Notes from a Drama Queen

IVORY TOWER

Monday, December 12, 2011

I need one. An ivory tower, that is. I'll need an elevator if I plan to leave, since I don't do massive flights of stairs that well. Then again, if I'm up there long enough and grow my hair down to the ground then maybe a very smart prince will climb up and then ... hmmm, I don't remember how Rapunzel ever got down. Maybe I'll just stay up there.

Not with the prince, though. He can come up and visit every now and then, just so I get some aerobic exercise. But the rest of the time I can write.

This way I wouldn't have to worry about not letting my children down this Christmas. Hell, I don't have any money because I give it all to them (and the IRS). If I keep helping out with electric bills and rent and food and cable tv and cell phones then I don't have the money to make their eyes sparkle on Christmas morning. And why the hell am I worried about making their eyes sparkle when they're 27 and 24?

I can't find anything for my husband either, again, from lack of money. There are all sorts of expensive things I could get him, treats like a new computer or a fancy tool or a trip to Hawaii. At this point he's got socks from Costco and a knife, and I want to cry.

As for me, I can't think of a thing I want, which is pretty ridiculous since I love to shop. I think part of it is I'm focused on everyone else right now. Everything I want to buy is for someone else. I have more clothes than I need, more fabric, more tchotchkes (yeah, I know that's not how you spell it). My kitchen doesn't have room for any more inspirational tools. I don't need socks or gloves or cds or movies.

If I had an ivory tower I wouldn't have to worry about food, about shopping, about the mess the house is in. I wouldn't need to make space for the Christmas tree amidst all the clutter. I wouldn't need to deal with my husband's holiday blues as well as my own. I could sit in my comfy chair with my laptop and write and write and write. Maybe do a little sewing just for variety. And I'd need the cat who sleeps on my stomach half the night, the fabulous Phantom.

I was really into Christmas this year, after a couple of years of being grinchy. Part of it is having a four year old grandson. He's become mine in increments -- he's the son of my son's fiancee, and while Tim's been part of Alex's life since Alex was 6 months old I've only been allowed grandma privileges recently. We adore each other, which is great, and children make Christmas much brighter.

But reality is sinking in. I had a rough childhood (yeah, I know, you've heard it time and time again) and I always thought of Christmas as a kind of redemption for all the unhappy days (even though Christmas had its rages and drunkenness etc). I held onto it anyway, decorating myself and everything I could catch with Christmas-y stuff.

Now I guess I've just got to let go. Accept that I will disappoint everyone (except my grandson, who's never disappointed in anyone, the darling). Accept that the house will be a disaster, that I'll rush rush rush and yet somehow never get anything done. Accept that my brother and sister are gone, my niece wants a gift certificate, and the only other member of my family is my 97 year old mother and I have some lingering issues from the afore-mentioned childhood. And right now I hate my in-laws. That will pass, I'm sure, but for now, I don't even want to hear their names.

I wish I could go away for Christmas (with the family). So that someone else was responsible for the dinner and the clean house and the tree. For some reason the Ivory Tower seems about as likely as getting away, and at least with the ivory tower I could write.

And now I feel like I've failed the blogosphere. I should be cheery and bouncy and sing Christmas carols. I should talk about Christmas paper towels and Bela Fleck's ridiculously wonderful holiday cd. Instead I'm whining. More guilt.

Then again, isn't that the American holiday tradition? Guilt? Guess I've got it right this year. And even an ivory tower wouldn't help that.

But at least I'd get to write.

4 Comments:

Blogger Unknown said...

Hugs! Christmas blues are the blue-est. I know that you know in your heart the Christmas is never about the Stuff, so just try to concentrate on having your family near, especially that precious grandson.

Lynda

4:12 PM  
Blogger Lillian Jolly said...

Our Christmas this year isn't shaping up to be the best. I think it's something in the air. The Ghost of the Grinch is off his meds and has decided to make the holidays depressing this year.

So far we've got everything from dying pets to the common cold. The cats hate my new dog, and my dog loves them all even as they rake his nose. My father is working too hard, my mother can't work at all, and every time my sister and I sit down to write, the Universe lets us get half a page written before it comes to interrupt with trivial things like a broken stove or the puppy devouring part of the couch.

In short, I totally get the wish for an ivory tower. And the need for aerobic exercise, but I'm not too big on the Prince. Somehow I think he'd bemoan his politics until I had to hit him with something heavy.

6:00 PM  
Blogger me said...

I have the angsty christmas feelings sometimes,especially if finances are involved. I LOVE the holiday and it IS a redemption for all that you've been through during the year. the kids get you through though.

as for the messy house and room for the tree? isnt that the best though. for one whole week we step over mashed up boxes, crinkly paper and any hot wheel thats been left out. (great gift for 4 yr old boys by the way. I know from having 3 of my own)

hope your spirits pick up in time to enjoy the day thats coming

p.s. did you notice how I skipped over monster..I mean in laws :)LOL

reese

9:40 AM  
Blogger Carla Swafford said...

Oh, I'm so sorry to hear you so blue.

The bad economy has hung on longer than anyone expected and is making it harder for people to keep their spirits up. Young adults have a hard time making ends meet as they mainly remember the plush times.

I have a daughter whose husband has been out of work for six weeks (hurt while on reserve duty) and little money coming in. Her dad and I help where we can but in turn we expect them to give up some of the luxuries until he goes back to work. So cable, fast food and presents for themselves are out.

My husband and I haven't exchanged presents for the last few years. Now Christmas is about watching holiday movies (old VHSes or DVDs) and family movies together or pulling out snapshots and remembering when they were kids and talking about how it was when they were young. A sadness for the time past but when I look at my children (31 & 23), I'm proud they are good people and have their health.

An ivory tower would be nice, but what I know of you, you would be bored rather quickly. Interaction with life is what feeds out muses.

Know there are people out here in the world thinking of you and wishing you all the goodness in the world. HUGS.

10:14 PM  

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