Another day, another dollar, kids. My life as a barefoot, carefree, wind in my hair Malibu-an was not to be. Georgia Power called and said, “Bitch, don’t try us.”
Also, in a moment of profound insanity, I promised my friend’s kids (ten and eleven) that I would take them to Six Flags (among other idiotic promises I can’t believe I made) on their spring break, which started on Saturday. Although I am the queen of canceling plans, there’s no way I could or would do that to children. If you’ve ever been a disappointed kid, you know how it feels. So I took the little jerks to Six Flags, and it wasn’t as heinous as I thought it was going to be. The lines weren’t that long and the kids were funny enough and the weather was pretty pleasant. Aside from spending a bazillion dollars on hamburgers, it was a fun day.
On Sunday I steam-cleaned my floors to prepare for my upcoming move, and I was able to coax them into a little child labor in exchange for some ice cream and Ariana Grande. This magical combo doesn’t just work on kids, though. I’m also highly likely to do most things if Rocky Road and Ariana Grande are involved. Tomorrow, I promised to take them swimming at Chastain Park, and I just… I don’t remember why I made these promises! Was I drunk?! In a really optimistic mood?! I think because when I made them April seemed so far away that it was almost in the abstract. Well, April’s here and it’s time for me to pay up, I guess. It’s really not that bad except for the initial realization that I have to get out of bed and put on pants on my day off. Everything else after that is a breeze. But public pools? God help me.
Okay, I’ve gotta get back to work. Much to my chagrin, electricity ain’t free.
My best friend’s birthday was Christmas day. Eight of us planned a trip to Maui to celebrate. I don’t necessarily care for tropical vacations (give me a snowy hill and a snowboard, please), but I love Hawaii. It’s so, so, so beautiful. Everywhere you look there’s just jaw-dropping scenery. I’ve been walking around with my mouth open for twenty-four hours. Hawaii really is paradise. That was extremely cliché. When I was a kid, I always thought I’d be a really cool adult who always said really cool things, but…nope.
Yesterday we went snorkeling. The water, the fish–everything was in technicolor. How are all the colors so bright here?! We also went whale watching. A whale jumped out of the water like ten feet in front of me. I thought my heart would explode out of my chest it was pounding so hard! To see a living thing so enormous that it looks like it could swallow you whole is pretty thrilling.
Guys, I’m not going to lie to you–I felt really close to nature yesterday. Like so close that I felt mad guilt for wanting to eat seafood. And then mad guilt for actually eating seafood. And now I feel mad guilt for telling you that I had the best scallops and ahi of my life last night. But I’m eating fruit this morning to hopefully mitigate some of this contrition I feel! There’s a line in a Fiona Apple song that I love that says, “Can’t take a good day without a bad one/don’t feel just to smile til I’ve had one…” and I never feel her more on that than when I’m doing things like sitting in paradise making myself feel guilty.
Today there are no scheduled plans except to find shaved ice and food trucks and maybe float on my back in this glorious salt water and watch the clouds pass by overhead with all of these jerks that I love so much. I guess I can withstand a little guilt for a day like that.
A hui hou!
Isn’t it crazy just how many things can change in five years? Like somewhere in the course of just living, we form long term bonds that weren’t there before, we say goodbyes that were never anticipated, relationships change and strengthen or they change and fall apart, we have big career failures and overwhelming career triumphs. There are personal coups and collapses. We learn wonderful and scary things about ourselves and about our friends and about the world. We have little moments of humanity, of meanness, of pettiness, of valor. We fall in love. We learn what love is and what it isn’t. We become better friends. Better citizens. How can one predict all of that?
I did all of the above in the last five years. I lost my grandma, which was crushing. But what a wonderful stroke of luck to have been her granddaughter and to have had her as long as I did. I lost a friend to cancer and was racked with grief. But how lucky I am to have memories of her that make me swell with laughter.
I’ve had new successes and made lovely new friends in the last five years, but I’m very thankful for the things that have stayed the same, too. My best friends. My family. My ride or dies. They helped me rip out my first gray hair and then helped me laugh about it when it grew back. They talked me through grief and heartache and wanted the best for me. They’ve celebrated my accomplishments. They’ve been reliable, they’ve been truthful, they’ve been loyal.
I am very lucky.
I’ve got a birthday coming up, kids. I have a markedly different life than I did five birthdays ago; some of it sad but the overwhelming majority of it so good that I couldn’t have dreamed it up five years ago had you asked me to.
Cheers to another five.