Yesterday’s Real Simple quote was:
Love is what you’ve been through with somebody. –James Thurber
It’s 100% true. Once you’ve gotten through the “honeymoon phase” when everything is sunshine, rainbows, and puppies, the real world intervenes and makes a relationship work. For us, the real world popped its head up about 3 months into our relationship, when we had to decide if we wanted to make our summer love (gag, Grease reference) into a long-distance relationship. We decided it was worth it, and never looked back. It strengthened our communication abilities, since we would talk on the phone more than actually seeing each other for 9 months of the year. But we made it, and now have each other to come home to at the end of a long workday. There’s nothing better.
The quote is also true in another facet for us. In the 5.5 years we’ve been together, both of our parents have gotten divorced. Neither of us saw it coming, but we’ve made it through it all together. The holidays are particularly tough.
This year, the FI and I made a venn diagram with our parents’ names on opposite corners and analyzed the overlaps to see who would “get” dinner and who would “get” dessert on Thanksgiving and Christmas. We agreed that we’d trade and one of our parents would get dinner on Thanksgiving, but the other’s would get dinner on Christmas, then the opposite for desert. Unfortunately, we didn’t take Easter into consideration, so that’ll be another battle.
The point is, Christmas isn’t the same. There is no end to the hurt feelings, the running around on the day-of, and the general stress of the season. It’s gotten to the point where I was in tears on Saturday afternoon trying to work it all out. Some of the assumptions we made in order to make the holiday mapping work out since changed, which changes all of the plans and adds another burden to planning and already-high emotions.
As awful as it sounds, it makes sense that my new favorite holiday (which I’ve written about before) is Oktoberfest, mostly due to its lack of expectations. You show up, drink some beer, chicken dance, and eat brats. If it doesn’t work out, no one’s disappointed. There are no family members to let down, and if you wind up staying home in your pajamas (like my ideal night for New Year’s Eve, the most over-hyped holiday EVER), no one judges you.
I’m sorry to be such a Debbie Downer with this post, but I thought it would be helpful for me to put it all in words. I’m trying to keep my chin up about it all, but am (clearly, as you can tell from this post) having a hard time.
Does anyone else find themselves struggling with the holidays?