So, my family had to move Christmas to this past weekend due to my little sister planning to spend the actual Christmas eve and day with her boyfriend’s family in New York. She was horrified to miss out on so many traditional things, as she’s grown up her whole life as far back as she can remember with them. Me, most of them didn’t start until I was twelve, thirteen, so they’re nice but it’s not the end of the world to change it up a bit. There have been a few years since I moved out that I haven’t made it up at all. This is my sister’s first Christmas away from home.
I spent yet another holiday this year feeling out of place, like I didn’t fit. I’m the oldest of my cousins (other than one who lives on the west coast that I haven’t seen in years) and by a significant margin. The ones who are local to my parents are all younger than my sister, and thick as thieves, at least the older two boys. They all palled around with my sister and her boyfriend. They incited a wrapping paper snowball fight with one of my uncles that I was the only one protesting and frustrated me to no end, especially when a ball landed by a candle on the dining room table and almost caught the table on fire. My brother and eldest two stepsisters had kids to worry about. My younger two stepsisters and my sister all have significant others they were fussing over. As much as I love spending time with my nieces and nephews, I’m not used to a bunch of kids at once, and I was surrounded both on Saturday and Sunday with kids and siblings busy chasing said kids. It made me very uncomfortable and gave me a migraine from the noise and constant activity.
I’m the only one out of seven without a significant other, children, or both. I’m also the oldest. (I’m not counting my older step-half brother, as he hasn’t come around in years, but he is also married, I think anyway, and has kids.) Even though there’s no pressure that’s actually been verbalized, I feel a bit like a pariah. I also feel like I don’t deserve that sort of happiness, and that I’ll never have it, which I know I’ve mentioned that I’m working on in therapy. There’s also the silent pressure about my weight and a lot of health trolling. I love my family, but I make myself crazy around them, and end up hovering at the periphery and feeling ostracized, though I’m not sure how much of that is actual ostracizing and how much is me doing it to myself out of my own insecurity. It’s funny- I can be confident and full of self-esteem when I’m at my own house, in my new town, but whenever I go to my parents’ it’s like I’m an awkward, unsure teenager again. I feel like I’m under constant scrutiny and end up in tears at least once. I don’t know how much is being inflicted on me, and how much I’m inflicting on myself. My bet is it’s a pretty even mix, leaning towards most of it being in my own head.
In slightly different news, my mother completely surprised me this year and bought me a Kitchenaid stand mixer. I’ve coveted hers for years and I can’t believe I own one now. It is an absolute beast that weighs a ton, and chances are good that it will outlive me. I love machines that are built to last.