I was just commenting over at "Dear Ethel" that I don't think the originators of Thanksgiving and Christmas would find it in the least bizarre that their heirs would be grouchy. The Pilgrims were a miserable lot & hungry as hell. The Indians were scared of the white intruders. Mary was not gracefully praying over the manger & Joseph was probably bedded down in the straw with both God & the Mother of God in order to generate some badly needed body heat.
All these folks -- who were grimy, cold, hungry, frightened & physically exhausted, as well as thankful & in awe -- were probably pretty crabby.
So I'm advocating the OK-ness of wishing people a Grumpy Holiday Season. Personally, I'm going to concentrate on doing the best I can, enjoying what I can & avoiding talking too much about myself for fear of breaking into tears.
Hence: one pretty bad photo of the Empire State Building in autumnal colors. My amazement at the roses that are still hanging on. Curling up with whatever dogs I have on hand & watching their trusting sleep.
Thanksgiving was a near-tragedy in errors. I spilled pureed sweet potatoes all over the oven & couldn't clean the mess up sufficiently to avoid an hour of smoke. On my way to bed that night, I smashed & broke a toe (another toe; again). I took three things to Thanksgiving dinner & felt like I was catering the whole meal for twenty people. My life has gotten so small over the last five years that I'm easily overwhelmed. I 1) have to respect that, & 2) have to work on it.
Getting Daisy, a crate, luggage & myself to Newark for a 6.30 a.m. flight should challenge my hide-in-a-shell mentality.
I had five dogs to take care of that day as well. One of them lives about a mile from where we had dinner. Too full, having drunk a number of glasses of wine, exhausted, I walked three dogs down to DUMBO & left my keys in Henry's door. I didn't realize this until Chance, Daisy & I got back to the Heights. No. Way. I saw a light on in my building. No one answered. We turned around & got the doorman at Chance's house to let us in & bunked down there & picked up the keys in the morning.
Pressure. Thursday Daisy & I move to Molly's house for three nights & four days. I leave for Arizona on the 18th for three weeks. I've wrapped all the presents I have on hand & will mail them by the end of the week. A little compulsive, Frances?
Yes & yes. I should be getting editorial notes this week & will have a little over two months to revise my manuscript in a publishing atmosphere of canceled contracts & retrenchment. I'm scared. I have a lot of work to do. I have to get as much Christmas done in advance as possible. It would be a wonderful thing if I opened the box of cards at my feet & started them tonight, but I still have Italian greyhounds to feed as well as myself.
I would like to not eat sugar tonight.
I deserve to not eat sugar tonight. I wrapped those presents, having hand-picked them. Some of them are inspired. I did laundry this weekend & swept the kitchen floor after cooking before putting down the clean kitchen rug. I put all the summer linens away. I've done the dishes & taken a bath. Surely I've done Enough to merit going to sleep easily, without the aid of sugar?
I can't be a size six for my parents this Christmas, which would be their favorite present. But I could lose six pounds.
But oh Lord, the oblivion! I love the oblivion!
Angry Advent, everyone!
"Only 1 to 2 percent of black college applicants emerge from high school well-qualified academically for (say) the top Ivy League colleges..."