I’m about to have the best year of my life. The best year of anyone’s life, really. I know this because everyone tells me so.
“What an amazing opportunity!”
“Oh my god, I’m so jealous!”
“I would love to do that!”
When enough people tell you that, you know you’ve got gold.
“Babe, can’t you just buy a sports car or have an affair? That’s how a midlife crisis is usually done.”
“Is this a mid-life crisis?”
“What else could it be?” Thoughtful pause. “Yes. Definitely. It is.”
“Well, then, I’ll get a Porsche when we get back.”
“No, you get ONE midlife crisis. It’s called a ‘a midlife crisis,’ not ‘a series of unfortunate decisions around 40 years old.’ THIS is your midlife crisis.”
Don-Michael’s plan is that we’ll become hobos for one year. It’ll be him, me, and three-year-old Lily, all stuffed in a smal RV, roaming across the beautiful hills and dales of America. If you’re from the Midwest, and are between 65 and 80 years old, then RV’ing across our great nation is the right answer. It’s the only answer.
But, if you’re 40, from a real state, with real careers, well then an RV means you’ve given up – you’re a hobo. "Hobo" is a really amusing word, unless you are one.
BTW, If you think this idea has a cool, non-materialist, hippy vibe, well then you’ve probably confused an RV with a “tiny house” – all the rage in Portland, Vermont, and the poorer parts of India. I get that movement.
Lily is three. She’s small and happy. She makes weird faces and acts very surprised when she’s given an order, so that we’ll laugh and she can continue her bad act. She knows to repeat the worst stuff, which is a good talent for a toddler, I think. For example, she tried again and again to throw daddy’s black sock up on the dresser. On her fourth try, she exclaimed, “What the fuck!” In order to get her to stop saying “fuck,” we convinced her that “butthead” is the very dirtiest, worst word you can say. Now she uses “butthead” in place of “fuck.” We kind of think we’re geniuses. But I miss her cursing; it makes me laugh when small children use bad words. Adorbs!
Lily looks just like me. I know this because people tell me. People also stop to say Lily is beautiful, which is most def not like me. But, when I was her age, old ladies would tell me I looked ‘just like a doll.’ That made me mad and ashamed, because I wanted to look like a He-Man action figure, not a doll. But Lily loves looking like a doll and a princess and anything shiny and pink. She has an actual fear of turning into a boy. She’ll say, out of nowhere, and quite miserably, “I don’t want to be a boy.” I reassure her, “You won’t be, cutie.” She skeptically side-eyes me. As a kid, I wished for nothing more than to turn into a boy.
She of course looks her most angelic, young, and perfect when she’s asleep. I’m laying next to her as she sleeps, and I simply must brush her hair off her forehead, put my hand on her shoulder for comfort, switch that hand to her tummy, then switch it to her side, and so on. I stare at her, breathe on her, kiss her. Basically, I annoy the shit out of her.
I wonder if Lily will continue to look like me as she grows up. I always looked just like my mom. And, if she does keep looking like me, will she somehow stay beautiful? Will she maybe be able to because she likes being a girl, is comfortable in her skin? Can that somehow save her from my plainness? I hope she can pull it off.