I hope everyone had a nice holiday. I enjoyed mine with the exception of the occasional moment of suppressed rage, aka holiday anger management.
While I encourage everyone to speak out about things they see that are not right or things that bother them or traumatic events they have gone through that they no longer wish to be quiet about (or were never quiet about in the first place), I do acknowledge that there are moments when you must suppress your rage for the hope of something better.
Why must we do this? Why are there moments when we keep our mouths shut? I believe that there is a time for everything. Just as there are moments to scream, so are there moments to be still. Although I do really love this quote from Russian writer Nadezhda Mandelstam:
“I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity.”
Sometimes silence isn’t a crime but a choice.
But here’s the part where I scream.
And here’s what makes me really mad around the holidays.
I Made Food and You Complained While You Ate It
Yesterday, Ian and I made gluten-free/dairy-free/sugar-free organic pumpkin spice doughnuts.
We used organic dates and hot water to make a puree which substituted the sugar. People really enjoyed our doughnuts, but upon eating them at dessert, one table member remarked that since they contained no sugar and weren’t fried, then they weren’t really doughnuts because they didn’t contain the staple ingredient of sugar nor did they go through a frying process.
Um… yeah. Is that not my doughnut that you are shoving into your mouth right now?
So I kept my mouth shut. Or rather stuffed with doughnut. Because I thought those things damn well looked like doughnuts and tasted like doughnuts. And frick if those things didn’t contain added sugar or weren’t fried.
These are other doughnuts we made that are GF/DF, but you get the idea.
Must we do these things to our food?
While I won’t apologize for attempting to bring something organic yet yummy to the table that everyone could eat, I also won’t be responsible for disputing relations between myself and my boyfriend’s family.
Cue in holiday anger management, because this was a moment of suppressed rage. Because I loved those doughnuts and was proud of them, and I hate being quiet, but I also love a good drama-free holiday.
There’s Literally Nothing I Can Eat
I’ve been gluten-free for years. I’ve been dairy-free for years. I’ve had a family for years.
My extended family does not understand my food allergies at all. They do not make one single dish that I can eat, therefore dictating that I bring my own food.
I have zero problems with bringing my own food, except for the fact that people usually make fun of whatever it is that I bring.
It’s like they forgot that I was in a wheelchair before I stopped eating gluten.
I don’t complain. It just makes me mad. Please don’t make fun of my food. I enjoy it. My boyfriend enjoys it. Stop judging my decision to eat healthier and not be in a wheelchair.
Families Can Just Be Super Annoying
This is my brother and I swear I love him, but sometimes he just makes me really mad.
Hint: he’s usually the one making fun of the food (this is us at Easter a few years ago).
Why is it that families can be the most offending of people? It doesn’t matter if it’s my family or my boyfriend’s family, it just doesn’t make sense. I’m like, shouldn’t you be a stranger or something?
Unfortunately no, these people and I are somehow all related.
Here are just of the few things that happened during the holiday that made me mad:
- my grandmother tells me I need to grow my hair out yet again.
- for “Secret Santa” I got my cousin’s name, the same one who blew past me on the road in his diesel truck while I was running and I choked on the fumes.
- the fact that everyone is eating about five of the top allergens in the world all on one plate in one meal at one sitting.
- the fact that most of those people don’t even know what the top allergens are.
- when someone told me that my work at a homeless shelter is probably depressing (oh, yeah, because YOU have totally worked at a homeless shelter before).
- when someone assumes that I am vegan.
- when someone gives thanks for the turkey who “gave it up”. And then I say out loud, “unwillingly”.
That last one wasn’t suppressing rage or handling holiday anger management well. Or, only mildly. But you get the idea. Family!
Is It Time to Scream Yet?
You need to decide for yourself when to deal with holiday anger management. These moments will not be the same for everybody.
The same could happen if you are in a relationship. I am by no means advocating being quiet about things that bother you in a relationship, or in any other sector of your life for that matter, which is why these are called “moments” of suppressed rage rather than “lifetimes.”
But around the holidays, it could be argued that holiday anger management will become more relevant in your life.
So prepare yourself to do some peacekeeping after you label all the food on the table with little signs such as: “was tortured on the reg” next to the ham, “came from infected udders” next to the mashed potatoes with butter, and “contains up to 90% pesticides” next to the green beans.
Oh, and don’t forget to label the gifts that were tested on animals. Your relatives will want to know that for sure.