Dear Friends and Family, and . . . The Kansas City Star,
Mother, what a mother of a year it’s been.
After 18 months of shocking betrayals, I’m happy to report that the horror is behind us. We’ve seized control back over our personal lives, and Funk has continued to make vast inroads with the regime change at city hall. If I had known that this is what politics looked like, well, I still would have helped Funk get elected, but first, I would have dusted off the coping mechanisms I learned from my past, and been a little better prepared to deal with what was going to come.
I won’t go into the gory details, but because of the situation, there really isn’t a funny story to center this letter around. I’ve wracked my brain looking for something, and I’ve even begged my family to help me out, but they can’t think of any funny incidents either. So, at least for this year, this letter will have to go into your pile of other horribly boring Christmas letters. Hopefully, my book will be out next year, and you can laugh through 400 pages of antics that seem to happen only to the Funkhouser clan.
As always, I’ll begin with the fruit of my womb. Andrew started dating a girl from Cyprus this summer, and the entire family fell in love with her right along with him. I mean we love this girl. Things were going well for the two of them until someone, well, lots of someones, happened to mention that Funda reminded them of someone. Funda is short, she has brown hair and hazel eyes, she’s charming, funny as all get out, and a bit neurotic, but she makes up for that by being passionately full of life. Remind you of someone? Mmmhmm. That’s right. She’s my twin. And she got the ax from my heartless bastard of a son the minute that someone asked him if it felt weird to be dating his mother. Andrew has every right to date, or not date, whomever he wants, but as Funk told Andrew, “we’re not letting Funda go.” Thankfully, Andrew’s cool with her continuing to come by the house. Actually, he’s uncharacteristically cool with just about everything these days – he’s just so grateful to be done living a Freudian nightmare that everything is just fine by him.
My darling Tara graduated with her Master’s degree last week. She’s now officially better than I am. Well, she’s been better than I am all her life, but the degree makes it official. Right before she moved away from Atlanta, she bought herself a guitar. She’s gotten pretty good at it, and I’m looking forward to her playing for us while we sit around the fire this summer. Currently, she’s in the process of helping her dad build his consulting business back up, while looking for a job that is worthy of her new status in life.
Tara’s boyfriend, Charles, and I made great progress in getting to know each other this year. The most beneficial gain came when he learned the correct usage of the words, “yes ma’am,” and how using those two little words buys him a world of all the good things in life. Oddly, it was just the other day that I decided that I liked Charles. I warned him that this decision meant nothing as far as his marrying my daughter is concerned, but the change does make for more harmonious living conditions.
Just when Funk and I were beginning to enjoy our empty nest status, first Charles moved in, and then the nest was further filled with Nick and Debbie. Nick lived with us for many years, but then he went off to college, drifted for a bit, and now he’s home again, presumably because he likes having my foot on his ass. Debbie is the daughter of a friend who used to work with Funk when we lived in Nashville. She’s volunteering in the Mayor’s office and living with us until she finds a place of her own. So, our home is a wee bit cramped these days, but it’s full of love and life and many killer Scrabble games.
Well, that leaves just me and my big mistake to fill you in on. Funk and I have been going non-stop for the past three years, and it finally caught up with us. Between the pace and the politics, Funk lost 30 pounds and I gained them. So when we went for our bi-annual cleanse with Dr. Reiko, we decided to forgo the lecture from her and take her treatment like a man. And, as with all of life’s little changes, the universe decided to test our commitment. First I was asked to walk two miles a day. And just when I proudly told the Doctor that I was consistently reaching my goal, she upped it to two and a half miles, and then to three.
I hung in there as best as I could, but I must admit that it was quite grueling in the beginning. I couldn’t bring myself to suffer it alone, so I pleaded with anyone who was in my vicinity to walk with me. On the way to Starbucks one day, Tara complained that I exercised much too loudly. She said that I moaned and groaned the whole time and that it creeped her out because she kept imagining that this was what I sounded like when I was with her father. I told her that if I sounded like I was in sheer agony when in the arms of her father, then trust me, she would have never been born. With that picture out of her head, we continued with our walk, but once we arrived, my body chose that exact same moment to begin it’s cleanse. I quickly beat it to the bathroom. Thankfully, it was unoccupied, but you can always tell that a struggle has just gone on when sitting on a public toilet seat and finding that it’s hot. Not wanting to bring this same revulsion to the next patron, I walked back home to cleanse in the privacy of my own surroundings.
And now, fifty pounds later, and after having acid poured over me for two years straight, the New Yorker in me has risen up stronger than ever, and much to our opponents dismay, Funk and I are back. Oh, we never left. But acid does have a way of sharpening one’s features. Lately, I even had several people ask me if I would run for office. And though I want no part of that, picturing our opponents struggling to call me Mrs. Honorable First Lady and Councilwoman, does bring a smile to my face.
So it’s all good over here at the Funkhouser household. And we hope that it’s all good over where you are too.
Much love, health and joy to you in the year 2010.