All I Want for Christmas is my Left Bicuspid and Other Stuff

Actually, I’m not totally kidding here. My mouth is a dental nightmare and I lost my upper left bicuspid a year or so ago. I could get by in public with a “flipper,” a tooth on a wire and plastic armature, but somehow someone stepped on it and broke it in half (probably me) during the Thanksgiving festivities. It can still fill in the gap when I don’t want to appear in public as a Dust Bowl matron, but the rough edge hurts. All of you with good teeth: know how lucky you are.

But that’s selfish stuff. What I really want for Christmas is my Daddy at home after his therapy for his hip replacement, as vital and optimistic as he was before the Fall. I believe he will be.

It’s funny, the Christmas List devolving. Even ten years ago I could write: “Silver bracelet from Tiffany’s, Vol de Nuit, ____________ novel, silk jammies, new Cuiz. Although I’d still love any of those items, the sheer desire isn’t there. I own the jammies, the bracelets and still have a few spritzes of Vol de Nuit.

What I’d love is miles. Because we don’t own any credit cards we don’t have any miles, but oh! to revisit Paris and Rome. To discover for the first time Athens and Istanbul, to sunbathe in Antibes or Antigua.

When we were newlyweds and broke, we had season tickets to the Lyric Opera. Monserrat Caballe, Jon Vickers, Joan Sutherland, Placido Domingo — but we were a cheap el ride from the Opera House. In my wildest dreams of avarice I’d take a season subscription and the moolah to spend a night in a boutique hotel, dining with my Chicago buddies and drinking lots of Henriot champagne.

I want to spend most of February in LA with my daughter and son-in-law. I might just swing half of that, unless my neighbors get annoyed at the cat-sitting calendar. (And I wouldn’t blame them.)

You might have noticed that World Peace isn’t on my Christmas list. Well, pierced ears were on my list for ten years and Santa never took my mother’s hand and led her to the Piecing Parlor. It wasn’t gonna happen with earrings and it’s never gonna happen with World Peace, because the world has never been at peace.

My list is shorter every year. But y’know, it’s cheaper and cheerier.



Filed under Born in Chicago, Collections, History, Holidays, Home, Into the Mystic, Music, Worth it anyway

5 responses to “All I Want for Christmas is my Left Bicuspid and Other Stuff

  1. Oh, Dearie!! Your poor mouth!

    I do SO hope that you get this remedied soon and get to be pain-free for Christmas.

    I love your list—every era, for they each bespeak your SELF and circumstance as well as a conversation or a diary. The early one, with the Opera tickets—THAT’S My Girl!! And the decade-ago one reminded me in a heartbeat of “What does your home smell of?” years ago, when you replied, “Cigarettes, Shalimar and Puff Pastry.” You think that didn’t impress ME?

    I have no list. I have no THING or want or need, I suppose. I’ve become so surrounded by STUFF that I spent weeks disposing of some of the stuff, having the DAV truck sit in our driveway for ages, as the guys loaded, drank coffee, loaded some more, showed me pictures of their children, loaded that final, blissful load. I’d like THAT again, what say?

    I could groove on a visit from those guys one day a month, I think, and the crazy part is—almost everything going ON the truck had come from a similar store—Goodwill, Salvation Army, Kidney Foundation, etc., in a frenzy of OH LOOK WHAT COSTS $2.99—can you BELIEVE it?

    After constant urging and deep thought, my only two wants this year were: A new air-cleaner machine (to Chris) and (to Caro): a REAL sea sponge and one of every flavor of Johnson’s baby washes—my favorite shower stuff.

    I SO hope your wishes are fulfilled; that new BOSE will fulfill all your dreams of musical wonder, and then some.

    PS: Mystery, thy name is Maggie, but would you ever disclose the circumstance in which someone might have stepped upon your tooth?

  2. Liz

    You can stay at my house (not a boutique hotel) but in Chicago proper and I promise you all the Henriot you can drink.

  3. Bev

    Love the post..a quick tip for your sharp edge tooth that is bothering you..take an emory board and gently file the edge..feels odd at first but really works.
    p.s. Thoughts and prayers for your Dad’s full recovery…my Mom recovered from her hip replacement with no problems.

  4. Bev: brilliant. I’ll try it. Rachel: It’s still Pall Malls, Shalimar and puff pastry. Liz: I got a tad teary-eyed with your offer. You’re an amazing woman — and I might take you up on it.

  5. Kim Shook

    Maggie – I’ve been MIA for a bit and am catching up on reading Cheap & Cheerful! No problems – just the usual seasonal craziness and my increasing inability to adjust my schedule to it! I love this post – the older I get, the shorter my list. And what’s left on the list is mostly intangible – more time, more energy, etc. And if Santa wanted to do some painting and heat pump repair while he’s filling the stockings with English Cadbury, that would be ok with me, too!

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