@EMarrinner A-hem. Pardon me, rather: "tea partiers." Ahahaha. Although I may not be wrong with the first statement, it's nothing of which I'm expressly aware.
@Emby Dispatched from Pullman, WA. I know two former DC'ers who are living lovely lives in this town... Demerits: 1. Entertainment - we don't have the "night life" of a larger city, but this really isn't a problem for anyone with some creativity or an imagination. There are some great day-trips and rural communities to explore -- which I know sounds SO mundane, but again, if you have a curious nature, it's delightful. 2. Shopping -- know all your sizes from all your favorite retailers, because internet shopping is required. We have a Macy's, Old Navy and a really great retailer for outdoorsy attire (plus some excellent consignment) -- but really: internet. Nordstrom in Spokane is 90 minutes away. 3. Travel: If you anticipate a lot of airline travel, maybe run a couple "dummy" flight itineraries through travelocity or something -- you might find it expensive to fly out of Moscow-Pullman Airport and inconvenient to fly out of Spokane. Merits! Pullman and Moscow are both quiet liberal (I assume that any 'pinner would consider that a merit?). Of course there are conservatives, and some crazy reformationist tea baggers -- but Whitman (Pullman) and Latah (Moscow) counties voted "blue" in the last two presidential elections. We have a small but thoughtfully cultivated restaurant scene (and a cheery, well-appointed food co-op that is the heart of our whole community), Moscow's Farmers Market is a treasure and on a good day living in the Moscow-Pullman area is like living in Stars Hollow (you know, Gilmore Girls?). On a less good day, it feels a little quiet...but if you have any of the spark of Anne Shirley or Jo March, the less good days are very few.
Thanks to Nicole for the recommendations and perfect timing. My mom is an enviably prodigious reader, and becomes anxious near the end of a book if she doesn't have another in queue. Her birthday is approaching and I'm planning to gift her with a trove of tomes. This list helps with the selection process!
On The Oscars
@fabel to repeat coolalison: I also thought he was funny.
Thank you for the link to the Brady Campaign.
@MilesofMountains You are my inspiration! Here goes!
Thanks, everybody! I so appreciate the help with specific ways to assist. Like P-aBJ noted, "what can I do?" is an empty request. I will be on the look out for little things and push my luck with an offer of dish washing. Also -- I thought of a party job all on my own: booze patrol! Keeping those glasses topped off. What's Christmas without kids: there will be little ones in the midst -- and I will herd them. I will do it! (And if everyone tells me to sit down and drink some more wine, I'll do that instead).
@clarkie I don't think you need to double-up on gifts. But -- If you're staying as a guest at your BF's parents house, a Christmas/hostess gift would charm and delight. It sounds like you live a distance away -- if that's the case: maybe something from your local winery/confectionery/maker of delicious things. That kind of thoughtfulness can cost less than $15.
So, this: "And then 2. I just smile, try not to talk way too much, and stay super busy being helpful."
Any suggestions on ways to stay super busy being helpful? (I swear this isn't from the Desk of Lady Mary -- hear me out): This year, I will have the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving AND Christmas with in-laws. During festivities, they make a big show out of shooing my fella and I out of the kitchen. While we both feel relegated to the kids' table during holidays, I am the one especially in need of good PR. What are some ways I can be helpful during holiday meals and get-togethers, despite not being allowed in the kitchen?
Halloween Advent has been marvelous! Jolie is brilliant.