Well, somebody just HAD to ask me. I appreciated the interest but I kinda wish she hadn't kept asking more and more questions. I am almost compulsively honest, so that poor soul got the unvarnished truth. It was one of the checkers at the grocery store the other day.
See, as I've explained before, here in Mississippi we are a chatty bunch. We will talk to anybody anywhere at any time about anything, and we don't even have to know who you are! We are gonna treat you like "folks" and that's really nice.....except when someone asks me about what I'm gonna do for the holidays.
People generally don't like my answer.
And neither did the lady at the grocery.
But I tell the truth: I will be alone.
That's when the kind lady at the grocery was curious enough to start asking a lot of well-meaning questions.
- What about your children and grandchildren? Haven't got any.
- What about your parents? Passed on.
- What about your relatives? Mostly, they are quite far away; and those that are near aren't interested.
- Don't they care? I don't think so.
- But what do they say? That I am "a waste of time."
I hastened to assure her that I have come to enjoy my solitary holidays very much. She didn't believe me but most people don't.
Holidays are hard on everyone in one way or another, aren't they?
We put so much into them and expect so much out of them that disappointment is often rife.
At first it genuinely bothered me when I had no one of my own to share holidays with. But I see things differently now: being solitary is much more suitable to my temperament than being in a noisy crowd; I am far more alone in a crowd than when I'm just by myself. Admittedly, it took me awhile to figure that out but it has been my own decision to stop being a Holiday Stray. It is a choice that would not be appropriate for most people but being Holiday Alone isn't necessarily lonely; sometimes it's a matter of wholeness.
You might like to read my two posts from last year:
Maybe the Best Thanksgiving Ever
And Maybe the Worst Thanksgiving Ever
Although I may not have thought so when I was growing up, I realize now that it really is a good thing that I was raised in a very Not Traditional manner when it came to holidays. I don't feel the weighty burden of needing to dot all the i's and cross all the t's in the desire to reproduce a set of traditional holiday expectations. Even before I was alone,
I came to like creating my own holidays (like the first of September; that's the biggest one! If I haven't told that story already, then maybe one day I will). And I like borrowing holidays like Tanabata (see Borrowing a Holiday) and Guy Fawkes.
Any day can and should be a good day. We've just gotta remember to bloom where we are planted. When I used to joke about that old saying with my mother, I told her that I was probably just a weed. She told me that she liked God's garden best--that's where wild weeds bloom beautifully.
I kinda like being a weed.
And I enjoy solitary holidays.
Life is good.