Since I am in the holiday spirit (and, having just consumed a mug of hot toddy, a glass of eggnog and a nip of cheer, the holiday spirits are in me), I have decided to follow in that great tradition of boring everyone silly by writing a Christmas letter.
That is why I am pleased as punch (which I also drank) to present the following chronicle of the Zezima family, which includes Jerry, the patriarch; Sue, the matriarch; Katie and Lauren, the daughtersiarch; Dave and Guillaume, the sons-in-lawiarch; and Chloe, Lilly, Xavier, Zoe and Quinn, the grandchildreniarch.
It sure has been an exciting 2019 for the Zezimas!
The first big event of the year was when Jerry turned 65. He celebrated by applying for Medicare at the Social Security office, where he encountered so many fellow geezers that he figured he’d still be there when he turns 66, at which time he can get full benefits.
He also took the AARP online safe driving course and passed with flying colors, mainly because he didn’t actually have to take the test in a car, where he is considered a menace to society.
In sports news, Jerry was a volunteer for Field Day at Chloe’s elementary school, where he helped referee the water relay, a rigorous event that would have given Jerry a heart attack if he competed and proved, as if anyone needed verification, that he is all wet.
On the domestic front, both of Jerry and Sue’s refrigerators died at the same time, probably in a suicide pact. It was a major calamity because: (a) Jerry’s beer got warm and (b) he and Sue had to clean 21 years’ worth of junk out of the garage to make room for the auxiliary fridge. Jerry made so many trips to the dump that he should have his own parking space. At least his beer is cold again.
Speaking of appliances, Jerry and Sue got a new water heater and oil burner. Now their house won’t either be flooded or blow up.
Jerry, who suffers from acrophobia, which is an irrational fear of being any higher off the ground than the top of his head, had to climb to the peak of his two-story house to accompany a guy who came over to give him an estimate for a new roof. Jerry survived, but the experience was, as his widow-in-waiting agreed, the height of folly.
Speaking of houses, Lauren and Guillaume bought their first home, a cozy ranch that Lauren has decorated beautifully. Chloe, 6, and Lilly, 3, love it because they have bunk beds and their own playroom, where Jerry, when he visits, is the biggest toy.
He has plenty of time to play because he retired from his day job as an editor (he continues to write his column, proving that not all the news is good) and is now free to be a full-time babysitter for his grandchildren.
The number increased to five, enough for a (very short) basketball team, when Katie gave birth to twins, Zoe and Quinn. Jerry and Sue met the dynamic duo on a trip to see Katie, Dave and big brother Xavier, who is 2.
Jerry, no stranger to bottles, learned how to feed the twins simultaneously with the help of a nursing pillow called My Brest Friend. He did double duty several times and even did quadruple duty (two twin feedings in one night) twice.
On a subsequent visit, Jerry learned how to bathe a baby (and then take a shower) after having double doody done on him.
But it all came out in the end, making for a wonderful year. Here’s hoping your 2019 was great, too.
Merry Christmas with love and laughter from the Zezimas.
— Jerry Zezima
Jerry Zezima writes a humor column for Hearst Connecticut Media Group, which includes his hometown paper, the Stamford Advocate. His column is distributed by Tribune News Service of Chicago and has run in newspapers nationwide and abroad. He is also the author of four books, Leave It to Boomer, The Empty Nest Chronicles, Grandfather Knows Best and Nini and Poppie’s Excellent Adventures, all of which are “crimes against literature.” He has won seven awards from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists for his humorous writing.