I hate the holidays. And all through my life this time of year seems to conspire to prove my dislike is correctly placed. They did it again and we are only at the beginning of the season. There is a whole other month to be gotten through.
As a kid I could never quite understand why everyone was trying so very hard to be jolly after you had heard your mother crying half the night. And underneath all the happy was all this tension. Everyone tiptoeing around to avoid a fight when being forced to see people they ordinarily didn't see, and be nice to people they were badmouthing just the week before they got the letter Aunt Louise was expecting everyone for Thanksgiving dinner.
The adults always drunk too much, you had to be nice to your obnoxious cousins, let your aunts with too much make up kiss you, put up with cousin Bruce of the roaming hands, dress in uncomfortable clothes, be grateful for gifts you thought you had long outgrown, worry that you were using proper etiquette at the table and thanked everyone you needed to thank.
And adulthood just makes it all worse. You spend money you shouldn't spend and don't even have, toil all day cooking food you would not ordinarily eat and which will vanish in twenty minutes, tap dance around subjects that come up for demolition year after year, dress up and go places when you want to curl up with a good book and ignore the world. And once again find yourself apologizing for something you said at 3 in the morning when ordinarily you would have been asleep.
And I always end up apologizing for something. Nobody every apologizes to me. It is always me that is expected to say I am sorry even when I am not sure what I did wrong. Well, here it is everyone: the blanket apology. I hate the holidays! I hate them so much. I hated them before Mom died on Thanksgiving Day and I had the ski accident that changed my entire world on Christmas Eve. And I especially hate that I have to pretend I like them. So I AM SORRY for anything I do wrong between now and the middle of January.
All that said I have a refrigerator full of food bought with the money I needed to pay the auto insurance in 12 days. I am up at an absurd time worrying about my sister that left here unable to breathe because of an illness she had not mentioned. And to make matters worse she was angry at me because of something I said about the dogs. (I am NOT responsible for what I say at 3 a.m. It is one of the reasons I stopped going to bars. Some part of my rational brain does not work at that hour. When is everyone going to get that?) And in four hours I have to be bright eyed and bushy tailed and smile at everyone for two days at a Holiday Market. This is real important because I need to earn back the auto insurance money I spent. And tonight I have to attend a reception at the gallery that represents my work.
What I really want to do is jump in bed, assume the prenatal position, and sleep till February. Stress is when you have to say one thing while your mind is screaming another. No wonder the suicide rate is so high this time of year. I am sorry but I wish the grinch had succeeded in stealing Christmas. And I think Black Friday is a perfect name for the day after Thanksgiving but not for any of the reasons the merchants think.
PS: I will be thankful when this is all over. And if I haven't been around to read and comment on your happy holidays or I am thankful post I apologize for that too.