I wish someone would poll everyone in America re. whether holidays caused them more pleasure or pain.
Of course, for a true tally they'd have to finesse the data for the percentage of us who compulsively lie. And adjust for the myriad lack-of-free-will-in-decision-making influences, like whether we had a warm breakfast or fondled a bra before questioning.
But once all that has been settled, I’d like to know the TRUE TRUTH about holidays in regards to the joy / misery spectrum.
The graph might break each holiday into four time-sensitive phases:
1. Pre-holiday. (Eager anticipation / suicidal dread)
2. Actual real-time holiday. (Enjoyment / anger / annoyance / paralytic boredom)
3. Immediate post holiday. (after-glow / relief / PTSD)
4. Distant holiday memories. (Warm, fuzzy nostalgia / bitter guilt and regret / homicidal rage.)
The X axis or Y would be number of living humans, and we'd keep total indifference as our base line. OK? Or am I just way too sophisticated and mathy here? Maybe I'm talking about a pie chart.
Anyway, let's start with the easiest and most obviously divisive holiday: Valentine's day. Factors may include age and male or femaleness. At one extreme would be, You don't have a sweet heart but wish you did. And at the other would be, You have a sweetheart who feels precisely as you do about Valentine’s day and how it should be celebrated.
In between would be gradations of, You have a sweetheart who adores you but thinks your Valentine wishes are loony. Or you have a half-assed "sweetheart" who doesn't really give a hoot about you or your Valentine wishes. Or the person you want as your sweet heart hates your guts and wishes you'd die screaming in flames.
Do you suppose our poll would show that Valentine's Day causes more happiness or unhappiness among the humans?
Then there’s New Years Eve, packed with its high societal expectation of wacky, glamours fun among attractive pals, with a big, sexy, smooch at midnight. Would our tally reveal more people feeling happy on New Years Eve? Or more people feeling like shit?
Similarly, Mother’s day. You and your mom couldn't be closer. Or, your mother is dead, or you hate her, or she hates you. You aren’t a mother, or your kids are dead, or they hate you, or they like their step mother or mother-in-law way better.... On balance, more joy or pain?
And now, 'tis time for ye olde winter holidays, and all their accompanying warm, fuzzy, community, historical, family, fireside, food, candy, candles, gifts, snow, and holy-glow stuff...
Well, wherever you fall on the Ho!-Ho!-Ho! vs Boo-Hoo! Meter, I wish you the best. I really, really do.
Peace & Love