I Found Out!

Candy Cane Lane 2023 (Amazon Prime)

I never really tested the warning, “You keep making that face and it’s going to stay that way.”  However, it seems that now I know the truth in the warning, “You keep making jokes and you're gonna find out.” 

I am self-aware enough to perceive the defense mechanism of deflection in my humor.  There are also elements of reaction formation. For example, one of our student research assistants marched boldly, unabashedly, into my office the last week of the quarter before winter break and asked, “Do you have an extra MacBook charger I can borrow." I gave her that look that said, “You must be outa your ever-loving mind!”  Then I proceeded to an audible rant: “You think I just have a stack of them laying around to be handing out. . .OH! I know what your problem is.  You got confused and mistook me for Santa Claus seeing the white whiskers in my beard and the red in my sweater.  Well, I am not here to give you presents.”

After I finished my rant, I lent her a charger.  I just couldn’t have her thinking I was easy, or else she might become like the last staff member to whom I lent a charger, and I did not see it again for three months, just saying.  Also, I had to disabuse this particular student of her unjustifiably generous appraisal wherein she said to me, “You should teach a class; you would be the best professor to have.”

It was all fun and games until Christmas Eve, when I found out.  I was celebrating Latino style at a friend’s house, which meant big tent in the back yard, lots of extended family, eating a huge dinner late at night and then staying up even later to open presents. However, it also meant that there would be tasty pozole and tamales, so well worth missing my bedtime.

I was enjoying my dinner when I noticed this particularly winsome toddler with fetching almond complexion, dark brown eyes, and wavy hair, as she climbed all over her mother’s lap.  Then she switched to get some lap-time with dad who was sitting next to me. I could see that with his large athletic build, dad was her favorite climbing structure.  I enjoyed the scene until she started reaching over to me as if I was next.  The crazy thing is that, without hesitation, her dad handed her over. 

Next thing I know, I am holding this toddler in my arms as she is stroking and examining my beard with much fascination, and I am wondering, “What just happened here?”  Fortunately, Candy Cane Lane was still playing on the big screen at the end of the tent, which gave me clarity.  This poor child saw my red outfit and white whiskers and sincerely thought I was Black Santa. 

As awkward as it was, there was also beauty in the moment, that a child could enjoy a place and time where everyone was family and everyone was safe, and she could presume that everyone loved her.  Fortunately, soon thereafter we played the gift-giving game, and I was able to disabuse the whole room of the notion that I was some black Santa by showing them that I came to take presents, not hand them out. 

  • Picture taken from "Candy Cane Lane" 2023. Amazon Prime

Leave a comment

Name .
Message .

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published