Monday, December 14, 2009

The Ugliest Christmas Sweaters. Ever.

In the end, we have the evidence, so that’s all that matters. And because a picture is worth a thousand words, I’m willing to share. But beware: I can’t 100% guarantees that No Rabbits were harmed in the making of these sweaters:

The Ugly Christmas Party was a great success, and in the end I’m pretty sure that Nathaniel and I tied for the worst sweaters imaginable. (I even wore a backup Ugly Gold Snowflake Sweater under my Ugly Christmas Sweater lest I became overly embarassed at the ugliness of my original sweater. That...and the thing was bulky and hot!)The fact that our white, fuzzy snowmen matched only added to our semblance of style. The worst part of the night was NOT in fact entering our host’s house for the first time, but rather – walking through VONS with a 12-pack of beer and bags of chips.

Call me crazy: I have no problem wearing Compression Socks, spandex, or workout attire in public, but when it comes to Ugly Christmas Sweaters – then I’m embarrassed. Plus - my sweater was exceptionally bulky...I could have easily hidden an additional 20 pounds on my frame while wearing such a thing. Why oh why do Women's Christmas Sweaters need to be bulky? Is it a sweater-thing? Or merely the type-of-women-who-voluntarily-wear-such-sweaters-thing?

I don't know.

But seeing myself on camera in public, made me throw up a little in my mouth.

And the supermarket really wouldn’t have been so bad, except the checkout-lady – a wonderful woman in her late 40’s whose own set of Christmas-themed accessories were worn with style and conviction – told Nathaniel “how cute” his sweater was.

Then she looked at me and shrilled, “You match! Oh – how wonderful!”

Which made everyone within a 30-foot radius turn and stare. No: stare doesn’t begin to describe the looks we got. Openly gawk, with laughter thrown in for good measure, was more like it. At least when we were tearing through the store – our focus was 1) beer and 2) chips. Looks didn’t matter, as long as we could transition back to the car before anyone realized how Ugly our Sweaters really were (and Heaven forbid, think that we would purposely wear something like this because we thought we looked good.)

Then, and only then, did I feel the need to justify our Ugly Sweater existence. “We really don’t dress like this, honest! It’s just that we’re going to an Ugly Sweater Party and we thought these were hideous. I – WE – would never wear anything like this in real life. I swear to you!”

Unfortunately, our Checkout Lady took great offense and looked hurt at my crass comment, while the guy standing behind us in line shook with laughter. I couldn’t swear it, but I thought I saw someone pull out their camera phone and take a picture.

Clearly, we were destined to be the Ugly Christmas Sweater Winners.

The party was fun, in and of itself. Because nearly everyone sported Ugly Sweaters, we didn’t stand out. Ironically, it was those few who had decided to “play it safe” that were cajoled and made fun of. Sure, conformity can be a bitch: but when you look hideous, strength in numbers tends to play in your favor.

The first thing I did – after greeting our hosts and commenting on the states of everyone else's sweaters – was hit up the booze table. When I’m racing and training in earnest, I rarely have more than one drink at social situations. Hangovers and workouts just aren’t my style; and I’m happy to be the designated driver more often than not.

Gosh, I love the off season.

After the first or second Sangria, it hit me that – these parties really ARE much more fun with a bit of help from Jack Daniels and Sam Adams (not together, obviously). And suddenly our traumatic experience at VONS seemed less…traumatic.

More and more people arrived, and before too long, a lively game of charades began. Now for those who know me, I’m not exactly Ms. Extrovert. When there’s a crowd, I usually sit back, let others share the limelight, and more often than not – observe. But upon sporting the most Ugliest Christmas Sweater ever and knocking back a few Sangrias, I turned into a much ‘livelier’ version of myself.

My Tiger Woods impression was pretty good (if I do say so, myself – even though I am admittedly a bit biased), and I found myself blurting out answers that surprised even Nathaniel.

Let’s just say if Triathlon had a 4th leg of – oh, let’s say Drunk Charades while wearing Ugly Christmas Sweater – you would want me on your team.

I got ‘Driving Miss Daisy’ and ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ within seconds. I was that good.

