Maniacal Laughter Optional

Ok, well, we all know it’s coming, looming like an ominous dark cloud on the horizon: the holidays. A month or two ago, I first got shivers spying the Halloween candy display in CVS, only to be followed by the slightest break out of cold sweat when I glimpsed the seasonal wrapping selection stashed on the side of aisle 6. I’m not ready, I’m not. I don’t have the courage to face this, again.

Christmas cards and tinsel mock me, their shiny promise of festive moments a counterpoint to my bland and misanthropic existence. As tiresome as it is to read about Johnny’s A Number One, Grand Slam Record of a Life, it’s worse when you feel you have nothing to report—at least nothing you’re willing put in writing. But none of this matters since we’re powerless to stop this season of insanity.

What we need the pope to do is to name a Patron Saint of the Lonely, the Unemployed, the Exhausted, and the Disenchanted. That’s a religion I could get behind, a service I might even consider sitting through. Ideas for hymns, anyone?

Sorry to be so cynical, but this blog is au courant. It’s too bad we don’t have a tradition where one holiday makes fun of another—like Halloween ridiculing Christmas. We could all dress up like our least favorite relative, get drunk, and behave badly. Hmm, I’m liking it already…Instead of reenacting the Nativity (fierce jockeying as to who gets to play Mary), we could do a Countdown of Famous Family Meltdowns. Of course, as soon as we discover someone ridiculing us, the joke’s not so funny—there’s always a fly in the ointment, dammit!

But, back to coping methods that don’t require large amounts of alcohol or hiding in the dark. #1. I remind myself to ignore most of what I see on tv, whether it’s Every Kiss Begins with Kay or images of delighted five year olds purchasing their fathers new Lexus convertibles—usually, most of those kids choose Kia Souls (hip hop hamsters included) which they ordered online as part of an Amazon promotion, so the whole thing is ridiculous. #2. I distract myself with enraging engaging tasks such as signing up for some indecipherable, cheap health insurance where there are no in-network providers accepting new patients within a 350 mile range. #3. I log on to check how many more thousands of points I need before I qualify for that free, one way flight between Newark and Longview, TX. #4. I make a ritual of perusing last year’s Christmas cards to check for unflattering photos before burning them in some confused, pagan purification ritual (see, need for Patron Saint cited above). #5. I start humming a favorite tune (see, Kia Hamsters cited above) like a crazed dwarf associated with a modern day Snow White. #6. I check to see what time it is and if I can pretend it’s late enough to go to bed, another grumpy day behind me. Honestly, the Grinch had a point!

So, these are my handy recommendations for managing the impending season, which hangs above us like Damocles’ famous sword. If they don’t resonate for you, there’s always that stool at the dimly lit bar down the street. Good luck and May the Force Be With You.


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