Chaos Attraction

Unmissed Tradition

2010-12-09, 2:29 p.m.

Looks like odds are pretty bad that I can get to Victorian Christmas this weekend with Mom, who apparently has a Very Busy Social Calendar every weekend right now. She told me she was free to go up on Sunday, but now it's sounding like she probably won't be ("oh, btw, I have something to go to all night Saturday night"), and I'm kind of annoyed about that. Yet another one of the many things I can't do without a car is take matters into my own hands to get anywhere that isn't the Bay Area. *grumble* Oh well, maybe in a few years I'll have worked this out? Let's hope.

Other than that, the big news of the last two days is that (a) I have decided that I want to make one of those large stupid Christmas tree hats, (b) I went home and did not find large enough yarn to make one-- apparently all the patterns require Super Bulky-- and I'm not entirely sure if I've got big enough double pointed needles to do them either, but (c) I went to the campus bookstore today and found three skeins of Super Bulky green yarn and bought 'em anyway in hopes of being optimistic that I can pull this off. It was pretty ridiculous of me to go buy yarn for this, but... oh well. Gives me something to do this weekend after everything but the gym closes up and most people leave town. So yeah, nothing to say, so on to attempting to do the Holidailies prompts.

Guilty pleasures: I do not feel guilty about my pleasures. I don't care if it's fattening, darn it, I will eat it and enjoy it. I feel bad for shopping at times, but if I'm going to use it or really wanted it, then... well, fine, already. I beat myself up about enough stuff, but not pleasures. I could always use more, y'know?

Gee, that was short. On to the next one!

Childhood holiday traditions you're happy not to follow as an adult: This one's easy. I miss every other tradition BUT this one: going to my jerk aunt and uncle's house.

This was never fun. Usually we'd spend Christmas Eve by ourselves, maybe go to the church candlelight service if we got off our asses that year, sit in the dark and look at the Christmas tree lights, and I got to open about half of my presents early (what my parents deemed as "presents from the parents," Santa brought the Christmas Day ones). Except for the years where the aunt and uncle sometimes invited us over for Chinese. Well, I like Chinese, at least. Mom likes Chinese the rest of the year, but for years got gripey at the idea of eating Chinese food on Christmas, until I pointed out why she was cranky about it and that really had nothing to do with the food.

But Christmas Day... well, after the opening of the presents and the parade-watching, we'd have to go over there in the afternoon. I'd want to bring presents over, but I figured out after awhile I had to bring really innocuous presents or else they'd get made fun of. (I got a ukelele for Christmas when I was around five or so and heard "So, Jen, how's your punk rock band?" jokes until my late teens. God, I hate jokes that have gotten so old they are beyond funny. I call 'em "ABC gum.") I would hide in the corner and read and try to blend in with the nearest wall, while all of us just waited to hear what bizarre and insulting comments would come out of someone's mouth this year. The not-very-oblique asking of whether or not I was pregnant was, of course, the worst (or best, however you rank it) one ever, especially given the smacking irony of how said aunt and uncle did that themselves back in the day and how dare you mention it.

The last time I had to spend Christmas (Eve Eve, actual Christmas that year was the one year my other aunt deigned to invite us to her house, she hasn't since) with them, I wrote about it over here. I only found out last year that my aunt's invite to my mom was even WORSE than she had told me originally-- I gather she said something like, "Oh, we're just having Christmas with our family," like we weren't even related. Had I heard that back in 2007, I would have blown an even bigger gasket than I did that day.

We haven't been invited again since, which shows you who counts in their family. I wouldn't have expected much about Mom, but since I am (alas, technically) related to them by that all-important blood, you'd think they'd care a little more. I don't think they've ever liked me, but it was more of a passive hate than an active hate because I never did anything against them. Unless one counts being single in their 30's as doing something against them, which they might. It is interesting how they no longer pretend to give any kind of a shit since Dad died, though. (And yet, I would bet money that a decade or so later from now if I moved far away and ever got married and still hadn't talked to them for 10 years, they'd probably pop up wanting wedding invites and my uncle would offer to walk me down the aisle. I don't get these people.)

Now, the last few Christmases without them have still pretty much kinda sucked. My other aunt won't invite us any more. In 2008 we went to the bounty hunter's house and in 2009 we went to Mom's friend's house and I felt weirded out. At this point, GOD ONLY KNOWS where we are going to end up this year. I'd be fine with spending the day sitting around watching movies and Chinese, but unfortunately Christmas for me revolves around keeping Mom happy so she doesn't make me crazier, and she NEEDS a family. I don't know what we're going to do, I'm sure some more pity invites will roll in at the last minute and I'll end up doing whatever she wants. If Mom wasn't crazy I'd put us up for adoption on Craigslist or something :P But those other few of you on Holidailies who aren't having warm and snuggly Christmases with families as one is supposed to do? I'm glad you guys are posting, 'cause I usually feel like the only one. And hey, for those of us who have issues with aspects of the holiday season, there's the NC Double Scrooge.

But you know what? Even if the last few Christmases and the ones to come for the rest of my life are gonna be with random people and kind of depressing, that still beats hanging out with Those People*, any day. And I don't have to make them all any more presents, either.

* To be fair, it's really only three of them that are pains, and everyone else is fine. But I don't see the other folks without the rest of the package deal coming along. And it's not like I hear from the nice ones either, you know?

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