Every year around the holidays I write venting blogs about how much I hate X-mas and everything that comes along with it. Because I really do hate the holiday season with such a hungry passion that there are barely words to contain it. But this year I was trying something different. This year, for the sake of my boys, I attempted to keep my mouth shut and put a fake smile on my face. Putting up the tree and baking cookies and going shopping and wrapping presents… all accessorized with a blank “Stepford Wife” expression on my face, and a robot voice chiming like a parrot “Isn’t this great? Don’t we love this? Happy Holidays! Happy Holidays!”. It’s difficult to keep a realistic smile going while I’m vomiting in my mouth- but I’ve pretty much mastered it.
Because of the massive amounts of repression of true emotion that has been building up in me for the past weeks, I’m now starting to lose my mind. I don’t repress well. My social filter that keeps every inappropriate and hostile thing that goes through my head from coming out of my mouth is fragile and flawed on my best days- but these past few weeks have put a terrible strain on it and I don’t think it’s going to hold up much longer. All of my anger towards the bullshit of this stupid season is now flying off in every other direction so I can keep the “Holiday Cheer” intact- and it’s sincerely driving me crazy. But yesterday was the last straw… and I think my black fury has finally been unleashed.
Yesterday, Sully and I had x-mas shopping to do. I knew it would be crazy- the Saturday afternoon before x-mas in Huntington Beach. But I wasn’t prepared for what we entered into. It was like stepping onto a battlefield with only a butter knife as a weapon. It took 4 hours to buy 2 gift cards and a blanket. 4 mother fucking hours!!! I almost got in 2 wrecks, and the expansive parking lot of the last mall we went to was so completely full that we could barely get near it (we couldn’t even get into the actual parking lot). Towards the end of our shopping fiasco, Sully saw the change in my eyes. So he put 2Pac on the car stereo, cranked it up loud, and said “Get us out of here, Mom”. Our “Happy Holidays” shopping adventure ended with me screaming every obscenity I knew (and regular words used in the most obscene ways) at my automotive adversaries, and as my Swan Song I chucked my almost full cup of coffee out of my moving car at an opposing moving car that nearly sideswiped me- exploding onto their back side window. The whole last 45 minutes was filled with me chanting to Sully “Do as I say, not as I do”. THIS is what Christmas does to me.
But it’s not just the Christmas Season that’s making me nuts… it’s the Christmas season living here. Southern California makes me tired. It makes me sleepwalk more than ever and isolate. It wears out every fiber of my being, and it’s making me react to situations in bizarre and outlandish ways. I’ve been here for over 3 years, and I just can’t adjust. Last week, some Ed Hardy Douchebag with bad tattoos and a monster SUV almost ran into me while I was coming out of a parking lot, then cut me off twice in traffic, and THEN started following me home and tailgating me. This went on for almost 10 minutes. I had Sully in the car with me, and this rancid pile of SoCal garbage was endangering my child’s life with his ‘driving games’. So I pulled a sharp left into a residential neighborhood, threw the car into ‘park’ and jumped out just as that asshole was turning to follow me into the neighborhood. And I charged his moving car. On foot. Screaming “I’M GOING TO KILL YOU”. I ran at full speed towards his headlights, fully prepared to pull off one of my cowboy boots and smash his head in with it. He hit the brakes fast, threw his car into reverse, backed out of the residential neighborhood into oncoming traffic and sped away fast. Once I got back into the car, I explained to Sully that the other driver was repeatedly putting us in danger with his games and was trying to follow us home (which is scary)- so I had to show him that he wasn’t allowed to threaten us like that. And sometimes, if threatened, if you act like you’re insane- the aggressor will back off. But at that moment- I don’t think I was acting. I think I sincerely lost it. THIS is what California does to me.
I know we’re not moving anywhere anytime soon. Sully is doing amazing in school. I have a wonderful job with the best boss. We have a great house in a safe neighborhood. And the high cost of living keeps us from being able save any money at all to put towards moving. So we’re here. For a long time. But I still look at real estate sites almost every night. I look at the prices of farms outside Kansas City. I look at the beautiful old gingerbread homes that cost the same as what my neighbors paid for their car. I torture myself with images of quiet isolation in the Great Plains where my mortgage would only be $400 a month for 15 acres of flat glorious land where I could have a pet cow, a few fainting goats, and a herd of cats. A magical place where no one has ever heard of “Affliction” or “Ed Hardy”, I will never have someone say to me with pride “Back when I was a junkie”, the largest vehicle for miles is a tractor instead of a Hummer, and the nearest Starbucks is 40 minutes away. Modern society and all it’s backwards bullshit wouldn’t find me out there. It wouldn’t bother to look.
But for now… there’s only a week left until x-mas hits, and then it’s all over until next year. Everyone cross a finger or 2 that I can keep it together for that long. Because a straight-jacket is not on my x-mas list.