I originally wrote this in 4/05. Apparently even Bone didn’t read me then!. My Dawg in shining armor, Doug did read Courting. I guess it was before Google spell check and I wasn’t as good a writer as I am now. Aside from all that I love this post.
Oh it was obviously written in a different era–one where people bragged about how much they had–I read more posts that weren’t casual about dropping in the number of square feet their house had.
I lived in a 600 square foot apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan then–was totally clueless that in three years I would own a rather small house in the South. This year I’m not going to New York for the holiday. My goddaughter, Little Luce, and her boyfriend will be in–staying at her aunt CLo’s first then here. Maybe I will barbecue matzoh.
I no longer focus on Courting as I write for Psychology Todayabout a disorder I suffer from but had never heard of when I wrote this post
Why is this night different than all other nights?
Because I have to go out to Long Island as it’s so much easier than coming to my apartment in Manhattan. LIRR is the acronym for Long Island Railroad. I hated with a vengeance the first ten minutes of the Jim Carrey/Kate Winslet movie, because it took place on the railroad.
I will never know the joy of celebrating a family holiday in my own apartment and I have resented that for a long time.
” Your apartment is too small,” “Too much work.” “We don’t want you to go to any trouble.” “Where are you going to put the turkey?” Oh wrong holiday–”the matzoh kugel.”
I admit that my sister, who I love so much, is a great cook with great dishes, and does wonderful presentations.
So do I. Hardly anybody cooks anymore, and I’m so practiced at the art of presentation, or taking food bought and cooked at some of the best take-out establishments in the world, and making it look really pretty.
Now there are great take-out places on the Island, so my only real argument is moot.
Tonight it’s at my sister’s in-laws.
Tomorrow it’s at my sister’s where I will sleep tonight. I’m usually a first night, no day person, but I promised my niece. Actually I promised her Mom–but a promise is a promise. This brings up many other issues.
My sister’s house used to be my parents house; we moved there when I was twelve–which would have been child abuse–had they have been aware of the consequence of their actions.
The house looks great. It no longer looks like the house I spent the most miserable five years eight months of my life in. Not that I counted the time or anything like that.
I love visiting the house now.
But holidays always make a single woman who is not the host–or the mommy–feel demeaned. They’re designed that way.
It doesn’t matter what you’ve achieved or not achieved in life. It doesn’t matter what people are really thinking or that once you actually get to the dinner you have a good time. It’s the day leading up to the dinner that’s a bitch.
You think that people who have known you all or most of your life are going to silently nod their heads (and later discuss with spouse) “she had so many opportunities; was such a knock out–how could she have let them all slip away?” As if success in life is measured by first the amount of marriage proposals one has had (I’ve had many,) and then by being and staying married.
You think that the people who are going to meet you for the first time or have met you once or twice will think: “She’s a great conversationalist; not bad looking–actually almost pretty. What could be wrong with her?” You know that they’re going to spend the next two hours dissing you. Though rationally you know that you’re not worth two hours of their time. They have kids. They have really important jobs. They have a 5600 square foot house; your entire apartment could fit into their master closet. Though your apartment is worth as much as their newly married daughter’s 2800 square foot house.
Who cares about your accomplishments? Or that you’ve traversed much of the globe by yourself; have never been a single/divorced/whatever person to sit home and pout over your single status. Since it was by choice you really can’t.
Oh that’s a lie. Not the choice part; the pouting part. I have sat home very very occasionally and pouted, because I will do almost anything to get out of taking the LIRR on a holiday.
It’s me, the 20 somethings, a few people in mismatched plaids (who aren’t making a fashion statement,) and some couples of all ages who whine at each other.
Passover happens to be my favorite holiday, though I have no idea if I believe in God or not, and don’t want to hear about how a belief in
God would make me a person who doesn’t complain and is much happier. I even find reading the Haggadah comforting. Though I didn’t go to my first real Seder until I was fifteen, and we visited relatives in Mobile Alabama.
Yes my father found his religious Jewish identity in the deep South.
Holidays were fun then; I felt secure and loved. But both my parents are gone now, and holidays bring up every unresolved issue in my life. As soon as I get to where I’m going, the issues become resolved until the next time.
I am a happy person who loves to complain in print. I know many singles of all major religions who do believe in God, and complain twice as loudly as me about how unfair holidays are.
Two major differences: They only complain to other singles.
Second difference: I don’t want to get married so that I’ll have a Saturday night and holiday date.
I really would rather read a book, or travel where I want to.
I mastered solo dining in swank restaurants many years ago. If I want to, I can always find somebody to take me or go with.
Truthfully I’m more satisfied with my self and my life than many married people I know are satisfied with their lives
But on the day before, or the day of a major family holiday I turn into a disgruntled childlike idiot.
Excuse me while I go pout.