humbug

In Which the Blog Descends Further into Being Terrible: Holidays with the Humbugs

My Readers,

Let it be known that four eggs, sour milk, some old lunch meat, moldy bread, and cheese actually makes for a balanced enough breakfast.  Did I spend more time on the toilet than usual?  Maybe.  But did I get food poisoning?  No.  I don’t think so at least.  And that’s what matters.

(How about that intro?  Am I not charming af?  Thank you, thank you.)  (I know almost all of you are visual people; I am not sure why I keep doing this.)

So, before I kick-start into whatever the fluff today’s post turns out to be, I wanted to say…thanks, y’all.  Thanks for having my back last week when I took my emotional breakdown to the webs.  Lol.  But seriously, wow, what an unanticipated, heartwarming response.  Also, I finally followed some of my own advice, and went and started sayin’ some things to people I should have.  Mixed results.  A few very special emails that warranted screenshots for my “Sweet Things” folder in my documents, (–in conjunction with “Sweet Memes,” these two folders serve as Grade A cyber picker-uppers when I’m feeling down), including one “I felt the same & I was avoiding it too,” a few kind musings from acquaintances and near-strangers that left me feeling rejuvenated, and a few reminders about which cans of beans to leave undisturbed.

 

ANYWAY, the point is…it wasn’t a bad thing at all.  Last week’s post.  I’m glad I shared it.  It made me act, and, more importantly…you guys were really sweet, and I dunno, it made me feel cared about.  I won’t even dodge around it; I really needed to feel cared about.  So, hey…thanks for that.  Thanks for helpin’ a homie out.

A’right so I know what you are thinking: I AM UNCOMFORTABLE SHUT UP and get to the content.  I agree.  On to the content.

EXCEPT THERE IS NO CONTENT TODAY

THIS BLOG IS A SHAM

I AM A SHAM

No, but really, I am going to try to keep the façade of knowing how to write a decent blog up for a while yet.  You may be thinking, “silly Melanie, there are no rules when it comes to writing a blog,” but you’re wrong.  You are dead wrong.  This is more than my playground, it is, as with all things that I take way too seriously, a platform for legacy.

Which brings me to today’s topic: The Holidays with Humbugs.

I love holidays.  I think they are awesome.  If it were morally sound, I would bounce from religion to religion just to be able to partake in all of their festivities.  Maybe it is just because I was a born heathen, but there is something about decorated trees and warm artificial strands of lights and exchanging gifts that just RESONATES WITH MY SOUL MORE THAN THE PROMISE OF ETERNAL LIFE EVER COULD.  (No, but side note: eternal life?   Like, this crap just keeps going?  I oft think I would rather disintegrate.)  But anyway, big picture: I love the holidays.  And Christmas is my favorite.

It follows that I love celebrating Christmas.  And I do so with my family.  But here’s the problem.  In holiday cheer at home, I Stand Alone.

My mom, as you might’ve guessed if you read my post on The Too Far Gene, instilled in me from a young age an overzealous passion for holiday decorating.  I’m talkin’, inhumane amounts of fake pumpkin decorations for Halloween, window decals and beanie babies for Valentine’s day, and this big, weird, sparkly, turkey statue thing for Thanksgiving.  But as the years have gone by, her patience and zest for such affairs has waned.  Roughly the same goes for Dad.  And then Billy (my brother), well Lord, Billy will look for any excuse not to help me take things out of the attic, so he’s not on board anymore either.  Pretty much the peak of their holiday spirit nowadays comes in haunting me with this big freaky grim reaper Santa decoration that I hate every year.  Here is a pic; these are real things they do to me.

Fear the reaper

They added the knife.  This pic came two years ago with the caption “Fear the reaper.”  Sans cutlery, is that not one of the worst Santa decorations you have ever seen?  The trim on the coat–the CLOAK–looks like it was coated in the ash of the corpses of dozens of elves.  I hate him.  One year he fell over and his porcelain head cracked and it was one of the happiest times.  Unfortunately my mom mended him and he lives on.

