I hope by the time you read this post I have not killed anyone

I have been thinking about what to wear to Ft. Walton tomorrow when I visit my mother's side of the family. I've kind of been dreading going because of the snide comments and the general way that I feel like complete shit after I leave. So I'm trying to think of ways I can feel confident and try not to let all of that toxicity in. My mother has been worked up since before Thanksgiving about this trip. And I wonder if that's the reason for the overall non-Christmas negativity. Could be.

So I'm thinking about what to wear. I have a lovely new pair of white pants I could wear with what I consider a stunning black shirt. Or I could wear the outfit I wore Christmas Eve which involved a deep maroon blazer. I could wear jeans and a cute black jacket I got from Santa. There are now more options than I can handle. But thinking about what to wear distracts me from thinking about the fact that my brother and his girlfriend are here, that they talk about the unborn puppy they're getting as if it were their child. I have issues with this mostly because the thought of the two of them being responsible for a human life is terrifying. I'm concerned about this dog they've already named Rudy. And I'm distracted from imagining the comments on my weight, hair, lack of marriage and/or children, and questions like, "when are you going to be finished with school?"

I'm thinking I'll reply, "Never." Because in many ways, it's true. And because I'll be imagining the relatives being struck by something very, very hard. My goal tomorrow is to smile, realizing that I really don't give a shit what they think about my life. Nor do I want to hear about it from them. This last part I have no control over, which as we know is what frustruates me most. Perhaps I'll use my father's favorite Southern saying, "Bless her/his/their heart." You can say anything you want about anyone, he claims, as long as you preface or conclude with "Bless her/his/their heart." It works in the South. And if it doesn't. Well... there's always an oven you left on or one  that you can stick your head in, which is how I will feel by oh about noon tomorrow.