'I am the Real Life Christmas Grinch.'
Everyone has a Grinch. Are you willing to embrace yours?
I am the Real Life Christmas Grinch. I hope you get this in time. I fucking hate the holidays. I feel like I can say that to you without judgment (I hope!) In general, I’m not a big fan of events or social situations in which I feel pressure to be or feel or act in a certain way just because it’s a particular day or time of year. Does this make me a bitch? I dunno. Mentally, I’m like no, it’s just a preference. But I often feel like I’m ruining the moment when I can’t muster up the enthusiasm or fake cheer that is expected of me in social situations, which of course, happens around the holidays when I’m usually burnt out from working all fucking year and broke from the general fuckery of life and then on top of that I’m expected to participate in America’s grand tradition of over-the-top consumerism as an act of love and uggggghhhh it makes me want to scream.
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But I’m fine. I’m fine I’m fine I’m fine.
This year I’m feeling particularly stressed about my overall shitty attitude because my brother and his wife are bringing their children this year. They were with her family last year. The kids are 2 and 4. Jesus. You know when people say I love you, but I don’t like you? That’s kind of how I feel about kids. Like I want to be the aunt that’s all "omg so cute I love it when you’re screaming directly into my ear and breaking things," but when I try it’s so clear that I’m faking it. I don’t want to be a dick, but it feels like with my family either I have to pretend to feel all the things I don’t actually feel or end up in an awkward conversation about my "negativity." It’s not like I shit on everything all day. I’ve learned not to even comment. Just shut up and get through it. But it’s obvious that I’m not having a good time. I don’t know if the problem is me or them.
My parents are still married and from the outside I have always felt like we appear like a normal family, but my dad is drunk most of the time and my mom enables him, having a meltdown about once a year and then things continue on. There was never any talk about feelings in my family and I often felt like I was feeling everything for everyone all the time and it was so overwhelming I either overreacted or shut down. Blah blah blah blah blah. I’m in therapy. I’m figuring shit out. I’m trying to be more open, but every time I tell my mom (I don’t even try with my dad) what’s really going on with me or how I feel, I somehow end up feeling ashamed, like I’m doing something wrong no matter how hard I’m trying.
I’m realizing I don’t know if I have a real question for you. Maybe it’s just wtf do I do? How do I get through the holidays? Am I monster? How do I be less of a Grinch? Thanks.
Real Life Grinch
Dear Real Life Grinch,
Thank you for your letter! This may surprise you, but your letter made me laugh and smile. Personally, I deeply appreciate your Grinch-iness. It’s refreshing. It’s kind of like tonight when I was begrudgingly making some tomato bisque from fucking scratch because I didn’t want any of the ingredients to go to waste from when I made it for some friends last week. Begrudgingly, because I am stressed as fuck right now! The amount of babies in my life has increased steadily this past year (not my babies, other people’s babies phew) and I can’t just like not buy presents for babies for Christmas can I? And fuck, if I get the babies presents, don’t I kind of have to get everyone else presents because I mean aren’t adults essentialy big babies? And who am I even going to see in my Frankenstein family when I’m back for the holidays? I have no idea! And I’m about to drive for 17+ hours back to my hometown where I feel like I am about to have a panic attack most days and my asshole is so clenched the entire time I’m there that all I can think about is having a very strong drink or eat some potatoes.
But I’m also fine fine fine fine.
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