I used to think people who complained about colds were . . . well, kind of wussy. Never again will I think such a thing. From here on out, the moment someone near me sneezes I will rush to their side, murmuring words of sympathy and offering my deepest, most heartfelt condolences. Well, after I douse my entire body with Purell, of course.

I’ve been sick for so goddamn long I can’t remember what it’s like to feel normal. On Monday my doctor gave me antibiotics (”These won’t actually shorten the length of your cold, but they might prevent additional bacterial infections”) and cough syrup with codeine (which does seem to help with the middle-of-the-night consumptive hacking fits, although it tastes like seventeen flavors of ass), and noted that my resting heart rate is a jolly 110 beats per minute, which probably means I AM DYING, or possibly just having to work extra, ridiculously hard to perform such strenuous activities as inhaling.

I assumed that once I actually complained to a medical professional the cold would instantly disappear, the same way your computer suddenly starts working perfectly the minute you summon a sysadmin to come look at “this weird problem I’m having”, but no. I’m using up sick days right and left, just lying around the house feeling sorry for myself. The other night I randomly burst into tears as I stood in the kitchen blowing my nose for, literally, the nine millionth time, and told JB that this virus has officially made me clinically depressed. Loss of interest in normal activities? Check. Feeling sad and hopeless? Check. Impaired thinking? Check. Fatigue? Check. Low self-esteem? Oh my god YOU try leaving the house with a face that looks like it went fifteen rounds with Mike Tyson and not feel bad about yourself. Fucking CHECK.

My husband, who I have spent many a blog entry poking fun at, has been a goddamned saint over the last few weeks, putting up with my near-constant whining, snotting, hacking, and general state of disrepair. He’s entertained Riley for hours on end while I’ve laid on the couch whimpering, he’s gone to the store for peppermint ice cream at 11 PM, he’s uncomplainingly moved to the guest bed in the middle of the night when my walrus-like snorings/gaspings hit 120 decibels. Saint.

And now I’ve complained to you for five paragraphs in a row. God, I’m sorry. Let’s move on to some festive holiday-related content!


My mom gave me this a couple years ago, it’s a letter I wrote to Santa as a child—I like how I appear to be both greedy and (insincerely, probably) generous. I wonder if I got the pocketknife, I’m guessing that would a NO. Also, “Mad cop marathon game”?

And holy shit, check this out:


I hope that wasn’t the Santa I wrote to. Because that is the creepiest damn Santa I have ever seen, ever. Note how his eyes follow you, whispering how he’s going to sneak into your chimney on Christmas Eve and stab, stab, stab your whole family to death.


73 Responses to “Bitching all the way, ho ho ho”

  1. JennB on December 12th, 2007 10:21 am

    Creepy santa!
    Although the people that dress as easter bunnies creep me out more. You can’t even see their damn eyes.

    Feel better soon. That shit ain’t right, you’re already in full-suffering-3rd trimester pregnancy angst. A cold is just insulting.

  2. H on December 12th, 2007 10:23 am

    Hope you feel better soon.

    Evil Santa.

  3. Anais on December 12th, 2007 10:23 am

    Aaww. That letter you wrote was so sweet and cute.

    Plus, you’re right. That Santa was super creepy. Yikes!

    Hope your cold dies away soon.

  4. Rumblelizard on December 12th, 2007 10:23 am

    That is one seriously Bad Santa who is a little too obviously plotting revenge. I’m surprised your mom didn’t grab you up and run screaming.

  5. Jeanette on December 12th, 2007 10:26 am

    Uh..that Santa looks like he’s rather enjoying you sitting on his lap. Creepy. Your note is so cute, especially that P.S!

  6. telegirl on December 12th, 2007 10:28 am

    I love that letter! I didn’t think about that before but now I’m definitely going to ask for lists and keep them for my little guy when he gets older. I do hope you feel better soon… think of all the commute hours you aren’t suffering through to go from your home to Magnolia. THAT truly sucks ass!!

