by Mary Houlihan
It happened in the foyer, underneath the mistletoe and adjacent to Dad’s framed Shawshank Redemption poster. I’ve assembled us kids together to discuss our next course of action.
It’s no secret Daddy hasn’t satisfied Mommy for some time now. Hell, we all could have guessed she was sneaking around Daddy’s back –– but that she would do this with Santa? Dad loves Santa. This would destroy him.
I think it’s best us kids don’t tell him. I know honesty has always been the best policy, but after last night, I’ve learned life isn’t so simple. And besides, if lying puts me on the “bad kids” list, then go ahead, put me on there. Because I don’t trust Santa’s moral compass anymore.
Isn’t Santa like, two hundred fucking years old or something? It’s disgusting really. Santa has known Mom since she was a child. I know “love is blind” or whatever, but I’m sorry, relationships with that age disparity always require a power imbalance. The younger party can’t properly gauge when they’re being taken advantage of. Like if Mom was uncomfortable with something, Santa could be like, “Well what do you know, you’re only 35,” and Mom might be like “well, maybe he’s right, he’s lived longer after all,” and start to question her instincts. It’s called gaslighting and it’s fucking wrong.
This is never a one-time thing. I’d be shocked if Santa wasn’t doing this with a dozen other moms literally the same night as he was with our mom. Probably on different continents even.
It goes without saying we shouldn’t tell Mrs. Claus either. Sarah, I know you may think Mrs. Claus looks like a fool, but we don’t know if they have an arrangement. It would be more foolish of us to tell Mrs. Claus what we saw, if she already knows.
Timmy, I’m intrigued by your proposal to write an anonymous letter to Mom telling her what we know. But then again, we don’t want to leave a paper trail. I mean, picture Dad finding that letter. No thanks! Us kids better confront her about it face to face at a neutral location, like the Starbucks on Route 17.
I don’t want Mommy to feel attacked, but I do feel that some sort of ultimatum is necessary. If she refuses to stop seeing Santa, we walk. We must make it clear it’s not a bluff, and have a plan in place of where we will live and how we will support ourselves if need be. I went to the park earlier today and scoped out a nice patch of grass next to an overhang where we can stay dry. I chose the park because it has barbecue pits, and also ball fields for leisure. In this new society, we will take the aspects of the old that work and drop the ones that don’t.
We will be a true democracy rather than a representative system. Everyone will get a vote regardless of age or stupidity (no offense, Leslie). The ShopRite downtown (only a 0.4 mile walk according to Google Maps) has everything we could possibly need. Their products are marked up by design, with the knowledge that losses and shopliftings occur. Not only that, ShopRite is required to discard loads of perfectly good food every night. One might argue we should take advantage of these inefficiencies of the capitalist system by shoplifting or dumpster diving, but I argue something more radical: We must live outside the system that has failed us, and produce everything we consume. My contribution will be yarn potholders that Miss Fitzmaurice taught us how to make in class last week.
You all can think about what jobs or crafts you want to perform in our new society. Marcy, since you are only an infant, you don’t need to have a job yet, but don’t let that discourage you: your cuteness is essential to morale.
Now, I know what you’re all thinking: will Dad be allowed to live with us in our new society? My gut is telling me no, but let’s vote on it an hour after we’ve all privately weighed the pros and cons.
If, at our meeting at the Starbucks on Route 17, Mom agrees to stop seeing Santa, I suppose we could keep living the way we have been.
I know I have just dropped a bomb on you, but it’s essential that you remain cool. Mom mustn’t know that we know anything. When she and dad wake up in four hours, I want you all to act like nothing happened, and be sure to totally flip out and go nuts when you rip open your presents so they don’t think anything’s up.