“No, Bill, you can’t open your presents early. You’ll just have to wait until Christmas like everyone else.”

“Whaaa! But I want to open my presents now!”

“I said ‘no.’ What part of ‘no’ do you not understand?”

“But… But… Mrs. Ferguson let John open his presents early.”

“That’s because John is a spoiled brat who gets whatever he wants.”

“He got tickets for Taylor Dayne and Jewel. Am I getting concert tickets for Christmas?”

“If I told you what you’re getting for Christmas, it wouldn’t be a surprise, now would it?”

“And Mrs. Johnson told Fred that he’s getting concert tickets for Christmas. Am I getting tickets for Natalie Merchant?”

“Forget it. I am not telling you what you’re getting for Christmas.”

“Then how about tickets for Emmylou Harris and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts?”

“What did I just say? I swear, sometimes you just don’t listen.”

“Whaaaaa! I wanna open my presents now. I wanna know if I’m getting tickets for Diana Krall or Alicia Keys. I want my presents! Gimme, gimme, gimme!”

“When I was a little girl my mother warned me there would be days like this. ‘Someday you’ll grow up and have children of your own,’ she said. ‘Someday you’ll know what it’s like to be a working mother,’ she said. She was sooo right.”

“I’ll bet I’m getting tickets for Jonatha Brooke, Karla Bonoff and Ani DiFranco. Can I open my presents now? Can I? Can I?”

“Would you just drop it? I am not letting you open your presents early.”

“Then can you just give me a hint?”



“That’s it. You’re going to bed without your supper. And no TV. And no talking to your friends on the phone, either.”

“But… but…”

“Look, I’m in charge here. As long as you live under my roof you’ll do what I say. Now go to bed or you won’t get any presents for Christmas. Understand?”

“But… but…”


“I… I guess so. But… but…”

“But what, Bill?”

“You weren’t so mean before you got elected Senator of New York.”