A Cure For The Melanjollies

Christmas is a fraught time for me. I tend to say I don’t like it. I commonly find myself anxious and sad all through December, despite all my decorating, despite putting up multiple trees, despite enjoying the lights and songs and smells and excitement.

I’ve dubbed the condition of both enjoying the holidays and being made sad by them the melanjollies, a nice little portmanteau of melancholy and being jolly.

Can’t enjoy Christmas because you’re stressed about family? You might be melanjolly!

Terrified of the credit card bill once you’re done buying gifts for everyone and their cousins? You’re probably melanjolly, too!

So why do I get the melanjollies every year? Easy. I don’t like being told I need to buy things. I think it’s a season out of hand, and people have lost their god damn minds over it. It’s rabid consumerism and that rubs me all the wrong ways, not to mention stressing over the money outlay and making sure I remembered everyone under the sun. Oh, and don’t forget to make sure each gift is thoughtful and useful and something they’ll like.

My cure for the melanjollies used to be tying one on every Christmas eve—drinking a lot of whiskey, trying to get other people to drink with me, and doing things like falling up the stairs. Yeah, you read that right. I fell up the stairs. But now I can’t drink, and where does that leave me? Why, stewing in my own emotions, of course. One big ol’ pot of Gov’s Christmas Depression.


This year, when I was griping I didn’t like Christmas, my husband called bullshit on me and he wasn’t wrong. There’s so much I do actually enjoy about the holiday. I like the lights. I love the trees, the foods, family. I love the anticipation leading up to Christmas day, and the excitement it holds. Most of all, I love that everybody stops, even if just for the day. Stands still. Feels joy and love together. There is truly is so much to enjoy about this holiday.

And looking back on ours this year, it was really nice. Simple and low-stress, exactly what I wanted.

So what gave?

This year, our goal was to limit the gifts and the spending. My siblings and I asked the families involved if we could not exchange gifts (save for the kid.) My husband and I got each other one thing. For my son, I painted him a picture, and his dad got him one gift.

It was amazing how much that lowered my stress instantly. Without having to buy dozens of presents, without feeling obligated to spend a ton of money, I felt more able to just sit back and enjoy all the things that make the season great. We didn’t go to the malls, we didn’t hit the stores, didn’t order boxes full of stuff from Amazon.

We watched movies together. Listened to to the kid butcher Christmas songs with reckless abandon. Drank tea and read books by the fire.

It really was everything I wanted for Christmas.

I’m hoping that we can continue this tradition going forward, remember that keeping things small is key to getting the most out of the holidays.

And if not, well, maybe one day I’ll be able to drink again.

Men Make Me Talk To Them, AKA: Pretend I'm A Cheetah In Your Car

I have a problem. Not that one. No, not that one either.

Okay Jesus stop guessing, just submit a list of my problems via email, dammit. Last time I take you into my confidence.

No, I have a different sort of problem. Picture this:

Me, walking back to my work vehicle at a rest area along the freeway.

Also me, seeing a man whose path I will intersect on the sidewalk.

Also also me, moving more out of the way and looking everywhere else. Fucking anywhere else. I looked into the distance at the temporarily green hills. I gazed upon the barren rice fields. I watched the starlings in the trees, fighting and singing and flitting about.

Me, giving every indication possible that I in no way wanted to have a conversation with the strange man at the rest area. And still.

“Nice that spring’s finally here, right?”


The fuck was the value of that conversation? But now we’re having it, ships passing in the night screaming about the weather at each other.

I think that’s how that saying goes. Anyways.

This is a pattern of behavior I’ve notices amongst, well, men. Sorry dudes. I’ll hear your protests but only submitted in hand-written triplicate on carbon copy paper that smells just right.

When I finally recognized it, it struck me as so odd. So entitled. So willfully ignorant of another human being’s body language.

But Gov! you say. How harmful could it be to remark on the loveliness of the weather with a fellow weather-enjoying human? Maybe you could see it for the kind gesture it is if you stopped being such a cold-hearted bitch!

First of all, I’ll never stop. Second, this clearly isn't about the weather. This is about a pattern of behavior that boils down to demanding acknowledgement from the opposite sex because... well, just because, as far as I can tell.

Picture this:

Me, putting a bag of soccer balls into my truck.

