Dear Friends, Family, and People We Don’t Like But Need to Impress:
The past year brought many fruitful developments to the busy Williams family! The kids are blossoming (somewhat), the adults are thriving (depends on your definition), and our oversize McMansion is beautiful in its own ugly way. Speaking of oversize, the balloon payment on our second mortgage is due right at the beginning of 2016!
But we have to be radically honest with you—in 2015 we experienced increasing discomfort over the disparity between our public personae (Kevin’s got more than 1,000 Facebook friends—I mean, c’mon) and our private existence (we have almost no discretionary income!).
In the interest of spending less time trying to keep our stories straight, the Williams family hereby commits to 12 months of total and utter honesty. To kick it off, we’ve revived the tradition of a holiday newsletter! We’ve decided to send it out on January 1st because, let’s face it, we didn’t have time to do it earlier—and by that I mean we were either drunk, hungover, or fighting for most of December.
Kevin’s pushing 45 and now officially covers the gray (on his chest). For those of you who have asked: He’s still in “biotech,” a.k.a. Big Pharma. Yup, Kevin sells drugs. We’ve nicknamed him “The Dealer,” ha ha!
This year brought exciting changes for our humble squad leader: His regional employer was snapped up by an international conglomerate and he wasn’t laid off! Hooray! In lieu of his quarterly bonus, Med-Pharmacis Co.—our new benefactor—has provided him with a tracking device and a teal Chevy Malibu, free of charge. Go, Kevin!
Bad news: Kevin’s now working from home. Constant distractions now include everyone else in the family. But, there’s always a silver lining. His favorite part of the new job? Its abundance of and proximity to network TV (day) and single-barrel bourbon (night). Plus: No showering.
Local peeps: Need to Uber between medical facilities during daytime hours? Kevin’s your guy!
You may have noticed that we haven’t included a family photo this year. While we’d like you to interpret this as aesthetic sophistication, let’s be honest! Keri’s gained fifty pounds. Okay, fine, sixty. She’ll slap a phone right out of a child’s hand if a photo is even attempted. We’ve seen it happen.
Most of you know that she turned the big 4-0 in April and immediately retired from her real-estate career. This was for the benefit of the family but also had everything to do with her exploding anxiety disorder! Good news: Her condition has benefitted greatly from the robust prescription drug program sponsored by Kevin’s new employer. Keri’s plans for an organic kale micro-business are on hold while she learns how to keep house and kick Xanax. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?!
Up next for Keri: Clipping coupons! Go get ‘em, Keri!
Emma (age 8)
Emma continues to be a strong leader at Nature’s Garden Learning Academy, her 100% child-led $24,000-a-year private elementary school. We hear all about her strong “initiative” weekly from teachers and—thanks to Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In—have learned not to use the “B” word (bossy!). Mandarin immersion is going gangbusters, or so we believe: Neither of us know how to speak Mandarin! But aren’t the characters pretty?
In June, Emma’s “Kids Who Code” birthday celebration was a smashing success. We’re pleased to report that—in lieu of gifts—Emma graciously accepted donations to Habitat for Humanity from the 48 IQ-enhanced children in attendance. Emma’s commitment to social progress bought 16 carpet squares for a proposed two-room dwelling in somebody else’s neighborhood! Who says that kids are ungrateful bank-account drainers?
If anyone’s looking for gift ideas, Emma’s Amazon Wish List has an age-appropriate selection of STEM-learning toys and grade-level reading material, plus details on clothing size and style preference.
In case you haven’t noticed, we’re putting all our eggs in Emma’s basket!
Henry (age 5)
Nothing to really report about Henry. And no updates on his preschool, either…because he’s no longer attending. Boo-hoo. Sacrifices were made when Keri’s aforementioned mid-life crisis slashed the family income by at least a third.
Henry keeps himself super-busy exploring the neighborhood while Mommy’s in the bedroom “finding herself.” He’s already taught himself how to scale fences and he befriended a shut-in down the street. When Keri’s (almost) drug-free, we plan to brand and monetize her innovative home-based learning program, “(Mostly) Benign Neglect Parenting.” Stay tuned for I Just Don’t Care, the e-book!
Gift ideas for Henry are easy. All he needs are pajamas and flip-flops, that’s what we like to call our “working from home uniform.” Thanks for the inspiration, Kevin!
Well, that’s it from us. We hope you have a great year—but not better than ours!
With begrudging annual commitment and radical honesty,
Illustration by Allison Ross