Thanksgiving was a bust. I blamed it on the election results and my subsequent depression and despair, but that wasn’t all of it. Family strife added to the mix, resulting in what looked like a scene from the Jerry Springer show. I had no desire to move into the Christmas season, but the elves and Santas and retail giants will not be halted or slowed by anything, even our country’s impending demise or my family’s unraveling.
My work, completely unrelated to the retail world, gets very busy in December, then becomes a marathon in January to meet the IRS’ arbitrary and unrealistic deadlines. I start ramping up December first and go into overdrive January first.
So, I am tired — damn tired — already — and I have at least two more months of this shit to go.
And, I am depressed and despondent and I want to move to a little village in some remote place that has internet and a library and at least one good restaurant and one excellent coffee shop. So, actually not too remote, but at least far away from here — meaning, the good ole USA. Away from the unrest that is bound to get worse, the government dysfunction that is bound to get worse (even though that seems impossible), the hatred and bigotry that are surprisingly worse than I ever thought possible that are bound to get even worse and, tragically, bound to become more acceptable and condoned by the powers that be. This is not a place I want to be.
But, here I am and here I will have to stay because remote villages, especially those with internet, a library, a good restaurant and an excellent coffee shop, are far away and it costs a lot to go far away and I have enough for here, but not enough for far away.
And, it is Christmas Eve. There are many supposed to’s with this holiday. We are supposed to be joyful, supposed to be organized, supposed to desire to entertain and be entertained, supposed to want to bake and decorate and wrap, supposed to shop with giddy abandon, supposed to embrace one another in giant family-and-friend hugs. And, then there are all the supposed to’s about religion and I won’t even go there.
But, we are also supposed to be kind and considerate. We are supposed to love one another — meaning every single one another. We are supposed to help those in need. We are supposed to comfort, include, embrace, and accept one another.
It ain’t happening in our society and sure doesn’t seem to be happening in my household.
Jerry Springer Thanksgiving was followed by four weeks of long work hours, juggling schedules to help care for Grandkids, trying to find the interest and energy to decorate and shop, and intense back pain. Yes, my old nemesis, Back Pain, arrived with a large suitcase for a holiday visit. I saw my chiropractor enough times in the past three weeks to assure she will have a profitable year. And, still I have not been able to evict my unwelcome holiday guest.
The house is a mess because I have been working 10-hour days and Daughter has forgotten there is a house here to clean. The refrigerator is empty and the thought of entering a grocery store on Christmas Eve makes me hyperventilate. And, there is a stack of presents to wrap.
Daughter is working late — something I did not know until last night, but something I should have known much earlier in the week if she’d had the consideration to inform me. Husband and I were planning to lay low this evening. No parties as in years past. Just a nice dinner at one of the few decent restaurants open on Christmas Eve. ’Cause Daughter is working all day and into the evening, Husband and I have the Grandkids. (They all live with us, so it is more a matter of being responsible for the Grandkids.) Had them last night, too. Took them out to their favorite restaurant for dinner, and they fought and bickered and tormented each other. Definitely, not thinking about taking them to dinner tonight. Husband is angry, moody, and resentful because our quiet evening, which was supposed to be a respite from a busy Christmas Eve Day with the Grandkids, is now kaput.
So, I and Back Pain sit here and write. I should be cleaning or wrapping or grocery shopping, but I am writing. Why? Because Husband, who usually is a great and helpful guy, is pouting and stewing and wallowing. Because Grandkids just woke up and are already annoying one another. Because Back Pain is still here and I don’t like him, didn’t invite him for the holidays and want him to leave. Because I don’t give a damn what should be’s are on the agenda today.
Maybe, just maybe, I will just sit here and write or take a nap or read a book or read Medium or take a walk or have a coffee in a quiet coffee shop — nope, nix the coffee shop, too much piped-in holiday music. Maybe, I will put aside all the shoulds and just concentrate on the wants.
Yeah, right. That is what I wish. But, I also wish for a kind and gentle and fair administration. And, for peace on earth and love for all mankind. And, for Grandkids who will enjoy and appreciate one another before they are too old and regret the lost moments and lost years. And, for a Husband who will appreciate the Grandkids even when they are obnoxious because one day we will only see them on special occasions like weddings and funerals, if we’re lucky. And, for a Daughter who is considerate and appreciative and knows how lucky she is to have us. And, for an IRS that doesn’t demand that I do eight weeks of work in four.
So, Back Pain and I will stop writing now and we will try to make arrangements for the Grandkids with someone who will sympathize and allow grumpy Husband and me to have a nice, and probably way too quiet dinner, at a restaurant with all the other escapees of Christmas Eve. Back Pain and I will hunker over a table and wrap more presents than anyone in this house deserves and then we will clean the house — nope, nix the cleaning — let’s not go overboard. Then, Back Pain and I will take a much deserved and much needed nap.
Another Christmas Even will pass and then we have — Christmas Day. Oh, crap, I forgot about Christmas Day!