The only mirror in my apartment in Switzerland is in the bathroom and I can only see my head and shoulders in it. So, for the last 8 weeks I haven’t see my ass – and honestly, that’s been OK with me. I mean, intellectually I know it’s there. I’m aware of it in a functional capacity – to sit on, to articulate my lower limbs to my torso, to act as a sensor for my kids’ ability to be pains. Occasionally I will catch a glimpse of my full silhouette in a passing store window as I walk to work, but I don’t linger to contemplate it as I sometimes do at home, right before vowing to start the diet/exercise/lifestyle change plan du jour. First, because lingering to contemplate would just look weird – craning my neck in front of a store window to check out my posterior in public just seems wrong – and second because who has that kind of time. So for the longest time I have not given any thought whatsoever to it’s ass-thetics (see how I did that)! And that’s been kind of liberating!
It’s also got me thinking about things I’m willing to live without….
- I can live without seeing myself from the shoulders down. I mean, I have a body made for radio so only being able to see my head and shoulders in a mirror seems like the optimum amount!
- I can live without a TV….. but only because I have an iPad and a computer on which I watch every TV show I want! I really think TVs are going to be defunct pretty soon as we will all walk around with Goopple implants that will beam streaming video directly onto our retinas. What is Goopple you ask – oh, that’s the corporate demon child born once Google and Apple are allowed to marry coz corporations are people my friends. Basically this new retina-beaming technology….the iEye – wait…that’s mine….I’m patenting that Goopple so back off!! And while I’m on a roll, I’m patenting Goopple too!
- I can live without a car (caveat: as long as there is access to public transport, reasonable weather, and good sidewalks).
- I can live without a formal living room and formal dining room – WTF do we have these completely useless rooms in our house for anyway? How much formal living do we really do?
- I can live without an entire wardrobe of clothes that don’t fit me but I still hold onto in the vain hope that one day I’ll manage to get into them again! Some of my clothes are so old that they are now retro chic (or at least that’s the excuse I’m using to hold onto them) – hello flared jeans! I have clothes in different sizes and vintages and eras that include pre-kids, post-first-kid-but-pre-second, post-second-kid, pre-running, post-running, pre-zumba, post-zumba…the list is long and depressing. But these last 8 weeks I’ve been living with a grand total of 2 skirts, 4 pants, and 7 tops in grey/blue/white/black – and I’ve managed just fine sartorially speaking. I do miss my shoes on the other hand – I only brought 5 pairs!
- I can live without cooking. My poor kids have had to make do with, on average, 2 hot meals a week and the rest of the time we’ve eaten sandwiches! They got sick of it pretty quick – I’ll collect that Mother of the Year award any day now!
…..and now some things I simply am not willing to give up.
- I cannot live without free public bathrooms…I found myself telling the kids to please use the toilets on the trains coz they were free! I had to pay 3 CHF (~5 USD) so Adam could use the public bathrooms twice in one day – he literally pissed away my money! Anyway, to quote Bridge to Terabithia, come on Europe – Free to Pee, Free to Pee!!
- I cannot live without my own bathroom – because oh Lord, my kids are pigs….and so very stinky….and spit gobs of toothpaste onto every porcelain and reflective surface!
- I cannot live without my own dishwasher and laundry facilities. While I remember grad school fondly, I do not miss the times I came down to the laundry room in my apartment building to find that someone had considerately removed all my wet clothes and plunked them on the floor with my most sacred (holiest) underwear in all its splendiferous glory on top of the pile! Thanks guy-who-couldn’t-wait-5-minutes!
- I cannot live without my husband – for obvious reasons like access to the top shelves of closets, opening up of tight jars of pasta sauce, and someone to drive nuts with my loud and off-key singing.
- I cannot live without my children – they drive me insane, wear my patience down to a nub, and will put me in an early grave – but they are also funny and smart and still like to cuddle.
- I cannot live without my friends – they are mad, hilarious, wise, and will drive me to early liver cirrhosis – but they are the sisters of my heart and they too are cuddly!
So now that I’ve made my list maybe when I come back home I will be this whole new person who walks everywhere and doesn’t shop for clothes and doesn’t consider it completely normal to veg out in front of the TV for hours and doesn’t cook and gives away all the clothes that don’t fit me and does not swear off chocolate and alcohol every time I see myself in a mirror and doesn’t take her spouse for granted and doesn’t yell so much at the kids…….or not. Ummm, I wouldn’t hold my breath! Not enough Zen-like calm in the universe for those changes! Except the cooking…I could totally not cook!