Feb 13, 2013

Cursing and Weeping (But Not Really)

We leave for Morocco early tomorrow morning. Insanely, unreasonably early. I just scheduled a taxi to take us the airport and I stared at the 4:30 pick-up time with dread for a very long time. It didn't seem so bad when I initially purchased the flight, but tomorrow morning around 4 AM, there will be cursing and weeping, I can promise you that.

Sam told a friend at school that he was going to Morocco, and his friend said, "your mom is weird." Then, after school yesterday, I heard Sam telling another friend, "we're going to Morocco this week-- it's very dangerous." I'm not sure where he got that idea, but now the other friend's reaction makes more sense. I can imagine Sam bidding farewell to his classmates today: Goodbye friends. I'll probably never see you again, since I'm going to Morocco tomorrow and I'll most likely be eaten by a wild animal or get lost in a street market and die. If so, I bequeath my eraser collection to Willem. Shed no tears for me-- If I perish, it is only because my mom is very weird. 

Other than that, I think we're all pretty excited. One of the reasons that we are able to travel so much here is because the vacation allowance is amazing. 5 weeks paid leave is the norm. 5 WEEKS people! I was recently talking to a friend here, and she was trying to figure out how to arrange their vacation schedule for the year now that their son is in school and will have 6 weeks of Summer vacation, and she and her husband can only take so many weeks off in a row. I told her that in the US, our school vacations are even longer, and paid time-off much shorter. More like a 9:2 ratio. This was something that her Dutch brain was simply not able to comprehend. She was flabbergasted. Flabbergasted I tell you!

I don't think I mentioned that Mark switched jobs in January and now works for a Dutch company. Despite just being 6 weeks into a new job, he was still able to get an entire week off this soon. Another benefit for working at a Dutch company? 36 hour work week. And what's sad and bizarre, is that it actually took Mark a while to adjust to this. The difference in attitude toward the work-live-travel balance is remarkable. I tell you, when we move back to the states, there will be more cursing and weeping. Why do Americans hate themselves so much?

Are you starting to hate us now?
If it makes you feel better, it's very difficult to get solid deodorant here. And, there are no Targets. And, I spent the morning translating insurance paperwork. Feel better?

Also,  I just checked the weather, and it's 34 degrees here.

But not in Morocco.

Goodbye friends. I'll probably never see you again because I'm going to Morocco tomorrow and I'll mostly likely get eaten by a wild animal or get lost in a street market and die. If so, I bequeath my unmatched sock collection to Science. Shed no tears for me-- if I perish it is only because we get an absurd amount of vacation days here. 

Feb 7, 2013

For the Record

Oh people.

We all know by now that I don't shy away from TMI.

That is, until I have to come home early from an all-by-myself-at-a-5-Star-Spa-Resort-in-a-Chateau-getaway last weekend, for reasons that even I find too embarrassing to mention.

I will just say that it was the stuff movies are made of. Specifically, the movie Bridesmaids.

You know what scene I'm talking about. Except without so much taffeta.

I know, sorry to be vague, but there are bodily fluids whose existence should never be validated. (Ooh, that sounds like a good name for an archenemy: He/She Whose Existence Should Never Be Validated. Copyright pending.)

Anyway, here is an embarrassing moment I will go into detail about: In the 6th grade, I recorded myself singing "Nothing Compares 2 U" at the end of a mixtape. Now, I probably don't need to tell you that the majority of people don't sound as good out loud, as we think we do in our head.* And I think that the gawd-awfulness of it must have shocked me into a tiny coma, in which I instantly forgot the entire traumatic experience. Because, some time later when I had a few friends over, I put on what I believed was a super rad mixtape to listen to while we hung out. I left the room briefly to get some snacks, and walked back in to hear this... horrendous noise, which at first I didn't recognize.

Is there a cat dying in my boom box? 

Ohhhh. Ohhhh noooooooo. 

The dying cat was, in fact, my voice trying to be as awesome as Sinead O'Conner; the recording I had obviously erased from my memory, but (why God, why?) not from the tape. That was happening. And then there were my friends, sitting there in the most awkward pause in conversation ever, listening to it.

It was in that moment, that I became a liar.

Me: "What's going on? Oh my gosh, my sister must have recorded this! She loves this song, it's like, her fave. Wait, did you think it was me? What?! I barely even know the words to this beautiful, haunting ballad." (Approximate quote)

Sorry, Suzy, totally threw you under the bus there.

They made me swear it was my sister, and I made them swear they believed me. And we all kind of knew we were lying through our teeth. I immediately destroyed the mixtape, and lived awkwardly ever after.

But wait, there's more that I'd like to get off my chest, thanks to recent events in the news.

In High School, I once argued in an English class that women shouldn't be allowed to serve in military combat because they would be "too worried about breaking a nail or messing up their hair." I guess that was during my misogynist-curious phase?

Embarrassing revelations don't stop there, folks. For the record, I just crawled out of the blanket fort that I'd been hiding under all morning, simply because I couldn't face another day of parenting and having adult responsibilities.

But I did finally decide to come out and shirk my responsibilities even further by ignoring them and writing instead. And since this blog post is starting to sound like a sad, sad eulogy, I might as well take the opportunity to give some instructions for my funeral.

Let it be known:
I want to be remembered for how awesome I was at finger crochet when I was 9. I totally rocked the yarn chain.

Furthermore, my archenemy will be referred to as She Whose Existence Must Never Be Validated. If I don't have an actual archenemy at the time of my death, then I appoint C. Jane. Damn her and her beautiful writing.

Tangent: What does one do with an archenemy? I mean besides the whole ruthless destruction thing? Should I invite her for some passive-aggressive tea? I'm assuming there are rules to this sort of thing, like in fencing. It is a gentleman's sport after all.

Hmmmm, I'll think about that next time I'm brooding under some blankets.

Back to my funeral. I think the emotional climax should be a dramatic reading of the notes I saved form Jr. High. Just have your tissues ready people. There'll** be blanket forts for everyone.

A few pictures from my weekend in Maastricht (a lovely city in the very South Eastern tip of the country), before everything went spectacularly awry.
 Very old church that my kids would have killed me to see.

 Green bikes make me happy.

Maastricht is an old Roman city. This guy is just adorable. 

Oh Rapunzel, let down your haaaaiiiiirrrr. 

 City center. That roof line was much cooler in person, trust me. 

 Oldest city gate in the Netherlands, from 1229.

The Chateau. Beautiful setting for such horrible memories. 

*This is a scientifically proven fact, thanks to the clinical studies known as the auditions for American Idol.
** There'll-- technically not an actual contraction? Too bad.