Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Holidays are for the brave

Just returned from a four-day mountain getaway. Four-day, you say? Indeed, FOUR-DAY. 

Yes, indeed, that is one of those "adjectives of dyspeptic unrest" that you heard so much about in Latin class.

Disclaimer: if I were once again to spend four days in a chalet with 17 other people--including 7 teenagers and with the addition of three large dogs--then these would be the 17 I would pick. 

Fun things we did:

Hot tub, aka "leprotic oatmeal of despair" (see page 45 of the latest Journal of Tropical and Infectious Diseases).

Sleeping triple in a double bed: tiny fists! tiny feet! bony knees! 3 am! 

Beer for breakfast! Being hungover at 10.45am is a new one, even for me.

Where's Elvis? Front door? Back door? Locked in one of the 8 bedrooms? Garage? Deck? Other deck? Oh, he jumped in someone else's truck and went for a ride to town? 

From a pile of roughly 65 (note the odd number) of black ski gloves of various sizes, pick those that belong to you, your son, your husband, and perhaps the kid down the street whose mom thinks maybe he left his mitts at your place.

Enter a communal living room at 9am feeling more or less okay about yourself, leave 20 seconds later feeling old and wrinkly as 7 teens with flawless skin, shiny hair and expensive shorty pajamas do the rhumba in front of the fire. "It's the dance of love!" they say. 

Ah, but wait, my lithe little friends with the shiny hair and the trust funds, watch this: it's the samba of approaching decrepitude. One day when you're feeling like you used to be groovy but a long time ago, that the turkey neck is new and not welcome in your village, that everyone around you seems to speak a dialect of English oddly parallel but not ever really contiguous with your own, one day when every corpuscle of your being is crying out for a caffeinated milky beverage but you've left your lactose-intolerance medicine at the end of a long long hallway at the top of a tall tall flight of stairs--on that day, as your one good knee bends a little and your stiff back muscles give you the appearance of standing straight and tall, and your bent and twisty old feet start to shuffle a few inches at a time, then I hope you remember this sparkling winter morning in your long-haired youth and the fire and the grey-haired person whose name you never can remember and marvel at how quickly this life bounces in and out of the dance hall.

Well, that went south in a hurry, didn't it? Next year, I do believe I shall do the same. One of those single-family beach shanties of which you hear so much.

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