I actually feel more like Two-Face from Batman. Or maybe just a bi-polar, pmsing, drama queen.

Whatever the cause or fictional character I’m acting like, I’m not really into the Christmas spirit. Part of me wants to go buy or first Christmas tree. A small, real tree and decorate it with lights and pick an ornament color scheme and also a nice “First Christmas” ornament. We’ll drink coffee with Kahlua and enjoy the time. I want to find stockings to hang on our book shelves and sneak in small, silly little gifts for him to open. I want to find the perfect gifts that will make people light up when they open it, knowing I took the time, thought of them, and wanted them to be happy with their gifts.

But then days like today happen.

Today happens and I want to skip to next May and ignore all this holiday business. Today and the thought of putting up and decorating a tree exhausts me. The thought of stepping foot into a store and trying to guess what might make someone happy kind of makes my skin crawl.

See? Two-Face.

Strangely, I had a fantastic day at work. I won the drawing since I met my sales goal on Sunday and won $25 in store money. I was at 310% of my sales goal, which is unreal. I sold quite a bit of pre-sale, which might mean I wouldn’t have to work on Christmas Eve. I signed up a credit card, which meets my goals and earns me more store money. I had some good customers and I got some recognition from my boss for my hard work. I also feel like I got some info that means they will keep me after the holidays, which relieves some of the stress that I’ll be jobless again.

But then I came home.

And really, nothing in particular happened. Dishes were in the sink. And while I could have done them, I’ve been busy and stressed and after some of the work days, I couldn’t physically stand at the sink to wash them. I got irked because I think Mr. A should have done them at some point. He may have finals coming up, but he had plenty of free time also. Whatev. We both should have gotten off our butts and done it. Fine. I bought the wrong garlic bread at the store. Not normally a huge deal, but it made me want to throw or kick something. The cookies I made last night stuck to the cookie sheet, so when I tried to get them off, every single one of them crumbled which then made me want to just throw the whole cookie sheet away because the thought of having to scrub it makes me furious.

And thinking about Christmas is making me nauseous and mad and frustrated.

You see, my dad’s side has decided that we will draw names this year and play the dirty Santa game. $25 limit for the game. And when I asked about the drawing of names? $100. WHAT THE FUCK????????????

I was worried that it would be $50. $100. And in case you have yet to put it together, that really means $200 for us. Same bank account and one, minimum wage paying, part-time pay check.  Still aren’t seeing the problem? Mr. A didn’t take the extra loan money because it would have a higher interest rate and be the last to pay off and would be ridiculously expensive, so we didn’t want to take it unless absolutely necessary. We’re waiting for the spring loan money. Which we will get in January. January rent is due the 1st. Before the loan check. Along with all the other bills we have. And everyday expenses. And I’m refusing to ask my parents for money. I already don’t pay my car insurance, health insurance, or half my cell phone bill. Maybe if I couldn’t afford everything, maybe I should have waited to get married, lived at home, and been a hermit so I wasn’t being such a burden on the parents.

And guess what? That’s $200 on top of what I had already gotten for my parents because I stumbled upon things ar great prices and would be perfect for them. Husband and I? Not exchanging gifts. I still need to get something for his parents. And then two more silly gifts for the dumb game. So for Christmas Eve alone- $250. For people with real jobs, that may not be a big deal. For us? It makes me wonder if we will be able to afford rent, electric, water, internet (which yes, is a necessity for law school), gas, groceries, and fuck it all to hell if either of us gets sick. Oh wait, I forgot. Both of us are on daily medicines. And my bc is about to run out, so that will be $50. And my migraine meds require me to go to a doctor this week to get another prescription.

And no, I can’t say that we will opt out. Weird, but my family might love me, but they won’t be understanding of this. My mom would be, but not my dad’s side. My aunt is already pissy that I probably won’t be able to be there until 8pm, even though my brother often couldn’t get there until then due to work or needing to go to his girlfriend’s family or whatnot. Me? No one seems to be willing to budge. My dad might understand, but my stepmom and aunt will harass me the whole time, which then makes me want to say forget it and we’ll just go to Mr. A’s side this year, but I’m also being a big baby and not willing to not be at my mom’s for Christmas morning just yet. And no, it makes no sense to go to Mr. A’s for Eve, then my mom’s for the morning because it’s too far to drive. And his family doesn’t really do a big thing on Christmas Eve. Gahhhhh

Add on the usual stress and family issues that arise during the holidays, and I’d really be okay with skipping them this year. Which really kind of depresses me, since you know, it IS my first Christmas as a married couple and it’s already sucking.

But, I will be excited as I see pictures of everyone’s decorations and hearing about all the fun plans. I’ll just be patiently waiting for January.



Filed under Freak Out Much?, Life After College, Life in Law School (even if I'm not in it), Normal Family?

