Holidays on Eggshells, Day 1
Note: Please refer back my previous post and the cast of characters. I’ve decided to write about the next six days of family holiday bliss, using those characters (who may or may not, um, be similar to my own family). I am Anna, of course, and it will be written from her perspective. No, schizophrenia/split personality disorder has not set in. I’m still your garden variety neurotic, anxious gal with major depressive disorder. I just find that I can be more honest about my family members when I give them different names and tweak some of the details. They would shit their pants if they ever found this blog, that is — if they even recognized themselves (of which I’m not 100% sure; they tend to wear blinders).
Day 1 (December 20) — 8:00 a.m., TF Greene Airport
I’m sitting at the airport waiting for the clusterfuck of boarding a Southwest Airlines flight (people who have undesirable boarding numbers and push ahead of me in line annoy me, especially if I end up stuck in a middle seat). All my meds are in my carry-on bag, and I feel like I’m 90 years old as they clack around inside their bottles. So many many meds, just to keep me from staying in bed all day and crying my eyes out for no apparent reason. On the bright side, they will be very useful during this trip. I desperately want a cup of coffee, but I can’t. This new drug Viibryd is still giving me unpleasant GI issues. I do not want to experience that horror at 30,000 feet.
Flying into Orlando versus Tampa was much cheaper, but now I am regretting that decision. There are 100 kids waiting to board this flight, who are hyped up on DISNEY WORLD FOR CHRISTMAS! I’m kicking myself for not investing in those Bose noise-cancelling headphones.
It’s interesting to watch people as they wait for their flights. There are happy couples, angry couples, couples who don’t appear to want to speak to one another, and couples juggling four screaming children. And then there are people like me. Single travelers, some with a look of dread on their face. I wonder if they, too, are heading home to sleep in their childhood bedrooms and be treated like a 12-year-old child. I’m really hoping these single people are going somewhere nice instead. I hope they are on their way to a wonderful ski trip in Aspen or a tropical island sans any family members. Have an umbrella drink for me, will ya?
So my mom Mavis is picking me up at the airport, and I’m scared for two reasons: She is a terrible driver and it has only gotten worse as she ages; and I am going to get picked on the whole way home (an hour drive) about how much weight I’ve gained. I just know it. I can smell it, in fact. You see, my family is not very compassionate to the overweight, particularly Mavis and Dick, who go to the gym all the time and eat South Beach-diet approved meals. I feel like I’m a big fat disappointment to them.
Tonight, Elise is coming over for dinner, and I fully expect Armageddon. The drama has already begun, and I’m still sitting here in the airport 1,200 miles away from home. She and I are both trying to get out of Kristie’s (my SIL) annual Holiday Christmas eve. I hate it. She is not a nice person AT ALL and I dread this evening every year. (Plus, her cooking makes me ill; I swear she slips laxatives into her borscht.) I told my mother that I was going to “sit it out” this year, and she said “We’ll talk about it.” My father told me I’m going and that’s the end of it. Really? How old am I?
Assertive 38-year-old Anna is done being bossed around. What are they going to do, ground me? Withhold Christmas gifts? Please. My plan is to go to the children’s mass early Saturday evening, and skip the laxative-laden Soviet-themed Christmas. I love the children’s mass with the choir and nativity scene. It makes me happy — and happiness is what I need right now.
Oh crap, they are calling my flight. Here I go. Wish me luck and pray that I don’t scream at any kids.