Monday, September 20, 2010
Oh Boy! The Holiday Season!
And yet, as I think about the upcoming holiday season, I have one feeling: DREAD. Something told me that I would do better not to bring up with J the indeterminable question: "How should we proceed with holidays this year?" Deep in my gut, I knew this would simply not end well for me. Not just because it's the one issue that makes my already introverted partner clam up quicker than a lez at a straight bar, thus making me feel all the more alone. But also because of all the nasty, icky emotions it stirs up inside of me.
I dread this holiday season. I dread my own family interactions; wondering if my brother will show up this year with the family, or if he'll be the coward he has been for the past year, and find some other place to be. Anywhere but having to face his filthy, gay brother who's actually happy and alive for the first time in his life.
And I dread having to see J's family. I think it's pretty clear that there's nothing . . .and I mean nothing . . . I could possibly do to get in their good graces. If I'm quiet, then I'm somehow at fault for "not sharing my heart." If I'm vocal, then we're (J and I) clearly incompatible. I'm damned no matter what I do. So I've just given up, and don't give a damn anymore (excepting for the fact that I do). I have to face these people - and pretend that I'm OK. But really, all that I feel is the sickening, overwhelming sensing that I am not good enough. Rejection. Rejection all over again. And again. And again. You'd think I'd be used to the grand story of my life though, right?
I don't even know what it's like for them, but I do know that they are pretending about as much as I am. But what lies hidden behind those forced smiles? God only knows. I'm not even sure they know half the time. But what shall likely remain clear (and thus completely painful to me at my core) is that we are not fully accepted. Included at the table, sure. And all things considered, maybe I should just count my blessings for what I can get. But what we are not is equals at that table. My marriage is a sham. A forgery. A deluded figment of my confused state of heart and mind. Our love is "less than" - a cheap image - if it is indeed "love" at all. Thus, our commitment does not get due consideration. Where to sleep all the couples doesn't even apply to us. We're not a couple. J is a beloved (though benighted) family member, and I am a charity case, who's lucky to be invited, but has little say in what befalls us. Fair enough though. If I'm at your house, I go by your rules. It's how the game is played. (Hmm . . . maybe next time any of them comes to visit, we tell them how much we genuinely love them, but can't handle their heterosexual deathstyle, so they should remain in separate rooms. Would this not make for a FABULOUS reality t.v. show? Let's follow the straight couple living in the gay household, following the roles and rules that would be placed on them if the houses were turned!)
And so, I wonder: what will be our conditions this year? In what ways will we have to pretend that we are not as we are -- or who we are -- in order to quell the potential drama? Maybe we should just make it easier for everyone, and do separate holidays so that it's easier for everyone to pretend like none of this is actually happening. Or maybe I should just shut up, be the martyr, and do what I need to do to keep the peace. Or maybe I'm just giving into that all-too-familiar victimhood that has taken residence in my bones the past few years. Maybe I should just get over myself and recognize that, by and large, things have gotten better, right? Right?