The Five Stages of Holiday Grief

Dear New Yorker,
Congratulations on taking the first step: recognizing that you need help. The holiday season is hard for us all, and there’s no shame in reaching out for succor. Let us help you get through it. Read on.


The clinical term for your current state of mind is “total fucking rage.” Where you would normally censor your violently negative reaction to someone’s innocent wish of a “happy holiday,” you now see nothing wrong with barking, “Nobody’s happy asshole,” while shoving past them into your overheated apartment vestibule. And just this morning, in that selfsame vestibule, while waiting for a car service (you were late for work because yesterday some inanely cheery office ass brought spiked nog to your desk and you chugged as much as you could until you got throat cramps, which led to totally unneccesary drinking at home, watching Mr. Belvedere till late) you found yourself staring at a cartoon cardboard reindeer, upon whose benign doe-eyes you scrawled two black Xs. Your only regret? Not being around to see the monster-spawn in 2B break down and cry. That’s serious anger.


In order to progress through the stages and reach ultimate wellness, you’ll need to embrace each stage to its fullest. Here are some helpful hints on how to do just that.

Alimentary Supplementation
On a cold rainy night, at 2:30am, put on your Blade Runner-Harrison Ford trench coat and sidle up to the counter at Rairaiken, a no-nonsense Japanese ramen counter, where the cooks are always frowning and the noodles are always chewy.
214 E. 10th St, 212-477-7030

Holiday Triggers to Avoid
Surrounded by rich children screaming to get closer to fancy displays of childlike wonder, all of it taking place on the nation’s epicenter of buying stuff? We strongly recommend you avoid the Fifth Avenue window display zone, lest you get violent.

Visual-Kinetic Stimulation
Joan Allen’s quiet blooming fury in The Ice Storm is three times as powerful as your grumpy snippiness. Learn from her.
Dec. 9, 6pm, Brooklyn Public Library, Grand Army Plaza

Audio Therapy:
The obvious answer would be that goofy therapy album by Metallica, St. Anger, but to really taste the bile, try Christmas Remixed, Vol. II, which features club mixes of old standards. Yes. That’s right.
Tower Records, 692 Broadway, $10

Oral Meds
Picking the best angry bar in New York is like trying to recommend the best BBQ joint in Dallas. But here goes. Sit and smolder quietly at the Subway Inn, only a stone’s throw away from that mecca of consumerist excess, Bloomingdale’s. And even though the hipster youth are fully entrenched on the Upper East Side (ipso facto the Subway) it’s still a hard and scary place. 143 E. 60th St.

Real World Integration Exercises
First it was English punk, then it was East Coast hardcore, but the new title-holder for world’s angriest music goes to… Scandinavian death metal! Children of Bodom (not to be confused with Eurodance family pop group Children of Bodum) come from Finland and provide the perfect soundtrack for your incandescent fury.
(Irving Plaza, 17 Irving Place, 212-777-6800)

Signs You’re Ready to Progress to the Next Stage
You realize your anger is starting to consume you, so you decide to donate a $20 bill to the next sidewalk Santa you see, as a way of making penance. Hey, look at you! You’ve just reached the bargaining phase!


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Latest in Features

© 2014 The L Magazine
Website powered by Foundation