Selah March

December 19, 2007

Zuzu’s petals!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Selah March @ 10:05 am

For the past several days, I’ve had the Eagles’ recent top forty hit “How Long” running on an endless loop through my head. Which is sort of weird. Love the Eagles, but generally it’s “Little Drummer Boy” that gets stuck this time of year. So last night, I sat down and listened to the lyrics. Apparently, my subconscious has been telling me to get a grip, already.

See, me and Christmas have never been the best of buds. For years, I blamed my distaste for the season on a difficult childhood that made Christmas a crapshoot from one year to the next. Too many presents under the tree invariably meant that somebody, somewhere had cut corners on the light bill, the rent, the necessary amount of fuel oil for the furnace, and we’d be paying the price sooner than later. Add to that the added layer of excitement that celebrating the holidays with an alcoholic in the house always lends to the proceedings, and…well. I used to figure I had a good reason to be Grinchy on a regular basis.

And every year, something happens. Usually it’s something small. Inconsequential. Nothing more than the merest excuse to ruin my mood and churn up a whole butt-load of “Bah! Humbug” in my wretched little soul. Next thing you know, I’m drowning in a toxic brew of eggnog and self-pity.

Like a bluebird with his heart removed
Lonely as a train
I’ve run just as far as I can run
If I never see the good old days
Shinin’ in the sun
I’ll be doin’ fine and then some

How long, how long
Woman, will you weep?
How long, how long
Rock yourself to sleep

Last year? It was the fully-decorated tree crashing down TWICE into the center of our living room and smashing ornaments right and left that ruined Christmas for me. It made me ANGRY. And part of me STAYED angry, although it was nobody’s fault and like I said…just an excuse.

I’ve been doin’ time in a lonesome prison
Where the sun don’t shine
And just outside the freedom river runs
Out there in that shiny night
With bloodhounds on your mind
Don’t you know it’s the same sad situation?

How long, how long
Woman, will you weep?
How long, how long
Rock yourself to sleep

This year? Not such a little thing. Darling Daughter has come down with a painful illness. Until yesterday, said painful illness stumped the local medical community – including her sainted and hardworking father – and had her mother (that would be moi) scared shitless and courting nightmares of flesh-eating bacteria.

There were puzzled frowns, and long recitations of health history, and threatened tests that involved needles and CAT scans of her skull, while Mama Bear tried to drown her stress in raw cookie dough and neglected her writing, her domestic duties, and most everything but Darling Daughter and the obsessive playing of online Solitaire to quiet the demons that whispered of evil, face-consuming microscopic bugs.

Everybody feels all right
You know, I heard some poor fool sing…
(Somebody oooh…)
Everyone is out there on the loose
Well, I wish I lived in the land of fools
Where no one knew my name
But what you get is not quite what you choose

Tell me, how long, how long
Woman, will you weep?
How long, how long
Rock yourself to sleep

But today? Dawned new and bright and shiny. Modern medicine prevails, Darling Daughter is nearly back to her charming self, and that cookie dough is about to meet a hot oven by way of a greased pan. There are presents to be bought and other presents to be wrapped, clothes to be laundered and meals to be cooked, homework to be checked and writing to be done. And seriously…how long can one woman weep over stuff that happened thirty years ago?

I’ve decided that just as I can choose to be happy on a daily basis no matter what circumstances serve up, I can choose to enjoy Christmas.

Well…it’s a work in progress. But I’m really, really trying.

And this I know for sure: Self-pity is for suckers, and it is, in fact, a Wonderful Life.

How long, how long
Muddy river runs so deep

How long, how long
Goodnight baby, rock yourself to sleep
Sleep tight, baby, rock yourself to sleep
Buh-buh-buh bye bye, baby, rock yourself to sleep – Romance of Dubious Virtue


  1. I have no idea who Zuzu is-probably on a show I don’t watch?

    Baggage is so crappy, and the crappier it is, the harder it is to get rid of. Who the hell wants a tattered suitcase with it’s handle falling off?

    I’m so glad you threw the suitcase off the train. Now, if you can help me heave mine overboard?

