Have yourself a merry little…

People at work don’t like me.

I know I always joke about it, but people at work really don’t like me. Things have changed.

The teams and how we work, it’s all different, and the once-tight-knit group I was a part of either no longer work there or sit far away, and things have…changed. Which I already said, and hey, June, talk in circles. I wonder why you’re so very not loved.

It’s not my imagination. I’m talking about people are gathered, the hour before the holiday break, and I walk up and suddenly everyone’s phone is compelling and they walk away.

I’m talking weekly references to parties I wasn’t invited to, Instagram photos of happy hours I knew nothing about.

If I didn’t make an effort, I would go the whole day with no one talking to me about anything except, “Can you get this done right now?”

I’m not sure what I did, but at this point it doesn’t matter. Those are the facts, and I just have to muddle through it, keep my head down and do my work, which is why I’m actually there in the first place.

But here’s my problem: I built my social life around that place. When I moved here, I was a married person, and most of what I did was with Marvin. When he left, I started that job within the same month. So, for the last six years my social life was my work people and Ned, mostly.

Now there’s no Ned (although Ned still wants for there to be a Ned), and now suddenly I’m the workplace outcast. It’s probably because I’m older than everyone, or because I’ve been depressed since 2015, when there first was officially Not a Ned®. It’s probably a number of things, but what you can’t do is change anyone other than yourself.

If I knew what I’d done wrong, or even where to begin with who stopped liking me first, I’d ask. But it appears almost universal now, so I just work quietly and try to be pleasant.

Every year at Christmastime, I get blue. I hate this fucking holiday. If I could leave all of December and hang out in Tahiti, I would.

The good thing was, every year the Christmas stuff at work was pretty much the most celebrating I’d do, from the big work party to our team events. Those were fun. I was having fun with my friends.

When I was on the floor I worked on for five Christmases, right when it was time to leave for the holiday, I had a little tradition, just with myself.

I’d stand in the kitchen and look at the treats and the gifts (that’s another thing–just one person gave me a little gift this year. I saw little gifts on other desks, but not mine. And I thought of making little gifts myself, but didn’t want to hand one to someone who doesn’t like me) and give a small thanks to the universe for presenting me with such a great place to work during a time that I needed people. Every year, in the dimming light of the late-December afternoon, with everyone else bustling off to their families, I said thank you for making those people my family.

As I left yesterday without saying much to anyone, there was just one guy still working on my old floor. He’s married to another person at work, and I like them both very much, and they seem to still actually like me. They were the only two people to come to the happy hour I tried to have back in October.

“Merry Christmas,” I said to him as I left.

“I hope you’re going to have a good holiday,” he said, looking up from his work. “I remember how sad you were this past Valentine’s Day.”

I’d forgotten that. I’d forgotten how sad I felt, having zero Valentine for the second year in a row.

After work, I headed to the grocery store, and as I pulled up, I remembered that I’d spent 4th of July here this past year. I had nothing to do, and ended up watching the fireworks with the employees. We had a perfect view, with the vast sky looming over the parking lot.

It’s been a lonely fucking two years. Things are not going the way I thought they would. I thought by now I’d have met someone new. I thought I’d still be lucky enough to consider my coworkers family. I never in a million years thought I’d be alone at 52.

And I realize it must be my fault, some flaw in my character. Probably because my beauty and raw talent and animal sex appeal repel people. It’s probably m’boobs.

And maybe next year at this time, things will have turned around. But I thought that last year. And I thought it at Christmas of 2015. So maybe I’ll be exactly here again next year, and I have to find a way to be okay with that. I try to think about people who have it so much worse than me, people whose problems crush a lonely old lady’s.

If you’re one of them, if you’re one of the people whose Christmas is going to suck, one of the people whose life sucks right now, please know there is a person who is with you on that. Who’s muddling through this goddamn holiday, and this goddamn life, as best she can.

You are not alone.

Merry Christmas.

148 Comments

  1. Oh, June. My heart feels heavy after reading this post. I’m sorry.

    I am one of those people for whom this season is very difficult. Thank you for acknowledging that it can be a tough time for many of us.
    This is the third Christmas that my son is not well.
    I’m beginning to think he may never be better, and that I need to accept that reality.
    My daughter finished her first semester of college and did well, but what I’ve never disclosed is that she almost overdosed on prescription drugs this past June. Her depression, panic disorder, anxiety, ptsd, and adhd, coupled with a bad breakup with her first love, combined to leave her feeling like she didn’t want to wake up. After hospitalization, intensive therapy over the summer, and a strong desire to get on with her life, we sent her an hour away to college. But it hasn’t been an easy road.

    Also, too, I’m broke. College is expensive as fuck. Even after some generous scholarships, I’m still paying/borrowing out my ass.

    And finally, I need to find a new job. The judge I have worked with for the better part of several decades is retiring in about six months. My family needs my six figures and my health insurance. So, I’ve got to find a comparable gig. Or we are fucked.

    So…while my issues are very different from yours, I get it, sister. Merry Christmas. Here’s to a better 2018.

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      1. Pamela, I am so sorry to hear of
        Your struggles and wish for you a healthy family, a great new job, and peace of mind.

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    1. PSS, this breaks my heart. I feel like we’ve followed your family’s story for a while on this blog as you’ve shared bits and pieces. I wish peace and healing for your whole family and may 2018 bring the perfect job for you!

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  2. Oh, June.

    I love your post. Not due to the content, but because of your impeccable way with words.

    I am so sorry that you are hurting, and I wish there was a way to help.

