I hate winter. I hate the cold and the snow. I can’t breathe because of my asthma. I get colder faster because of circulation problems. Most of the worst days of my life happened in winter. My grandfather died on December 1st, 2008, as one example.
My birthday is in December. So’s my brother’s, my grandmother’s and my cousin’s. My great-grandfather also, when he was still alive. I hate aging. I hate attention. I also hate how often people can’t make my birthday because tree lightings and work Christmas shindigs are more important, or how often people will give me a card then say, “But I got you something good for Christmas.” I don’t care. Fuck you. You can’t split your gift budget on two gift cards or something? Make me a mix CD?
I also don’t celebrate Christmas anymore. I was homeless one year during the holiday and it was never the same. My now deceased grandfather was the one who kept me trying to like it, so now, I have no reason to.
Needless to say, December is my personal hell.
It’s hard, being someone like me. At least the Jewish have their own holiday. I have nothing to celebrate, no joy for this time of year, and too many scars on my heart to feign a smile. And yet, I don’t wish to bring down my friends and family, who enjoy the time and revel in it. It’s not my fault that life rained out my parade time and time again, to the point where I don’t even make a float anymore, but it’s not theirs, either.
So, I sit alone, playing music, watching Twitter and Facebook fill up with jingle this and Santa that and shopping updates, and feel isolated. I drink a little, and tune out. I wsh everyone well. I now give out ‘winter’ cards to a few friends who’d grown accustomed to my yearly holiday cards, heavily personalized. They usually arrive late because sitting down to put them together reminds me of why I no longer have spirit. I look up to the photos on my TV and cry, sometimes.
He wouldn’t have wanted it this way, but our whole family finally threw in the towel when he left us. They still try, a little. But I’d already given up halfway 20 years ago. There was nothing for me to save.
It’s frustrating, this sense of push and pull. I want to be with people, but the thought of pretending to be happy makes me feel ashamed, just as I cringe inwardly when someone wishes me happy holidays. I wish it back, and mean it – for them. But hearing it, I think, “Unlikely.”
Do I bring it on myself, a self-fulfilling prophecy? Most certainly, to a degree. But were I to list off the many reasons why I have bad feelings at this time of year, you’d surely agree I’m justified in being a bit Grinchy.
So what is there left to do, when you feel alone and yet, don’t want to join the party? How do you make lemonade from the sourest lemons when you’ve run out of sugar?
In closing, something that does make me smile in December…