Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I smell Christmas...

It's a bit like Lorelai and snow.

It's not when malls put up their decorations, or when the advertising starts. That's too early. It's not even when I start thinking about it; that's too early, too. But today, it happened. Independent of the shoppers and the shops, children and their parents, bosses and their employees, Christmas crept up. I feel it, waiting like the sun about to burst upon the world. I smell it, and it smells delicious.

People at the shop are getting ruder. They forget that however many people they have to buy things for, they have people they can buy things for, and they have money to buy things for those people. They also forget that however difficult it might feel, it's bloody shopping, and it's a damn sight more difficult on my side of the counter. But anyway. (And excuse the italics; I'm reading Catcher In The Rye for the umpteenth time, and every sentence I think has an emphasis in it.)

Next Christmas, we will probably have a house. If we have a house, we will certainly have a dog. And maybe maybe we will have a baby, or at least one in the oven. It all feels so close I can almost touch it, but it's just out of reach, and all depends on things that I can't control. I feel excited, and worried, and tired, and wide-awake, but most of all, I feel impatient.

But then, there are so many changes on the horizon, I want this time to feel as long as it is. I want to remember every Friday, and what we looked like, and who was there. I want to remember exactly how I felt the day I put my decorations up. It's funny how when you know change is around the corner, everything becomes significant because it's now The Way It Was. And even though I'm ready for How It's Going To Be, I love The Way It Was/Is. I wonder if I really want How It's Going To Be. Or at least, how much.

I sat on the couch this morning listening to Clair De Lune, and it sounded like the end of something; not mournful, exactly, but like the end of something that had to come to an end eventually, that feels sad, but only because it is an ending. I always find endings sad. I know that where something ends, something begins, but it's knowing you can't go back that makes me sad, and scared, even if I want to go forward. I get so excited when my friends do things like buy houses, or have babies, or get married, or any of the other things we used to think were reserved for adults, but occasionally I'll remember when we were all young with all of that ahead of us, and it makes me want to cry, and desperately turn back time just to be able to do it again. Watching your own children grow up must be heart-breaking. It makes me think of the part in Mirror when she says "In me she has drowned a young girl"; you must just look at whatever they are at a given time and wonder where the last version went. I think I've always spent a lot of time looking backward. Maybe I need to learn to spend more time looking forward. I just don't want to miss anything, and I suppose I'm afraid of letting go of what I know.

Now I feel like a bit about my life as I do about Christmas. I love the day, but it's the build-up I love most; because there's so much to enjoy, and the day still to come. I try to tell myself that there will always be something in the future to replace it, but I know I can never go back.

I'm afraid I will have completely confused you now, and that for myself, that way madness lies. So here is a Christmas song, sung in the soothing tones of Aretha.

Growing up is so painful.

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