Some days I handle all of the everything better than others.
Today’s plan was to enjoy my day off by cranking up the holiday playlist and setting up the Solstice tree. That was the plan, at least.
It’s amazing what a little bit of rain will do.
And yes, we’ve been here before during these months of COVID times.
It all started charmingly enough. It was the kind of grey morning that’s ideal for staying cuddled in bed, so when Her Pupness decided to snuggle in with me after her morning walk, I decided to indulge us both by lazing around under the covers until late morning. A little reading, a little gaming, a little napping: a lovely start to a day off.
But things took a turn nid-day. When Mr. Mezzo opened the front door to see if the dog would go out into the rain for a noontime walk, he saw that the UPS guy had dropped off a package in the pouring rain without any protection AND without ringing the doorbell to let us know he was here.
So yeah, here’s the box most of the fam’s Christmas presents came in today.
Here’s the thing: I was super-proactive in ordering presents early.* What with pandemic uncertainty, I may need to be shipping presents in a way that hasn’t been necessary for, like, ever—so I wanted to be planful around that. So for my best attempts at planning ahead to go so awry felt just like a kick in the teeth.
Once I assessed what had been damaged and what was okay, I confirmed this company’s return policy and went to set up the necessary return & exchange. But of course every single thing I need to replace is on back order till after the New Year. Cue kick in the teeth #2.
Now my family and I care so much more about the presents we give at Christmas rather than we do about whatever it is we get. Like there’s a HUGE distance between the two. Every year there’s a variety of gifts, for any combination of sender and recipient, that is just brilliantly thoughtful and on-point.
And so, I know my fam will be cool about whatever replacement gifts I come up with. Five’ll get you ten that after they read this post, they’ll just tell me not to bother finding any new gifts at all.**
But seeing this broken, melted box today just broke me. Not from external pressure but all from inside.
You see, I’ve been trying to come to grips with the likelihood that Mr. Mezzo and I will be spending Christmas together here, rather than heading to see family. Full disclosure: I’m still doing a small bit of flirting with the possibility of going (it’s a shortish car ride, we’re staying careful, etc. etc.), while also continuing to read all the epidemiologists advice and make peace with the truth of things. I’ve also begun quietly to the things that will be lost, at least for this year, while also trying to think through what we can do to re-imagine some family traditions for just the two of us.
So seeing this broken box—this physical manifestation of all the ways that the Christmas that’s coming is so different than the Christmas I’d hoped for—just made all of that sadness much more palpable for me.
So no, Virginia, I did not put up the tree today. Instead, I was sad for a while, I raged for a while, I took a long hot shower to reset the circuits, I read some more, I watched some TV on DVR.***
Tomorrow night—after that training day which is interrupting my vacation—will be soon enough to get back to decorating.
* At least, early for me. I am the queen of first-weekend-in-December shopping.
** Advice I am not likely to heed. Every year we all say we don’t need anything new, and every year we find cool ish for each other. Strong gift-giving mojo.
*** When did Meredith Grey get a black sister?
- Rainfall: Pixabay, open license.
- Cardboard ex-box: photo taken by the author, subject to a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.