9 responses to “Scrooge

  1. Oh I just want to hug you. And we need to gchat or e-mail or something, because I’ve been there. I think I can give you a few ideas. Thinking about you – and praying you are blessed with some relaxation and financial freedom ASAP! 🙂 It makes all the difference. Get some sleep tonight!

  2. I don’t think you’re being a drama queen over this. In this economy, feeling obligated to shell out $200+ is crazy! Any chance this is a $100 MAX limit?

    C’s family draws names, too, and their typical limit is $50. He thinks this means we should spend between $49.75 and $50.25. I do not. In fact, we rarely spend this. I’d much rather spend a little more time finding the perfect gift for someone rather than obsessing over hitting a target amount. It’s not like we’re having to submit our receipts.

    Anyway, feel free to have a meltdown. Holidays are usually stressful even when things are going well. You just started a new, demanding job, you’re facing the money pinch common to most people our age, and you’re a newlywed. Meltdowns are encouraged. 🙂

  3. *HUG* Deep breath, honey! I totally got stresed just reading your blog. Holidays are always stressful, dealing with families and the personalities there-in. You say that you can’t opt out, that your family won’t understand, but given you stress level, I suggest that you seriously consider it. That’s quite a big limit to spend on Christmas gifts, anyway, in my humble opinion. I don’t think they’d be upset since you’re working in retail and have a husband in law school!

    I hope that things will get better, because you should be able to enjoy your first married Christmas!

  4. Oh my. No wonder you are stressed!! It makes me SO MAD that your family would ask you to contribute $200 to a family Christmas. Gift giving should be about getting meaningful gifts for people… Not using up your entire paycheck. I am so sorry that your family is such a stickler about this point… I hope you can find a way around it because $100 each seems totally ridiculous. It is one of my biggest pet peeves when people aren’t understanding about money and/or time issues. Just because $100 isn’t a big deal for you or you are able to get time off whenever you want doesn’t mean that either of those things are doable for everyone else. GAH.

    On a positive note, it sounds like you are doing super at your job! Congrats on that!

  5. Brittany

    I hate days like that 😦 I know you say you won’t opt-out because some extended relative might be pissy, but if it is going to bring more stress into your life that you might not be able to pay rent and buy food, having a pissed off aunt is a small price to pay. You might suffer for a few hours, but it would be so much better (in my opinion) to be able to go to sleep Dec. 26th knowing that you and your husband put your financial health first. I think it’s probably a $100 maximum, so you can spend less than that and avoid the whole thing, but otherwise you are already giving gifts to your closest relatives. If they can’t understand, that is THEIR problem. NOT yours! Family politics are SO DRAINING. Today will be a better day!

  6. Jamie

    Ugh I HATE holiday $ stress. My sister has 4 kids and the other sister has 2 kids. And spouses. And I have step parents. And step siblings. And we don’t draw names. And MW has 2 siblings and they want to go in for $100 on a gift for his mom.

    Because it’s not like Washington DC is expensive or anything and it’s not like we’re living on 1 income which will go on hiatus when Congress does and not come back until the inauguration in January. And it’s not like we already had to shell out big $$$ to fly home which is across the country. No really it’s fine I’d love to buy a gift for my stepsister who I’ve met twice.

    Anyway. I’m bitter and grumpy too I guess 😛

  7. So sorry that things are not going well with the holiday planning. I hope that you can work things out with the family. It’s unfair that they’re stressing you out this way – they should understand that you guys are still living a student lifestyle!

    Keeping your finances on track so that you don’t become even more stressed during the new year should be first priority. Feeling for you… :-/

  8. Aw, I wish you could just bunker down and spend your Christmas with just Mr. A. At my mom’s suggestion, Nick and I are staying in D.C. and spending Christmas just us and then going to see families over New Years.

    But I hope you get to figure it out soon. I know how hard the money issues are. (I’m having the same mental debate about bills v. Christmas right now too.)

  9. You poor thing. I so wish I could come over and do your dishes and make you some cookies!! When you’re dealing with holiday stress, you don’t need days like that. Our family (just the kids) switched to drawing names a few years ago and then about two years ago stopped that altogether. We’re all adults now and it just seemed silly to continue giving each other gifts. We usually all go to dinner now or something instead. It’s supposed to be about spending time with your family, not spending MONEY.

    Listen, I know you’re stressed and feeling the family pressue, but you’ve got to hold your ground. Be strong. You are married now and the most important thing is doing what’s right for your family…you and Mr. A. You guys do not have to spend $200+ on your family. You just don’t. It will be hard to explain to them and like you said, they might make your life hell, but in the end you’ll be so glad you stood your ground and got through the holidays with electicity, prescriptions, and food!

    I really hope your season gets a little brighter. And as you can see from the comments, we are all here for you. Put on some Christmas music and make Mr. A take a study break to dance with you. We do silly stuff like that all the time…it’s the free moments that you’ll remember in the end. Lots of love from Texas, sweetie!!

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