    You are loved. I don’t care how creepy that sounds, but I felt like it needed to be said.

    I sincerely hope that brighter days lie ahead for you in 2018.

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  3. I read your not-blog every day. Your kindness and perseverance gives me faith in humanity and to often find myself wishing you lived in my town. Thank you for being a light in the darkness. Just wish I could give some of that light back to you!

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  4. June, I’m so sorry and I understand. I’m older than the girls I work with and never get invites. I realized they do it through an app I don’t have and don’t want to have. So maybe it’s the medium they are using or maybe they’re just self-centered. Either way, you’re doing great. Your hair has never looked better. Your credit score is fabulous and you’ve accomplished a lot of good this year. Next year, I think you need a good vacation. BBP cruise, maybe? Praying tomorrow is a good day. You are a gift to this world.

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  5. Good Morning, It is Christmas morning here in Australia!
    June, my Christmas wish for you is that this time next year you will be happy with yourself and whatever your current situation is.
    Remember: You can’t change what people think about you but you can change how you react to it. Those younguns at work have the problem, not you. I imagine you would be a delight to work with.
    I wish you happiness, health and wealth this Christmas and all through the new year.

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  6. June, when I finished reading your post I just sat in silence for quite a while. If you had told me this story in person I would have done just that, shut up and sat with you.
    I hope it didn’t seem like trivializing your pain and your situation to invite you for cookies as though that would lessen the difficulty of this holiday season in the least. It’s a pitiful response to a soul encompassing situation.

    I’m sorry things are not the way you would like them to be and may this year bring beautiful more beautiful people into your life.

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  7. I have a tradition that I got from The Fonz on Happy Days. On X-mas eve, on years that I don’t have my son, i have a special x-mas dinner. I have a can of ravioli, straight out of the can. Cause that’s what fo Fonzie did. It stuck with me all these years. Then when it was MY situation, it made it feel a little less stinging. Weird, but well yes. I like to call it eccentric.

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  8. Jeez June. I’m always so happy when no one expects me to spend my (spare and precious) free time with them. On holidays, I just do whatever I want. Currently, I’ve got flowers, a box of See’s candy, and prime rib for Xmas dinner. I’ve got two trees up, snowflake clings in my windows and 14 holiday candles lighting my living room. I do not care if someone thinks I’m weird. I know how to enjoy myself. One pleasure is watching my new puppy play with my cat. You inspired me to get that puppy!

    Think that’s strange? Our society, from Norman Rockwell to holiday sitcoms and every media/commercial message all make us feel like we are less than adequate if we are not gathered together with a large and loving family for the holidays. Guess what. It’s (largely) a commercial myth. If the mythical happiness model doesn’t fall in your lap–make your holiday what you want it to be.

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  9. Hi June, well here it is, Christmas eve. I read a news story about the “Wal-Mart Angel” and how she was standing behind people in line at a Wal-Mart in Tennessee and paid off multiple layaway balances. Then I watched the YouTube video where the lady in Australia shows how to wrap a cat for Xmas. This was followed by seeing my 12 year old cranky (huge) Maine Coon lick the head of my new 5 pound pesty kitten…now their playing “chase me” and wrestling. This is a miracle as I didn’t think the older cat would easily accept the kitten that was abandoned on my driveway back on Halloween weekend.

    The Wal-Mart Angel story, the Aussie cat video, my cats bonding, and your writing/your blog… these are the things that touch my heart and make me smile.

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  10. I wrote a whole, long comment here last night, couldn’t tell if if went though and now it looks like it didn’t. I basically echoed what a lot of other commenters have said. You’re fab. We love you. Wish you lived closer and we could totes hang together. (Presuming you’d ever hang out with someone who says totes.) I hope today is going faster and better than you had anticipated. Take care of yourself. Something fun for you, my 23 year-old daughter is home and introduced me to this song that I thought you’d appreciate and could see being somewhat of an anthem for you. (Warning casual comment reader it’s NSFW and probably NSF a lot of people anywhere – ever.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=233&v=PEGccV-NOm8 But I could see June dancing to it. Totes.

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  11. My boss and her husband were just murdered by their teen daughter’s neo-nazi boyfriend (for reals, you can’t make this sh*t up), so I’d say you’re having a MARVELOUS Christmas by comparison. I’m going to go drink now. I feel a little crazy.

    Oh, and love you lots! If you lived up here, you for sure would be invited to Christmas dinner with all my kids (151 months old, 184 months old, 212 months old, and 246 months old). My brain hurts figuring all that out. Ow.

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    1. I read about that. I am stunned. I’m so very sorry for the family’s loss (and, loved ones, and friends like you).

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  12. You aren’t alone. I used to depend on my career for fulfillment but after 28 years, whoops it was no longer there. I couldn’t depend on the fantastic people I worked with to help get me through another holiday season. I hope you can find the things you need to make the holiday a bit more bearable for you. Book of June and Bye Bye before it is a wonderful online community of people. You built that.
    Best wishes for a beautiful New Year!

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  13. Aw Junie I’m so sorry. I can’t say anything better than what has already been said, but know that you are loved and appreciated by so many.

    Standing in your doorway not hugging you even though hugging is what I do best.

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  14. My name Jim, married to Kris in TN. Each morning while we have breakfast before I leave for work, I bug Kris to let me know what is happening with Karen. You are thought about and hoped for each day by both of us. I am not a person who does social media, but you warrant an exception! There is an army of people out here rooting for you.

