Tuesday, December 18, 2012

So This is Christmas, And What the Hell Have You Done?

That is always what I think when I hear this song. I feel like it comes on just so Lennon or Sarah McLachlan can personally ask me to reflect on my life choices.

"Ahhhhhhhh!? What the hell have I done!?"

And I am pretty sure I miss the point of Christmas every year when I am manically making a Christmas List to email my mother. And I am worrying about which sizes of things to ask for, and whether the list will be too absurdly expensive, and what else I am forgetting to ask for, and how I will end up getting everything back to New York.

Basically, Christmas makes me selfish. And now I am an adult, apparently, so it is time to do whatever it is adults do at Christmastime.

Unfortunately, I still feel like I am exempt from having to buy people gifts. My dad still says I can draw him a picture. My mom's biggest wish was for me to make a dentist appointment before my insurance ran out- which I never did. I normally buy my sister some nail polish and my brother a weird book from Urban Outfitters about poop or something.

I also still delusionally feel like I am allowed to be a christmas-kid because I am the oldest of my siblings and all my 750 first cousins, so I am still lumped with the kids/teenagers' Pollyana. My mom buys the gift for me to give to my 14-year-old cousin.

But last year, thanks to reading The Grinch Who Stole Christmas 40 times while babysitting, and crying at the end each time when he is standing on that cold mountain at dawn with his reindeer-dog and hears the Whos singing below even without their presents... "Carrie why do you cry when we read this?" "It's just a beautiful Christmas story, ok!?". Well, I started sensing that I had better become an amazing person, fast.

...so I Googled "Christmas Charities" in early December, and donated like... 20 dollars each to two Christmas Charities. One was for children whose parents are in prison.... (?) and the other one... I can't remember. That was actually a lot of money for me because my bank account is always at war with that $100 checking account minimum. But... let's be real, poor people should not be giving back with their money, they should be giving back with their time and love (or something amazing like this).

... though you bet I still made a manic list (on Amazon Wish List- with links to everything, and notes detailing sizes/colors, and also notes explaining WHY I wanted certain things like some sort of campaign. What am I? 16!?)


So, John and Sarah.... 

This is Christmas, and if you insist that I reflect, What Have I Done?

Let's lead with some positives:

-I... did a show where I got to do a scottish accent, which semi-fulfilled one of my life goals. So that is good, I guess.

-I moved to a new apartment with my best friend in Washington Heights- in order to be able to fully support myself and stop being a little baby. So that is also pretty good.

-However, for the move I used absolutely all of my savings. Actually I still had $400 until last week, now I have $300. The minimum is $250. Living on the edge.

-Relatedly, I started taking the subway no-matter-what.

-I..... once and for all, stopped thinking that a stupid alternative diet was going to cure all my earthly woes. Started eating a lot of ice cream. That was good.

-I got an office job, for many reasons, and also to show myself that I am dumb to take my super-exciting life-as-an-actress for granted.

-I cried every morning on the subway for a whole week when my favorite character from Downton Abbey died, while listening to a playlist I made called "Mourn". That was concerning, actually.

-That same week made me think that I had to become a funeral singer. To help other people mourn.

(Interestingly, earlier in the year I actually sang at two real funerals. One for my Grandfather, and one for my Aunt's mother. Neither of those experiences made me decide to be a professional funeral singer. But the death of a fictional character? Yep.)

-I realized that I have no shoes that are comfortable except for clogs. This continues to be a huge problem.

(Fun fact: one of the reported reasons the Grinch may be so mean is that this shoes are too tight.)

-Started doing some weird bunion preventative exercises. Stopped doing them.

-I read a book on creativity and started writing like maniac in the subway every morning to unlock my creativity. Whether it worked or not is debatable and hopefully To Be Determined.

-I gave up coffee for a few months- which was the worst thing I ever could have done.

-I considered moving to Philly, but didn't. I considered doing volunteer work, but didn't. I considered doing match.com, but definitely didn't.

-I quit my water addiction. I am not kidding. I had a water addiction for probably about 10 years, but didn't know of course because what the hell? Something to do with electrolytes.

-While leaving a restaurant, talking to a friend on my phone, and mindlessly searching in my bag for my phone- I freaked out and told her I lost my phone. Went back into the restaurant, on my phone, and said to the host: "I think I left my phone at the table!!!" They went to check and as they came back I realized I had instead lost my mind. Why my friend didn't just tell me right away: "Caroline you are on your phone, with me", I do not know.

-I got an American Express card in order to earn points on groceries that turn into cash rewards, but haven't used it yet. Partly because I accidentally signed the magnetic strip instead of the signature line.

-Went on some unexciting dates. That is always something I tell myself when I am like, "Caroline, you are a hermit!" "No I'm not! I went on some dates!".

-I decapitated a huge 3-inch cockroach at my old apartment- where I lived alone and so I had no choice. I used my "Simple Diary" and threw it at the thing while it was running psychotically at me. Instead of cleaning it, I just threw out the diary and the smashed bug body, and found the head/antennas all the way on the other side of the room the next day. That was... one of ... the lower points of my year.

- For the first and hopefully last time, I fell asleep with all the lights on, still in my sparkly skirt, curled up in a ball on my bed because I had had so much to drink and too little to eat at my Thanksgiving Eve Reunion-thing. According to my brother, he noticed the light on and came in to put me to bed: "How was your night, Caroline?"- "Stupid", I apparently replied. Couldn't I have done this in college? Or during my summer in Dublin? No, this was when I was home for Thanksgiving, as an adult.


So, Sarah and John, as you can see, though I am another year older, things are still looking pretty questionable. Assuming we don't all die tomorrow when the Mayan Calendar ends- I am going to try to be way more amazing in 2013.

And what will I do about it now? I told my mom after I wrote this post that I didn't want any gifts this year - and really meant it. I was going to focus on giving instead- because I have decided to become amazing.

But she ignored my declaration, and last week she sent me a few emails asking me if I was going ever to send her a list. But I didn't make a list! So, I stuck to my selfless guns.

But then she started texting me for my list. Why wasn't she letting me be selfless?

Then I caved- and yesterday I went on Zappos and sent her links to like 10 different shoes just hoping one of them will be comfortable enough for my Grinch feet.

So, oh well, we will see.

I guess all I have left, as my last chance to be amazing and giving this year, is to remember to tip the mailman.