Bitter Boxing Day
2004-12-26, 11:20 a.m.
So, I'm writing this on "'Christmas, Day Three." It's 2:30 p.m. Dad is still eating lunch, we still haven't done gifts yet. I told Mom to sleep in all day long if she wanted because we weren't going to go anywhere, but she didn't.
Christmas is one of those times that rubs it in to you harder that we're not normal people any more. When it takes 3-4 hours to get Dad set up for the day, and he sleeps until noon. When Mom gets three hours of sleep a night because she has to get up for a few hours most nights to change Dad and the sheets. When we can't get anything done because of Dad. I swear he gets worse by the day. Slower, sicker, stupider. He looks awful- not just "sick", not just "retarded", but outright brain-damaged. Plus the permadrool. I am flabbergasted that the Olan Mills photographer managed to take one last picture of him in which he didn't look like that, because he looks just dreadful now. (And sadly, in a year or so I'll be thinking, "He looked so good back then!" God, that's an even worse thought.)
When things are like that, how can you juggle the holidays too? You can't. You can't add anything special to the already-falling-apart routine. You can't keep up doing most traditions...or well, any traditions. And it gets sadder and lamer every year and there's not a damn thing you can do about it. Mom keeps being bugged that I'm not filled with holiday spirit, but how can I be filled with holiday spirit when we can't really do "holiday" too well? The only things that get done are because I was there to do them. Maybe I should just take all of my vacation time next year and take a full 2-3 weeks to do everything, because it'll get worse.
She wanted to go to the movies this week, and I am trying to talk her out of it. Last year's trip to see "Love Actually" was so bloody hard on him/them to do, I learned my lesson. Never again will I ask to see a movie with them. Not that there's anything I particularly care about seeing any more, but still. Things are a disaster enough as is. At least with shopping you don't have to get there early to get a handicapped seating area.
I can't help but be really pissed off at him a lot of the time for ruining our lives along with his.
Mom actually imitated Dad to his face today. Mewled and whined right back at him and said, "How do you expect me to understand that?"
You can just feel the energy around here flushing down the toilet when you wake up.
As I write this now, it's 6:30 p.m. We started opening gifts, supposedly, around 3ish. Only Dad couldn't unwrap his. Well, it's one thing to need help getting the bow off, but when he refused to do more than hold a package, Mom snapped, "Don't tell me you can't do more than THAT!" We both thought he could rip off paper at least, but he wouldn't even try. So we still haven't finished opening anyone's stuff because hours later, Dad's gifts, of which he has many, are still being unwrapped by Mom. Or at least they were before she found an Oprah tape she had floating around, and then Dad had to go to the bathroom... So, yeah, that's gone to hell as well.
Update from the next day: we started doing presents again at 11 p.m. Mom was very pleased with her "procrastination planner" (to go with the rest of the books, really), and seemed pleased with her gifts in general. With Dad, I just plain couldn't tell this year. He just kinda sat there with a vacant stare, drooling. *sigh*
As for what I got, well... I got really lovely jewelry (my favorite thing this year- aquamarine + opal = purty), this um, very strange calendar with cats and dogs with really freaky-ass eyes, the other Margaret Cho DVD's I didn't already own (yay), an Ellen DeGeneres DVD (which I'm kinda baffled at- because um, I seem to be one of the few people who doesn't think she is a total laugh riot, and yet I keep getting EDG gifts for holidays. I got her book for my birthday, which then ended up getting drowned in the flood. Meanwhile, Dad got given a George Carlin DVD AND his new book, both of which I'd appreciate a hell of a lot more than he did!), Dave Barry's Boogers Are My Beat (the one thing I'd actually wanted in this list, I guess...) and the book I'd outright said I DID NOT WANT TO HAVE IT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, "He's Just Not That Into You."
We finished opening gifts at midnight.