The holidays make things strange.  I am out of my element.  For the first time since the economy died, I am heading home to see family for the holidays.  Being away has me stressed out and I haven’t left yet.

I enjoy my regular life: filled with parties, and openings, and excellent dinners, and dates with men.  Instead, I will be sleeping in guest rooms, eating food I don’t like, gaining a couple of pounds, etc.

I am going to see my mother.  That’s really it.  She needs to see me.  She needs to berate me and make me cry, too, but that’s well within her rights at this point.

I am rather disconnected from my family right now.  Again, for reasons that make sense.  I last saw everyone about 18 months ago at a wedding and 9 months before that.

Since then, I’ve been quiet.  I haven’t had the money to travel, of course, and I have rejected attempts for people to visit me.  I have, at every turn, encouraged my mother to see my brother, which she has done.  In fact, she is still visiting him, flying back tonight after a week-long international cruise.  (My brother is wildly successful, as his long-time girlfriend and her parents, who invited my mother and another of their friends.)

So, now, I am leaving my comfort zone to accompany FM and our dog.  We’re driving, as FM wants to introduce the dog to his son.  As the dog is unofficially as much mine as FM’s I am going along to ease the transition for the first 15 hours.  Then, I will stay with an aunt and uncle and cousins for a few days, and then travel by bus to visit my mother.  Bus.

I am booking bus travel.  It sounds sort of appealing: overnight travel, outlets and wifi.  It’s a 12 hour journey, but not an unpleasant one.  Leaving late night, I arrive at 10 am.

A plane would cost $400 one-way.  That’s undoable for me.  I am flying home from there, probably on Christmas or early the next day.  I need to get back to my life, as meager an existence as I have.

I will look normal.  Good, even.  I have good hair, great makeup, and a good wardrobe.  I have fancy jeans and black cashmere sweaters and lovely separates.  All of it, I’ve had forever, of course, but it still looks good.  I still look good.

SD is out of town, coming home tomorrow, which is the day we leave.  He is traveling back with FM after the holiday.

BFD and I spoke today for a few minutes.  He’s always kind to me and he sensed the tension I was denying.  He knows me better than I think he does and I wish we were closer, but I’ve closed down contact over the past few weeks and he’s been engaged in an intense negotiation.  It’s been weeks since I’ve seen him and it will be weeks yet.

The Chef and I have become very close friends quickly, which is nice.  I am currently giving him relationship advice.  He chose poorly among my girlfriends.  He should have tried to pursue the Hot Blonde, but instead he went for C, who’s very attractive, but without much substance.  He admitted, she’s just attractive, but he realizes HB is the real deal.  Which is EXACTLY what I told him up front.  They’d make a perfect couple as a matter of fact, both professional bad-asses, both hardworking, both very attractive and awesome.

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My mood has now switched entirely, thanks to a silly meme on my facebook wall.  I have this amazing family I love very much and we have a joke about my social life and FM.  One of my aunts will ask “is it official”? And then all hilarity happens.

Tonight, is it official, became, why I am always the last to know.  Is it because I am the nice one.  Etc. And now it’s just funny.  So, I have been laughing and now I am looking forward to seeing my family.

I still haven’t packed yet.  I haven’t even done the laundry I need to do to be able to pack.  But I can do that in the morning.  Tonight, I am relaxing and unwinding and getting mentally prepared for tomorrow and the days that follow.

The is it official has to do with my relationship with FM.  I decided to offer up BV as a counter.  After all, we’ve been dating since September, and he’s super cute.

I mentioned, at one point that I was annoyed that I finally gave him his little present — not a Christmas present, but something I picked up for him the night I saw him at the chic hotel bar — along with a handwritten note on my personal paper and received a text in response “Thanks babe.”

That’s it.

Not a call.

Not a follow-up.

Just “Thanks babe.”

So, I was whining about this, and my aunt reminded me that’s actually quite sweet.  I am still annoyed he hasn’t found time in his empty days to see me before I leave for the holiday.

But, what can you do.

I also mentioned PR as an ex-boyfriend, which he is.  He’s also someone I will miss when I am home.  Next time I will see him, right after the New Year.  It will be good to see him, as usual, a year after we met.

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What my aunts gave me was excellent perspective.  I need to go home to see my family.  I need to reconnect to them, and by extension, to me.

I need it.

My family is amazing, and I had been their standard bearer for years. It’s time to regain that mantle.

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