Holiday meals leave me anything but sated. I always want more, yet my stomach hurts so badly from acid reflux and indigestion that I’ll skip meals and starve myself just to avoid the pain. Thanksgiving is the worst because these leftovers that hurt me so badly linger for days. Some people save “Thanksgiving food” for Thanksgiving dinner rather than having it any time of year to make it more special. If I had to eat Thanksgiving food any other time of year, I would probably puke.
I went Black Friday shopping this morning, and it wasn’t nearly as fun as it had been in past years. I started going because I hate surprises. When I get an unexpected gift, or worse, one that I don’t want or have no use for, it is one of the most awkward, anxiety inducing moments on the planet. To avoid this on Christmas morning, I go shopping with my mom and pick out my Christmas presents. My dad wasn’t supportive of this at first, saying that you’re supposed to be surprised and delighted by the gifts like people would have been when Jesus was born, but as my mom pointed out, people back then had heard the prophecy that the Savior would be born, so to believers, it wasn’t a surprise. They knew what was coming, and were just waiting for Christmas morning, which is what kids who know what they’re getting for Christmas do.
Last year, this didn’t work out so well. I went with my mom as usual, and everything was going great, until we got to one particular store. She headed over to the electronics department, picked up two extremely expensive pairs of headphones, and asked me if I would prefer purple or blue. I didn’t know what to say. I am notorious for breaking headphones, so I thought spending that much money on a pair for me was a terrible idea, but she insisted, saying “Don’t worry about how much it costs,” “Most kids would just be grateful they’re getting a pair,” “Most kids wouldn’t even know what was being bought for them,”etc. I reluctantly agreed to getting the purple pair, but told her I was still debating it and would probably ask for them to be returned.
Christmas morning rolled around, and those headphones were sitting under the tree. I couldn’t even fake a smile. I felt sick, knowing how much money she spent on them and how little I wanted them. I started crying. She told me to at least try them on, at which point I realized they were really heavy and hurt my head, the Bluetooth wasn’t compatible with my device, and the sound quality was mediocre at best. I packed it back up and asked her to return it. Needless to say, she was not happy. I had the same attitude towards a few other gifts too. Those were no where near as severe, but all the little things still add up.
Today, when we were out shopping, I was scared. I didn’t want to make decisions because I didn’t want a repeat of last year, but I also didn’t want to leave it to my mom because I didn’t want her to get the wrong brand, wrong color, wrong flavor, etc. By the second store, I was in a full out panic attack. I wished I had just gone back to bed when she woke me up.The only thing that kept me going was when I asked what the plan was and she said the list of stores, followed by one of my favorite restaurants that I haven’t been to in nearly a year.
This restaurant is one of very few sit down restaurants that doesn’t give me a stomach ache, and after eating Thanksgiving food since Wednesday, I was elated. Unfortunately, after we had gone to the last store on our list and I was ready for some blueberry pancakes, my mom decided she just wanted to go home and eat leftovers. I was devastated. Usually, when there are a lot of leftovers in the house, my mom bans my brother and I from cooking noodles, freezer meals, or anything else that isn’t a leftover. Luckily, today I was able to convince her to let me make some mac and cheese so I could make it through the day. She also stopped at a fast food place so I could get a cold, sugary beverage since I was hungry, dehydrated, and exhausted. She also had to go to the post office right next door anyways.
This evening, the rest of my family finally started to tire of leftovers, so we went out to dinner. I ended up with a little bit of acid reflux, but the food was actually good and I actually felt sated, so I was content. Little moments like that at the end of each day are all that are going to get me through this holiday season.