EST. May 2000 (AD)


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Diary of Mrs. Claus

By Sharon Grehan-Howes


December 18

Dr. Phil was talking about conflict resolution. I wrote down a few of the tips and tried them out over dinner.

In a very calm manner I told Nick that I needed to feel that I was a part of his life. He surprised me by saying he needed my support.

He said it wouldn't hurt if I took an interest in his business and I guess he does have a point. He agreed to go with me to a marriage counselor in the new year which is terrific. Nick is definitely old school so I feel we've made progress.

December 19

What he says and what he means are two entirely different things. I made a suggestion today and he completely lost his temper. I told him that since reindeers can only go 12-15 miles per hour if we got a Lincoln Navigator we'd have more time to spend together.

This led to a very long quarrel. He was astounded that I would want to lay off his "children" This upset me so. Although I try to bury it, I have to admit that I'm terribly bitter we didn't have children of our own.

Nick was trying so hard to make a name for himself in the early years and it did make sense to put off having children, but the time never seemed right and before we knew it it was too late.

What's done is done I guess, but it really niggled me that he would think of those dirty smelly layabouts as his children.

December 20

Oh dear, this is terrible.

Nick fired Balthazar and Roofie today and the elves are in an uproar. He got rid of them because he thought they were trouble makers. He heard a rumour about the elves starting a union and I guess he panicked.

After he gave them their pink slips the elves went on strike and refused to work until he reinstates Balthazar and Roofie.

Nick took off in the sleigh and didn't come home for hours.

I thought maybe I'd try to calm things down a bit and went out to the workshop with some cocoa. Emotions always run high at this time of year and usually a nice cup of hot chocolate and a sing-song clears the air but unfortunately the elves had been dipping into the cider. There was no point talking to them as they were quite rowdy and they were getting quite abusive.

Nick came home at 4 a.m. reeking of licorice. He's still pretty upset so I rubbed his feet and sang "I'm a Little Teapot" until he drifted off.

December 21

It is so strange. The quiet is deafening. No little hammers pounding, saws sawing, drills drilling. I thought it would be terrific to have Nick around during the holiday season but it isn't. He is so depressed. He just sits and puffs on his corn-cob pipe sighing heavily.

I tried to put a good face on it and told him that maybe this was a sign that he should retire. I told him with the money we'd save on postage and toys we'd be able to get a nice condo in Florida.

In all the centuries I've been with Nick I've never seen him so depressed.

December 22

It can't go on like this, Nick won't even get out of bed. For all his flaws I do love him. He has always been a good provider and he has always been faithful. I can't stand to see him hurting so.

I'm taking control of this situation once and for all. I've invited the elves over for dinner tomorrow night and we are going to work this out if it takes all night.

December 23

Well the atmosphere at first was frosty to say the least. There was an eerie politeness throughout dinner that made me very sad as I couldn't help but think of the boisterous times we've had in the past.

After dinner I asked the elves to state their grievances. Balthazar and Roofie had filled their heads with dreams of a world where toys came in as just-in-time modular sub-assemblies, a world where people worked 8 hours a day with two weeks off every year and a world where people didn't have to sleep in shelves with their co-workers.

Nick shook his head, yelled "I'm not a millionaire!" and got up to leave. It looked like things were going to end there, until Simon, one of the more timid elves cleared his throat shifted on his crutch and said. "I'd be happy with a surname, Sir."

The room went very quiet as Nick turned around and looked steadily at Simon. He put his finger beside his nose, thought for a moment and said slowly, "I don't think that would be a problem."

From then on, the floor was opened up and they were able to come to an agreement.

It turns out they didn't want much more than a little respect. Nick was forced to acknowledge that perhaps he had let his end down that he had taken them for granted.

The meeting ended with a a group hug and toast to Christmas, then they all scurried off the the workshop.

I was left with a sink full of dirty dishes but for once it didn't matter. It was worth it to hear Nick's hearty chortle.

December 24

Nick just left--late-- I might add, but he's on the road. I just poured myself a shot of Bailey's and I think I'll have an early night. I worry that he'll get the reindeers going too fast and that someone will leave out whiskey but for the most part the stressful part is over.

I guess it's not so bad, we'll see a counselor in the new year, work a few things out. I've lost quite a bit of weight and look and feel better than I ever have. My computer course starts on the 5th and it sounds exciting.

Maybe next year will be different.