Slight Change Of Plans

by

But so slight.

I’m still going to Paris.

Despite the sharp inhalation of breath my mother took when I told her on the phone today.

“I bought the tickets before the attacks mom,” I said, I could feel her getting instantly wound up.

I was also walking my bicycle into the garage at work, so there was not a lot of room for conversation on the topic.

And I hadn’t called my mom to talk about Paris.

Rather my eldest aunt who passed yesterday was my reason for calling.

I didn’t know my aunt that well.

Suffice to say that I didn’t know a lot of my family all that well, but I do have fond memories and I do remember thinking when I was younger that she was kind.

Perhaps I don’t have a recollection of thinking that thought exactly, but that is what comes to mind when I remember her.

Thanksgiving or Christmas at her house a year when my grandparents, for whatever reason, had decided they did not want the hassle of having the whole family over for the holiday.

I recall there being a lot of conversation about where it would be and it ended up being at my aunts house.

It was an oddly warm Christmas, ah yes, it was Christmas, and I remember playing outside in the back with one of my cousins.

Tether ball, I think.

Oddly enough I got along with them really well, in fact I thought that of all my cousins the three daughters of my aunts were my favorite.

Two were fraternal twins.

And I was fascinated by the fact that they did not look at all identical.

As I thought twins should look.

Of course this was before I know what fraternal and identical twins were, but twins, we had them in the family and that was special.

I sort of felt that their family was special in general.

They seemed to have escaped the lash of weirdness that was on my family.

I was thinking about it today and though there were more than one or two black sheep in the family, I think my mom sort of took the cake for a while.

I definitely felt that we were the blackest of the black sheep in the family and that my cousins, well, they were normal, well-adjusted, sweet girls.

They each had their own rooms and the house was cozy and warm and nice.

Middle class.

White Wisconsin.

Nice.

My immediate family lived so far below the poverty line that when I learned what the poverty line was I was shocked to realize how poor I had been growing up.

I mean.

Fucking poor.

And I’m not upset about that.

I didn’t know the difference.

I don’t recall thinking I was suffering.

I mean.

I think I just thought our family was weird.

But I had no clue.

A little grown up time of my own.

A lot of perspective and distance and yes.

I can see the screaming dysfunction at work in the family dynamic.

There is still dysfunction.

But then again.

What the hell is normal?

There is no normal.

I was chatting with a dear friend on the phone earlier and he said, “normal is a setting on a dryer.”

Ayup.

And usually I still have to add minutes to the normal setting.

There is no normal.

And.

If there is.

I’m not so certain I want any of it.

I do want the fantasy of doing what I am getting to do after  I have the reality of doing the heavy lifting, with my brain that is.

I got the tickets to the ballet!

My darling poulette bought them online today and I was mistaken, it is not La Bayadere we are going to see.

Nope.

We are going to see some modern ballet.

Which is just as exciting if not more so.

I’m going to be accompanied by dear sweet people whom I love and adore and I am going to get dressed up, like a princess, and I am going to the Garnier Opera House in Paris at Christmas, Wednesday, December 23rd, at 7:30 p.m. to see the ballet.

Luckiest girl in the world.

I also talked with my friend about having dinner with my Parisian friend, I mean, who better will know where to go for a nice meal before the opera?

I’m so excited.

And yes.

I got the good seats.

We are sitting in the loge.

1ères loges de coté 22

Translation: BOX SEATS!

Merry Christmas baby.

Pack something nice to wear.

There are four sets of box seats in the Palace Garnier and we are on the first, premier, of the balcony, I wonder should I purchase some opera glasses?

Bwahahaha.

Nah.

I won’t need to because we will be so close to the stage.

Box seats.

I am over the moon and so glad I agreed to splurge on the more expensive tickets.

I am grateful that I get to spend the money to allow myself and my friend to have an amazing experience together and to also have my new friend from school there too.

My God I am grateful.

So grateful.

I am also grateful that tomorrow is my Friday.

Yay four day weekend.

So much work to be done.

There is more work for me to do on my days off than I have on my days on.

Although, arguably I could say that it’s a balance this week as there has been more work at work, grandparents are visiting for the holiday.

Which on one hand is fantastic, the boys love their grandparents.

And on the other tends to throw a little monkey wrench in our routines and schedules and the boys also get to have a lot of treats with the grandparents.

Ah sugar.

My nap time nemesis.

I should have had some quiet time today with them, but they were too wound up so instead, I employed them in the kitchen and they helped me make dinner: sushi rice, wild king salmon marinated in lemons and olive oil with spices and lime zest–baked in the oven, roasted brussels sprouts with garlic and brown butter, and organic strawberries for dessert with sliced apples from the farmers market.

 

The boys helped me to squeeze the lemons and mix the spices and herbs in the marinade for the fish, they also sprinkled love on top of everything.

Love is the best spice.

They were so proud of the meal.

And told their grandparents how hard they cooked everything.

It was adorable.

And the adorable train will roll out of town for me soon.

Where I will be departing for the burying my head in my homework part of the holiday.

“What are you doing for Thanksgiving?” The mom asked.

“Homework.” I replied.

That.

And dreaming about the ballet.

In Paris.

What am I going to wear?!

Hashtag.

Luxury problems.

 

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