Christmas Eve and how are we feeling?

A friend remarked the other day that he was exhausted because ‘today has had too many versions of me in it’.

Isn’t that perfect? That overwhelming feeling of having to switch roles all day, from mum to daughter to sister to worker to friend to lover to ex-wife to drunken, bankrupt old fool, all in the space of a single day.

On Christmas Day, all of these roles can be adopted simultaneously, especially if you’re spending the day with extended family and friends. I am not, although I’m sure to still adopt all the Anna’s at some point. My advice would be to tackle the list of ‘yous’ in reverse order:

1. Wake up a drunk and broke old fool. This may not be unusual for you, but is definitely more acceptable at this most expensiveful time of the year.

2.  Be immediately re-reminded that you are an ex-wife by the fact that you are waking up drunk, broke and unrested due to sleeping alone on the sofa in your flat and not waking up drunk, broke and unrested due to sleeping next to the snoring man of your once-upon-a-time dreams.

3. Inspect your drunk, broke self in the mirror and wonder if some other drunk, broke old fool will ever again select you as a lover.

4. Collapse into Facebook. Marvel at your friend’s pictures of joy. Especially the ones who you know are secretly conducting affairs with their best friend’s husbands. Allow yourself a brief frisson of superiority that you have at least not (yet) committed that sin.

5. Enter your usual morning routine of evaluating all the ways you have failed in your work / have no work / will never work again. But it’s Christmas Day. Nobody ever wrote a good CV on Christmas Day. Pour a drink. You are dangerously close to becoming hungover.

6. Think about your richer, more successful, popular and attractive sibling. Feel a degree of self-loathing that they have conquered item 5 as evidenced by the incredibly generous amount of presents from them under the tree while you have yet to find them an adequately shit gift in the pound shop.

7. Text your Dad (insert whichever living parent/s you are still speaking to). Allow yourself a few minutes of comparing the idyllic Christmas Days of your childhood with the shitstorm you are about to experience with your own darlings. Have a fag. It’s festive. Santa liked a pipe.

8. Get mumming. The fruits of your loins are awake and this is their first Christmas waking up not in the marital home, a fact which has not in any way led to you over-compensating in the gift department and the decoration department or over-fretting in the emotional department and the money department. Spend the morning searching their eyes for signs of trauma and constantly asking if they’re ok / having a good time / hungry / sad / angry until, at luchtime, you pack them into the car and deliver them back to the marital home, to their father, who has surely done every bit as much over-compensating and over-fretting. Allow yourself a cry as you drive to your dear friend’s house where good people and good laughter and good bickering await. Remind yourself that you are lucky to have such wondrous, generous friends on your doorstep. Also that you’ve tried to do your best all year, for your kids, in your work, for your Dad, your sister, your friends and most of the time, even for your ex. And who knows, maybe next year a lover will feature? One who actually loves you.

Whatever happens, be reassured that this year, as will be the case every year, you will wake up drunk and broke and evermore old and foolish.

Ah, it’s important to have one role in life you can excel at…

Happy Christmas, twats. X

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