I know what this is. This is Grandma Aldrich’s holiday nut bowl with nut-cracker and silver walnut picks. It brings back fond memories of Thanksgiving Day and Christmas reunions that were filled with nuts. And, yes, I mean that figuratively as well as literally. I tend to really love nuts.
And one of the most insidious things about Facebook is the fact that it connects you to all the nuts from your checkered past, and memories like this can come back to haunt you any day or any month… not just at holiday family gatherings.
I probably don’t have to remind you that the incredible spray-tanned intellectual-fartgas-container this country elected as its next leader is not, and will never be, my president. I reject him in his every detail. He is anathema to everything I stand for and believe in. And some of my lovely Iowegian Facebook friends are responsible for for helping him win. I have not unfriended anybody as they may have done to me. I am still constantly amused by them and their families, even though their choice offends me. But I do get tired of being bombarded with Brazil nuts of “He won, get over it! We endured 8 years of your president!” I hate Brazil nuts. They are difficult to crack open, especially with the skinny, silver nutcracker you see in the picture above. And after you go to all that effort, they don’t taste very good. Brazil nuts are always the last nuts in the nut bowl because nobody actually likes them. And besides, I don’t remember Republicans in Congress accepting defeat under Obama gracefully. They kicked and spit and shut down the government in a hissy fit. What do they have against the government trying to make healthcare affordable, anyway? Still, I get those big, hard, oddly-shaped nuts in my Facebook feed constantly this time of year.
My sister posted the meme you see above on my Facebook wall. She says it is actually quite easy to become a complete master of doing what the meme suggests, by which she means me more so than her. I like walnuts. They are hard to crack, but not impossible like Brazil nuts. And once you have split them into two haves, two separate turtle shells, you still have to pick the walnut meat out of a hard, spiky labyrinth of dastardly convoluted walls of interior shell. But you end up with something delicious if you put in the time picking things apart. I fondly remember singing goofy Christmas carols with my two sisters and half-dozen cousins at Grandma and Grandpa Aldrich’s farm this time of year. Elaborate versions of “I’m dreaming of a pink-and-purple-polka-dotted Christmas…” and “Jingle bells, Batman smells…” My sister is often critical of me and doubts my sanity, as a good sister should, but in the long run, we have some sweet memories to share, good times and incredibly goofy nonsense to look back upon.
But, of course, everybody’s favorite nut is the peanut. Those are the first to disappear from the nut bowl. Holiday gatherings are mainly about eating, but the most important second-place thing is everybody’s self-generated house apes… the next generation of little Beyers and Aldrich’s and Fimblegrubbers and Pumblechooks (yes, I know I am not actually related to Fimblegrubbers or Pumblechooks, but I like funny names, and I have to live with the funny-named people who attend our family gatherings). We all enjoy watching them play games of “infuriate your sister” or “chase Grampy’s dog till it bites you” because they are funny, adorable and cute. Sometimes they even play with mutant toy Elmo-looking things like the one in the picture, though I didn’t draw this from a family member, and I added the mutant features to avoid questions of copyright infringement.
Anyway, holidays are notoriously full of nuts, both literal and figurative. And we really have to learn to appreciate them all.