Monday, August 11, 2014

Why You Should Never Go Fishing with Santa Claus

One day, my dad decides that we should all (excluding my mother because she's like a cat) go fishing with his buddy Santa, because it would be both a memory-forming and bond-forming experience (his words).

So, we meet Santa, who insists on being called "Santa" because of his prominent features being a really big belly, and a white beard and as a bonus, he also liked giving us (my siblings and me) gifts. I wonder what people called him when he was younger, "Kris?"

But to me, instead of a jolly old nice guy who gives gifts, I think of "Santa" as a freeloading stinky old prospector who happens to be allergic to soap and water and also happens to give gifts. (I mean his favorite foods are under cooked chicken wings and hard-boiled eggs. Who wouldn't be stinky after that? He also loves "cutting the cheese." Our windows were rolled down the whole time that day.)

Cheery vs. Creepy
Who looks friendlier to you? 
(Source 1 | 2)

We meet Santa at his job, and he proceeds to take his stuff (fishing rods, bait, a cooler with sandwiches, hard-boiled eggs, under cooked chicken wings, lawn chair, etc.) out of his car and load it into our van. He then sits in the passenger seat next to my dad and my dad introduces all of us to Santa. As soon as my dad mentions my name, Santa immediately starts staring at me.

In my head I was thinking that perhaps that was normal for someone that I had never met before, but by the time I finished that thought he was still staring at me and I was like, okay... definitely not normal. I felt like I was being put through a scanner. He looked me over up and down several times, and at some point I just crossed my arms over my chest because I was fully convinced that he had some kind of X-ray vision.

Santa: "Your dad here tells me that you love reading books!"

Me: "Yes sir. I do."

Santa: "Well, so do I! I might lend you some books the next time I see you." *Proceeds to wink and flash me a toothy smile with misshapen and missing teeth*

Me: "Ah... Yes, that'll be nice." *Can't maintain eye contact, because it feels as if his eyes are burning into my soul*

Santa: "I also heard you're doing very well in school! Straight A's I assume?"

Me: "Uh... No sir, I always have one B, sir."

Santa: *Hearty Laughter ensues*

Santa: "Well, keep up the good work! I bet with those grades you'll get into a very respectable college!

Me: "Yes sir, I'm trying my best."

Santa: "Please girl, call me Santa!"

Me: "... Okay Santa, sir."

*Awkward Silence*

Santa: "You're very beautiful you know that?"

Crustyoldmansaywhat? First we were talking about books and my grades and now... Whaaaat? I gave him a confused look, but I guess he took that look as a cue to clarify what he had said.

Santa: "Beauty and Smarts go well together. You realize that right?"

How was I supposed to answer that question?

I wasn't feeling really beautiful at the moment, not only because I was wearing really baggy clothing (which is what I usually wear, mind you, but not to be attractive), but since we were going fishing for the first time, we were warned (by Santa, through my dad) not to wear any "perfume-y stuff," so we wouldn't be an easy target for bugs.

So we skipped putting on any deodorant (because all we had was perfumed deodorant) and we slathered ourselves in Vaseline (because we also only had scented lotion) and then when we got to the car, before picking up Santa, we sprayed ourselves down in about 3 coats of bug spray (because Santa said that we'll need it).

So, instead of feeling beautiful, I felt sweaty, slimy, and sticky. The way he phased his questions didn't make me feel good inside either.

I'm sorry, were you trying to be attractive?
I felt as if I had two choices at that moment. Either A) Play dumb or B) Agree with him (there was also a plan C, but that wouldn't have been polite.) I decided to go with plan A.

Me: "Um... No. I didn't realize."

Santa: "Well, I think anyone would be lucky to have you as their girlfriend, someone as nice and innocent looking as you."

I could feel my chest tightening as he resumed looking me over and smiling. I kept a poker face, but on the inside I was screaming : "Hey! Dad! Don't you see or at least hear what your friend is doing? Help me out here gosh darn it!!" But I guess that would be asking of too much of my father, because my dad can't multitask for his life and he was also driving. So, I mustered up my pride and decided that from now on, I would just play along.

Dramatization of my Poker face vs. Santa's flirting skills.
He looks cute, right? Now imagine the same smirk on the face of a not-so-cute 60-ish year old man.
Me: "Ahh... Thank you."

