Thanks but no thanks for the memories, part 2: Fine, I’ll let this one slide.

Judging by what it decides to show me in my suggested memories, I’m estimating that Facebook thinks 99.9% of my life is devoted entirely to memes. (The other 0.1% is fresh tomatoes.)

Under normal circumstances this irks me more than a little, because when I go look at other possible memories from their selected dates, there’s almost always something far more interesting and personally meaningful available that they could have chosen, but didn’t. Apparently whatever algorithm they use has decided that angry kittens and bad Iron Man puns are more integral to my life’s history than anything remotely original that little ol’ me has to say.

You can’t help but feel a little slighted.

But, as always, exceptions can be made.
The other day they threw one at me that I had to forgive. Because I still can’t stop fucking laughing.

This is the stupidest thing they’ve ever decided I might want to remember, and I love them for it. Because I repeat: I. can’t. stop. fucking. laughing.

I’m sure no one else will find this anywhere near as hilarious as I do. I sat here for a while debating whether or not to post it, because there’s a good chance I’m the only person in the world who thinks it’s even remotely funny.

Of course then I posted it anyway, because this is my blog and you can’t tell me what to do.*

It’s the complete lack of context that got me. There was originally a status update that went with this, but surprise surprise, they conveniently left it off.

So when it popped up in my news feed and I couldn’t remember why the fuck I even posted it those two years ago, my brain went ahead and filled in the missing info with the most ridiculous thing it could come up with, which was the idea of me just casually going around glee-sobbing my way through all of 2013 for no particular reason. And go figure, before I knew it the thought had me laughing so hard I cried.

Is Facebook showing me memories or self-fulfilling prophecies?

*Also I may have had a bottle glass or two of wine and my judgement of what constitutes an acceptable blog post may be slightly impaired.

Thanks but no thanks for the memories.

Every so often, Facebook likes to crank its stalkerishness all the way up to 11 and dig out one of my old status updates to surprise me with in my news feed.

Because clearly there needed to be more things on the internet that make my skin crawl.

They claim these zombie posts are being resurrected in the name of nostalgia, but frankly all they do is remind me of is how fucking boring I am. Continue reading

Ghosts of Christmases past.

And so December 1st is upon us.

The craft and decor stores have been stocked with red, green and glitter since before Hallowe’en. Santa began making an unprecedentedly early commute to the local malls midway through November. The speakers in the main lobby have been encouraging me to have a Holly Jolly Christmas for over a week and a half.

Now that it’s December, I am no longer obligated to hate them.

Now that it’s December, “humbug” can go back to being a delicious candy instead of a dismissive statement. I can quit frowning at the giant red bows and garlands in shop windows. And Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say.

Now that it’s December, when Nostalgia comes knocking at my door, there will be a wreath on it.

And Nostalgia and I will sit in front of the crackling fireplace channel on TV with our cups of hot cocoa, and remember.

Remember the first Christmas we had our dalmatian Penny, who my mother immortalized in a spectacular oeuvre of digital art as you may recall, and who ran outside into that first winter’s cold with zero understanding of what ice was or how it would cause her to reenact Bambi in our backyard.

Complete with facial expressions.

Remember the year I woke up in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve and saw a glowing red light in the neighbor’s garden, which I would later insist to my mother was Rudolph’s nose.

String of red lights?   OMG RUDOLPH CLONES

Remember the first winter after my best friend Katie moved in just across the street and I finally had someone other than my parents or the dogs to play with in the snow.

That was the year our city, which doesn’t really “do” winter – at least, not in comparison to the rest of Canada – got a record five feet of snow over four days.

I was in heaven.

Especially since Katie’s backyard had two things I envied above all others: a hot tub, and a trampoline. Needless to say, we spent that winter doing completely sensible things like jumping out of the hot tub, rolling our bikini-clad selves around in the snow and then jumping back into the hot water, giggling uncontrollably, our skin as red and glowing as a couple of hyperactive lobsters. Or suiting up in our snow pants and puffy jackets, brushing the thin crust of ice off the trampoline, and double-bouncing each other off it into snowdrifts.

We drank endless mugs of hot chocolate, always adding in a handful of snow to cool each mug before we began sipping. It was only frozen water, but we swore it made the chocolate taste richer. It was a magic of our own making. We never questioned it.

That was also the year that the Nintendo 64 came out, and Katie got it for Christmas. When we weren’t out taunting the hypothermia gods or committing snowflake murder with our hot chocolate, we were glued to the TV, our slender fingers wrapped around those ridiculously designed controllers, pitting Mario against obese penguins or crashing spectacularly in Wave Race.

Dear Nintendo, I’m not sure you understand how hands work.

I can’t remember a happier winter. Young and free enough to spend all day in pursuit of fun, old enough to understand what a gift that was. That was the last year I can remember before depression began to take hold in my life. The last Christmas I didn’t have to try.

I live in an apartment now, with a husband and no dogs. There’s no hot tub and certainly no trampoline, no plush staircase to run down on Christmas morning, and I play my carols on an electronic keyboard instead of my parents’ shiny black baby grand. We have three Christmases instead of one, the gifts are almost never a surprise, and I can’t overindulge like I used to without severe penance at the gym in the following days.

I know I have a lot to be grateful for. Winter, with its stark beauty, remains my favorite season. But with each passing year, the holidays feel more like a chore. Which day do we spend with whom? What do we bring? How much should we spend? How many days can I afford to take off work?

As a child, Christmas is a picture postcard of a snowy street filled with scarves and sleds and glowing faces. As an adult, it’s a legal document with some holly stapled to the corner that scratches you every time you turn the page. The Noël Terms of Service.

I do my best to cope. I seek out those all-important little things to keep myself from cracking. But that girl I remember, that home, that naive joy, they’re lost, and I know it.

They are lost, but I am thankful for their memory.

And that I keep my game consoles in good working order.