We just got back from a childless trip to Mallorca, Spain while my fabulously patient in-laws watched the kids. We were in Magaluf, which I highly recommend if you are either planning a bachelorette party for a 20 year old or have a special affinity for foam parties. I also learned so, so much during our brief time there.
Americans are lazy.
According, at least, to the gentleman concierge, when I asked if we could rent an automatic rather than a manual car. It was particularly persuasive coming on the heels of his leisurely 15 minute “search” for the book that lists rental car prices which was – surprise! – on his desk the entire time.
This old skin just ain’t what it used to be.
When I was twenty, I would spend weeks in Jamaica or the DR just sitting on a beach slathered in oil. Each night, my skin would grow a deeper shade of healthy, glowing chestnut while my hair would become more flowing and sun-tinted with each passing day.
Our first day in Mallorca, I wore 50 SPF yet still came home came home that night with a wicked itchy skin rash that is STILL HERE. There also seems to be something of a reverse-Botox situation going on, as my face now looks saggy and haggard in places that I SWEAR were supple and glowy just last week.
Europeans & Russians looooooove photo shoots.
We saw no less than three couples engage in poolside photo shoots lasting upwards of 45 minutes. In each instance, the 98 pound female was wearing 4 inch heels and jewels, with her partner providing extensive directorial advice. I assume it primarily consisted of “Suck your finger! Now wink! Now jut your chest forward! Now crawl around next to the pool like a lunatic!”, but I don’t speak Russian well enough to know for sure.
I can still wear a bikini!
If I lay completely flat. And suck in the bottom half of my stomach while simultaneously flexing the top part (to avoid the dreaded loose skin wrinkles). Also: try not to move and MOST DEFINITELY do not bend over. Remaining standing also helps, as long as I jut my hips backwards in a modified duck walk and keep my shoulders turned sideways with arms always, ALWAYS triumphantly bent with hands on hips. It may make me look like a superhero with a sick case of scoliosis, but if hiding cellulite was easy everyone would do it.
Alternatively, I can have 1 frozen drink and give myself a case of self-beer goggles (did you know that was a thing? It is.) and prance around like I’m 22 without a care in the world.
As a side note, am I the only one who thinks it’s total bullshit to refer to the post-baby body as a “badge of honor” or “battle scar”? Yes, my c-section scar may be quite literally a battle wound, but only from the battle of birth. Personally, I’m infinitely prouder of how I’ve handled the gazillion other parenting battles I’ve weathered since then. And let’s not forget the boobs. How exactly do two tennis balls in sweatsocks serve as badges of honor for anything but breastfeeding? An amazing achievement, certainly, but in my world much less amazing than the fact that, through a combination of selective listening, calming breaths and sheer will power, I was 5% more patient last Tuesday than I usually am on a Tuesday. Which was why I rewarded myself with 100% more wine than I usually have on a Tuesday.
No matter how far away I am from my children, I can still feel them wherever I am.
Every single morning, my children were the first thing I thought of. Specifically, I thought about how incredibly fucked up it is that I cannot sleep past 7 AM – no matter how hard I try – because I have developed an almost Pavlovian response to daybreak thanks to a 5-year campaign of psychological terrorism.
I actually like my husband.
The memory is a strange thing. I can still feel the gut-punch of embarrassment of falling UP the stairs of a packed Computer Science 103 lecture hall as class was starting, spilling a cup of hot tea all over me and the people around me. And yet, I have trouble remembering exactly what it felt like to snuggle a 2-year old William, despite the fact that I did it for quite some time and loved every second of it.
Similarly, it seems that I might have forgotten, just a teensy weensy bit, that my husband isn’t just that guy I live with who annoys me when he leaves his shoes laying around (seriously, they are HUGE!! It’s like having oxfords for coffee tables), and who insists that I refrain from binge watching Orange is the New Black so that we can watch it together, silently, while screwing around on our iPhones. But after going on a 4-day date, filled with glasses of wine at lunch and hours by the pool and (terrifyingly) scenic coast drives and rocky beach hikes, I remembered exactly how wonderful he is to be around, and how much fun we have together, and how incredibly lucky I feel to be married to him. More than anything else, I will always love this vacation for jogging my memory on that most important point.
Even if I am writing this while staring at AN ENORMOUS PAIR OF RUNNING SHOES IN THE MIDDLE OF MY LIVING ROOM.