lists. When I was younger, I would present a list to my parents every year, in time for them to do the shopping for whatever it was that my heart desired. They would then set fire to it and use it to light their cigarettes and katol (Filipino rings of incense meant to repel insects). Seriously, though, it’s like they would take the list, study it, then get me nothing that vaguely resembled what I wanted. My grandparents are guilty of this as well. They bought me a fuschia polyester blouse every Christmas when I was in high school. I don’t think I would have minded it so much if I had gotten them now — we are in the midst of an 80s revival, after all.

Jacinda complained yesterday that I hadn’t sent my list out yet and anyway, there was no way that I could realistically expect to get a fur house or a diamond skillet (refer to nftff no. 27, “And then there’s the ho”). I think she’s wrong — it would be so awesome if the 50 of you who get this little letter all banded together and actually got me a diamond skillet. Or at the very least a diamond funnel. It can’t be totally impossible. But how can you all band together and chip in for my Christmas present if you don’t know who else is on this list?

You may wonder why I don’t show the complete list of nftff recipients in the “To” field above. Or maybe you don’t. In any case, I don’t because some of you may choose to retain your anonymity for various reasons. Also, some people that I’ve sent group e-mails to in the past will abuse that honor and send boring e-mails about their own shit to my friends. Hmm. Like you all don’t know who I’m talking about. If not, ask me and I will dish like the bitch that I am.

But back to the list. I used to ask for practical things like wool socks and fleece-lined underpants. My parents didn’t have a lot of money so I knew that if I needed something like new glasses or vaccinations, Christmas was the time to ask. I’d usually get it with a stern warning about not breaking or wasting the gift. I could make a pair of glasses last for *years* like this. This may explain why I’m such a pack rat — I’m afraid that if I throw out that 2″ long phone cord, I’ll find a use for it only after it’s gone. And I can’t bear the idea of going to Home Depot and buying the same item, no matter how inexpensive it may be. It’s the idea of that wasted potential that just gets me.

The excitement of new glasses or orthopedic shoes always seemed to die down when I got back to school, especially since a lot of my classmates were materialistic albeit in a really passive-aggressive sort of way. My question of “So, get anything good for Christmas?” was typically met with a blase response like “Nothing special — cashmere sweaters in every color of the rainbow. New saddles for each of my Clydesdales. Some totally ugly boots that I’m going to need when my family goes backpacking in the Swiss Alps next year. Oh, and a Tiffany bean necklace.” Does a 14-year old girl really need a Vespa? I didn’t think so, either. For crying out loud, some of my posher classmates weren’t allowed to ride the subway until they were 18. I’ve since gotten over those feelings of inferiority — or at least, I think I have — but I’m still a bit of a label whore. Nadine got me a Tiffany key chain last year, and it rocks.

But now that I’m something of a grown-up with a proper job and can buy my own wool socks, I tend to be a bit more frivolous about what I ask for. But that doesn’t stop my parents from sending me the odd package full of tube socks, Infant of Prague figurines for the dashboard of my non-existent car (maybe I can just stick them on the North Avenue bus), and chewing gum. They never take me seriously when I tell them that I want a wig and matching purse from one of the many klassy boutiques on 14th Street.

*Jasmine’s 2000 Christmas List*

1. “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” — no, not the Beatles album but the Bee Gees/Peter Frampton movie. My parents own this on beta. It was one of my favorite movies as a child. I would like it in VHS format.

2. more episodes of “Degrassi Junior High” and/or “Degrassi High” on VHS. I have vol. 1 of the box set for each series, and I need more, especially the episode where Lucy & Voula get busted for shoplifting some really ugly tops. Or the one where Shane (father of Spike’s baby) takes LSD at a rock concert and loses his mind.

3. “Secret Love” — not to be confused with “Endless Love” the Brooke Shields vehicle about teen love in early 80’s Hyde Park. “Secret Love” is, like, the ultimate Doris Day box set. I love Doris Day, especially in “Pillow Talk” and “Send Me No Flowers”.

4. a carabao — the ultimate Filipino pet?; my lease doesn’t specifically exclude ’em, so I should be able to keep one in my apartment without any trouble. I guess a rooster would work, too, but they’re not as cuddly as water buffalo

5. a hat made of meat — see link below. Edible garments are the wave of the future, and would be a blessing for nudists. They could travel to their nudist camp in style, then eat their clothing once they arrived.

6. cashmere underwear — to go with my cashmere socks. Cashmere socks are great. I bought mine at Banana Republic last year, and it was the best $10 I spent in the month of January. I wear them around the house like slippers.

7. Dean Winters — plays Glenn O’ Reilly, my favorite crazy inmate on “Oz”; his character fell in love with the prison doctor, had her husband killed, and got breast cancer (thought not necessarily in that order) — despite this, or because of this, he is super-foxy. He’s in the current issue of Nerve magazine.

8. Hello Kitty cordless phone — it’s pink, has caller ID — what more could a girl want?

9. those high-heeled Lucite heels that hookers and Playboy playmates wear — not to wear, but I figure they’d make really cool bookends

10. a partridge in a pear tree — I like partridges. I like pears. It’s as simple as that.

I watched “A Charlie Brown Christmas” last night and came to a stunning realization about my non-existent love life: I am Lucy. Every guy I’ve ever liked is Schroeder. I was always hanging around and begging for attention from someone who couldn’t be torn away from their toy piano or their homework or their science experiment. It could be be me, but it’s more comforting to avoid the possibility that I’m not as great as I think I am. I was hoping this shit would stop once I graduated from college, but I’ve since been proven to be wrong. I am doomed. It probably doesn’t sound reliable to use a mere cartoon as a metaphor for life, but Charles Schulz was a lot deeper than most people give him credit for.

I know my brother is feeling this. Patrick, in his infinite wisdom, has just coined the term “dinner bitch”, which describes a guy who is always having dinner with his attractive female friends, at which time he is subjected to complaints about some other guy the girl is in love with. Patrick, you should start a student group at school. I think this could be the start of something really great. I feel your pain.

The office Christmas party is this Friday and I am, again, without a date. I suppose I can just glom onto some other unfortunate couple and spend the evening telling them drunken tales of my dating mishaps. And there is always plenty of jumbo shrimp at my company’s office parties so I have every confidence that, barring human companionship, I’ll have my shrimp and my cocktail sauce to protect me.



“Thank you for your two cents, but I’m afraid you’ve got some change coming back.”

Jim Turek


Foo Fighters – Everlong (live acoustic); Kinks – You Really Got Me (live); Neil Young – Old Man; AC/DC – Back in Black; Sophie B. Hawkins – Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover; Sheila E. – The Glamorous Life; Lord Tariq & Peter Gunz – Deja Vu (Uptown Baby); Craig Mack – Flava in Ya Ear; Beatles – Don’t Let Me Down; Red Hot Chili Peppers – Suck My Kiss




~ by Jasmine on December 12, 2000.

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