It only really dawned on me just now, after having read Jeanie's "Yuletide Showdown" that it's Christmas time. Sure, I can't go anywhere without hearing my least favourite style of music - carols, and every second customer who bothers to speak to me (past barking their order for coffee at me) asks if I've completed my Christmas shopping (I haven't), but I guess it's proof of my self-absorbed nature that I have mainly been too internally focused to have noticed.
Christmas has never been one of those family occasions for me. Growing up, it was spent with my parents and sister, because we're the only members of our family that live here. Everyone else is spattered across England and Uzbekistan. My parents relocated to the Land of the Long White Cloud in January of 1983, and spent the following five years living six months here, and six months in Coventry, England. I've had one Christmas with my grandma, and none with any other extended family. That's just how we roll.
The last few Christmases don't even register in my memory, really. Ours are so low-key these days. Last year we didn't even have a tree. I probably spent the day on my bike, as I competed in the Surfbreaker Triathlon two days later. The last one I can recall actual details from was 2004, because mum had a glass of champagne and got drunk. I got drunk later in the evening and went home with an old friend, with the intent of sleeping. He had different ideas. I was eighteen years old, and pretty appalled. On Boxing Day, we went on a family clothes shopping expedition of sorts with Donny's family. How times have changed.
This year, my mum and dad are spending Christmas day at 2/70 with me. Rex, Sara and Steph are flitting around the Auckland / Northland areas, visiting family over Christmas and Boxing days, and Sam - well, I haven't actually asked, but one assumes he's having "a quiet one with the iPod" or something to that effect. Originally, I was going to go back to Cowtown for the days surrounding the "birth of baby cheeses", but due to my declining vision and motorway awareness, they're braving SH1 to come and enjoy my 'hood.
Today I visited Bike75. It wasn't the most straightforward experience I've ever had - it took me three attempts and laps of the Sale Street block before I finally got it right, found a park and wondered on in to find Chris. As luck would have it, he wasn't around, but appeared while I was talking to his workmate about my Garmin helmet. He then hung around, offered me directions to work, asked why I hadn't been on the ferry this morning, commented on my neat handwriting, and said he would text me later on. He did, but not to ask me out like I hoped. Instead, he asked if his directions were sufficient, and said he looked forward to calling me when my helmet arrives.
I don't remember a time where I've been this excited about waiting for a boy to call me. Whether this is because usually calls from Donny come between 2 and 4am, and are influenced by ever-increasing amounts of alcohol remains to be seen. I think I'm just a little bit giddy about the whole thing, and for now, I'm rather enjoying it.
Merry Christmas, yo.