Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sensitivity training, courtesy of a sarcastic cynic

As the holiday season of 2012 officially kicks off, I'd like to hop up on my soapbox for just a second.

It's gonna be quick because I have too much to do today.

I just ask that we all be a little more conscious of others this time around.  And yes,  I need this reminder as much, if not more, than anyone else does.  Mind your manners and your words.  Consider whether you could use more kindness and patience.  Think about whether someone who is driving you a little bit insane is doing it not because they want to or are trying to, but possibly because it's the only coping mechanism they have.

Holidays are emotionally loaded, full of expectation and assumptions about how perfect everything should be.  The jewelry and car commercials constant, the catalogs full of things the kids want but aren't in the budget.  All reminders of how we fall short.

Holidays are great for most people.  Full of family and friends and celebration.  Happy.

They aren't that way for everyone, probably including some of the people sitting around the tables with you laughing nervously and putting on the smiley face. Probably including some of you reading this right now.

For some of us, they are emotionally charged reminders of things.  Of events that have taken place, of people that are missing, of the seats that are empty.  Of who or what is wrong.  Of what we want, but can't have.  Of how we have failed others and ourselves.  Some of us have family that should be with us, but won't or can't.  Some of us wish we had memory erasers from years gone by.  Some of us tear up at every flipping Christmas song on the radio.

Give us a little slack.

Forgive us if we drink too much and get too loud.

Forgive us if we sneak out for a cigarette even though we said we quit.

Forgive us if we volunteer to run to the store for whatever is missing and don't come back for an hour.

Forgive us if we get emotional without warning and cry.

Forgive us if we just need to get out and take a walk in the dark, in the pouring rain, in the snow.

Forgive us if we hide in the bathroom.

Forgive us if family dinners end in fistfights on the front lawn.

Forgive us if we freak out because the stuffing isn't perfect.

Forgive us, and forgive yourselves.

To quote my all time favorite Christmas movie, one that will always remind me of my own father and the coping mechanisms both he and Clark had to get through holidays, the ones that I now completely understand,

Where do you think you're going? Nobody's leaving. Nobody's walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We're all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We're gonna press on, and we're gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he's gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse. 

Thanksgiving.  Let's do this thing.

4 comments:

  1. Love that movie - Hubby and I watch it every Thanksgiving weekend to kick off the start of the holidays. This was beautifully said, Kelly. Thanks for the reminder. Happy Thanksgiving.

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  2. I won't be near any of my family (less my partner and son) for this holiday season.... :( This will be the second holiday season without all of them.

    I can't wait to get back east..... someday.

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