Monday, November 16, 2015

Early 'Thanksmas'*

My Dad and his wife Pat had a gathering yesterday that they were calling Thanksmas.  They will be leaving for Florida at the end of the month and wanted to share the holidays with their families.  For some reason I felt we should go, my first mistake.  I don't like the holidays.  I don't like to travel.  Hell, I don't even really like my Dad, and I'm more like him than I want to admit.  But I felt we should go because he has had heart trouble this year and he'll be the first to remind you that he's not getting any younger.  Oh, and their Thanksmas celebration was happening during a Packers game, just to add to my personal anxieties.  I call them 'anxieties,' they have also been referred to as 'selfishness.'  Either way I'm not proud of my actions sometimes.

So, fine then, a couple weeks ago I resolved to myself that we would go and agreed to be there.  My plan was to show up shortly before the game, watch the game and socialize with them, and leave immediately following the game.  Over an hour travel each way, but we should get home just before dark.  Perfect, in my mind.  Plenty of time to relax at home on a Sunday night before facing another work week.  Besides, how christmas-y can you get in the middle of November unless you are a retail store?  I was about to find out.  Oh, I stuck to my plan, but, of course, it did not turn out well.

Most of their combined kids and their families were there.  I didn't know all the names, and I didn't really care.  The 'step' siblings became such long after I was an adult out on my own and I have really only met them a handful of times.  My niece was cute, she made it more fun for me by making me play bean bag toss with her before the game then trying to figure out the password and play the games on my phone.  It was a beautiful sunny day, this Ides of November, with temperatures getting up to 60º.  And I was sitting near a christmas tree watching the Packers lose two weeks before Thanksgiving.  I was feeling out of my element, but there was the finish line - the end of the game, which was drawn-out, of course.

When the game ended I said thanks and gotta go but it was not that easy.  I had explained earlier that we had things to do and I wanted to be home by dark, back to my plan.  So after the game I got up to go.  My wife became hugely embarrassed with Pat protesting and me saying hey, that was my plan all along.  We had to stand there awkwardly in front of everyone as she fumbled looking for christmas presents to give us before we left.  At that point I don't look good leaving or agreeing to stay for their games and gift openings.  My intention was not to get gifts in the middle of November or upset my Dad's wife, just leave.  But then I just wanted to disappear myself, I can't blame my wife for being upset with me, my time here was done and I wanted to go.

See, I've always been more comfortable at home.  And similar things have happened to me before.  I explained it to my sister once as having an elastic band attaching me to home.  The farther away and longer I'm gone the more uncomfortable I am.  Especially when it is for - and it usually is - for a holiday gathering.  I stopped liking holidays after, and in some ways because of, my childhood.  We always had to travel then, too.  I guess it all eventually goes back to childhood, right?  I'm the first to admit that I still hold deep resentment from back then that I am trying to ignore now.  I think I've done well with that lately but it is still there and always will be.  Life goes on.

So, am I selfish?  Do I have OCD with anxieties?  A form of agoraphobia?  Or am I just an ass?

Don't answer, I don't want to hear it.  But it's probably some form of all of them to one degree or another.

The agoraphobia thing, suggested by my wife that night, actually hits pretty close to home.  That would also explain why I get so buggy at huge events with thousands of people, too.  I know I've talked about that here before.  Still, I do not have panic attacks, though I do have plenty of anxieties.  So maybe I'm just a nut who needs to be on medication to take the ab from my normal.  I think I should probably look into this more.  But from right here, thank you.

*Updated next day:
One thing I feel was lost in my writing - and editing - is that I do need to offer my apologies to all involved who took offense.  Reading sentences 3 to 7 of the first paragraph and looking back, I feel like I set myself up to fail.  I'm also sorry for that and I'm sorry it happened.  
Okay, enough dirty laundry!  But writing it out did help me consider things more.  Many things.

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