SO. It’s been, what. A month? Yep. A month. A very interesting one, at that.
Can I tell you something? Just, like, one human being to another? I know the internet already has more than its share of strong opinions, and people who seem to unable to comprehend why another person would ever DO SOMETHING DIFFERENTLY THAN THEY DO OMG. But I don’t mean to tell you how to live your life, I just wish to make a broadly stroked suggestion based on personal experience. And that suggestion is:
Try not to spend a sun-dappled Sunday afternoon slowly becoming winedrunk to the point where you believe texting your father a politically-charged, entirely-out-of-context statement is a good idea.
Because you know why? It almost never is. Particularly if you and your father don’t exactly see eye-to-eye, politically speaking.
You know what happened after that text? VIRTUAL EXPLOSIONS. A flurry of heated, increasingly lengthy messages until finally I made the critical error of pointing out a double standard in his argument. AND THEN! A barrage of atomic bombs in a lightning storm with screaming 170-mph winds followed by cold, black silence. My apologies went ignored. I believe my name was scratched out of the will and replaced with the dog’s.
I was so disturbed by these developments that I threw myself into writing my father an “explanation” that was basically my set of arguments, dramatically expanded. I lost sleep; waking up at 4:00 a.m. piecing together half-constructed sentences in my head. I lost hours and hours I could have otherwise devoted to work, or chores, or blogging, or styling out my wardrobe with homemade tinfoil-and-glitter accessories. I got myself so worked up reading news articles that I made myself sick with migraine. So much incredible high-quality fun! Number one fun superstore one-stop automatic lowest price guaranteed!
AND THEN THAT THING HAPPENED!!!!
I mentioned this on Twitter already, but I ended up winning a gold ADDY for that poster I did. I literally skipped up to the podium in front of the entire auditorium with my boss tagging along behind, and accepted the award from a mustachioed local weather personality who was already drunk. This was a real bright spot in my multiweek bummerathon.
MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE RANCH!!!!!!!
My blog began to experience some “technical difficulties.” Namely, it disappeared and was replaced by an ugly wall of blinking advertisements. The problem was a domain transfer gone horribly awry. I would be glad to give you all the brain-searingly dull details but I’ll stick with the tl;dr version and just say that I wish someone had told me years ago to stay the hell away from GoDaddy forever and ever amen. I’d actually already moved everything else but this! This one domain name! Was the last thing left! Because of course it was.
I wasn’t too worried about it, though, because the blog itself wasn’t gone. It was just temporarily… hidden. And besides, I wasn’t writing anyway. Unless you count my fevered private feminist screed. The thing took me three weeks to finish. The final draft was whittled from eleven pages down to six; cited facts; maintained a balanced, neutral, non-accusatory tone; and included another apology with a stated desire to put this all behind us. I seriously considered not sending it and just hoping I’d wake up one day and everything between my father and I would be magically fixed. Like the fairy godmother of mending family rifts would just wave her wand and my dad and I could go back to having brief conversations about the weather and car maintenance like the goddesses intended.
I pressed “send” anyway, and three hours later left for Belize.
[INSERT STEREOTYPICALLY LIFE-CHANGING TEN DAYS HERE]
Belize was amazing. I hate saying “amazing;” it’s overused to the point of meaninglessness. But it was amazing. And I’m also feeling too lazy to open Word and comb through the thesaurus function trying to find a suitable replacement. My time away was like crossing a metaphorical continental divide. Rivers have reversed their flow and weather patterns have shifted. I’m different. Changed. Not in a self help or inner peace way. Not for better nor worse. Just different. I hope to tell you more about that. For the moment, though, I am trying to make sense of the familiarly alien landscape of my home and native land. On Tuesday I drove to the grocery store to get food and I spent the entire time looking at the sidewalks! There are sidewalks here! On both sides of the road! That is paved! The road is paved and lined with sidewalks and the store is cooled with forced air and I am a lucky, horrible, relentlessly privileged bastard who went to another country on another person’s dime and now I wake up once a night and don’t know where I am and I can’t make any sense out of my chosen routines. Why do we live the lives we do? What’s the meaning behind any of it? And, perhaps most importantly, why don’t any of the palm trees here have coconuts on them?! Such a waste.
I wasn’t going to apologize for not blogging, because everybody on the internet told me it was lame to apologize for not blogging, but then again other people on the internet also told me that they unfollow anyone who doesn’t post regularly, so the moral of the story is that I need to stop listening to the internet and just take care of my own. And that’s what I was doing for the past month: taking care of my own. It’s not an apology, it’s an explanation.
So. There it is. And here I am. I’m still writing, and I see no end to that in the foreseeable future.
OH. And for anyone wondering how that thing turned out with my father, well. He didn’t respond to the epic explanatory email I sent before I left for Belize. However, he did forward me an email with a link to a video about ugly furniture, so I’m guessing we’re, like… okay or something? This must be codified dadspeak. “I shall send you a message of acceptance via a YouTube URL.” This is what I’m pretending, anyway! I like the imaginary places in my mind just fine!
Tell me about you? What did I miss?