Friday, December 12, 2008

Ho, Ho...Aw, Screw It.

I had a really bad night last night. Christmas is getting to me more than I thought it would.

Its sort of a funny thing that the thing that most self-respecting, sustainability-loving liberals HATE about the holidays (the rampant consumerism) is part of why I sort of dig it. I love buying gifts for people. And I'm pretty good at it. It is simply a matter of paying attention to the people you care about...what would make them laugh, what would make them happy, what would they never buy for themselves?

A few weeks ago I was pretty jazzed up about the holidays. I'm thirty-one years old--it's really time to start developing my own holiday traditions. Making the season my own.

This year, I wanted to get a tree and decorate it with pink lights. I wanted to shop for quirky gifts on my bike. On Christmas Day I wanted to sleep in, ride to the top of Mt. Tabor and participate in a Spanish Coffee drinking marathon at Huber's.

[Insert the noise of a screeching halt and the sound of shattering glass.]

Instead, I'm going to New Mexico with my parents to visit my brother and his wife. I'm really looking forward to spending time with my family and checking out the southwest for the first time, but the thought of it is a bit bittersweet because I had my heart set on a different type of holiday.

So back to last night. Portland weather forecasters are predicting that the worst storm/cold snap in five years is going to hit this weekend. Since I haven't been grocery shopping for weeks and really don't want to depend on the Swan Mart for sustenance in the event that the roads ice up (for those of you who don't know where I live, there is a large incline or decline in all directions getting to and from my condo-when it gets icy, I'm stuck) , I went to Fred Meyer's to stock up on the essentials-food, water, a case of beer, ten dollars worth of gummy bears.

Coming off of my 24-hour rage bender, I was already feeling kind of low. Then I got stuck in the check-out line behind a couple that was obviously shopping to throw a Christmas party. They were cute and happy.

They were going to get to spend a Friday night surrounded by friends and joy and bottles of cheap champagne. I would probably spend it with my cats watching Boston Legal re-runs, making myself sick on candy and winter beer. I felt pathetic to the core. And I really wanted to kill both of them. Preferably by causing a gaping head wound with a ten pound tub of clumping cat litter.

Instead I went home and cried the tears that I was hoping I wouldn't cry again. The ones that shake my whole body and make my cats run for cover.

A fundamental part of my grief is that I really believed that the whole "looking for that person" phase of my life was over (at least suspended for a few years) and I was going to move into the "building something with another person" phase. Not a ring, house with a white picket fence, happily ever after sort of phase, but a time where I could feel secure and challenged by the ins and outs of being responsible both for myself and another person.

Now I'm right back to where I started.

I think this whole "finding a lesson" process is going to take a while. What I am trying to avoid is emerging from this in a fatalistic paradigm-- "you can't trust anyone" or "don't ever get comfortable--this could all end at any time." Or with the horrible thought that I had last night while looking at my puffy, mascara stained face in mirror as I brushed my teeth-"look at you right now, no wonder this happened."

So I'm back to just taking care of me. And much of that is going to involve coming to peace with this big hole in my heart and developing a plan to fill that hole with things that are healthy and challenging (i.e., not beer and candy). I'm going to be a different person as a result of all of this, but it'll be a better version of me than existed on December 1.

On that note, I think I'll go buy a new race bike this afternoon.


sbt said...

BIIIIIG hug to you!

Lindsay said...

Right back at ya!

mikey said...

Get a RED bike Linds... everybody knows red bikes are the best!


(0v0) said...

You could have thrown a handful of cat litter at them, maybe.