With Thanksgiving being 3 weeks from yesterday, I now start each morning by waking up to the voice of Nadeen from SNL in my head telling me to simmer down now! I don’t know how much you know about Litterboxes, but we are very territorial. And we’re not too keen on outsiders coming into our territory, even if we’re related. Even if you were invited. (We especially hate those who invite themselves, but that’s a-whole-nother story, and November is a long month. I have plenty of fucked up Thanksgiving tales like that to get to before the end of NanoPoblano.)
I tend to get overwhelmed at the idea of inviting people I don’t have much in common with into my safe space. It’s almost always not personal against a particular guest. It’s just that I have my territory all marked the way I like it and I don’t need anybody coming in and forcing me to make small talk about it. It isn’t easy for an introvert to spend 3 days with no place to be alone; not to mention one who likes to “burn incense and chill out for a while.” It’s not an inconvenience – it’s a stress-inducer. But, to be fair, going to the grocery store after 10 a.m. is a stress-inducer for me. So does getting dressed, the sound of a ringing telephone, and every car that drives down my street, so yeah, I am pretty neurotic and I know that. When my husband was inviting his sister to visit us, I could hear his side of the conversation and he kept saying things like, “Yeah, she’s cool with it” and “No, she’s really gotten the place together, she’s doing good.”
Oh for fuck’s sake.
My reputation is awesome.
Still here I am, under an assumed name, so I can write about all my neurotic crap and the people who are a part of it, in a place where I’m pretty certain they’ll never find it, and hoping those one-in-every-family like me who are out there will.
This is what depression is for me. This is what my mental illness does to my life. It’s different for everyone. This is what I’ve learned to live with over the years. I’m a warrior against depression! Well, wait… not a warrior. More like a department manager. Or a receptionist. Yeah. I’m a receptionist for the department manger against depression!
And this year I’ve accepted the mission to have my sister-in-law and her husband over for dinner.
Simm-mm-mm-mmm-mmmaa… simm-mm-mmm-mmm-mm-mma… Simma.. simmaa.. simma dahn na!
While I love the family I lawfully-wedded into… well… there’s no delicate way to put this so I’m just gonna say it… my brother-in-law is an old Italian man in his 70’s and a life-long resident of Rhode Island and he’s gonna have something to say about everything. It’s just tedious, and I don’t do well with tedious. If I wanted tedious I’d’ve had kids. I’ve already got a husband who can be tedious and that’s taxing enough. Now I’m going to have this old Italian with a mushy accent say things like, “Ya think ya got enough candles in here?” Geez ya got so much stuff on the walls. Whattaya gonna do with all the holes when you move?” (We’re not planning to move, but he’ll say that.) “What’s with all these crazy light?” “Boy it really smells like cats in here.” “Why do you have the windows open with the heat on? Are you heating up the outside? And he’ll make old man jokes… for which I’ll have to pull out my catalogue of Chandler Bing-style laughs.
It will be relentless.
Relentless and e x h a u s t i n g. Ohmygawd, so exhausting.
So, when you’re my special brand of crazy like me (and me! and me. And me. Aaa-a-a-and me. & me. And us. And us, too. And all of us! – said everyone in my head just now) I have to spend a lot of time thinking about what I’m looking forward to about all of it, rather than dreading a bunch of neurotic shit about it. Fuck yeah, I’m a survivor. I’ve gotten through way worse things than dinner with two people I don’t really know very well and with whom I have little in common. Three days. Pff. What’s three days. Eighty-some hours, tops. and at least 24 of those can be spent sleeping!
Nice Kitty. Good Kitty. Pretty Kitty. You’re okay. You’ll be fine. Everything’s alright.
I know it is not easy to live with a crazy person. So I try to work things out amongst myselves as much as possible. It’s only fair to the people who love me.
I am looking forward to cooking. Not only is it a time-consuming and solitary activity (…nah, that’s cool, just relax. I got this, I don’t really need any help at all. You’re the guest. We’re just glad you’re here! Honey…. tell them about that thing that happened that time… [cue Chandler laugh]), but I get to be creative, although not too creative. Like I said, they’re from Rhode Island. (Okay, that’s probably only funny to the non-Rhode Island spouses of Rhode Islanders no longer living in Rhode Island but still retain family there. And their exes.)
Some years back, I started learning to be okay with my quirky personality traits. Love it or lump it, and that includes me. One thing I’ve discovered by doing stuff is that e v e r y o n e is fucked-up somehow. Everyone has some everyday thing about them deemed weird by everyone else, or a majority thereof. The key to happiness and freedom is not thinking our individual lives are somehow poignant in an eternal way. Live like a tree, or a river otter, or a bumble bee and stop thinking those things are inferior and disposable. Accept the fact that we are all inferior to something, and we are all disposable in the end.
That’s what helps me enjoy the holidays, anyway. We each have to find our own Zen. Mine just happens to be the joy of nihilism. Well… that, and cats.