I’ve heard that holidays are the worst for the newly separated and divorced. It’s a blaring reminder of what you no longer have, a gut-wrenching carousel ride of memories you don’t want to think about, a game of “what if” wondering what it would be like this year if you were still together.
High five. Sounds like an awesome time.
Oddly enough, I’m not dreading the holidays like I thought I would. I’m actually overjoyed that I do not have to dread the upcoming discussion of “Whose parents will we see this year?” Gawd, that was one discussion I could do without forever and ever amen. Seriously. Every Thanksgiving, every Christmas, every Easter, every Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, every inane “holiday” that his mother would make up as an excuse to see each other… again.
I can’t tell you how many times I would look at the calendar and calculate how long we had until we had to have the “discussion” again. Even in July I would start to panic… only four months until Thanksgiving and the dreaded “discussion”! I could hyperventilate just thinking about it. It was the worst. Especially, since I knew that during this discussion I was supposed to behave like a mature, reasonable, fair, logical adult when all I really wanted to do was throw a tantrum so epic that two year olds would bow their heads in reverence. I hated seeing his family for the holidays. They were weird and gross. And my family wasn’t as weird. Therefore, experience dictates that we should choose the less crazy family to see for any and all holidays. Mine. Simple logic. What is the problem? What do we have to discuss? And why is he now throwing himself on the floor in a glorious display of two year old fury? (Looking back, there are probably a lot of things we didn’t do very well while we were married.)
In my defense, his family was… well… weird. With the exception of a few, a lot of them had personal hygiene issues and had been diagnosed with verbal diarrhea. It made the holidays nearly unbearable for a natural introvert and all around “prissy” girl. A lot of times I was fair, but more often than not, I was probably unreasonable because… well… I just didn’t like his family and I didn’t want to spend the holidays being tortured. Call me crazy. Plus, his family lived only 20 minutes away. We saw them a lot. Much more often than my parents who lived 4 hours away. My argument still holds water that even though we didn’t see his side for Thanksgiving the previous year, we had just seen them for their made-up “Fall Festival” celebration and we hadn’t seen my side since the 4th of July. I honestly still think that was a perfectly fair and reasonable argument. He did not.
Regardless, I’m thrilled that I don’t have to have the argument again this year. Because even though it was meant to be a “discussion” it would always snowball into an argument, and one of us would eventually have to give in (usually him) and one of us would NOT be very happy with the holidays. (Yes, if you’re wondering, there are definitely things I would do differently now, looking back. But he never gave me the option of remedying any of our issues so… that gives me the right to now say that I was right in every argument we ever had. Look it up. It’s science.)
This year, I get to be with my family, and I am thrilled. Plus, I don’t have to feel guilty about it, which is awesome. See? There are some nice things about being single again.