Saturday, June 20, 2015

Midsummer rain

Zoe and me on the beach in
Denmark 3 years ago
I might not live in Stockholm any longer but my Facebook feed and friends are all cheering and being family like for the world-known Swedish Midsummer Celebration. Zoe is somewhere undisclosed on the countryside celebrating with her dad and the new girlfriend. What worse is, people think this is a Scandinavian tradition and greet me happy midsummer, when it is really only Swedish (okay, full disclosure, I have absolutely no idea how they celebrate it in Norway). In Denmark, on the other hand, we celebrate the actual longest day of the year (which is next Tuesday and is called "Sankt Hans Evening", not midsummer) by burning a witch, usually made of sticks and cloth, and sing a couple of old herritage songs around the bonfire on the beach. Because in Denmark there is always a beach nearby. I actually hate midsummer and try to avoid it. From my first summer in Sweden where, to foreigners, everything (and I mean e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g) is just closed for two days and then we go back to work, to my more settled times where I was simply just home alone because it is a family holiday and Swedes don't include anybody else but their family. Add to that a divorce and a fragmented family and this holiday is just one of those ugly portraits of what I don't have anymore. And even in New York, I'm reminded of it's existence.

Several studies have looked at how friends' and connections' positive social media posts will make people post positive posts as well, and potentially make them happy too. Fewer studies mention how positive social media makes people grumpy and jealous because they don't have what others seem to have in those posts. My feed was full of romantic couples and happy families the past few days and it finally got the better of me. I miss my family, I miss my extended family in Denmark. I just want to sit on that beach and watch that witch burn and look over the blue water and hug Zoe. Five more days. And no more Facebook for me.

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