Christmas dinners.
Saturday, 12.23.2017 - 01:26 pm.

It's been three years since Andrew's brother passed away. Andrew's been OK today, not that he usually speaks much of the subject. It sort of worries me that he bottles up thoughts and feelings, what with all the horror and confusion of his brother's death, but then again, it's his narrative and his process, and I'm just here to help when he asks. He knows that. He did ask me to stay for the holidays, and I did, and I think that matters more to him than talking about the event itself. 

I hope that, if something comes after this life, Andrew's brother is in a good place, .  

This morning, Andrew and I went for breakfast to a small coffee shop near our house, and then went shopping for our Christmas' Eve dinner. It should be noted that, in our cultures and our households, we celebrate the night of the 24th, all the way into the 25th. Also, we were excited because we'd been saving our local supermarket's membership credit for months to buy stuff for this dinner. It's the little things. 

I slowed down this week, I worked on my PhD from home and only in the mornings. By Thursday, I realized I hadn't left the house since last Sunday, when Andrew and I went to London. That day, he voted, then we saw Abbey Road(!) and checked out Gay's the Word(!). It rained and we were on the tube most of the time, but we had a great day together, we hadn't traveled like this for a few months; we had Harry Potter chocolate frogs on the train back home, and Andrew had a big smile on his face because of this. The week then went by smoothly. Mostly, I focused on my Simeon cartoons, which are becoming wittier and more handsome by the minute (source: me). 

Last Saturday, we had the Christmas dinner hosted by the Chilean community. All was going well until A, my crush, showed up. Right: there are two As on whom I have a crush at the moment. A and A are both from Colombia and are fellow PhD students, though they're not related to one another. One's a boy, one's a girl. I think I was referring to them as such in past entries, I'm too lazy to go check. 

So Girl A walks into the hall with a Chilean postgrad student, whom I assume she's dating. For some reason, I sink into my chair and my plate. I didn't doll up for this event (no one does), so I'm looking quite average, and she's looking smoking. Of course, I am with my husband and she is with his date, so there's nothing to do except be a bit mortified for a while. She does come to say hello to Andrew and me, makes a joke about her infiltrating the Chilean community, and I remind her that I'm doing that as well. She laughs and says she thinks of me as Chilean, sort of to excuse herself, and I secretly cringe at her comment but I laugh and nod. 

I resent having my nationality erased when I'm hanging with the Chileans, though that doesn't mean I forget all the benefits I've gotten from annexing myself to their country. I started to soothe myself and then this Mexican girl comes in with her girlfriend. I know her, too, she's the little sister of another fellow PhD student with whom I'm good friends with. She's delightful, outgoing and lively, and knows her way around Chilean slang. Suddenly, I feel (keyword, *I feel*) her presence with her girlfriend erases my own queerness because hey, I'm married to a guy so I must be straight.

THIS IS JUST ME, I realize that, it's just me thinking these things and attributing them to an imaginary observer. In truth, no one is thinking of me or my life, or the Mexican girl and her life. People are pretty chill at the dinner, minding their own business and their own plate. It's just me. I feel I look like a hetero Chilean and I spend the rest of the lovely evening silently bitter and feeling invisible. Of course I keep the sulking to myself, I'm not going to ruin Andrew's evening with my rumination over stuff I imagine that others are imagining. I think A's comments was what threw me off. Look, darling, you're just as much as an immigrant as I am, one would hope you'd understand the importance of not denying's one's national identity. Now let's make out against that wall. 

Ok, I'm sorry, I shouldn't be whining. I mean, it was legitimately bothersome but it was of little consequence. All is well, really. I have plenty to be grateful for today, every day. 

I'm looking forward to a Christmas dinner with my husband, my best friend, and my crush. Fun, eh? Andrew and me will be joined by Eric, whom I consider my best friend here, and Boy A. There are lots of gifts under the Christmas tree, because Andrew and I tend to add stuff "from the cats", who should really give us stuff but they don't care for the holidays. Boy A may leave early, anyway, because he has no strings attached here and is going for drinks with other people. All the same, dinner should be fun. 

Merry Christmas! 

prev / next