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The Journal of Vivienne Grant

the 25th
12/25/2013 02:14 p.m.
It starts long before the 25th, about halfway through the year really, when normal people with normal jobs begin planning their annual leave and talk to everyone in the office about finding somewhere nice to spend their summer holidays with the kids who will be driving them crazy once the schools close in December …

I start to not think about the worst time of the year for me, besides my birthday that is.

Then all of a sudden it’s November and enquiries for accommodation really begin to pour in via email and telephone calls all hours of the day and night and I have to really work hard not to think about the 25th.

I juggle the names on the spreadsheet trying to fit families into the rooms in the house and the chalets and answer emails trying to coerce people to arrive a day later or a day earlier in order to maximise our income and bednight percentage for this year, which by the way has been dismal. More dismal than any previous year in this god awful business so stupidly called the hospitality trade, especially inappropriate when someone like me is the host and I actually don’t really like people, especially not holiday makers from inland whose expectations are inordinately out of kilter with the tariff we charge and the amount of work that goes into it all

I find a parcel at the post office for me from my daughter who always buys me a gift this time of year and who always spends far too much on everybody but does it because giving gifts is her way of expressing her love … and I feel bad again because I never buy anyone anything any more because I don’t have the money to buy what I’d like to give and because it’s just too much trouble to find the right gifts and besides the postal service is so unreliable and anyway it costs so much on top of what the gift originally cost … it’s just too much

And then it’s the 25th and I don’t want to look at my phone or open facebook or even turn on the telly because people all over the place are going to be saying those two stupid words that mean bugger all and are actually an insult if you don’t celebrate the day the way it’s really meant to be acknowledged … and I haven’t bought him anything because I know he hasn’t got me anything and I want to scream when he says those two words to me when I eventually haul myself out of bed to go and make myself a cup of tea so I tell him off for saying them and he just walks away to his computer to play his stupid games and talk to other people

I have to force myself to dial my mother’s number and say those dumb words to her and then grit my teeth while she tells me how ungrateful her cousin is, she always buys him a gift and he’s never given her anything and how he’s going to three special luncheons this year and she doesn’t know how he gets on all the lists because she never gets included but she’s glad because she won’t sit with him and that woman in public and then I say well have a lovely day, I love you and I ring off hearing her say have a lovely day, as if ….

Finished reading the last of the books I got from the library last week and now I have nothing to distract me so I carefully construct some responses to the messages lurking on my phone and send them off, then I ignore the effusion of shallow sentiment on facebook which I only signed into so I can play my two games which keeps my mind from diving too deeply into the reasons for my unhappiness and while I’m playing one of them he tries to kiss me goodbye and tells me he’s taking the rubbish into town because there’s so much and it can’t wait until tomorrow and I know he’s not going to be back for a while

And he comes back six hours later and I know he’s been at the pub again as he does every time he says he’s nipping in to do this or that and he never just does because he likes to talk at people and I can’t pretend anymore to listen to the kind of stuff he likes to drown his audience in and the only people who will let him talk are the ones in the pub who are also plenty full of booze and nonsense in their heads

It always rains at least a little bit on the 25th and I think about that today and think that it always rains at least a little in my heart on the 25th so that’s quite appropriate

I’m going to make a new dreamboard soonish and one of the pictures on there will be a happy bunch of people with funny hats on and red and gold candles and food and sparkly eyes and smiles and little boxes with bows and pretty paper and this will be the last time I feel like this on the 25th.

I am currently Somber

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