Fruit and Vegetables collide

Christmas is a tough time, isn’t it! So many messages telling us that it’s “all about family”.  My DH and I discussed this the other day and came up with the idea that we’ll have to find something else that it’s “all about”.  I know there is the religious aspect, and that is relevant for us in our own personal way.  But the other message – the one about family – is all over that too! 

Recently we were  invited to carols by candlelight and for a second I thought of accepting the invite.  Luckily I caught myself just in the nick of time, because I just know I wouldn’t be feeling remotely happy,  or religious,  sitting in the midst of a sea of families with young kids burning their tiny fingers on cup rimmed candles.   I am glad I made the decision not to go.  It’s one of the first times I’ve said “No” to family stuff at Christmas.   One of the first times I’ve accepted the fact that this part of the holiday is not for me.  I am different from those families. 

Having said that, I am struggling through this season.  DH is too.  He let me know that he is really depressed about the situation at the moment.  I fear we are becoming bitter, but we are both aware of this tendancy and trying not to let it become too powerful a force in our lives.  Having said that, neither of us has had the slightest inclination to put up the tree this year.  That’s for kids, right?

I was out buying fruit and veg today, trying to avoid the little elves wandering around and selecting my “pink lady” apples from the shelves, when another woman about my age commented, as she lifted a rosy apple up to inspect it, “It’s a bit of guesswork, isn’t it?”

I assumed she was referring to the fact that the fruit has been in cold storage and it’s difficult to know if it’s good quality.  I replied with something to that effect.

She looked at me strangely and smiled.  “It’s hard to know if they will eat it or not, if they’ll reject it…the kids…I won’t know until I get home.”

Ah yes, the kids.  How could I have forgotten them.  Why did they not factor into my apple purchasing?  I look like a woman who is of an age where she could have children waiting at home for the weekly shop to come in.   I ended our conversation by smiling and agreeing that  “Yes, you could never tell if the kids would like, or indeed eat, what you’d bought”.

It’s a little thing, I know.  I know I could have corrected the other woman’s assumption.  But it seemed harder to do so in that moment.  I chose to let her think I had children, that I was a mother like her out doing the weekly shop – albiet one that didn’t seem to care if her children liked apples or not.  Only I knew that we were apples and oranges…or really apples and a quater cut pumpkin with it’s seeds hanging out.


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3 Responses to “Fruit and Vegetables collide”

  1. jodie38 Says:

    The holidays can completely suck, can’t they? Those not involved in a traditional family setting feel isolated and alone at times, especially at family soirees. One year we didn’t decorate anything, didn’t see family at all (we lived out of town), ordered all presents off the internet and threw them all on the coffee table. Christmas morning was spent opening presents with a box cutter (not a bow or bright wrapping paper in sight) and we had quesadillas and Pacifico Clara for dinner. Spent the whole day in our pajamas and played video games. Sometimes, you have to make the holidays your own to survive – good for you for saying no. You can participate (or not) when it suits you. And don’t worry about the poor woman with the apples. It’s not your fault she can’t stretch outside her own traditional boring box. You enjoy those Pink Ladies. 🙂

  2. Amaprincess Says:

    The holidays are really really hard! There is no harm in letting her think what she wanted…its better than explaining the whole thing (which I have been known to do). I hope you have a good holiday with your hubby!

  3. Elisabeth Says:


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