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  15. I second the meetup groups. A few years ago I encouraged my recently divorced friend to just join some general social meetups that were made up of couples and singles. Her kids were in their late teens and doing their own thing. I couldn’t go out much because my kids were little. She wasn’t thrilled with the idea of hanging out with a bunch of happy-ass couples, but did it anyway. The meetups were mostly getting together at our small city events very much like what you write about. Within a year she was dating (and is now married to) a very hot, much younger guy who she met at a bar’s trivia night while there with her group.

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  16. You have become a part of my family and I hope you know that you have a family in your readers. No, it’s not the same as people IRL, but I hope there is some comfort in knowing that a group of strangers cares for you and hurts when you hurt. I, too, dread the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas. So much crazy about nothing, really. I don’t even send out handmade cards anymore because noone reciprocates.

    Thank you for sharing such a raw moment with us. I’m sorry you are hurting and I wish I could do something. Wrap yourself up in my blanket or put on your new leopard coat and I hope that will help you will feel loved by strangers who care when you are feeling low.

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  17. You are not alone – Christmas is hard. I have a family, but still sometimes feel lonely and rejected when my step kids treat all my hard work as though it were nothing or worse, an annoyance. I would love to have you over – besides the older step kids, there are two young ones between the ages of 2 and 32 who are quite fun, and we’ll have lots of things we really shouldn’t be eating. Plus 2 adorable pitties. NJ is a few hours away, but truly, we’d love to have you!

    Most of my coworkers are single without kids, so I’m always hearing about outings I wasn’t invited to – it’s hard not to take it personally. I don’t know why I’m not invited either, surely it’s not because I have kids (there are such things as babysitters…).

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  18. I’m so sorry you’re feeling lonely. I understand it all too well. I’ve never been much for celebrating Christmas but I tried to make it a special holiday for my daughters. This year they are spending the holiday with their dad and I’m alone and broke. I thought I was ok with it until I wasn’t. I’m dreading tonight and tomorrow.. it’s terrifying actually. I hope we are both able to find some peace and contentment. I’ll be thinking about you….

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  19. June,
    It just breaks my heart that this is going on. You have always been such an includer with all the Alexes, Ryan, Fleeta, the Poet, etc. Shame on these thoughtless dickheads that are excluding others.

    I hope you have updated your Amazon wishlist so I can send you something.

    You know how much I appreciate you and how much you share with others. If you can think of anything we can do for you, I for one, would love to be of service.

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  20. Sending kind thoughts to you June, hope this phase of life right now changes for the better very soon.

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  21. Oh, June. I cried reading this this morning and came back to read the comments and cried some more. I identify so much with what you wrote and apparently so does everybody else, this is a lonely time of year that just magnifies what is missing. What a kind community you have created here. I know it might do very little to lift your spirits, but please know how special you are to us. The goobers you work with are really missing out on being your friend.

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  22. I wish all of us FRs could live in Greensboro and hang out with you whenever you felt like it. We’d be a varied group age-wise, which would be great since we’d benefit from the energy of the younger ones and the …whatever it is… that we in our 70s and older have to offer. Single, married, working, retired. Can you image all of us in one city? Can you imagine the not-blog names you’d have to come up with for each of us? Instead, we have to send you our love and support through our comments. Not as effective as in real life, perhaps, but it’s sincere.

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  23. I thought of something that I wanted to share… my friend lost her husband 4 years ago. She is 51. She joined a singles group of ladies her age. They do everything together…. dancing, dinner, holidays, trail walking. She is always on the go and always having a good time. She tried online dating for about a year, met a few duds, and she decided she’d rather just have some good lady pals. Just a thought.

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  24. Aaw Juan, there Are awful people at every job, aren’t there? A friend of mine is going through the same thing at work and it makes me so mad, I just want to punch and show them how amazing my friend is!
    Great post, Coot

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  25. I admire so many things about you. Your honesty is one of them, which may be a little schmoopy, and maybe you’d like to hear that. I also admire your tenacity, your hope, your hair, your mother, your true friends, your ability to eat only fruit for dinner, your getting up early to go to a class that hurts. I think you are a fun person to “know.” I’m sorry others don’t feel the same. It’s a shame.

    May these next few days either turn into something wonderful or fly by in a blur. Whichever is best.

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  26. As Las Vegas reader mentioned. Meetup groups can be fun. I go with one group on hikes and the organizer is so helpful teaching about various hiking trails.

    I go with one group that meets one Wednesday a month to enjoy wine at trendy spots in the city I live near.

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  27. So… I lurk most of the time because I’m better at reading than writing, June.

    But here’s what I believe is happening here: there are probably many people who still like you at work, but they’re not good at organizing things, and just go with the flow. The “party organizers” are probably much younger or don’t share your interests, so they don’t include you in the invitation to these happy hours / parties you hear about through social media. The colleagues who like you and get those invitations are probably too busy to notice, or too self-centered to care, that you’re being left out.

    Like you I’m a divorced introverted woman. The solution that worked for me was to find friends outside of work. I do yoga and started to arrive early so I could strike conversation with others waiting for the class to start; I also joined a meetup group that gets together to watch independent movies and then goes to dinner to discuss them.

    It required some discipline to start doing these things, but this is how I found new friends to go out with from time to time without having to rely on work colleagues. Good luck, and happy holidays.

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  28. There’s nothing more I can say that these wonderful people haven’t already said. I like you. I’m half tempted to move, get a job with you, and just hang out at your desk, and make catty comments about the young whipper snappers. I don’t normally comment, but I felt you needed to know how many people you reach with your words.

