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Ho ho hum

December 27, 2010

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.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. December 28, 2010 10:59 am

    I was 4 when my parents divorced and I just have no memory of Christmases before that. So a split Christmas is a normal one to me and the ones I’ve spent since the arrival of my son seem decadently leisurely.

    Thinking of you.

  2. December 28, 2010 12:36 pm

    Split Christmas’ are tough, but I’ve overheard my 12 year old daughter say o a friend that she loves it because she gets twice the gifts…interesting point of view. =)
    For us parents it’s more difficult, I spent 10 years of my son’s & 3 of my daughter’s life having every Christmas with him until my seperation, then eventually a divorce. It was a hard transition for me, every other year with no kids…AHHHH! When the kids were younger we used to split Christmas day in half about 4 years ago we went to spliting the Christmas brreak. Waking up after 8am on Christmas morning staring at a lite tree alone just doesn’t bring the same appeal as having kids jump on your bed at 5am screaming “It’s Christmas!” But we deal with it…
    3 years ago I remarried my wonderful husband & we’ve decided to have our own celebration on Christmas morning when the kids time is with the other parent. This year was our fist year that my step sons (5 & 6) spent a whole week with the Other Mother….a week of no kids! I was so nerve racked. She spent the week with them moving to another apartment, poor boys. All they wanted to do was come “home” but she told them No because it’s “her time.” They both came home with horrible colds, of which our youngest has broncitis. She told me he was up all night coughing, I asked why she didn’t take him to the Dr & she said she was to busy with her youngest daughter (now 2) and moving to take him. What can we do? I want to scream at her, we live 5 blocks away, I’m a stay-at-home Mom call me I will take him to the Dr….Of course I didn’t but why am I always picking up her pieces? I’ve been doing that for 3 years now.
    Alright, now I’m venting, life is a struggle. We try not to show the boys how upset we are with the Other Mother in hopes that things will get better…but I know they feel it when we say nothing at all.
    We’re so lost in a bad co-parenting sitch.

  3. January 2, 2011 6:40 am

    Interesting perspective on such an otherwise wretched movie. 😉 I’m not divorced, but saw my favorite aunt and uncle’s marriage disintegrate while I was still pretty young. They only had one child and it was obvious from the moment they separated that they would do anything to make it possible for him to move between the two houses with as little upset as possible. Knowing now, as an adult, what caused the marriage to end, I have HUGE respect for my aunt, who never said a bad word about my uncle. Never. They all still live in Chicago and the two exes still do tons of things together with and without my cousin present.

    I guess my point is that I agree it is rare to see it depicted in the media, but (like you and Moxie) it can be and is done all the time.

    p.s. I find it hard to believe that such a great dancer spent his Christmas alone with a friend’s cats. 😉 Surely it must have been completely by choice, not just circumstance.

    • LOD permalink*
      January 3, 2011 11:46 am

      Yes, it was by choice, but that didn’t make it seem any less strange.

      Besides, her cats are great dance companions.

  4. anne permalink
    January 4, 2011 1:00 pm

    Hey, you made Canada’s Globe and Mail top 10 things we learned about parenting in 2010!
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/family-and-relationships/the-year-of-fretting-constantly-parenting-2010/article1851148/

    • LOD permalink*
      January 5, 2011 7:31 pm

      Hey! How about that? I really like they way we were summed up: civil, sensible, and utterly boring.

      Thanks for the heads-up.

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