Santa: "Have you ever had a boyfriend? If you don't mind me asking?"

My brain was on fire at this point and now I was at risk of breaking my well-maintained poker face, while trying to signal my father with my eyes through the rear-view mirror. This was becoming dangerous territory. Were we even close to the fishing spot? Was my dad doing this on purpose?

Me: "No. No, I've never had a boyfriend."

Santa: "Aww... What a shame. Those boys just don't know what they're missing..."

This time he looks me over once, but really slowly.

It was disgusting.

I'm pretty sure that I felt something sour going up my throat, but that also could've been my dignity.

My dad then got his attention with the subject of religion and he finally stopped looking at me. I breathed a sigh of relief, but not without caution because his smell of "cheese" was still invading the car.

A while later, we finally arrived at the fishing spot. My dad was getting the stuff out of the trunk and after the rest of us took some stuff from the trunk, Santa suggested that my siblings and I would go on ahead to find a spot with him, while leaving my dad behind to get the rest of the stuff. My dad agreed and we walked down the hill to the fishing spot.

Santa walked closely behind me, while my brothers barreled down the hill. When we got there, for some reason I was relieved to see that there were other people around besides us. Santa, on the other hand, didn't look pleased at all.

When we were all set up at our spot, Santa distributed our fishing rods, taking especial care with mine, giving it to me like a newborn child instead of throwing the rod, like he did to my brothers and my dad. He showed everyone the techniques of how to fish and eventually, we were reeling in the fishes. Except for my brothers. One of them managed to hook my dad on his shirt and the other one managed to first hook a tree and then on his second try, hook Santa's shorts. And Dad and Santa were standing behind the boys.

 As punishment, Santa gave my brothers wedgies and they, at one point, got so many wedgies that their undies could've wrapped onto their heads. (My brothers had to throw those undies away when we got home because the waistband was out.)

My brothers didn't think it was fair and when they asked why I never got a wedgie when I messed up (which happened only once, because I accidentally hooked onto someone's canoe), Santa smacked the backs of my brother's heads before immediately staring at me at the mention of my name and said: "It's because, unlike you, she's a lady."

Then at that point, because my brothers had reminded Santa of my existence, he began to walk over in my direction.

Santa: "So, how's it going?"

In my attempt to ignore him, I just pretended that I was so engrossed in my fishing that I couldn't hear him. But then I caught a fish. And as soon as I reeled it in, he took this opportunity to continue to attempt making small talk. I responded to his attempts with only nods and smiles hoping that if I said nothing he'd go away . That didn't work. Instead he kept talking and giving me compliments, all while he took forever to help me with baiting my hook.

Santa: "You know, now that I'm looking at you, if I was only a couple years younger, I would've definitely been your boyfriend."

Ooooookay, now the scale of creepy has officially reached it's maximum.
Actually, based off of this scale, the creepiness was only "Guarded." Huh. Who knew? 

Regardless of scales, that statement, even though I think it was meant as a compliment, was still pretty creepy. In response, I acted as if my dad was calling me and I excused myself before going over and telling my dad everything that had transpired. He didn't seem too bothered by my story.

Dad: "Oh yeah? That's what he said, huh? Well, I guess that means that he likes you."

Whaaaaaaat? That's all you have to say Dad?!

 I would like to think that my dad is the type of person to protect his children from all kinds of dangers, including creepers, but in this case my dad was completely oblivious to any problem with his 60-something year old friend constantly expressing the desire to go out with his 15 year old daughter. 

Needless to say, my dad did absolutely nothing and I certainly didn't have the courage to confront the creepiness, so I just improvised. I alternated my spots between my brothers and my dad and that seemed to work, because for the rest of the day he left me alone and focused more harassing my little brothers.

At the end of the day, we left and everyone just stayed in their corners. My dad and Santa resuming their discussion on politics and my brothers and I playing video games. 

We got home, and I told everything that had happened to my mom, who reacted exactly as I thought she would've as a mother (who later complained out of outrage to my father, and even later eventually found humor out of the whole situation). Months passed by and the mention of Santa disappeared. 

Until, December came. Something had come for me in the mail. A Barnes and Noble gift card, with an attached note that said: "Happy reading to the always lovely Debbie. From Santa."

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