Saturday, November 23, 2013


I went to the Christmas party. I was one of the last to arrive. I was one of the first to leave. 400+ people. I just wanted to get out. I skipped the "cocktails". I arrived in time for the meal and left right before the dancing. I don't understand it. I don't understand why anyone would want to get up in front of people and dance. I think I have some weird phobia. The moment people started dancing I wanted to leave.

I feel stuck. I've always hated these kind of parties. My whole life. I've been trying to work on it. I've tried to like them. I've tried to like dancing. I've tried to learn to dance. And yet, every time I'm at one of these things I want to escape. I want to leave. I want to go home and read a book or watch a movie or play guitar. I feel broken. I feel stuck in an old pattern and, despite all my effort, I can't change it. It frustrates me to see all these people doing what I hate and having fun. Why do they get to have fun and I don't? It just makes me feel broken and alone. That's why I avoid these things in the first place. Something's not right, but I don't know what it is and I don't know how to fix it.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Christmas Tree

Growing up, we had a tradition in our house. I don't know if my family ever thought it was a tradition, but we did it every year since I was 5 or 6. When it snowed enough that it felt like Christmas, Dad would bring up the old, wire framed, six foot tall, spindly, fake tree and we'd decorate it. Dad would put the lights on it but my brother and I got to do the rest. Mom would carefully unpack the glass ornaments. And someone would usually break at least one of them.

Shortly after I turned 13 my grandma got sick. My mom was away for almost six weeks, off and on, caring for her mom, and dad was away working. A friend of the family watched my brother and I for that time. One day it snowed. And our parents weren't there. Our Christmas tree tradition was in danger of not happening that year. It didn't feel right to me. So, after school one day, I dragged the tree up from the basement. I had never assembled it before, but I had seen dad do it enough to figure it out. I put the tree together and my brother and I decorated it by ourselves. And it was Christmas time. That became a new tradition.

The following year, as Christmas started approaching, I knew we were getting close to tree time. One day after school, before mom and dad got home, I dragged the tree up from the basement again and my brother and I decorated it. It was a surprise for mom and dad. They got a ready made tree without any of the work. I'm not sure if they actually like decorating the tree or not. And every year after that, until we grew up, that was our tradition. My brother and I would decorate the tree when my parents were out and surprise them.

It's been many years since I've had a Christmas tree, real or fake. I bought 300 feet lights many years ago, just in case I ever had a tree to put them on. Well, tonight I bought a Christmas tree. It was everything I imagined a Christmas tree should be. I don't know if I'll incorporate this into a new tradition, but I do know that by tomorrow night it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Christmas Party

I feel like saying something tonight.

I'm not sure why. I'm tired. Peopled out. It's been a long week. Usually I don't choose to be around people in my spare time. I will make an effort for an event or something, but I rarely say to my self after a long day at work, "I want to hang out with..." It's more like I want to read up on some topics that interest me, watch AFV and go to bed. It's rare to come across a person I actually feel re-energized after being around. Don't take that as an insult. It's not you, it's me.

Tonight I felt like being with someone. No one in particular. But there's no one around. I started thinking about my next big "people" event. My company's Christmas party next weekend. I don't want to go. I'm kind of dreading it. There's a lot of people. Some are my direct employees. Some are my direct superiors. And the whole thing is a banquet and dance. I'd go for the banquet, but why do they have to dance? Why do I hate dances so much? Someone once told me if I knew how to dance maybe then I'd like dancing. That may be true. I don't know. I'm not there yet. Whatever. Either way, I don't want to go to this party. I have been to a few Christmas parties with C&C the last few years, but that took a lot of effort for me and I was usually glad when it was all over. They only remind me of how solitary I am and how I wish I wasn't this way.

I have skipped the last 7 company Christmas parties I have been invited to. I usually volunteered to work those nights. It was an easier excuse than saying, "I don't actually want to spend my free time hanging out with you." It was funny to me because my co-workers would usually thank me for being the sacrificial worker on their behalf so they could go to the party. In reality, I was glad they were going to the party so I could work and avoid the party. And yet, there's a piece of me that wishes I want to be there. There's a piece of me that wishes I could be like everyone else there.

And so tomorrow is the deadline to decide if I'm going or not. It's on a Saturday. There's no excuse left for me now. As management I'm expected to be there. It would look bad if my whole division is there and I'm not. Last year I had to endure our company website backed by a slide show of all the attendees' photos taken at the door. I heard the comments from everyone in our planning room about how much fun they all had, and how great all the pictures were. I had to listen to the slight insults of our IT student who was the only one who showed up without a "plus 1". Stereotypical techie.

I have 24 hours to decide. If I did what I felt like, I would not go. But I think part of being a man is not simply doing what I feel like, but doing what must be done, regardless of how I feel. I can't really say I must go to this party, but I know it's expected. I don't know what I'm going to end up doing. If I don't go I'm going to be asked by so many people why I won't be there. And my only answer, genuinely, is because I don't want to go. I wish I did.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Sing Like You Used To, Dance When You Want To

I've been missing music in my life lately.
Time to wake up from my slumber, open up my eyes.
I haven't touched my guitar in over a year.
I haven't really sat down and enjoyed music much lately.

I'm taking a little time out tonight to change that.