tHe haPPy grOUch

tHe haPPy grOUch

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

It's funny (not funny ha ha), how so many of us have heavy hearts this Christmas.
Mourning the loss of someone, or something... A spouse, a daughter, a father.. A job, an opportunity, a relationship with a friend... The loss of a moment, a thing, a person...
For some, it's a quiet, tempered kind of mourning. Something they've lived with for a while, grown accustomed to. A mourning that has always been there, lingering in the corners of their life, that just kind of grows a little bigger around the holidays. For others, it's new, and tragic, and terrible, the loss of someone (or something) they love, right before the holidays, changing the way they feel about this season for the rest of their lives..
Heavy hearts this Christmas, and every Christmas, for so many...
I'm not going to write about how to "fix" it. I have no advice, no words of wisdom or hope. I'm not going to write about how to approach the holidays with a different outlook, a happier heart, a sense of faith or gratitude or healing or joy. Because I don't know how. I don't know how to write about it, and I certainly don't know how to actually do it. I wouldn't know the first step, let alone, how to complete the task.
Besides, you can find those words of hope and healing and joy in just about every article floating around the internet right now. Go read one of those, cause I got nuthin'.

I'm a member of the holiday heavy hearts club, for my own reasons. Even if I didn't have "reasons", I think I'd still be a member. The holidays cause me to be so melancholy..

The holidays are never the same when you've lost a loved one. Especially someone close to you; a parent, a child, a spouse... I miss my father. He loved Christmas, even if he was a grouch. He loved to buy for my mother. Even if it was something he shopped for on Christmas eve at Rite Aid. Sometimes it was something he planned well in advance. He could be very creative, that one. Sometimes it was something extravagant and way outside of their budget... Like the time he brought home a new car on Valentine's day, and Mom made him take it back. He was a funny one..
And I miss him so. Every day.

And then I think of my cousin Rebecca. Only 42 years old. My age. Gone, just like that, five days before Christmas. I think of her children, her husband, her mother.. She was such a wonderful soul. A beautiful woman, inside and out. Strong, lovely, smart, creative, spirited.. So unfair. Rebecca lost her 21 year old son Nick this summer to a car accident. How much tragedy that family has already suffered, and now Rebecca.. taken by a heart attack at 42. Five. friggin. days. before Christmas.
I will never understand the cruelty that this life possesses. I hear people suggest that everyone has an appointed time, everyone gets called at some point, God has a plan, life has a plan, bla bla friggin bla... Yeah, well I call bullshit. It's not some master plan. It's life. And it's goddamn friggin cruel.

And I think of my sister. How she was my best friend. I mean, truly.  How we haven't spoken in nearly two years. Aside from her, I have perhaps two close friends. But even those women I talk to infrequently, and rarely see. My sister was my first (and closest) best friend.. well, after she grew up and stopped being a pain in my ass. My mother is always asking me to affect a change. Make amends. And perhaps I could. Or perhaps it wouldn't be effective at all, even if I tried. Perhaps, this is our future, my sister's and mine. Perhaps some day I will stop being stubborn, and find out. Some day. Perhaps.

And I think of the life I'm living. How different it is from the life I was living. Or, how different it is from the life I expected, rather. And it's mine, this life. So one would think, and even advise- it is your lifeyou have the power to change it, make it the life you expected... But.. How? I don't believe in fate, I don't believe that anything is predetermined. But I do feel that much of it is beyond my control. How ironic.
But, to the contrary, much of my life has been largely born out of personal choice.
Always questioned, never sure of, often regretting, constantly wondering.. But, personal choice. And what good is personal choice, when you're simply never sure?
Sigh.

Ahhhh... The Christmas funk, the Christmas crash, and then the New Years blues...
I will be glad when this particular time of year has passed.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Sunday morning coffee and blogging, since I'm desperately looking for distractions from Christmas shopping...

Seriously, though.. I need to stop shopping. I lack control. Christmas is a killer for me financially, every. single. year. Perhaps that's part of the reason I have three ex-husbands.
I'm going to complain about finances, and you can all say the same thing I've said to myself- Well, Crista, if you hadn't spent so much money on Christmas, you wouldn't be in this position. I know, I know. So, maybe I won't complain about the electric bill, the cell bill, the cable bill, the propane bill, all sitting on my dining table, waiting to be paid out of the small savings account that was supposed to buy new tires for my truck. Oh wait, I think I just complained about it. Ok, say it with me now... Well, Crista, if you hadn't spent so much money on Christmas, you wouldn't be in this position...
Moving on.

