Besides, it's not like you can go for a jog.
That's what I tell myself anyway, as I slob around in old comfy red sweat pants with "Canada" embroidered on the leg, because I'm planning on staying home doing some work. It doesn't matter that I wouldn't be seen dead outside in them or that they have an ink stain right on the back seam making it look like I had some unnatural colored anal leakage.
This week I have to take care of the unpleasant weeding out of possessions for my big move in March. Whittling down all the things I don't need and working out how to move the things I do. Although El Cerebro's not coming till later in the year, he's about as useful as a chocolate coffee pot (but luckily also as tasty I think!) when it comes to organizing things for packing. He's like a lot of men, who think just tossing a bunch of clothing and items in a bag equates "packing". It's exasperating to me who likes to pack in a way everything fits at its most efficient. Underwear or socks rolled up inside shoes, every bit of space used. Not him. His packing always looks like he was escaping a burning building.
He's the same way with the dishwasher. I won't let him near it usually. I like to stack things logically and neatly and they always come out clean. Him? Things everywhere, all higgedly piggledy at all sorts of geometry defying, illogical angles. No, no, no!
Don't get me started on his desk. I think men just have a chromosome missing or something when it comes to logical order. But at least they come with some excellent benefits too, if you know what I mean, ladies?
Yep, the man can put up a shelf!
This made me remember that I went to France years ago, on a camping road trip with friends and when asked to sum up what was so wonderful about that trip, it's not the culture, the fields of golden sunflowers against a cornflower blue sky or the turquoise views of the French Riviera that are foremost in my memories, it's the food. Basically if you enjoy quaffing down scads of baked goods so delicious you'll melt, you will be at home in France with its exquisite cakes and pastries and fresh baked breads. It's a wonder anyone in France has seen their own feet in decades.
Every day we were there, we would get up early, find the local bakery, stuff those still warm, almond croissants down our faces in blissful contentment while sipping strong, fragrant coffee and then, fuelled up on pastry and caffeine, drive all morning. Before lunchtime arrived and everything closed down for the afternoon siesta, we'd stop in some rural village somewhere, once again find the local bakery and buy a bunch of fresh baked baguettes, get a lump of good, local cheese and some wine and go sit in a field somewhere to eat, drink and fall asleep in the long grass.
Every day was like that. Eat, drive, eat some more, sleep, drive some more, find a place to pitch the tent, have a shower, go out and eat again, sleep. Wash, rinse, repeat. Heaven.
Compare with my current early morning start: Smash alarm clock off the wall while grunting, "6am already, WTF?" in disbelief. Drag shivering carcass out of bed and fall asleep on toilet while peeing. Brew lame, no-name brand coffee and while it's doing its thing, take a shower that runs hot then cold at will, making me screech obscenities to all the neighbours. Get dressed and drink lame no-name coffee. Maybe eat a Poptart or if I'm really adventurous that day, oatmeal. Stub toe on bookshelf. Swear. Check temperature outside. Curse Canada and ask why it can't move closer to the equator.
Not a croissant or sunflower in sight. Sometimes it's just not fair.
For instance, I have a boyfriend who bemuses me in his perfection. Sometimes I look at him and I think, "This is what I've waited for my whole life." And I'm genuinely amazed. Partly to think that I could ever be that sappy and partly because no one is ever the right one, are they? Yet somehow he is.
You see I used to be married. My husband was difficult. He wasn't a bad guy really, but he was a troubled one. He had more issues than the National Geographic. And I wasn't entirely aware of these issues before I married him, which made things extremely difficult later. I loved him but I couldn't help him in any way. He was jealous and devious. He suffered from an extreme form of depression and anxiety. He had a bad temper and was incredibly needy, due to abandonment issues stemming from his childhood and was not above resorting to emotional blackmail and extreme verbal abuse to get what he wanted. He sat around at home all day, doing nothing and getting more depressed while I was at work. And I was worried all the time. Every minute of every day. And worry makes you snappy and uptight. And that made us fight.
And I got sick of the panic. The dread of going home and not knowing what mood I'd find waiting for me. The moment he'd next pick a fight over nothing. The never being able to make him happy or solve his problems. Wondering where the rent was coming from with one wage. Knowing I'd have to get home from work and provide dinner and company and tread on eggshells all the time, while making him feel like the most important person in the world, even though I was exhausted and drained.
