Wednesday, December 28, 2011

We say "Merry Christmas."

But also, we say "Happy Holidays."

And "Happy Hanukkah."

And if we knew anybody who celebrated Kwanza, we would say happy that too.

My brother and sister-in-law saw a house with lights strung up that said "WE SAY MERRY CHRISTMAS."

Things like that make me laugh. And also cringe. So passive-aggressively judgmental.

The status updates with "CHRIST" in all caps in the word "Christmas." The rants about the abbreviation "xmas." The "JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON!"s.

Um, isn't He the reason for every season? Happy CHRISTsummer. I'd like to start seeing that around in lights in June.

I know, I know. I've written this rant before.

But I started thinking about this a little more after we bought a business; we have many students of different races and religions. Some of the families that attend our school don't celebrate Christmas, so we make sure to avoid scheduling big events on their special holidays (wouldn't you be annoyed if somebody scheduled your testing on Christmas day?). Some students are not comfortable entering the church gym we rent, so we offer them a separate belt testing at our school. Some of them aren't allowed to work on Sundays, so we find a way to modify weekend-long training camps for them.

So I consider that when I update our Facebook page's status about the school being closed. It's not that I refuse to say "Christmas" (our calendar actually has the break marked as "Christmas Break.")

But there's nothing wrong with saying "holidays," guys. You can say it in addition to "Christmas," even. Just keep in mind, ye who type "CHRISTmas" and rhyme about reasons for seasons, that sometimes businesses that also say "Happy Holidays" in their ads and tweets? Aren't necessarily taking sides on the WAR ON CHRISTMAS!!!!!

(Shouldn't we be more concerned about different kinds of war?)

(My mom is ripping her hair out right now from ALL THE LIBERAL!)

The business owners that say "Happy Holidays" aren't participating in a war on anything.

They just respect their clients enough to include all of them.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


The weather outside was not frightful.

Not even a little.

I woke up under an electric blanket with my favorite boy and favorite dog.

And that boy's eyes lit up when I gave him his ornament. The one from the year he was born that completed his set.

I found it on eBay. It was worth every penny.

And some of my favorite people were here.

And there was food.

A LOT of food.

And I didn't mess any of that food up. Not even one thing.

And I didn't have to do the dishes for most of that food.

Because that favorite boy did the many loads for me.

(There are a lot of reasons he's my favorite, see.)

And presents. There were a lot of those too.

A lot of them were tiny. I'm getting a nephew in April, remember?

And there was love.

Quite a lot of that too.

Most of it from that favorite boy and favorite dog.

And that's what makes me merry most every other day of the year, too.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Um, are you sure this isn't date night?

He called me today.

"I'm really sorry, but I'm going to have to do some work tonight," he said.

We have a newish agreement, see - he gifts me one night a week where we don't have to do karate work after we get home - Wednesdays. We watch TV and eat dinner and chat free of any pressure to get websites and bookkeeping and belt sorting and event planning done. It's my night. I'm ridiculously blessed to have a husband who drops everything for me at least one night a week. It's not an easy thing for him to give up for me.

But this is the last week before Christmas break, and I totally understood that he needs to cram in a lot of extra work this week so he can take the next two weeks off.

(Also - "next two weeks off." HA. HA HAHA HAHAHAHA. There is so much to do during those two weeks.)

"But how about this," he continued. "I want to take you to Anthropologie and buy you a dress to wear to the staff party. And I looked it up. They close at 9, so I'm going to leave early from work and pick you up, then we'll go see if we can find you something."



You want to take me to Anthropologie? And buy me a dress? And you're LEAVING WORK EARLY TO DO THAT?

I mean, like I said, he sacrifices a lot for me, but he also has to sacrifice for the school, and leaving work early on a normal night? That doesn't happen much.

But he just, offered it tonight. Without being asked. And then had the audacity to suggest that he was "taking my date night away by working later tonight."


So we went in with 40 minutes to shop. We basically picked up every dress we could find in my size and I headed to the dressing room.

He stood outside and evaluated each dress I tried on.

At the end of it all, I was in love with two dresses.


I mean, that doesn't happen often. I have a hard time finding clothes I love.

(But, you know, ANTHROPOLOGIE.)

So I had a hard decision to make.

And I looked at each dress. And I looked at him. And I thought...

This sure is a nice problem to have.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A karate wife

When Jack bought the taekwondo school, I had a picture of what it would look like.

He would do his thing, I would do mine. I love my full-time job, and we need both incomes. I'm sure he would ask me my opinion on some things, but for the most part life would continue as it had before we owned the business.

When Jack became a Master, I had a picture of what it would look like.

He would show up in his Silks or Blues to his black belt testings or tournaments, the room would be brought to attention and bow. I would be watching proudly from the audience or possibly from a corner of the gym with a camera. I would be wearing a very cute outfit, perfect just-applied makeup, with not a hair out of place.

I would watch him run his testings or tournaments as I visited breezily with parents, doing my part to help the taekwondo school by being a fantastic, well-put-together karate wife who showed up for every event to watch.

"Gosh," the parents would say to one another "That Mrs. Hornbuckle is so sweet and supportive, and they have such a wonderful marriage! He's lucky to have such an alarmingly beautiful woman by his side."

Stop laughing. You guys are supposed to be my friends.

Over the last few months, though, I have really been learning what a karate wife is.

A karate wife leaves her job every night and comes to his. She files and makes websites and writes black belt curriculum and formats documents and makes charity baskets and does bookkeeping.

A karate wife starts cooking dinner at 10 p.m. after she gets home from her 14-hour work day. She probably doesn't have time to go to the gym, uh, ever, but at least she's pretty sure the automatic payment that goes to them burns some calories, anyway.

When there's a testing coming up, a karate wife may not find out what is needed until the last minute, which will mean a week of hell as she scrambles to try to get everything together that they need.

She will arrange flowers, iron table clothes (that will later be forgotten in the wrong vehicle and therefore unused during the event), print extra scripts, and put together sound files and music.

She already will be running late to that testing, having had a video shoot at real work that day and absolutely no transition time to change her clothes, do something with her awful matted-down hair, or reapply the makeup that wore off hours ago, when she will get a call that the staff is locked out of the facility they have rented until the last minute so they haven't been able to set up as early as they needed to.

She will help set up tables and chairs, audio equipment, candles, rocks, and tea. She will send people out to get things she forgot at the very last minute, and she will THANK GOD for those people. She will run sound for this event with no rehearsal, all while being very, very nervous something will go wrong.

She will get sent out to the truck last-minute to get a CD after the event has already started, so she will calmly walk out of the gym as people watch, and then RUN WILDLY across the parking lot to get back faster because SHE HAS TO GET BACK IN TIME TO CLICK THE "GONG" SOUND EFFECT IN ABOUT 45 SECONDS.

She will be ripping that CD (because she needs to play it for the ceremony that starts in 10 minutes) while simultaneously paying attention to testing so she can fade sparring music in and out at the appropriate times.

After the event is over, as her husband takes pictures with new black belts and visits with parents, she will help the staff pack up equipment and put tables back, and pick up tiny pieces of trash (and put them in her pocket because there isn't a trash can around and she's so classy like that.)

She will go to dinner afterward to visit with the students looking not-at-all like the lovely arm-candy she was hoping to be. She will be disheveled instead of put-together. Frazzled instead of rested.

But then he will look at her, with the look of a man who has been pulled out of the water seconds before he would have drowned, and says "I don't know what I would do without you."

And this disheveled karate wife will be so ridiculously proud and honored to be the girl he says that to.