  7. Kristen on December 12th, 2007 10:43 am

    I hope you start feeling better soon!
    That is the cutest picture, I love it! (You, not the creepy Santa.)

  8. lee on December 12th, 2007 10:57 am

    i hope JB gets you a beautiful “neckles” for xmas this year!

  9. Jen on December 12th, 2007 10:57 am

    Oh dear god do I FEEL FOR YOU.

    I think we’re about the same distance along in our pregnancies, and I’m suffering from the worst cold I’ve had in years. Except for some reason in England they don’t even want you to take so much as a throat lozenge for the pain.

    As if that weren’t fun enough in itself, I’m also suffering the various side effects of taking daily iron supplements after being found borderline anemic. Google THAT party.

  10. Leah on December 12th, 2007 11:00 am

    That Santa looks like the main character from the latest Coen Brothers movie. Hide your quarters!

  11. Lawyerish on December 12th, 2007 11:03 am

    “Melin”? Were you asking for honeydew, or…? Hee.

    My parents told me that when I was little and penned my annual letter on Christmas Eve (to be left out with the cookies and milk, plus a carrot for Rudolph, natch), I would always ask for some random thing I’d never mentioned before, and on Christmas Eve there was no way in hell they were going to go out and get me another present. So they’d have Santa write back something like he ran out of those, or that those particular toys only went to the “sort-of good children,” whereas whatever I got was reserved for the best little girls of all. I bought it every time.

    That pedophile-looking Santa is going to haunt my dreams.

  12. Amblus on December 12th, 2007 11:03 am

    Aw, you poor thing! I remember once when I was really sick for several weeks, sitting at the kitchen table and bawling because I thought I’d never feel good again. Of course, crying just made me more stuffy and snotty, so that really worked out well. DON’T CRY, LINDA. SANTA IS WATCHING.

    Anyway, I sincerely hope you feel better soon.

  13. hello insomnia on December 12th, 2007 11:04 am

    Awww Linda, you were adorable, weapon requests and all.

  14. Trina on December 12th, 2007 11:10 am

    Holy crap that has got to be one of the creepiest Santas EVER!

    Did you get the “Mickey Mouse Wach”?

  15. She Likes Purple on December 12th, 2007 11:11 am

    I my gosh, I just laughed so hard at work I had to cover and say an author was being unusually funny today. Creepiest Santa I’ve ever seen.

  16. FishyGirl on December 12th, 2007 11:22 am

    ew, that’s one creepy santa. You were cute, though. How old is that list? My 8 year old asked for a Rubik’s cube this year. Hope you got yours.

  17. Christina on December 12th, 2007 11:31 am

    I like how there is an x next to practically everything!

    Ohh, that is a freaky looking Santa! I have a photo of Santa where I actually look cute (I was like 3)and did not have my usual cold sore (I was sick A LOT as a kid). The only problem: this particular Santa “forgot” his white brows so he has noticeably brown brows which sort of ruins the photo all together (also I have on a plaid mid 60s hand me down skirt – I was born in 1973… uhh yeah…)

    I hope you start to feel better soon… it sounds miserable.

  18. Kimberly on December 12th, 2007 11:32 am

    I had to come for a laugh and I got one for sure at the picture and letter to Santa. Here in Missouri, I was out of power for three days and yesterday I was trying to close the garage door (which had no power) and crushed two fingers in the garage door. I didn’t cuss but only because I couldn’t say a word. One handed typing is fun.

  19. ginger on December 12th, 2007 11:34 am

    Your Santa appears to be Paul Giamatti. So really, he’d be whispering in your ear about not drinking fucking Merlot.

    Was “Melin” Merlin, the handheld game that looked like a telephone handset? I had one of those, and I think I was basically not allowed to play it if either of my parents was home, because the beeping was irritating.

  20. lil foots mommy on December 12th, 2007 11:42 am

    oh my goodness..that’s hysterical. How funny though, I just wrote a post this morning about one of my Christmas lists that my mom kept in my photo album. It’s from 1986. I blathered on for 3 pages about the things I wanted for Christmas, most of which I didn’t get. And there were things on that list I had no idea what they even were…21 years later…so I put those items in eBay search and voila…presto…people were ebaying “Snugglebumms”! Who knew! teehee!!

