January 14, 2006

Calais

Does it ever end? Do we ever live happily ever after in the beautiful mansion on the hill with our perfect teeth and bottomless bank account? The obvious answer is no. So why do I spend so much of my time fantasizing about just that?

Our really good friends have just decided to leave L.A. in search of better jobs and cheaper houses. Probably 90% of our close friends right now will do the same thing within the next 3 years. We would like to stay, but there's just no telling how things will ultimately pan out for us here. In our five years of marriage we have already moved 10 times. Now that we are supposedly "settled" here in L.A., a frequent conversation topic is what we'll do when we retire. How many years until we can retire. What other options Spike has to work in different cities. I am trying to put down roots but at the same time have a zillion back up plans to resort to when our ideal plan goes to pot. It makes my brain hurt.

I know somewhere in my head that since we obviously have less control than we would like over our future, I should heed that old cliche and live in the moment. I should just wait patiently while my life slowly deals me card by card by card, taking each one in stride. But I can't. I'll agonize for months even years over whether or not it's going to be the queen of spades or the 4 of clubs. Like those people who take exams and then spend weeks waiting for their results stressing out every day even though it's impossible to change the eventual outcome. But nothing is more important to us than us. Nothing intrigues us more than our final fate.

I went to Europe with my parents when I was 14. Just me and the old folks. We only had a week or so and there were so many things to see. One of our final destinations was Calais, France. I spent almost the entire week sitting in the back of our tiny rented car whining about getting to Calais. I can't remember why I wanted to get there so badly, but I can remember that it was a huge urgent thing for me. I had to get to Calais. I drove my parents crazy. They kept trying to distract me with all the other wonderful sites we drove by. No - only Calais for me. Guess what - we got to Calais, got out of the car and took a picture of Rodin's Burgers sculpture in the freezing cold wind, then got back in the car and went back to Gatwick for the flight home. All that waiting and whining for a snapshot of myself crouched at the feet of some bronze Burgers. The photo didn't even turn out that well - after we got it developed it appeared I was saying something like "goof" " or something urgent to my dad while he snapped the shot. All for that.


Whenever I get impatient now my mom likes to shout "Calais! Calais!" to remind me that I'm being ridiculous and to please just settle down and go with it. I'm trying - I really am. I have no clue what our future holds, but hopefully it's going to be better than freezing Calais, France if I play my cards right and keep a poker face. It's when you lose your cool that things fall apart.


So here's to not knowing anything. Here's to having to take a blind turn going 80 miles per hour. Here's to eating suspiciously flavored hot dogs and paying taxes. Calais isn't all it's cracked up to be - trust me!


2 comments:

Stephanie said...

Bother. Thought I was commenting on your blog and ended up emailing your post to you. Sorry about that. I guess that's what happens when I'm only half-paying attention.

Just wanted to know I completely, utterly sympathize with you. We've been married 5.5 years now and I'm still wondering when's "LIFE" going to begin and we finally settle down, where, etc. I think if I didn't have this to worry about, I'd find something else so this is a happy medium since we all worry about it.

Jared said...

I sure hope that eventually we can settle down, but I have this evil knot in my stomach that keeps saying it will never, ever happen...and then it laughs in an dark voice HA,HA,HA...