Posted by: lolalately | January 18, 2013

December in my rearview mirror

The holidays are over, the decorations are put away, the thank you cards have all gone out. It’s time to reflect on December.

I generally hate December, well, at least as far back as I can remember. With my birthday so close to Christmas, growing up I always felt cheated, as if my parents believed it was perfectly acceptable for me to settle for less than my siblings got because of the accident of a birth date. As a teen and young adult, it was my parents annual winter marital battles (begun just before or on Thanksgiving day and running until New Year’s Eve day) that took center stage, forcing any thought of a happy birthday and merry Christmas right out of my mind. They even managed to completely forget my 16th birthday until my little sister mentioned it at dinner a week later. No apologies were made.

By the time I was old enough to make my own decisions and plans about December, I knew I’d be far better off to be as far from my parents as possible, at least over my birthday. So for years and years, I passed the day quietly and alone in some random city, often times outside of the US.

When the hubs and I decided to marry, I thought a December wedding might at last cast a brighter light on the dismal month. I was wrong. Not only was our wedding a wretched letdown fraught with worry and regret, but anniversary after anniversary was spent trying unsuccessfully to distance myself from those painful memories.

Of course, it didn’t help that my husband complained often and loudly about the excessive spending he “had to do” each December, what with our anniversary followed closely by my birthday and then Christmas. The result being that in addition to dreading memories of December’s past, I again felt as guilty as an adult as I did as a child because of my unfortunate December arrival.

This year I made the momentous decision that I would not accept as my fate that every December would find me sad and depressed and with no expectation of even minor happiness. On the contrary, I had come to the realization that I have every right to expect a happy anniversary, followed by a joyous birthday, followed by a very Merry Christmas. And by damn … I would have all three and settle for nothing less!

I told my husband early in September what my expectations and desires were, and by November I’d even told him what I wanted for each of the three December “holidays” we would celebrate. And I did mean to celebrate!

I wanted him to choose something spontaneously romantic for our anniversary, something he’d given some thought to. He gifted me with a lovely pair of earrings to match a pendant he’d given me several years before. For my birthday I wanted a tattoo (my first … so far) and gift cards to two clothing stores I frequent (I got exactly as I’d wanted). I also wanted to throw myself a birthday tea (ladies only), which though I did, is a story better saved for another day.

For Christmas, I was VERY specific. I wanted a diamond ring. Not just any ring, but a totally stunning halo-mounted double banded setting with the best possible center stone (diamond) we could reasonably afford without plundering our savings. It was something I’d seen at a local jewelers, and had fallen in love with. And he came through for me! He came gloriously through!! The ring is everything I’d hoped it would be, and then some.

December was shaping up to be my best ever, and yet, despite my best intentions and well-laid plans, somehow there still managed to be a couple of little annoying dark clouds hanging over the month. One came in the form of step-children behaving badly, and the more troublesome one; someone I’d until then thought of as my bff. A belief I’m now re-thinking.

Not only did she cast a silent but sour look on me as I revealed my new tattoo (inside wrist, small but meaningful) at my birthday tea, but she took it upon herself to spoil (well, try anyway) my Christmas by revealing to me what my husband was giving me because SHE felt the ring was “inappropriate and would never be what I’d choose for myself”. She couldn’t have been more wrong, and her actions have served only to cause me to re-think our entire friendship, and it’s future. If there even is one, which at this point I have serious doubts of.

All in all, this past December was a huge relief and a happy success for me. By refusing to settle for anything less than butterflies (thank you SJP) and making my “I won’t settle” position known, I avoided having history repeat itself, and perhaps even changed the course of history going forward. This good December has also done one more thing for me; it’s secured in my mind the knowledge that I can have happiness if I make others aware that I will not tolerate their stealing it and stick to my guns.

The December in my rear view mirror looks pretty good to me … step-children, surly friend and all.

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Responses

  1. Glad to hear you had a good December. It’s important to let people know you have boundaries. As for the step kids and friend, if the kids are young and live with you guys it might be tough for awhile. Try not to take it personally. I’m a stepmom so I know how trying it can be. Again, good to know and show your boundaries. No point being miserable. The friend is another issue, but if it’s the same friend you’ve written about before, I think you already know the solution to the problem. This woman is either really unhappy or just plain old envious of you. Real friends don’t spoil a gift by blabbing what it is, much less criticizing. Time to find some new friends and let this one go. She’s not a real friend to you. Stay happy! 5wive

  2. Wow your friend doesn’t sound like much of a friend. You didn’t say what her beef is with your tat, is she just against them in general or she was offended by yours? Just curious. Either way it just sucks to have someone ya think is your friend being all up in your face and being a hater and thats what she sounds like. Really doesn’t seem like she’s a friend at all.

    • Her beef with my tattoo is that it combines my name and my husband’s name into wings. It’s small and discreet, and easily hidden with clothing or jewelry when necessary, but to her it’s an abomination and a hex on our marriage. Screw her. And her opinion. I love the tat, and I’ll be getting another one shortly. She won’t like that one either.


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