The turkey is put away and the deviled eggs are congealing in the refrigerator. The pecan pies are half eaten and the company has left the house. And I'm up to my ass in papers to grade. Actually, they've receded to my knees since I spent a few hours devoted to freshman composition.
This year, I fear to say, left me with a distinct lack of excitement over the holidays, and a distinct lack of excitement that Christmas is coming up. I'm not sure if this is a natural part of growing older, if work has so overtaken my life that everything else pales in comparison to a good night of drinking and debauchery, or if my family just leaves me cold without the buffer that my grandparents used to provide.
I sat back today, looked around, and wanted only to retreat to my bedroom. I wanted to clean instead of spending time with my family.
My 15-year-old cousin was huddled in a mass on the couch with his very blonde girlfriend while his siblings and L's three young'uns screamed and sputtered over rousing rounds of Connect 4. Cousin and his wife sat at the table and heckled the kids from the dining nook while we waited for L to amble in an hour late. Talking seemed all but impossible without a barrage of half-witted, smartassy remarks. I would stray to the other room to escape the noise and flippancy at intervals in a vague attempt to maintain my sanity and text message friends. My lifelines. My kindred.
My mother, generally my rock in situations such as these, is currently undergoing some sort of weird empty nest psychosis akin to that which we both endured right before I left for college at the tender age of 18. She's snappy, she's a little needy, and generally back-handed with her remarks. Given, I haven't been home much lately, and the will to be out until all hours of the night at least 4 nights a week is intensified by a creeping round of depression. Not to mention the fact that I've fallen off the South Beach wagon because Mom doesn't care to do it anymore and insists on stocking the house with chocolate, chips, and all manner of processed shit. It's not her fault I have absolutely no willpower when it comes to food, but for God's sake, can't we go back to broccoli and cheese?
On a happier note, I'm thinking of buying the following with the rest of my gift card from Scamazon:
The Epicure's Lament, by Kate Christensen
Collected Prose: Autobiographical Writings, True Stories, Critical Essays, Prefaces, and Collaborations with Artists, by Paul Auster
Invitation to a Beheading, by Vladimir Nabokov
The rest of the night: more paper grading, reading The Blindfold for the Estella discussion
Watching: Cider House Rules