No tree. No gifts. No decorations. No bountiful harvest. No music. Nothing.
This Christmas I am stuck, and yes...I mean stuck, housesitting a fourteen-pound cat named Tinkerbell. I swear, you can't make this up. An elderly man I know, who used to work with me, asked me weeks ago,
"So, what are you doing for the Christmas break?"
"You want to sit with our cat? I'll pay you. Carolyn [his wife] doesn't want to board her and we're going to Virginia."
And dumb ass me says, "Ok."
So, here I've been for the past few days, just Tinkerbell and me. No company. No phone calls. No "Merry Christmas!" NOTHING. NOTTA. ZILCH. ZIP.
At least my Christmases in the Army were spent with other soldiers. Yes, we may have been away from our families, but we had the company of each other. Now, I have Tinkerbell. I can always find the stupidest shit to get myself into, simply because I can't tell people, "no." Why am I so accommodating? So eager to please? Seldom rocking the boat. Such a "yes" girl. Always trying to help others, no matter if I DID have things to do at my house during this break. Been this way my whole 44 years, no sense in trying to change now.
So what does one do in a strange house, with a cat? At least they got cable tv. (That's a luxury I don't have.) Let's flip through a few channels shall we? No. No. No. Oooh, a movie. Shit, they don't subscribe to that channel. Damn it. Flip. Flip. Oooh, another movie. That looks good. I've been wanting to see it. Nope, they don't subscribe to that one either. Shit! TV goes off.
Hey, I've got Facebook on my phone. Oooh and Twitter. All the Christmas posts. Damn. What a way to reinforce 1) my aloneness and 2) the fact I have NO CHILDREN, much less grandchildren. Can this Christmas get any more depressing??? I mean, seriously! Yes, people...I know you LOVE what you got for Christmas. How many exclamation points does it take to make your point? How many more ways can you show your kids' and grandkids' smiling faces, their leaps of joy, their piles of wrapping paper left scattered on your living room floor? I mean, really?! I know you're excited. Hell it's Christmas, we should all be excited, right?
And so...in my loneliness and desperation, and for any kind of interaction, I send private messages on Facebook to friends who are online and even direct messages on Twitter for some kind of connection. Tinkerbell doesn't have a FB page, or Twitter, or I'm sure she'd be all over that! Of course, since it's Christmas and most people with a brain are spending the day with their families, no one is available to chat. NO ONE! I take that back, a friend from Massachusetts "talked" to me for a while, another from New Jersey, and someone from Ireland popped on to wish me "Happy Christmas." I am so happy for their messages. Other than that, nothing! Again, can this Christmas get any more depressing?!
Okay, okay. Yes, I'm inside out of the 40-degree cold with central heat. Yes, I have an ice-box full of food. Yes, I can flip through a hundred channels. Yes, I have a nice comfy bed to sleep in. Yes, I've got hot water to take a shower. Yes, even a desktop to use...with Internet! WOW! But...all I wanted today was company. I wanted a voice. I wanted a physical connection. I wanted to know and feel I wasn't alone. Today was Christmas, and it was indeed a Christmas like no other. Very glad to know this day will be over in a few hours.
Where is Tinkerbell? OH, there she is at my feet...bless her heart. She's as desperate for company as I am.