Question: Are the holidays worth the stress? The consensus around here is, well, yes and no. At our place stress is shared unevenly because my wife Sandy does the lion’s share of the worrying. She plans the meals, buys most of the presents, and generally worries herself through some sleepless nights hoping that all goes well. In my defense, I do participate, but at a much lower level of activity and involvement. Curiously, and perhaps this is a male/female thing (no irate letters please!), I do worry and fret a bit, but about different things. With respect to the gender comment just made, I have always felt that the planet would be better off if women had more to say about its upkeep and general condition. Sandy has much better judgment about most things than I do, so deferring to someone far more competent than I is as easy as pie.
My worries operate at a baser level and for the most part are self-inflicted. For instance, even before guests arrive I figure on the coldest nights someone will leave the door open, some scamp will covertly switch on the upstairs heat switch, there will be no water glasses in the kitchen cabinet when I wake up for my post midnight quaff, and of course someone will either have left the lights on or not turned off the TV properly. With respect to the latter transgression, the real crime is not putting the couch pillows back where they belong or neglecting to put the easy chair back in its proper place and at the right angle. Just a few more things. Whenever someone turns on the hot water I cringe. It takes all the strength I have to keep my mouth shut. I have this notion that I am the only person around here who worries about our well water supply. I cringe when one of the little ones starts snooping about the refrigerator. In reality, they only keep the door open for several seconds. But if I am sitting nearby watching this perfectly normal operation it seems as if the door has been open for hours and my savings have gone down the drain keeping up with electric bills.