sitting at the grown-up table
So much to say!
First, christmas was better than I expected it to be. As I said before, I wasn't looking forward to the holidays at all this year, and having to deal with people who feel otherwise has just been annoying. However, as it turned out, I had a pretty nice time last weekend getting ready for and celebrating xmas. First, I went out last Friday with my friend Chris, with whom I have so much in common. We worked together briefly, but he and starbucks didn't really click and now he has a job that makes him happier. I'm so glad for this, as it means we can be friends, where before a friendship wouldn't have been possible. We've been through a lot of similar situations, such as being married and then divorcing and coming out. It's nice to connect with someone who understands what that was like, because most people don't get it, no matter how sympathetic they are. Also, we both came down to florida this past year as an exit strategy, a way to get away from things that haunted us, things that blocked any paths to happiness. It's been wonderful the past couple weeks to get to know someone else who is in such a similar state of mind. Friday night, we went out for a few drinks (the repercussions of which I felt all the next day) and I loved every minute of it. I love that we have become friends.
Saturday night was a big christmas party with all the rest of my friends down here. What a fabulous night! It was at Becca's place and it was perfect. Dinner was great, and we all actually behaved like grown-ups, rather than drunken slobs. I was so proud of all of us! However, my friend Aubri at one point made a comment about how lovely and mature everything was and how much she was enjoying this mood for a change, when Bridget next to her pointed out a glob of food that had fallen on Aubri's shirt. That sort of ended the whole "grown-up party" theme, but it was a good time. Here are our cute stockings from the party:
Truly, it was a fabulous night, one which reminded me how lucky I am to have found all these friends since moving down here. There was a moment during dinner, while we were all sitting around Becca's beautifully decorated table, when I stepped back and looked at everything from a distance, and I realized that good things have happened to me since coming here. Every time I think I don't belong anywhere, I find myself sitting with friends who make me laugh, make me feel right, and make me care. I love them for that.
And at that party someone gave me syphilis for christmas. Actually, it's a pink, fuzzy stuffed worm thing that supposedly looks just like the syphylis microbe. This person gave someone else mono and yet another person the clap.
The next day, Christmas Eve, started at work for me. I worked until 4pm, which was fine, as it meant being out of everyone's way at home as they ran around and finished last minute preps for the holiday. After work, I stopped at Chris' place to give him a new copy of David Sedaris' book, Me Talk Pretty One Day. It's one of my favorites, and I knew he'd love it too. After leaving him with that gem, I headed home for my family's christmas eve. Normally, we get together with the extended family on christmas eve and then stay around the house with the immediate family the next day, but this year we reversed things, and it was nice. My sister and my niece were here of course, so it was them, my parents, my little brother, and me. We had dinner, opened some gifts, and then played the Friends version of Scene It. I kicked their asses in it, just like I told them I would.
Christmas day was nice too, but not as relaxing as the previous night. My niece and my brother both woke up so early. I don't know what time it was, but it couldn't have been much later than dawn. They opened presents, we had breakfast, and I went back to sleep. Later, we went to the big family gathering, which was more low-key than normal.
While I don't remember all the details of last year's christmas gathering, I do remember that at one point during the evening, my aunt's dog took a shit right in the front doorway, but nobody realized until my dad had accidentally stepped in it and walked across the floor, spreading it around. It smelled horrible. Once people realized what had happened, they started gagging and shrieking, and everyone huddled in one corner of the room, as far from the doorway as possible. In the meantime, my 12-year-old brother, who has a sensitive stomach along with some OCD issues, went a little ballistic and almost hyperventilated because he wanted to get away from the dog shit as soon as possible, but he couldn't get out of the house because the pile of crap was actually blocking the doorway. So instead, he paced in giant circles, gagging and on the brink of a meltdown. Someone, perhaps my aunt, one of my uncles, or my dad cleaned it all up and everything went back to normal. Except my brother. He busted out of there and wouldn't go back in for a while. And as usual, while this was happening, I stood back watching and laughing.
Nothing like that happened this year, though. I'm sure my brother is glad for this.
Christmas would have been ok without my friends, but with the friends I've made here, it was great. They made all the difference. Also, I did have a lot of fun with my family, especially beating them with my superhuman knowledge of Friends trivia.
Now, I just have to survive the dreaded New Year's Eve ordeal. That holiday always makes me edgy. Too much pressure. But I'll deal with that on Sunday.