Word on the street has it that no one can quite get it up for the Holidays this year. I feel like I've felt the least prepared and most apathetic about all the big holidays (*my* big holidays) and whatnot this year of any years in recent memory. I am both a date/holiday oriented and gifty lady. Anniversaries, monthaversaries, Halloween, Dios de los Muertos, Pride, Folsom, the Solstices and Equinoxes, they tend to mean a lot to me. I tend to be a very present-giving person, for no or special occasions, I love giving presents and take great joy in finding the things that seem to already belong to their recipients. Birthdays are especially big deals in my heart and mind, I think I might have gotten that from my dad, but I have sometimes thought that if I could spend my life making sure people had happy, exciting, fulfilling birthdays, I could be happy. But this year feels pretty off, and it feels like as far as presents and planning go, since August I've just lost my touch and also kind of don't care.
I decided going back to Baltimore at holiday time isn't healthy for me, which felt like a good, strong, self-care type of decision until I panicked and realized that as a now single person, that might mean I end up mostly alone on a holiday I don't really care about, but very much do want to feel loved on. So I decided to cook my dad's traditional Polish Catholic xmas eve dinner, 'Wigilia', and invite people over. Now I am cursing myself for always having to make things so complicated.
Solstice is my holiday of choice, it speaks the most to me, yet this year I have nothing too exciting or special planned besides trying to get ready for everything else. Last year I went with two friends to Pt. Reyes area, went hiking and saw scores of elk. I was supposed to be in Baltimore and my friend Matt was supposed to be in Seattle, but thanks to the storms in Colorado we were both still here. It was magical. This year: well we'll see.
My incredibly hot date for yesterday got cancelled. I was both bummed and relieved. Bummed because the girl is incredible and becoming a friend, and much fun (which is important for me now, my horoscope even said so) was sure to be had by all. Relieved because of all the stupid holiday stuff it gave me time to do. As it was I finished wrapping my family presents, to be delivered by my friend Josh, who is also native to Baltimore, at midnight. However, given the choice for less stress and more time or hot date with nice girl who is not potential wifey but an excellent date, I would've chosen the date.
Update: I just got a new mattress and boxspring delivered, my Solstice present from my mother. And suddenly the day does feel full of magic. It is a good omen and a sign for the future. My old mattress was terrible for my body, I got it when my last big love's roommates moved out of his apartment. I've lain on it through at least three heartbreaks, and dreamt in it since before I got sober. It's felt the weight of numerous lovers; some wonderful joyous additions to my life and some unsound, hurtful choices and many who seemed to be one and then turned to the other. It has four years of unhealthy body and difficult emotions seeped into it. It was thin and broken and low quality.
The new bed feels like it will treat me right as well as be incredibly pleasurable to sleep and lie in, and I think that when we make moves to invite those aspects into our lives in one, in this case, very tangible way, they often tend to be attracted to us in others as well. The Esteemed Astrologist confirmed my long-time suspicion that I need more sleep than most people: 9-10 hours a night. Spending that much time, alone or with lovers in an unhealthy, janky environment versus a supportive and sweet one is bound to make a huge difference. Plus it's even higher off the ground than my old mattress, which will make my bed that much more princessified. Whee! I plan to do a ritual on it soon, to welcome in positive energy and influences, to invite it to attract healthy lovers who do right by me, and to welcome the coming of the light.
From my pre-Wigilia shopping trip yesterday:
So I was that person again, today. The one in the grocery store, fighting back tears. I started to sing "For Today I am a Boy" by Anthony and the Johnsons to myself while I was looking for all the fixins' of the traditional Polish Catholic xmas eve dinner, Wigilia, and all of the sudden my face felt like a swollen sponge and the tears began their welling. Well, then I had to ask one of the kindly Rainbow Grocery Co-Operative workers where the canned/jarred beets are (answer: there aren't any) and my voice was all shaky and he gave me this strange "it's ok, they're only beets" kind of look. I scurried into the housewares aisle and choked down a few silent sobs and kind of laughed to myself, wondering how many people ever feel like bursting into tears for no apparent reason except just the ambient pain and sorrow of loving and living, in the middle of the grocery store.
I seem to be that person a lot. Sometimes I think it's my reflexive emotional revolt against being in large institutional type structures with lots of people who know and for the most part play by the rules. Aundi and I once discussed how any large room with aisles or fluorescent lights gave us the immediate visceral impulse to poop, and I bet the cows lining up for the killing floor feel the same way. Or maybe it's just that Rainbow is such a open, wholesome (albeit expensive) nurturing kind of atmosphere, that similar to the therapist's office it inspires a freeing of emotions, one of the co-op members might even come over with a earthen cup of filtered water and put their arm around your shoulder until you could shop on your own again. I certainly wasn't about to weep half an hour before in Trader Joe's. (San Francisco is a city unsympathetic to beet needs that aren't met by a fresh bunch of organic bulbs, at least amongst the fancy "socially-conscious" grocery options. Pickled herring neither. I get the feeling there aren't an overwhelming number of Poles or Jews out here, at least not until the Richmond. I will continue the Slavic search tomorrow.)
Though I remember experiencing the intense desire to dive into a pile of fluffy new towels and throw a little fit once at Nordstrom's Rack a couple of months ago, and that is anything but a sympathetic atmosphere. Or maybe "For Today I am a Boy" just always makes me cry (which is true) and I've been on the verge for days now anyway. There is another song that keeps trying to pop into my head which would just obliterate me, so in harm reduction fashion, I opt for sudden tears over complete loosing-my-shit devastation. I don't really feel like blaming the Holidays, I feel like they can take responsibility for pretty much everything else. I left Rainbow after about 35 minutes, with only three items, costing $11. But I'm fine with that.
Today I woke up with Postal Service, which I don't even like but find occasionally heart-wrenching none the less, in my head. But it was ok, not as charged as the music in my head of yesterday. Also, I painted yesterday, for my mother's present, with a new (to me) technique I saw used in the Sigur Ros movie 'Heima' which is just using the ink dropper from India Ink directly on the paper. It made me feel good, like "oh yeah, sometimes I really am an artist." And now I'm finally in a festive Solstice mood, with They Might Be Giants (which is always good because it is *my* music, connected to ex's of long ago, sure, but both the Giants and Talking Heads feel like my core of tunes, listening to them gives me the feeling of "this doesn't have to be about you, its just about me") singing me and my new bed into the afternoon.