04 January 2008

What I Did During My Winter Vacation

1. Flew to Michigan. I used to LOVE flying. I used to get happy just going to drop someone off at the airport. Homeland Security has totally ruined the experience. There is no joy or excitement about it. I just grit my teeth and wait for it to be over: surly TSA workers (most of whom seem to be a hybrid between automatons and a trained monkeys), the three-ounce rule, taking off your shoes, half a dozen checkpoints before boarding the plane, the mentality that every passenger is a potential terrorist, et cetera. Travel used to be a complete experience comprised of the journey as well as the experiences at the destination, not anymore.

2. Dealt with pressure. I have mixed feelings about visiting Novio because about 90% of his friends are married and have children. When I visit him we spend time with his friends, who are nice people, but I feel this (usually) unspoken pressure to hurry up and join their club, which I will do when I’m good and ready, not because they’re in a rush to see us hitched and procreating. Novio is of no help either. He wants it so badly, he can taste it (he tries valiantly to seem nonchalant about it, but it’s too obvious to ignore). Furthermore, some time ago I had made friends with the possibility that I may never marry or give birth to a child. I was cool with that because, as they say back home, “Mejor sola que mal acompañada.”

3. Did some knitting. At the last minute I decided to make a hat for Novio because the machine-made ones he wears are so…let’s just say they insult my eyes. Then I worked on a cardigan. Yes, I know I had promised not to embark on any new significant projects until I had halved the UFO pile, but I really do need a black cardigan.

4. Gawked at random strangers. I spotted an interesting scarf on an airport escalator. The man wearing it thought I was checking him out and got all happy. A few minutes later I caught myself trying to figure out the zigzag design on another man’s hat. Had to look away before he too thought I was checking him out.

5. Met up with an old acquaintance. It just so happens that Fola was going to be spending a few days in Indiana--about 35 minute’s drive from where I was in Michigan, so we met up. It was very nice to see her. She has developed quite a British accent, which I don’t remember her having ten years ago. It’s cute. As I left she said, “I hope it won’t be another ten years before we see each other again!” I promised that it wouldn’t. And what do you know? I kept my promise sooner than expected because I’d left my cell phone behind, so the next day she came by to drop it off (yay!). While separated from my phone, Em-hijabi, whom I haven’t spoken to in months called (boo!) from England. I hope she calls back soon.

6. Did something green. I finally bought rechargeable batteries for the greedy little digital camera. I’m pleased to discover that I can charge my new NiMH batteries in my older NiCd charger. The downside is that it’ll take 63.6 hours to charge.

7. Smiled. Brief comic relief was provided by a flight attendant who was a chubbier, effeminate version of Philippe Noiret. Also, another flight attendant cracked me up when she said, "If you are sitting in an exit row you may be asked to insist the crew." Insist?

8. Felt grateful and hopeful. A year ago I was miserable, stressed out, sleep-deprived, frustrated, irritable and just plain unhappy. All because of the incompetent, inexperienced, manipulative administrators at my job. I made more money than I ever had before, but that did not do anything to make me want to stay there. I feel sorry for those who are so deep in dept or are living such a life style that forces them to stay. Live within your means people! Not making much money now, but thank God I no longer work there. My life has improved markedly. Here’s hoping that 2008 is all the more better. I wish the same for you.

No comments: