I'm fully aware that I have issues with winter. It started three years ago when all my shock and denial wore off just in time for the holidays and I slipped into full-blown depression. I'm not kidding you when I tell you that during the next spring, when I was feeling much better, I started dreading the next winter. Yep. Dreading it even though it was six months away. That's sick.
So now I spend most of winter wishing it away, which really isn't fair since there are so many good things about winter, such as influenza epidemics, people getting murdered at Black Friday sales, and frostbite. Christmas makes it worse, unfortunately, because I have about $10 to spend on gifts and, according to Kate, EVERYONE in her school has an iPhone. Everyone but you, baby girl. Now, tie this string to an empty soup can and call someone who cares.
This morning, I had to spend $90 on a prescription to keep from going blind in my left eye (this might be hyperbole) and having to wear a patch like a pirate (actually, that sounds kind of awesome). The woman at the pharmacy acted shocked that my insurance didn't cover prescriptions.
Welcome to 2012, lady. Health insurance sucks and prescription prices are ridiculous. I did her the enormous favor of not crying at the checkout counter. I waited until I got in the car. But I couldn't keep myself from saying, "Well, Merry Christmas to me."
You suckers better be happy I've dealt with this issue because part of me was highly tempted to just have blurry vision in my left eye and start running over fools on the left side of the road.
So here's something that happened after I left Rite Aid and cried in the car. I went to get a latte because fuck it, take my $4! And when I got my latte, the Starbucks guy gave me a coupon for a free drink!
Woot! This is the THIRD free latte I've gotten since last Thursday.
I'm telling you, God doesn't want me to be rich or to have a book deal or a boyfriend who loves me, but HE WANTS ME TO DRINK LATTES.
So enough of all that bitching and moaning. I'm tired of myself. That's an annual occurrence, too. By the end of the year, I have had it up to here with myself and with this unnecessary exercise in reflection. What has the last year taught me? What has improved since 2011? What goals did I meet? How many bottles of vodka did I drink?
Despite my budgetary stress, I do know for a fact that Christmas Day will be excellent and no one is going to be upset that they didn't get an iPhone, or an iPad mini, or an iPad maxi, or a maxipad shaped like an iPad, or an iPod that smells like apples, or an apple that plays Justin Beiber songs when you twist off the stem to see who your next boyfriend is going to be. A...B...C...D. D it is! An apple never tells you you're going to fall for a guy whose name starts with M. Too bad, Mike.
Anyway, I've found there are ways to cheer myself up during this time of year. Here are a few of them:
1. The Cosby Show
Watch a rerun of The Cosby Show and see if you don't feel a little better about life. Hell, you don't even have to watch the show. Feeling worn out by talk of the fiscal cliff? Heathcliff Huxtable will make you feel better.
If you're old enough to have watched the show when it first aired, then it has the nostalgia factor going for it. You will remember all the great episodes with fondness.
If you're not old enough to remember The Cosby Show...well, you know the drill.
(This gif of Cary Grant cheers me up.)
Episodes that cheer me up: The one when Cliff and Claire had the smooth contest.
OK, we don't have enough smooth contests up in here.
Or the one where they met Stevie Wonder. Jammin' on the one.
Why exactly would you say this at a party? I don't know. It's one of those mysteries that will never be solved.
Or the one where Denise made Theo the knockoff Gordon Gartrell shirt.
Or how about when the family taught Theo a lesson about life in the "real" world. I can't think of any lessons I need to teach Jacob that would make me clear out his entire bedroom. That is way too much work.
Or there's the episode where Cliff realizes Bud's name is not actually Bud. Or how about when the family celebrated the grandparents' anniversaries with lip-sync performances?
It makes me realize that, dammit, in addition to smooth contests, there is simply not enough lip-syncing up in here.
Also, Cliff and Claire react to every parenting issue exactly the way I wish I could manage to do more often than not. With humor, with sternness, with kindness. But without yelling.
2. S'mores and red wine. Nectar of the gods. Enough said.
3. Working out. Yes, I said it. As much as I want to sit my lazy arse on the sofa, I feel so much better when I work out before I cook dinner. (And I have to find some way to work off the damn S'mores calories.) I particularly love doing pec flies. Oh yeah, I feel like a badass when I do pec flies.
4. This photo of George Clooney...just because.
I hope everyone is having a cheerful Clooney Tuesday.
A Slippery Slope Covered in Butter: Yesterday, two of my dearest friends sent me emails that were remarkably similar. I hear a theme running through our correspondence of late. Who am I? Where am I? What has changed since last year? What will change next year? As if the end of the year isn't busy enough with Christmas parties and shopping and decorating, we also pack it full of self-examination and self-recrimination.
Winter Blues: Thoughts on Grieving When the holidays approach, my internal worry machine hits hyper-drive. I worry about the early sunset, all those hours when there is no light other than the lamp on my bedside table. I worry that I will stop working out, polish off a tub of cream cheese with a sleeve of crackers every day, and gain 15 pounds. I worry about hearing Christmas songs while I'm out in public because Christmas songs make me cry. I worry about having enough money for gifts and a tree and vodka and cranberry juice. I worry about falling back into the dark hole of grief and regret.
Winter Is The Worst "I like these cold, gray winter days. Days like these let you savor a bad mood." -Bill Watterson
Oh winter, must we go through this every year?