Thursday, 12 November 2009

Countdown to Xmas...and other stuff

The countdown to Xmas has begun. Suddenly it feels imperative to cram in as much as possible before the year ends for no apparent reason. People want to meet up 'before Xmas' and 'catch up' when in fact you haven't seen them since just before last Xmas...

Dates are booked up in advance, lists are written, flights booked and everyone whirls around desperately trying to have something exciting booked in for NYE. Now I hate NYE with passion. I vote we should all go out on 30th Dec and get ratted, and sleep off the dreadful new year celebrations; a private rebellion to the awful feeling of having to have a good time. Why? Because its new year's eve! It has to be exciting! It has to be fun! What? Spending a mint to go to some poxy function where the free drink runs out at 9pm and you have to queue for 20 hours to get to the bathroom and your taxi home costs a million quid? Bugger that.

Before you ask - I am not Scrooge. No, I like my festivities with the best of 'em. Especially the office count down when chocolates are strewn on every desk and we all giggle over secret Santa and everything feels that bit brighter as there is light at the end of the long grey tunnel - the 2 week break. I cannot wait.

Sproglet has demanded Buzz Lightyear from Santa and boy am I relishing the old 'Santa is watching' card. Like a referee on acid I am spinning that one out at every opportunity. God bless Santa.

Of course Xmas brings the old 'are you in or out' feelings with acquaintances. Are you sending so and so a card - they never bothered last year - so strike! That's them gone. The scary local Mothers are planning an Xmas party - eek! I have been invited. I debated it for all of two seconds, then popped down to see nice Mother (I also know her from work) and told her that I couldn't make it. She asked if I could make it if they swapped days and I was forced to admit that should the world be ending and it was the last party available that wild horses wouldn't drag me there - even if Brad Pitt was dressing up as a half-naked oiled Santa. I explained that other Other Mothers (OMs) weren't exactly friendly - and so I didn't feel like doing the sad girl with no mates shuffle again.

Since then the same group have sent me invites to a girls' Xmas drinks. Now my idea of Xmas drinks is several glasses of champagne, a couple of cocktails followed by harmless flirting with a cute barmen, a singalong on route home with a potential Beyonce homage dance at a place of disrepute that sells shots. Somehow I don't think the OMs would approve. Part of me worries that I have ostracised myself from the local 'in' group - but the rest of me feels like 'they aren't my type of people - just cos we have children the same age, have I got to befriend them?' God forbid. My childish need to be accepted rears its tiny head but my 'confident in who I am' bravo of adulthood is trying to squish it back down again.

I'm happy to dance to my own dodgy tune - create my own group of buddies. The countdown also begins to me leaving my job. Instead of feeling utter panic, I'm fairly cool about the whole thing. Money has never been my motivation in life - why start now? I want to take some time off - finish my book and then see what's out there. The raging ambition of my 20s has been satiated. I still have things I want to achieve but am less of a hurry to do - what have I got to prove? Nothing.

In saying that, I'm in no hurry to become a housewife either. God that phrase made me shudder. I have complete respect for those who make that choice - rock on - but it aint for me. Work doesn't define me - but I sure like having a purpose other than raising a little a person. Something that is just for me. Which brings me to my last countdown currently in my CrummyMummy charts. The old second child debate. It still rages within me. The other day Sproglet had a meltdown so I joined in with him. I imagined another kid thrown into this bargain and then thought - how would I cope with that?? Sproglet and I can hit the movies, grab some sushi, dander in bookstores - we can chug along quite nicely. Adding another some being into the equation would only make everything twice as hard. Husband would still be doing his crazy hours and we would be even more broke - and still we have no outside help as we have no family nearby. What is the solution? I don't have one. Do I want another kid for Sproglet, or for me? Could I really cope? I struggle at the moment and Sproglet is by all accounts 'an easy child.' Don't know when I'll have this one figured out - maybe I never will...

As the air dips a few degrees and the dark nights draw in and I reach for my gloves and a hearty bottle of red, my heart lifts slightly. Everything gets cosy and it feels completely normal to drink hot chocolate at 9am. I stock up on mulled wine, mince pies and garish xmas decorations (last years highlight was a glittery silver deer with pink fur collar - oh yes) and begin mulling over my xmas list. So who is in and who is out this year? Hmmmmm.....

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