Dena and Shelby swear by the benefits of delusion to get them over bumpy patches and set them on the right road. And for her Christmas homesickness, Shelby needed a heavy dose. Not that there’s anything wrong with Christmas in Hamburg, but let’s face it…there’s no place like home for the holidays.
Just thinking about watching the same films for the hundredth time on the Christmas channel, fingers gone numb from wrapping gifts she'd lovingly chosen for friends and family that she was sure would be swiftly re-gifted, the dry turkey and lumpy mashed potatoes, the first casualty from a bit too much of the bubbly (not Shelby, of course), and the inevitable breakout of family warfare made her weep with longing.
And, perhaps the saddest of all was not spending the holidays with her bestie, Dena, doing crazy things as in years past, like taking these pictures as Santa and his reindeer. The only thing to do was find a bit of America in Hamburg, and Shelby knew exactly where she should go…Graeff’s Beverage Warehouse.
Graeff’s is a Hamburg homage to the United States and is amazing to behold for the first-time visitor. True, the dummy greeting you upon entrance doesn’t look particularly American and is a bit scary with his oddly wide open mouth, but Shelby just scurried past him without looking.
Almost immediately, she was greeted by Santa and his rather buxom friend. Santa may be a dummy, but he’s not dumb. He seemed to have dumped the elves for a Marilyn lookalike and her toys. Shelby was just happy to partake of the free beer that Graeff keeps on tap. Here she is with Santa getting a quaff. Why is Santa still looking at Marilyn when the Diva is there?
The beer was good, but Shelby was still hankering for home, so she figured she’d head to Graeff’s New York section. She believes it was then that her eyes started playing tricks on her. Was that Dena with the Statue of Liberty? Lord, she really must be missing home.
It was like Italy all over again. Shelby couldn't shake the girl. Dena was even harassing Abe Lincoln. He seemed to be using the flag as protection against the Diva and looking for someone to help him. No matter where Shelby went, Dena was there.
She had even pulled into the Graeff's gas station area and was having a word or two...Shelby hoped it was only a conversation... with the gas attendant. Well, that wasn’t such a surprise. Dena always had liked men in uniform.
No biggie, Shelby thought. But if I catch her chatting up my Marlboro man who’s always standing at the beer fridge, it’s on. He’s mine. We’ve developed quite a close relationship since I’ve moved to Hamburg.
Right about then, Shelby thought it was time for another drink, only no beer this time. She needed a fine wine, and she knew right where to get it. Dear James would be waiting for her with a tray in his hands.
Damn, she couldn’t get Dena out of her mind. She should have known the other Diva would beat her to the wine section. Shelby couldn’t even enjoy her wine thinking about Christmases past with her friends and family. This had been a mistake. Time to go home. With a quick shake to clear her head, the Diva turned to leave, determined to forget Dena and her homesickness.
But just as she made it to the door, whom did she see? Dena again! This time with some rather sinister, sketchy looking Santas.
Shelby didn’t know what they were looking at or what plan they were hatching, but it didn’t look good. Best to beat a hasty retreat lest she get caught up in a beer heist. Little did she know her bestie was planning a kidnapping...to take her home for Christmas. Damn!
Graeff’s is great place, she thought, but maybe this hadn’t been such a good idea for Christmas. It made her want to cry. All she wanted to do was go home...next year, she vowed. Next year, I’ll be home for Christmas.
DO have yourself a happy holiday,
Even if your loved ones are much too far away.
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