(Update at the end, 12/25)
Stress has exhausted me. I went to bed last night around 10:00 and read for maybe half an hour before turning out the light. Tossing and turning for another hour finally put me to sleep, but the dogs woke me at 4:00 to go outside.
Our nights are cold -- mid 40s -- so standing on the patio in tee-shirt and undies while the dogs did their potty thing was enough to wake me up and undo what little rest I'd had. I came back to bed to warm up, knowing I probably wouldn't go back to sleep. At 4:30, I turned the light back on and picked up The Stone of Farewell. Another hour of reading had me drowsy enough to consider some more sleep, but of course that's when Chiquita wanted outside again. She's 13 so I tend to pamper her a bit. It was nearly 6:00 before I returned to bed.
I thought about just getting up and starting in on all the work that has piled up, but I was warm and comfortable and it was still dark outside, so I drifted off until shortly after 8:00. By then BF was up, too, making noise, riling up the other dogs, etc.
And I needed to talk to him about his plans for tomorrow. Was he going to accept Fran's invitation to dinner, or stay here? His decision would determine how much cooking I would do tomorrow; if he planned to stay, I would indulge myself in a small turkey with stuffing and gravy and biscuits, maybe even a pie.
I dragged myself out of bed.
"Are you going to Fran's tomorrow, or staying here?" I asked him.
"Why?" he responded.
"Because I need to know what groceries to buy."
"I'm staying here."
I suspect this is because there aren't any good football games to watch with Les, but it doesn't matter. The decision is made, I'm not going to be pressured any more to spend the day with the crazy people, so I'm content.
I did my grocery shopping, wished all the cashiers happy holidays, and came home, much relieved if not completely in the holiday spirit.
I even bought him an expensive chocolate bar just for that decision.
Happy Holidays, Everyone!
I thought it was over and done with. I should know better.
BF's friend Les sent a text message this morning reiterating the invitation to join them at Fran's house (essentially Les's house as well, since he lives with her) for dinner at 4:00. He promised there would be no political talk.
Here's what I told BF:
"You're welcome to go if you want, but I'm not going. Period. It's Fran's house and Joe is her son. If she told him, and even if Les told him, to avoid political talk, there's nothing that would actually prevent him from going off on some tangent that someone else said. There's nothing that would prevent him from taking some I say out of context or the wrong way or hearing it as political just because he thinks I'm an evil monster and therefore anything I say must be evil. And Joe is still Fran's son; she would not kick him out of her house on Christmas."
There was a brief silence before BF replied.
"You're right," he said. "I understand. But they were pretty angry at Joe, too."
I said nothing so he went on, "Both Les and Fran told him what he did was wrong."
I came back with, "They never told me. Joe never apologized, and Molly never apologized. And regardless, I would still sit there all day and be afraid of what might happen. How is that any fun for me?"
He said he understood. What he doesn't understand is that the repeated pressure makes me feel as though I'm the one who has done wrong.
Merry Christmas my ass.