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  29. June, it breaks my heart that you feel this way, but I completely understand. I’ve lost almost all of the people that made Christmases so magical when I was young, and even though I’m surrounded by a lot of people, this time of year is so lonely. I go to Christmas Eve service, but spend the entire time biting the inside of my cheek to focus on that instead of letting myself openly weep, which is what would happen otherwise. I’ve also had that same work experience, and it is like living “Mean Girls” every single day.

    You are loved by so many of us, but I know that is a distant, virtual caring that doesn’t replace being surrounded by people over the holidays. Just know that you are on our minds and we’re with you in spirit.

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  30. I personally I wish it was Dec 26. It’s hard this time of the year for so many reasons. Your writing brightens my day and I wish you peace in the new year.

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  31. I’m feeling you, Junie. Not literally, but figuratively. I’m actually jealous that you get to live alone since I live with, well, we won’t go there. YOU are a lovely person. You can’t write consistently year after year and your awesome personality not come through. Hang in there. As my Mom always tells me, “This too shall pass.” And it always does.

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  32. Christmas hasn’t been the same for me since my brother died 9 years ago. I pretty much hate the holiday. I have good parents, a good husband, good kids…, and I just hold my breath until Christmas Day is over. My birthday is January 3, and I consider that to be my winter holiday. Everyone is back to school and work. I take the day off and do whatever I want.

    Your blog has brought a lot of light and laughter into my life over the years, and I hope you can find many things that bring you joy this week and in the new year. Your post about your Tiny Town visit should be made into a movie… one of your best ones! Merry Christmas, June!

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  33. I bet it is an age gap thing. Because you have a ton of people right here that would love to hang with you, in your real life! You are a hoot! And you’re kind, even when you are down or grumpy. June, I am a faithful reader from way back, even though I rarely comment. But today I just want to toss this out there. Please don’t ban me from commenting for making a tiny little suggestion. Actually, it’s just something for you to ponder. You became very close with your fellow workers at the church in Tiny Town. Have you considered looking for a church to attend? I’m not trying to push religion on ya, promise. But church people are usually pretty nice and welcoming. Sure, it might take a few visits to find one you like and feel comfortable in. But you never know who is on the other side of those doors, looking for a new fun friend! Sorry if this crosses the line, but it popped in my head and wouldn’t leave, so I felt the need to comment. I wish you a peaceful few days left of 2017, snuggling with your fur babies…and a happy 2018, full of fun and love and excitement and dogs and kitties!

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  34. June, I’m sad that you are sad. It’s so hard when life isn’t what you thought it would be. Even when you logically know that brighter days are ahead, it’s hard to yank yourself into the light. I’ve always been aware that the holidays are very difficult for some people, but this is the first year that I REALLY feel how people are hurting. Around here, Hurricane Harvey was months ago, but the effects are so very long lasting. I would say 50% of the people I know and love are out of their homes, living here, there and everywhere. They don’t have Christmas trees because they don’t have decorations. Their favorite things flooded and are long gone. They have no tangible evidence of their years of family memories. Their traditions are impossible this year. It’s hard to bake the cinnamon rolls you’ve baked every Christmas morning for 20 years when your kitchen is gutted. The microwave in the laundry room just won’t cut it for Christmas dinner.
    It’s hard to think about making things festive when you don’t feel grounded. I see it and feel it like never before with my friends and my coworkers and my family. The flip side to that real sadness, though, is opportunity. Because of circumstances beyond our control, this year is a chance to do things differently. Spend time with people in different ways. See the holidays with fresh eyes. Start something new. Find hope and kindness in places you never saw it before and let love and loss share space in your heart.
    I wish the same for you, June. You’re the best.

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  35. I’m sorry you’re feeling lonely and blue. I feel the same way. I miss my sister.

    You are not alone and you are loved.

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  36. June, I’m so sorry about your work situation. I can only imagine how hard that must be. Know that you are not alone, as you have so many people here who think you are delightful. You brighten our days and make us laugh. We cheer for you in your successes and we cry with you when things aren’t going well. While an online community isn’t exactly a perfect substitute for a close knit group at work or for the perfect companion, we are ready and willing to stand in your doorway or offer a dreaded hug. Merry Christmas, Juan. We love you and your many pets!

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  37. Hey, great idea. Carol is in the Ozarks, I’m in NC, so…two different time zones. Get someone in Mountain Time and someone in Pacific Time and we can chat and sip and cookie nibble for hours.

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  38. I really dislike this time of year. When the kids were younger I set some pretty unrealistic expectations for Christmas (like getting them pretty much everything on their gift lists) and now am feeling the stress of not being able to (or wanting to) do that anymore. Having to deal with multiple gift exchanges with different sides of the family. Ugh. I just want to climb in a hole and come out New Year’s Day. I guess I’m trying to say that even having a full house and family around doesn’t necessarily make this time of year any better. (Way to make this about me…insert sad face emoji)
    But I’m so sad that you’re sad, June. I wish there was something your FR could do from afar to make it better. You’ve been such an important part of my life for so long that it hurts to see you so sad, because you are such a bright and sparkling star in the firmament of my world. Do something nice for yourself.

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  39. Oh, Coot. You are not alone and you are so loved. Thank you for showing up here day after day, sharing your life with strangers who have become friends. You entertain us, you make us laugh and cry. That’s what friendship is about.

    And you’re so pretty. With a nice class ring and lenient rules.

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  40. I’m sorry you are sad.

    I think each of us is one puzzle piece in a huge puzzle box. What is the likelihood that we will find our match in the corner where we happen to be tossed?

    I think it is very telling that in this busiest time of the year, so many people stop what they’re doing to spend time with you and hear what you have to say.

