Only The Blood Counts
2010-12-18, 6:00 p.m.
It's been a tiring, disheartening day. Now, don't get me wrong, there were 3 good things about it: (a) it's a Saturday that I get to spend alone and quietlike without drama mama, (b) it didn't rain for most of the day so I got errands done while dry (yesterday it poured all day), and (c) I did manage to drag myself to weightlifting class at the gym despite cold gray weather, so those are all plusses. I got enough erranding done in general that I don't HAVE to leave the house tomorrow if it's nasty and I don't wanna, so that's good. But I went to Borders today to see if they had the trees and amusingly tacky ornaments on sale. Yes, they did, half off. It turns out I own every single kind of tree they have but the black ones (boring). I actually put up all of my trees today and it turns out I have sixteen: ten 1-footers and six 2-3-footers. Maybe if I get industrious I'll take some pics and post them. But anyway, on the ornament side I was "good" and only bought a pack of tacky hot pink stars and a pack of tacky hot pink pinecone ornaments. I did buy a stuffed moose for no good reason than it was $5 and cute.
But what got me down was that while I was there I decided to make myself shop for gifts. Now, I am done with everybody but Mom (see e-reader drama previously mentioned) and my friend Jackie, who didn't send me a wish list this year. I think at this point I have to give up on hoping that those two will tell me anything they want...sigh, so I was shopping for them. I am still pretty stumped for Jackie, who is insistent on gifts, is good on gift giving, and is picky about what she wants (and it'd better be expensive, usually-- she's so Libra), but I probably won't see her until after Christmas, so there might be some time there to uh... think of something. I ended up getting each of them a calendar (but I think I'll have to get her something else on top of that), and Mom got a book on clutter and emotions (LET'S HOPE SHE READS THAT) and a John Denver Christmas album that was $6. John Denver is one of the few musicians I actively despise and she loves him, so uh, it's saying something for me to have bought her that. Of course, despite coupons and sales and cheapness and crap, that still came to like $60.
I just find it disheartening when I have to shop for people who inevitably aren't going to like anything I get them. I can do hippie-gifts for those who like them VERY well, but for those who don't, I am useless. I cannot figure out what you like that you don't already own, and every year it's a depressing disaster. I am obligated to spend money to prove that I love you, but then I fail the "you read my mind" test. I'm tired of having to give things that I get wrong and they don't like every year. I wish I could institute a mandatory rule of "If you don't send me a list, you don't get a gift" or something, except that wouldn't go over at all.
Well, I was going to do one cranky entry (if I can restrain myself, HAHAHAHAHAH, well, I'll try unless things get really bad) about family at some point, so here it is. If you have a happy family, feel free to move along, this is for those of use who aren't there (and boy, do I appreciate your entries when I find 'em):
So New Bloglines has improved on its speed (thank GAWD) since the first day of use, and now it actually loads a lot more feeds, such as everybody in Livejournal, that it hasn't loaded in like a year. So I have been catching up on my favorite author blogs and such, and eventually got around to reading this entry:
"At this time of year, people’s thoughts often turn to family, and what family means is different for different people. For me, family is someone who will guard your worst secrets and most humiliating experiences. For me, family is someone you can call at three a.m. and ask to bring the bail money. And they will. And then they’ll torment you about it after, probably over a beer.
Everyone will tell you, constantly (including and especially my mom and dad, who really should have known better given what their sisters are like), that family is the #1 ULTIMATE BEST THING OF ALL TIME. Family is safety, family is love, family is snuggly-wuggly warm security, blah blah blah. Obviously, this has not been my experience. To me it ain't safety, it's going into a war zone while a temporary truce has been declared. I always have to be on guard for grenades and land mines. Nobody is warm and snuggly, nobody is safe. I'm the one dropping anvils of reason onto people who pout and ignore them. I'm the one hiding in the corner hoping that nobody pitches a grenade at me when they break out the grenades.
Now, god knows it could be worse: no family member of mine has tried to kill, beat, rape, or steal from me, I've never been kicked out and homeless. Yeah, it's crazy and most of them don't love me at all or much, but at least one living relative in CA still cares for me. Cares too much, mind you, which is another problem, but I'm not 100% alone yet.
But I get soooooooooo tired of being told that the family is everything, family is important, I should be with mine (hm, are they inviting me? So far, no!), and I should totally want one of my own. I'm really tired of being force-fed that Kool-Aid. No matter how much I drink it, it's still poisoned. And this time of year, obviously, is Kool-Aid season. I just want to say, "Leave me alone, it's not like that for EVERYONE, can't you just let it go?" But nobody can let it go. I'm supposed to want one. Well, what do you do when the family you came with kinda sucks?
There's two answers to that question, neither of which work for me so far:
The "get married and make babies" option: Well, obviously I'm permanently single and not going to have this as an option in my life, and I"m scared of it anyway, so that works out.
What the fuck do I know about "creating" a family? I haven't the faintest idea how not to be crazy on a small defenseless child, and as far as I know, being smothering and martyrlike is just what a good mother does by default, and I'm a failure if I can't act like that. I am also a failure if I am not nurturing, which is how my actual personality is towards anyone who isn't a boyfriend. So yeah, the idea of creating my own biological family scares the shit out of me. It's one thing to be born into a semi-crap family: you can't help that. But to deliberately choose to make a family and have it turn to crap because of me? Dear god, I can't deliberately choose that evil. I can't do that to others. I continue to be amazed that ANYONE assumes that they'll have a family just the way they wanted someday anyway. Who guaranteed you that, I'd like to know? And even if I got married to a nice childfree guy and his family was awesome and took me in, that only lasts for the duration of the relationship. Temporary family, if you will, so if you divorce, buh-bye. Sigh.
And then there's the other option: I have, over the years, attempted the Nakama sort of family, but none of them have lasted more than about 2 years. I have come to the conclusion that well, they can't last. The only reason they last on Joss Whedon shows is because everybody lives together and/or fights evil together, and nobody's significant other relationships last for maybe more than a couple of years tops, and especially very few people go on to have babies and leave the nakama. Once you settle down with a spouse and make a family, your needs for that are quite taken care of, thanks. And that's just the ultimate reason why nakamas die, I haven't even gone into "people are flaky" or "people move" or "your SO dumps you," which usually are what kill mine off.
I think I can reasonably assume that as my parents told me, only blood counts and only blood lasts when it comes to families. So that leaves Mom and I stuck with those who will still invite us sometimes, and since they are our only option, she beats her head bloody against the wall trying and trying to break in. She'll never stop trying because there is no other option. I won't try because unlike her, I have given up on the idea. Hell, I can't even remember ever wanting one, if I ever did. I'll be living life with her as my only family probably until she dies, really. That's just how it is for me. The concept of family does not work for me, it hasn't yet and it probably never will. So I'll do without.
But I'm tired of being told that family is the ultimate everything. It may be, but I can't have it in this lifetime, so I'll just have to deal. So could the rest of y'all stop harping on me for not fitting in with the desired stereotype, please? That's all I ask.