This morning I have seized the opportunity to rest in this calm before the storm, taking advantage of steaming caffeine warming my body. Sitting cross-legged, meditating, reflecting.
I would hate to think that I lost my ability to write about positive things,
so let me take a minute and describe what is waiting for me when I leave here.
On the other side of this cup of coffee is a rush of faces to greet and enjoy;
a smattering of lips for me to upturn... and I will upturn them all.
There are breads to bake, rising slow and fragrant, glistening in the transformative glow of a dinky oven light bulb. There are vegetables to peel and chop, dips to assemble, a kitchen to dirty and clean and mess up again.
There will be me, wrapped in an apron, standing for a second of slowed down time as I survey my kitchen, my meal. My holiday dinner.
In the parade of faces to come, there are faces that I am indifferent to and also faces that make my heart beat so loud as to betray myself, faces that I wish to impress. And, as a counterpoint, the faces that act as a shot of comforting dopamine, or perhaps oxytocin as the warm hands snake around my waist in a gesture of friendly love.
This dinner is for all.
It is very important for me to take on this role as I know that if I don’t, it won’t get filled.
It’s more than that though - I’m viewing this meal as a test run, a learning ground for future years as a matriarch,
the woman who brings and holds her family together.
Perhaps that is the underlying fear that supplies this rush of energy I feel right now in the face of dirty dishes and hungry faces - if no one actively holds my family together then it will fall apart. I refuse to drift from the family members that are important to me.
I would seem that, as with most social conventions I’ve come across in my adult life, the only compromise that can entice me to participate is that I get to do this shit my way now. It continues to humor me that I hated (hated) the holidays when I was younger because it meant nonstop work from sun-up to last-guest and, of course, now that I’m an adult I feel really off if there isn’t a maelstrom of chaos for me to jump astride and tame.
It’s empowering, this role of the dominant female, of barking orders (politely and sweetly, naturally) and having them filled. Knowing that this group of people are laughing wildly in the same room together because I brought them together. To see tangible record of how loved I am, and how my friends love each other, and how many good and decent people I am privileged to know.
I’m just saying, I am pretty fucking thankful today. Pretty fucking thankful.