Sunday, December 18, 2011

Compared to the Joneses, We Look Really Bad

We have lots of friends and relatives who send out nice Christmas cards every year. Better yet, some send letters to catch us up with everything their families have been doing. Some even include pictures. We're not exactly that diligent.* So we feel a little guilty about all these thoughtful, unreciprocated messages that keep coming to our mailbox...

Then, last week we got one that really makes us seem inadequate. Here it is:

I masked out their eyes and first names to preserve their privacy, but I didn't bother
with the last name because really, "the Joneses" doesn't narrow it down much.

How does this card make us look bad? Because we don't even know these people! The woman has the same first name as one of my wife's college roommates and looks vaguely like her, but they haven't spoken in about 17 years. We're not even sure it's her, and if it is, why would she look us up after all this time?

This could be a family we've never met. The card did not get delivered to the wrong house, because our name was on the envelope, and the address was right. I kind of suspect that some complete strangers added us to their list just to make us feel even worse about failing to send anything ourselves, even to our loved ones. Thanks a lot, Jones family--it worked.

I'd like to take this moment to say a big Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all our friends and family, wherever you may be. And to the Joneses as well--we hope you have a great one, and thanks for thinking of us (show-offs).

- Brian, Celeste, and the Kids.

* "Not exactly that diligent" means we don't do it. Ever. Don't judge me!


  1. Hey, in two weeks, I'll start finding the cards we bought but never sent.
    We'll mean to, next year, but we'll misplace the cards. Which I'll find 2 weeks after next year's holidays.

    At least you just covered everyone on your blog.
    If they care, they'll find it.

  2. This makes the term, "Keeping up with the Joneses," literal in your case. Whoda-thunk-it? I wonder if these Joneses are THE Joneses everyone is keeping up with? I wonder if the Joneses have been sending Christmas cards to families at random all of these years just to make them feel the way they just made you feel? Are Nick and I next? I bet they're one of the families on our street with a Mercedes and a BMW. Are they going to send a picture of their cars to my house? Damn you Joneses! Damn you!!!!!!

  3. Sarah - I worked in a movie theater when the 3rd Indiana Jones movie came out. The poster had the tagline "Have the time of your life keeping up with the Joneses".
    Not sure how this is relevant, but there it is...

  4. Let's see... that Indiana Jones guy and his father are some rough, tough, adventure loving dudes. I can't keep their extreme pace for one day. The proverbial Joneses with a Mercedes and a BMW (which they bought just to make us envy them) will always be too hard to keep up with in terms of material possessions. And the nice people in the picture (one of whom may know my wife from college) have not only sent us more cards than we've sent them, they've sent us more cards this year than we've sent to anyone, ever.

    I give. I won't even try to keep up.

  5. Okay. I guess I won't call out for the damning of your friends. :)

  6. I don't send out Christmas cards. My mom works for the post office. I mentioned I was thinking about sending out Christmas emails, and I thought her head was going to explode.

  7. Yay! I'm back! Working.... or "working" as the case may be.
    But your post brought me some delight as I was wasting away on the couch. Reminded me of how much I delight in psychoanalyzing the Christmas Letters I get with the accompanied photo. It's fun to read between the lines. Especially when it's people I don't know and/or haven't seen in forever.
    I'm not sure if it makes me feel inadequate or just plain giggly.