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My Xmas Spirit and Josh Groban

It’s Christmas. Hooray! Contrary to what most people might think (and by most, I mean like 10 people on Facebook, one co-worker and a distant cousin, plus my dog), I, in fact, love this holiday. I love all the sparkles and lights and carols and joy and merriment. And while those 10 Facebook friends, one co-worker, a distant cousin and my dog might question my love of a holiday that celebrates all the things that I despise – perhaps my feelings of loathing stem from the fact that my being is void of such feelings as joy and warmth. My heart is coal and coal is dead. Thanks, Obama administration and renewable energy – I embrace this season with all the zeal of one of Santa’s little helpers. During this time of year I would skip, if the gravity of my loneliness didn’t metaphorically keep my feet tethered to the ground. Also my right knee isn’t a buoyant as it was when I was a kid. God, when I see kids skipping, I’m like ‘cherish it, little Betsy, because aging joints are for real. You can hashtag that.’

Sorry, my dog just read that paragraph (you think he’s watching you eat cake, but really he’s reading over your shoulder) and he’s a little insulted that I would call myself lonely when I have him in my life. And I mean, I guess? Although, Brutus, you’ve also killed a lot of my relationships.

Mommy, you’ve killed a lot of relationships by being yourself.

Boo, that’s not nice. I’m basically the right amount of adorable to be attractive to a man. I’ve watched TV.

Sowy, mommy, but you’re no Zooey Deschanel. Quirky is only okay when you’re vewy pretty and you’re only okay.

I’m taking this in stride, dog.

Also, you’re no adorable; you’re bonkers and in you’re in your thirties. You make me sad. My mommy is so sad. You could be a Lifetime movie, but they would be a discwaimer saying ‘viewers may be disturbed by all the sadness.”

Okay, so, yeah, I’m in my thirties and I’m in a hostile relationship with my dog – whom I raised with my bare hands! No appreciation – and I don’t look or dress like Zooey Deschanel, but I’m doing okay.

You keep telling yourself that, mommy.

I will, Brutus, thank you. I’m doing great!

But this is about Xmas, not a series of – you know what I don’t make bad choices, I just kind of do random things and only put thought to them like one week later when I begin to feel mild shame (or 5 years later…grad school). But when the shame creeps in, I’m like ‘my dog still loves me’ (No, mommy, I think you’re a great shame for me too).

I can’t tell if my dog can actually speak and type or if he represents some internal critic that I’m not aware of. Seriously he is so lucky that I love him. Even though Brutus is that perfect mix of dumb and asshole that you most often find in sitcoms married to a beautiful wife (that’s me), he is, at least, cute. On a sitcom that’s usually the exception, not the rule. If he were ugly, I would not take his shitty attitude. I have something called self-respect.

Okay, but what’s happening now is a great example of what many of us suffer during the holiday season: holiday distraction. Let it be work, relationships, family, friends or just general life (um, Trump was elected so that’s been…god, I can’t imagine history books in 100 years). Also student loans. If I do have children and they are reading this, my student loans are the reason you’re not being educated. (Mommy, you’re uterus can’t have babies. Your eggs are way past their best buy date. Like weally, Mommy, you’re eggs are so old that they make old people sad. If you did have a baby it would be a pile of dust cause your eggs are shriveled). I will not let my dog hurt my self-confidence. Thank god you can buy confidence in a bottle of wine for 5.99 – Trader Joe’s Cocobon.

Whenever I feel like I might be losing my Xmas spirit, I turn to Christmas music. Yes, those little ditties that make your ears bleed when you start to hear them ring out overhead in your local drugstore at the start of the October, during Xmas they make me feel like magic. Suddenly those overly-wrought, dulcet melodies take me up to the Heavens on a cloud of marshmallows. When I’m at my darkest, who do I turn to? Josh Groban. In particular, I like to put on Josh Groban’s Believe, from the movie Polar Express (thanks, Pandora, for that recommendation), and lip sync/interpretive dance the shit out of it. You will feel Xmas coursing through your whole essence. Honestly, I like to lip sync/interpretive dance whenever I feel emotions (see, dead Mom, all that money you spent on dance lessons was not the waste Dad said it was. Now I can pirouette out anger). There are times when I’m alone in my apartment and I blast Celine Dion’s rendition of ‘All By Myself’ and feel my loneliness and then I cry a lot while Brutus stares at me with scorn. Cheaper than therapy and more fun.

Okay, I need to veer for a second (just a second, Bex?) because I can’t think of Josh Groban without thinking of Kelly Ripa. Confession: I totally ship Kelly and Josh (to such a degree that I would say something like ‘totally ship.’ Not usually part of my vernacular. I rarely totally anything because of chronic apathy). I can think of few other fictional couples that I’ve rooted for as much as these two – I’ve rooted against many (Ezra and Aria from PLL for one. Inappropriate!) And yes, she’s married, but I don’t think that Gropa (their couple name) has to cause the dissolution of a marriage. Kelly can keep Mark (and who wouldn’t?) but take Josh as a lover, but one of those lovers without the sex. Like maybe they’re in bed together watching movies in those cute matching PJs and eat popcorn and froyo, but maybe that descends into a popcorn/froyo fight. All the saccharine I have been trained by the trends of my generation to hate, I want from them. Or maybe they could walk a puppy together on a brisk fall day then jump into a pile of leaves. You know, those kind of lovers. Perhaps it’s my definition of lovers that has brought about the demise of some ‘relationships.’ Like he’ll say let’s make love (because men are always saying that) and I bring out my trivial pursuit game, because what’s more intimate than emasculating a man by deflating his inflated sense of intellect? Or I suggest doing a jigsaw puzzle (like a real one, not from the movie Saw) together while sipping cocoa with tiny marshmallows. Or maybe I suggest a sing-along to some Josh Groban Xmas classics. Oh the enigma of Groban! Has he been on Ripa’s show during Xmas? My head would explode. I can’t watch the show now because I have a ‘job’. Jobs are stupid.