  21. victoria on December 12th, 2007 11:46 am

    God, I’m so sorry about the cold. That really, really sucks, especially on top of the general suckiness of pregnancy-related sinus swelling. Poor thing. I’m glad JB is taking good care of you.

  22. kate on December 12th, 2007 11:46 am

    The last few weeks of my last pregnancy were like that too- the worst cold of my life. My doctor told me the cold probably wouldn’t go away until I had the baby. HORROR!

    That put me into try-to-have-the-baby-right-this-minute overdrive, and I was doing shots of castor oil and demanding daily applications of prostoglandin gel (if you know what I mean) from my poor good sport of a husband. Cue snorting, snotting, wheezing labor. And my poor little 3 month old STILL has that same damn cold she was born with. She sees me coming with the nose bulb and starts whimpering.

  23. Banana on December 12th, 2007 11:52 am

    Oh, the creepy Santa. I have many a photo of young pink cheeked and blond pigtailed me on the lap of a crazy looking Santa. How do they get that job? Shouldn’t it be a requirement to NOT LOOK CRAZY?

  24. Meggish on December 12th, 2007 11:55 am

    Not mad cop marathon! Madcap Marathon!


    Heck, I still want that game =]

    P.S. Ginger is right, Santa is totally Paul Giamatti

  25. wrcrygirl on December 12th, 2007 11:57 am

    I think maybe one of his probation requirements was Community Service, although I don’t think Creepy Santa was what they had in mind. How much you want to bet he’s got a fifth of Jack hidden in his beard?

  26. Mary O on December 12th, 2007 11:57 am

    Peppermint ice cream. Yum.
    That is one seriously scary Santa.

  27. wrcrygirl on December 12th, 2007 11:58 am

    Oh lookie, I spelled my own name wrong! Looks like the albuterol has kicked in…

  28. lara on December 12th, 2007 11:59 am

    My god you were cute! And you still are – cold or not. Feel better soon.

  29. warcrygirl on December 12th, 2007 11:59 am

    Crap, once again to fix my name. God I suck.

  30. Eric's Mommy on December 12th, 2007 12:22 pm

    Oh god, that santa looks like a serial killer!

  31. jackie on December 12th, 2007 12:25 pm

    sants looks like he might be very into little children. i’d feel better if i could see both his hands?

  32. Kari on December 12th, 2007 12:35 pm

    Not for nothing, but I have long had a suspicion of all Santas. I’m sure there are folks that just need the cash, as well as folks who genuinely enjoy kids, but I am leery of old men who want young kids to sit on their laps.

    And I feel you on the cold. I am on week three and am still prone to out of control coughing fits that come out of nowhere and stifle your ability to simply breathe. I cannot imagine how much worse it would be if I were pregnant. I would worry I would accidentally push out the baby in a whacked out coughing fit.

  33. Frank on December 12th, 2007 12:44 pm

    That’s a cute picture of you with Santa and how nice was it that your Mom kept your letter to Santa all these years. Priceless.

  34. whoorl on December 12th, 2007 12:48 pm

    I caught a nasty death virus at the ER while pregnant and it lasted for 4 god-forsaken weeks. My doc finally put me on antibiotics towards the end and they helped tremendously. Hopefully, you will be back in the saddle VERY SOON.

    p.s. – That Santa just ruined my Christmas.

  35. anna on December 12th, 2007 12:50 pm

    Geez, and she let you sit on his knee…..

  36. Erica on December 12th, 2007 12:57 pm

    I love that you wanted “a neckles” for Christmas.

