Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tis the Season for New Traditions

Christmas is the time of year for family and fun and gifts and giving and getting together right? Not for everyone. Growing up, I LOVED Christmas. It was full of fun, love, food, gifts, and a joyous spirit. After my divorce, it became a reminder that I was alone. I had to buy separate gifts for each individual in my family, but married couples would buy me a single gift and say it was from both. So I spent more than anyone, and got less in return. I would sit and watch as my parents and my sister and her husband would exchange wonderful gifts with each other. Christmas lost its luster. To me now, it’s more of a burden. It’s a reminder of what I don’t have. My niece is the only thing about Christmas that I look forward to.

My friends are mainly in their late 30’s and single. So we are all in that same position: none of us consider Christmas joyous. It’s nice to be around people who understand that emptiness that comes with these holidays. On Thanksgiving, after fulfilling our family obligations, we met for a movie and then went to a club. On Christmas Eve, we will do it again. It gives us something to look forward to. Our own version of holiday cheer. Vodka makes everything a little more tolerable.

Our favorite waitress at Village Inn is amazing. We all chipped in and bought her a Christmas present—a robe, slippers, a candle, and a face mask. She loved it, and told us this may be her only Christmas gift. She has no family. She works Christmas day. So she is going to go out with us on Christmas Eve for the first time.

A cousin of mine is also single, and has no family that he is close to. He is coming with us as well.

It’s comforting to look around and know that I’m not alone, but to also know that if single folks unite, we can still have fun, even if it is not in the religious or traditional form

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Damn Emotions!

I was looking for some negatives. I had a friend who had lost his photos of Paris, and I had been there and offered to let him make copies from my negatives. I began tearing through my drawer of photos, unsure what I may have done with them. I found myself flipping through random piles of photos. I began throwing them away – weddings of cousins who are now divorced, my honeymoon, my trip to Vegas with my ex. All of it had lost its meaning. Still no negatives.

Wait! They may be with my wedding negatives! So I began plowing through that file box, and cleaned it out as well. As I came to my wedding negatives (they were actually engagement, bridal, and wedding shoot negs), I suddenly found myself sitting in a pile of discarded photos. Discarded…..history. My ….history……was lying in shambles on the floor around me. What did I even save this history for? My own daughter or son. It was a history of their mother. A story that needed told to understand where I came from.

And, it is a waste. I will not bare my own children. I sat on the floor and was suddenly overcome with grief. What are these photos for? What’s this house for? What’s this life for? Is there any real purpose for any of this? Why am I even here?

And so, I called my sister, and broke down. She explained this was natural, that these emotions would come and go. But this time, they took me completely off guard.

Today, I am both sad and in physical pain. My cramps are the worst I’ve ever had. I feel like my internal organs are swollen. I almost went to the ER this morning. I want some closure. I want some sense of direction. I want something to live for.