Ever since I left home my parents and I have had an agreement that should I not have any concrete or exciting plans, I would spend the holidays at home. Well, ever since I was in a position to have my own medical aid and pay for my own bond, that is. Parents use your inability to pay your own bills as leverage when they feel like you aren’t giving them enough attention “oh, you’re going to Zanzibar with your friends for the festive season, you do know that the medical aid won’t cover you should anything happen. Mommy and I are going to have to take the treatment money out of our savings”. I’m not a terrible daughter who bled her parents dry – not over the acceptable amount anyway – because nothing the medical aid wouldn’t cover has ever happened to me while I was out gallivanting with my friends. My good friend and I had planned to tour Europe like we were back in university over this holiday season; we figured the airfare would be made up for by the (reasonably cheap) accommodation costs. The plan was to do Spain, Amsterdam and maybe London on the way home; but she went and got engaged on me…
My mother pounced. In fact I blame her, she’s the reason my friend met future husband in the first place, I think she orchestrated this whole thing just so I would be stuck with the most not-fabulous plans so I’d end up opting for staying home – in my old room nogal! Yes, I am whining. I love my parents, a lot, but part of me loves the Mediterranean more and I see my parents every Sunday for brunch when I’m in the country. She’s been planning the upcoming holidays since mid-October, turkeys have been ordered, wine cabinet filled (this part I do like), relatives told that we’re boycotting Christmas so they will stay away – for a person really into the festive season, she’s not very festive –and the old scrabble set dusted and put out.
Last week I was planning a last minute ‘dodge the folks’ holiday someplace that sounds lovely but would probably not be quite as fun as the brochure when I remembered something my dad told me the first time I left home after university, something about them holding on so tight to the relationship because as an only child I’m ultimately all that they have, aside from each other. This is the very reason I try to be as independent as possible, which is what they taught me as a kid, because should anything happen to them the relationships I have built outside of the tree will be all that I have.
I am writing to inform you that, The Jetsetter will be happily grounded this holiday season; for an indefinite period for the reunion of the Three Musketeers. And, whining aside, I’m secretly looking very forward to mom’s calorie-laden turkey stuffing and a Scrabble marathon or two.