Why is it that the holidays bring out the ugly in people? Is it the added stress of all the money being shelled out on stupid gifts? Is it the influx of family and friends, and their ever-changing schedules? Or is it simply the holiday itself?
I have no idea, but I’m tired of it. I’m getting cranky in my old age and quite frankly I don’t have the patience for all BS that goes on at this time of year. Until recently, my ‘real’ job was in customer service, and I can attest that the ugly is in full-force with customers at this time of the year. People behave in such an entitled, impatient way it makes my blood boil. Word to the wise folks….don’t piss off the customer service person you’re dealing with. They never forget a face or a name. Trust me on this.
The holiday has certainly brought out the ugly in my family and friends. And in me too, I suppose. I don’t like running around purchasing gift cards for people I see once every three years. I sure as hell don’t appreciate plans changing on a rotating basis and being expected to go right along for the ride…with a smile on my face. I’m grumpy, I’ll admit it. Everyone else’s bad mood has now infected me as well. I just want the whole darn thing to be over.
Why is it that we allow ourselves to be sucked into the drama? Do we secretly enjoy the flurried conversations, the heated arguments, the persistent silence that follows? What is it about these few days each year that has us all behaving like buffoons?
I’ve given this a lot of thought in the past few days, and while my solution may not be new, it’s new for me. We all need to learn to be more flexible. Everyone should have to give and give alike, and I’m not talking about the damn gift cards. I’m talking about the gift of time, the gift of understanding, the precious and all too rare gift of compromise. It seems like that concept has gotten bogged down in the flurry of mistletoe and fruitcake. Why is it that one person will always dictate what ‘the plan’ will be, and the rest of us are expected to follow along happily? Guess what family…I’m done following along.
When my husband and I were first married, we were faced with what I like to call the newlywed shuffle. Who do we spend Thanksgiving with? Where do we go at Christmas? We tried a variety of different options, including co-mingling our two families (which was NOT a good idea). In all the years since, we’ve compromised and have spent Thanksgiving with his family, Christmas with mine. When our kids were little and it was a complete inconvenience to drag all their crap to everyone’s houses, we did that. In all the years we’ve been married, we have celebrated Christmas in our own home twice; and once was when the four of us had the flu, so we were forced to stay away from the rest of the family.
My point is that compromise is what families do. This is not news, or at least it shouldn’t be. To certain members of the family it continues to be an issue, and as cranky as I am right this moment, I’m about fed up with their lack of compromise. The holidays are about being with the people you love. It’s not about the stupid gifts or the damn meal. It’s about being together and counting those simple blessings.
Maybe I’m just living in my own happy little world, believing we can all be drama-free for a few days each year. I for one am sick of it and after all this drama I plan to think of new and different plans for next year. We may be here, or we may be camping. We may buy gifts for one another or we might decide to give all that money to charity. Regardless of the plans we make, I’m done being the only one who compromises. I’m crabby and for once I want this holiday to be about what I want, not about all I have to give to everyone else.
So bah-humbug to all the non-compromisers out there. Grinchy-grinch to all the folks thinking it’s acceptable to be rude to customer service folks who are simply trying to do their job. Wake up people! We have one life to live, so why the hell should we live it in a drama-infested world where everyone is unhappy?