Happy Happy HAPPY Holidays!

“You look sad.”

What? I look sad? What the hell does that mean? The presumption! She looks sad too! Splayed in the corner of the sauna’s lower shelf. Her turquoise sweats straining at her substantial thighs. Her beige towel covers her top half, draped over her breasts. I’d just said, hello. Asked how she was doing today. Being ‘friendly’ since I had chatted with her in the past. Albeit briefly. Now she stares at me, pityingly, through her foggy wire-rimmed glasses, her round face puckered up under her mound of dark curls.

I shake my head..... Well, I suppose I’ll smile, “Actually, I’m not sad,” I answer, maybe a bit indignant? “I’m just tired and hungry,” I chuckle. “Hey, maybe I am sad!”

She laughs, the folds on her chin jiggling. “You been exercising a lot, right?”
“Yup, I was in the pool for almost an hour. Swimming always makes me super hungry!”
She nods, “It’s the water.”

I agree. It is something about the water that makes me hungry. But sad? I don’t feel sad.
Though later today, walking in my neighborhood through the brisk gloom of greyness the day before the Solstice, there is a melancholy feel to the air. Something about the holidays is a bit sad. I’m not sure why. I miss people. Grandma Birdie and Aunt Tea, arriving at our house before the dawn broke, my sisters and I so small and excited, running into the living room, the Christmas tree lit up and the smell of mom’s delicious homemade bread’s cinnamon heavy in the air. Or my father. Swearing at the annual untangling of the Christmas tree lights. “Goddamn it. How the hell do they get so tangled up every year sitting in a box in the attic!” he’d mutter and shake his head as he laid the lights out on the floor, separating out the strands till they no longer resembled colorful evergreen wired snakes.

Yet, as I walk back to The Mansion, the cold biting my ears, I think how lucky I am to have a roof over my head, and a cute car to drive and a sweet kitty to feed. And how the new traditions I’ve created with who’s around now are worth treasuring: the drive to LA with Ian for Christmas, stopping in Mussel Shoals for Christmas day and walking at dusk on the beach below the sweet Cliff House Hotel; the time spent with my sisters around their Christmas trees with their cranky husbands and very adult children; the tour with my mom, sharing her art with me, playing with her beagle, the Rotund Sausage.
It’s all so happy and not sad at all!

And today, esp., the pool was the happiest! I had it to myself for almost half my swim. The ABC school of ‘developmentally disabled kids’ taking the week off, so the water was calm and bereft of moaning young men.

Plus it was warm!

So, no, I was not ‘sad’ and I’m not sad. And I wonder why she said that to me? Maybe my face looks sad? Or maybe she’s sad and was projecting her mood on me? Who the hell knows. It was a weird thing for her to say, though. Maybe she was concerned for me? Yet….I don’t know her.

People are so strange in the sauna. I constantly marvel at them. Some will do and say whatever they want. And others are quiet, observing, or just spacing out.

Whatever. I don’t care. I’m not sad, not today! So, if I ‘look’ sad, it’s just my face. Ignore my mug and drink some eggnog and sing some carols and eat some fruitcake and open some presents and swim swim swim!

Comments

Ruth Jameson said…
Yes, it is a season of complexity, sadness of times never to happen again, but happiness of times yet to come and share with love and many jokes...
The years spent without the Father, my husband have had many sad feelings of loss, but then many memories so wondrous of the gifts we had together. The gifts of the growing up, the gifts of exploring new adventures together, camping, Moonlight beach, searching in Hacienda Heights for the perfect tree, and just being together for these special occasions.
So, the adventures continue, with outcomes yet to be known, for really isn't that what gives our lives excitement, and hopefully fulfillment.
Onward, and Thrive...
Cj said…
Thanks for your sweet note, Ruthie, of adventure to look forward to. Yes! I remember the hunts for Christmas trees, too! So fun! But, yes, the time ahead is to be treasured too. Can't wait to see you next week and thanks for reading!

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