I have made a terrible trade. Back when we started driving to work together, Sean and I came to an agreement which—now that I think about it—we came to way too easily for him not to have plotted it sneakily in advance. The agreement was this: in the mornings, I would decide what we listened to on the stereo. In the evenings, it would be his choice.
Hey, you know what we haven't done for a really long time? Laughed at terribly unflattering pictures of me for sport! I know it's not Tuesday—although, honestly, when was the last time I actually posted a Bad Decision Tuesday on a Tuesday?—but what do you say we take a little trip down memory lane anyway? Come with me, if you will, to a time when boys were boys and girls were people who wore twee little barrettes on one side of their head for no reason, except perhaps that they thought they were Winona Ryder.
I am recapping, excruciatingly slowly, the two-week trip we took to South Africa last year. Here is part one, about our layover in Paris; here is part two, about Cape Town; here is part three, about Cape Point and the penguins of Boulders Beach; and here is part four, about wine tasting and stroking a baby cheetah in Stellenbosch. Expect me to be finished with this sometime in 2014.
I'm just getting over a weird 24-hour bug, which began in the wee small hours of Tuesday morning, when I awoke to find that someone was stabbing me repeatedly in the upper abdomen. A swift and panicked glance about my darkened bedroom revealed that nobody was, in fact, stabbing me repeatedly in the upper abdomen, and so I lay there deep-breathing for a little bit, then finally managed to fall asleep only to have the whole thing happen again an hour later, like a bad rerun of Real Housewives when you'd been hoping for a new episode.
I think this may be the most suburban thing I've ever said in my life, but here goes anyway: we're having a bit of trouble with gophers on our front lawn. I said that to a friend last week in a bar, and I swear I could see his eyes glaze over before I even got to the second syllable in "gophers." Hey, young people: whatever you think you're going to become when you're twelve or eighteen or twenty-three, chances are it's not a person who laments things like gopher holes on your front lawn.
One of the things I'm trying to work on getting over is my fear of changing in front of other people. Changing clothes, I should clarify. I mean, I'm sure you knew that's what I meant anyway, but now I'm getting a small kick out of the fact that one or two of you perhaps imagined, for a split second, that I was anxious about changing, say, my menu order or my hair color with others present, which sounds like a very severe and specific medical disorder that I most certainly do not have.
I have been feeling unfailingly nostalgic recently. You might argue that I am always unfailingly nostalgic—and it's an argument you'd win; it does seem to be my default state—but I am feeling, I guess, particularly nostalgic as of late. I don't know why. Perhaps it's the wisteria, suddenly out in full force around the buildings at work, and how the scent of it takes me back, like a punch in the gut, to the wisteria that burst into life every spring at school, a riot of purple blooms climbing up the brick between the staff room and the ladies' toilets.
I had a whole different post lined up and written in my head—what, they don't count when you write them in your head?—but I have managed to spend the entire evening embroiled in one enormous, never-ending, multi-player game of Draw Something instead, and so that one's going to have to wait.
Between the ages of sixteen and eighteen, I kept a collection of notebooks in which I wrote down inspirational quotes, song lyrics that seemed impossibly meaningful at the time, and the sort of pensive, doleful observations that prompt in me now a full-body cringe when I remember them. Basically, I had a Tumblr account way before my time.