    It means that you are a good person who touches our hearts. Keep us in mind and know we are thinking of you.

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  41. Dear June,
    I think so many of us are just muddling through, even if from the outside we look like we’re getting along fine.
    I’m sorry that you’re currently feeling lonely and I wish I could say something that would help but I’m afraid all I can manage is telling you, that although I have never met you, I care so much about you and know that many many others do to. I hope you will be able to find some Merry this Christmas at some point.
    Victoria xx

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  42. June, I am so sorry you are hurt and sad, and frankly shocked at your shithead coworkers who sound like they don’t even make an attempt to be kind!

    I am crying now, our Christmas is sadder, too, this year. Working hard to be cheerful and thankful for the many reasons I should be.

    Life is so strange. And terribly disappointing. I continue to be shocked by that.

    You are loved. Wishing and hoping for better days for all.

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  43. Well we like you, so there. It’s a bit late now but next year if things still suck, come to New Zealand for Christmas. It’s the middle of summer so we have barbeques and go to the beach. It’s great!

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  44. Oh sweetie – I’m so sorry you are in a funk. If i knew where you were, I’d swoop in with a bottle of wine and some chocolate. Know you aren’t alone and we are here.

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  45. I’m sorry. It really sucks when your “true friends” are not physically near by. Because then you realize even more deeply that the local friends apparently aren’t “true friends.”

    I really wish at this moment that I had profound advice. Because even if you don’t want it I would give it anyway. But I just don’t. I hate holidays in general. And I hate that so many other people hate it too. I am so sorry.

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  46. I’m so sorry, June. I was divorced for 11 years, and had 5 totally alone years after my son moved far away. I remember getting up on Christmas morning one year and walking out to where I had a pretty yule centerpiece. Well, It’s Christmas, I thought, as I made myself a cup of coffee and did all the normal things I do on a day off.

    on December 12, my very best friend for 20 years lost her battle with cancer. Her memorial was Thursday night. I’m no longer, alone, but this year, I’d just as soon cancel Christmas, unfortunately, my stepdaughter, who is 13 and doesn’t like me because her mom tells her I’m awful is coming to town. I have to put on a mask and pretend. June, we are all here because we love you, and we understand and ache for you too.

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  47. I’m so sorry. This post broke my heart, but at the same time, was refreshing. As odd as that sounds, we are overwhelmed with tidings of joy and love this time of year. If I don’t feel that, it makes me feel less-than. I am lonely too. It’s one of the many ways I relate to you, June. Your post is real and raw. It reflects what so many of us truly feel at the holidays. I wish we lived closer. I know we would be friends in real life. You would make me laugh hysterically and I would bug the crap out of you. Ha! I know it’s of little comfort, but you have made a difference in my life. I treasure you. And thanks to your non-blog, my dogs each got a Blue for Christmas! So they treasure you too!

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  48. I am totally amazed at the number of people that have grown children, yet they are going to be alone during the holidays, these are friends in real life that are facing this situation.

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  49. I can’t comment from my computer (FU WP) and I can’t thumb-type an entire pithy comment on my phone, but June, you about killed me with this post. (I won’t go into my coping mechanisms because: advice. And: boring. And: not entirely successful.) I’ll just steal this from a favorite movie, “Now stop feeling sorry for yourself. And incidentally, *I* love you.”

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  50. Dear Jooon, I said it before – you are my hero. You put into words how scary it is to be a woman of a certain age and yet you go on to do so many brave things I admire. I too experience the feeling of being outcast even in situations with people I thought were my friends. If I were closer I would bring the bubbles and we would start the day with mimosas and then play make over all day. I ask the same question many in this group of beautiful amazing people ask – how do we fix this and connect.

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  51. I’m so sorry you are sad. If you were in Ohio you could come to my misfit Christmas. Random friends and neighbors who have nothing to do, all are welcome. My dog would kiss you. It doesn’t help much I don’t think, but know we all love you.

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  52. I so enjoyed your post about Tony Town, and all your friends you visited. I am sad that joy is not still with you. It is hard when you get older to stay in touch as so many of the younger generation have different types of responsibilities or none at all. I was probably the oldest in my office, though now retired, I still try to stay connected. It takes effort for sure. Please don’t take it personally as current generation is so different. All of us readers see you as a dear friend who makes us laugh, snort, and sometimes even think. June Gardens, you are the diamonds in our tiara! Don’t ever forget that!

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  53. This post is a goddamned TREASURE.

    Lately, as I reach middle(ish) age as a divorced single mom in a career I loathe, I can’t help but notice that despite all of the fucking tap dancing I’ve done my entire life to secure a man and a kid and a job it’s pretty likely I’ll feel alone anyway. I don’t know, it’s just that I’ve put SO MUCH effort into relationships (mainly with men), I feel like I should have some kind of Romantic 401(k) built up by now, to draw on in my old age. I guess when you say things haven’t worked out like you thought they would, SAME.

    Anyhoo, this is so beautifully articulated and there’s no question that your words are a comfort to many. Also, your posts about Ned resonate with me more than anything I’ve read elsewhere on the internet. So thanks for that. Xx

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  54. My husband and I moved away from our family 17 years ago. At first we would make attempts to visit for the holidays and then we would just spend the time with friends. Around 5 years ago the depression started in. It was such a struggle to even care. The last 2 years I didn’t even try. The only reason we did anything for Christmas is because husbands parents still send us gifts. Finally my husband suggested that we move back to Idaho. I never thought I would but its made a huge difference.

