The Nutcracker Life Chose Me

Someday, should I have done the sort of things that lend themselves to people writing biographies about other people, someday a book or article about my life will almost certainly involve the statement, “She had a lot of fucking nutcrackers, and it was weird.” Let’s be honest, there’s no way that statement doesn’t sound a little strange, especially if you know anything about my casual indifference to Christmas. We didn’t celebrate it until I was nine or ten, I never believed in Santa, and both my deceased brother and father were born on Christmas. So, there’s a lot to unpack there. Don’t worry, we will not be doing that today.

Let’s get back to these nutcrackers, shall we? I don’t have an exact count. I was going to get one, but then I didn’t and they’re already all over my house, ready to terrify anyone who hasn’t already been subjected to them. The first one was gifted to me by my friend, Amy, in high school. We were dating brothers, who were the nicest sort of people, and so were their parents. In 1996, the brothers and their parents took us to see the Nutcracker, and it was pretty great. I don’t think either of us had ever actually seen any sort of ballet performance live. It was a nice time with some of the nicest people I have ever known.

I wouldn’t maybe say that it created a fierce need to collect nutcrackers, though. But once Amy gave my first, which I like to call You Poor Sad Bastard, You’ve Really Had it Rough, they started arriving every year, mostly from my mother, and then from my aunt, who shall remain nameless, because she is actually a crazy nutcracker lady in the best way, and she deserves to live that life in privacy.

In more than twenty years, I have never actually purchased a nutcracker for myself. I’ve given them to my kids, because they were like these are weeeeeird, I want to play with them! And I was like, FINE, but don’t break mine, here are your own, actually no, you can’t break those either.

And then a LEGO nutcracker arrived with a gift I had ordered. AND I KEPT IT. Partially because I never get to build LEGO sets anymore, and also it looked cute. And I was bored. His name is Shawn, he likes side-eying the cat, being near possibly dead cacti, and the musical stylings of Pat Benatar and Heart.

I am willing to admit that once you start naming and creating backstories for items you collect, whether or not it is on purpose, that it’s probably time to embrace the crazy foisted upon thee, and just get weirder. So, bring them on, Mom. I WANT ALL THE NUTCRACKERS. Behold, my GLORIOUS army:

They’re coming for you, Jimothy, even the old, broken ones, and these fuckers are not amused.

Happy Holidays.




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