3 Celebrations About Gifts

I went back to work today. Felt fine in the morning, then went to a school and felt awful afterwards. Still feeling awful, which probably doesn’t help that I am a terrible, grumpy person and no one should invite me anywhere ever because I hate celebrating almost everything. Here are three examples that came up today:

Baby showers: Not my thing, I learned today! I’m very happy that you are pregnant and happy, but no, I do not want to play games involving clothespins, eat cupcakes, or watch you open presents. Congratulations though! I’ll be over here on this side of the table, trying not to roll my eyes or make snarky comments. I really am happy for you; I’m just not happy to be at a baby shower.

Valentine’s Day: Not doing anything. No plans to do anything, no interest in doing anything. When I want flowers, I buy them for myself. When I want to do something special with Boyfriend, we do it. I don’t need a day to celebrate us. This also applies to Christmas, and most other holidays, with the glaring exceptions of Thanksgiving and birthdays.

Bachelorette Parties: This is not my thing! Anyone who invites me to this should know that they won’t actually want me there once I am there because it will be awful! More importantly, as we’ve discussed, I don’t have the money and even if I did, I just—no.

This is what I see as the common denominator between these events (besides that I personally find them distasteful): they’re events around consumerism and they’re extremely choreographed. We all know what Valentine’s Day is supposed to look like. We’ve all been taught what a bachelorette party is (thanks, Hollywood!). But there isn’t a lot of inherent meaning to these events beneath the consumerism. It’s not like Christmas which has this whole mythology around it. These celebrations are about gifts. And gifts are not really about love. At least, I have a hard time finding a gift (or even a card as we learned this weekend) that truly reflects my love for a person or my relationship to them. Maybe I ask too much of gifts.

One comment

  1. Identifying the “anti feelings” seems like you are making good head way in defining for yourself who you are, one of your goals from about this time last year. Would it be correct to say you are pro friend, but anti this choreographed party form of expression? Would you feel okay about sending one of your poems as a standin? I have no suggestion on the timing aspect of it–always an issue for myself–but know the world does operate on a calendar. bj

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