Tidings Of (not Quite) Joy


December 24, 1990|By ALICE STEINBACH

DEAR MARCIE, BUD, TIFFANY, Bud Jr. & Baby Wilma:

Gosh, what fun it was to receive your annual photocopied Xmas letter catching us up on all the doings of the Moreless family in 1990. And before another minute passes, let me just say yes, we certainly understand why you've had to computerize the list of intimate friends who receive your warm, informative holiday missive; and, no, the Steinbachs do not mind returning the enclosed postcard indicating we wish to remain on your list.

What a year you've all had! The automobile trip last summer to Allentown, Pa. (with a side visit to Harrisburg!); Tiffany's successful acting debut as Blanche du Bois in the fourth-grade production of "Streetcar Named Desire"; the new, matching La-Z-Boy corduroy loungers in the redecorated den; the decision to subscribe this year to both People magazine and Us magazine; Bud Jr.'s participation as a volunteer in the experimental sleep program at the community hospital; and Baby Wilma's tying for third place in the "Baby with the Least Hair" contest!

It seems to have been a banner year -- more or less -- for the Moreless family. In fact, when we read your letter aloud at the dinner table the other night, the Steinbachs were hard-pressed to pick out the single biggest event for you all in 1990.

Personally, though, I would vote for Bud Sr.'s conversion to feminism as at least a highlight. Funny, isn't it, how one little male consciousness-raising workshop at the community college so quickly mobilized all the latent sensitivity in Bud. By the way, tell him that as far as hand laundry goes, he's absolutely right that cold water and Woolite are still the best way to wash garments made of silk.

We were pleased to hear that Bud Sr. remains the athlete he always was. It must have been some thrill for him to place fifth in the miniature golf tournament this year. Particularly after last year's disappointing last-place finish in the pie-eating contest.

And we were delighted to hear that Conan took so well to dog obedience training. And, yes, it would be nice if eventually you could discontinue giving him that medication to help calm him down. I mean, it's hard enough to hold down a small dog for an injection, much less an overgrown Rottweiler. Even with the help of your neighbor and his two grown sons.

(Frankly, the last time I visited you, I thought I detected a coolness from both Johnson boys and their dad toward Conan. I could be wrong, of course.)

We sure do wish we could have been there to see Bud Jr. graduate from lawn-cutting class. We hope between his new skills and that spiffy-sounding new Lawn Boy riding mower you gave him as a graduation gift, he'll finally get that summer lawn-care business off the ground. I would imagine, by now, most of your neighbors have forgotten that unfortunate and freaky accident Bud Jr. had while cutting old Mrs. Huey's lawn three years ago.

(How's Mrs. Huey's arm, by the way? Is the physical therapy still helping? And, in my opinion, I think you're taking the whole fence thing much too personally. Mrs. Huey's getting on, you know, and a 6-foot, electrified fence separating her property from yours is probably just a security measure -- the kind any elderly woman living alone might contemplate.)

I must say we all admire your honesty in passing along not only the good news about the Moreless family's doings but the not-so-good as well. It's not so puzzling that Tiffany went off the deep end after being told she needed remedial accessorizing lessons. She is, after all, a girl who always thought Cher dressed well.

But it's encouraging to hear that Dr. Krugerrand feels she is making progress in her therapy.

Incidentally, I have read through your single-spaced, three-page letter twice and found no follow-up on last year's news about Fou-Fou's tail. Did the fur grow back? Usually -- with a Persian cat like Fou-Fou -- it takes a long time for the fur to fluff out the way it should once it's been burned off. I hope Baby Wilma has learned that a clothes dryer can be a dangerous thing.

We're all rooting for Marcie's new career. Although it sounds risky -- trying to raise and sell lemmings as pets. Particularly when you live as close to the sea as you do. Maybe the trick is not to sell them in groups.

Oh, by the way, we're going to have to take a pass on the reunion this year at the Luray Caverns. But thanks for thinking of us.

Love, Alice, Andy, Sam,

Max & Fluffy.

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