A DIVINE (the person, not the adjective) CHRISTMAS

Last week, John Waters ended his one man show, A John Waters Christmas, at the Birchmere in Alexandria, Virginia, with the thought provoking question: “What could I give you for Christmas?”  The response which immediately popped into my mind, as if I were the one asking that very question, was, of course, a brilliant one–a copy of Broken Hallelujah: notes from a marriage (perhaps–dare I say it–a signed copy).  But, do not fear, dear reader, as I just as quickly realized that this is something each of you (other than the signed part) most certainly already has.  A second copy would just be indulgent….But John Waters, to his credit, provided throughout the show examples of the kind of gifts he (inimitable director of such scatological cult classics as Polyester and Pink Flamingos) would like to receive, thereby helping out the clueless and the uncreative.  For example, he made the excellent and incontrovertible point that one should forgo the easily acquirable basket of fruit (even if the intended recipient is considered something of a fruit) in favor of more desirable items, such as cigarettes, porn, and drugs.   He left the list kind of general, leaving room for the eager giver to personalize such said collection of goodies with some of his or her personal favorites.  Now, you know, if I could I would happily send each and every one of you, dear readers, a personalized basket of porn and drugs (but no cigarettes, as they occupy a permanent place on this writer’s no fly list), but that is just not possible (unless, of course, you surreptitiously send me some funds to subsidize the purchase and an email with the words “Green Day” in the subject line..wink, wink), so I will give you what I can, what I  hope will prove invaluable to each and every one of you as you venture forth through this crazy thing called life (or trip, depending on your particular proclivities).  I give you, the gift of my greatest hits, if you will, those lessons that can only be learned from the vantage point of hindsight, the priceless product of experience, my experience and all that I have gleaned from the years of gross neglect that I have given to my responsibilities…and, yes, Virginia (the state, not the little girl), there are people who pick up the slack, parents and other participants in all aspects of life who prove to be better than I, and that, in this holy time, is, by this writer, most wholly appreciated.

LIFE LESSONS LEARNED:

1.  Times change.  For example, if I had known that this country, in an uncharacteristic bout of sanity, was going to start legalizing marijuana, I would not have worried so much in college and graduate school about the hours, ok-days, spent in an ecstatic though at times unproductive haze, of dope induced euphoria.  Indeed, as I read the current articles detailing the soon to be marijuana dispensaries in Chicago, readying themselves for the ruthlessness of free market competition, about to be unleashed on January 1, I now realize the many nights spent stoned, eating Cheetos, and watching the 1950’s anti-marijuana propaganda film (which played more like a parody), Reefer Madness, can acceptably be redefined as market research, as an uncanny ability, my uncanny ability, actually, to– if not predict–then anticipate the future (see, Charlie, I was right to believe we were prescient after all:)…

2.  Worry is not productive.  For example, If I had known early on that something called Facebook was going to be introduced into my adult life and prove that my worst fears were, in fact, true…that other people were happier, that other people’s children were more accomplished (and, apparently, happier), that other people’s marriages were better, that other people worked better, shopped better, ate better, vacationed better, and were, well, better than I…then I would not have wasted so much time worrying about being subpar and would have focused on the things that made me subpar and, in fact, happy, like drinking, and, well, drinking…

3.  Love and commitment make sex better.  For example, I have found that right along with the myth that a prince is out there for every young girl who believes she can be Cinderella, is the misconception that really good sex is somehow a happy byproduct of an emotionally satisfying relationship, that the precept of passion exists more completely for those adhering to the moral mandate of monogamy.  While I agree that a bit of creative configuring can invigorate conjugal mating, I most definitely would like to posit that sex with someone you love is not necessarily better than sex with, say, several people at one time that not only do you not “love,” but that you in fact do not even know very well, if at all…sex with toys can also be surprisingly satisfying…

And, so, dear readers, may this holiday season be filled with all the delights each and every one of you can acquire!  As for me, my true gift was what I witnessed at that aforementioned John Waters’ show–yes, watching a cross section of America actively embrace humor rife with illicit drugs, anal plugs, and homosexual love (well, sex), is what really just made me believe in the magic of Christmas…really, really believe…

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