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Being High on Christmas Weekend

December 27, 2010
Darius Rucker, lead singer of Hootie and the B...

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I’m totally high right now. And I have been on an off for weeks. The after-effect of this Christmas weekend has me sailing.

Okay, so obviously I’m not the type to be high on recreational drugs (although my allergy meds can get me all tweaked out sometimes). And I’ll tell you right now “Christmas Spirit” doesn’t do it for me either. Although a few pieces of fudge can almost get me there. Honestly, as far as that Christmas Spirit thing goes, I think he is an imp. Yes, an evil imp that raises human expectation to a point that cannot be satisfied and then stirs in family, obligation travel and bad weather.

And perhaps the most vile thing of all…TV Christmas specials.

All of these elements combined for me last Wednesday night when my sister was cranky from driving to town, I was excited about having a few extra days off, my mom wanted us to all get a long and my dad was bound and damned determined to watch A country music Christmas special.

I tried, but I couldn’t figure out a good way to tell him that I kind of hate Christmas music and I kind of hate country music so the combo was not a good idea for family entertainment. Not this family anyway — especially since my sister feels the same way and my mom sings along to that stuff (even if she can’t remember the words — which she normally can’t nowadays) which makes my dad mad because he wants to hear Darius Rucker singing about candy canes not mom.

Anyway that was one of the lows of Christmas this year. Wednesday night with the family. Another doosey was Saturday in the car for three hours out to Pierre and three hours back. It was a good idea in theory to visit mom and dad’s property and to see my dad’s cabin of sorts. But in practice a trip longer than an hour or so with all of us is a bad plan.

Dad can’t hear anything anyone in the back seat says — mom wants to listen to Christmas music on the radio or some other banal Christian music or something incredibly cheesy that makes her cry and my sister passes out whenever she is a passenger in a car for more than 10 minutes. I might have been able to scream loud enough to entertain dad and persuade mom to leave the radio off, but I was annoyed that I was trapped in the car when I was almost done with the rest of my grad school applications.

Okay, I was downright pissed. And anxious. I was afraid I wasn’t going to get them done this weekend and really this weekend was the cut off point. I had four days off in a row and I was really torn between what I was supposed to be doing with my family and what I needed to do to take this step toward my dreams.

As I explained above there were some low points with the fam this weekend. But the thing is they are hilarious too. And normally we all have a great time when we are hanging out together. Otherwise I would have been able to say screw it, “Sorry mom, dad, T — I have to do my homework. I’ll see you next Christmas.” But I didn’t want to miss out on the laughs and the family time.

So I struck a compromise within myself. During the less-intensive family times, like while they were watching movies and grazing on snack foods, I sat in mom and dad’s computer room and worked on my applications. (I had to write a Curriculum Vitae for Kansas — I had never even heard of such a thing before. I still don’t know if did it quite right.) It was freezing in there and I had a space heater keeping me warm. Every now and then I came out into the living room and begged one of them to proofread for me. (And someone still missed a ‘wile’ that should have been ‘while.’)Then I would go back into the little room and trudge on.

Well, even with the Christmas special on Wednesday, the Christmas Shopping with T all day Thursday and the car ride all day on Saturday by yesterday afternoon I was done and I got to hit send! Which means I also had to pay a bunch of money for processing and so on — Merry Christmas. So, I’m done. I’m even done with everything I can do for the monstrous Iowa app. I just have to get physical copies of the recommendation letters and print out and mail the beast.

That’s what has me high today. In fact that’s what has had me high all of December. Every little bit of this project that I finish is like a tiny piece of euphoria all for me. I don’t know what drug to compare it to because I’ve never really taken any drugs for fun but it reminds me of a scene from Fight Club where Ed Norton’s character is explaining that the volume on everything else in his life is turned down. I guess that’s how I feel. Kind of pink and floaty and like nothing else matters all too much.

So, yeah, I did have fun with my family over Christmas, and I know that contributes to all of this. But finishing this project has been an accomplishment all in itself. And I definitely want to go to graduate school, but at this point I almost don’t care if I get in. I already feel like I’ve accomplished something big. And it’s what I was supposed to do. I’m so glad that I figured that out and went for this. If I hadn’t I wouldn’t feel so high right now.

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 27, 2010 5:47 pm

    Hurray for your feeling of accomplishment! (And hurray for fudge) I hope you get into the grad school that you want!


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