Wednesday, May 22, 2013


We are leaving for Hawaii on Friday, and while I'm unbelievably excited & grateful to be taking this trip with Tim & Boo, I can't help feeling a little nostalgic for the old days of travel.  The days where the goal of visiting all 7 continents before age 40 was actually within reach.  We haven't left the country, in, what, 5 years?  (Oh my god, can that really be true?)  No wonder I'm becoming all numb and ethnocentric and "U-S-A!" like. 

Yes, I am still a travel snob at heart.

I need culture.  I need menus that aren't in English.  I need walking all around a new city, miles and miles, just because it's fun or I'm lost.  I need mispronouncing words to the locals and being laughed at by food truck workers.  I need beaches and mountains and smoggy cities.  I need dogs running around in places they most certainly should not be running.  I need museums and monuments and all of the wonders of the world.  I need hanging on so tight to my purse so a guy on a moto doesn't snatch it off me.  I need rickshaw drivers taking me to shady sex shows that I (probably) did not request. I need color and vibrance.  I need sketchy, but oh-so-delicious street food and questionable "burgers".  I need boarding passes and carry-ons.  I need sleep deprivation and jet lag.  I need dirty hair and dirty clothes and a make-up-free face.  I need drinking local beer and eating lobster with my hands on the beach.  I need dancing and hiking and bungy-jumping and cliff-diving and tandem-biking and glacier-walking and zip-lining and thrill-seeking and adreneline-running.  I need to be that person I am when I travel all of the time.

I need to go away. Now.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Summer of 1994

June of '94.  We had finally graduated from high school, and we spent all of our time together, in one combination or another.  Days were whiled away at Silver Lake, working on our tans and practicing our flirting.  Weekends were spent in white sundresses, driving from one graduation party to another, making sure that we were seen.  We had jobs, yes, but it seemed like we never worked.  We drank Zima with Jolly Ranchers and sometimes shots of vodka. We wore disco clothes to the Nectarine and danced in the grass at Pine Knob.  We could drink pots of coffee at Silverman's and never run out of conversation.  We were best friends.    
All Midwestern fresh-faced innocence and charm, we were wore our teenage angst like sequins.  We knew that, like all of the others that came before, this summer of 17 wouldn't, couldn't last.  Change was coming soon, it was visible on the horizon.  We could see frat parties and the Freshman 15 in the distance.  But, like all teenagers, we could close our eyes to that which we didn't want to see.  Tipsy from our own youth, drunk on summer, buzzed from too many Clove cigarettes, nothing mattered except us.

The friends that we have in high school are incomparable to any others that we'll ever have again.  We've seen each other through first kisses and broken hearts, eating disorders and parent fights, acne and terrible prom hair, mix tapes and bullies, failed tests and life-changing decisions .  We hurt each other - intentionally & otherwise.  We wear necklaces to publicly declare our friendship.  We celebrate bad decisions together.  We tell each other everything.  And I mean, everything.  We are open wounds, walking nerves, our arms constantly reaching out for each other, seeking someone else who understands.  And, in the summer of 1994, we found those someones.  

"And even when we're old, and beer isn't our beverage of choice anymore, and a phone call from a boy is just a phone call, and we hate microwave popcorn and processed cheese, and the world turns a lot slower than it used to, I'll remember us, singing too loud and off key, basking in the glow of our youth, and we were the only people on earth."  (August 1994)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Join The Club

I had a conversation on Friday about being a parent.  I was chatting with someone without kids about what it's like to have kids.  

"Tell me the truth," he said.  "The only thing anyone ever says is, 'It's the best thing I ever did.'"

I laughed and immediately replied, "It's the best thing I ever did."  Long pause.  "And it's the hardest thing I ever did."  

I'm going to speak honestly here.  Are you ready?

There are certainly been times that I have thought to myself, or even said out loud to Tim, why in the hell did we decide to have a kid?  Being a parent is unbelievably hard - especially when you are as selfish as I am.  It is not about *you* anymore, not ever.  (Well, maybe on Mother's Day, but you're probably committing at least 407 selfless acts on that day instead of your usual 907.)  There are the really hard days where nothing is right and no one is happy and many tears are shed.  There are the days when you just want to run away and do only what you want to do when you want to do it.  There are the days when you feel like you haven't been alone in years, and you just want to have 5 freaking minutes by yourself to silently pound a glass of wine.

And then there are the other days.  The days of baby laughs and beaming smiles.  Days of cuddles and kisses, new experiences and pure joy.  The days of growth and excitement and change.  The days of seeing the world for the first time through your child's eyes.  And these days come so much more often than the others.  

So here's the thing that I didn't say to him but should have:  Becoming a parent gives us this outrageous capacity for love.  You will love this little person more than you ever thought possible.  I think our hearts must grow 3 sizes on the day that we first see our baby's face.  And along with that love come this new & incredible compassion for others.  We are more empathetic, we are more patient, we are more kind.  I believe that, for me, being a parent has made me a better person.

(It also makes us absolute freaking superheroes.  There's something pretty cool about that too.)