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Monday, November 29, 2010

HAPPY HELLIDAYS

I'll just come right out and say I don't like the holidays, at least not since I became a working adult.

It has been a slow realization over the years that began when I started working in the news business. You never get holidays off, but your job is much harder because there really isn't much news happening on Christmas or Labor Day or whenever. Furthermore, all the stores and restaurants are closed, so there's nowhere to get lunch during your normal busy workday. Except, Jack In The Box. They're open on Christmas. For many years, that's what Christmas meant to me, it's the one day each year when I eat at Jack In The Box. That's hardly a day worth celebrating.

Things got much, much worse once the major component of my job title became "full time dad." Everyone already knows the common gripes that come with parenthood: the hours are horrible, you never get any days off, you don't get paid, it's tedious and unrewarding, the people you're working for (assuming they're 4-year-old boys) are complete sociopaths. It's well trodden territory, and it's all true.

But the holidays take those problems and turn them up to 11. Just like working a news job in Christmas, you have to do all the same things you normally so, but you have fewer resources to help out. The preschools are closed for two weeks, you may be traveling, the small, daily rewards you give yourself to help you get through the days aren't available.

So it's harder, but it's called a "holiday." Everyone keeps asking you things like, "how's your holiday?' And the real answer is, "This is no f---ing holiday, this is the exact same thing I do every day, except I'm more tired, more frustrated, I'm working longer hours doing more difficult work, and I have to endure questions from people who want me to pretend that I'm enjoying this crap!" But it usually comes out something like, "it's a lot of work, but we're gettin' by," followed by a forced grin.

The real holiday will be somewhere around January 4th or 5th when everyone is back in school and perhaps the youngest is taking a nap and maybe, just maybe, you can get some rest or steal away for a short bike ride or something.

Until then, I'll endure this "season of joy" through gritted teeth and secretly wish I had been born into a religion that didn't forbid alcohol consumption.

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