But as with so many things in life, all good things must come to an end. Soon my Sangria buzz wore off and I – once again – realized how Ugly my Christmas Sweater really was. My Charades talent grew less and less and I wasn’t willing to accommodate a Sunday-hangover in order to score the most points. The hour grew late and Nathaniel volunteered to drive home, as he didn’t find his sweater nearly as offensive as I found mine.

In the end, I think we both found “a keeper” with our respective sweaters. After scouring several local thrift stores, the ONLY thing I’ll admit to – is cutting out shoulder pads (on both sweaters). I can’t really say what kind of animal was used to make the Snowmen Monstrosities, but whatever it was, I can’t believe the poor thing would want its fur to be used in such a manner. Both tags proclaimed “hand embroidered” and together Nathaniel and I were slightly disturbed that someone would take the time and effort to make sweaters such as these.

Nathaniel’s even had felt balls – white and red – carefully and lovingly sewed on, and perfectly placed.

I’m not really sure if we’ll bring these to Minnesota and Wisconsin with us. However, I am sure that we’ll be keeping these for future use. And it’s safe to assume we’ve got every future Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Contest in the bag from now on.

Because I seriously can’t imagine a worse set of sweaters. At least – for Christmas Sweaters all throughout the world – I certainly hope not.


Molly said...

Sorry, I'm stuck back on "Nathaniel's even had balls..."

Anyway, that's hilarious! I'm glad you had so much fun!! :)

Kim said...

molly i thought the same thing!!!!!!

haha, you guys are cracking me up. so glad you wound up having a great time!

Beth said...

The fact that you and Nathaniel matched...priceless!!!! ;)

Also, the fact that the sweaters had shoulder pads...well, that says it all. :)

Anonymous said...

I LOVE the sweaters! I think I may make our work party an ugly sweater party :) Oh the planning that needs to take place! HEHEHE

I would've laughed SO SOOOO hard all the way through VONS in my ugly sweater!

Glad you had fun :)

Jennifer Harrison said...

OH MY GOSH. NOW that is hilarious!!!!!! Glad you had fun! :)

MM said...

I love how they match!

Charisa said...

Ahhhhha HA this is just super awesome!! I'm glad Nate is back :)

Missy said...

I would totally stalk you in the store to snap your picture. I would also be rude enough to actually say to you - this IS a joke, right? Yeah, the sweater had balls and so does the wearer of said sweater, HUGE balls for wearing that shit in public.

ADC said...

I LOVE it.

Maria said...

wow, those are some seriously impressive ugly sweaters!! the supermarket sounded like quite the adventure. next time is see people in ugly sweaters, i'll be sure to laugh and take a picture!

San said...

Haha, you two are sooooooo cute in these sweaters!! I really can't understand why you think they are ugly. ;-D

This post made my day.

Teresa said...

How can your remember so much about the night?!

Sounds like a blast and it will definitely go down as an unforgettable evening.

Can't wait to see next years attire (you know you will be hunting it out all year :))

kerrie said...

sooo cute, you match ;)!
ha ha
i think i'm up for a round or two of drunken charades! sounds fun!

Ryan said...

Nate...felt balls???

Great, there goes his future bid for the Senate.

Trigirlpink said...

Good lord, that is funny... we have boring cookie swaps here.

Alicia Parr said...

Your VONS story is very funny.

Mary said...

Aw, so cute!

ojs said...

I just feel honored to have seen them in person. They were hilarious....or was that hideous!!!

GoBigGreen said...

OMG wait till you come to MN, I mean SERIOUSLY. This is what people wear. IN public. All. THE. TIME.

Mer! said...

hysterical!!! I LOVE IT!!!
Nate looks thrilled to be wearing his handmade garment =0.....


Nicole said...

I can't believe you two were brave enough to go into the store with those things on! I don't know if I could have done it! haha

Sherry said...

Ha! Those sweaters are hilarious!

We actaully received a Christmas card this year from a couple who pretty much did an "ugly sweater" themed card! I about laughed my arse off when I opened it! Too funny!

Happy holidays to you!