Aside from the potential financial crisis (say it with me now... Well, Crista, if you hadn't spent so much money on Christmas, you wouldn't be in this position), I am actually looking forward to Christmas. I am happy to have been able to buy some very nice gifts for my children. Yes, Christmas is not about presents, it's not about the commercialized crap, blah blah blah... But if you have children, you know the deal. Buying for them is important, regardless of all those idealistic philosophies. Yes, I believe that Christmas is about more.. it's about family, being grateful, about the love and the spirit.. And, about presents for my kiddos. But even as excited as I am for Christmas, I am also melancholy. I am sad a lot, actually. Most of the time, really. About a lot of things. I am a happy-sad person, always. Conflicted, constantly.
I digress...
It does feel a bit different this year. Ok, a lot different.
It's just Dawson and I this year. No siblings, no spouse, no cats and dogs... I mean, I'll see all my extended family on our Christmas gathering, so we will have that. And Mom and Logan are coming Christmas eve day, so we'll have that as well. But, you know what I mean. Christmas is very different for us this year. Life, in general, is very different for us.
Moving on.

It's a little under a year before the presidential election. Dear Lord, please help me to maintain all of my friendships for the next 11 months.

I have several days off this week. What will I do with myself???? Well, I'll still be doing bar banking and liquor orders and such, two days this week, but I don't actually get back behind the bar again until Saturday. I offered to open later Christmas day. Mainly to give myself something to do, since Daws will be going back to his Dad's at noon. But we are going to be closed Christmas day. It's probably best. But, but, but... What will I do???? Sigh.
Netflix. Food. Couch. Pajamas. On Christmas day. Probably a recipe for a mini pity party.

I throw those parties for myself a lot lately.
Life is funny. Not funny ha ha. It's the strangest feeling, to live every day, not knowing what your future looks like. When you used to just know what it looked like. Or at least assumed, kind of subconsciously, what it looked like... In your home, or at your job, or with your partner.. Not knowing what the future looks like, I mean- truly being highly aware of it's uncertainty, is one of the strangest, most foreign, and scariest feelings ever.
Moving on.

Watching Daws play basketball this year has been one of the funnest things in life so far. Everything about it is fun. Watching him, watching all the boys he's grown up with... They are all so good to each other. Their attitudes, their great sportsmanship, their support of one an other.. As they were complimented at an away game recently- They sure are classy. And Daws has come so far. He's gaining more confidence, improving his skills, and having fun. I am so glad I made him stick with it. I think he probably is too.

Earlier this week I watched a special on one of the morning shows about list making. Not like grocery lists, or to-do lists.. but lists with more meaning.. Bucket lists, wish lists, etc etc etc... And they had a funny list too, a "Things to do when hell freezes over" list... And so I thought it would be fun to do...
I invite you to make one, too. It's actually quite entertaining, and a little bit therapeutic. One may not know exactly what they want in the moment, or in life, but one thing (some things) we do know, are the things we don't want. It's kind of the reverse way of figuring out what you do want. If that makes any sense at all. Somehow, it does to me.
So without further ado, my personal "Things To Do When Hell Freezes Over" list...
(And just so we're quite clear, when hell freezes over, meaning, I'll never, ever, ever do.. Funny, or comical. Sorry, not sorry. At all, really)
:-)

Things to do When Hell Freezes Over:

Quit drinking coffee
Drink decaf coffee
Do drugs (not that I haven't, because I have, I just won't go back there)
Get on a plane
Quit swearing
Get on a cruise ship
Vote to legalize (sorry, not sorry)
Stop singing
Stop touching/slapping people's butts
Live as an alcoholic
Live with an alcoholic (or addict of any kind)
Stop farting
Apologize for farting
Apologize for anything, really (Ok, maybe if it's a life or death situation, I will)
Make Nana J's homemade, three hour stuffing again. Ever, ever, ever.
Live in another property that doesn't allow pets
Stop eating bacon
" " pizza
" " chocolate
Shave my legs every day (sorry, not sorry)
Vote for Trump
Vote Republican (sorry, not sorry)
Grow up
Be an active participant at a nude beach
Stop coloring my grays
Compromise my principles
Stop spending so much money at Christmas time

And with that, I will close. I should probably go do laundry, or dishes, or something productive. Stay off Amazon. Maybe watch some Netflix or Hulu. Wait for the boy to come home from his Dad's so I can suck the life out of him.
Norman Bates's mother.
Poor kid. Hopefully I haven't ruined him.

Merry friggin Christmas!




Wednesday, December 9, 2015


Has it really been a month since I've written? Sheesh. I'm slacking.
Not that I haven't had fodder for writing; as usual, there's always something to write about.
In my life, there seems to be something to write about daily.

