Sunday, December 26, 2010

Silent Night

All's quiet on the western front. 12 o'clock and all's well. Quiet as a mouse. Marley was dead. Oh, no, wait. Dead as a door nail. There, that's better. It's not even Christmas eve yet things are pretty slow. We are actually closed from 12:00a.m. until 8a.m. Christmas eve to Christmas morning. I get the night off. With no pay evidently. This kind of bums me out. I always look forward to being around in the wee hours for the people who need things on Christmas eve. People do come in to gas up for the trip to Grandmother's house, or to get that forgotten loaf of bread or gallon of milk. Of course the big seller tonight is scratch off lottery tickets. The dream of big money is always a good last minute stocking stuffer.

Wow! A guy who has become a regular over the last few weeks just came in to buy his vanilla mini Dutch. As I'm ringing him out he asks, "Hey, you smoke don't you"? "Sure", I say. I'm ready for him to ask if he can bum one. "Why don't you grab a pack. I'll buy 'em for you". I'm flabbergasted. "Really"? "Sure, why not"? I ask again and he assures me it is something he wants to do. "Enjoy your night" he says as he's making his way out the door. Huh. I guess he felt bad that I was working the over night so close to Christmas.

How do you end up reacting to Christmas? Is it a joyous, festive time where the birth if the infant reigns supreme? Perhaps it's one of the two times a year you make it to church. You end up praying that the walls don't fall in on you triggering the Apocolypse. Maybe you spend the season filled with anxiety over money and gifts and appearances. So many of us spend the last few months of the year in a blue funk. Depressed over life and death and things we just ultimately can't control. Maybe you find yourself alone. Trying hard to figure out what to do with yourself on this ultimate family holiday.

I was listening to a show on NPR the other day. It was all about dating, the barren landscape that can present, and a book called something like How to Win Her Love. There was no new earth shattering information as far as I could tell. If you want to meet someone you've just spotted at the bookstore just walk up, be polite and mannerly, and start a conversation. It reminded me of a Christmas present I got when I was younger. It was this Magic Wand. A piece of extruded plastic with a fancy plastic star on top. The directions for a spell on how to get a date with THAT girl were straight forward enough. Wave the wand over your phone while reciting something or other. Pick up the phone and call her. How absolutely funny. There were no guarantees with the wand or the spell. Basically it was find a way to work up the nerve and call her you dingleberry!

Anyway, one of the points that one of the guests was trying to make was what a waste of time it is being depressed over relationships. Be happy with yourself and love will come. One of the things he said was that really, it's our duty to be happy. We owe it to all the people we've known and all of the people we ever will know to always work on being as happy as we can. Our duty to be happy. I don't know. I agree in many ways, but I think the duty lies in being happy for yourself first. I don't mean selfish and rude. I guess being able to love yourself; being comfortable in your own skin. I don't think you can be truly happy or love someone else if you're not ok with yourself first. That's been my life long struggle anyway.

A friend of mine was arguing the point that it's impossible to be happy when everyone is out for themselves. (If I remember it correctly) I think he was looking at it from the dark side though. Use the force. Become happy within yourself and the external garbage doesn't matter so much. The more centered and grounded you are the less other outward problems will bother you. If you are centered and grounded everything else seems inconsequential.

I think.

All right. Enough's enough I guess.

Until next time. Peace.

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