This is likely to be the last entry for 2001, which I'm sure comes as a great relief to several people; the year is almost over, and that elates no small number of my friends.

I also know that, in looking over old entries, I've once again been lax in updating as things happen. I know I use the excuse of being too busy living life to write about it, and to some degree it's true, but another part is the simple fact that I spend so much time talking about what's happening in my life with my friends as they happen that by the time I think about updating my diary, a lot of the information feels redundant. Still, this serves as an excellent record of events past since I don't log my IRC converstaions, so I should make a more directed effort at keeping this up-to-date.

Thanksgiving was about a month ago now, and it went off very well, though a few things happened that I feel I should discuss in more detail. The meal itself was a moderate success, at least according to everyone present, though I still have a few embarrassing memories. I managed to both burn and cut myself on the shards of a shattered Pyrex pan that I had put on the stove for no good reason. The turkey cooked wonderfully, and came out of the oven about two hours early, so I wrapped it and put it back in the oven on warm to keep it hot, which meant that by the time I served it it was dry. Then I screwed up the gravy recipe my mother gave me that I couldn't remember accurately, so I had to send Tanya with money to the store for a jar of gravy. Other than
those things, though, everything else was a hit.

More to the point, though, the day after our Thanksgiving feast, we went as a group of eight to Outback Steakhouse, as none of us wanted to cook. I've been on a diet, even over Thanksgiving and again over Christmas, trying desparately to lose weight in time for my surgery next year, so I said "I can't have any of the appetizers; they're too fattening." Well, everyone else dug into the food with gusto, and suddenly I felt myself ostracized and isolated. 

I don't say this to cast aspersions. I don't say this to point fingers or lay blame. In fact, this is nobody's problem but mine. I say it entirely because in a group of seven other people with whom I should have absolutely no reason
to fear or feel unsafe or isolated, I had an anxiety attack. At one point I had to leave the table and go to the bathroom, and it was an actual debate in my head as to whether or not I'd go back to the table or just head outside.

I'm not happy with this fact. I'm not proud of it. These should not at any point have been people with whom I should feel this way, and yet it happened, and over something so petty as being the only one at the table who couldn't enjoy the appetizers we'd ordered. If anything, this says how heavily ingrained this issue is. It felt a bit like vindication for my behavior at Anthrocon and at the Bashes in times past, and a bit like the second opinion confirming a terminal illness. This is a problem past which I feel I have to work. I don't want to spend my life hiding from my closest friends because I can't deal with something trivial like this.

Jessie and I just got back from visiting my in-laws for three days. Every time we head to Michigan, I can't wait to see them. Then, after a few days, I can't wait to get home. Mom is wonderful, and Dad's fun to be around, but the beds there are inevitably uncomfortable, and I honestly do think I'm allergic to the pets Jessie's mother keeps as necessary companions to help her with her depression.

Also, I inevitably feel like I've horribly underspent for their Christmas presents, though I suppose the money for the trip itself counts towards that. This year was reasonably cheap, but it's still quite a large chunk of change. Since we're about to head out of town again for New Years', things are likely to be tight. However, the vacations have been more than worth it, even if I have to tighten my belt and my purse strings when everything is said and done.

I wish I lived closer to all of my loved ones, but until I do, this is the next best thing.