photo credits: Christopher Polk / Getty Images, Official White House Photo, U.S. Government

Hello! Welcome! Please, pull up a chair, put your hair behind your ears, flip your phone over so you can’t see notifications, lean in, wrap your hands around your mug to warm them, blow a little, grab your phone again because this whole situation is actually really cute right now with the steam, put it on Insta (Nashville filter please), hashtag #thetea, tag me, put your phone back down, blow a little again, take a sip, go “MMMMMM,” and let us enjoy our tea. (As Andy Dwyer once said, mine will only be a cup of honey, because tea is gross.) Of course, tea is only a metaphor for gossip, as we do, but I’m glad I took the time to set the scene because I want this experience to be comforting and heartwarming as hell and I also support you in always letting your social media followers know how good you look. Okay, shall we? Pinkies up! Sip, sip!

Melania Trump and Satan’s Village

Whoops, this is the opposite of heartwarming! Melania Trump gets overlooked sometimes because there are so many cartoon villains in government right now, but she really pulled ahead of the pack by converting the White House into the #bebest holiday scene of our nightmares. Recent photos shared by the White House—on purpose, it seems—showed the first lady sulking down a hallway stuffed with towering blood-red trees, which had the same visual effect as that scene in The Shining with all the blood rushing down the hallway. Was Melania trying to tell us something? Was she conjuring The Shining’s themes of the insanity of isolation and yearning as a plea for help? NO! Of course not! Just like her husband, she’s a tacky monster who finds comfort in garishness and is probably just preparing herself for a certain eternity in Hell by decorating with Satan clearly in mind. Hang on, I think I’ve got it... SATAN? SANTA? Did Melania send a text to her decorator that meant to say, “Make it look like where Santa lives,” but she accidentally wrote “Satan” instead, and when the decorator was like, “Excuse me, ma’am, did you mean Santa?” Melania denied any wrongdoing because that’s what Trumps do. So now the White House looks like a Christmas special for demon children, because they really don’t care, do u?

Not to be outdone by her stepmother’s bad judgment, professional daddy’s girl Ivanka Trump went on ABC News to defend her use of personal email for work stuff. “Blah blah blah,” she said (I’m paraphrasing). And nothing happened because nothing ever does and we all moved on quickly because it was never about the emails. Very legal, very cool.

Delicious Foods

How about this romaine lettuce recall?! I love a good excuse to not eat salad this time of year. Give it to me at 350 degrees in a 9 x 13 or GTFO, that’s my reason for the season. Casserole. And pizza. Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson recently shared a picture of himself on Instagram in the moments before housing an entire pineapple pizza. The Rock wrote, “I love these midweek pizza carb ups like a drunk loves free peanuts.” LIKE A DRUNK LOVES FREE PEANUTS. Okay—for one, everyone loves pizza, and for two, drunks love everything, and for three, that is a weird, old-timey metaphor. Do bars still even give out free peanuts anymore? Has the Rock even been to a bar or does he just watch a lot of Cheers? “Dwayne!”

Delicious Headlines

People magazine shared an article this week headlined, “Inside Matt Lauer’s Quiet Life 1 Year After Today Show Firing: ‘He’s Not Doing Well.’” THANK YOU, People magazine, for putting the only content I care about right there in the headline so I don’t have to read about gross Matt Lauer. I imagine that the article alludes to the fact that this sexual predator is still filthy rich, which is not fair and makes me mad; I’d rather focus on him being miserable. So, good headline!

And here’s another one from Spin: “Trent Reznor Says He Told Ted Cruz to ‘Fuck Off’ for Nine Inch Nails Guest List Request.” I love any story about people being mean to Ted Cruz, even this one, which is unsettling because it reminds us that Ted Cruz is young enough to like Nine Inch Nails. Get this: Ted Cruz is 47 years old. He is the same age as cool people like Winona Ryder, Taye Diggs, Ewan McGregor, Amy Poehler, and Snoop Dogg. When I was in my early 20s I had a brief fling with a man who was then approximately a decade older than I was, and since I’m now 36 that means he’s approximately Ted Cruz’s age. *Barfing emoji*. In the immortal words of Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor: fuck off, Ted Cruz!

Not-Delicious Balls

Portland’s Mayor Ted Wheeler is doubling down on his status as a guy who just can’t say what the people want to hear. This time he’s voicing his support for the Portland Diamond Project, which seeks to develop a baseball stadium in Northwest Portland. Wheeler tweeted, “Baseball has a rich tradition in Portland.” Huh? No, it doesn’t. Listen up, Wheeler: I’m a third-generation Oregonian, and the only baseball tradition in my family is actively avoiding baseball. My mom forbade me from joining my friends’ baseball leagues as a kid because it was so phenomenally boring to watch. Being an Oregonian who’s fully indifferent to baseball is the only baseball-related rich tradition that I hope to pass on to my daughter. Tweet whatever you want, Ted, but if this is your way of gaining praise after botching a protest ordinance, it’s the wrong approach for the Joneses, that’s for damn sure.

The Last Word

I’m sorry to be such a negative Nancy this week! I mean, it was justified (free peanuts?!) but I really did want to leave with some warm fuzzies for the holiday, so now that we’ve gone low, let’s go high: Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness is learning how to figure skate and he regularly shares clips on his Instagram. Big cows are a thing. The Good Place hasn’t been canceled. The Great British Bake-Off isn’t as bad as we all worried it would be without Mary Berry and Mel and Sue. Ariana Grande is grinding hard. And Robert Mueller is grinding hardest of all; those little Trumper boys may yet experience consequences for the first time in their lives. Let’s hope this is the last Christmas with Satan’s White House. Happy holidays!