One of these days, I will learn. I will stop being disappointed because I will stop having expectations. I will stop hoping for things to go as planned, for the “perfect” holiday afternoon. I will finally get it that life sucks and people suck and things won’t ever go as I hope and imagine they will.
Today was supposed to be a good day. I woke up without a headache, early and with a decent amount of energy. I was excited because Matt will be here tomorrow and Aubrey was supposed to get here around 12:30 to go shopping with Ron and then do holiday baking with me. Ron and I agreed that since we only see her once a week, we actually miss her now and look forward to her coming over.
It started out with great promise, too. Ron and I wrapped presents over coffee, and laughed about our childhood holiday traditions vs what we do at our house. His family never did huge stacks of gifts with stocking stuffers and tree presents. I don’t ever remember stockings when I was a kid, either. Stockings are a big deal at our house, though. Stuffers are wrapped and it’s how Santa lets everyone know which presents are theirs…the gifts under and on the tree are wrapped in the same paper as those in the stocking.
I’ve felt pretty grinchy this year, starting with the Starbucks cup brouhaha. Christmas has quickly become my second least favorite holiday, topped only by Mother’s Day. I’ve avoided carols like the plague, haven’t baked a single cookie, and have only been to one holiday party which, to be accurate, was the least holiday of parties I’ve ever attended. That’s not a bad thing.
So the fact that I felt in a holiday mood today was pretty miraculous. It was also extremely short lived. Aubrey didn’t show up at 12:30. She texted to say she was awake and going to shower. That was fine, since I was still working on the kitchen. But then it got to be 1:30. Then 2:30. And finally 3:30. I messaged her not to bother and that we’d see her on Friday for Christmas. Five minutes later, she waltzed in, sat down, and started petting the dog. No apology, no offers of help, nothing.
Needless to say, I was furious. I don’t care if she comes over or not, as long as she does what she says. I told her that I could give her her gifts now so she could open them whenever on Friday, but she said she’ll be here. I warned her that WE are opening presents on Christmas morning. We will not wait until 3:30 or whatever ridiculous hour she decides she feels like showing up.
I suggested she go home, since we didn’t need her help after all. Instead, she sat here until Ron asked her if she wanted to go shopping. She agreed, then waited for him to go outside, turned to me, and said, “What else do you want besides the pajamas?” as though I were giving her a grocery list. At that point, I was beyond done. I told her it didn’t matter (because it doesn’t). If my family doesn’t understand by now that it’s not about a list of THINGS that I expect wrapped and under the tree, they are never going to get it. If I want a thing, I can go buy a thing. It’s not about the things. It is truly the thought that counts. And if I have to do the thinking too? Why bother?
She finally left, without shopping with Ron of course. Now I’m depressed and angry and fed up and hate Christmas as much as ever. I know it’s my fault for having expectations surrounding the day (and today, as well), and I know it goes back to the unfillable void. No matter what sort of fantastic surprise my family dreamed up for me, it would never make up for all the crappy Christmases that have gone before. Even if they pulled off a Christmas miracle, it wouldn’t make up for my lack of a relationship with my mother. But it’s one thing to know something intellectually and something else entirely to know it emotionally and be able to let it go.
So I’m letting it go. My daughter won’t be a human being by Friday, so I can mark that off my list. Ron isn’t going to be suddenly inspired with ideas for all the frivolous things I don’t get myself all year long. I gave up on Matt a long time ago; besides, I’m thrilled that he is going to be HERE, which is gift enough for me.
Christmas is just a day and I really just don’t care.