Christmas Letter, Part 1


Dear Family and Friends:

Oh, Christmastime.  I remember you.  Last year as we opened gifts, my dad shot me with a rubber band gun he bought for my nephew, which was just enough to send me off the existential deep end.  It didn’t break my skin, but somehow split me apart, like those Houdini-inspired apple corers from Williams Sonoma that clean out an apple’s center without even being in the same room as the apple.

Yes.  It was exactly like that.

I spent the rest of Christmas day in the Kalama Valley Shopping Center parking lot, sobbing like an eight-year old that didn’t get the right iPhone.  (“I said 3GS not 3G!  Fuck you Santa!”)  The Kalama Valley Shopping Center is a nearly empty little strip mall that usually cheers me up due to its complete lack of commercial success.  Ha ha, I like to think, not even No Starbucks Left Behind could save you.

Eventually Ryan picked me up, and brought me home so that we could merry make in the form of singing carols with my uncle, who is retarded, yet has a vast knowledge of song lyrics.

He calls every day, to tell me he loves me.

Some days I don’t want to answer the phone.

The holidays overwhelm me.  I don’t feel as bad this year, because I’m reading The Introvert Advantage. The author says introverts often have a difficult time over the holidays, because of their superior intellect and distrust of the red-green color combo.  The Introvert Advantage is actually helping me through a lot of my issues which always made me feel like the outside world and I were not meant to be.  Now, thanks to The Introvert Advantage, I am empowered by my absolute fear of humanity.  Almost.

Dad: What are you reading?

Me: The Introvert Advantage

Dad: There’s no advantage to being an introvert.

Me: Thanks, dad.

I’m ready for 2010.  I’m hopefully selling my eggs to a gay couple, which I’m finding surprisingly meaningful, considering I’m getting paid very little, and usually meaning and financial gain go hand in hand.  I couldn’t say no, even though Ryan said SAY NO, and my IVF doctor said you’re getting RIPPED OFF.  My egg agent said—you’re the perfect combination of the two of them, to which I thought—I’m the perfect combination of two gay men?—but knew what she meant.  One likes to help people, the other likes to give head—I get it.  Ryan cares about me before I care about me—saying maybe my body can’t take it again, maybe the extra drugs I had to take post-surgery this last round was a sign—a sign from my ovaries saying they were tired of the overcrowding.  He’s the only one with front row seats when I go from normal Jenn moody to Sybil-on-meth moody.  We live in a multiple choice world, and my current choices are between a low wage day job, or to inject myself with mega-doses of hormones, while taking steroids and antibiotics, and then having elective surgery.  It’s funny how I won’t drink milk–even if it is hormone and antibiotic-free–but i’ll skip the middle cow and go right for the drugs.

In 2009, Ryan and I stopped blogging.  We still receive the occasional LMFAO on Ryan’s Happy Thanksgiving F U Song, or the rare e-mail from a stranger who stumbled upon our blog and connected his dots with our dots, feeling less alone as our dots came together to reveal a giant happy faced emoticon.  We even get the occasional comment about how I’m a hypocritical, culturally insensitive assholeChoose Our Own Adventure was probably too honest–we revealed ourselves and have considered un-revealing it all, so that employers who Google our names don’t judge us for being us—but it would kill me to pull it.  Blog or no blog, it hurts more to not be Jennifer Hee and Ryan Matsumoto, but some tranq-eyed Disney version of ourselves.  I mean, can you imagine?  Who am I without the F-word?  And sanity?  Sanity was so… 1996.

For 2010, new is the new old.  So much has changed.  Ryan is Hawaiianryan on Da Bomb.  We’ve started learning about videography and photography as new means of expression/ways to be badass.  I spent a year and a half of my life out in the day job world, faking a smile for 10 hours a day until it broke me apart.  The Peace Corps was easy compared to doing Customer Service in high-maintenance America.  Now I am back at home, learning to love the kitchen again, learning to sit in front of computer again, learning to smile fo’ real kine again.  And sure–I wish I had a literary agent instead of an egg donor agent.  But I don’t really need an agent for my words any more, because I have Kathy X., founder of Girl Fest, Glamour Woman of Your Year nominee, eskrima-trained fighter against prostitution and sex trafficking.  She decided, in addition to her year-round human rights activism, full-time job at Legal Aid, and nighttime brothel raids–to launch an independent non-profit online paper/literary ‘zine—the Hawaii Women’s Journal—and asked me to be the editor.  I couldn’t say no, because saying no to Kathy X. would be like turning down God.  I don’t know, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but only a little.  Kathy X. is super human.  So far, I have enjoyed coming up with columns we will NOT be featuring in the Hawaii Women’s Journal—such as an auto advice column called “Junk in the Trunk,” or  a meaningless column called, “Ask an Nihilist.”  Fortunately, we’re working with our writers to develop columns, because if I had it my way, every column title would end with Bitch, period.

For example:

Take a Hike, Bitch.  (Travel)

Knit me a Sweater, Bitch.  (Handicraft/D.I.Y.)

Call My Lawyer, Bitch.  (Legal Advice)

Make me a Pot Pie, Bitch.  (Food)

Grow me Some Organic Lacinato Kale, Bitch.  (Gardening)

Vermicompost this, Bitch.  (Eco)

I’ll Show You Biblical, Bitch.  (Religion)

I am excited, especially because it’s connected me over the course of a few weeks with all sorts of incredible women contributors who are way into this project–as they should be, because it’s going to be awesome.  Just like things people think God made, like consciousness and vodka.  That awesome.

I wanted to start blogging again as if I’d never stopped… for a year.  Ryan and I will have another blog up soon as well–but it will focus less on “Hi, my name is Jenn and I have thoughts,” and more on our videography, photography, artography, and performance projects.  Part of my new approach to blogging is  to draft less and write more–to just post with less agonizing over thematic coherency, grammatical accuracy, or whether or not I overdid it on the socially acceptable angst scale.

Sri Lanka/India stories coming soon. Perhaps the first will be called, “Hawaiianryan vs. Squat toilet on a moving train,” or “What’s this little bucket of water for?”



2 Responses to “Christmas Letter, Part 1”

  1. 1 Tara

    I am absolutely honored to know Kathryn. My association with her has brought me into contact with some kick ass women…to include you! Loved this posting.

    • 2 jenn meleana

      Aw, thank you Tara! Hope to meet you in real life at the launch party! I am less kick ass in real life than I am on the page, but after a few drinks I should be able to socialize like a normal person!

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