Cinci, patru, trei, doua, unu … Ura!!!! Sarbatorile s-au terminat !! Suruburi numara in jos in ultimul minut; Am numarat pana la Ziua Recunostintei. Nu exista nimic, NIMIC, in aceasta lume care te face sa fii mai constient de faptul ca esti singur decat ultima luna si jumatate a anului calendaristic. Nu, o iau inapoi, nuntile pot fi cel mai rau in a sublinia faptul ca esti o petrecere a uneia. Cel putin acestealucrurile dureaza doar o zi si exista, de obicei, o bara deschisa care sa va ajute sa va eliminati mintea. Oricat de mult mi-ar placea sa merg pe un bender de treizeci de zile in „cea mai frumoasa perioada a anului”, nu cred ca angajatorul meu va gasi la fel de cathartic. De fapt, cunoscandu-l atata timp cat am, as putea garanta cu usurinta ca singurul lucru pe care l-ar pune in cioracul meu va fi un slip roz. Cred ca as prefera sa fiu amar in timpul vacantelor decat in somaj in ianuarie.
Inainte de a incepe tirada mea, permiteti-mi sa va asigur tot ce ma bucur intr-adevar de Craciun. Nu sunt in niciun caz un Grinch care doar foloseste statutul meu de relatie ca un alt motiv pentru a ura sarbatorile. Decorarea copacilor, coacerea caselor de turta, ingerii de zapada, colindarea; Nu este nimic prea cheesy sau sappy pentru mine sa iau parte. Eu cant muzica de Craciun incepand imediat dupa Ziua Recunostintei si ma opresc doar in ziua de Anul Nou, deoarece prietenii mei m-au amenintat cu violenta fizica daca nu o fac. Imi decorez casa, imi decorez locul de munca, chiar am pus acele pisici stupide pe pisici. Nu pot sa ma pricep la asta. Practic, gandeste-ma doar la un elf extrem de inalt.
Oricat de mult imi place Craciunul, trebuie sa recunosc ca sezonul este putin mai dulce atunci cand ai pe cineva pe care il iubesti alaturi. Este placut sa ai pe cineva cu care sa te incurci pe canapea si sa urmaresti „Este o viata minunata” impreuna. E placut sa faci o plimbare in noaptea primei ninsori tinand mana si minunandu-te de luminile de Craciun ale vecinilor. Lupte de zapada, sanie, sarutare sub vasc; chestiile astea iau doi oameni. Pai, poate ca saniusul nu face, dar ce adult sanatos merge cu adevarat singur pe sanie? Este ciudat.
Desi sunt perfect in regula cu faptul ca sunt unica in acest moment din viata mea, voi fi primul care a recunosc ca am un sentiment nelinistit de dor de indata ce decembrie se rostogoleste. Sunt uman doar pana la urma. Exista o limita a cantitatii de reclame Hallmark pe care o persoana o poate urmari inainte de a incepe sa iei in considerare in mod serios sa-ti lasi bunica sa te stabileasca cu fiul fiicei sale de coafura. Stiti… cel care a studiat Geologia la facultate si acum colecteaza radiouri vechi. Ea a spus ca este destul de mult farfuria.
Speaking of family … I think they might be the number one reason why I dread the jingle of sleigh bells every year. Don’t get me wrong, my family is great. They are kind, funny, warm people who love me unconditionally and support whatever I choose to do with my life. They have welcomed in all of my past boyfriends graciously and worked hard to cheer me up when the same jerks walked out of my life. Hell, they have put up with me getting tattoos, dying my hair blue, and following the Grateful Dead around for a summer. They are good (and very patient) people.
Perhaps they are a bit too supportive though. This year I chose to count how many times I was told, “don’t worry – You’ll meet someone”. Would you care to guess what the final tally was? The grand total was 327 times. Now let’s not focus on why I decided to really record the amount of times I heard this sentence. That is not the point here. The point is that every five minutes another family member was bringing up the fact that the most significant relationship I have with a man these days is with the guy who delivers my pizzas. Sometimes it was a conversation between just me and my relative. Other times it was the topic of discussion over the family meal. Awesome. Let’s get everyone’s opinions on the subject – please. I’m just dying to know your thoughts on this oh-so-not-sensitive matter. Shall we discuss my latest Pap smear while we are at it? Let’s get everything on the table.
This year I tried something new. I decided to take a shot of vodka every time I heard that dreadful sentence. I kept a “water” bottle next to me anytime I knew I was going to come into contact with my family. In retrospect I’m not sure if it was the greatest idea. I was black-out drunk at 1:30 in the afternoon on Christmas day.
