I’m really not a big fan of the holidays. I used to be when I was a kid. Christmas Eve was the best night of the year, but all of that anticipation and wonder and joy has been lost along the way.
When I was an adult and not talking to my family, I enjoyed the holidays because I didn’t have to do a damn thing. The holidays for me were full of laziness and bad movies and pajamas. I saw friends if I wanted to, but rarely did I want to. Most of the time, I spent Christmas and Thanksgiving with a cat curled up on me sleeping all day and watching movies. It was great.
People would say to me, “what are you doing for the holidays?” and my reply of “nothing” was met with stern disapproval. People would invite me to their thing, completely missing the point. People saw “nothing” as a bad thing, whereas I saw it as a gift to myself to do whatever I wanted to do without any obligations. While the rest of the country was rushing frantically from point A to point B, I was taking a bubble bath or a nap or doing, well, nothing. People didn’t understand that it was by choice. It’s not that I couldn’t do the typical holiday things, I just didn’t want to. It never occurred to anyone that I might want to be alone on Christmas. It got so that, when asked, I’d answer “going to a friend’s house” just to make them feel better.
Then about a decade ago, my sister moved to California and she ruined everything. She hijacked my Christmas tradition and now I have to do it with her. I have to go to her house and watch the bad movies she picks. Her idea of bad movies are nothing like mine. She watches bad movies. She tortures me with them. I have to cook food and be around people, even if it is only her. She doesn’t get it either.
So, now instead of looking forward to Christmas, I dread it. It’s torture full of cooking and horrible movies. And the worst part is, she gets angry if I don’t spend the whole day with her. She got angry on Thanksgiving because Male and I took my dog to the dog park. She doesn’t like that Male is included with our holiday thing now, too. She asked me the other day if Male was going to ruin Christmas. What does that even mean? You are ruining Christmas!
Yesterday was supposed to be my lazy day because I have to do all this crap on Christmas. Yesterday morning, I got a text from my best friend telling me that she had broken up with her boyfriend on the eve of Christmas Eve and asking if I could come over. A half an hour later, I was at her house. I was there for seven hours. I made the mistake of taking my dog who wouldn’t leave her cats and geriatric dog alone and whined the whole time. She got a squirt of water in the face and freaked out entirely. She shook and panted and sat in my lap. Not one of my friend’s animals wanted anything to do with my dog. I felt terrible. I felt bad for my dog who had been traumatized and ostracized by all the other animals who didn’t want to play her reindeer games. I felt bad for my friend whose story kept getting interrupted by a whining dog.
Then Male and I grilled steaks and tried to watch movies, but Netflix was down so we had to make do from our meager DVD selection. The couch was too small to cuddle and there wasn’t enough firewood or eggnog. He wanted to go to a friend’s party. I was emotionally spent from the day’s events and didn’t want to do anything. He wanted to be around people. I don’t count. He said he feels sorry for people like my friend who are searching for someone to spend their life with because it’s an impossible quest full of heartbreak and disillusion. He doesn’t see himself spending his life with anyone. What I heard is “Male doesn’t want to spend his life with me.” We are not.
I trundled off to bed and I woke up alone. He’s sleeping in the other room. I woke up alone.
Later on today, probably as soon as I’m done writing this, I will have to go over to my sister’s house and make Christmas cookies, pie, prime rib and Yorkshire pudding. I will be forced to watch the worst movies ever made. Then, I will infuriate my sister by going to my best friend’s house. My dog won’t get to go to the dog park and I’ll still have a slightly broken heart.
Merry Christmas indeed.