And then you know.
My Christmas was looking pretty sad. Beef couldn't make it because he had to go help out his brother down in Mojave, and Tina was over at some awful girlfriend's house (not that I was invited). I set up a little nightstand bonsai tree in my room and decorated it with some glow-in-the-dark confetti stars. I put a couple little gifts under it, like some new Blistex and a Stila lipstick (for me, of course). That was about the extent of the Christmas Spirit around our place.
On Christmas eve around seven o'clock I was sitting at the dinner table watching Law & Order, about to twirl my fork into a plate of Lean Cuisine capellini, a glass of two-buck Chuck by my side, when the doorbell rang. Figuring it was some lost partygoer I got ready to point out wherever it was that so-and-so lived, and didn't even look through the peephole. I nearly died when I opened the door and it was Beef, holding a neatly-wrapped gift and a big bag of Chinese takeout. He was even wearing a nice sweater which I knew wasn't his.
He walked into the apartment and I gave him a hug. Then I had to excuse myself to the bedroom for a moment...it was too much to think how pitiful my expectations for the evening had been before he showed up, compared to what I was getting now. I misted and dabbed for a good minute before doing a couple jumping-jacks, slapping my cheeks and bounding back out into the main room, where he had begun setting the steaming food up on plates and platters.
We had a lovely meal of salt and pepper shrimp, pork and tofu kung pao, two lakes soup, lamb chow fun, and a bunch of other stuff. He had brought some Heineken to drink and pretty soon we were giddy like kids.
He said he had a present for me and I ran into the bedroom to get his little trinket from under the bonsai. I insisted on giving him his present first – a table of all the local train times, formatted using his favorite sans-serif font (Hudson Regular). I made it at Kinko's and had it bound in special leather, so he could keep it in his pocket like a conductor. Beef is nuts about trainspotting. He didn't say anything, but clamped up and gave me a great big hug, which was even better. That was all he needed to do.
Then he handed me this wrapped box and I didn't know what to expect. It wasn't too heavy and it didn't rattle. I lifted the tape off the ends, unfolded the paper, and...Converse! That's right, a black pair of low-top Chuck Taylors! Not just any guy can get you a pair of low-top Chucks. You have to really know the girl. I put them on right away and danced all around the apartment. To get himself out of dancing duty he put on some music and opened us two more beers. I don't know when I've gotten a better present, or had a happier Christmas.