I’m pretty excited about this Christmas. Not because of any presents, because we’re too poor for anything extravagant, and not even really for the fact that it’s a holiday, both TJ and I being fairly agnostic. What I’m really excited about is that one of my oldest and dearest friends, Kori, will be spending Christmas with us, an event in itself but particularly to close the loop on the impactful Christmas of 2010.
I don’t like to admit that I’m in to woo woo stuff like crystals and scented oils, colored candle with meanings inscribed in their wax. It embarrasses me to write life affirmations, though I’m the only one in my family who feels that way. At my mother’s home, at any given time, in any given bathroom, someone has written him or herself a note of encouragement in dry erase marker. “You can do it!” has never been written by me. But all this to say, there are some woo woo things that I believe. I believe in a very simple idea of Karma, and that the Universe is cyclical, and I couldn’t help but wish on the few falling stars I’ve seen.
Just before the Christmas of 2010, I’d moved from NC to Washington for graduate school, as had my best friend, Kori. She was in Seattle while I was in Spokane. In those first few months, we both threw ourselves into silly relationships, the only kind justified by a huge life transition like moving to a place where one is a stranger and wants to fit in as soon as possible. Thankfully, Kori never said that my relationship was much worse than hers, because I think in the long-run of our friendship that was an old conversation. But I had definitely done worse. I’d been dating a guy (from Portland, no less) who wanted to meet up in Seattle for the holiday. Two days before Christmas, I arrived first, parked by the Needle, and waited for him. Three hours and a dead car battery later, he arrived and we tried to carry on. But the next morning, Christmas Eve, I knew something was off but I paid it no mind. He jumped my car and told me to give it a moment to fully charge, while he just popped around the corner for some gas.
Twenty minutes and several unanswered texts later, I knew I’d been left. I called Kori, who was at work, but who quickly picked up on my hysteria, and directed me to her. We bought wine at Trader Joe’s. She made plans out of thin air. And like two single girls (her soon-to-be ex was out of town) we went out and met up with a group of friends who were also orphaned for Christmas.
We drank champagne. A lot of champagne. I’m not sure we knew when the night had slipped into Christmas morning. We woke at noon, in her soon-to-be ex’s bed, to the phone ringing: my mother calling. We tried to pretend we hadn’t just woken up as she spoke to us both on speaker phone.
It was, for all the comedy of the situation, a hard Christmas. For the next two years it would be the holiday I dreaded the most. But now, being back on the west coast, and able to spend this holiday with the person who was there for me before makes me excited for the first time in years. And in our woo woo way, we can say an affirmation, light a candle and enjoy our Christmas.