No more coming home to Bubble greeting me by flopping around on the floor blissfully. No more catering to Enfoiré’s hunger before having him reward me with cuddles.
I no longer have pets to pet.
I can freely toss my hoodies over a chair without worrying about Enfoiré swallowing a piece of the drawstring, requiring a vet visit, as has happened before. No more waking up at 5am to the cats vaulting off me in a plea for crunchies. No more sopping up cat vomit with my socks while they’re on my feet. I can leave the bathroom door open without the cats sneaking in there to gnaw on the shower curtain liner. My electronic chargers, hair bands, and bra straps are no longer enticing snacks that need to be stored away.
Bubble was fussy and demanding, while Enfoiré had an eating disorder that ruled his demeanor. Despite their flaws, they were the best cats I’ve ever had.
The most important part of Christmas is my least favourite. It’s not Jesus because this Atheist likes him more than spending time with family, either mine or my partner’s. I do have a cold heart (you’ll see in a bit), but it’s because attending these gatherings as the lone deaf person always ends the same. I first had this realization when I bought a flight “home” for Christmas the first year I lived in Calgary, only to realize that my family found it too burdensome to include me. I came into the kitchen on Christmas morning to find that everybody was having breakfast without me.
The next year, I spent it with my then-partner and his family, and it was even worse because I had to act like I was enjoying myself. I could tell my family that they sucked for not including me, but I had to be gracious towards my in-laws no matter what. I was there out of sheer obligation. My former in-laws had mostly been friendly, and there’d always be a family member or two who made a real effort to include me. Still, if the entire family doesn’t try, it’s not worth it for me.
If that doesn’t sound caustic enough to you, when Dad found the missing box of personal Christmas ornaments that I had spent a few years searching for, I told him I didn’t want them anymore.
I acknowledged that I had more negative memories of Christmastime with the family than not. It sounds cold, but it was the first time I’d ever admitted this to a family member. For years, I faked delight and marveled at the fact that mincemeat tarts didn’t contain meat. I’m so good at pretending I’m enjoying myself that these gatherings have ended with someone saying something along the lines of, “Aren’t you glad you didn’t stay home?”
I prefer to voluntarily alienate myself, so this post is proof that I had a fun Christmas solo!
Essential oils? As in, you’d die without them? I think not.
My right arm has been out of commission for a few days now. There’s no exciting story behind this injury: it’s a repetitive strain injury that started back in my desk job days. It began with tendinitis in my wrists, which is why I now use a mouse with my left hand and can type one-handed. For the most part, my wrists are okay; however, the bike accident from two years ago added a dodgy right shoulder, which is what’s currently bothering me, to my growing list of ailments. It feels like I have a heavy, burning limb hanging from my shoulder: 0/10 would not recommend.