Saturday, December 26, 2009

The morning after

First of all, watch this (for some reason, I can't seem to embed it, so you'll have to settle for a link).

It's a parody. We sang that one year (in four-part harmony, of course) in Madrigals. It still cracks me up.

Today was a very delightful day of doing pretty much nothing. My mom made bread, I ate some of it. We had a crackling, lovely fire. I read some Hawaiian ghost stories in a book I bought while we were there in October, that I finally cracked at the airport. All three of us did some napping. I did leave the house, once, when my mom and I went to Starbucks for breakfast.

Yesterday was....I dunno. Not what I remember holidays being when I was a kid. Which isn't new, really. Things haven't really been "right," I guess, since my yiayia (grandmother) died, but that was almost 20 years ago, now. There was a lot of contention in the family after that, for a while. Then my grandfather died, then my aunt's mom, then her dad. Now it's just us, my aunt and uncle, my cousins, and my aunt's sister, sitting around a table, making too much food for eight people and sniping at each other. It's a far cry from the jubilant, boisterous holidays of my kidhood, when D an I used to complain about sitting at the kiddie table, my grandmother made too much food for the 12 of us and whatever distantly-related (or not) koumbari happened to be joining us for the holiday, and we all clustered around the tables and argued loudly. Now it's like we're white people or something. But with more food.

My cousin brought his girlfriend to Thanksgiving. That was sort of monumental - none of the three of us cousins has ever brought anyone to a holiday dinner. Apparently she was lovely (I say "apparently" only because I was in NC). I was hoping she'd come for Christmas...I've suspected for a long while that they were involved but have never met her in person. Alas, though, she was off visiting her own family in a whole other state.

Lucky her.

I can't figure out why I'm so irked after this particular Christmas dinner. It's not like anything has really changed with our little family. My aunt makes me feel inadequate and worthless. My uncle doesn't say much. My one cousin is sullen, the other is beige and answers any direct questions in monosyllable responses. My aunt-in-law (my aunt's sister) is kind of funny but spends a lot of the time sniping with her sister. My mom gets anxious about the food. My dad tells stories. I? Wish I drank more.

So I don't know why it was so painful this time. Maybe I'm paying more attention to what I want it to be. Maybe I'm more sensitive to my own internal responses (damn my shrink and my progress in therapy)(no, not really). Maybe NC is really starting to feel more like home than home. Maybe I'm different with them than I am with other people.

I just wish I felt like my family liked me more (and by "family," here, I'm referring to my extended genetic family. My parents, and my non-genetic relations, seem to like me just fine. Weirdly). It's amazing to me how no matter how old I get, no matter what I manage to accomplish or that at which I manage to fail (because sometimes it seems like the accomplishments are more problematic), I never feel like I'm even close to good enough. And I can't ever seem to figure out what it is that would make me so.

I could keep whining, but I'm not sure it's useful to anyone outside my head.

It also finally caught up with me that I don't think I really have a whole lot planned for the week, unlike my typical whirlwind home visits. I think a lot of my non-core friends are out of town. So maybe I'll get to spend some actual quality time with some of the core group this time? That'd be cool.

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