Monday, May 25, 2009


Unlike most people I'm not a fan of holidays.  Oh sure I like having a day off here and there, of course, but I mean in general holidays are pretty much not much to me.

It started when I was a kid, this ennui about holidays.  Actually I outright hated them.  The delight of not having to go to school (because I hated school with a bloody passion) was always quashed by the dread of being home.  Holidays meant 'bar the door 'cos the fightin's about to start'.  Especially the summer holidays.  Summer + beer = my father's drunken rampages.  So not so much fun for me, the holidays.

It sucks that any joy (pardon the use of my name) that would have been a part of a family gathering (when they happened) or just a lazy day off was sucked out of holidays for me by alcoholism and violence.  What continues to suck is that I still don't enjoy them much.

I never really learned how to like them.  Never really participated in gatherings of the holiday-ish sort as I became an adult because... well... I just don't really know how to.  Still don't.

And frankly, I still feel a sense of dread at the thought of them.

Holidays for me mostly mean a lot of quiet.  I usually clean, or watch movies or if I'm feeling really decadent I read.  

What I don't like to admit, but I'm going to, is that I'm jealous too.  I'm jealous of people who make plans for holidays, jealous that they have people who want to see them and make an effort.  I'm jealous of people having a good time on holidays, and I'm jealous of people who have memories of fun family gatherings.

It's not pretty, but I never said I was pretty.

It would be nice to not feel that way, nice to have that holiday-thing that people have.  But frankly it's a skill I never learned, and I'm not sure it's one that you can learn especially when it means unlearning dread.

When I'm in a particularly good mood I can let go of the 'jealous' a bit and bask in the relief of knowing I never, ever again, have to be trapped in a place with people stumbling, slurring and fighting.  Never have to be subjected to people I do not like and who actively terrify me for the sake of 'family holidays'.

But when I'm blue it's harder.  It makes for the lonely and the self-pity.  Which is soooo not attractive. Nor appealing.

What's even more difficult is the pretending.  This happens when well-meaning, more mainstreamy type people ask "do you have plans?"  Because I have to go into my standard schtick.  The "oy vey, no way all I want to do is sleep!"  Because to do otherwise would open a kettle of fish nobody wants to smell.  And why would I want to do that ... oh wait, I'm doing it now.  Well, at least you have the option of not reading.  In person it tends to make people uncomfortable and that's not something I enjoy... unless there's a laugh to be gotten from it.

So holidays.  Summer holidays.  Cheers. 


Salty Miss Jill said...

Dolly Parton's 'Hard Candy Christmas' pretty much sums it up, doesn't it? Holidays, feh. Work with double pay in honor (or whatever) of a holiday. Hell yeah!
We should just make our own damn holiday next time we get together, whaddaya say?

BetteJo said...

I didn't have bad holidays as a kid - but after my divorce have sort of pushed my kids to participate in my ex-in-laws holiday celebrations, nuclear family, cousins, etc. Stuff they wouldn't get with me. My family just isn't close and doesn't do holidays together. So - I'm usually alone due to choices I have made as an adult for what I hope is the betterment of my kids. But yeah, sometimes it sucks.

Gary said...

I love how Jill threw in a Dolly reference.

Believe it or not I did NOTHING today. I didn't ride my bike or read or see anyone or write in my journal. Nothing but wash my car, walk the dog and do laundry.

But speaking of making plans...

Wanna do something this week? Perhaps after work on Friday? A movie or a cocktail? or the Park Avenue Armory to see that exhibit I took the kids to see last week? Let me know (as if I won't be talking to you soon :)