I guess maybe I shouldn’t complain that I have a job, should I? Some people don’t. God, there’s something about Xmas that both utterly distorts your life and really puts it in perspective. Like when you see your Xmas tree reflected on a TV screen that’s showing images of Aleppo. There are people tweeting what they think will be there final moments and I’m tweeting about Survivor, which, by the way, was awesome this season (who knew something as arbitrary as GenX vs Millenials wouldn’t suck)? Or some other inane thing? Or writing this? And tis the season for giving and I’m more concerned about the fact that I have a limited budget and I’m not getting any younger and Christmas is supposed to be the time when a man comes along and even though I don’t want to fall in love, somehow his irresistible ways warms my heart and I do fall in love and then I save a homeless shelter or adopt a three-legged dog or something else that’s really altruistic and makes me feel even better about myself and makes others appreciate me more for all the good I do in the world, like the time when I donated money to all those charities. People on Facebook were very impressed by my generosity, as they should have been. I do important work. And as everyone knows, being the bigger person in this world of idiots and little people is so hard. Like so hard. Like I’m really proud that I do what I do for the world. You know what, I’m feeling way better than I did before. I’m lucky I’m so good at giving myself pep talks about how legit amazing I am. You know, I’m lucky that I’m so good at being so good.

Also I skipped over Josh Groban’s Little Drummer Boy to return to Believe because the Little Drummer Boy hits my heart profoundly (confession: I have drunkenly cried to this song several times; confession: I was sober). All that boy had was his drum and he just played it as well as little heart could and the baby smiled and they were both poor. And I’m like have I ever worked that hard or so earnestly at something to make another person smile: I cringe when the creepy smiler at work says hi. I literally have trouble saying hello to this person and here the little drummer boy goes to a barn and plays the shit out of a drum for a baby that he’s never met and all the cows and goats keep time and that little guy had pluck. It’s so fucking inspirational!

You know, this blog is kind of like that little guy’s drum. And now that the Grobes is telling me to believe in myself, I’m going to continue to write, despite the fact that I have shit to do for ‘my job.’ Seriously jobs are stupid. I know that I said above I would appreciate that I had a job more, but I’m kind of over that now. I need to own that even though other people have seemingly bigger problems, that doesn’t diminish the fact that I have problems too. The world is a cold place for an over-educated white person these days. It’s like when I was a kid I thought that things would be awesome, but they’re not as awesome as they should be for me. It’s like the world doesn’t recognize that I’m super special and unique. Asshole world.

Christmas! Now the thing is, I really don’t listen to regular Josh Groban because it’s fancy music, like he sings in other languages – where does he think he lives. Europe? And there’s something about his voice: it’s like he’s an operatic Kermit the Frog, or like a Kermit that’s capable of calming raging beasts with his voice. Or a Kermit that can woo the majesty of Miss Piggy. Cause let’s get real, Miss Piggy is amazing. What does Kermit have to offer her? He’s kind of spineless. Adorable and I love him, but he really does rely on Miss Piggy’s assertiveness to promote himself. Like he gets to enjoy the fruits of her labors while he remains a figure of sympathy and she’s a bitch. I’m with you, Pigster. And in the comparison to Kermit, I don’t mean to denigrate Josh Groban’s voice (I sound like spoon in a garbage disposal), but I’m still trying to figure out what it is about his Xmas songs that slowly hypnotize me to the point where I can run seven miles and not think about it. That’s magic.

I think it might partially be because he doesn’t sing about love. I love you, Kelly Clarkson and Mariah, but half your songs are about being sad and alone for Xmas, pining for a man. And it’s not just the ladies that sing about unrequited love, so did Elvis and other men. We already have Valentine’s Day and Easter, I don’t need another holiday about being in a relationship. As we all know, Xmas is about getting presents, eating cookies, pretty lights and fun specials on TV. Sometimes it’s about the baby Jesus, but then if you mention that some dick college kid will be all ‘wah, Saturnalia, Jesus wasn’t actually born in December but we celebrate it because of pagan holidays. Wah, I’m clever.’ God, I’m not religious, but I pretend to be when dicks like that come out. We get it you’re so smart that you probably read books so that other people know that you read books. I bet you even have an unread Rand book on your shelf because no one should read Rand because she’s awful (you know why Atlas shrugged? Because he read the book and was like ‘eh.’)

So, yeah, Grobes got some classic shit on his Xmas album and I like classy, old school shit like that. He doesn’t make me think that I’m missing out on love. He’s like first noel and whose child is this. Also he doesn’t sing Cohen’s Hallelujah like it’s a Xmas song. It’s not. I get that people can interrupt that song how they like, but it’s not a Christmas song. It’s like people just put songs that they can over-emote with on their albums. Seriously, there is a lot of over-singing in Christmas albums. You know who didn’t oversing? Carol Brady, even though by a miracle of God she got her voice back.

Hm, holiday Josh Groban. I can’t explain it but I can’t explain why I love everything Christmas so much. I’m just going to spend the rest of my Sunday night with my piece of cake, rude dog, glass of wine and Josh Groban. I can already feel my coal heart warming. With any luck it’ll become a diamond and then I can rip it out of my chest and sell it and then buy a pony. Sometimes I wonder if I might have grown up to be a more successful individual if my parents bought me a pony. No, you’re right, Josh Groban, I’m going to believe in what my heart is saying. And right now it’s telling me to eat more cake and destroy my nemesis – but that’s another story! Merry Xmas!

I only have one more week to destroy her before the holiday season. Challenge accepted!

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