As some of you know (and most of you don't care) Miss Spoken was conceived, born and raised in San Francisco. And she loved it there. And she never wanted to leave. But it costs a quadrabillion dollars a month just to get by. And The Family was definitely not getting by. And so with an ultimatum in one hand and a crowbar in the other, Seltar convinced Miss Spoken that she could leave her heart in her beloved city, but her ass would be living in Reno (aka Babbleville).
[Dabbing tears and putting on a brave face]
Miss Spoken still thinks of San Francisco and sometimes writes her love letters and bakes her strawberry cupcakes. But for the most part, Babbleville is treating her and The Family just fine. And if she were really honest with herself (which she can be in enormously self depreciating ways) she would admit that, despite the devastating loss of Seltar, her and The Family are better than fine. Lots of bad habits were left in the City by the Bay. Like Legal's love for a gang banger, The Boy's uncontrollable urge to eat Sharpie markers and Boss Lady's propensity to throw kitty litter in the air like confetti.
But one thing has not been so easy to acclimate to and that is .... the weather.
Miss Spoken's roots and petals are used to a mild climate and the moderate temperature swings delivered with a gentle hand by the Pacific Ocean. She likes her fog heavy and all-encompassing. That's why summers in Babbleville are spent at the pool sipping vodka and eating cubed fruit because otherwise she would wilt. Or turn into a harpy. And nobody likes a harpy. Especially one who's been drinking vodka.
But that was Summer and her calendar now says Winter. Miss Spoken is still not used to the concept of seasons. Did you know there are four of them? That's three more than she's accustomed to. And that's why there are still tank tops hanging in the closet and board shorts in the drawers. It's why the water wings and the inflatable seal that gushes a spray of water out it's nose, are still full of air. She can vaguely recall a commercial about space bags and putting away seasonal clothing, or was it a magazine that said something about white and Labor Day? She's not sure what to do so she does nothing. She is sure that when the snow comes, it will come in slow, delicate, dream-like flurries. She'll have plenty of time to prepare.
It's this novice mindset that sent her, along with Johnny Boy and The Family, to the Annual Sparks Hometowne Christmas parade completely unprepared. Johnny Boy was savvy enough to bring folding chairs and Miss Spoken knew enough to bring gloves and a hat. But that was about it. Two toe-numbing hours later, after hearing Kimberley Locke sing for about five seconds and after seeing no less than seventeen boy scout troops hurl frozen, broken candy canes into the crowd, Santa finally made an appearance. "Ho-ho- ho, Merry Christmas ... I can't feel my feet."
[Mental Note: Next year bring a chair that won't break during the middle of the parade, a thermos full of Irish coffee and some buffalo hides to keep warm]
And then Winter arrived in the form of something hideous called a Snow Day. And the slow, delicate, dream-like flurries look like this: