Xmas stress

I live alone. Spending Xmas with my family is definitely a plus, and I don’t actively avoid it, but I also try to be flexible balancing family and work. You see, at my job I have low seniority. That means if 1/3 of my coworkers decide to book off for Xmas eve/day I am probably stuck working those days. Thats just how it works. Being at this job for two years, I’ve accepted that there are situations where you cannot be 100% guaranteed to have X day off. So if I have it off, I’ll visit my family. If I don’t have it off, I’ll visit them another day and exchange gifts then. Its no big deal.

But it is to the woman I’m dating. See, a couple of months ago, something really nice happened- she invited me to her sister’s for Christmas eve. Coming from a really conservative family, and being a really private individual, I took this as a positive sign things were going well between us. She said their family celebrates Christmas eve late, like till midnight. I told her very clearly I’d love to go, however due to my job schedule I wouldn’t know exactly when I’d get done that day. But since they’d be celebrating it so late, I would go straight to her sister’s house after work. In addition, my mom invited her to spend Christmas day with us. Best of both worlds! My mom has this nice tradition of giving Stockings full of little goodies to all her (grown-up) kids/stepkids/kids’ girlfriends, and she’d make one for the woman i’m dating. At the time I was pretty certain I’d have Christmas day off.

Things changed at work. I found out I WOULD have to work on Christmas Day, but not until the early afternoon. I’d still have time to spend with my mom, it would just have to be somewhat brief. When I explained the situation to my SO, she got very upset. She told me that she assumed we’d be spending all day with my mom, and that she canceled on some relatives for that day. Apparently with her, once you cancel on someone, there’s no going back. So rather than go back and tell her aunts/uncles ‘oh actually it turns out I CAN make it’ with still over a week’s notice (at the time) she complained to me that I changed things on her it messed up her Christmas :smack:

Nevermind the fact that my JOB was the one that changed things on me, and that considering how little I might potentially see my own family, I was flexible and fine with everything, her reaction really stressed me out. I feel like its gone from having a nice Christmas with as many relatives/friends as possible to a stressfest consisting of appeasing grumpy individuals about how long I’ll be/where I’ll be going. :frowning:

Well, better to find out now than later. If she’s that unreasonable about your job requirements, maybe she’s not the girl for you.

Well, the frustrating thing is she says she understands the nature of my job, she’s upset that I didn’t plan things out in such a way that guaranteed they’d come to fruition.

…But if that was the case, I’d have no Christmas, at least not the potential to share it with her and my family together, which is what I want. I’d rather plan things out to be flexible, and make the most when something unexpected/undesirable happens. Shit happens, you know? Might as well anticipate it and have a ‘Plan B’ just in case.

She sounds remarkably like the people who used to snarl and bitch at me when I worked holidays in the emergency clinic–how dare we take two hours to get them in and seen, do bloodwork and x-rays, fill prescriptions, and have them out the door when they have plans with their families? It somehow never occurred to them that while they were missing a couple hours of Christmas with their families, we were not only missing 10 hours, we were spending those 10 hours mucking about in dog shit, puke, and blood. Some people just don’t have enough perspective and empathy to see past something’s effects on them.

Similarly, your girlfriend is pissing about her Christmas being messed up because she only gets to spend Christmas Eve with her family and Christmas morning with yours and has chosen to be alone in the afternoon. It has apparently not occurred to her that you’re not only going to have to work on Christmas, you’re only going to have a little time with your own family because you’re devoting Christmas Eve to hers, that you’re maybe the one getting the shit end of this particular stick.

The real question here is whether you want to be in a relationship with someone like that. It’s a question only you can answer, but I think it deserves some serious thought.