I’m not what you would call a “festive” girl. Celebration isn’t really my strong suit; I’m better at “mourning with those who mourn” and all that. Show me heartache and a cozy melancholy, and I’ll show you a girl in her glory.
Of course, if you know me in real life, you know that this is all a little tongue in cheek. I’m not perpetually crestfallen or colorless; on the contrary, in social situations, I can be downright chipper.
But then again… it’s a tiny bit true. I feel an affinity with the sufferers, a kinship with the woebegone. I have a hard time making merry. It takes alcohol to make me dance. Convivial hullabaloo just isn’t really in my nature, and never is this more apparent than when it comes to holidays.
I have long held to the vow to never get a Christmas tree. I’ve actually said it: “I will never get a Christmas tree” (and… there fell an angel). I own zero Christmas decorations – nor Easter or Thanksgiving or 4th of July and especially not Valentine’s Day. No cornucopias on my dining room table, thank you very much. No wreath on my door, no green plastic grass in a basket, no Nativity set, no jack-o-lantern themed anything. Please don’t come caroling at my house. Please don’t make me dress up for Halloween. Listen to “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow”? YOU CAN’T MAKE ME.
But deep down, I know that this isn’t my true disposition. As much as this stoic girl hates to admit it, I was meant to be a celebrator. Scratch the surface, and you’ll see that my iron will is desperate to break. And I think it’s starting to happen.
The other night, I was at the grocery store and saw a bin of pumpkins. Before realizing it, I was inspecting them one by one and thinking how nice and autumnal it would feel to buy one. And then I did. I chose a pumpkin, paid for it, and brought it home where it’s now gracing the center of my table – a DECORATION to commemorate the SEASON. If that doesn’t scream “gaiety” I don’t know what does.
I am grateful for the people in my life who force me to celebrate. I recently told Mel that if I ever get married, I’m going to elope – and without skipping a beat, she said, “Great, I’ll come,” a lighthearted refusal to sanction my rejection of a party. I have friends who commemorate occasions with gusto and mirth, declining my own decline, enveloping me into the fun.
And little by little, my hard shell is starting to crack into a jack-o-lantern grin.