Anyway, so this year, over Thanksgiving break, I allotted myself time to retrieve boxes from the attic and get out the tree and kickstart the process early.  I started by coercing my brother into helping and then had to listen to him complain for like 200 hours about having to catch the boxes I was lowering to him, even though as the lowerer I was the one assailing the future of my lower back, then filled a good chunk of my room up with them.  That way, beyond providing for myself a sound starting point, the family would have easy access to the spoils and would be able to finish decorating when I headed back up to school.

Another thing–I love surprises.  Oh, by gosh, are they fun.  And I like to do nice things in secret for a grand reveal because, I don’t know, the surprise element just makes it better.  (Plus I am also weary of someone being like “ugh, really?” and raining on my parade.  Secret operations are often necessary when you want to do anything remotely messy in this house.)  (I used to rearrange my room in secret when I was little for this reason, and one time I almost got crushed to death by a 45 pound TV as a result lol.)  But yeah, this year in particular, I was feeling very covert ops.  I was on a mission to decorate quietly in the room adjacent to my mom in an all-new spot we hadn’t used for Christmas, like, ever, without peaking her attention before it was ready.  That way when she and the rest of the lot saw it, they would all be pleasantly surprised and impressed and filled with Christmas cheer.

So after cleaning our dining room, which took TIME because it had looked like a foreclosed Goodwill, I started with the tree–one of those fake plastic ones, which was a pain in the arse because we broke the stand on the bottom last year.  (It was basically a four-tier bottom and one of the tiers cracked.)  I figured it would be okay if I leaned the tree up against the wall and I didn’t tell anybody because that’s what I did last year when I broke it, so I did, and as it held and I was finding it harder and harder to contain my excitement, I told my mom to come and look while I got the ornaments out.  But apparently that wasn’t the answer because then when I was in the other room I heard a yell and a small crash because apparently my mom had tried to meddle with the tree skirt or something and the wall fix didn’t hold so the whole thing came toppling down on top of her (classic) and then she got all dramatic and said we had to get rid of it just because it had almost crushed her and was a hazard or whatever.

Instinctually, my reaction was one which predisposed me toward a moment of immature, lose-my-cool temper tantrum.  I had worked really hard to do something nice, and then she went and injured herself with it.  I mean, I want to see my mother get crushed by a tree as much as the next guy, but nobody wants to deal with the repercussions.  And since I was on a tight time budget to go back up to school that night, it was a major setback.  [Side note: Billy just came in here and started freestyling to the tune of Blurred Lines about how my blog sucks then put an ornament of Godzilla riding a motorcycle on my butt.]  I guess I could have been more concerned about her well-being, but you know how it goes.  We are more laugh-at-each-others-pain in this family.  There was no blood.  I regret nothing.

Anyway, so then something monumental happened: she said we’d have to get a new tree.  Let me explain the significance.  Needing a new one meant that we might be able to get a Real Christmas Tree this year.  We almost never got real trees.  In my parents defense, this is largely in part to a time in their younger years when they got a live Christmas tree together unbeknownst to the fact that it had a nest of praying mantises hidden inside and their entire home was infested, and then they had to vacuum them because they were an endangered species and technically you were not supposed to kill them.  Sort of like that time later in life when we were raising ladybugs in a net terrarium and they broke free and died all over the house or the time 100+ bats were living inside of our chimney.  But I digress.  My hope was soon quelled as I understood that we would almost definitely be getting another fake one.

I resolved to stay the night in order to be able to help decorate the replacement tree after it was obtained the next day.  When the actual decorating was finally complete, it looked pretty good.  And it only took minimal begging and trickery to get my family members to each hang at least one ornament each so I could pretend we were a functional family that hangs out with each other sometimes out of more than obligation.  I was content.  Then I laid the stockings out by the fireplace and left the plugs for the lights I’d put up by outlets so that the family could hang them and light them up, respectively, easily after I left.  Of course, when I got home after a MONTH the entire outside of the house was still pitch black, the stockings were in the same place I had left them, and all of the lights I had put up were collecting dust.  And they all continued to refuse to help finish decorating because “well now it’s only five days away” but still have the audacity to sit around and complain that “it doesn’t feel like Christmas” WELL DUH MAYBE BECAUSE THE ONLY THING Y’ALL DID TO PREPARE FOR IT WAS TURN THE NUMBER ON THE CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN BLOCKS (which, I will admit, I was pleasantly surprised by) (unless they only turned it once right before I got home to keep up appearances).

