I can’t quite remember when I started having to pretend to enjoy the holidays. I know that it happened a long time ago, before the holidays meant being three thousand miles away from my family. There came to be a certain point in time when Christmas just meant stress and the realization that everything was changing. When I was a sophomore in college I had a few jobs and was only able to make it home from a few hours on Christmas morning. My brothers also started having other obligations and soon it seemed as though we never had everyone together for Christmas, so we always tried to get everyone together for Thanksgiving. Then I screwed that up by moving to California and only making a point of getting back to Vermont when someone died or was getting married.
Now I can’t seem to escape the inevitable sadness that comes alone with the holidays. I thought staying in California and working through them would help but it just makes me feel lonely. I hate going back to Vermont because that makes me feel even more lonely and unsuccessful. It hard to be around my happily married parents and my brothers and their wives. I feel as though I just completely missed the boat on the whole marriage thing. I often wonder if the holidays would be a little less painful if I wasn’t alone, but I have now been alone for the past 7 Christmas’s, that’s almost a decade. I don’t know what Christmas with a significant other would even look like anymore.
So now I am just that pathetic single girl who everyone invites over to their family dinners because they think I have nowhere else to go. The truth is I don’t really have anywhere else to go, but I’d rather just suffer through and forget that it was happening. Instead I feel obligated to go and hang out with other peoples happy families. I try to be pleasant and laugh a lot but in all actuality I am just so jealous of people who have their families with them. Even if those families are overwhelming and dysfunctional. I have separated myself from my own dysfunctional family and all just because I am not a strong enough person to face the sadness of being in Vermont. So instead I face a different kind of sadness here. Really it’s a no win situation and as soon as I do manage to make it this very tough time of year I only have two months to prepare myself for another miserable time, my birthday.