Since I am in the holiday spirit (and, having just consumed a mug of hot toddy, a glass of eggnog and a nip of cheer, the holiday spirits are in me), I have once again decided to follow in that great tradition of boring everyone silly by writing a Christmas letter.
That is why I am pleased as punch (which I also drank) to present the following chronicle of the Zezima family, which includes Jerry, the patriarch; Sue, the matriarch; Katie and Lauren, the childriarchs; and Katie’s husband, Dave, the son-in-lawiarch. Happy reading.
It sure has been an exciting 2008 for the Zezimas! The highlight of the year was Jerry and Sue’s 30th wedding anniversary, which the happy couple celebrated with a trip to Barbados, their first vacation alone, to a place with postcards and palm trees, since their honeymoon in Hawaii. Jerry almost ensured that there wouldn’t be a 31st anniversary when he took a surfing lesson. Instead of hanging 10, he couldn’t even hang one. In fact, he almost hanged himself on the tether that connected his foot to the surfboard, which caught a wave on its own and hit him in the head. Naturally, Jerry wasn’t hurt, but he was washed up.
Still, it was a memorable week that would have been even more memorable if it weren’t for all those tropical drinks. A candlelight dinner on the beach, only a few yards from Jerry’s surfing misadventure, brought the trip to a romantic (and, in Jerry’s case, gluttonous) conclusion.
Speaking of anniversaries, Jerry and Sue marked 10 years in their dream house, which gave Jerry nightmares when he tried to power wash it. Unfortunately, the rented power washer didn’t work, so Jerry had to return the stupid contraption, go back home, get a scrub brush and do the two-story Colonial by hand. It took three days. When he had finally finished, Jerry was cleaner than the house.
At least a tree didn’t fall on it, which is what happened to the house next door when a large oak in Jerry and Sue’s yard collapsed and landed on their neighbors’ garage. Nobody was hurt, thank God, who was to blame for the incident. But since God can’t be sued, insurance covered the damage.
Because Jerry took a vow of poverty when he went into journalism, the money got him thinking about a different career path, so he tried his hand at other jobs, including modeling. Yes, he was the model at a women’s jewelry show that was hosted by his sister Susan. The ladies who lunch loved Jerry, who is out to lunch, which may explain why he also was an apprentice dog groomer. He took the family pooch, Lizzie, for a day of beauty and ended up watching the fur fly when he assisted in giving her the royal treatment.
Speaking of Lizzie, she tore her anterior cruciate ligament (or, in sports terms, ACL) when she jumped out of the car at Jerry’s parents’ house right after Labor Day. At first the vet thought Lizzie would need surgery, but she has recovered nicely and is back in playing shape, which is more than can be said for New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who tore his ACL around the same time and is out for the season. Wimp.
Jerry also was a barista for a day at the Starbucks store Lauren used to manage. Although Jerry’s coffee wasn’t bad enough to run the company into the grounds, Lauren subsequently got a new job with Apple. She also got a new car. Jerry, of course, got roped into being the co-signer.
Getting back to dogs and injuries, Lauren tore the tendons in her foot when her dog, Maggie, pulled her down the stairs outside her apartment. The mishap put Lauren on crutches and prevented her from attending the wedding of a family friend on Cape Cod. Lauren now thinks Maggie should go to obedience school.
Katie and Dave celebrated their second anniversary by going out to dinner. Over the summer, Katie’s bike was stolen by some idiot who left behind her helmet, probably because it wouldn’t do much good anyhow. In September, Katie ran in a 210-mile relay race, after which she knew the thrill of victory and the agony of the feet. Dave, being a good husband, provided moral support and, more important, beer.
Last but certainly least, Jerry got braces. You really can’t see them, so he won’t be the star of a TV show called Ugly Jerry, but with the way things are going, the story of the Zezima family will end up being a sitcom.
Well, that’s the news from here. We hope your family has also been blessed with unusual events and is in better shape than we are.
Merry Christmas with love and confusion from the Zezimas.
Jerry Zezima, a resident of Coram, N.Y., is a freelance writer and a regular contributor to Vineyard Gazette editorial pages.