Red Christmas (26 December 2006 - 12:47 p.m.)
If I had to pick one word to describe yesterday, I would have to go with grueling. I got up at 5:30 to prepare the turkey and get the meatballs in the crockpot (everybody loves my crockpot turkey meatballs), and I was on my feet working for most of what turned out to be a very long day. Our guests (we did end up having 22 people in attendance) arrived at 2:00, and the last one left at 9:15.
My mother was a tremendous help to me. I honestly don't know what I would have done without her. Every muscle in my body is aching today. Still, it was a nice Christmas. It was so good to have the whole family together. And Mark was with us in spirit.
We had three tables set up, and, even though I used plastic cups and Chinet paper plates, there were tons of dishes, serving bowls, platters, forks, knives, spoons, coffee cups, and pots and pans to scour, wash, or load in the dishwasher. Besides the turkey with stuffing and mashed potatoes, I also served ravioli with the aforementioned meatballs, as well as a salad and dinner rolls. For an appetizer, we had “crabbies.” (Well, everybody else had crabbies. They disappeared so fast, I was only able to sample a small piece. It’s a good thing I have quite a bit of the mix left over, and just need to pick up some English muffins. I love those things.)
Unfortunately, I was too busy to take pictures except for these few (which were taken before Christmas, actually). Here is Ellie in her new Gap (clearance) sweater. For the record, I never thought I would dress a dog of mine in sweaters, but Ellie shivers after she gets a close trim (which is necessary to keep her tangle-free), and I just can’t stand the thought of her being cold.
The stockings were hung by the fireplace with care.
The tree is small, but I think it looks nice. It’s dropping needles like crazy, though, and will have to go soon.
I went to bed around 11:30, but couldn't sleep. That happens to me sometimes when I'm overtired. Plus, I had a lot on my mind. Some of it had to do with the men in my daughters’ lives.
Rebecca’s ex-boyfriend – the one who dumped her a few months ago – has been calling and text and instant messaging her several times a day. Much of the time, he is intoxicated.
He cries, and tells her how much he loves her and always will. He tells her he still wants to marry her someday. Her current boyfriend is not amused. This, understandably, is causing problems in her new relationship, which is probably exactly what Mike hopes will happen. He doesn’t want to be with Rebecca right now (because he feels the need to sow his wild oats), but he doesn’t want her to be with anyone else, either.
Nevertheless, Mike and Rebecca had a deep, strong bond, and she doesn’t want to sever all ties. She would like to maintain a friendship with him. Sadly, Mike isn’t being a very good friend. Rebecca tells him repeatedly that he has to stop contacting her when he’s been drinking, but he’s not honoring her request. It’s a mess. I realize that it’s not MY mess, but, if my daughter is troubled, it does affect me.
Which brings me to Leigh’s situation. Her boyfriend of over one year is and always has been a very bad boyfriend. He is incredibly self-centered and insensitive and thoughtless and cold and uncaring. I have listened to Leigh sob inconsolably countless times. It is a heart-rending sound.
His family opens their gifts on Christmas Eve, and Leigh went over that evening to participate in the festivities. It was expected that he would put in an appearance at our house on Christmas Day. However, he could not be bothered to come over. Leigh cried in front of everybody, which is not like her. That’s how hurt she was. And rightly so. Rebecca’s boyfriend of only six weeks was here (and even gave me a present), but Leigh's boyfriend of over a year preferred to stay home and “chill” with his sister and a couple of friends. I’d be crushed, too. But, then again, I wouldn’t be in that position, because I never would have put up with this kind of behavior for as long as she has.
Later in the evening, he called to say, “Come over here or don’t. It doesn’t matter.” She went. I wanted to scream, “Where is your self respect? You are a beautiful young woman with a lot to offer! Guys who would put your deadbeat boyfriend to shame would line up around the block to be with you! Why do you allow yourself to be treated this way?” But, she knows all of that. Trying to reason with her does no good. Even though she says that most of what she feels for her boyfriend is hate and disgust, she insists that she is unable to break up with him. When asked why, she says she doesn’t know.
A while ago, LA posted an entry about loving someone with Asperger’s Syndrome. While Leigh’s boyfriend hasn’t been diagnosed with the disorder, his older brother has, and I believe The Boyfriend has it to some degree, as well. Just about everything LA wrote describes Leigh’s boyfriend so perfectly it’s almost creepy.
I printed that entry back when I first saw it, and made my daughter read it. She agreed that it painted a pretty accurate portrait of her boyfriend. Still, she is paralyzed. For some reason, she is unable to run, as LA recommends. And it is so hard for me to witness her suffering. But there’s really nothing I can do. She has to do this herself.
On a happier note, I received the gift I wanted for Christmas – an ipod. The red one, to be specific. I wanted that one because Apple contributes $10 from the purchase price to the Global Fund, to help fight HIV/AIDS in Africa.
I hope those of you who celebrate had an enjoyable holiday. I’m going to spend the rest of the day in bed relaxing and recovering.
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