    No, this isn’t advice. Its thankfully just what worked to pull me out. I’m so sorry you are feeling blue. I just wanted you to know it will get better. Even though I have the plague this year I’m still happier than I have been in a long time. I’m living in my in-laws basement with 6 cats and its been wonderful.

    Hoping your Christmas gets better and I’m sending you lots of love. Also, if you touch the love you might get the plague so be careful.

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  55. I have had the Christmas Blues for decades. It will probably always be my least favorite holiday now. I had good ones as a kid and in our newlywed days. Working retail starting in 1985 started to tarnish it and unresolved infertility finished off the job. Too much financial and social pressure, my closest friends do not live close by. I last put up a tree and decorated in 2001, I think. We got bigger furniture and forgot to save a tree spot. With my husband’s cancer we have recieved bad diagnoses four out of the last six Christmases so there is that too. He got my or his coworker’s virus on Thursday. We went to the ER and he got admitted. They are taking great care of him but we may end up spending Christmas there this year. He is where he needs to be, getting better for his cyber knife treatments in early January is paramount.
    I get the last man standing at work thing too. All of my closest friends left the retail job before I did and it made things pretty joyless for me.
    I hope your blues subside some. Let your pets love on you lots and please remember how much we your readers adore you and wait for each post daily. You are a gift we get to open several times a week!

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  56. I’m sorry you’re feeling down. I always feel blue as the days get short, but now they’re on the upswing again so bring on the new year! Today’s post was beautifully written.

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  57. That was a raw, tender and beautiful post, June. It made my heart hurt. I wish you could come over Christmas afternoon for some tea and cookies. Let me know if you’re headed my way.

    That work social thing is painful, not unlike high school when all of your friends are a year or two older and they all graduate and you’re slogging the once fun hallways on your own and feeling you might as well be invisible.

    I join the ranks of Christmas avoiders. My relief comes on January 2nd. The first time I exhale since November 15th.

    We don’t do presents so this year I ordered a Stitch Fix box for Dec. 23rd delivery so I’m getting some cute surprise clothes for Christmas and I ordered myself a small Harry and David Tower so I’ll have some treats I didn’t have to labor for. I also have a cardinal rule without exception to not watch ANY commercials in Nov. and Dec. Every ad is muted and I pick up a book until it is over. I only watch a couple of hours of TV a week so it’s not hard but just that much commercial TV can make me profoundly depressed.

    Love to all of you out there alone or grieving. I invite you all to my house for tea and cookies at 2:00 PM Christmas Day.

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      1. PJ I do the same with the TV commercials as well as the radio…avoid at all costs.
        I think I’ve only heard once Christmas song so far this year while quickly dashing into and out of a store, and it still made me cry.

        I hope you enjoy your Stitch Fix and the Harry and David. Heart emoji.

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    1. Even if we don’t come to your house, we can all have tea and cookies (or a substitute) at 2 on Christmas Day.
      Thank you PJ for the invitation. See you ALL there/here.

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  58. I could just feel the sad reading this post. And you are not alone in this shitty month. If I had a job right now I would love to have you as a co-worker. You are hilarious and not too sappy or kiss ass. In other words the best kind of person. Hope you find some tiny piece of joy on Christmas. Thank you for all the years of laughs and beautiful writing,

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  59. Dear June,
    If you were closer, I would ask you over for a jumbo glass of vino. I’m sorry about the work dynamic shift…ouch. I am often struck by how many of us are lonely even as we are surrounded. How do we fix that and connect? A question for the ages. Like a lot of your readers, my holidays are touched with loss. I love the holidays but they come with a wide range of feelings.

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  60. DSTAR said it so well – I’m not a fan of December and use it as a time to retreat and recharge but when work AND home are shitty it’s miserable at any time of year. I always lurk and never comment (until now) but enjoy your writing every morning.

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  61. I am sorry you are sad. It probably doesn’t help anything, but you make a lot of people, myself included, happy with your posts. There are people who love you and care about you. You are too good of a person to feel this way for long. Your happy days will return soon. And you will be stronger for what you have been through. We will all be thinking about you during this rough patch.

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  62. I am in your living room, with you, and sharing much of the same feelings. My brother arrives here tomorrow, and it’s just the two of us now, our parents are gone, and neither of us have kids. No man for me, and his long-term girlfriend goes back home to her mother (she’s an only child).

    I was feeling grey all fall, and just got started on my SAD light therapy a week or so ago. It seems to be helping lift my mood, but frankly, I want to see a major shift in my how I feel. I dragged the tree up from the basement and put it up, still need to do the lights, but it’s up there, for the first time in years. It’s pretty and my living room feels a bit festive.

    All of this is to say, that I fully understand where you are coming from. I work seasonally, and will go back in January. I’ll see some folks I’ve missed, and we’ll reconnect. But it’s not the same as a real workplace, where you go all year long. I long for that, and hope that I can find a job change in 2018 that puts me back in that environment once again.

    Not advice, but I’ve found that when I’m in this blue-ish time of life, I refocus on friendships that I know can be positive and affirming. I’ve been doing a lot of coffee dates with these friends over the last three months. I figure if I get out, I’m part of the world. I can sit have drink coffee, knowing others are out and about in Mpls or St. Paul, living their lives too. It’s small, but it seems to help. One friend and I spontaneously went up to Duluth a couple of weeks ago. Just for the day, to see the lights. It was fun, and a reminder that having happiness in small doses still does the job.

    I think getting Jodie Foster was an excellent idea, and you should continue. Perhaps there are other like-minded fosters that get together, some new people to add into your world. This was long and ramble-y, but please know you have a friend here in the northern tundra who understands where you’re at right now.

