Onesies were Brigid’s idea. The rest of the siblings had their newborns, new spouses, new houses, new raises, and other welcome topics of the successful adult. For the singles — Brigid, Kevin, Shannon, and of course myself — still living at home, working as either students or teachers, there were no new achievements or traditional rites of passage to announce over double helpings of pumpkin pie. For myself, the arrival of yearly milestones — first college degree, first internship, first car, first job, first paycheck, first roadtrip, first love, first heartbreak . . . first hangover — had come to a halt sometime during the last five years. It was as if while running a marathon, you discovered someone had replaced the road with a treadmill.
Bree had started weekly internships at local elementary schools, and arrived home in the evenings exhausted, despondent and reeking of finger paint. Kevin had recently acquired a Chevy truck, which in lieu of a girlfriend he had nicknamed, Sharon. Shannon attended evening classes to escape his part-time job at an accounting firm. In short, we all were seeking our place in the world.
As such, our dinner conversations centered on such deplorable topics as semester grades, unhappy occupations, Ford engines, and the winter anime schedule, about which no one but me cared. Shannon at least had the option of talking football. Mostly I chose to eat Christmas turkey in silence and contemplate next year’s season of Blue Exocist.
And so, to celebrate our shared solitary lifestyles, the four singles decided to don matching onesies for Christmas morning. The idea had instant appeal, awkward and weird as we were. Bree had the whole idea planned out: we’d all dress like Ralphie in his bunny-suit from a Christmas story. Mom always insisted on pictures before presents. It would be the strangest Christmas photo of the last decade, which in our family saying something. Shannon insisted on a onesie with a butt-flap, mostly I think so he could moon anyone by simply turning around.
It was perfect. That is . . . until we realized that Target and Walmart had sold out of holiday sleepware. Bree and Shannon spawned the idea only days before Christmas, when holiday shopping had scraped the store shelves bare. We found a few pea-green nighties but little else.
Thus, our holiday celebration shifted from onesies to cosplay. Shannon and Bree dove into the collective bin of Halloween costumes with relish. Shannon donned a camo snow-suit and Bree grabbed a leather satchel and fedora. For a whip, she twisted a bathroom towel and practiced swatting action figures off the kitchen table. I casually chose a wizard costume I had used last October for the Ren faire: cloak, pointy hat, and glowing Gandalf staff. Kevin, dressed in his Christmas pjs, refused to participate, but the clash of plaid red and green bottoms and green t-shirt created the image of a human candy cane so we gave him a pass.
All things considered the effect succeeded. The other married members of the family had their traditional and expected yuletide. We had Christmas with Indiana Jones, Gandalf, Elmer Fudd accompanied by chubby green and red candy cane. Let see anyone else unlock that achievement.