Don’t anyone tell me to have a Happy Thanksgiving. I don’t do the state-mandated holidays anymore.
In part, this is because I don’t have any family left in the area. True, my sister lives about twenty minutes away, alone now, but she is family only in the strict biological sense. Regular visitors to this blog will no doubt have unearthed at least some of the bile that I’ve spewed in her direction; but even though I’ve mellowed out a bit in my feelings towards her, the fact is it’s a “Fool me once / Fool me twice” kind of situation. She claims to have reformed. I doubt this very much, but whether she has or hasn’t, never again will I give her the opportunity to prove me right. I’m not nearly the dominant personality that she is, but I have limits, and once you push me up against those limits you will find that I am an immovable object.
People do take pity on me and invite me to their holiday dinners, but intruding on another family’s holiday is just plain awkward. It’s nobody’s fault.
I don’t see the need for an authorized, mandated Day of Thanksgiving anyhow. If you’re only thankful for life one day out of the year, and even then you’re only thankful because you’re being told that you have to be… then something is wrong with your life that needs to be repaired.
Three years ago, and for decades prior to that, I was in that boat. I tried it with life, I really did, but it wasn’t working out, and in the end all that I wanted from life was to get out of it. Especially for the six or seven years prior to 2012, life was nothing but a continual, daily torture for me, “torment” not being too strong a word. Thankful? Is the Inquisition victim thankful for the rack and thumbscrews?
I don’t know if it will last, but beginning finally in late 2012 life finally began to turn around. Just being able to be my own Master has a lot to do with it, but ohmigosh, the years between 2010 and late 2012 could have ended so badly for me: instead, I have a home of my own, I have my three wonderful pussyquats, I have my own work, I have peace for the first time ever. And believe you me, I don’t let one single day go by without thanking my lucky stars (and everyone who helped me along the way) for all of that. Even if I lapse once in a while into despair: this is largely biological, and I’m able to mentally work my way back to the truth, which is simply that I’m so god-damned lucky it’s practically unbelievable. From late 2012 until now — these have been the best months of my whole life, and I don’t need a damn holiday to be thankful for them.
No — beyond Halloween I pretty much don’t do modern holidays at all. Winter solstice: that moment when we are halfway through the dark and the days begin to lengthen once again — now THAT is a holiday worth celebrating, and I do mark that day. Celebrate? Yes, I suppose, insofar as a single guy with Asperger’s and no social instincts or inclinations whatsoever can do. But I haven’t celebrated New Year’s in a long time (as one gets older, New Year’s just gets more depressing), and as for Valentine’s Day… pardon my French, but don’t fucking make me puke. Walpurgis Night, more or less corresponding with the pagan Beltane: this one I celebrate. Where All Hallows is the rising of the dark, here is where we put the dark to rest at last. If that’s not worth celebrating, I don’t know what is.
You might say that I’m becoming a pagan — except that I hate ceremony and ritual with a purple passion, and pagan rituals are no less irksome to me than Christian ones. Just let me mark my days, thank you very much, quietly and in my own way, muddling through as best I can. So I won’t wish you a ‘Happy Thanksgiving’ or a ‘Joyous Christmas.’ I wish for you and everyone the same things that I wish for myself: Freedom, Peace, Comfort, Security, and Good Works that mean something to you. And not for just one or two pages in the book of the year.