Decembexpectations

Maybe it’s the lack of vitamin D. Maybe it’s the cold, the dark, the crush of humanity in every corner, as though the calendar hits December and millions of residents normally housebound show up and get in my way.

Whatever it is, something has put me in a MOOD.

I don’t much care. I stumble upon moods regularly. They sneak up on me with surprising regularity and it’s only because I am oblivious to the rapid passage of time that I’m shocked. Oh, look!  A rotten mood! Why, it’s been ages, since…oh, well, yeah. That makes sense. My moods are rarely perky or cheerful or celebratory. The best I do is grateful. Grateful and industrious are my two best moods. My worst moods are downright malignant. I don’t think I technically reach down to depressed, but I definitely mood along like a fungus, infecting everything in my path, nurturing morose and disaffected as though they were teeny tiny balls of cynicism and depression in need of snarls and unreasonable reactions to survive their nasty infancies. Oh, how I coddle those moods.

So I readily admit that I get malignantly depressive often enough.  But I believe I save my genuinely misanthropic worst for December.

It’s not my fault. Everyone else’s is culpable for my mood. They‘re the ones driving through parking lots and stopping just because someone else is walking, maybe toward a car, maybe to get in the car, and maybe to leave. That’s a lot of maybes, jackalopes, so drive your stinking car until you see white tail lights.

Everyone else is the problem in part because they feel they have to be out of their dens, forcibly creating merriment and cheer for their own families but in the process obliterating all the joy and peace in my life.  Get out of my way, people. Don’t frown at me. I summoned all my social-expectation training and smiled at you, bastard.  The least you can do is smile back. Or look down. Don’t effing sneer at me or I will break off my own femur at a dangerous angle just so I can use it to CUT YOU!

[Did I tell you the lovely story about New Year’s in Boston? New Year’s Eve morning I’m in California, and walk to the post office. I lamely wait in line until some nice people point out that I can take my stamped letter to the slot over there. I thank them, note embarrassingly that I’ve forgotten to wear my glasses, and drop my mail in the out-of-town slot. On my way out the door, two stop me.  “Since you don’t have your glasses, we can drive you home. It doesn’t seem safe if you can’t see.” Thank you, you delightful people, but I walked. I’ll be fine.
Fast forward fourteen hours and I’m in Boston walking to the T from a performance. Red light, all revelers stop and look around at the magic that is Newbury at 2am the first day of the year. Green light, walk. And I hear someone say, “Why the hell are people smiling? Can’t they look down like the rest of us and get on with their day?” Ah, Boston. Would it kill you to lighten up a bit? Say, for instance, spew grouchiness about the people who don’t smile, as I’m doing so well in this post?]

Everyone else ought to try just a bit harder in December. I’m not talking the poor people working retail and food services. There’s a special place in the Universe full of sunshine and purified Martian water for people who have to work with the public in December. No, when I demand more effort, I mean the jackasses who are barking coffee orders and complaining about stores’ blazing temperature and sneering about tips and generally making humanity look bad. Yeah, I’m talking about that guy, but I’m also talking about all the people around him who ignore that he’s being a jerk.

Look, people, it’s time to step in. When someone’s yelling at a clerk, please, for the sake of all that’s hopeful about December, ask that rude s.o.b. politely if it would help for you to find a manager. When he says, “No, it’s not that big a deal,” please tell him, “Yes, it is, because you’re being abusive and I want to help that poor clerk.” When someone is whining about being in a line, please, for the sake of all of us who have to be in the crush of humanity this time of year, tell that whiner that even though it’s frustrating, everyone else tries their best not to make the situation worse and could she please put a sock in it before you take a poll amongst the other residents in the world’s longest line whether to vote her off the island right now.

I’m so tired of people! I want all them all home, shopping online, giving to charity online, shipping packages online, paying bills online, and socially interacting online. I’d like more of them to consider grocery delivery. And muzzles.

Because seriously, y’all, humanity is working my last nerve this December.

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It’s not one of those days

You know how some days you see a cold, dirty, sad homeless guy and you want to run to the ATM and withdraw what little you have left to hand over with a kiss?

You know how some days you look at the guy in the hospital cafeteria who is getting his toast out of the toaster and you think, “I hope you electrocute yourself.” And then wish, for his sake, that he weren’t in a hospital, because it’d be too easy to make it after the electrocution?

You know how you pour all your energy into an event, trying in every way to do your best and make everything come out just right, and after the event it turns out it didn’t really matter, and that some of the stuff you did was genius, and some of the stuff you did was a waste of time, and in the balance nobody really cares but you, anyway?

You know how some days you’re all uptight and anal about parenting exactly the best possible way, making your own life a living hell to give your kids a slight edge on being happier and healthier later in life?

You know how some days you just don’t care how you parent, handing over treat after treat, offering new toys from the rainy day closet, and smacking ’em on the arm (though you said you’d never, ever, ever) when they repeatedly get down from the table to grind pinto beans into the only rug in the house?

You know how some days you want to find all your old friends, the ones with whom you haven’t spoken in years, just to tell them that you’re a better person now, and certainly more interesting, and that maybe they should be your friend again because you have a lot to offer? Really?

You know how some days you want to delete most of your friends out of your phone and PDA and contact file and old, paper Rolodex because the bastards don’t ever seem to call or write anymore, and if they’re always going to wait for you to make the effort, then they can f*ck off?

You know how some days you just need a nap?

You know how some days you want to do yoga, then go running, then start a business, then volunteer, then write a novel, then go to the gym?

Yeah, well it’s not one of those days.