It’s the most wonderful time of the year… My arse.
This is a post dedicated to all you ladies who have involuntarily become the Grinch this winter.
Yep, the navy has once again, messed up your festive plans and you’re feeling about as festive as, well, you’re not feeling festive at all.
So in a bid to raise a smile this Yuletide, I’ve come up with Navy Wife Bingo, Christmas Edition.
Let me know if you get some or all of these!
Annoying “home for Christmas” advert on TV makes you want to throw your shoe at the TV.
Annoying “home for Christmas” advert then makes you cry, whilst hugging the other shoe.
Relatives make super helpful not patronising at all comments such as “are you sure you’re still married to Popeye? We haven’t seen you together since your wedding! ” Mega lolz.
You open your fridge and it’s empty. Apart from wine. So you pour yourself a drink, shut the fridge and open it again, in the hope that full Christmas lunch with all the trimmings will appear. You sigh, and reach for the bottle.
You get the Christmas decorations down, either by yourself (brave) or with a relative. You spend a week staring at the box with a look of loathing before deciding a) sod Christmas, hate Christmas, hate happiness. Or b) I will put them up then make a scarf out of tinsel and cry.
Turn on the TV or radio to listen to some jolly Christmas carols to cheer yourself up. After a belter of “a partridge in a pear tree” and “silent night” you put on the Pogues, fairy tale of New York, because it’s your favourite one. But end up singing it fiercely at the top of your lungs, standing up, swaying side to side refusing to let the tears spill over your cheeks. The dog goes upstairs to hide.
You make a den on the sofa and don’t move from it until until Christmas Day. There are blankets and duvets and glasses, cups, bowls scattered about, the TV times is dog eared and listings are circled in biro, and by now there’s a bum imprint in the sofa cushion and your outline is traceable in Quality Street wrappers.
On Christmas Day you become the Festive Phone Ninja. Your phone, possibly with holiday themed ringtone is glued to your hand. You make a trip outside. This is a big deal and you blink in the crisp December sunlight.
Happy couples walking past you holding hands become public enemy number 1. They should not be so bloody happy. Idiots. I hope they break up.
I want to be holding hands walking around with Popeye. Not them. I hate happiness. Stupid Christmas. Stupid couples. They couldn’t do a deployment anyway.
You make it to your Christmas lunch destination. There’s a tiny nagging voice in your head saying that they’ve only invited you out of pity. You ignore it and pull out your biggest ear to ear smile. Everything is going to be fabulous. Just freakin fantastic. So you smile and nod when they do the Dreaded Head Tilt and and the inevitable “heard from Popeye yet? Where is he at the moment?”. You suffer the sympathy and jokes stoically. Just pass the Buck’s Fizz please.
After you’ve eaten, you’ve got the silly cracker hat on and have had your fortune told with a magic fish, you pause for a moment.
This is ok. Dare you think it, you’re actually enjoying yourself.
Is this allowed? Is this alright? I thought I was supposed to be miserable?
Hmm…. I’ll have a second helping of trifle and watch Elf with the family and wait it out for a bit….
I am enjoying myself!!!! Cripes! How did this happen?
Before you know it you’re sitting in front of the TV watching the Christmas special of Downton laughing with your loved ones.
And that’s it, it’s all over, done and dusted. You survived.
It’s done. Finished, and it wasn’t actually half bad.
Trust me, the thought of Christmas alone and the build up to it alone is so much worse than the reality. Go on, embrace the experience, it’s just one day of the deployment after all, just one day. And as much as it sucks, once it’s done you do feel a weird sense of pride and accomplishment. A strength and calmness and an appreciation for family and loved ones both near and far that you wouldn’t have had if it wasn’t for the bloody navy.
Happy Christmas girls. You’re doing great.