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I mentioned in passing this morning, as I was reading the local paper at the kitchen table, that Kenny Rogers would be in town for a concert later in the month. Now, when I was living alone, I still commented — to nobody– on such things. But now that I have an audience, I feel I’ve removed myself from the status of ‘Crazy old lady who talks to herself’. I did not expect L’il Sis to react to this information. But she did.

“OMG! Kenny will be in town? Oh, Mom, I must take you to see him! You’d love it!” She would know, since she went to his  Casino show a few years back with some friends. While it’s not something I would have expected her age group to enjoy, enjoy it they did.

I expected, as usually happens in our family, that we’d think it was a great idea and then forget to act on it. ‘Cause that’s the way we roll. But no, I discovered that The Man in My Life also likes Kenny. Struggling to come up with A Brilliant Idea for his Christmas gift, inspiration struck. I would get tickets for us to see Kenny. But I knew L’il Sis wanted to take me. So, taking the bull by the horns (or interfering, as my kids would charge), I ordered three tickets online that very day. I worried about explaining this to L’il Sis that night. I had single-handedly turned a girls’ night out into a — yuck– evening with Mom and her boyfriend! But my intentions were the best — we could all see the show and not miss out on tickets by waiting too long. I would take action first and apologize later.

L’il Sis arrived home that evening waving a sheet of paper. Excitedly, she yelled, “Mom, guess what! I have two Kenny tickets!”

I waved mine right back at her. “I have three!”

And so we began the quest to find two people with musical tastes as cheesy as ours. No luck. Apparently we hang with a cultured crowd, the kind that likes the symphony and classical music. I too enjoy some highbrow events, but sometimes you just have to let the cheese factor rule. Christmas is one of those occasions. For years now, our family’s ‘go-to’ Christmas album is Kenny and Dolly Parton’s. It’s hokey, it’s upbeat, and it’s definitely not religious. But then neither are we! We crank it up full blast, toss back a few boozy drinks, and trim the tree…and the tree looks all the better for it. It is as lit as we are…

Luck was with us, however, and we found someone to buy the tickets. Thank you, Gill, for introducing us to the wonders of Kijiji. The prospective buyer called L’il Sis and arranged to come to our place to get the tickets. That was when L’il Sis got worried. She had to work that day and was terrified that perhaps she’d just given an axe murderer an open invitation to invade our home.

“You worry too much!” was my answer.

When the lady arrived, it turns out she was buying the tickets as a ‘thank you’ gift for her mother-in-law (imagine, liking your mother-in-law!) for helping her raise a litter of puppies. From the sound of things, her house was more of a menagerie than mine. We had a lovely visit and she left, no axe evident on her person.

L’il Sis was relieved to find me still alive when she got home. “You didn’t need to worry,”I said. “At least about me being murdered. What you should have worried about was that I’d buy one of her puppies!”

L’il Sis looked at me. “Tell me you didn’t!”

“I didn’t…but it was a close call.”

When I told Gill of the day’s activities, she warned: “Ma! You can’t be trusted. That sounds a lot like when you got Poochie from the market…remember, you were just going to get cheese and you came home with her. No cheese. If you tell me when I get home that you’ve got a new dog, you’ll have some ‘splainin’ to do. There are already going to be two dogs there…I sense I’ll be lucky to have a blanket in a corner somewhere to sleep on.”

“Not to worry, dear. You know there’ll always be a blanket here with your name on it…it will likely be covered with dog hair and bird feathers and I can’t guarantee the corner, but…”