Guilt–the Gift that keeps on giving

Readers, whoever you are, please bear with me. After much deliberation, I’ve decided there’s bound to be someone out there who may consider my smart-ass responses to life’s tribulations worth reading. This is round one.

Coming from a broken home (a blessing in disguise, really), holidays are a nightmare. I’m talking, ALL holidays. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Birthdays are events I’ve tried my best to limit myself to over the last ten years. And the pre-holiday routine is always the same.

It starts with a phone call, or as of late, an email.

“Danielle, just an FYI, Christmas is at your grandparents on the afternoon of the 25th.”

“I thought we’ve been through this—we’ve made plans with Dad that night for supper with his side. What happened to having Boxing Day with you guys?”

And then it snowballs from there.

There’s a very predictable transfer of words amongst one another until one of us ends up royally ticked off and promises to phone later that night for resolution.

A Resolution? Pfft, this will end one of two ways.

  1. I stick to my guns and keep my promise to attend Christmas dinner at Dad’s, and end up being the black sheep of the holiday season (big surprise!) because I’ve “abandoned” their side of the family on the most built up holiday of the year.
  2. I talk to Dad, who will empathize with me, as it’s clear I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. He won’t take it personally, which gives me my out so that I may cave and sit through a ridiculously loud (Grandpa’s deaf so all we do is yell) and uptight meal. I know what you’re thinking: Stop bitching, Danielle—you’ve got it resolved. (Cue wrong answer sound from cheesy game show). Wrong!

We’re French, which means no one—absolutely no one—can keep this between one another. By the time Christmas afternoon rolls around, everyone at the table knows that there was a struggle to get me at the event so everyone is pissy.

Please cue Miss Holiday Guilt. I say Miss because a Mister wouldn’t care what supper table he’s at. Miss Guilt clearly suffers from some type of bipolar personality disorder.

She burrows to the back of your brain and sits there tantalizing you through the day.

“I can’t believe you didn’t go to your father’s. It wouldn’t have mattered, anyways. Look at the way they’re avoiding you.”

“Wait, no, it is best that you’re here. You did the right thing. Ignore that first comment. It must give them some sort of gratification that you’re here with them. They’re only fighting for your love.”

“Bah bah Black Sheep, have you any balls? It doesn’t matter what you do; there’s too set in their ways to change their opinion of you.”
“Now, now, that’s not fair. So long as there’s time, we can all change. It won’t be this way all night. Smile, and it’ll get easier.”

Ah well, what can you do? At least there’s a guarantee that there will be some good food (we French know our eats!) and good wine. You can see why I try to avoid the holidays. It’s truly exhausting. There’s no win for losing. Whatever happened with being in ONE room, with all of the people that you care about? Who cares what day we do what, so long as we’re all together for the same reason? I mean seriously people, get it together!

And you can bet there will be at least one gift under the Christmas tree for me. It’s been the same one for the last ten years.  Shout out to Miss Holiday Guilt—I can hardly wait for next year’s gift!

One response to “Guilt–the Gift that keeps on giving

  1. Can so relate to Christmas crap! It’s true, everyone loves you and wants you with them..Look how old I am and I’m STILL dealing with guilt. It’s a wasted emotion but it clings on you like a dog poop on fur! If you figure out the secret to getting rid of it let me know…Oh course, if we did get rid of it what on earth would we write about?

    Congrats on your first blog. I’m very happy for you, you’re a really creative and special woman!

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