Holidays mess with my head (as they do with everyone's, I know). Luckily I'm a child of divorce. Children of divorce are uniquely equipped to deal with the emotional fuckery that goes along with this season, because the whole paradigm got turned on its head for us a long time ago.

[ ~1980 ]

Parents, Teachers, Media: December 25th is an Extremely Important Day, children. So is the fourth Thursday of November (for Americans). On these days, we gather together and express our love as a family. 

Remember kids, these are very, very important dates. Now sprinkle some glitter on your pinecones to help you commemorate Christmas, which is the twenty-fifth of December, and the day we show one another how much we care. Because it is Christmas. And it is very important. Timmy stop eating the paste. 

[ three years later ] 

Parents: Kids, mommy and daddy are getting divorced. Daddy's moving out. 

Kids: But what about Christmas? If Daddy's not here how will we show him that we love him??

Parents: Christmas is just a day like any other. You can celebrate with him another time!

Kids: WTF??


But it's true. A calendar page is just a calendar page is just a calendar page. 1/365 is not a very impressive number. A cheesy but comforting metaphor: the Earth moves around the Sun all year long, and the Sun doesn't love it any less on the days they're furthest apart. It's the same with the people who care about us. Whether they're in the next room or halfway around the planet, they still care about us.

Terence left yesterday to visit family, so it's just Chauc and I until next week. We saw him off outside, Chaucer utterly confused as to why we all weren't climbing into the Lyft car and driving away. I've taken him out three times since, and each time he walked straight to the loading zone where he last saw Terence, stood there, and looked around hopefully. All three times my heart broke and I had to practically drag my human-in-a-dog-suit back upstairs, where he flopped down in disgust on Sharky, pouting because his Bro Dog is gone.

I know I'm dog mom material because a dozen times a day I have to corral ridiculous toys like this back into his basket and every damn time it makes me smile.

Whatever. This sucks. 

On Tuesday night we looked up baggage fees for Spirit Airlines, the carrier Terence booked for his trip. They are laughably exorbitant, but I guess that's the whole Spirit deal. Super pared down, no-frills flights for mad cheap...but crazy add-ons (there's even a fee for printing your boarding pass at the airport). I watched as Terence, breathless and frustrated, crammed sweaters and jeans into an old duffel bag of mine - the biggest carry-on he could bring without getting charged extra.

I felt awful for him, but I was fascinated by Spirit's trollish, zero-fucks-given policy towards customer service displayed both on their website and the automated Twitter account they've set up to reply to complaints. After we saw that there's a $100 surcharge for fliers who don't pre-pay their baggage fees, I made Terence promise to give me a full report on the Spirit experience. And I checked Twitter periodically, because I figured that would be entertaining in a Haha, I'm cozy at home while you suckers are stuck in airports sort of way. My favorite exchange went something like this:

Customer: @SpiritAirlines has airplanes made out cardboard and bubblegum.

Spirit: @Customer Our fleet is young and fuel-efficient!

Customer: @SpiritAirlines Good point. Can it take me to Florida since my flight was canceled and I can't get a refund?

(no reply from Spirit)

Masterful corporate trolling right there.

Terence didn't have any complaints, though, other than my having emasculated him with my accessory offering:

I went to the grocery store and loaded up on food, because even if I'm not having turkey it is my god-given right as a 'Murican to eat as much as humanly possible over the next few days. When I got home I gorged on boxed stuffing and washed it down with an entire bottle of Martinelli's sparkling apple-peach cider. Then Chaucer and I caught up on Colbert Report, did some light housework, and called it a day.

I'm actually going over to Kross's later, so my emo schtick about being alone doesn't really work. I'm convinced that every year my friends get together in secret and hold a lottery to see who's going to take me for the holidays. Kross won (?) this year, so I get to fatten up on Kerry's East Coast-famous lasagne and my own garlic bread. I'm bringing a salad, too, but bringing a salad to Thanksgiving dinner is like bringing pot to Coachella. Get out of the way, pot. I have bigger fish to fry. 

As a blogger, I am contractually obligated to talk about thankfulness today, and while I do eschew sentimentality for sentimentality's sake, what can I say. I'm thankful.

I'm thankful for Terence. 

Not long ago we were in the middle of a knock-down drag-out, and I stormed into the bathroom to fume alone in the tub. He came in a little while later with his guitar and iPad, and sat down quietly beside me in the dark. At first I didn't recognize the tune he was strumming, slowly learning the chords as he read them from the web page glowing on his lap. But then I knew it. Family Friend, by The Vaccines - my favorite track from the last five years. So that's how that fight ended.  

I'm thankful for my friends. I'm thankful for Kross, who hit me up a few weeks ago:

- What are you guys doing for Thanksgiving?

- Terence is going to Denver and I'm going to Disneyland to get myself a turkey leg.

- Who's in Denver and who's at Disneyland?

- I'm kidding. Terence is going to his sister's and Chaucer and I will be home solo. 

- No you will not! You're coming over here to be with Jumper and us.

So rad. I will never get used to kindness like that.

I'm thankful for Kenne and Alfie, another amazing couple who never make me feel like a third wheel, and who came with me to see Booka Shade last month! And the pics are blurry but I duncurr.

I'm thankful for the friends I get to see less often, but who feel like they're right here, anyway, because though our mode of communicating changes, we don't:

(And I feel like a jackass not singling more people out by name but most of my real life friends don't read my blog anyway, and this big self-indulgent thankfest is mostly for me, to refresh my memory when times are tougher down the road and I need a shot of gratitude.)

I'm thankful, very thankful for you guys too. Everyone I know and anyone I don't. All of you who have taken an interest in my life and shown your support either through getting to know me behind the scenes or just by clicking through anonymously every so often. I'm thankful for this outlet and the chance to improve myself as a person and a writer, and it's vastly more rewarding, knowing you're there.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends.