I don’t normally dread Christmas. In fact, until this year, I really loved it. I love traditions and so Christmas, with all its traditions, is simply wonderful. This year, however, was the first time in a long time that I found myself faced with being alone on Christmas morning. This sort of thing typically would not bother me. It’s just that my love life isn’t what I want it to be and so I was feeling angsty.
As the day drew near I found myself dreading everyone’s “What are you doing for the holidays?” question. It’s really invasive if you think about it. Everyone is anticipating you saying something quaint or family filled. When you have nothing to say, the question becomes pretty awkward. I may… at one point… have gone off on my chiropractor when he asked me that very question. Now mind you, I’ve a great relationship with my chiropractor and by going off I just said “Why does everyone insist on asking me that?” I call it “going off” though because he was totally taken aback by me saying what I said and I felt like crap for having said it.
So I did the unthinkable. I decided to spend Christmas Eve night at my Dad’s house.
I don’t have the best relationship with my stepmother and my dad is… distant at best. However, one of my sisters stays there every year so I thought it would be fine.
The typical family Christmas Eve went down in a display of brimstone and fireworks. One ill event led to another, and another, and another… until I just really wanted to go home. I wanted to be anywhere but there. I wanted to be at home, alone.
Now, I am not one to be a victim of my life. I don’t cry about crap for days and I don’t always look for sympathy when something goes wrong in my life. I usually just find the humor in it, share a laugh with a friend or two, and move on. Christmas Eve had me emotional and so I confided in someone.
Their response? “Sounds pretty typical.”
Wow. Thanks. I feel so much better now.
And, women of the world, you likely already recognize this individual as being male. Why on Earth do men think the best approach is to trivialize our emotions? Even if the response IS over something trivial, all we are really looking for is a bit of sympathy, a hug, a word of encouragement… something.
When you give us your idiotic response trivializing it, I’m sure you think you’re doing us a world of good. You’re showing us that it really isn’t such a big deal in the grand scheme of things.
HEY IDIOT: We know this.
You think you’re reminding us that everyone has problems.
HEY IDIOT: We know this.
I know it’s not the end of the world. I also know it won’t do me any good to wallow in my emotions. I don’t plan on holding up any doomsday signs. Nor do I plan to stay in bed and cry over this for a week (or even a day, really). I don’t need you to toughen me up. I don’t need you to kick my ass back into shape (unless I’ve been crying over something for a week or more). I need you to listen. I need you to say “I’m sorry, that really sucks.”
And if you want to throw in a better behaved family while you’re at it… all the better.