I made Christmas dinner yesterday for my sister and her boyfriend. She wanted it, ostensibly so she could feel good I wasn’t alone, but really because she needed to be taken care of, no matter how I felt.
It was ironic, because after I prepared Thanksgiving dinner so he could bring the turkey, they neither called me upstairs to dinner or left me any turkey at all. No Thanksgiving for me this year.
They did very little support. I asked her to bring a gluten free desert for her, as I only had my father’s favourite pie and the whipped cream they denied my mother at Thanksgiving (and that she complained about.) He stopped at the milk store and got mint chip ice cream, spray creme and a can of chocolate sauce. And a friend of hers had given me a bottle of wine, which my sister decided was for her dinner.
Money is tight, but I bought and marinated a beef roast, veggies and scalloped potatoes, which my sister said she would have asked for.
Just before dinner, my father’s account got a spam e-mail with the subject header “Why do not you answer me?” My sister even blanched when she heard that, so like my father’s speech in his last weeks. Disquieting.
I knew I needed to entertain, so got lots of television to distract them.
I put on Love Actually after dinner. When it was done, my sister’s boyfriend felt the need to explain how all that Christmas magic and love stuff was just bullshit. Stupid, romantic bullshit. To him, sex is just hormones but true love is best exemplified in Fiddler On The Roof, where an arranged marriage has grown into understanding comfort. Asshole. He’s just explaining why he can’t give my sister romance, play and support, why he rejects the emotional. A professional balloon clown who rejects play, love and theatre; no wonder that career never took off.
I explained why he was wrong, in great detail. He said I loved this conversation, being cathartic. I explained that giving an enema to assholes who are full of shit wasn’t really my idea of fun, but he didn’t get it.
My sister said later that she just wanted to hit him.
But still, she stays with him.
He thinks people do crazy ass shit for love.
I agree. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. We need the eggs.
But I knew that I had been right to make no effort to invoke Christmas magic and be pretty. It would have been shat on and rejected, just like when I was taken to Hedwig for my birthday in 2001, all wet blanket and mortified silence, followed by the attack on the World Trade Center.
I had to come out of my own space to take care of people who want to shit on love and magic, or want to stay with people who do.
This was my worst Christmas.