What am I getting at, here?  I don’t know exactly.  This is another in a series of posts where there were rails set for a hint of a narrative and then the train drove off the side of the mountain instead, taking hundreds of lives with it as it went.

I guess I’m saying that I know how it feels to care passionately about things and still get very excited about them even when everyone around you is apathetic.  It is one of my biggest skills other than remembering to brush my teeth more than once daily.  And I think that in a society driven by all of that mess, ruled by complacency, by laziness, by waiting for death, it’s an important skill to hold on to.  Am I also guilty of being complacent, lazy, and waiting for death?  Yes!  Sometimes I think that being alive is just the most grueling, cumbersome thing in the world.  But that is never going to stop me from rejoicing in the little things and working my ass off to make other people remember that they can enjoy those things too.  So I will continue to carry the weight of the holidays on my shoulders even if it means forcing my family at gunpoint to watch the ball drop on New Year’s with me or crushing my own mother with a booby-trapped Christmas tree.  I know they still care somewhere deep down underneath layers of “you’re cleaning that.”

The moral of the story, then: even when it feels like you’re the only one who cares, don’t let the man get you down.  And remember the reasons why a humbug’s acting like a humbug.  A lot of times it just comes from other problems in life and our good ol’ friend, sorrow.  I know that I sound kind of like a Lifetime movie, but hear me out: you have every right to be enthusiastic, and if you’re enthusiastic enough, sometimes it can rub off on other people so much that they start being enthusiastic too, or at least get so irritated with you that they concede to your wants anyway.  And also, keep your eyes peeled for times you’re looking at a situation with tunnel-vision.  Consider here how I completely ignored my mom’s going out of her way to get us nice gifts.  She might rather die than string up a set of lights nowadays, but she still cares.  That old enthusiasm’s still buried in there somewhere.  It’s just a matter of digging it up.  How much validity is in these words?  What gives me a right to say this?  Idk!  Who cares.  This is something I live by that gets me through and makes me happy.

Oh, and before we come to an end, it is time for a grand ol’ interactive feature…SHOUTOUTZ!  How tragic.  Some by request, some unanticipated sneak attacks after last week’s post.  To my awko-taco old friend for the heartwarming text, to my internet pun-master compadre for the continuous support, to my sweet child for making me feel like my blog doesn’t suck, and to a new true pal who might not keep reading but might for sticking around before and maybe continuing to do so: thank you.  Thank you all for being interesting, and for being here.  Idk why you came back, but I’m glad ya did.

Also.  All of you–I want to see your blogs.  ASAP.  Let me explore your brains too.  I was a born parasite, grant me the amnesty of invasion.

And there you have it: half a narrative and some other dumb crap.  My blog is getting worse and worse by the day.  Tune in below for some unrelated but still enjoyable additional media that has no business being here that I put here anyway.

Merry Christmas and/or happy holidays, my dears,

Melanie

 

Unrelated but Still Enjoyable Additional Media that Has No Business Being Here:

Musical Throwback Recommendation of the day:  (Will this be a thing from now on?  Maybe.  Probably not.)  (I guess this really could have been like my favorite Christmas song or something, but it is too late to turn back and edit this post in a fragment of a second now.)

HAHA Actually no.  Meme of the Day:

by Daedra Edwards Linn

Two because of Christmas.

Derek Karnes

Courtesy of Daedra Edwards Linn and Derek Karnes, respectively and without permission, via Useless, Unsuccessful, and/or Unpopular Memes on Facebook, my new favorite place on the internet.

I love Memes.

Hope to see you all again soon.

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