Friday, November 24, 2006

Get Stuffed

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


  1. You paint such a perfect picture of post-apocalyptic Thanksgiving! Sorry about the lack of excitement. It happens from time to time. Fortunately, mine is back for the first time in many years. I'll try not to force it on you!

  2. LOL, force away, Os. I need some holiday lurv.

  3. I know what you mean.

    I have absolutely no desire to put the tree up. None.

    The past couple of days have consisted of reading and sleeping in mass quantities when I should be working on the adolescent lit paper.

  4. E., my plan is to begin the paper tomorrow come hell or high water. If you're at the office, I'll see ya. That's exactly where my pasty pale tail will be.

  5. I have to spend at least 5 hours tomorrow reading book reports from my high school freshmen and sophomores. I feel your pain.

    There is something comforting in all the boring family stuff. Things never really change, and I kind of like that amidst all the drama of the real world.

  6. Lulu, good point. No drama here...just loud kids, dogs begging for food, and my mom and I cutting eyes at each other when something was on the verge of breaking. Such is another Thanksgiving.

  7. I'm in the same boat as far as the lack of enthusiasm for the holidays. Last year was much worse, but I'm beginning to feel the dread of trying to put on a happy face and act as if all is well. Will it ever feel good to celebrate a holiday again? Everything is tempered (right word?) with the pain of loss. At least my hubby understands... I think this calls for some serious book shopping therapy! I want The Birth of Love, The Birth House and Twilight. What's one more Amazon order? 'Tis the season.

  8. Les, I wish I could say it eventually goes back to normal, but I fear it's never quite the same. I found myself sitting at the dinner table, looking at my cousin (to which my grandparents were practically parents) and fighting back the urge to ask if he was missing them as much as I was at that moment. I didn't ask, and now I sort of wish I had.

    Book therapy sounds like a good plan. :)

  9. There must be something in the air. I enjoyed having just the four of us around for Turkey Day, even though I still miss the big family gatherings of my childhood, but Christmas seems so schmucky in recent years. I love buying gifts but nobody wants to do individual gifts, anymore - just buy for the family or kids only, please, they all say. It ruins the whole season for me. I haven't bought a thing. I'm tempted to donate sheep in everyone's name, this year, and just buy for people I like and occasionally see.

    Ewww, I'm getting icky in my old age! You already know I'll be dying to see what you think of Epicure's Lament. I like that: Scamazon. It fits, I'm sorry to say.

  10. LOL, Nancy. Donate sheep...I like that. I can't wait to read The Epicure's Lament, and to add a little pressure, my friend Elise ordered it too!!!! ;)

  11. i can relate on two counts:

    one - holidays mean less now, which really pisses me off because i remember fondly how much they used to mean, and i wish they still did.

    two - my mother insists on filling our house with shit. i don't live there anymore but i just know i will plump up over the month i'm home for the crappy holidays (see one above).


  12. Welp, Soj, we'll plump up together. Urrrg! I need to fill the house with celery and whole grains before she starts shopping for M&M's.

  13. Nothing to say but {{{hugs}}}!

  14. Hugs as well.

    I expect we're feeling the same way. I miss my grandparents so much this time of year. We went to the mountains hoping the change in scenery would help but it really didn't. It just isn't the same without that "glue" like you said.


  15. Belated comment but I'm "currently reading" the Epicures Lament... nevermind the fact that I've been currently reading that book since August. I blame school. No free time, no reading time etc. But al the same, I'm about half way in and I like it :)


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