Sunday, November 01, 2020

I enjoy your enjoyment but personally

 I just don't care. 

So here we are at the warm and fuzzy family traditions time of year. What I call the 'faux family holidays'.  And once again, I have the dichotomous reaction  of understanding on an intellectual level but not on an emotional one. (Sometimes I understand on an emotional level but not on an intellectual one, depends on the issue.) 

I try to participate, albeit on a minimal level, such as the sending of Christmas cards, but I do just that little bit only so I will receive cards in return. I like receiving "stuff" in the mail and I do like all the pretty images and the family photographs. I also know that receiving such cards is a tit-for-tat exchange. If I don't send, I don't get. If I don't reach out, then no one reaches out to me.

And that is MY fault.  I don't initiate relationships. I like to think I am open and amenable but I don't initiate. I'll have to give some thought as to why not - fear of rejection? Deep seated feeling of unworthiness? Who knows - some sort of psychological/emotional disconnect/misconception.

I truly do not feel like I am missing anything by not having any attachment to Thanksgiving or Christmas. I know why it is important to all y'all but my intellect says "What a bunch of phoney made-up nonsense".  

The older I get the less I care. I don't recall ever being excited about Christmas and certainly Thanksgiving held no significance at all for me - even as a kid. Sure, sure, big dinner, turkey left in the kitchen because turkey was just an alien food-stuff in our Italian-American kitchen. 

I must admit tho that I did miss the whole Easter basket thing - don't know why that typical American tradition made such a big impression on me. 

I was 7 when my brother was born and I made a point of providing him a lot of these holiday traditions that were not a part of MY life. So yes, by the time he was 2 years old or so, and he was becoming aware of things like Christmas stockings or Easter baskets I made sure he had them. I sent him an Easter basket until he was well into his 60's. 

So maybe these holidays are only for the children? They weren't a significant part of my childhood (except as they were always fraught with high drama and so carried no pleasant memories) but I made sure they were part of my brother's. Perhaps the more pleasant memories I provided for him offset the unpleasantness provided by other family members.

I feel sorry for my husband - he used to love Christmas and the first few years we were married I tried to do the whole Christmas tree/decoration/happy stuff for him. His children were young so I suppose I did it for them as well. But once the children were no longer a consideration I kinda stopped doing the 'thing'. 

As for Thanksgiving - Oy! I really am not fond of turkey or mashed potatoes or any of the foodstuffs associated therewith - but of course they are favorites of my husbands and up until last year I cooked that nonsense for him - I just ate the cranberry sauce because that's all I like. Can you imagine, cooking all the stuff for just 2 people? And then only one of them eating it? Yeah, that is not going to happen anymore. 

Therefore Thanksgiving and Christmas are complete non-days - falling into the category of "Oh, wait - what day is it?" 

I'm even re-thinking the holiday card thing. I think that is off my to-do list because I simply don't want to do it. I can't find any inspiration. I understand after this hellish year people are looking for any reason to smile but I can't find that smile within me. I just don't know what to say to people. There are people on my 'list' who wouldn't understand a 'Hello' card. Hell there are people on my list who don't give a good sized god-damn whether I'm alive or dead but those folks are my husband's relatives. 

My husband's family think I ruined his life (we married when we were in our mid-40's), little do they know that I am the only reason he is still alive with money in the bank. Fuck 'em. 

So, yeah - that's what's on my mind this morning. 

6 comments:

  1. I enjoyed the Easter basket thing too! J never did that as a kid so I'd always try to get him one every year. He liked the candy but didn't get the fun behind it so that kinda stopped several years ago. As for your Christmas cards, if you're not in the mood then you certainly shoudn't feel an obligation to do any. I go between wanting to go all out for the holidays to not doing anything. All out for me isn't much though since we can't have a tree with Lexi and I don't put out decorations since that means I have to put them away so I guess it's the feeling I'm trying to capture. In this shit show of a year, I'm searching for something happy to cling to.

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    1. I just never felt like any of the holidays had anything to do with me - and bad memories. I guess it's all just for kids and the kid in me just doesn't relate Plus my natural cynicism that not of this shit is natural - just a money grab...Meh

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  2. We pretty much ignore the holidays. Andy puts a Christmas tree on the roof of the house up on the land and turns the lights on at night between December 19 and January 1. That's about it. Oh, he does write an annual letter and we email it with Christmas greetings to a few family and friends. Our Christmases were low-key even when Kaitlin was little.

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    1. Most holidays are just made-up money grabs. If you consider Christmas a religious holiday then go to church. Thanksgiving - totally meaningless and celebrated by eating awful food...

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  3. It's strange to have these holidays be given so much emphasis culturally. What does it mean if you don't celebrate, choose to do things differently, or have bad memories around those holidays? My father grew up with shitty Christmases, with a sick, out-of-it mother and a father who did not come out of his room some years. So he remade the holiday itself into something celebratory and got into collecting antique Christmas decor. I hated Christmas at his house, the excess, the strange focus on objects. But as an adult I do like our tree (with a ton of ornaments given to me/us by my father and stepmother) and the lights. And having a kid around, even a teen kid, does change the equation. I used to love sending cards, but stopped about fifteen years ago. I like getting them, however . . .

    I guess my main thought/reaction is that all that pressure from outside about what those holidays should be (or that they should be) is oppressive. And the cheery way things are presented is also oppressive.

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    1. Christmas is definitely for kids but what does it celebrate - gimme, gimme? I like the glitter and glitz but let's call that what it is - glitter and glitz. An excuse for excess and yes, parties and happy, happy. So what the hell, leave up the lights all year round...I don't get it. When I was young and religious I was all about that aspect of the holiday and found the commercialization offensive plus - you know CHristmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, New Year's, hell probably 4th of July too - any holiday was a reason for high drama and abuse. So, yeah a part of me associates these faux holidays with all that badness. Plus - I just don't get American culture and food. While I've never had a desire to even visit Italy, I sure as hell don't feel like I ever fit into America. It's all alien to me - American culture.

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