Time, Aches, Panic! Also Travel

Suddenly, it feels like I have absolutely no time in the evenings. I’m going on vacation seven weeks from Thursday and I’m working pretty hard on my French, which means at least an hour every evening and several hours each weekend day (plus listening to News in Slow French on my commute). I wonder if that is what is making the evenings seem like they are lasting about ninety minutes. Because I swear, I get home, I feed the cats and have dinner, do some French, shower and go to bed. Knit? Read? Cook? Chores? Ha.

Tonight was über-exciting in that I mixed it up — the cats, dinner, less French than normal, a bath with a book!, and now I’m back on the computer. The baths are becoming necessary because I appear to have screwed up my left hip somehow — I can’t make the movement one needs to to, say, put one’s foot on the opposite knee. This makes things like fiddling with shoes difficult, and sitting cross-legged in bed, or sitting on the floor at all. It definitely feels muscular rather than the joint. In jointland, however, we have my arthritic knees that hate going down stairs. So, to help me feel better, I’ve been taking hot baths with lavender Epsom salt. It’s soothing and it’s a nice thing to do on a weeknight, since weekdays in general are somewhat dreary sometimes.

Also, I am feeling particularly round and busty, and I know if I were less so, my body would ache less. I know that weight loss is a pipe dream — almost no one succeeds at it and of those who do, almost none of them keep it off — but it would be nice. Just being able to buy a bra in a store would be nice!

Have to go do girly doctor things tomorrow. Oh joy. And I have to check in with my GP because she wants to do a blood pressure check — but after tomorrow at the GYN she can just check my medical record. And of course I’m all paranoid she’s going to want to do bloodwork as well and they’ll find out I’m diabetic or have sky-high cholesterol or have some other issue that will a) be awful and b) result in the tsk-tsk of the medical professional talking to the large person.

True story: In college, I went to the doctor with a complaint completely unrelated to weight. I think it may have been an ear infection or something. So I’m “blah blah blah ear hurts” and he responds, basically: “Hmm. Yes. You know you’re significantly overweight?” I kept deflecting back to my ear and he kept bringing up the weight. I wanted to say, “You know, my weight has nothing to do with this problem. And really, yes, I know I’m overweight. Did you think I’d missed it? I’m fat, not stupid!” But I was nineteen or so and just completely nonplussed. Still, I know one day there will be a similar conversation again, and then it might be something weight-related.

So I’m a little stressed out and body-loathing and ache-and-pain cognizant. Alas.

Segue here to:

I’ve bought a ticket for the Anne Frank House for the Sunday I will be in Amsterdam. It’s an entry time with a 30-minute English intro — at 9:45 AM. This is good, given my penchant for morning sleep. I’m really going to aim to get up at 7 every morning I’m in Europe this year. I will no doubt not make that goal daily but at least if it’s a goal, I will make it sometimes. I excused myself in Paris last year saying that nothing I wanted to go do was open much before ten anyway, but I could still hie myself out to have some coffee somewhere. So I deliberately chose an early-ish entry. I’ve heard the lines can be long and it’s easier if you just book ahead. I’m down with that!

I’ve also booked a tour out of Prague to Terezin. Many years ago I saw an exhibit of children’s drawings from Terezin at the museum at Cal, and was transfixed. At the time I thought, “That would be so interesting, but I will never get to Czechoslovakia!” Twenty years and a national breakup later and I will be in the Czech Republic; I looked to see how close Terezin is to Prague, and it’s not far at all. So I’ve booked a tour from 10-4 on my first full day there. I could do it on my own but I kind of want to just put myself into someone else’s hands. If I were with other people I would probably do the bus thing on my/our own, but alone it seems more daunting.

And after all this serious history, I may get to meet and snorgle the French kitty of a French knitting friend when I get myself to Paris. I will probably need it — being in cat withdrawal as well — and I wonder if I’m going to be exhausted by the time I get there! I think Amsterdam and Prague are going to be a little more tiring just from the “I’ve never been here; I have no idea where I’m going; all this is entirely new; I can’t read any of the signs” standpoint. And oh, the walking!

I think I’d better bring a bag of Epsom salt with me.



What I Don’t Understand (Movie Edition)

It should probably be “Movie Edition, Part I,” because I’m not that much of a movie person and therefore find a lot of things beyond my ken.

But one thing stands out. When I do watch movies, they’re usually dramas and often they’re European. (With oddball exceptions like “Wanted,” which drew me in with its ads and James McAvoy.) I seem to feel that this is more prevalent in those films than possibly your mainstream American ones, but I also remember seeing it in high school when I watched The Young and the Restless.

Someone says something — and the person to whom/with whom they’re speaking simply doesn’t react. Or barely reacts, and certainly doesn’t say anything.

I don’t know about you, but if someone refuses to respond to what I’ve said, especially when it’s important and especially if the silence is prolonged, I get upset after awhile. In the last six months of my marriage the only way I could get a response out of my husband was to leave him notes or send him emails with checkboxes for his responses.  Otherwise he pretty much did not speak at all, about anything, ever.  A subsequent person got all his stuff shoved off a coffee table because he ignored everything I was saying and kept shuffling papers there.  I don’t think it’s happened in any other circumstances, except specific times of argument when someone is giving The Silent Treatment, which is different.

And yet in movies, someone says, “I’m having an affair/I’m leaving you/I’m pregnant/I think we should see other people/I just got a Fulbright and will be gone for a year/the dog just died/my mother just died/we just declared war,” and the other person either keeps doing what they were doing or simply looks at the speaker.

My favorites are when someone apologizes, gets no response, says something like, “Okay then,” and they both go about their business. I’d be a mess of nerves. Are they still mad? Did they accept my apology? What’s the deal?

Other than in the dying months of my marriage and with that extremely screwed-up later relationship, I’ve never come across this in real life. I’d never think to just stare at someone imparting important news without even a noncommittal “hmm” or “really?”*Do people do this? If I moved to Europe would I need to get used to intimate friends not responding to me? Or is it simply an accepted convention in certain films?

*Other than in initial shock; I wouldn’t just blandly look at them or continue to do whatever I was doing.