  37. aoife on December 12th, 2007 1:24 pm

    Two things:

    Creepy ass santa. Bet his name is Chester. About half the mommies in my playgroup were bemoaning the fact that their kids are freakishly scared of Santa at the mall… There must be reason for this.

    second… I remember one night from my pregnancy four+ years ago, crystal clear. I sat on my bed and cried, bawled really, about how I was so sick and tired of being sick and tired and congested, hack hack, honk honk. At that time, the husband was sympathetic…

  38. kendra! on December 12th, 2007 1:34 pm

    You are adorable and deserving of every Mad Cop Malibu Barbie Spirogyro pocket-knife wielding wish come true.

  39. Bianca on December 12th, 2007 1:43 pm

    You just made my co-workers and I crack up for like 5 minutes with that last Santa picture and your fantastic observation. Thanks, Linda!

  40. Jennifer on December 12th, 2007 1:55 pm

    Have you had to combine your awful cold with your awful new commute? Or have your strategically-chosen sick-days kept you from that drive to Magnolia so far?

    That Santa looks way too young to be a Santa. My childhood Santa photos always featured someone who looked like Grandpa. I even have a photo of a spectacled-Santa reading my Christmas list through his Santa-esque square wire-rimmed glasses.

  41. Jem on December 12th, 2007 2:10 pm

    The other day at the mall, we saw the most realistic looking Santa ever. Even my Dad, who would normally laugh at me saying such a thing, was overwhelmed. We were desperate to go sit on his lap. He had the sparkling blue eyes and everything.

    In other news, I am SO sorry you are still sick! I know how you feel, ’cause I suffer from chronic year-round hayfever and I can’t tell when I have colds because there is no difference. None of the medicines the doctor has ever given me have ever made anything but a small difference, so I constantly live with a box of tissues and I wake up in the night unable to breathe. So I TOTALLY know how you feel in that regard, but not in the regard of being pregnant as well. I very very much hope you feel better soon!

    (PS – I’ve heard if you have the flu (I know this is a cold, but anyway) eating a whole onion raw fixes it. I’ve never actually convinced anyone to try it though, although I guess if your nose is that blocked up, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between an onion and an apple!)

  42. Leslie on December 12th, 2007 2:19 pm

    Something about Santa’s hand makes it look like he has six fingers. I’m thinking Count Rugen is moo.nlighting from his work in the Pit of Despair.

    (I wanted a Spirograph so. bad. I finally got my sister to give me one just a couple of years ago.)

  43. Dawn on December 12th, 2007 2:46 pm

    Okay that is by far the creepiest looking Santa ever.
    Also I’m sorry you’re sick, that truly does suck. I just learned a new trick for when you have a cold. Put Vick’s vapo rub on the bottoms of your feet and then put socks on and go to bed, it stops the coughing for hours. We have been doing this for our girl the past few nights and it really does work and it’s supposedly works just as well for adults. Try it, it couldn’t hurt. You still won’t be able to breath but at least you won’t be coughing.

  44. sooboo on December 12th, 2007 2:55 pm

    That JB sounds like an awesome teammate. Hope you feel better soon.

  45. Joanne on December 12th, 2007 3:07 pm

    It sucks to have a cold like that when you are pregnant because there’s just no fixing it. I am only in week two of my cold and my GOD I feel sorry for myself! I have gestational diabetes too, so no ice cream, which is making me really mad! So I feel for you and I hope you’re better soon. At this point, I am hoping for an early delivery rather than the cold getting better. :)

  46. Matt on December 12th, 2007 3:16 pm

    I hope you got the micrascope, that is a rare and valued piece of scientific machinery..:-)

  47. Sunshyn on December 12th, 2007 3:21 pm

    Every year, we go see the “really real Santa” — our therapy agency somehow conjures him up. We saw what appeared to be Santa and Mrs. Claus shopping at Sam’s Club the other day, also. I think they rode in on a Harley… Your Evil Santa, I thought at first I couldn’t see his other hand, but it just blends in with your dress. The Santa’s Union REQUIRES that both Santa’s hands be visible AT ALL TIMES these days, did you know that? Hope your cold finally disappears. I imagine you already have a secondary bacterial infection, and that’s why the doc gave you the antibiotics.