My family is pretty progressive. They vote mostly democratic, they are not prudes; they can deal with the idea of an independent woman living her life as she wants. But I know deep down inside they are keeping track of my age and how many years I have left before I am technically a spinster. For the record, in their minds that number is pretty low. Like, I’m going to go past my expiration date this upcoming March, kind of low. Glad to see there is no pressure on me or anything. I can’t blame them. They come from a different time period. When they were my age if a girl wasn’t married by twenty-five she was pretty well fucked.
My family doesn’t keep their opinions strictly to the dinner table; these opinions also bleed into the kinds of gifts I have been receiving over the past few years. I hate to cook. I think I’ve made this pretty much clear in all of my columns. You would never believe this fact by the amount of cook books I’ve received lately. Good Housekeeping, Betty Crocker, Martha Stewart, that guy who says “Bam!” a lot. The whole gang is hanging out in my kitchen cabinet. Quite frankly, that is where they are going to stay for the foreseeable future too.
My family’s attempt at making me more domesticated doesn’t just stop there. I’ve been given every kitchen gadget imaginable. Some of the stuff is so foreign that I don’t know if it is modern art or a functioning tool. I’ve received a sewing machine, a vacuum, and a blender. Jesus Christ! What’s next? Kitten heels, a string of pearls, and a mop? A few years back my grandmother gave me an amazing set of china. The same exact set she gave my sister for her wedding. The tag said, “just in case …”, as in “just in case you never get married you old bitch”. Thanks gram. Next year I’m going to get her Depends adult protection. You know … just in case.
As awful as being single during Christmas may seem, there are a few brightly shining benefits to it. First and foremost, I do not have to go through the whole “Oh my GOD! What do I get him!!!” dilemma. I’ve seen this rather innocent question send the most grounded people over the edge. Unless you have been with someone for a good amount of time, the Christmas present problem can be quite the nightmare. We’ve been together three months. Do I get him a CD or an X-Box 360? If I buy him clothes will he think I’m trying to change him? Should I ask his friends? Should I ask his mother? Is he going to freak out because I talked to his mother? Of course these questions are always flying through the person’s mind while at the local mall a week before Christmas, on a weekend, with major blow-out sales going on. What a lovely, calm place to make decisions.
This problem doesn’t affect only women. I watched one of my close male friend’s hair slowly fall out as he tried to figure the perfect gift for his girlfriend of four months. Every time I talked to him it was a different idea. He covered everything from a weekend away to gift cards to board games to leather gloves. He secretly called her best friends to enlist their help. He talked to every woman he crossed paths with for an entire month. I think he even called into a local radio talk show that offers love advice. In the end, he picked out a fabulous gift. My friend bought his girlfriend a beautiful silver necklace and a gift certificate to her favorite day spa for a day of luxury and pampering.
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What did she get him? A twenty dollar iTunes gift card. You know, the ones you can buy at the local gas station. Last I knew they were taking a “small break” for a little bit.
Even if you can manage to navigate the gift giving maze from hell you still have someone else’s family to deal with. All families are weird in their own way. It’s a fact of life. Someone is an alcoholic or a shoplifter or needs to wear a helmet when they go in public. It’s easy for us to deal with our families because we’ve lived with it our entire lives. The small idiosyncrasies that each family member exhibits have become something we don’t even notice anymore. Other people’s families on the other hand … now there is a real eye-opener. Two minutes in the door of your new significant other’s parents’ house and you have already witnessed his parents fighting, grandpa sticking his fingers in the egg nog, and his fourteen year old cousin asking you if you “smoke the chronic”. Holy Christ! Where is the vodka? Did the fourteen year old take it? It’s all you can do to restrain yourself from ransacking the medicine cabinet in search of the Valium that his mom had a “small problem” with just last year.
At the end of the day, no matter whether you have someone beside you or not, the holidays are bound to make us a little batty. It’s a universal fact. Birds will always migrate with the seasons, Dick Clark will always do his New Year’s Eve Special, and there will always be a last minute present that we forgot to pick up until quarter of six on Christmas Eve. But if we can see past the chaos, the craziness, and the annoying family members; we can see the true meaning of Christmas. It is a time to honor and celebrate the relationships we do have in our lives, not worry about the ones that are missing. It’s a time to watch the current year come to a close and take comfort in all the blessings and lessons that it brought with it. It’s a time to get excited about the new year that is dawning and to revel in the hope and excitement that beginnings seem to always bring with them. It’s the time to return all those hideous sweaters that your aunts and uncles bought for you and get something you will really use.
I hope this holiday season has brought each and every one of you joy, love, and peace. May the New Year bless you with prosperity and good fortune. And if all that fails, may you always have enough vodka left over from the night before to make Bloody Marys the next morning!