Dear generous readers,
The worst thing about being a writer is not writing. When I’m not writing, my waking hours consist of strange and beautiful sentences forming in my head, begging to be eternalized through the stroke of a few keys. They had wanted to name her Astrid, but between the language barrier and her mother’s fledgling literacy, she got stuck with Aspic. She didn’t know it was a bad name until her fourth grade teacher helpfully explained to the class that aspic was also a word for gelatin, and stupid Alvarez Jones started calling her Jelly. Also, I’m easily distracted. I just spent 15 minutes googling BEST BOYFRIEND JEANS CURVY WOMEN. Anyway, I’ve missed you.
Happy New Year! And Merry Christmas, and Happy Birthday to me. I’m 53 now, and I still have a 10-year-old at home. I have so much to report, but I’m going to start with the fun stuff – Hot Firefighter Husband, who has always dreaded the stress of the holidays, decided we needed a year off, and he booked us a trip to the Bahamas all by himself, which is unprecedented. We went to a small island in the Abacos called Green Turtle Cay, where we rented a house and a golf cart and a boat, and I ate fried grouper and drank rum punch for seven days straight. It was amazeballs.
Green Turtle Cay is 1/2 mile wide and three miles long, and just a tad more touristy than Gilligan’s Island. To get there, we drove to West Palm Beach, flew to Marsh Harbour on Great Abaco island, took a taxi across the island, then caught the ferry to Green Turtle Cay. Example: not a pair of reading glasses for sale there, and no shoes. There were glitches: on the drive down, the front bumper of Sharky the van fell off. But we’re safe drivers, so we just left it on the side of the road. When we arrived at the airport, we realized the Pterodactyl hadn’t packed any shoes, so he remained unshod the entire trip. Airport security, public bathrooms, restaurants, fishing, the gas station – no shoes. On the final day of the trip, I found a sharp hunting knife in his room and some blood on the floor – he had dug a pebble out of his heel. No big deal.
And Husband lost his reading glasses on the first day, so we had one pair between us the whole week, but my week’s goal consisted of reading a great book. So I allowed him 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes at night, and let him read restaurant menus. Also, Santa Claus forgot to pack the Fitbits he planned to give the children for Christmas, and he had to write apology notes on paper towels to explain.
Groceries come from Great Abaco, and are scarce. We had picked up some breakfast foods in Marsh Harbour, but mostly we ate out, which wasn’t cheap but was very awesome. In desperation I did pay $9 for a box of Lucky Charms, which vanished into the younger kids’ mouths in 45 minutes. God, they never stop eating.
We spent Christmas Eve anchored off uninhabited Munjack Cay, where the children jumped with abandon off weathered docks into translucent blue water, and squealed as our little boat leaped over waves and glided into pristine cays framed by sandy beaches. On Christmas, we went to an island occupied only by beautiful swimming pigs. A few days later, a guide took us fishing for yellow-tailed snappers. The Diva threw up, but she persevered, and the Pterodactyl kept surreptitiously throwing the fish back because death bothers him. Then our fishing guide took us back to Munjack Cay, where he fried filets and potatoes over an open flame while we fed stingrays and stepped back from curious sharks. Seriously, we did all those things. “It didn’t feel very Christmasy,” said the Diva, after the fact, and I guess it didn’t, but it certainly felt special, and the Diva agreed. It was a real vacation.
The kids weren’t totally unplugged, but they truly spent most of their time outside, hanging with each other, and seeing things they’d never before seen. We laughed often – the little Tyrant gave frequent twerking lessons, and Husband drove the golf cart like a giant octopus was in pursuit.
We came home relaxed and fulfilled to a clean house. Within a half day, every room looked ransacked and I realized I could only fit in yoga pants. I have been taking deep breaths and trying to release the tension in my shoulders ever since.
“Is it possible I’m not as much of a fuck-up as I think I am?” I asked Husband. Because on the outside, I’m all Girl Power! Physical Strength is Mental Strength! Love Yourself! Love Your Body! but sometimes on the inside, I’m all #fail#fail#fail.
“There’s only one person in the world who thinks you’re a fuck-up,” he said. Apparently, I’m not always right.
Anyway. Happy New Year!