Redefining normal

It's funny what passes for normal these days.
A few days ago, I was talking to a friend and he was describing someone he met. "You know, I think for her, finding 'Mr. Right' would be someone who didn't hit her. I think to her, that would be a keeper." And I was sad hearing that. I have a wonderful husband. A husband who does the dishes, the laundry and has a job that supports us both while I chase down some wild dream to become the next famous crazy baker. For me, I hate that my husband isn't more traditionally romantic. Like flowers and chocolates. But honestly, I don't need it. And he knows that. I know he loves me when he lets me nap while he mows the yard.
But then, at the same time, I saw a tweet that made me stop. The girl was talking about how she wished her dad would still warm up her car for her like he did when she was in high school. And I stared. I just stared. Not because I think this woman is delusional, but because it was like reading Spanish. I learned it, I know I know what those words mean, but I can't really stir the exact meaning. I never had a car in high school. And my dad moved out when I was twelve. I eventually got a car, and my mom taught me how to change the oil in it.
If there ever was a time that I was the primary focus of my parent's lives, it was so long ago that I can't stir it in my memories. So I'm going to assume that it probably never happened.
I tend to hate this time of year. Every TV show we watch has some kind of Christmas-focused episode and it usually centers around family. And while most of the shows are already about family, this is about the family coming together and really appreciating each other. And I just can't understand it.
I watch fathers read to their children and tuck them in at night.
And I don't understand.
I see families give their children cars.
And I don't understand.
I watch moms braid their daughters hair.
And I don't understand.

These are obviously things that I should be passed. I shouldn't care that my mom never braided my hair and that my sister and I taught ourselves. I shouldn't care that nobody read to me, and that I just read to myself. I shouldn't care that 25 years ago I got sick and remember that nobody took care of me. Instead I sat in front of the TV watching the Secret of Nimh.

These things haunt me because they shaped the me that I have become. Someone who does not know how to rely on others because for so long the others were not there. And this time of year, all I can do is feel sorry for myself because the built-in safety net that so many people take for granted- family, I just don't have. Our immediate family is so dysfunctional that my grandmother halted all family gatherings several years ago. So our not-so-tight knit family is now shards. My grandmother and grandfather celebrate with my aunt. My mother and uncle celebrate together. And sometimes my other uncle comes over with us. I usually take my sister Kacie with me and my other sister usually celebrates with whatever guy she's currently with.

I hate this time of year. And while I want to wallow in my own misery, instead, I must go and bake things for people who have families to celebrate with.