Oh Darling Ones,
I’m not doing well. I’m inconsolably sad and I can’t shake it. I’m doing all the things to shake sadness: slept 12 hours, ate my favorite comfort foods (eggs & hashbrowns), started re-reading my favorite book of the year (The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue), have “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off*” on a loop, and yet the sadness refuses to lift.
Christmas leveled me and I’m struggling to find my equilibrium. I expected Christmas to suck in all the predictable ways that comes with being apart from the people you love and the disappointment of abandoning long-held traditions. What took me by surprise was my anger and my family’s inability to acknowledge it.
Darling Ones, I was not subtle. Every time anyone asked me about anything involving the holiday I would reply, “I don’t know. I don’t want to do this.”
What are we having for dessert? I don’t know. I don’t want to do this.
When are The Olds coming? I don’t know. I don’t want to do this.
When are we opening gifts? What time are we FaceTiming Portland? What time is breakfast? I don’t know. I don’t want to do this.
My refrain was delivered in a variety of volumes from shouty to whisper. Sometimes I tried to accompany it with a laugh and sometimes it was devoid of emotion. The only consistency was that each member of my family just stared at me until I thought of an answer. Nobody recognized or responded to what I was actually saying. I did not have feeling invisible and unseen on my Christmas list, but I got it anyway.
Now, of course, there is the guilt. Guilt for having ruined Christmas even more, for not shoving it all deep, deep down and pretending better, faking it better. Is my family sitting around thinking, gee, this would have been much better if only Jodi were cheerier? No. And yet. . .
So I am sad. I’m hoping to shake it soon. I feel like all I do is write the sentence “I am sad” or “I am lonely” over and over again. It’s not fun to write and I’m sure it’s boring as fuck to read.
That’s all I got,
*Like any good GenXer, I love “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” However, I have extra special love in my heart for it because it reminds me of two things.
- In college a bunch of us went to a Japanese restaurant and when the host asked for a name my friend Goetz promptly replied, without a pause, “Abe Froman, sausage kind of Chicago.” I, of course, burst out laughing earning me puzzled looks from our friends and some stinky side-eye from Goetz.
- Back in the time when we had home phones and listened to voicemail I was going through some stuff, mostly regarding work and the imminent death of my Grammu. I can’t remember specifically what I was upset about, but I do remember my friend Jason called my home voicemail and recited an entire scene from Ferris Bueller’s from memory. I wish I could remember which scene, but that part of the memory is lost.
Bonus memory: my friends and family call me Cameron because any time I have to go anywhere I sit in my car and recite “I’ll go. I’ll go. I’ll go. He’ll keep calling me. I’ll go.”
P.S. Last night I had a dream that I went to see Soul Coughing (a band that broke up 20+ years ago) at The Cam (a bar that burned down nearly 20 years ago) in Eau Claire and a very cute man bought me a drink and flirted with me. It was a nice dream.