Saturday, December 24, 2016

Home for the Holidays. Help!

Figuring out the logistics of Christmas travel when you’re in a relationship (one that has reached the level of shared holidays, that is) is something I wish I were better prepared for. One would assume I’d have a great handle on shuffling around to different houses having come from a broken home (referred to lovingly), but I didn’t grow up as one of those privileged kids of divorce. The kids that could leverage the guilt of one parent against the other with multiple birthday celebrations, those who learned the art of negotiation early in life – they were the real victors of divorce (as are the trap queens). My doting dad made a clean exit when he left us, and I was never afforded the learned values of effectively politicking multiple familial gatherings because of it. So, for Christmas this year, I'm made keenly aware of one more daddy issue in my wheelhouse. Thanks, Santa.

This is the first Christmas in a long while that I’m going “home” to Las Vegas. The past three Christmases as a couple, Steven has had to work. So, we stayed in New York and spent the holidays with some of his local extended family. Before we started dating, I used other excuses (e.g. I’m washing my hair) to avoid a Vegas Christmas. Though, more often than not, I simply didn’t want to couldn’t afford it. This year, Steven and I are both off from work and decided to take the full week between Christmas and New Years to visit family. Joy.

Steven absolutely loves spending time with his family. It’s one of the things I love most about him. I absolutely love spending time with myself. It’s one of the things I love most about me. I am also a fan of predictability when it comes to potentially stressful situations. I prefer to drink away the stress have a detailed plan and exit strategy. For this trip, I have been unsuccessful in pinning my family to a specific agenda, which means I am not in possession of a detailed plan or an exit strategy (other than locking down a hotel room for the length of our trip and grabbing a rental car for quick getaways – let’s just hope my mother doesn’t come across one of her many clubs while I’m there.)

As I mentioned in my welcome back post, I no longer have a therapist on retainer, and, as such, bring all complaints about my inadequacies (inadequacies that I can blame on others especially) here. Similar to my inability to suppress the urge to tell complete strangers personal details of my life, I have tried and failed at an effortless bringing together of family traditions in my relationship. I can’t say it’s my first or final failure in my relationship, but I hate losing. I hoped my many years spent as an indentured servant assistant to busy executives would have better prepared me for these scheduling crises. However, I’ve been quickly reminded that you learn much faster as a kid with their stupid spongy brains. So not only could I have been multilingual, I might have avoided unnecessary arguments with my soon-to-be husband had I learned from my parents early on. Thanks for nothing, Santa you fat fictitious motherfucker.

I realize that almost every other couple in existence has had to coordinate the holidays at multiple houses, most of them in different states or continents. I get it. I’m no saint for scheduling two family get-togethers in the same city (though, I would like to point out our families are on opposite sides of town). However, I am coordinating timelines with people I don’t typically deal with in this capacity. I’m very particular about my calendar and knowing when and where I need to be at any given point. My family does not operate like this. They are habitually late and timeline free – fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of people. However, they’re my people, and we’re going to drink more than is required do our best to make this one of the first of many joyous combined family Christmases, Klonopin at the ready.

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