There is something so intriguing and exciting when you meet someone for the first time. The delicate, intricate and sometimes a bit unnerving dance of getting to know that person: their likes, dislikes, the commonalities you may share and ultimately the uniqueness of them.
So, on Christmas as I sat there with my family opening gifts, I was struck with the revelation that they don’t even know who I am.
Sure, they could, in fact, pick me out of line up if necessary, but if they were questioned about me. If they were asked to describe me to someone that had never met me, I know my relatives would describe someone, but I doubt they would really be able to describe me.
I know this, not because I’ve tested this theory (although that might be enlightening). No, I know this because of the gifts I received this Christmas.
As I am handed a gift bag, filled with assorted items, I am told, I got you these because they are my favorite things. Really? Your favorite things? The bag is filled with like items I have received at previous Christmases. Stuff I didn’t need then, nor want now.
If it’s truly the thought that counts behind the gift, then I wonder what the meaning is when the giver gives a gift that reflex their likes, their interests and their priorities rather than mine.
Am I bitter?
My brother would say so.
My frustration and my depression goes beyond some paltry gift that is already in the box marked for the local charity shop.
It’s the fact that at no time am I ever asked what I like. At no time am I ever consulted about what we are going to do for the holidays, and when I do offer to contribute to the holiday meal, or to host the holiday or to offer a suggestion, I am shut down, told not to bother, and ignored.
I sat this morning enjoying my morning coffee trying to find some meaning, some sort of significance about the holidays, but I could find none. Maybe I’m too close to it? Maybe it’s too soon? Maybe . . . maybe there just isn’t any meaning and its futile to try to find.
I want to believe that my family knows me, appreciates me, and values my opinions, and the truths that I know, but in the end I realized once again at Christmas, they really don’t.