[This would have been my Cross-Pollination post, if it had been alright on the night (sorry Geohde)]
I’m trying to finish writing my Christmas cards tonight. Um. Yeah. That’s going so well. Hi, bloggy world! You are so not my Christmas cards!
One old family friend from Abroad wrote us a ‘that was the year that was’ letter with her card, so I felt compelled to write her a ‘what we have done in 2009’ letter back. That cheered me up no end, as you can imagine. Hospitals! People peering up my lady-parts in hospitals! Crying in hospitals! But let’s not dwell on the bad bits! Naturally, I am finding it extremely hard to dwell on and even remember all the good bits. It can’t have been unmitigated shit from January to December, surely. Surely? Jobs! Promotions! Switzerland! Theatre-visits! See? But lack of joie de vivre is probably spilling forth into my very hand-writing. A
Not-To-Gloomy Merry Christmas and May 2010 Not Suck Quite So Bloody Much a Happy New Year!
Anyway, I think my husband and I are staying here in our grubby little flat for Christmas. Just us. In our pyjamas, eating stollen by the hunk. I can’t work out if this is very very wonderful and perfect, or a little sad. Or both! Hey, I can work with both!
The husband has to go into the office between Christmas and New Year (boo!) which was making travelling-to-parents logistics really annoying and stupid (errr…) and anyway, his parents are not really having a big Christmas, or even, so far as I can tell, a small Christmas (and my parents are either Abroad or The Other End Of The Island). Hence logistics-based reasons for staying here (yay!). And it’s also quite important that I am allowed to watch the Doctor Who Christmas Special in perfect, reverential silence, with no heckling from persons who think I should be taking the dogs for a walk or entertaining the niece or peeling sprouts. Nevertheless, it feels like cheating, because we spent last Christmas in a hotel, just us two, snogging and bickering and pretending our respective sets of relations lived in Antartica. Replay! Yay! Guilt! Yay!
The world and all its nosy aunts and neighbours promptly cry, you can’t spend Christmas alone! You have to make the effort! Christmas is for families!
And Christmas, from adverts to the special holiday stamps in the post office, from supermarket queues to relentlessly chirpy work-colleagues recounting Little Junior’s First Mince Pie, has a really, really bad habit of rubbing this in.
The thing is, if the Universe had been a tad less of a stone-hearted bitch, we too would be feeding our own Bonny Junior his/her first taste of mince-meat, or, more likely, as my husband hates mince-pies, panettone. We’d be moving heaven and earth and British Rail to take our baby to all her/his grandparents and great-grandparents for an all-in doting festival. I’d be photographed holding my child and looking as beautifully serene as any number of Pre-Raphaelite Madonnas. My husband would be photographed holding his child and just the thought of the pride and love in his face makes me cry. And at dinner, over the candles and crackers, we’d be able to announce the Summer 2010 arrival of a sibling, and there would be such joy and congratulations and everyone would want to know how we’d cope and we’d be asking ourselves the same question and the unavoidable, stark, bloody answer is, better than we are now, without either of them.
There comes a point, where, as an adult, you have to stand up, pull your socks up, tighten your belt, stiffen your resolve, adjust your suspenders, throw your cloak over your shoulder with a majestic swirl, and announce that, actually, you’re going to do as you damn well please from here on in. Stollen in pyjamas infront of the Tardis it is. And this is the right decision.