Thursday, December 5, 2013

Inflatable Baby Jesus and What to Wear to the Party

Ok, so.  On my way home from driving my daughter to school this morning, I noticed two new Christmas inflatables in someone's yard.

One was of an M & M candy wearing a pointed red hat.
One was a giant snow globe, only the globe itself sported Mickey Mouse ears.

I thought, not for the first time, that these were a long way from the birth of Jesus.  But then, so was my attitude toward them.

It's always a bit of a conundrum.  I wonder why I've never seen an inflatable Baby Jesus, or an inflatable Nativity--and then I remember how those inflatable things look when they're turned off, and collapse into puddles of nylon littering the yard.  Collapsed Baby Jesus seems sacrilegious.  If you purchased an inflatable Baby Jesus, would you be honor-bound to leave it inflated all the time?

Can you buy an inflatable Baby Jesus?  A quick search of Google reveals that you can.  ("Customers who bought this item also Frequently Bought a Santa Toilet Seat Cover and Rug Set."  Of course I'm not making that up.  I couldn't.)

Meanwhile I leave today for my first trip to my small sport's annual convention.  The thing is, my sport (eventing; 12,000 registered participants) is so small that all the Very Big Names in it will be at the convention.  This shouldn't be a thing.  Either I know them and am friends with them (a few) or I don't know them at all (more), but either way I'm not 1) competing against them for a spot on the next World Championships team; 2) their mortal enemies, and also, they don't get up my nose, so who cares?  Yet I'm semi-obsessing (read, "obsessing") about what to wear to the convention, which is totally not like me at all.  Trust me on this.  There's a dinner and dance, and I can't imagine it matters, but I'm 3 hours away from leaving and don't know what to pack.  I went so far as to consult my trainer Betty, a famed rider but no great fashion shakes herself.  She responded, "dressy casual."

Oh, because that helps.  Dressy casual fits somewhere--anywhere--in the vast gulf between blue jeans and black tie.  "It means you can wear pants," my Dear Neighbor said, when I presented my dilemma to her yesterday morning, at Starbucks, "but I think you should wear either a little black dress or a black A-line skirt and those new purple boots of yours.  Fabulous!  Show off the boots!"

That's probably the best advice I'll get, so I'd better take it.

It does occur to me that worrying about what among my lavish wardrobe (ok, not lavish by wealthy American standards, but lavish anywhere else.  I own purple boots.) I should take with me on a little 4-day jaunt that I'm taking, as my son reminded me yesterday, "because you're bored, and want to go somewhere," to hang out with a lot of other people who ride horses is perhaps a lot like having a giant Mickey Mouse inflatable in your yard.  It's not harming anyone, but what's the point?  I mean, really?

And yet--would an inflatable Baby Jesus be that much of an improvement?

The new Pope, you know, gave up his handmade red Italian shoes.  I'm not sure I could have done it.  Rumor has it that he also sneaks out of the Vatican at night to hang with the homeless of Rome.  I'm going to make a little advent deal with noninflatable baby Jesus.  I'll still wear my purple boots to the party, but I'll try very, very hard to quit obsessing about them.