Ho ho hum
Earlier today I saw that a few HuffPo Divorce writers—including Moxie—wrote brief posts about what they miss about being married, and how the holiday season tends to make these feelings bubble to the surface. It’s embarrassing to admit, but one of the things I miss about my marriage is the illusion that I was happy. There was a time when I hadn’t yet figured out (or acknowledged) that my marriage wasn’t built to last, and even though it’s a completely nonviable long-term solution, it’s hard to argue against ignorance as a first-class opiate.
And now that there have been five Christmases since my marriage cratered, I also have to admit that I miss caring as much as I did about Christmas. My childhood experience with Christmas was very traditional, right down to the parents staying up all night Santafying up the joint. Filling up stockings, taking bites out of cookies, constructing tricycles, and all that other bullshit you see in those ubiquitous holiday ads for cheap jewelry. As I got older, I looked forward to conspiring with my wife and maintaining these traditions for our own kids. That ship has pretty much sailed, and despite my best attempts to maintain my enthusiasm, the whole experience seems irreparably diminished.
That said, I still harbor some optimism that new traditions can rise up in place of old ones. And, importantly, I haven’t yet lost the ability to embrace the unpredictable and its potential to amuse. This Christmas Day, for example, was the first I had ever spent without any sort of family gathering. (Ours is next week.) So this year, while Moxie and the kids were gone, I found myself in her apartment, feeding her cats and watching our appearance on Mike Huckabee’s now-defunct daytime show. If you’d asked me 10 years ago to predict how I would spend Christmas 2010, my ignorantly blissful brain couldn’t have conjured that in a billion tries.