A Hollow Holiday

Thursday November 26th, 2009 – Wausau, WI

Another Thanksgiving and the holidays are officially here. Actually, Halloween is when  it really starts, but today is when it ramps up. I’ve been seeing Christmas decorations here and there and the radio is playing Christmas music but today it all goes jingle bells out.

I’m never going to be able to stop it so I’ll have to suck it up one more year and grit my teeth and accept it. I don’t have a problem if millions of people enjoy all the holiday cheer they want, I just wish I didn’t have to keep being reminded of it. Every fast food bag has a candy cane on it and commercials on radio and TV have annoying sleigh bells and Santa.

What bothers me is that is reminds me of all the unpleasant memories of childhood that I have fought so hard to get past. Christmas is supposed to be about family and I’m all for it, but family is something I’ve never had and probably never will. This time of year is the cruelest reminder, and it’s constant. EVERY year, I get six weeks of it rubbed in my face.

Thanksgiving is great in theory too. Family gets together and shares some food, football and fun. I love the concept, but all I can conjure up are memories of walking on eggshells the whole time so the old man wouldn’t blow a gasket and hoping to avoid an ugly scene.

Every year people invite me over and I’m very grateful for that, but it’s never the same. I feel out of place and uncomfortable and even though I know they mean well, it makes it more of a chore than anything. I’m a dented can, and no matter how hard I try to get over bad memories of the holidays, they’re still there and it makes me feel my life was a waste.

I was supposed to spend Thanksgiving with the woman I like up in Milwaukee, but she didn’t answer her phone for whatever reason. She told me she had to stop at her mother’s house to put in a family appearance, and then we’d hang out. That never happened and all my abandonment issue buttons with my mother got pushed. It really put me in a bad spot.

I’m working in St. Cloud, MN this weekend so I got in the car and started driving to cut time off my drive tomorrow. I stopped in Stevens Point, WI to have some dessert with my cousins Rob and Leah, their daughter Janine, and my other cousin Brett and his girlfriend.

I wish I hadn’t done that. They thought it was funny to pop in Rob and Leah’s wedding video from 1988 and it brought back all kinds of nasty memories because it had my father and step mother on it, along with a few other relatives I didn’t want a part of then and I’m sure not interested in seeing now. Those people are dead, and I‘d prefer it stay that way.

They thought it was funny and I tried to suck it up, but after a while I had to ask them to please turn it off and when they saw it was really bothering me, they did. They apologized and said they didn’t mean any harm, and I know they didn’t. Still, I don’t need to see that.

I thought I was feeling pretty bulletproof coming into the holidays, but right now I’m in a Motel 6 in Wausau, WI wondering why I’m still alive. Here come the holidays. Yippee.


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