another holiday with the new family

I remember a particular boyfriend saying of his remarried father, “he’s with his new family now. It’s like we’ve been replaced.”

i don’t want to dwell on this guy or his dismal appraisal of his dad or whether he (or his dad) was justified. what im thinking about is that i have a new family, and this isnt entirely what i wanted.

not that i dont want to be a mother or dont want to be married, but that i wasnt and still am not ready yet to let go of my initial family.

my mom today, still my internal nemesis, wrote in the holiday email that was circulating among family, “i want us all to be together!” i stopped myself from emailing back a caustic remark, such as “and why aren’t we?” or “whose fault is that?” It’s not worth it to travel down that road. and I know that. and i wasnt even as angry as i could have been, possibly because driving through the empty Christmas streets of Austin this morning, thinking that Christmas in the US is like Yom Kippur in Israel–a day that the measiliest, most small minded asshole still nods at. And wondering if my parents hadnt gotten divorced, if we hadnt slowly imploded over the course of our teenagehood, if the kingdom had not collapsed too many times to keep believing–would i be jewish? or perhaps i would still have converted, but would we would be together as a family, as the family i want us to be.

i started liar’s club. against my better judgement, as east memoir doesnt sound like my cup of tea. and its beautiful, terrific, fierce. and i wonder what, what, how could i—?

but i cant. i wont. all the stories i want to write collapse into unmaking. hours planning while driving, standing in line, bathing kids, rushing through cleaning house. how to capture it all later, when your tired and pissy and have been the wringer with kids and spouse?


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