Also me, studiously ignoring the men working on the landscaping next door.

“Oh no, a soccer player!” I hear yelled over at me.

And what do I do?

What do you think I did? I ignore it because not only is it desperate, not only is it obnoxious, but also, what do you even say in response? “Ayup. You got me. These are in fact soccer balls, and I am stunned by your powers of observation.”

So long as I don’t respond, he can feel like an idiot and we can both pretend like I didn’t hear and I won’t be forced into an unwanted human interaction.

So he drops it and goes about his business and I HAHAHAHA who am I kidding?

“You guys are sure doing a lot of work to that house,” he shouts at my back next.

Sigh. And now it’s obvious Sir Brilliant Conversations isn’t going to just go back to his own damn business.

Again, a man has demanded I, merely a woman who should be thankful for his kindness and attention, talk to him.

Why even care? These are small incidents but they’re indicative of much greater, much deeper-rooted problems. It sounds petty. I know. I know it sounds petty. But this behavior can’t just be written off as being social or being kind. Dudes don’t do this to each other. Men do it to women, and it only spirals out from there.

Up close, it’s a small transgression. Harmless, if obnoxious. Men seeing women, women who are actively censoring their behavior to convey no interest or desire to interact, and putting them in a socially awkward position anyway. Society dictates I return a kindness, right? Answering “Nice weather, huh?” with a “Fuck off, shitstain” is a little bit frowned upon. Yet it takes a person who was trying to just go through their day uninterrupted and suddenly there’s this other person who has interjected themselves into that day, demanded they be acknowledged, and they’ve done so in such a way that they’re in the right. They were being polite and friendly.

But what men need to understand is that when you do that, not only are you being a dick, you’re forcing a woman to evaluate you as a threat.

I’ll say that again.

If I’m avoiding talking to you and you demand my attention, I am now eyeing you as a potential threat.

A trustworthy human reads body language and doesn’t start unnecessary and, to be frank, fucking idiotic conversations with strangers. A trustworthy man sees a woman alone and respects her avoidance of him.

Men who become problems start with this behavior. They start with friendly and I was just being polite. No. Polite is not doing this. Because the really bad ones? It ramps up from this point.

I ignored a man doing this in a gas station once. He put his arm around me when I tried to check out.

We ignore men and they hurl words like “What, you’re too good to talk to me, you ugly bitch?” at us.

They get in our space. They put their hands on us. Sometimes, they hurt women. Sometimes, they kill women.

Maybe the weather was nice, Rest Stop Dude, but now I have to look at you and wonder if you’re going to follow me back to my car.

Not to mention, maybe I just didn’t want to talk, yet apparently your desire to remark on the weather to a stranger supersedes that.

So now, The Mens reading this, you’re probably wondering: Have I done this? Willfully or not? And how do I avoid doing it in the future?

I can’t answer the first part, but I got you covered on the second. There was a video that popped up recently of a person on safari, in a Jeep, with a cheetah in the back seat. He doesn’t move, doesn’t make eye contact, and most definitely doesn’t interrupt that cheetah’s very good day with bullshit small talk about spring weather.

Women are the cheetah. Next time you pass by a woman who isn’t looking at you, who is finding every way possible to distract herself so she doesn’t slip up and make eye contact, remember this cheetah. Because we’ve had enough of this bullshit and are likely to start mauling people who force us to talk to them.

GovCrest out.

Welcome, Friends!

It's looking pretty darn schnazzy around here, if I do say so myself. 

Welcome to the new home of Govneh.com! The launching of this site means a lot of things. It means that I finally admitted my lack of technical know-how and moved from Wordpress to Squarespace. It means I have a pretty decent site that functions how I want it. It means that I'm paying money to a completely different entity. 

But most importantly, it means I am launching new adventures and have access to a web store that supports digital downloads! I don't want to say anything YET, but I do have something I love very much in the works. I need to push a few more buttons, turn a couple more knobs, and hustle just a while longer before announcing it. Soon, my loves. Soon! 

In the meantime, poke around the site, make yourself comfy, and hopefully I'll have announcements for you soon. Not everything is quite polished up yet. The store isn't functional, and I don't have my stories loaded. BUT! Now you know I'm here, so when I finally announce things, you'll be able to say you were part of the Famclub before it was cool.