R and I are grown ups
We haven’t lived at home now for around half a decade. We've lived together for going on 2 years. We are mature, adult, independent beings.
Except at Christmas.
At Christmas time, I resort to feeling like a small child as my parents demand I return home to celebrate with them. And R’s family are no different.
“Demand” isn't really the right word…it’s not that they command my presence at their house. It’s sort of worse. They do this sad puppy eyed parent thing, where they sadly tell you that they understand you don’t want to be with them at this very important and family orientated time of the year. They get that I have a lot of work to do at Uni where I live 95% of the time and that I want to be with my girlfriend who I live with and see every day.
And so far it’s worked every year. In fact, it’s worked this year too.
So now R and me are 150 miles away from each other, texting and skyping like there’s no tomorrow.
One year, one of us will have to brave our parent’s mournful eyes as we tell them that we won’t be coming home for Christmas this year. I’m pretty sure I’ll be doing this first.
This year won’t be so bad. Yes, we have to spend a little time apart, but in a monstrous act of acceptance, my very traditional grandparents invited R to their post-Christmas party that they hold every year. So it shouldn’t be too long that I have to rely on my parent’s horrendously slow broadband connection or my fleeting mobile signal to contact R.
One year we sent letters. It felt very old school.
Actually, once I was apart from her for 3 days over summer before I gave in, bought a car, and then drove 3 hours to go see her.
My Mother, of course, thought I was insane. My Dad thought it was sweet and slipped me £20 for petrol.
I feel I have matured slightly from when we first got together. I no longer purchase automobiles on a whim in order to see her for 6 hours, before then returning home. My Mum’s come a long way too. She’s now accepting enough that I don’t have to lie and say I’m going to a gap year reunion for a weekend, when actually I’m snuggled up in R’s bed.
She’s really come along in leaps and bounds. In my stocking, she’ll put little presents that I know are really intended for R (like peppermint tea, which I hate, but R loves). She’s really gone all out this year and bought her a few presents. Though last year she really made R’s day by buying us matching wellies.
I know our parents want us home for the Christmas period because they love us. They miss us. And they want to see us more. And in a weird way, it’s the grown up and adult thing to do by foregoing a holiday with my girlfriend to make my family happy.
I’m not looking forward to the day when I’m not home for Christmas. I’m the youngest of 4 siblings, and I’ve seen how sad my Mum gets when one or two of my siblings skip out on Christmas at home.
But regardless of whether you’re with family/spouse/partner/friends, I hope you all have a merry Christmas (…or Christmas equivalent celebration).