It starts with the turning back of the clock. The blatant reminder that darkness comes earlier and settles in for the winter is just the beginning. That one single hour shifts attitudes and priorities. Halloween comes and goes and suddenly Thanksgiving looms on the horizon. Plans start to take shape and lines form. Before long, people scatter in a million different directions, like cockroaches suddenly caught under the harsh glare of unforgiving light.
For the next five weeks, people hunt, gather, hoard, shop, decorate, cook, bake and go missing inside their to do lists and frenzied bubbles. Navigating traffic and negotiating agreements with their own sanity and what’s left of their family tree, people paint themselves into corners of delusion. It’s a delicate balancing act that’s equal parts tradition, obligation, nostalgia and stress test.
It's theatre of the absurd at its finest.
Each year, I retreat further into seclusion as I witness this crime against culture that I refuse to be an accomplice to. It plays out on TV, in magazines and on pocketbooks that in many cases, are beyond recognition or repair. Friends disappear into the ether of shopping malls and cave to the pressure of consumption.
At no other time of the year does the fairy tale notion that we all are entitled to live happily ever after play more tricks on more people than it does during the holidays. And yet, people still willingly succumb to this crazy idea that this time we’ll get it right or things will be “better”. This massive buildup has not once yielded victory over the war of a hunger that gnaws so deeply at our own humanity.
Our hearts are chestnuts roasting on an open fire.
We choose to ignore the signs and get doused annually with the burden of that truth that we are still too blind to see. It manifests in disillusion and disappointment. And that’s before the credit card statements arrive.
For those in waiting, if there is no small box under the tree, dreams get shattered that very likely, were already destined to be broken. The stack of long overdue expectation delivers the cruel truth that every kiss does not begin with K. DeBeers cleverly extends second chances to cold feet into the manufactured promise of Valentine’s Day. Credit is given where credit is due. Time is running out.
It’s an American phenomenon.
It drives me crazy.
Loathe is in the air.