The winter holidays, whatever they’re named at your house, offer the annual opportunity to view oneself in the eyes of friends and relatives. To see your reflection in others’ eyes. Whether it’s mind reading that gives you their vision of you, or the way they actually treat you that belies their feelings, you are destined to see something.
At a dinner party last night, I could see my friends’ love for me; my payoff for our mutual investment in time and tolerance to one another. And then today, my low esteem had a quick tickle as I faced my mother and her esteem issues . Two very different mirrors to see myself in.
We drag ourselves to the obligatory family present giving activities because it’s a shared unspoken expectation. And we play the role of ourselves as everyone’s expectation dictates. As the buffoon, scapegoat, star, or mother of the year, we nod and smile as we choose to play the part we’re expected to play.
This is the year I upset the apple cart. I chucked the responsibility of hosting. The livin’ large makes me feel pretty spankin’ good. That and all the Pinot Noir it took to get us there.
As for my future role, I’m thinking of recasting myself as a spoiled housewife who has house-wenches to do my housework. And then throwing a big party for my friends to tell them how much I care. And enjoying the quiet holidays free from the neuroses of obligatory role-playing for the rest of my life. Wish me luck with that.