Bah…humbuggery.

I can’t recall the last time i got excited about the Holiday season. My enthusiasm pretty much dies off after Halloween and doens’t pick up again until Columbus Day every year.
This does NOT mean that I am not Thankful, that I don’t want to spend time with family, or that I don’t enjoy giving gifts to people who I think should get a gift from me (whether or not they want one). I just don’t understand all of the pagentry, ker-fluffle, and hypocrasy that has become America between November and January. I don’t. And I won’t.
I think that my disdain for the Season has increased as technology has made it easier and easier to connect with loved ones ANY TIME OF THE YEAR and not just the once or perhaps twice that I experienced as a child. Each major Catholic holiday we’d drive to Connecticut to see family. We’d spend a few days there then drive back to Vermont. Times in CT were a bit uncomfortable for me, as I was completely out of my element. If I couldn’t go outside and play, I would be fairly miserable inside doing…what? I can’t really recall. I know that it involved playing with some of my cousisn, and that I’m sure that on some level we had fun. I have no firm recollection of the times, though; I DO recall doing chores with my Dad, helping out around my grandfather’s house. After he passed away, I got to keep many of his tools, so those memories stay with me on a regular basis, and they are happy ones. I don’t recall much about my Mom’s parents’ house, except that we weren’t allowed to touch much, and were mostly relegated to the ‘den’ to either watch TV or play some sort of boardgames. I can describe the layout of their home, but not much about what happened there.
These days I get an email every week or so from my only living grandparent: my Dad’s mom is 90 now and is still active. She sends out email chains that have mostly to do with Guardian Angels watching over you, thoughts and prayers about those in need, and Maxine comics. I know, right? Fun stuff. I have several cousins who I keep in touch with online and have had the pleasure of seeing as adults (althogh the situations haven’t always been the best, at least we were still able to make the best of the situations. we’re cool like that). There are a few who I keep in touch with nearly daily, and others who we check in with on a less regular basis.
All of this is more than we did back in the day, yet there are many, many people who argue that technology has made us less ‘close’. Bah. Humbug.
scroogemcduckI am not a big fan of gatherings. When there are more than 3 people in my office, I am in a meeting, or especially at a party (haven’t really been to one in nearly 15 years) I become very withdrawn. I don’t interact. i don’t LIKE to interact. i loathe small talk. i don’t play games of chance (unless the kids are involved, then it is ONLY at a minimum level of engagement, “oh, i won. yay.”) In recent years I have been chided for being aloof at family gatherings, and I feel very bad that others have been uncomfortable with me trying to be comfortable; my intents are never to make others uneasy. My time spent on the outskirts of the room (or in the OTHER room) and disengaged from conversation is purely for my survival. Problem THERE is that if i continue to do this for much longer, I’ll not have to worry about it any longer. The invitations to family gatherings will stop coming.
This is also a problem. It seems that the ONLY real solution is for me to figure out how to be engaged in gatherings without feeling like a basket case.basketcase I’ve been trying to figure out how to do this for the past 20 years! I see so many people who attend gatherings and drink alcohol. When I discuss my situation with most people they tell me to have a drink or two then blend in with everyone. I won’t drink. Nothing to do with morals/ideals/etc. I actually enjoy the tastes of good wines, beers (protip: don’t eat yellow snow, don’t drink yellow beer), and hard liquors (mmmm…..Crown Royal…Grey Goose…) and can appreciate them when consumed responsibly (i HATE being around drunk people. hate hate hate). Thing is that I have acquired an allergic reaction to alcohol. I break out in hives all over my neck, chest, face and my mouth gets a little tingly.homerdrool Sure, sure, I could take a benadryl before a party…but THAT isn’t responsible, either…
All of this adds up to WHAT THE HECK AM I GONNA DO??? Any tips on how to handle these situations? Are any of YOU disenclined to participate in gatherings? What have you found to be successful?? halp!
thank you. Feel free to send me an email if you’d rather not discuss it here in the open. I can totally appreciate that. Email link off to the side there…on the left….),

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