There are a lot of upsetting things happening right now. The school shooting in Connecticut seems like part of a terrifying trend, that it’s not safe to do normal things, like go to a superhero movie, or go to school, or commute in midtown Manhattan, or walk back from the bodega. It’s upsetting on a massive scale.
And I’m upset over things on a smaller scale, like work worries. I hurt my stupid back and even though it’s healing almost exactly as the doctor described, I spend an annoyingly long time moving around trying to get comfortable before I can sleep, and then I wake up uncomfortable a couple hours later and do it again. It’s not very pleasant. And I’m either in North Carolina, missing my Brooklyn friends and New Jersey family, or I’m in Brooklyn, missing Harold. Either way, it can be pretty lonely.
I stumbled onto a wonderful antidepressant in writing a stack of Christmas cards for people I like. There are so many people that I need two boxes of cards, and both are lovely, wintry and festive, without a cross or a Santa. I even liked the process of looking up and asking for addresses, checking in with the people I love across the country. I’ve not been a real big fan of the Christmas letter, but writing messages made me see the appeal. I so enjoyed seeing a stack of tangible good wishes going to distant friends, that I left the finished cards on the coffeetable for a couple of days to smile at.
Harold began putting the stamps on them. I don’t think I’ve had occasion to mention this before, but Harold likes to stick stamps upside-down. This is pretty funny and charming, but I suddenly channelled my mom while decorating asked if he’d noticed how nice the envelopes look with the red cardinal return address labels, and did he really think it would be improved with a silly upside-down flag stamp? Did we have to? Harold shrugged (perhaps more interested in a happy fiance than in the artistic integrity of envelopes) and agreed to use stamps in a more conventional way.
Anyway, I got a card from Jared and Paula today, which was addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Harold Simpson at my house. Then I realized that the joke wasn’t the Mr. and Mrs. part because I am actually going to be married in real life! Then I laughed hysterically, and hoped that their card was one of the ones Harold stamped upside-down.