Nonetheless, I felt ready to be back at work today. It had been a long and relaxing weekend and I was ready to go back to the norm. Well, kind of ready. I had gotten so used to life without an alarm clock that when my alarm went off this morning, I literally had no idea what was going on. I had one of those disoriented moments like you have in a hotel. For a good 2 minutes, I was running through questions. Who am I? Where am I? What time is it? Why do I have to be up at this time? Oh wait, if I snooze, what time do I actually have to be up? All those very important existential questions. Ah. Life is complicated.
And today was somewhat of a blur anyway. Catching up on a thousand emails and phone calls and meetings and to-dos. This week should be pretty crazy too, on into the holiday season. Ugg. I've said this before and I truly apologize to those who love Christmas, but I just hate the holidays. I envy you people. Maybe it's a religious holiday for you with tons of significance. Or maybe you get to spend time with your loving family. Or maybe you enjoy buying gifts for everyone in your life. Well, for me, I don't really get any of that. I'll explain.
Warning: Debbie Downer! Those who want to maintain a childlike innocence please redirect your browser here.
Okay, can I continue? Only cynical grownups in the room? Awesome.
I am not religious. I was raised in a Christian religion, but (and without delineating my entire theory on ideologies) I've made my own way. And I must also assert that Yule was a pagan holiday hijacked by the Christians to convert them. Even if you're Christian, you have to know that Jesus couldn't have been born in December. There. So, I do love the winter season. I love snow and snowmen and snowflakes and the cold sparkliness of December (or what should be December. I wouldn't know in Southern fucking California). But I don't go to a church. I don't put up nativities. That's not me.
And my family circle is small. I'm close with my dad but we've agreed not to spend Christmas together. Have I mentioned I'm estranged from my mother? I am. And I won't make my dad pick between us, so he spends a good chunk of time supporting me and my mom gets him for the holidays. And I'm okay with that. My childhood Christmases were never memorable in a good way anyhow. It's always been stressful for me, as long as I can remember. So a family-free Christmas is A-okay.
In fact, I'll probably just go see a movie with Morgan this year. Just how I like it. Last year, I treated myself to a Harry Potter marathon. It was fantastic. In fact, the best Christmas I ever had was in London. I had been backpacking with my cousin and my bestest friend in the world Lynnette through the UK and we ended up in London for Christmas day. The three of us exchanged cheesy souvenirs and Lynnette and I (Linds was sicky, poor thing) tromped around the city in the freezing cold. And the tube was shut down so we literally walked all over London. It was a blast! And we saw things we never would have seen on a bustly day taking the tourist routes. And we discovered the best Turkish food you will ever have in your whole damn life. Oh my god it was AH MAY ZING! Best Christmas ever.
So that brings me to...what...oh yeah. Shopping. First off, have I mentioned I used to work retail? For years I worked retail. And let me tell you, Christmas time in the malls is like guerrilla warfare. Perfectly sane people lose their minds. All of a sudden, all that stands between them and their perfect Christmas is a book or a bra or a sweater. And they just don't understand that you don't have a printing press in the back of the store. Or a sewing machine. Or a magic fucking wand. Or maybe the nice lady in front of them took the last one of whatever it is...they will turn into goddamn Galahad and fight to the death for the damn item. Or maybe they're just cranky from all the shopping, all the spending. That credit card starts to get heavy after a while so no matter how fast the lines go, how many registers are open, how nice you are, you (innocent, underpaid retail worker) are the devil incarnate and must be put in your place. You wouldn't believe the hideously mean things I've heard people say to employees during this festive holiday season. Spirit of the season my ass.
So you can see why I'm a little wound up about Christmas shopping. If I don't absolutely have to, I do not enter the stores, malls, or the like from Black Friday until New Years. I shop online, I make shit, whatever I have to do to survive by not going near the mania that is shopping around the holidays.
Plus I'm buhroke. Broke. Po. So fucking poor. And I want to be generous. I do. But oh my god do the charities come out of the closet (he he) in December! I am a good person. I build houses in New Orleans. I give to HRC and Courage Campaign. I've worked at emergency shelters and tutored kids. But that kind of giving should be spread out, all year. When it all piles on at once, it really pushes my finances out the window. And at my work (love you coworkers!) we have a million events in which we're expected to bring toys and canned goods, etc. And it's a very good thing. But I really can't afford it all. This year, I have to choose which things I can go to depending on what I can afford to give. I even made artsy Christmas gifts this year (mentioned that already) so it's not as if I'm spending on me and can afford it. Nope, I'm on a budget all the way around.
Side story: I used to work in a book store and we used to ask people to donate cheap books (like maybe $3 or $4 books) to charity. If someone really seemed like they couldn't afford it, or afford it right then, I got that. But people would spend 500 plus dollars and throw it all on an AMEX and they can't afford three more dollars for a needy kid? That I don't get. Same with me. I give where I can. And I when I can give more, I will. But I just can't right now.
Okay Debbie Downer is finished. But you can see why this season is so stressful right, Internet? I'd really like to keep an open mind, though. If one of those categories changed its mind and jumped in my lap, I'd really try to learn to love the Christmas season, I really would. Ho ho ho and all that. I can't even seem to get the ho part down. Looks like I have a long way to go.