Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Day 341- Christmas spirit

Dear Mr. President,

I've never read Truman Capote's A Christmas Memory. I'm not sure if this would earn me quite the same horrified look as referring to a picture of what was apparently the terminator as "some scary robot", but I'm sure it's some level of cultural failing. Tonight I went to listen as my very talented coworker read the story aloud at our bookstore. It was one of those perspective-changing experiences that reminds me how very not alone I am, no matter how often I'm convinced otherwise. Sitting in a small crowd that all laughed and cried at the same time, a group of people so different and yet so similarly moved, was exactly what I needed tonight. Maybe it's just the stress of finals week or the cold weather or the fact that every politician in the country (including you) seems to have gone Republican since November.

If you're not familiar with Capote's story, it describes the friendship between a young Capote and his much older relative, their adventures baking fruit cakes for beloved strangers and generally being misunderstood by the other members of their household. It's funny and sad and (having nothing else to compare it to, I can only assume) best when read by some one capable of doing all the character voices. Perhaps this, the Christmas tree on the Space Needle, and my roommate deciding to put the Christmas lights up in our apartment are nothing more than a happy confluence of holiday cheer, but the last few days have me actually looking forward to the holidays in a way I usually don't. The story made me remember my grandmother and appreciate both my strange family and my family of strangers. It made me miss my best friend more than ever. I think there's a reason why the joy of the holidays is so closely linked to lonely, nostalgic feelings. As we give ourselves time to feel the love we have for the people in our lives it's impossible not to also feel the loss of those loved ones who, for whatever reason, aren't with us.

I think this is why I don't want to talk about the tax cut deal you're making with Republicans. I know that not wanting to talk about it doesn't make it any less real (or any less of a terrible idea) but I just don't have the heart to criticize you for bad economics, bad politics and bad foreign policy every single day. As stressed out as I've been, I'm sure it's much worse for you. So I'm just going to enjoy my newfound (and likely short-lived) Christmas spirit, which is somehow both happily warm and terribly sad, and save criticizing you for tomorrow. Merry Christmas.

Respectfully yours,


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