Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Unloading a Whole Bunch of Shit: It's Like A Cheesy TV Show Where I Learn Important Stuff About Life Or Whatever

I can't decide if I love or hate writing. Sometimes I make writing my bitch and sometimes she makes me her bitch. Sometimes we're each others' bitches and things seem to go okay. Since I don't keep a journal or anything and most of what I write gets published for my dear handful of readers, I try to avoid the writing that's like taking a big huge fucking dump-- that boring, overly personal shit detailing all of my stupid issues.

No, I mean that other boring shit I keep to myself.

But, like a big huge fucking dump, writing doesn't let one alone until one lets it out.

Minus the stomach cramps. Mostly. There has been some stomach cramping lately that's not related to periods or eggs or big huge fucking dumps, making me thing there's something in my head fucking with my stomach.

And no, it's not that either. Concern trolls, kindly piss off please. Because unless I'm the Virgin fucking Mary, it's definitely not that. As much as I might find that cool, getting stricken by the hand of God, or whatever he strikes the abstinent with. I'd rather not know, quite frankly. Explaining the inexplicable baby seems related to my other big hopefear, which is having the Shaolin monks turn up at my doorstep telling me LE is the Chosen One or whatever and the inner turmoil that might ensue when they want to take him away to some temple in the mountains to teach him how to fly and smash bricks with his head. Do you suppose the monks would let me come and hang out near the temple? Would they let me send presents from time to time? It's quite a dilemma.

The way the Virgin Mary thing relates to the Shaolin monks thing is if it were the Catholics on my doorstep instead of the Shaolin monks, that would be totally fucking scary and way worse. The only thing worse than Catholics would be Adnan Oktar minions.

This business about virgin birth and Shaolin monks and the chosen one and Adnan Oktar also goes a long way to explaining why religion doesn't quite work for me.

You see what happens when I start writing shit?

My living room?
Speaking of holidays, ours were grand. Seriously. My mom and dad came here on Christmas Eve day and we had a proper Christmas the way Christmas is meant to be. For me, I mean. Making Christmas in Turkey is challenging, at best, requiring a monumental effort of imagination and tinsel and deliberate self-delusion because Christmas in my atheist planet is way more important than it should be. If it weren't for LE, I wouldn't bother, but making Christmas through his eyes makes the whole thing super cool and totally worth it. And you can believe our house looked like freaking Vegas for a month. If the damn kittens hadn't started chewing through the cords, I'd have left the lights up forever because Christmas lights are great and a fine addition to any decor. Especially ones that do the alternate-y flashing thing.

The damn kittens are another story. They're fucking cute, let me tell you. I'm thinking of making a movie about their antics. You know, because there aren't nearly enough kitten antics on You Tube. But I might not get around to the movie. Just so you know.

It's going a little bit this way from here on out.
Last year, I made the hell out of Christmas. Starting the first week of December, I began going out of my way to thrill LE with Christmas stuff. Decorations, hauled from the US and bought here. Christmas songs. Christmas stories. Incredible lies about Santa, who I swore I'd never lie to LE about but it's way too much fun. Christmas cookies. A digital animated advent calendar. A special night of Christmas tree decoration (sabotaged by BE, who just couldn't manage to leave his tea drinking buddies in time to bring LE home early enough). A special Christmas gift I had made LE wait for since summer to receive (sabotaged by BE's parents, who bought him the same gift a week before Christmas, claiming they'd forgotten I'd asked them several times not to buy it for him but apparently he'd cried in the toy store and goodness knows a child must never cry).

Hooray! Christmas!
All of this, of course, building up to Christmas day itself (sabotaged by BE, who after numerous promises he'd be home for the day, suddenly left for work shortly after the presents had been opened, claiming the whole family would be at the factory that day filling a big order-- he sent me pictures in case I didn't believe him, just sealing my deep-down belief they were all going out of their way to sabotage my one fucking yabancı holiday I care about, oh, and by the way, did you know Christmas is our anniversary?). All this in the face of everyone in Turkey carrying on like Christmas is on New Year's Day and BE's endless comments about how silly it is to make a such fuss over one day.

Nevertheless, I made the hell out of Christmas and I fucking liked it even with all that. Remember the gecekondu gingerbread house?

I remember it.
But BE's leaving for work on Christmas Day kind of killed it for me. It was rather a crushing blow, actually. It's not the reason we're separated now (Hah! See how I just threw that in there?), though obviously it's a brick in the wall. In fact, I just pushed that particular Big Hurt out of my mind, along with a bunch of other ones, and had almost forgotten about it until my mom asked me something a few moths ago that made me remember. It's just that the other Big Hurts were far more significant and pressing.

So this year when I started making Christmas, I was kind of pretending at first. It was a lot of extra work I didn't need because of the crap going on at my job, but I did it nonetheless. By the third week of December I started getting into it, because by then I knew my parents were coming. LE, of course, was completely batshit by December 3rd and Santa is the best disciplinary tool ever. I'll miss it, and might just save it for a big gun if I can trust myself not to abuse it. Then Christmas Eve involved fondue and Christmas morning involved side pork my folks had brought from the States and it was great and normal and easy to feel the way you're supposed to feel on Christmas.