    Comment by Eva Gale — December 19, 2007 @ 12:13 pm | Reply

  2. I have no idea who Zuzu is-probably on a show I don’t watch?

    It’s A Wonderful Life, 1946, Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore. Classic Christmas movie that my mother calls “depressing” because it doesn’t feature Bing Crosby crooning in front of a stage full of children dressed as elves. Very life-affirming, despite its dark themes of self-sacrifice leading to unfulfilled dreams and attempted suicide. You’d love it, I suspect.

    I’ll heave anything you want, anytime, anywhere.

    Comment by Selah March — December 19, 2007 @ 2:00 pm | Reply

  3. How can you live in this day and age and not know It’s a Wonderful Life? Anyone check Eva Gale’s creds as an earthling? (this is a reflection of the number of times the movie used to show up on television, not snark directed at Eva Gale. Not entirely at her.)

    And PHEW. Selah, I knew your baby was sick, but holy shit, not like that. IT sounds way more than the unpleasant nuisance of a kiddie disease–more along the lines of a nightmare that keeps any parent awake for days at a time. We’ve only had one of those.

    Yeah, bring on the dancing santas now that she’s on the mend it’s a real Christmas.

    Comment by Kate R — December 19, 2007 @ 2:55 pm | Reply

  4. Kate-I am SOO not an Earthling. And Dd is tivoing It’s a Wonderful Life. I remember it–kinda. Pieces are coming back. My Christmas movie of choice has been A Christmas Story. And I do remember White Christmas. But I think now that I’m older-I think that’s why I brushed It’s a Wonderful Life off for years, I watched it when I was too young-I think I’ll love it.

    Comment by Eva Gale — December 19, 2007 @ 3:09 pm | Reply

  5. ” Anyone check Eva Gale’s creds as an earthling?” ~ Kate

    *Blink* Bwahahahahahah! I question them daily.

    I watch that move at least three times every Christmas. There may come a day when he doesn’t rescue Clarence from the river. I don’t want to miss that.

    Hope you guppy gets better quick. Allergies suck.

    Comment by FerfeLaBat — December 19, 2007 @ 4:31 pm | Reply

  6. That’s a great song and I am totally with you about letting things go. Hard to do but must be done.

    Glad your own Zuzu is getting better. (eva eva eva *shaking head*)

    Comment by Tate — December 19, 2007 @ 4:44 pm | Reply

  7. Dude, I so must share this with you because I felt the same about Xmas–In no way does it match the kind of worry over a sick child, but I so identify with you on unhappy memories around this time of year.

    So anyway, Xmas used to be the crappiest time evah when I was married.

    For whatever reason (seasonal blues, Venus and Mars aligning), my ex would always choose THIS time of year to tell me he was A. unhappy or B. unhappy. And when he was unhappy, it meant he was partaking of anothers charms.


    This happened no less than three times, followed by Xmas mornings spent tense and upset while I had to pretend nothing was wrong as the kids opened their gifts, cook a huge dinner for people I also had to devote effort to convincing nothing was wrong. It got old.

    So third times a charm around Xmas 2003. Again, he was unhappy. Big, long dramatic sigh. But this time was diff. This time I said, “Aw, boo-hoo. Sorry you’re unhappy. La8terz,” and I left with the kids.

    It was awful. He had the kids Xmas eve and I was all alone because my family had plans and I couldn’t ask them to give up their plans to sit around with me. But I’d FINALLY put my foot down and decided to take charge of my own unhappiness.

    Flash forward to Xmas 2004–I’m divorced and lovin’ life and I decide that this Christmas, even though the boys would go to their father’s, I was going to make merry. I decorated like I used to. I sang Xmas songs whenever I had the chance. I baked (yeah, ME, baking).

    As long as I live, I’ll never forget waking up that Xmas morning, knowing I wasn’t going to spend it fighting off tears and my resentment. I was at peace because I finally took charge and my life was my own. Didn’t matter that I was now divorced and all of my traditions as a married couple were down the toilet like so much shit. I’d found peace 🙂

    And I hope you do too, darlin’. Hope your youngin’ is well on the mend and you enjoy a peaceful, happy holiday 🙂

    DC 🙂

    Comment by Dakota Cassidy — December 22, 2007 @ 1:06 pm | Reply

  8. Thanks for the good wishes three weeks late, guys. Blogger’s been holding out on me.

    Comment by Selah March — January 8, 2008 @ 7:54 am | Reply

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