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Entry date: 11-25-2022 - Black Friday - Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

I’m a little behind today on getting this to you. For some reason, I was thinking that I had already written today’s offering, but I had only thought about what I wanted to say. It’s been nice to be off work for a few days, to say the least, but I have also been fairly unmotivated.

That’s not entirely true, though, as I think more closely about it. My motivation yesterday was to have a good day with some of the family and I think we accomplished the goal. It was mellow and we missed having Dev and Hayden there, as well as my Dad and Lori. Doug and I watched football in the afternoon and Rhondi made a wonderful meal. The kids and I pitched in to help and left her feeling loved and appreciated, which is what the day is all about.

We ended the evening with Elise and Morgan and their roommate, Will, and had a fine time laughing and watching old movies. We watched The Bride of Frankenstein, Eating Raoul, and Alien. I slept through some of the last two as it was definitely time for a few late-night naps, but fun was still had. I had not seen Eating Raoul for a long time and had forgotten how weird and uncomfortable much of it was to watch.

Thanksgiving brings back a lot of memories. On my mom’s side of things, it was a pretty big deal for many years. We like to eat great food and there is a long line of great cooks on that side of my life so it was an opportunity to showcase some of those skills. Even my Uncle Joe would get into the mix and always make something pretty darn delicious.

We haven’t celebrated Thanksgiving together very often, though, in the past couple of decades. After Rhondi and I got together, there has been something of a frosty relationship between my mom and us and I can’t quite put my finger on why that is. There has been a lot of bullshit and bad feelings about a lot of things, for sure, but I don’t really know why that came to be.

For me, that’s pretty frustrating but I’ve also developed a pretty sturdy callous in my life for this type of disappointment. I miss those family gatherings but I don’t care to be involved in any petty bullshit, most of which seems to come from my mom.

Black Friday = a black mood, I guess.

I should probably say that a lot of the time when it is just my mom and I talking, we have a fine relationship. I know she cares and would do whatever she could to help us. She’s great in a crisis, but there is also a weird level of something there that stops us from having a nice easy relationship like the one we enjoy with other sides of our family.

At this point in my life, I just want to love everybody unconditionally and work through whatever opportunities we have for learning about each other, accepting differences, and being respectful of our collective feelings. In short, I want healthy relationships with the people I love. That sounds like a good plot line for a Hallmark movie, but it’s truly what I want.

I am definitely not without fault in all of the weird or hurt feelings. Thanksgiving 2003 was a day that played a huge role in why we don’t celebrate the day with my mom much anymore. I should probably own my actions for that day, even though I’m not sure what I could do about it now.

I pulled up to my Uncle’s house for the first stop of the day. Shannon and I had separated about four months prior to that, maybe five, and things were not good between us at all. The holidays were hard that year, and the tension was high. I noticed her car out front, and I lost my mind a bit. I was so angry at her being there. We had agreed, at least I had thought, to stay out of each other’s way that day.

To be honest, I had created a lot of that tension by getting myself into the bad rebound relationship with she who will not be named. Looking back, I should never have gone down that path. It wasn’t fair to anyone involved. Shannon and I would still have had a tough divorce, but I certainly didn’t need to be throwing gasoline on things like I did. I also wasn’t ready to be the kind of partner to anyone that I am now for Rhondi.

I flipped out, though, and drove off. I can’t remember if I called my mom or if she called me to see where I was. I had been driving around being super pissed off and feeling like not only was Shannon invading my turf for the day, but that my mom was somehow in on it. When Shannon and I separated, there seemed to be an increased interest on Shannon’s part to hold onto my family.

No matter what or why, I did unload on my mom for this and refused to go to the family gathering. Instead, I went and saw the nameless one for a bit before heading to my step grandmother’s house for a lovely meal and some needed decompressing. I remember feeling very safe and loved that day with them and I needed it.

I feel badly for how I behaved towards my mom as I look back. Perhaps it sowed some of the bad seeds that still grow today. Maybe we are all angry at our parents, deep down, but I have certainly harbored a lot of anger towards her for a long time. And admittedly, I don’t handle anger very well. As I write this today, on Black Friday no less, I am realizing that I need to make sure my own side of the street is clean when it comes to things, too.

Black Friday. What a strange fucking concept. I want to love the important people in my life without being pissed, at this point in my life, and without holding onto any old grudges or needless frustration. Mom and I had a good conversation yesterday and I’d rather focus on that. Hopefully we can work through the not so good stuff together.

See you tomorrow.

This is me. Right now. Mere minutes before I hit the publish button. Scruffy and a little fuzzy from last night. Have a great day everyone.

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