Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Here come the holidays...

The holidays are inherently depressing because nothing you experience in reality will ever measure up to the spice scented, baking cookies, steaming hot chocolate, cheery fire, warmth of kith and kin fantasy being offered up by Hollywood (or to the yearning of our own pathetically ever hopeful hearts). To take this scenario a step further, factor in always seeming to break up with somebody right at the beginning of the holidays and you get to be the token single person at all your married friends holiday parties. This leads to a witches brew of holiday “meh” syndrome. I’m also a person from a very small, somewhat anti-social (and mildly dysfunctional) family, and I tend to be able to feel oddly isolated, uncomfortable and alone in a crowded room full of people (although you’d never know it, as I fake being at ease really well). A scenario like this makes me want to run for the door when I’m forced to make chit-chat with essential strangers about “How come I haven’t remarried after ten years” (answer: I may be a masochist, but I’m not stupid) or “Aren’t you seeing anybody? What ever happened to so and so?” (confession: nobody has ever said “so and so”. Confession #2: I am often tempted to answer this question with the most sincere face I can muster and say: “She died of anal cancer. It was gruesome. Just horrible. She died in complete agony. Just…just…awful. I’ve only, well, just today actually, stopped crying over her and have only recently gotten off of my meds, but talking about her now….it seems…I don’t know…I just….will you excuse me?” and then start uncontrollably sobbing and make a huge scene. Who knows? It’s holiday party time right around the corner…I’ll keep that one in reserve in case I’m truly bored). Point is, the holidays tend to leave me with a big ol’ empty hole in my gut…a total lack of fulfillment. I suspect I’m not alone in this regard (obviously). The upside to having nothing but married friends is they usually throw the above mentioned parties, so I get to have a few weekends of free food and drink. But the hustle and bustle of the family/social lives of others around the holidays makes one (well…me anyways) reflect on their deceased parents (my father passed away twelve years ago, and every Thanksgiving/Christmas I think about how he continually ruined the holidays with his alcoholism…when I’d rather not think about him at all), their own failed relationships, or the seeming pointless consumerism of it all. It seems to me the holidays are a giant bait and switch, except with lots of food, booze and forced smiles. “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…um….ennui….”

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