1. Be too embarrassed to come home and see family. Well, embarrassed is part of it – I’ve gained weight, couldn’t get a real job, have no friends, and broke up with the man I thought I was going to marry after I moved out here. It’s like 75% too embarrassed and not wanting to deal with questions/pity/advice about it, and 35% knowing that if I came all the way home for the holidays, it would be even harder to have to return to NC and stay for a few more months before I sorted out my next steps in life. Yeah, that’s 110%. That’s how much I always put into everything I do. Even failing. Boom.
2. Decide to not get a tree. I haven’t smelled anything piney and wonderful. Might need to just stalk a tree farm for a while to get that taken care of. Or buy a nice scented candle…but those never truly compare.
3. Fail at Pinterest-y decorating ideas. So my moms sent me this adorable poor man’s decoration Pin – dried orange slices! Dipped in sparkly sugar! And I could hang them on brown string and it would be cute!
It is supposed to look like this:
But mine look like this:
Keep in mind that involved about six hours of vigilant oven watching and orange slice turning.
And a wild consumption of sugar.
My roommate straight up laughed, bent over double, when I insisted in hanging them on the string across the fire, with the fake tiny tree I bought on sale at the Kroger. With one ornament – a bear I bought at Yellowstone, where ex-BF and family and I vacationed this summer.
4. Work somewhere where they play pop-y slash poop-y remixes of classic Christmas songs, destroying your ability to enjoy them outside in your real life.
5. Try to put up Christmas lights and fail, but keep them up there anyway. Be that house. So my roommate, much to my surprise, was totally supportive about putting Christmas lights up. He hauled out boxes of lights I didn’t even know he had, and we spent hours twisting and twining them around the bannisters of our front porch. I was so excited. So many strands! Ah!
I put on Christmas music, drank some wine out of my Kroger Christmas cup, and we had some good chats about working out, while we both drank booze, which is typical of our lawyer/teacher lifestyle.Then I went to wind out the extension chord from the outlet in the back to the front of the house, and discovered the dilemma you see in this photo:
Yeah. After hours and hours, we had tried to mate two female ends of the Christmas lights. This was my turn to laugh.
So we figured that we could just work the extension chord around to the other side of the house, and plug it in from there, instead of undoing eight strands of lights tightly woven among the beams of our porch.
We took a break for a few hours, deciding to wait until night truly fell upon the earth to plug the lights in for the grand finale. (what really happened is I wrapped a strand of lights around myself, drank wine, and burned up pieces from the recycling pile in the fire until my roommate was ready.)
Finally it was dark enough! Here we go! Plug in the lights!
But as we walked to do so, a terrible feeling came over me. I turned with a horrified look to my roommate to say,
“We never checked to see if the lights worked before we put them up, did we?!”
His eyes widened in fear. But there was no turning back.
We plugged them in, ran to the front of the house, and:
Yup. Isn’t it glorious and anticlimactic?
After I wiped away my tears from laughter, I turned to roomie and said “you want to just leave them up?”
“Yeah. That’s fine.”
So far I have seen only one car reverse from the stop sign on the corner to come back and look at how dumb my house is.
Anyway. I’m also not giving presents this year. Partly because I’m not going home, partly because I can’t afford it, partly because I don’t even know where to shop in Durham. But also because my family doesn’t really need anything. Instead I’m going to donate some money to Compassion International, where I sponsor a cupcake of a child called Reyna, in my family’s name.
We live in America. We’re healthy and richer than we can even know. We don’t need anything. Except cuddles.
Loves and mistletoes and dreams and glitter and duck butts.