  48. Kristen on December 12th, 2007 4:21 pm

    Wow, that is a really creepy santa. I’m sorry you’re sick. I can’t really give you any tips on how to get better so… I hope you feel/get better soon! :)

  49. *Katie on December 12th, 2007 4:31 pm

    This is going to sound like an incredibly random question…which I’ll preface by saying I could have sworn you said that you lived in Michigan at one point in time…

    Was this picture taken in a mall in south east Michigan? I could have sworn I have a picture with that same exact creepy santa…

  50. sundry on December 12th, 2007 4:38 pm

    Katie: I don’t think so, my guess is that was taken in Virginia. My mom and I lived in Virginia, my grandparents lived in MI — in the UP, not the southeast part of the state. But hey, if you have that picture, please share!

    Ginger: Paul Giamatti! Oh my god! Yes, EXACTLY. That’s . . . seriously disturbing.

    Dawn: I got an email about the Vicks feet thing a while back and thought it was total bullshit. Now I’m going to have to give it a try, even though it means wearing socks to bed, which GAH.

  51. Donna on December 12th, 2007 4:39 pm

    I think it was madcap marathon game, and merlin, also a game.
    Try this:
    1 large can of creme of chicken soup
    1 large can of chicken breast chunks
    2 small cans of chopped green chili
    2 tbs garlic powder
    celery flakes
    parsley flakes
    1/2 tsp thyme
    1 tsp cayenne pepper
    salt and pepper to taste
    Combine all of it, heat to boil, and eat with corn chips.
    It will open you up and make you bullet proof for the rest of the winter, high in vitamin c and the spices make you feel all better.
    It also is guaranteed to break a fever. I just had some and feel ever so much better. My entire family calls me when they have a cold to make some, it is famous.

  52. Donna on December 12th, 2007 4:47 pm

    Oh, and I wanted to say this about the santa thing.
    When JonBenet Ramsey was killed, I had a whole theory of how it was done including the fact that the guy they got to play santa every year had a key to their house and would hide upstairs to surprise the kids by coming down the stairs, (he could have easily left the window open, or hell, he’d had the key to let himself in), then woken her up in the middle of the night to give her a special present, she’d have gone with him willingly, and then I found out later, that his daughter had written a book before the murder outlining a murder of a child just like what happened. Now that you are skeeved out, you’re welcome. I just don’t trust those santas.

  53. Erica W. on December 12th, 2007 4:50 pm

    I just saw this link on the PI Website: Study: Why Pregnant Women Don’t Topple and given some of the comments you’ve mentioned people have been making, thought you and other pregnant women might find it interesting. Except that they seem to think pregnant women find carrying all that weight relatively easy – perhaps you’d say differently?

  54. Lesley on December 12th, 2007 5:24 pm

    That Santa looks like this guy from Prison Break. Yep, the one from the insane asylum.

  55. Swistle on December 12th, 2007 5:54 pm

    Oh my god, are you the cutest?? Yes you are!

    That Santa, though, is, like, an 18-year-old boy.

    I am sorry you are feeling so sucky. I always get sick when I’m pregnant, and I lie around thinking that I really understand now how people with various chronic illnesses decide to kill themselves.

  56. Monitoring The Situation : whoorl on December 12th, 2007 5:56 pm

    [...] These son-of-a-bitch molars have caused some erratic night waking, but it’s difficult for us to assess the son-of-a-bitchdom because Wito’s crib sits right next the door. If we open that door, it’s all over. But what if the random moaning signals pain? What if his foot is stuck in the crib railing? What if some satanic looking Santa has crept into his room and is stab, stab, stabbing him? [...]

  57. Josh on December 12th, 2007 9:00 pm

    Fuck that shit! Just imagine the worst x-mas you ever had, multiplied by five fucking thousand. I guarantee you, your x-mas memories were benign compared to the shit I dealt with every day. It was hell. I hate x-mas! I hate it!

  58. Tessa on December 12th, 2007 9:20 pm

    I totally got the Western Barbie. She winked when you pushed a button on her back.

