I am afraid that with my post The Holidays - Part Deux I may have confused some folks into thinking that I was still lost in the drama of it all. I'm really not. It was more a background as to why I am indifferent about the holidays - well most particularly, Christmas, and it was a nice jaunt down memory lane briefly remembering a time when I wasn't.
The reason I had set out to write is that I had still been reeling, quite shocked, from an e-mail I had gotten from my father's wife announcing their arrival in my town-nine hours away from theirs by car-for Christmas. The e-mail started: "Looking forward to spending Christmas with you." as if we'd already made arrangements. I read further to learn of their intended visit and hotel reservations. FOR THE FIRST TIME!
I am moving away from my initial shock, and frankly, anger at her e-mail to working my way into being a gracious hostess for their visit. A little grudgingly. But I'm working on it. There are three separate distinct issues - two of which I will get over, one of which I still have to decide how or if to respond to.
1) Having to "have" Christmas. Now I know that just because they've invited themselves I don't have to "host" Christmas. My silly friend who suggested that it meant I suddenly had to pull out the pans and make some elaborate meal is entirely wrong. I feel no such compunction or obligation. But, apparently, at some level, though, I have to "do" Christmas. And unlike visiting other folks, there is some responsibility on my shoulders for me to figure out what it is we will do.
2) Having my family to visit. I live away from them for a reason. It IS sweet that they want to visit and be with me. I do understand that, in theory. I am trying to accept it and be happy about it, but I like living my life. And I like living my life away from them. Thank you.
3) And this is the one I have to figure out whether to respond or deal with and that is the invitation (or lack thereof on my part) of themselves not only just to visit - I can and have accepted that - but to visit on a holiday, when I might have had other plans. I might have been going out of town. Or I might have been invited to share it with another family even semi-locally who I would now have to invite my family to, as well? Nowhere in the e-mail was there a question - an "Is this okay?" Maybe they're smart enough to realize I might answer "no" - and I can sort of respect that - but this isn't a "We're thinking of coming through at the end of June" or mid-March, or some non-descript time. This is at a time when I might very wel already have plans of my own that I may have no desire to include them on (or if I did, perhaps I would have already invited them to visit to begin with...?).
I want to be gracious enough to say it's okay to come for this holiday (because otherwise I'm a raging bitch, let's face it), but it wasn't okay the way you did it. To find a way to set a clear boundary.
Hell, what I want to say is that my lover is whisking me away to her family for the holidays, and gosh, darn, I won't be there... but since I don't have a lover, let alone one who is whisking me away for the holidays, (where IS that sugar momma?) and telling them would raise all sorts of other questions I wouldn't particularly want to answer... well, then, that wouldn't work, either. Details. It always gets lost in the details.
So THIS is the post I wanted to write. The other stuff, frnakly, is history. It just is what happened before. THIS is what is happening TODAY!!
Ah, as I always say, though, apparently resistance is futile..