Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Holidays: Friend Or Foe?

I know it has been quite some time since I wrote (at least that's how it feels on my end), however, life always seems to get in the way these days. No matter how much I get home and say "Write!!!", the opposite seems to happen. I really am sorry - I am hoping that in the spirit of the holidays, you can all forgive me. Since the countdown to Christmas holidays now has even less days than the last time I wrote, I thought I would discuss them some more, and whether or not they are the best or worst time of year. Granted everyone's opinion differs, this is MY blog, so right now, what matters is MY opinion...This is, after all, what has kept you coming back faithfully - my oh-so politically correct views, and obviously optimistic attitude regarding everyday subjects. Let's get to it, shall we?

If I appear a tad bitter about today's topic, the holidays, it is perhaps because if I look back to a year ago, I was in the crappiest place I have ever been for the holidays - the beginning of the end of what I had believed to be my "happily ever after". Work had distracted for most of the month, but once I was on vacation, I found myself at home, and feeling more alone than ever. Bambi, through no fault of her own, barely had enough time to sleep, let alone time for a few good heart to hearts with yours truly. Instead, I sought comfort  and advice in one of my closest guy friends, and then found myself falling for him, which just made everything worse. Instead of spending the holidays with the love of my life, I found myself dodging him at every corner, contemplating everything we were and stood for - and everyone could see it. Everyone watched us crumble as though we were that lonely cookie left at the bottom of the bag, with no one to lean on, to one to help us stay whole and strong. And every night, as I told him that I loved him, and as I crawled into his arms in bed, I felt a piece of me die.

Fast-forward 12 months...Now, I find myself single and much happier than I was a year ago. But alas, the holidays is most certainly THE time of year that you want to have someone special in your life. It is always so nice to feel fuzzy inside as you feel that special someone's gaze on you as you open a present, solidly kick their ass at the annual Legault-Bédard Monopoly battle or as you sit by a fire and enjoy a nice glass of red wine. This year, I get to watch others do that, and take my place as a bystander. I won't get to feel that gaze, or be the culprit responsible for someone else's ear-to-ear smile as they open that gift I picked out perfectly. I will wake up alone on Christmas morning, I won't get to be snuggled under a mountain of blankets, or hear that "I love you" as I open my eyes, and I certainly won't be stealing kisses under the mistletoe hung in the front entrance. I can't help but feel a little sad about the fact that no one will be seeking ME out at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve, anxiously awaiting that cliché, but oh-so-delicious, first kiss of the New Year. This year, I will present my date as "my friend" at my work party, not my significant other...I will also pray that he doesn't pull a Hank Moody and hit on every girl there he finds to his liking, though technically, he is certainly allowed to - after all, there really is nothing going on between us.


Now, rewind to 11:00am today, December 14th, 2010. As I sat in a meeting at work half listening to my team mates, half asleep, someone brought up the dreaded subject of "coverage" while we are all away from the office for two weeks. Apparently, this person didn't remember that last year, NO ONE on our team had Blackberries, only Account Managers had bring-home laptops and oh ya - no one died. Our Out of Office responses on Outlook were enough for our clients to realize that we were on vacation and barring World War III, any issues they had could - and  would - be resolved upon our return. To sum it up, last year, we actually got vacation. This year, the Account Managers have Blackberries and the assistants have bring-home laptops. And to a certain extent, we are ALL on call. What. The. Fuck. Is. THAT? So if I understand correctly, the office is closed for a week, I am NOT allowed to carry any of my vacation over to the new year thereby forcing me to take time off, but I am expected to check my emails to make sure the clients are supported? How does that make sense? Did I mention I don't get paid for having to check these emails? Not that I have to respond, I just have to check to make sure nothing is pressing, but that requires me to spend at least a half hour opening, reading and assessing emails - ya, I would say that sounds like working. I realize that sometimes you have to do things that aren't exactly "included in the job description", but this is most certainly pushing the envelope, and the expectations mean I won't get to fully enjoy my vacation. You aren't supposed to check your emails during vacation - the point is to take a break so you don't have a meltdown, so your brain can not think for a period of time - so you can come back feeling rested, and maybe even excited about the new year. And some might say that I should count my blessings since I have a job to begin with, and to those people, I say screw you - for 45K/year + the bullshit I put up with on an almost daily basis, checking my email while on vacation is NOT in my job description. If you want me to check them, then give me more money.

So, being single and having to check email aside, I must admit that I am looking forward to vacation - can I call it Fake-ation?- this year. Just a tad. This year, yet again, I get a whole two weeks off. My twin from another mother also gets a ton of time off, so the 21st, she is driving in from Toronto and coming to spend a few days with me before jetting to Montreal to see her family. I get to go shopping, have late breakfasts, sleep in (because she likes to sleep in too!) and just enjoy her company. When my turn finally comes to head off to the 514, I will be hitting up my friend's Latin Invasion soirée at an intimate little venue, and dance to my heart's content - also with a ton of friends that I don't see as often as I should. On the 24th, I know I can look forward to the traditional dinner with those closest to me, and even though I will be doing it up single-styles, I know it will still kick some serious ass. After all the Christmas brou-ha-ha, I get to hit up the Biodome and go hang out with some awesome mammals, rock the ski slopes with the twin, and do up some serious breakfast lounging at L'Avenue with another best girlfriend. I am then topping off that week with a New Year's celebration in cottage country, off the beaten path, where I can frolic in the snow, sleep late, and just be silly while enjoying home made pizza and having my butt handed to me during random occurences of "Game Time!".

I have yet to decide whether or not I am excited about the impending holidays. Technically, I suppose they have already arrived and are already sucking large, but I have decided to wear my optimist hat, and hope for the best. Don't get me wrong, I fully expect the worse, but I am willing to remain open to the idea that maybe this year will be different. This will be the last "usual" Christmas I get to spend with my family for the next few years, and I guess I would rather not write it off completely until I am at least half-way through it. And in the event that push comes to shove, I suppose a little booze can always help brighten the mess up.

Now to start thinking of resolutions I might keep...

-Milie B.

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