And it wore me down. Year after year I got more tired, more depressed, less like myself. Until I didn't recognize me anymore. As though I was hiding away deep inside myself and this facade had replaced me on the outside. I was introverted and quiet. And I had to get out because, although my heart was breaking because he was so troubled, so mentally sick and I just wanted him to feel better and function as a normal human being again, I was fading away into a haze of depression and anxiety myself and I had to do something or go down with the ship. The last two years we were married I was drowning and I'd forgotten how to swim.
So I saved myself. I felt guilty over it. I felt devastated. I didn't respond to his harassment or attempts to humiliate or belittle me. His threats or his attacks. I got out and I stayed out. And slowly, over the last few years, the real me tentatively stepped out from her hiding place and found a path back.
El Cerebro gets me. I never really expected anyone to understand me fully. No one ever has. But he truly gets me. We are both mellow, laid back people who rarely get angry or frustrated. We never fight. We laugh at the same inappropriate things. Where I used to feel aggravated and snappy, I now feel relaxed and happy. I finally understand when people say, "he's my soul mate" or other things I previously thought corny. We're like two halves of one entity.
Even I barfed reading that. I do apologize.
But I never dread coming home. I never lie awake at night worrying about El Cerebro or wondering what horrific mood tomorrow will bring, I just go with the flow. I look forward to things again and although it sounds like such a small thing, it makes all the difference in the world.
Some weekends are a delightful waste of time. When I was younger, I was driven by the unqualified belief that to be using your time productively, you had to be doing something at all times. Creating. Doing. Nowadays, I’ve realized that you can provide satisfaction in your life by having periods of complete inertia without ruining anything at all. Lazing around watching movies or napping or reading trashy magazines are all fine.
This weekend I finally got my new laptop. Getting the new machine demonstrated immediately just how antiquated my old computer was. This one is a little powerhouse with a great powerful processor, a shiny bright widescreen, lots of hard drive space and giant quantities of RAM. It zips through programs like a warm spoon through gelato.
As if on cue, yesterday, while moving the last batch of photos and files to their new home over here, the old machine froze and died. Like it had been holding on and now it didn’t have to anymore.
It’s really sort of sad. But at least timely.
El Cerebro’s parents are off on their annual three week vacation to Mexico today, making me drool with envy and long for balmy nights on their balcony drinking a cold Corona and looking at the ocean. All I can see is a hazy, white frozen highway and some naked trees from my window. It hardly seems fair. Of course, they don’t get to witness the antics of a large, pale, naked, wobbling man in an opposite apartment, dancing to Madonna.
So it’s really a trade-off.
Another year, another adventure I like to say. Actually I’ve never said that but it seems like a good motto going forward, I think. What will 2011 bring? Hang Gliding maybe, I’ve always wanted to try it. Or Para-gliding. Maybe water skiing or becoming a better cook. Who knows, it’s early days yet. But I like the throbbing possibility that anything is within my reach, because the turn of another year means a blank slate ready to be written. I’ve already been trying to drink more water and pledge my sanity to tomatoes instead of cheese, so that’s a start.
I don’t normally bother with resolutions, mainly because honestly, who ever keeps them for more than a week? I’m like everyone else. I want to eat better, exercise more and be svelte and sexy by summer so I can let my pale limbs loose on the world without terrifying small children or dogs. I’d settle for dogs. I like dogs! Small children terrify me with their incessant questions and their silent scrutiny, I’d really welcome a reason to blind them with my pasty white, untoned appendages.
Instead of resolutions I decided to write a list of ten things, that in a fantastical, beautiful existence, I would absolutely accomplish this year.
1) Grow two more inches so I can finally be five foot eight and pants would fit me properly without hemming
2) Learn to appreciate good wine instead of whatever’s on sale
3) Go to Spain and speak Spanish complete with sexy accent and tantalize the locals with my giant beauty that is mainly just in my head
4) Do something naked and scandalous with Captain Mal Reynolds from “Firefly”.
5) Get a haircut that costs more than twenty bucks for a change and that doesn’t look like I drank a forty of gin and hacked it off myself with a carving knife
6) Do something else naked and scandalous with Captain Mal Reynolds from “Firefly”
7) Invent creamy, great tasting, yet aspartame and calorie-free chocolate that is full of vitamins and therefore good for you
8) Get rich from above invention and possibly win the Nobel Peace Prize
9) Go somewhere tropical and drink cocktails with umbrellas in them, till I pop. These will be magic cocktails that are not only good for you but make you slimmer and look like you’re 25.
Happy new year, everyone!