Last week I was the girl holding up the drive through at Dunkin... At the window, at the head of a line of a dozen or more cars, at peak coffee time... chasing around a ten dollar bill I had dropped while handing it to the barista... Picture it, if you will.. the wind whipping that ten dollar bill here and there, back and forth, as I ran in circles around my car, like a chicken with its head cut off.. Around and around and around my car we went, that ten dollar bill and I, until it finally settled comfortably, far under the center of my car.. On hands and knees, on the ground at the window, butt pointing high into the air, I crawled under the car to retrieve said ten dollar bill.. I hoisted myself up, brushed myself off, shouted "you're welcome for the show!" to all in line behind me, grabbed my coffee and change, and went along my way.
It should have been a tv commercial for how badly you need your morning cup of Dunkin coffee.

Alas, that's the comical stuff that happens in my life, on a goddamn daily basis. Seriously, I constantly find myself saying aloud- "You can't make this shit up."
That's the stuff I live for.
That, and my kid.

Living alone has proven to be tolerable. At times, potentially enjoyable. Perhaps I don't technically live alone; My boy is here four days a week, and my companion is here 2-3 days a week as well. And then there's Hairy, the beta fish. Yes, Hairy, not Harry. It's so that I can pretend he is a fuzzy dog or cat (since I can't have pets here). He doesn't mind. Although I think he may sometimes suffer from identity crisis. But I digress... Living alone has turned out to be okay. Acceptable. Tolerable. However, it still gets lonely sometimes. A lot of the time. Okay, most of the time.

Work is good, as usual. I'm quite busy, as usual. I am a bit consumed by it, as usual. Perhaps I don't mind being so busy and so obsessed with work, because it fills a void. It keeps me occupied, and gives me something to focus on. It gives me worth and purpose.

Much like my kiddo. He gives me worth and purpose. And a friggin headache.
Jeezus, he is his father's child.
I must give him the same headaches, though. Through all of the turmoil this past year, I haven't been a peach to live with. He has had a very tough time of it this year, with all of our changes. He is missing his (ex) step-father a lot lately. Not that that's anything new; he has always missed him. But recently it has been worse. Perhaps it's the new home and living alone together. Perhaps it's the time of year. Perhaps it's adolescence. Or, he just misses him. Sigh.
They did have a very close relationship. Closer than any man who's ever been in my life. We talk about it at least once a week. I've considered allowing him to try and maintain some kind of relationship with him. I know the other party would be willing. But I don't know what the right thing to do is in this situation. Will it make things that much harder? Will it help? Why don't I have the answers to that? What do I do?
Otherwise, the boy is doing really well. Academically this year, he has vastly improved. Any of you who know me well, knows that he has struggled for years. But this year.. the change has been amazing. This year's parent teacher conference was so different from the norm. I am overwhelmed with pride. And he's doing awesome in basketball, even as nervous and scared as he has been. He lacks self confidence. I think this season will help him build that.
And of course, as usual, I probably still suck the life out of him.
Norman Bates's mother.

If my daughter were still at home, I'd probably suck the life out of her as well. I miss her being around. The boy does too. And I worry, good lord, don't I worry. When your children leave the nest, I think you worry even more than when they were at home. She seems to be doing okay.. Still in school, working, got her own apartment, without roommates.. But jeezus, I worry.
She's stressed out. School, work, an apartment on her own, relationships (and relationship strife), are all big things for a young woman to juggle. Hell, I can barely juggle it all at my age. Anyway.. And it shows. She is tired, pale, thin. I worry. Jeezus, I worry.
I fear she is settling for relationships similar to the ones I have had in the past. Ironic. I thought, watching her mother go through these kinds of relationships, would prevent her from settling for anything less than wonderful. In fact, growing up she always said that she would never put up with any bullshit. Probably from watching her mother over the years. Unfortunately, it seems to have conditioned her to the opposite. Why can't she find a prince charming? Or better yet, just be comfortable being alone? Focus on her; her education, her work, her life, her future.
Isn't this just like the pot calling the kettle black.
Jeezus, I worry.

I miss having a dog. I mean, really miss having a dog. I didn't think it would impact me so.
I miss having a dog, very, very much.

I am getting excited for Christmas. I'm not sure how I managed to shop as much as I did. I had a little bit left in savings, tips at work haven't been bad and I have been working more hours, and I sold a ton of candles. All that must have been it... Upon moving in here, I thought our Christmas would be bleak. I was so depressed. I kept telling myself- we have each other, we have our new home, presents are not what makes Christmas, blah, blah, friggin blah.. But for those of you who buy gifts for your children, you know the importance of presents. Yes, it is commercialized, yes, it is superficial. But it is the way. Presents are a part of Christmas, especially for children. And yes, we adults are to blame for that. But anyway.. I am very excited for Christmas. Through sheer luck, or saving, or financial budgeting, or what-ever.. I have been able to provide what will be a great Christmas for my boy. And for my girl. And for that, I am grateful.
And, we have each other.

Oh crap, it's time to get ready for the day.