This is a post I really haven't wanted to write, and I've been putting it off.
My intent was to leave the... eulogy-thing... up for a few days, because if I had posted immediately after that it would have had all the emotional impact of saying, "In today's news, my friend had a miscarriage, and we are all sad. And now, sports."
And then, I dunno. Faithful readers know how cranky I get this time of year, what with the rampant commercialization and the enforced merriment and the rigid adherence to observing holiday doctrine.
To top it all off, it looks like the Christmas Spirit threw up all over our house. It took us a week to put up all the lights. And this year, we are having three trees.
Three. Christmas. Trees.
Because one isn't enough, is it? It isn't sufficient that we have a huge (artificial) tree featuring the past five years of Hallmark's ornamental dreck, along with a "Best Of" rotation from the past two decades, oh no, we need an International Tree for all the ornaments we've collected in our travels, and then yes by golly we need a Wolf Tree, covered in expensive lupine-themed baubles, so that our dogs have a place for their presents!
That grinding sound you hear are my back teeth gnashing together. There isn't enough alcohol in this house to get me through the holidays, especially when my sister comes to visit.
Let me tell you about my sister. Oh, let me.
Don't get me wrong, I love my sister. I just love her over there. Preferably out of state. Because you see, there is a rule among Southern families which states that once every generation, there needs to be a spinster aunt, with far more cats than is healthy, who teaches school and plays the organ at church. This is my sister, Scarlett, and yes, she is named after the Gone With the Wind character.
If you people think I am Inappropriate Girl, you have yet to see my sister in action. She will -- in polite, mixed company -- refer to one of her cats as "my pussy." This is not done out of innocence about the slang term, either. This is her "reclaiming the word" or somesuch.
Yet when I suggest she just name one of her cats "Vulva", suddenly I'm the bad one.
She's also more than a little fundie and charismatic with her faith, which wouldn't be a problem in and of itself, but she also has the charming habit of wielding it like a truncheon. If you want to win any arguments with this woman, you'd best know your Bible verses to back up your positions.
She's also ten years older than me, and every time she comes visit, I am once again not only the youngest but the baby of the family. I have to establish my competence on a regular basis, and it frustrates me so much I want to scream and pull my hair and smash crockery into bits.
Which brings me to my final point. Khaotica is upon us, and for the life of me, I can't think of anything to do which doesn't violate the single, cardinal rule of "Thou shalt not harsh anyone else's merriment." Really, all I want to do is tear down all the lights and smash the tacky decorations and turn off the enforced cheerful music and just have a nice, quiet, calm, tranquil, dark, still, ZEN Christmas. You know, softly singing "Silent Night" in the dark, and then curl up on the couch with a glass of eggnog to look at the tree for a while before going to bed.
If I ever have a family of my own -- which I sincerely doubt at this point -- while I may have a Christmas tree, I'm never putting presents under it. The tree is just decoration. Instead, I'm going to have a live-size manger (baby Jesus doll optional) and the presents are going to be arrayed around THAT. It's subversive in a subtle, traditional, laid-back kind of way.
So yeah. You folks have a happy feast of St. Excessivus. I'm gonna go outside in the mid-70 degree night and look at stars until I feel at peace with the world again.
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