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  63. I’m sorry. I’m a lurking daily reader and can only imagine the psychic cost of writing this post. I’m just sorry it’s terribly hard for you right now.

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  64. I’m right there with you. This is a time of year to be endured. I have a similar situation at work as well. I try to focus and enjoy the people that I do have a good relationship with, and find ways as work to make myself happy. Good coffee, good music and lots of shitty, snarky comments that I keep to myself.

    Thank you for being so honest and bold with your struggles. I think you can see from my fellow commenters, you are not alone. It’s just a different kind of togetherness. And no hugging!

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  65. This post broke my heart. I so wish I knew you in real life, because you’re my favorite person in all the land! You are so loved, and so lovely. I’m sure you did nothing wrong at work. I am also older than my coworkers at my job. I think sometimes the younger side just doesn’t really know how to forge those friendships, or don’t realize how hep we older folks really are! Merry Christmas my even-though-I-don’t-know-you-in-person friend!

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    1. That makes a lot of sense. Some younger people are not in person communicating people. They don’t plan on staying in one job for long, so don’t attach. There aren’t too many jobs out there with the loyalty to their employees , so none is returned. No attachments to break off.

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  66. June, I’m so sorry you’re feeling down. I know it probably doesn’t help a whole lot (seeing as how we can’t go out or be with you in person to ward off your holiday funk) but your Faithful Readers love you and we are thinking of you during the holiday season. Just know that you ARE loved and thought of often. Here’s to a better year ahead.

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  67. Wonderful, touching post and comments. You created this fun, funny, supportive little community.

    You are something special to me, dear June, and I will be forever grateful to have found you all.

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  68. It’s so hard when things are weird with coworkers. I’m sorry that you’re having to deal with that.

    If it matters, reading your not-blog is a bright spot in my days.

    Wishing you peace.

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  69. I am in tears. I understand. Things in our life change and often they are changes we can’t control and don’t like. It often is not you personally, but just circumstances and life that changes. To be honest, I hate change. This time of the year is especially hard, me for one. It starts, usually on the 2nd of December and continues the entire month, or at least until Christmas has passed. This year has been hard for many of us. I am going to try to focus on the fact I have so much to be thankful for and pray next year will be better for all of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  70. Dang, this post just broke my heart. I am really sad that you are so blue this holiday season. You make me laugh every day that you post. I wish I lived near you – I’d invite you over.

    Wishing you strength.

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  71. I’m so sorry that you feel down June. I, too, have lost my child-like wonder of the holidays and this is the second year in a row with no tree. I just can’t get interested in even putting up a fake tree. Not sure if it is that there have been so many deaths at this time through the years or that I am old and cranky. I have my mom close by and my husband and kitty Augie but at times it feels like I am alone for some reason.

    Sorry about the work thing as well. Since I work from home most days now, I’ve lost touch with my co-workers and their lives. We all used to be pretty close but got a new boss 3 years ago that is not as adept at the social aspects of the job so we have all drifted apart. Most of my co-workers are close to my age but we do have 3 who are in their 20s. That is a pretty big gap when you think of all that has gone on in the last 20-30 years. I mean, these folks don’t even know any Seinfeld references!!!

    June, I hope you can make it through this time of year knowing that you bring happiness to a dedicated group of readers who hang on your every post! And you have Edsel who would be completely lost without his mom. And the cats who don’t give a fig but they would miss the ready food. You are such a giving person, fostering little Jodie and helping her get started on her hopefully long journey through life.

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  72. Ok, I’ll finally comment. I’m so sorry you’re feeling this way, June. As everyone else is saying, you’re in good company this time of year — so many people feel the way you do. I’ve worked places where no one liked me and it’s completely draining and hurtful, even though I’m a misanthropic introvert who would really prefer no one talk to me, so I can only imagine how much it sucks for you. It sounds like your coworkers are boring and dumb, and are threatened by your awesome hair and keen wit. I hope in the new year, you find a new social circle that appreciates kickass funny women and fills up your calendar. <3, the WordPress person

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  73. Your words touch my heart. For some reason I feel like this particular post is so well written, it could heal people in a way or at the very least be a gift of comfort.

    You’re so pretty, Juan.

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  74. Well I don’t know what’s going on at work, but it is very hard to be an outsider. Social media reinforces this too. When you see their posts and fun times and you were not invited, it is very hurtful.

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  75. You entertain me daily, and I’m so sorry that you are struggling. Grandma would say “this too shall pass” and I know she’s right. Something different is around the corner, be watching!

    Grandma would also say “there’s a lid for every pot, no matter how dented”. That was directed at crazy Aunt Shirley, but still….

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  76. Right before I logged on to read your blog I had felt a shift of blue. I could have written this post myself. So, yes, thank you for being real and letting me know you’re in the same spot. I wish it wasn’t so.

    In closing, I started watching IAWL last night. That’s what I hang on to. I know my life matters because of how many lives I have touched. You’ve touched me June.

    Merry Christmas you wonderful old Building and Loan

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  77. I click on through to the comments and don’t read them but go back up to the top, then read the comments. But, the top comment caught my eye, just the first line…I thought , oh no, Steely Dan died ,got ran over,caught a terrible virus and died. I thought no, it might be a person she knows that died , the comment sounded like whatever it was , was a death. I rushed to start reading, not wanting to know either.
    He isn’t dead , nor is anyone else. Thank goodness..
    I too hate this holiday time. This past year I have had people hurt me that I trusted. the loss of my dad 10 years ago still haunts me.I have lost many pets and this time of year I can’t help but cry.
    Oh, heck, I don’t even like people. I like my own company.
    Your writing and storytelling are a sparkle in my life and thank you.
    Go hug the little doodle who is your foster and the big ol’ bruiser that is your Steely. Take time to cry your eyes out for Murphy. We all need a good cry once in awhile..
    I hear there is a little window seat at a bookstore that is interesting around there. Put on one of your new color lipsticks and your red swing coat . Enjoy life in your own world, you can make it up as you go along.One day at a time, if need be.

