Opinion: Turn it off

Doo and I visited New York City a while back, and because I’d never seen a Broadway production, I insisted we get tickets to a show. We decided on “The Book of Mormon,” and it did not disappoint. In fact, this might be my new favorite musical. EVER. Hysterically raw and a good message, I loved every Latter Day Saint moment. Anyhoo, there’s one song that I can’t seem to get out of my head this week (no, not that song! Can you imagine me singing that one around the house?). Called “Turn It Off,” it’s all about suppressing bad thoughts and feelings.

Though I love the holidays, I find them extremely challenging. I’m constantly exhausted. I’m usually stressed. And if I have to answer “Why didn’t Pickleknuckle come back this year?” one more time, my daughter’s going to witness an elf-on-the-shelf homicide scene that will traumatize her for years to come. But because there are memories to be made with family and friends, I have to “turn it off.” I have to buck up and smile, don dresses and eyeliner, and pretend that I’m enjoying every single damn minute of togetherness and gift-giving when all I really want for Christmas is to finish “Breaking Bad,” alone except for a steaming mug of Ramen.

Unfortunately, my kids and Doo must face the consequences of this “Turn It Off” policy. As is the nature of bottling up true sentiments, that vitriol eventually spews forth, usually around 9 p.m. when I just need to go to sleep but everyone is ensconced in a “Lord of the Rings” marathon in the family room directly below my bed.

But what else can I do? I can’t act bratty with people whom I only see once a year, nor will that behavior fly with parents and in-laws. “Turning it off” is the only way to ensure happiness and good will toward men. And so, I will steal moments of quiet couch time in my PJ’s where I can, and will “turn it off” when holiday duty calls. I might also sing that other song.

Peace out.

Danielle Wilson

I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, the same year Dick Nixon was elected. Along with my twin sister and three younger sisters, I attended Catholic schools for thirteen years. (Holy Mother, pray for me.) I spent two years as a cadet at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado until I wised up and transferred to a more normal school, Indiana University, where I received a B.A. in history and a teaching license just for funsies. In 2001, I officially entered the ranks of stay-at-home moms to care for my two-year old son and newborn twins. I have mentally blocked all of 2002 and most of 2003. In 2004, I received a Master’s degree in U.S. History from I.U.P.U.I. and a fourth child from my should-have-had-that-vasectomy-sooner husband. From 2005 until mid-2010, I played Super Mom in the yet-to-be released indie film "Provide Daycare for Your Sister-in-Law's Children Because You Don't Have Enough to Do Already." I returned to teaching this fall at an undisclosed Indianapolis school where thankfully very few parents know who I am. I am considering developing a bad habit.

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