Jan 29, 2013

The Post in Which I Don't Rehash a Recent Vacation, But Do Rehash My Angst Over Vacation Planning

OK, does it seem like all we did last year was go on vacations?  I promise, there were a few moments last year (when we weren't busy with laundry/grocery shopping/wasting time online/mediating fights/ignoring whining children/translating Dutch paperwork) when we were busy with other incredibly amazing non-vacation things but I can't remember the exact details. And, I can't find my master to-do list, so I can only assume that we got around to all those projects we'd been meaning to do. Again, fuzzy on the details, but I'm sure we did it all while sporting some super awesome products and while listening to indie bands that no one else has heard of yet. And there was this one time I dreamt we couldn't stop laughing at all our inside jokes and the world declared us the Happiest Family of All Time.

So, as far as I remember, it was a pretty spectacular year.

And then Mia was like, why did you move us here and ruin my life? And I was like, did you miss the memo that we're the happiest family of ALL TIME?

Ahem, so what else is new?

I saw Les Mis over 2 weeks ago and I only just barely stopped weeping. True story. Can't decide if it's because of how painful it was to listen to Hugh Jackman sing, or because of how incredibly sad Anne Hathaway was. Very close call.

I biked to the movie theater in central Amsterdam on a Friday evening, and the temperatures were below freezing. The bike lanes were packed, and the trams were empty. This is why Amsterdam rocks my world.

However, a few days later, Amsterdam turned into this:
By the way, I love this picture all because of the green heart graffiti. 

Then I fell with my bike when some girl merged into me and I swerved into the snow. It was just like in the cartoons when the world slides out from under you and you are instantly horizontal, except that I'm an actual human being and it really hurt. 

The girl didn't even stop, and for a few days I was like, jerk-girl didn't even stop. But then I remembered that I'm also a jerk-girl at times, and then I was like, see, I'm not as much of a jerk anymore because I'm so understanding of that jerk-girl who didn't stop. 

Anyway, the snow is gone now, but my knee still hurts. And kind of my pride too. 

I'm in this whole trying-to-figure-some-things-out-about-myself-midlife-crisis-cliche, which is all very melodramatic, and involves a lot of wistful staring off into space trying to figure out what music would be playing in my life-movie, and which actress should portray me, and would she be as sad as Anne Hathaway? 

Because Scarlet Johansson could maybe capture my beauty, but can she handle the emotional complexity? I really don't know. 

Speaking of other things I really don't know, how is it possible that I have a 10 year-old now?

 She got a homemade present from a BOY in her class. No, I am not ready for this. 

Back when she was only 9, Mia told me, "I wish that all adults had to go to school, and that kids could just stay home writing blog posts and sending their friends messages on Facebook all day."

Is that what she thinks I do?

Well, I'll have her know I also plan vacations.

At least that's what Mark told a coworker that I do now that the kids are in school all day.

Are you sensing where some of this midlife identity issue is coming from?

OK, my life-movie will be directed by Wes Anderson, and it will be a whimsically dark comedy about-- wait, no I definitely want Joss Wheadon involved. However, now there's Lena Dunham on the scene, and I couldn't possibly leave out Amy Phoeler and Tina Fey. I'm sure they're dying to be in my movie.

I've got it: all of the above, plus the entire cast of Arrested Development, plus Bill Murray. That is the dream team that can capture the gagging absurdity of my angst and guilt over being 35, privileged, living in a foreign country where I plan vacations all day and don't know where I'm going with my life. Also, my husband has a man-crush on Zach Galifinakis, so he should be in there somewhere too.

Yes, I think Zach Galifinakis should be the creepy/wise tourist we meet on vacation, who unexpectedly teaches me a profound and touching life-changing lesson. And Morgan Freeman will narrate the whole thing. Also, Jennifer Lawrence will come in and kick butt, and no one in the muggle world will know how close they came to total annihilation.

Hmmm, what else?

A couple of days ago I reread a bunch of blog posts of mine from back in 2008-2009. 2 things immediately struck me:
1. I survived life with 3 little kids? Reading all those posts made me wonder if everything about my life since the baby/toddler phase can be explained by PTSD.
2. Remember when everyone and their dog and their dog's blog had a dog, I mean a blog? It was surprising to read who used to leave comments-- people I haven't heard from in years, people who used to have blogs and abandoned them for Facebook, or people who went private back in the big Private Blog Epidemic of 2009. (Which means that I probably haven't read your blog since. Sorry, I just can't keep up with private blogs. But I'm glad your pictures have never been stolen.) Anyway, for a while there it was one big blogging frenzy, and now my google reader is a ghost town, and even I only blog like twice a year, and get comments from random guys in India and spambots trying to sell me shoes. But I'm not fishing for comments. Actually, yes, I am. I did mention how pathetic I've become, right?

Oh, and I've been busy planning our trip to Morocco in a few weeks.
(cringe) (why is my life so awesome?)

So, when did blogging die, and which actor should portray you in my movie?

This is for my husband:


Spambot said...

I'd like Johhny 5 to portray me in your movie.
Do you want to buy some shoes?

Saskia said...

Not sure how to respond to that picture, so I'm going to go with something else for my comment. I hate biking/walking/doing anything in snow as I always fall and hurt myself. Now that I live in Germany, I get to take the subway everywhere. That is cool. Also, Morocco sounds great.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the picture of Zach. I think it captures him well. I do wish I could meet him in real life someday - take a stroll on the beach. Talk about life.

- Mark

Aimee said...

I may not blog much anymore but I do still comment!

I wish you could be having your mid-life crisis while hanging out with me while I try and survive this baby stage. You give me hope. Some days are really long as I am sure you remember. Sigh. Someday I will ride my bike to a mid-day showing at the local theater. These days I am just lucky to take a shit by myself.

You have been parenting for 10 years. Ten. Wow. I think that qualifies you for veteran parenting status.

Cami said...

I just found your blog again...thanks to a computer crash years ago I had lost all of my blog addresses. I love reading your posts. I have become a slacker when it comes to posting....not to mention I went private but if I were ever to start blogging again I think I would deprivatize it.

I am so with you on the 10 year old thing. I have read some of your previous posts about her and it makes me feel better that I am not the only one with a crazy, sassy 10 year old. Good thing I still love her.

Jen said...

I would like Franke Potente to play me but my husband says Maggie Gyllenhall. Probably because he thinks Charlize Theron will be booked already. Let me know how you gigure out how to handle a mid (-ish) life crisis because chocolate doesn't work.

claireb said...

haha. Donna, I love you. You kill me. Every time.

Bob/Kristy said...

I'm just getting caught up on your blog, and I have a question: what is this word you say, "vacation planning?" There's planning beyond "drive to Fremont", "drive to Disneyland", "drive to Utah", or "fly to Hawaii to stay at a place mom & dad chose"?! Seriously, where do you go to get vacation ideas, other than by reading "Sunset" magazine?

And I love, love, love your descriptions of your children's attitudes when traveling. Now that Matthew is gone (love him though,) we're discovering that the rest of the fam actually likes traveling. We just don't know how to do it because, unlike you, weren't able to muscle through the pain, & we'd come to see real vacations as a myth, without even realizing it. Glad to hear Mia has decided that castles are OK.