*cue sentimental piano music, or something like at the end of Doogie Howser, M.D.*

By about 10am on Christmas Day, two things had occurred to me. One, was that my parents being here at a time I really needed them and hadn't even realized how much, more or less erased whatever sad black Christmas clouds I had because of last year. Second, because I know my parents can't come here every year to make Christmas normal for me means I'm the fucking grown-up who has to make Christmas normal for LE. In fact, it's all some fucking atheist parable reminding me I'm the one who has to make the whole world normal for LE. Which means, for Christmas at least, I can make it however suits us and we'll do just fine. The possibilities are endless in kind of a fun way. His Christmas will never be my Christmas because of all these damn choices I've made in my life, some of them cool and some of them less so and some of them hardly thought-out at all.

As for the world, I think we'll have to work together on that one. And it's working out okay with us. So far. He's only four, after all.


Erika said...

Very sneaky how you slipped that one in there.


Stranger said...

It's actually been like 8 months. It's been tricky not mentioning it, actually.

It is kind of a bummer, but way better than the alternative...

Jack Scott said...

Let's keep religion out of Christmas, I say. Just gets in the way. As for the other thing. Well, just as well your folks were around to carry the load a little.

Stranger said...

Having my folks here was like having that wife I've always wanted.

Note to self: Find a wife who's game for my plan for her.

vicky bursa said...

yup bummer. but glad you're happier and had your folks over for xmas and that you had a great one. my dear oh has just tried to fix the radiator which has leaked for months and the result is a flooded bedroom. just finished mopping, seriously. in future i'll get him to call a plumber as now we have bendy laminate, upset downstairs neighbours and no heating or hot water. i'm trying to say, some husbands are overrated.

Stranger said...

Vicky, he sounds like the bomb. Just with really bad timing :)

Geçmiş olsun


Ayak said...

Christmas is great for kids but it's awful when you are going through lots of personl/relationship stuff. Good that your parents were there. Mine departed this earth years ago and you don't realise how much you need them till you don't have them.
Christmas for me was a non-event..my husband spent the day in the teahouse as is usual during winter so there was no point in my making any effort. Funny how they dismiss our important days but we are expected to get excited about their bayrams..who can actually get excited about putting on your Sunday Best and spend hours visiting people to drink tea? Not me!
It was a sad Christmas for me because a family member in the UK is going through problems, so I set off on 27th December to give support.
Happy New Year Stranger...it can only get better xxx

The Loerzels said...

Holy crap that gingerbread house is cracking me the fuck up!

Stranger said...

I can't imagine doing on a Bayram what my husband thinks is okay to do for Christmas! There have even been several Bayrams where BE got super drunk the night before and I put myself in charge of the Sunday best and visiting, just so his parents wouldn't be sad on Bayram.

Sorry to hear your Christmas was less than stellar, Ayak.

Loerzels, the house was even funnier before I got the frosting on it.

Alan said...

. . found you via Jack and have enjoyed reading your shit! Plenty more to enjoy too - looking forward to that. I'll be back!

Stranger said...

Cool! Nice to have someone interested in my shit besides me. And maybe the kittens.

Rebecca said...

I had sort of already got from your blog that you were separated so wasn't surprised at all. I think we all know underneath that our parents care about us more than our partners ever will anyway. I honestly believe that the kittens will be more uplifting company than any husband:) I remember a few years ago you gave me Turkish wedding advice on Dave's, and I wonder if in the future you will be giving me separation advice! Sorry you have been through bad times but sounds as if you and LE are coming thru fine.

Stranger said...

Thanks, Rebecca. I hope I'm not giving you separation advice in the future, but, like everything else I've done here, it's definitely expanding my vocabulary :)

We're doing pretty well, the boy and I. He's a small trooper.

vicky bursa said...

last year, i also had the promise that my husband would take the day of work (was saturday, so not exactly busy), and i remember feeling so pissed off sat at home with my 2 year old waiting for xmas to start but trying to be jolly and christmassy. he arrived home around 5pm and it was shit. we were saved by an invite from another english/turkish couple and their kids and an english friend to have christmas at theirs this year, and it was the best christmas i think i've ever had. her husband works in germany alot so came back from the English shop in Cologne loaded down with mince pies, rum sauce, quality street chocs (i realise this will most likely be nonsense to non-brits)and tonnes of alcohol. she cooked a turkey (yes - managed to get one before new year's eve!), i cooked a duck (thank you Metro frozen section) and my friend made cranberry sauce - it was a feast. a real treat to have a gin and tonic before lunch. i really plan on doing the same thing next year - hooking up with some fellow turklish families and really going for it. if you're stuck for next year, give me a call!

Anonymous said...

OMG! You are fucking amazing ! I love your shit, and you can be sure I'll be back for more. Big thanks to Jack too for steering us in the right direction !

Greetings from Ankara


Stranger said...

@ Joseph, thanks! I'm going to have to start posting again, with all the love Jack's been sending my way...

@ Vicki, what crap, I'm sorry! But when I started envisioning future Christmases in Turkey, what you describe is what I'm hoping for. LE won't have my Norman Rockwell tales, but he'll have something else that is, I hope super expat-cool. I'll totally call you if I can't sort something out!


Briar said...

Ack! I feel several days late here but goodness how you slipped that in. I am glad for you. And I have complete and utter faith that you will make a super expat cool Christmas for LE going forward. Tons of love and hugs to you.

Stranger said...

Thanks, Briar!


Anonymous said...

Glad your parents were able to make it over -- that's great. And about the separation, you said that it's better than the alternative, so good, and I wish you all the best in 2012!

Stranger said...