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Does it bother you to spend the holidays....

Posted by Kathsgrdn (My Page) on
Mon, Nov 22, 04 at 12:53

with friends and their families? A couple years ago, my friend and neighbor invited me to spend Thanksgiving with her family at her house. Her dad, step-mother, brother and his girlfriend were there along with her two kids. My kids were with their dad and his girlfriend that year. I went, but when her brother came in, he said "I thought it was going to be just us?". He ate and then spent the rest of the evening in the livingroom, while the rest of us talked at the table. I went home and decided I would never go back to one of their or anyone else's family dinners. I felt like an intruder. She invited me last year to either Xmas or Thanksgiving out at her dad's and I declined.

This year another friend invited me to her family get-together and I declined again. I know her parents and sister a little bit but there will be other people I don't know and I would feel really uncomfortable.

Years ago when I was single, a young couple invited me to Thanksgiving dinner. They had two little girls and had another young couple there with no kids. I felt uncomfortable then too. I don't think the one woman liked me being there at all.

Right in the middle of my divorce, I went to see an old friend of mine. It was right before the 4th of July. She was having a big bbq with her whole family and their kids. I was planning on staying but was in a lot of pain, and decided I couldn't stand to be in the middle of a big happy family right then, so I left early and went home. I've known her family for years, though...and have since gone back and had another bbq dinner with them all.

Does being single or divorced keep you away from big family-type get-togethers with friends? If I was married and my kids had gone with me, I think I would feel differently.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Does it bother you to spend the holidays....

Naw - heck, I figure if I'm invited, I am wanted/welcome there. I am not a self-conscious person, so that's probably why. I just run around talking to everyone, and before long I feel like part of the group.

RE: Does it bother you to spend the holidays....

I think sometimes it's harder as a single woman, because it seems like married women don't like us around. Like we're really going to steal their husbands! Either that, or you feel like you have a social disease by not being married yourself. Oh well!

It's just my mom & I, & this year we're in a brand new community. We do have an invitation with a co-worker who has invited a few people to her house. It feels strange, but I think it will be fun. I always remember an Oprah episode with these people in New Mexico (I think) who didn't have family, so invited people with no where to go every year for Thanksgiving, & made them their family. I've always thought that sounded cool.

RE: Does it bother you to spend the holidays....

I had one experience that was dreadful. I had to work on Thanksgiving Day and arrived late to dinner, absolutely starved. The hostess was miffed with me even though she knew way ahead that I would be late. Everyone else had finished eating. The party consisted of 3 cozy, happy couples and myself. I was never offered a plate of food. I went to the bathroom and couldn't stop crying. I finally pulled myself together, though my face was a shambles and came out and excused myself and left. I ended up eating Thanksgiving dinner alone in a Denny's type restaurant. Just pathetic.

RE: Does it bother you to spend the holidays....

I think the onus is really on the host(s) to make you feel as comfortable as they possibly can. It sounds like a few of you had some really awful hosts! I'm so sorry that happened to you, it really sucks. Why would someone invite you somewhere if you weren't welcome? That really makes me mad on your behalf.

There might be times where being with someone else's "big happy family" or being in the midst of "happy couples" doesn't feel so good. During those times, do stay away and try to find a place that won't make you feel even more lonely, even if it is in front of the TV.

Also, try to find and spend time with people who genuinely enjoy your company. They are out there and you'll feel better about yourself when people are kind to you and respectful of your feelings.

RE: Does it bother you to spend the holidays....

OMG... that is so awful. I can't imagine ever inviting a guest and then not doing my best to make them comfortable. Even when welcome being around couples or a family can be difficult... a holiday just makes it all the more painful.

I'm really lucky in that I have places to go on holidays. My genetic family always gets together for dinner but that is it. Nobody drinks or smokes so after dinner conversation is rather short and formal. We have talked as a family about why we are that way and think the Indians on my father's side just never had a sense of the christian holiday thing. Then I have a second family that I fell in with 25 years ago where they pack the house with people having a good time.

My genetic family gatherings can be uncomfortable. My sisters are pretty so they have always had boyfriends or husbands paying them attention. Makes me feel sort of defective to be there alone. My adopted family never causes me discomfort. I get to converse with everyone and play with the kids while having a couple drinks... very healing.

: )

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