Friday, December 13, 2013
Tis the season for getting ones knickers in a twist, and though I know this like I know that too many holiday cookies will make me feel very sick, it still takes a few twists and belly aches to remind me that yes, this is the case.
Gone are the years however when I began each December with the delusion that all would be magically perfect, that the family dynamic would somehow shift to a warm tropical island of renewal, acceptance and harmony, and that there would be a pony waiting for me in the back yard on the 25th.
Some delusions die hard however.
As the family scrambles in their own way this year to make it to our big house for the holiday, all of the dramas take center stage and battle for recognition: someone won't come if someone else does, someone says yes and then says no, someone "forgets" to make travel arrangements, another is allergic to our very cat & dog friendly house, (ie. fur everywhere). We have gluten allergies, sugar lovers/sugar haters, teetotalers and tipplers, vegetarians, vegans and serious carnivores.
Is there a way to assist in their happiness for a few days together during the year, to facilitate a happy ending or even a happy middle?
I have wondered this for a long time, and I think the answer is, "probably not", and all of a sudden, today, I'm comfortable with that answer.
All the gluten-free stuffing in the tofu turkey with sparkling cider is not going to really change anything, and frankly, why should it?
Last year, with many people staying at the house, the refrigerator felt sort of warm on the 24th, stopped cooling altogether on the 25th and needed a new part on the 26th. Meanwhile everything was stored outdoors on the terrace in coolers or simply wrapped and left on the garden furniture.
The best game of the holiday turned out to be "Where's the Gravy?", as 10 adults rummaged through assorted coolers and containers in 25 degree weather and freezing rain--eventually it became a test of endurance to see who could stay outdoors the longest in socks and shirtsleeves, searching for that last bit of Cowgirl Creamery cheese.
Knickers twist none the less and that's OK. Santa's fake beard gets yanked off and someone waiting in line cries. The pony is not in the backyard, but I can visit the local stables anytime, sugar cubes in my pocket, sketch pad under my arm.
Delusions, as well as intentional choices, are endless, and that is a stunning and beautiful truth.