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Holiday Bruise

As I strive to move through the initial days of the New Year, I find my house is clean and empty. Sterile, even. The tree, though still up, lacks its pre-holiday luster. Mixed emotions collide and cloud my vision. Was it the best day of the year, or the worst? Did I find the true spirit of Christmas and recapture child-like wonder? Or did I lose another piece of my innocence to the cynicism of adulthood?

I think back to the days prior to Christmas that now seems so far away, so utterly unapproachable. I feasted and laughed, but still wished for more. I waited and waited. I even sang festive holiday tunes and yet still, I waited more. I waited for Christmas morning when I could briefly become a child again. But shortly after it arrived, I looked around and contemplated the festive, yet crumpled wrapping paper and stray tinsel littering the floor like confetti and the absence of the 24-hour  sounds of Christmas carols on the radio.

The living room looks like a circus and, to be honest, it kind of was. Bringing with it an end to anticipation, it still felt like I was waiting. Maybe I was. I shared my post-holiday melancholia with my beloved Grace (“she who must be obeyed”), and told her that I still yearned for that one special holiday memory that could help to carry me through to our next Christmas season, to assist me in keeping myself mindful of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and his indefatigable optimism and abundance of Christmas spirit. In her infinite wisdom, “she who must be obeyed” sat me down and told me that I should not depend on Rudolph to assist me in dealing with my post-holiday doldrums, as he actually does not exist.

According to my beloved and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, while both male and female reindeer grow antlers in the summer each year, male reindeer drop their antlers at the beginning of winter, usually late November to mid-December. Female reindeer retain their antlers till after they give birth in the spring. Therefore, according to every historical rendition depicting Santa’s reindeer replete with splendid antlers, every single one of them, from Rudolph to Blitzen, had to be a girl. 

“She who must be obeyed” ended with the caveat that my sexist ass should simply accept the fact that, clearly, only females would be capable of chauffeuring a morbidly obese man in a red velvet suit who has not shaved in years, all around the world in one night, stopping whenever necessary to ask directions, and returning him home safe and not get lost in the process! All I could think of was that Gene Autry is turning over in his grave somewhere out west!

Enough with the post-holiday blahs!  Shortly after the New Year, myself and Grace partook of a brunch at a local eating establishment and while perusing the menu, my attention was drawn to a gentleman seated alone at the bar having a grand old time by himself laughing loudly at nothing in particular. As he finished a drink, he would wave to the bartender for another and then proceed to start laughing once again. I couldn’t help but stare until “she who must be obeyed” tugged at my sleeve and asked, “Don’t you recognize who that is?” 

Not having a clue, I simply shook my head. My beloved responded, “It has been more than thirty years ago we dated and he proposed to me but I turned him down. What do you think of that?” All I could think to say was that 30+ years have passed since his marriage proposal was declined and here he is today, still celebrating!

In closing, my physician has assured me that X-rays have ruled out a concussion but in the future I should remain keenly aware that some things are left better unsaid!

Broad Channel, why would anyone want to live anywhere else?

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