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  78. As a former HR professional, I observed the very fluid group dynamics at their worst and best. A wonderful team would lose a team member and the entire social and operational dynamic of the group would change. People who previously were the natural social leaders would suddenly be relegated to a different role, through no action on their part. Even without having all the information about your group, I believe this is what is going on. Although I can see that you would take it personally, it is probably just the ebb and flow of social/ business I interaction due to changing business needs and staff changes. I don’t say this to minimize your very real feelings. It must seem so perplexing and sad to you.
    I’m so sorry that you are feeling this way. I’m not a Christmas person, either, and I do a lot of things to neutralize the impact of the decor, music, and expectations and just get through it. (I’m spending Christmas at the beach, for example.)
    Your FRs continue to look forward to your witty, smart, and engaging not-blog. This that you shared today is beautifully written and has caused all of us to feel like we’re right there with you in these feelings. That is brilliant writing. Thank you sharing with us.

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      1. Beth, I’m with you in thanking DStar. I love learning something new like that from the insiders who worked it. So many things have changed.

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  79. I’m sorry you are having a hard time and that you feel lonely. It’s hard to make friends as an adult and then when the people you thought were your friends turn out to not be, it sucks. Tahiti in December sounds fabulous and maybe you can do that next year with all your Amazon gains and your $18 tax cut! I do hope you enjoy your Christmas even if it’s different than you thought it would look this year. You have a bunch of people out here who love you! { heart emoji }

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  80. Oh this holiday can hurt. I hope you’re able to find enjoyment in your quiet holiday at home with all of your entertaining pets. From past posts it sounds like a lot of your work friends have moved on to different jobs which leaves room for new and younger coworkers. It’s a terrible feeling to left out and I’m hopeful that you find bright spots in your work days.

    Merry Christmas and here’s to a wonderful 2018!

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  81. This year has been crummy – not just for our household but many we know. Is there a chance that the work thing is because people see you as a boss? There’s something about joking around with your superior (even if it’s not “legitimate”) that just doesn’t seem right. This might be *too New Agey* but I thought I’d say it anyway – I wonder if the universe knows you’re still working on yourself and your strength of getting through (not over) the Ned stuff before sending you a person?

    I hope you find quiet peace this weekend and please know that you touch many lives with your writing, bringing joy every day to readers who might not always agree politically or pet-raisingly but we come because we want to.

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    1. I would not take your comment down, CrabbyVic, I appreciated it and I’m glad you’re getting yourself some flowers like I got myself a little Harry and David treat. Way too much money for what you get but I’ve always wanted one and I was so happy when it arrived. I hope you are delighted with your flowers.
      I lived in a transient area for about 20 years and I would tell people when I met them that I could guarantee that if I liked them they would move several states away within 3 years. If we keep breathing the darn holiday goes away.

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    2. I also appreciated your comment, Crabbyvic- thanks for sharing.
      Lasagne, Chianti, and flowers sound like a fabulous Christmas combination. I hope you enjoy.

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    3. “See how I took your tale of woe and made it all about me ?”

      Crabby, this made me smile.

      Don’t we all do that??

      June, we love you. And you are not alone.

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  82. I’m also alone with you.
    I have made terrible choices in romance.
    So terrible, I can’t even think about trying that again.
    I live in a transient tourist area. As soon as I make a friend, they move on to another state.
    I work with a group of social oddballs. I’ve never been included in their activities. Quite frankly, I’m not sure I want to be involved.
    I’m alone this year and I plan to cook a nice lasagna and get a good Chianti. I will get a bouquet of holiday flowers. So.
    See how I took your tale of woe and made it all about me ?
    I have no advice because you don’t want any.
    I will say, again, you’re not alone.

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  83. Oh June… I cried the whole way through this. I am so very sorry. There is literally (and I mean that literally) nothing anyone can say or do to make all that better. I will say this – I fight to stay upbeat around this time of year even with a husband, kids, grandkids, etc. It’s all just too too much. So many expectations to be jolly and bright.

    My favorite time is the days between Christmas and New Years Eve – those quiet, introspective, low stress days are what I look forward to the most during the holidays.

    Much love to you. You bring joy and laughter and a sense of family to all of us here… thank you for that.

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    1. I understand where you are coming from! I have four grown kids and I’m pretty much going to be alone. One of my kids moved to Pittsburgh last year, two will be working and one doesn’t speak to me.

      There’s a storm coming so I had to deliver some gifts yesterday and I’ll see my son tomorrow to give him my gifts.

      This is my first year with a total empty nest and it’s so odd! I didn’t even put up a tree because nobody but me will see it. I didn’t want to look at all the ornaments that my kids made when they were little.

      Christmas Day I plan to go cross country skiing, snuggle with my dog and watch chick flicks. I’m also staying right the F off of Facebook! There may or may not be a big bottle of wine in my refrigerator!

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      1. That is my favorite time of the holiday season, also- the week after Christmas. I always get very depressed from Thanksgiving until Christmas and rejoice when December 26th rolls around. I actually count down the days until Christmas is over.

        You aren’t alone, June.

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