‘Tis the season to be jolly….right? Sure. I’m not usually a cynic for the holidays, especially Christmas time, but for these past 5 years, I’ve been….not so jolly. Going back to 2007, my filthy rich uncle from Indonesia has become the center of the winter holidays. I want to make it clear that this particular blog is not about me hating and blaming all holiday disaster on him, but he is the reason of the cause. And I’m going to repeat that last phrase, he is the reason of the cause, not the cause. The reason. I guess what makes this whole thing more bitter to me is the fact that my Birthday is actually ON Christmas day. The first two years of this new “Christmas/New Year tradition” was actually fun and interesting, but overtime, it has become a drag for me. Why, you ask, because I don’t remember when was the last time my family actually asked me what I wanted to do for my Birthday. At the end of the year, I ask the same question to my parents when my uncle and his family visit, “What are we going to do for Christmas?”, I take the blame for not speaking my mind, but a part of me still wish that when that question is being asked, they would considerately ask me, “What do YOU want to do, since it is also your Birthday?”. Every time my uncle comes, everyone becomes a robot. Whatever he asks, we will answer; whatever he tells us to do, we will do. He is not an evil guy whose intention is to rule and be the “boss”, but my family and friends make it seem like everything he wants to do, WE have to do as well. Though I will admit that it’s hard to pass up on all the things he offers us, but it doesn’t mean you forget all the other things that were once important.
Each and every year, things get tougher. My parents separated in 2009, and their divorced was finalized I believe in 2010. But their marriage begin crumbling into pieces in 2008. So, that would mean I’ve only spent one normal Christmas/New Year holiday with my mom and dad still married and happy ever since my uncle started the tradition. The rest of the years, they have been more than a challenge for my sister and I. There are so many things I would like to mention, but too much for a blog. I will however go back to the point of what this whole thing is supposed to be about; “What do I want to do for my Birthday?” Christmas of 2010, I remember my dad telling me that they will be spending Christmas [and my Birthday] watching Lakers [as we always have been doing for the past years since my uncle came] and for the first time ever, I declined the offer. I, instead went to church and have one of my very good/close friend pick me up and spend Christmas time with him and his family. But before I begin the whole day, all I remember of that day was waking up in my parents room, alone. The only thing that greeted me was the silence. No “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!”, no “MERRY CHRISTMAS!”, no anything. All that stood out of that day was me waking up, and the tears I have kept all those years ran down my cheeks in an instant. This lasted for half an hour. I was alone, and as I was lying there in bed, all I wished for was to hear the voices that used to sing me the Birthday song when it hits midnight, or in the morning when I woke up. My dad, mom, and sister were not there, and for the very first time since the separation of my parents, I knew it was never going to be the same again.
This year is different, yet similar. I have a boyfriend. Our 1 year was actually yesterday on the 22nd. I was really excited yesterday. I wanted to do something simple with him- so, we saw Christmas lights in Rancho Cucamonga, ate In-N-Out [a place he wanted to avoid, but the only thing that I was craving for that night], and we watched The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. I loved what we did- except the part where we argued every other minute for something as little as a phone call he had made during our Christmas lights walk. I was annoyed that he had to make a call and tell our mutual friend that he and his girlfriend [my close friend] should see the lights, etc etc. I don’t know why I blew up, because I would be the last person to care about these things, but I did- so I apologized for my irrationality. To sum up the night: We argued about the phone call, we got lost a few times [I didn’t mind, but he did], he got annoyed at the situation, I got annoyed at him for being so annoyed, he got annoyed at me for being annoyed at him for being annoyed at the situation, we made up, we had fun, he took me home, it was almost 3:00 AM, I was tired, but didn’t want to get out the car [I wanted to take a nap in there for a while], he didn’t want to see me sleep because he thought I would be groggy when he wakes me up, we argued a bit, and it ended with a kiss and a bye. He left, and I decided to walk around at night/morning. I went to the basketball court and I just lay there. I listened to the owl “whooing”, I felt the breeze, the crackling leaves, the clear night sky.. it was a beautiful night. As I lay there in silence, I begin to cry. I cried, again. It’s almost a “why the hell am I always crying at the end of the year?” I barely cry. As a matter of fact, I never cry. But anyway, I cried. I thought about the night and the Christmas day last year, and I finally went on home after. This afternoon, I asked my dad *hoping for a different answer*, “Hey dad, what are we going to do for Christmas?” and he said with confidence, “We’re going to watch the Lakers play.” I was expecting the answer, so I wasn’t surprised or disappointed because this time I’ll be spending Christmas Eve with my boyfriend and his family. After he answered me, I explained to him what I will be doing for Christmas Eve and how I’ll no longer go to San Diego with my boyfriend’s family on Christmas day, and instead hang out with my side of the family- his response? Negative. He, instead, in an angry tone, asked me, “Why do you have to be there for Christmas morning? I don’t want to go back and forth from LA for you.” He, he didn’t want to do that for me. He wanted the Christmas day, which is also the day of his daughter’s birth to be easy for him, to be enjoyable, to be fun, and that is to do whatever my uncle is doing. And my sister? She’s spending it watching Lakers, too. My mom? Haven’t asked, but I’m going to take a wild guess that she will be working. With my dad’s inconsiderate response, I commented with frustration, “Nobody ever asks me what I wanted to do for my Birthday anymore.” He didn’t say anything.
Before writing this long essay-like blog, I realized why I didn’t want to get out of the car, and when I did, I walked around alone. I realized why the little things bothered me yesterday, and I realized why I called my 1 year with my boyfriend a “Whatever I Want To Do Day”- which was funny and ultimately selfish at the time. I guess I unconsciously took our 1 year as another holiday. A holiday in December that my uncle has nothing to do with. A “holiday” in which I could do all the things that I’ve been wanting to do for the past years, but couldn’t. I made my boyfriend and my 1 year into a “holiday” that was never meant to be one. And as tired as I was, I’ve also realized that I didn’t want to get out of the car because I knew as soon as I get out of that car and into my home, the only “holiday” in December that I actually enjoy would officially be over. I was being lame. I don’t know how else to put it.
I don’t want to watch the Lakers play again on my Birthday, but if that means getting to spend time with my family, I’ll take it. I just hope that someday soon someone will ask me what I would like to do for my Birthday. In the mean while, somebody please remind me how this time of year is supposed to feel.
‘Tis the season to be jolly.
Maybe things should slow down a bit.