The Door Guy is a veteran of countless clubs around town. People say they've seen it all, but he's seen more. Write to him for everything from live advice to life advice.
Dear Door Guy,
I just got back in town for a couple weeks and I'm having a bit of a crisis. I hate to be a total bummer, but I am really not feeling this whole holiday season. Like, I don't even want to leave the house, except my folks are driving me nuts. I can't put my finger on what's wrong, but I just feel like the whole thing sucks. I can't think of what I want, shopping for everyone else is a total drag, I mean, I don't even want to go down to the bar to meet up with friends.
Maybe you can tell me: Why does Christmas suck?
—Not A Grinch
I feel your pain, NAG. As much as we want to pretend otherwise, the holiday season is rough as hell. There's so much that just outright sucks that you know you're going to have to deal with, all in the name of Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanzaa/whatever. Here's a short list of crap about this season I could totally do without:
All of it. I mean that literally, and not fake-made-up-meaning-the-opposite-of-what-it-actually-means literally. I mean literally, as in, I really mean it when I say that Christmas music as an enterprise can completely suck it. You know that radio station that switches over to Christmas music for the entire month of December? I once had a day job where we had to listen to that station all day — the same Christmas songs over and over again until my ears bled. Now, I want to win the lottery so I can buy it, and then smash the studios with a baseball bat.
You know I'm right. I mean, you have the ones everyone hates, like the notorious ode to rape, "Baby It's Cold Outside." You have the endless supply of New Agey Yanni/Manheim Steamroller torture devices. You have the less-heralded but no less awful clunkers like "Give Love On Christmas Day" by New Edition. I think we can all agree on those.
But outside of the Jackson Five version of "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" and maybe, just maybe, "Rudolph," all the Christmas music you love sucks too. "Last Christmas" by Wham? Crap. "The Little Drummer Boy?" It sounds like a funeral dirge. "Holly Jolly Christmas?" Yuck. But all these get a pass, just as long as I never, ever, ever have to hear "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," again. Bring me the head of Andy Williams.
Because you're never actually going to find a present that makes anyone as happy as they were when they were nine and opened what, in that fleeting moment, was THE BEST THING EVER. I mean, pretty much, we're chasing THE BEST THING EVER for the rest of our lives, right? Plus, show me a present-shopping experience that doesn't lead to having to listen to all the godawful Christmas music I just mentioned. It's called clicking buttons on the internet.
The Goddamned Short Days
Yes, technically the days have started getting longer again by the time Christmas rolls around, but come on, it's been at least a month and a half of constant darkness. What little light we do get happens between about 11:15 and 11:47 in the afternoon, you know, when most people* are stuck at their jobs pretending to work when they're actually reading this column.
*"Most People:" My mom, who's still a little sad I work at a bar.
Scientific studies show that if you go out in public during the Christmas season, you're 80 percent more likely to run into someone who's made absolutely no effort to keep up with you for the past year, but because it's fucking Christmas feels obligated to give you a hug and say shit like, "We really gotta get together one of these days!" And if you run into them at the bar, it means the hugging is going to be twice as long (and twice as awkward) as it would have been if you'd just run into them trying to get your third favorite aunt a gift certificate to a store you'll never set foot in again.
You're minding your own business, just trying to get a drink in your face before something happens to totally bum you out this holiday season, and BOOM! A big old "Happy Holidays." Follow it up with a "The effort I put into swearing we're going to do something soon is inversely proportional to the amount of effort I'll expend actually making it happen" hug from someone you haven't really been friends with in ages. Bleh.
In which that same person, or someone else, decides to completely overshare because they're four drinks in. You know what? Let's stop at the awkward hug. I could really live without you offering to buy me a shot with the qualifier "I can't imagine the booze is gonna hurt the baby any more than the heroin already has," okay?
You know, she has nothing to do with the holiday season, except that I sort of think the world would be a brighter place if I never heard about Iggy Azalea and her perfectly co-opted white-girl-rapper music career cum marketing strategy ever again. Seriously. She's like the fucking Moneyball of stripper pole hip-hop.
You know what? I'm going to stop right there. Because while all these complaints (and a million more I could list) are valid, I'm totally reaching. Nobody needs a list of complaints, we all have our own. Fact is, Christmas is loaded with expectations of fun and joy and newness that really haven't been met since we hit puberty. As adults, the burdens of the season can feel like they far outweigh the reward.
But it only gets to you if you get wrapped up in those ridiculous expectations, NAG. So slow down. Take a breath. Get out of the house. The holidays may never be like those moments of perfection when we were kids, but if you accept them for what they are, it's really not that bad. Your folks are probably okay even if they are annoying. Your close friends want to celebrate with you, and your old friends — even the lazy, oversharing, passive-aggressive ones you won't see for another year — are worth the time. What I'm trying to say is that you can define yourself by the gripes, but that's precisely what will make you a Grinch, my friend. So if you're really Not A Grinch, it's time to celebrate the good stuff and with any luck, you'll realize the bad stuff isn't really worth worrying about.
Except Iggy Azalea and Andy Williams. They can go fuck themselves.
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