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my Christmas detox

Christmas 2011 wasn't especially horrible or great for me. It was just kind of there; an okay, quiet day in a stretch of chaos. It was the first year we had it just at home, which is kind of a bummer. I don't always have the greatest memories of my grandmother, but her house this time of year was tradition. I can still remember sitting on the white sofa in the living room once done eating, just listening to Christmas music and my cousins bickering around me, trying to center myself. but that is all the past. this year my cousins did their own thing on Jaysus' birthday, leaving me, my parents, and my siblings to fend for ourselves. 

sometimes my mom comes up with big ideas she thinkssss will be amazing and tries to gently implement into our standing traditions. my family isn't big on change. my father is very much into (well, what appears like) black-and-white thinking. if my father were a caveman, I feel he'd say something like this:  FIRE! WHY DO WE NEEDS FIRE! I LIKE THE ICE SO MUCH!  in the past, we've had to do things like write down what we're thankful for and blah blah blah. these things never stick. however, this year my mother had us open our gifts at night, which actually worked. and will probs stick. Christmas night always makes me sad...unless I'm buzzed. then I'm like


but because my stomach was bothering me all day, I was not. anyway, my sister brought her cat home. this never happens, which shows my parents must be mellowing. This cat has known me since I was 14 and yet every time we interact, she jets off to the other side of my room. it's insulting after a while! hence why I don't like cats. well that and allergies. bitch.

my brother does not live at home anymore- he got an apartment on the other side of town. which is pretty nice, I have to say. mostly because my mom decorated it with all my grandmother's old furniture. now you see whenever I finally get my own BUG-FREE apartment, I'm just going to have to decorate it with cardboard boxes. but he came over. and he does third shift a lot. all the time. so he slept. a lot.

the afternoon- after a morning of coffee and stomach issues- was spent at the cemeteries for all my grandparents. paternal and maternal, they are all there. first up was my Dad's, who I don't really recollect. just being very little and having my grandfather sitting in this lumpy green recliner we used to have, looking very bitter. not a lot of time was spent at the cemetery, as it was fucking cold when the wind blew. shuffle off to cemetery #2.

One of my family friends just died right before Christmas. she was buried there, too. such a nice woman, too. is it just me or did a lot of people die in 2011? I'm going to go with the latter.

Got out of the car, followed my mom to the row of graves.

"Hi Grandma!" I cheerfully blurted to the first gravestone I came across. Oops. Not Grandma.

I'm not sure what cemetery etiquette is when you are going to pay your respects to someone. Especially to two people I could see, right over my shoulders, in my mind's eye, as if things were just yesterday. Them, my uncle, my great-grandmother, my great uncle. all there, along with some random dude that got buried CREEPILY next to our plots.

we all stood there in silence for a while until we visited our friend's new grave, still complete with funeral flower arrangements. it did not snow this Christmas; it was pretty mild for December. but the sky was a weird overcast...not a traditional gray overtone, but something warmer. anyway, it caused everything for the remainder of the day to feel surreal. we drove around for a while afterwards, looking at country homes and listening to Christmas music. just kind of staring at everything and wondering what was real and not looking forward to the inevitabilities of the future. I got to thinking about 2012- I will be 24 in just several months. I'm certainly not ready for that. I always

imagined by 24 I'd be stuck in a good job, in a good relationship, well on my way to success. but life hasn't worked out that way.

we got home and had dinner and opened gifts. I didn't buy a lot for people this year, but got my parents wine on the lake tickets, because that seems like a cool thing and I really wish I could buy them tickets to go visit Napa Valley or something like that, but I don't have the money and my father's health is iffy. my brother got pizzelles I bought at a gas station. MERRY CHRISTMAS JOE

I got the new Joan Didion. I know I've read it. NO I DIDN'T ILLEGALLY DOWNLOAD IT ON THE INTERNET YOU CRAZY? and some clothes. the cat stayed up in the room; my sister's boyfriend did not visit as we were anticipating. I watched 60 Minutes, a show about monks that live in total isolation in Greece. was very cool until they said woman were not allowed on the island
because if they turned up, they'd bring with them their families and make it into a tourist trap. which is totally true. they also might menstruate on the island and thus contaminate the soil. WOMANS, I tell ya. 

sent out some Christmas messages to a few friends. this year, most people didn't say shit in response! huh. but some boys I haven't talked to in several months popped up, so you'll have that.

I remember when Christmas was the simmer point of the whole year. remember that? you got out of school early after being assaulted with party after party after party. then you stayed up late and got awesome gifts. c'est la vie. things to look forward to when I have a family. or steal a family from a JC Penney Catalog circa 1996.

as you can see, my one daughter looks suspiciously older than me here. 

well, today, after I prep myself for work tomorrow, I guess I will be watching Midnight In Paris. and waxing on those gorgeous impossible things. 

here's to 2012 being a great year. 


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