1.06.2010

We Can Dress Him Up, But....

Like you, most likely, all the Christmas decorations are put away for another year. As I'm puttering around trying to tie up loose ends around the house, I'm still giggling at things that Cappy said while he was home.
This year, as usual, he looked just wonderful in his red checkered flannel shirt, black suspenders and Santa Claus hat. His beard looked especially nice for the holiday season. He bought some candy canes to hand out to little kids...AND adults, it turned out, as we walked though the different stores doing our Christmas and grocery shopping. Even when he isn't wearing the fluffy Santa Claus hat, little children spy him, as did this one little boy coming out of Office Depot as we were walking in. The little boy, following his dad, stopped in his tracks, his eyes wide and breathed the word, "Santa?" So, "Santa" turned and visited with him for a few seconds, while his dad looked on, smiling. "Santa" always tells the little children, "See? Thas why ya gotta be good...ya never know where you'll see Santa Claus". Being Santa isn't always what he's got on his mind when he's in a hurry to "get in da store, get what we need and get out". Sometimes he'll forget how he looks, and concentrating on what he's looking for along the shelves, is oblivious to crowds of people smiling and parting as he walks by. One guy, who must have been about 18 years old, suddenly turned into a 4 year old and eyes sparkling, said, "HI! Santa!!" So Santa always stops to visit briefly and hands out candy canes. (He bought different flavored candy canes this year because not all kids like the peppermint kind). Even grizzled old grandpaws will stop to talk to him. One older black gentleman who was coming out of the post office stopped to say 'hi', got a candy cane, and said, "Why thank you...this is the very first time I ever got anything from Santa Claus". Forget the Christmas hustling and bustling; because he looks like the Jolly Fat Man, we always had to have our 'mosey' on, despite our wanting to get our 'hurry' on.
So, I guess it wore kinda thin on Cappy, always having to be Santa Claus and always having to be "on", as he said, whenever we went out. But I thought, "one more time"; we were going over to visit Sam and Louise for their housewarming and to meet their kids and grandbabies, who are 3 and 1 1/2 yrs old...perfect! "Santa" balked, saying, "I haven't met Sam and Louise's kids; I don't want to go meeting them for the first time ever, actin' the fool". He was insistant, so, I didn't press it...poor guy only has two weeks off the boat, he didn't need to be stressed for his holiday vacation. He asked me, "Ok, then, what should I wear?" Since it was in the high 70's that day; very balmy, I asked him if he'd want to wear one of his bright Hawaiian shirts because 'Wha-hoo! It's December and almost hot outside'. He said, "Ok". Well, we'd been so rushed that I hadn't had a chance to do the laundry and all his jeans were dirty, so I pulled out a pair of denim or khaki shorts, (I forget which) which he put on. As we were going out the door, he was pondering which hat to wear. The usual black felt winter hat wouldn't go with the Hawaiian shirt, and the fishing cap...uh...naww...so I handed him his straw hat, at which point he shouted, mock angry, "Ohhhh! I see what you are doing! You're dressing me up to look like that Santa Claus, on vacation figurine, that Foy sent us...you aren't fooling me...you're still trying to dress me up like Santa and didn't think I'd catch on, just cuz I can't see myself". That hadn't been my plan, but no matter what he wore, he'd still look like the Jolly Old Elf Himself; there was no getting around it. (p.s. the figurine Foy sent us is up in the attic somewhere in the Summer boxes or I'd have posted that picture.)
When we got to Sam and Louise's house, despite Cappy's "disguise", Isaac, their 3 year old grandson knew who he was, even tho he'd never met Cappy before. He called him "Santa", brought "Santa" his little toys and hung onto "Santa's" leg. This is the same little boy who is always shy around me.
Cappy's daddy used to play Santa Claus for the family and different functions, so whether he likes it or not, it appears that the mantle has been passed onto Cappy.
It seems no matter how Cappy is dressed or where we go, he still gets "mistooken" for somebody else. When he shaves off his Santa beard, it's an whole other scenario. He said it didn't used to bother him so much when someone would say he looked like David Crosby of the Byrds and Crosby, Stills and Nash fame. I can see the similarity. What he's not so thrilled about is being compared to Wilfred Brimley. One time we were at a gas station; it was windy and rainy, and we were having tire problems. A truckload of rednecks pulled up, so I thought they were going to offer help. Instead, one of them got out, approached Cappy, pointed and yelled, "You FAMOUS, aintcha!!?" Cappy quietly said, "No, I just look like 'im"( not sure of who they thought he looked like, but just wanted to get the tire fixed).
"Noooo, yer Famous...I know you are...you famous now, aintcha!!?
Cappy, trying to keep calm, and in measured tones repeated several times, "No, I'm not; I just look like 'im"
"Nawwww, we wanna git yer autograph...yer him, aintcha!!? Yeah...yer him!" Finally, Cappy ignored him long enough that the poor guy stood there quiet and crestfallen then slunk back to his truck empty-handed. I'm not sure what those ol' boys opinions are of David Crosby or Wilfred Brimley now; they probably think he's just all high-fallootin' and stuck up.
Well, Cappy gets that all the time. It seems as though everybody who meets him or sees his photo has to tell us that he looks like Wilfred Brimley. I think Cappy would much prefer to have the Santa label instead of Mr. Brimley, whom I sure is a very nice man, but Cappy said, "That Wilfred Brimley dude is bald, wears glasses, he's fat, and he has a big bushy moustache; I'm not sure I like that comparison".
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