    Hope you feel better soon…

  59. manda on December 12th, 2007 9:39 pm

    Seriously, that Santa in the photo is pretty hardcore.

  60. julie Boyce on December 12th, 2007 11:24 pm

    Somehow, we lucked out with our kids and got the SAME Santa in all their pictures, for the past 10 years!! He is the twinkly blue-eyed Santa with his OWN beard and grandfatherly manner. However, your Santa… Lordie, lordie! He’s way too young and he has a distinctly predatory look about him – it’s so obvious it makes me wonder if he did it on purpose! I loved your Santa Letter. I remember getting a Velvet doll, anyone remember her? She had blonde hair and a hole in her head from which you could pull her pony tail to make her hair longer. Boy, I sure loved that damn doll. This year I’m asking for a potato peeler. I’m either wondering ‘what happened to me’? Or thinking geez, I’m awfully lucky if the only thing I want is a potato peeler! I think it’s the latter.

    Take care Linda, when they say rest and take lots of fluids, that’s whatcha outta do. Oooh and do try the vicks on the feet and let us know how it works as I had also received that email and kind of wondered about it.

  61. thejunebug on December 12th, 2007 11:39 pm

    I think you meant Madcap Marathon?



  62. Jennifer on December 12th, 2007 11:40 pm

    i want to give you a hug and an ice cream. i know you feel miserable. hang in there!

    this might cheer you up (if you haven’t seen it before) check out the Scared of Santa gallery:


    mostly crying kids, but there are a few candidates for the old post office wanted posters in there too, if i recall.

  63. ang on December 13th, 2007 7:15 am

    I think someone needs to give Josh some Christmas nog. And a hug. Possibly even a mental evaluation because dude… if he heads into a mall, I’m leaving.

    Linda I’m so sorry you are miserably ill. But, I deeply appreciate the fortitude you exhibit by still updating your blog. :-)

    Also, I can’t believe your mom let you on that Santa’s lap. Frightening!!!

  64. Joan on December 13th, 2007 8:29 am

    Poor Santa .. it looks like he had flashbulbs flashing in eyes all the dang day.

  65. MB on December 13th, 2007 9:24 am

    What is the “melin” you wanted? I think I have a picture with that Santa too! Sorry you’re not feeling well. I’m not pregnant (hell, I’m not even married! Not that you have to be to have kids but I’d prefer it that way.) but I’ve been sick since August with some sort of allergy/cold nonsense. I just got put on prednisone (steroid) because the doctors wouldn’t listen and kept giving me amoxicilin (more or less a fart in the wind). I’m still not well despite feeling like The Hulk and I was so happy to read your clinically depressed from this cold checklist because, hell yeah…me too! Hope we both get better soon.

  66. andrea on December 13th, 2007 11:25 am

    Scariest Santa I’ve ever seen.

    Hope you give the awful cold the beat down soon, you sound miserable!

  67. Sue on December 13th, 2007 12:29 pm

    I loved my Spirograph. I think I want one again. I wonder if they still make them.

  68. Shannon on December 13th, 2007 4:35 pm

    I’m so curious about the item on the left side of the list. “Small.” Small what?! I also like how you got all fancy with one of the X’s and gave it a serif-type font.

  69. Elisette on December 13th, 2007 4:40 pm

    What is a Melin?

  70. Jessica on December 13th, 2007 5:35 pm

    omg. I think he lives next door to me. Santa’s have come a LONG way since we were kids eh? That dude is just a pinafore away from a jail sentence…

  71. Amber on December 13th, 2007 6:21 pm

    That santa looks seriously cracked out, for sure. Sorry about your cold, *hugs*. Hope you feel better soon.

  72. AZslick on December 13th, 2007 7:13 pm

    Hope you feel better!!. Maybe a movie made especially for you!!

    “I Am Legend”. It has virus-crazed,flesh-eating zombies.

  73. JAB on December 14th, 2007 9:28 pm

    oh my gosh…that Santa picture is hilarious. No way would I let my little guys near that Santa.

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