I have a very difficult time during Christmas. I believe there are many different reasons for this, and I’ll go through a few of them now, just so you all know why I’m even more of a pain in the ass to deal with during this season.
As a child growing up, cash was usually very tight in my family; so Christmas was stressful for everyone. This does not work well for a man like my father who was always a little on-edge, and possessing a hellacious temper. Christmas time usually led to multiple screaming matches between my father and me. One of my most dreaded times was the decorating of the tree. You see in some things my father was a massive perfectionist, the Christmas tree was one of those things. The tree had to stand straight; if that meant 2 hours of trimming down the base, and affixing various anchor points with high test fishing line, then so be it. Then came the lights, as we had to have a real tree, which meant everything had to be installed manually. Not like my family’s tree now, where I simply plug in three strands of lights that are permanently attached to the fake branches and go; the lights on my childhood trees took literally hours to install. It would start simple enough, all I had to do was feed the ever growing strand of lights to my father… then it would be “helping” place some of the lights, then being told I’m a fucking idiot for putting that light on that branch, etc… this would go on for about an hour or so; then my father’s favorite lights would go on.. the bubble lights, now I like bubble lights, but they are a special kind of a pain in the ass to install; they are tall, and heavy, which means if you attempted to place one on a branch that was too small it would droop, or worse, fall off. Since the bubble lights were heavier and taller, and much more expensive than regular lights, there were only a couple of strands of those. The next 45 minutes would be spent attempting to cover at least 50% of a 6.5’ tree with two strands of bubble lights… yeah, it sucked! After that fun was complete, then came the actual ornaments. In my family there were your standard run of the mill BS ornaments that you pick up at Kmart, Ben Franklin, or Aryes stores (wow, I’m really reaching back in the old memory banks, and dating myself at the same time!) You know the ones that no one really gives a shit if they survive more than a Christmas or two. Then we had what we always called “The Special Ornaments” these rarified beauties were the Hallmark collections, hand-blown glass, and/or crystal baubles. My parents had started collecting the Hallmark series ornaments back in 1976, a couple of them were before they dated the ornaments… so in other words if you fuck up one of those ornaments your ass was grass! Typically the decorating of the tree took about 4 or 5 hours, I was normally a basket case blubbering in the corner by the time it was over, and my dad would be pissed off and go for coffee as soon as we were done. So yeah, Christmas time, and especially tree decoration festivities aren’t exactly a fond trip down memory lane for me.
The next reason I’m not a cheery Holiday person is the weather. I tend to get very dark, moody, and depressed during the winter months. I’m sure if I were to go to a doctor and describe it all I’d end up diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) yeah, I know sounds like I just pulled that straight outta my ass doesn’t it?… but it is a real disorder: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/seasonal-affective-disorder/DS00195 . I just don’t like the winter, everything dies, the color drains out of the world and everything is cold and hard. I. Don’t. Like. It. Like I really need another disorder attached to my life! Anyway, just another peek into my perplexing persona.
I also have some serious gift-giving insecurities associated with various gifts given in my youth that were either not appreciated, rebuked, or just not truly acknowledged. Some were my own stupidity, some were just immaturity on the part of the gift giver and/or gift receiver, and some were just assholes! Regardless gift giving is difficult for me. I always feel like whatever I give isn’t good enough, there aren’t enough presents given by me to my wife, that it seems that my gifts are simply an afterthought, when, in fact, they are actually an extremely painful, gut-wrenching exercise in indecision and insecurity for me; which tends to lead me to procrastinate, and have a hell of a time figuring out what to give my wife. My children on the other hand are the exact opposite, well, at least for now they are. They are both still easy enough to buy for, and in my opinion, we, my wife and I, give our girls far too many gifts for birthdays and Christmas. I know that this stems from not getting much during most of my formative years, but even still, I think we are on the cusp of spoiling our little angels… 🙂 Anyway, back to my shit! I also have problems picking up on cues as to what my wife and others really want for gifts… I tend to not pick up on subtle hints for gifts very well. It actually drives me batty that I can walk into a store, and tell you within a minute what people in the crowd are what I would consider a possible threat, tell you at least two exit strategies, point out a half dozen makeshift weapons of opportunity, but I couldn’t tell you what my wife mentioned that she wouldn’t mind having a few months ago. Now I’m sure as much as it puzzles me why I can’t remember these things, it pisses Renee off to no end. Often times I know that she thinks it’s that I don’t care enough to remember, but I assure you all that isn’t the case, I just don’t remember. I find that I have to work very, very hard to try and etch something like that into my brain! But for whatever reason, I can tell you the caliber, magazine capacity, and method of operation of hundreds of different firearms off the top of my head. I can rattle off the amounts of RAM from 1MB to 8GB (8192MB by the way) all day long; but ask me what movie my wife stated she’d like to have on Blu-Ray 3 months ago, and I’m likely to give myself an aneurism trying to figure it out! Maddening I tell you, maddening.
Another reason I don’t care for the season all that much, is the two-faced, fake nature of people. Supposedly good christen folk that normally can’t be bothered with even acknowledging your existence are now telling you merry Christmas, and trying to be all nice and happy. This annoys the shit outta me! I am a very basic person, I would prefer someone telling me that they hate my guts and wish I was dead, than having to deal with a PC bridled asshole that will just appease me, and act as if they like me; to them I say Fuck OFF! For whatever reason this season seems to amplify people’s hypocrisy more than any other time for me. Now I know that most of this is in my head, that it’s just my hyper sensitivity during the season, but it is what it is for me.
So that is why I’m a little more tightly wound this time of year, why I’m a bigger pain in the ass then normal around now. I’m working out again, and that helps, but it’s not quite enough… so everyone has to, unfortunately deal with me being a little pissier. L
Live your life to the best of your ability, because you never know when some big bastard with a shitty attitude is going to piss in your Cheerios!