So I’ve been gone for a bit. What’s the deal, you ask? Depression. It stops me from being able to communicate in any form. It stops me from leaving the house, from leaving the bedroom and as I have absolutely no reason to get out of bed (work, for example) except to feed the cats, days have a way of passing without notice.
Not to say that I haven’t done anything. I have.
Sparky took me for a romantic birthday on the Rhine with a stay at my favorite castle. This time we stayed in the Chamber of the Seven Virgins. Every room in that place is exquisite. It was how I was meant to live. When I said that to Sparky the next morning as we dined with a full silver set and the best breakfast I have ever had, he choked on his hot chocolate.
I had a fabu party. A BBQ. It rained, poured and eventually the hail put out the briquettes. So we did it indoors and von Tauber’s hubby saved the day by making the burgers in the oven.
Sparky and I went to Liechtenstein and I collected another country my siblings will never collect. Liechtenstein has by far, the best flag of any country world over. It’s so pretty and regal. In real life the blue looks more like purple.
We drove through Switzerland on the way and took a gondola ride up the side of an alp (singular for Alps). This particular alp was littered with rabid cows pretending to graze and kamakaze horse flies. We even stumbled upon two escape goats and a mini donkey.
It was amazing. One can’t really appreciate exactly how steep those Alps are without tying to get down the side of one. Halfway down, I had to walk backwards because my legs got too shaky. And I even though the cow did not attack like I thought he would, I knew he knew I knew he wanted to, but he just didn’t want to have to walk back up the damn mountain. I was too much trouble and really, he had more fun with no effort watching me watch him and maneuver the mountainside and cow patties.
I really do live a charmed life in some regards. Comparatively, I have nothing to complain about except that I live in a country I really don’t like, dealing with a culture that confounds me. The more I figure out, the less I know. Dealing with assholes on a daily basis and having to scrounge up enough courage to go out into this Deutscher world that is really not all that warm and fuzzy and friendly and nice. I miss random acts of kindness that Americans can be counted on to perform. Its like Germans are too fucking stingy to give away a random act of kindness, yet they depend on the kindness of others.
I avoid my nosey neighbors because they are constantly asking me when I’m going to learn the language, what did I buy at the store, where am I going? Then tell me its been ages since they’ve seen me, where have I been? I swear to god, I’m going to go freakin’ postal on the next German who asks me or tells me that I need to learn the language. Really.
“Wow, I have never heard that before. I mean, it would never occur to me on my own. Thanks, that a really good idea. If it weren’t for you, I might never learn this frustrating, spit filled, monotone way of communicating that is considered an actual language. I was wrong, Germans are capable of random acts of kindness.”
I miss my family, I miss my language and I miss the ease that comes with actually understanding every word that is said automatically. I miss understanding the cultural mores and folkways as second nature. I miss my country and the independence I had. I miss my name and I hate how Frau is constantly put in front of my married name. I’m just Jen or Jennifer or to my family Jenny. I do not want the Frau. You can keep the Frau.
I miss not having to defend my weight, my clothes, my car. I miss people being happy for you when things are good. I miss common sense and personal space and people who move their grocery carts out of the middle of the god-damn aisle because they know they are not the only fucking person in the world. And to that effect I miss smokers smoking in guilty pleasure, knowing that at any moment a non-smoker can read them the riot act unapologetically because smoking really a filthy habit. I used to smoke. There are two kinds. The kind that is aware of other people, smokers and non-smokers alike and the rude assholes who don’t give a shit as along as they can smoke in every hospital, gym, day care center and café. I’m sick of smelling like smoke.
I need to feed my spirit right now. It has been force-fed a diet of German verbs, manners and fashion taste for the last three years and frankly, I’d rather eat flax seed for a month.
See the thing is, this expat shit is really pissing me off. The longer I stay here the less I like Germany. I’m here because my heart is here and my heart has a mother that I would never allow to be abandoned. So to that effect, we are here for the long run. And that long run, recently, looks really, really long.
So I just shut up and hole up and my natural tendency towards depression takes it from there.
What happened today to break my silence?
Sparky needed a ride to the train station and my cat needed to go to the vet. I forced myself to get up and get out, one foot in front of the other. And from there the universe gave me the gentle nudge I needed. The scale was kind in solid “try-it-three-times-to-make-sure” numbers. The jeans I was hesitant to put on after the wash/dry shrinkage effect fit and are actually loose. My eye-make up went on perfectly, both eyes even. My hair worked with just a brush through and the blouse I put on, not expecting it to work, worked. And my extra courage leopard print bra was clean and could be worn under said blouse. I felt almost pretty leaving the house.
I took the cat to the vet for her allergy shot. (I hope someone sees the irony in a cat needing an allergy shot.) I got in and out in five minutes without waiting the hour I usually wait.
I went to my Dr. for my B12 shot. Again, no waiting. And the nice nurse did it. The one that speaks English without the lecture about the merits of learning German.
I got my nails done without forcing myself to workout first. I work out constantly and I hate it and I use getting my nails done as a sort of reward. Well, today I said fuck it. I parked in the gym lot and walked right past it. I got a whiff of stinking non-deodorant wearing-cigarette-smoking-IN-the-gym assholes on my way to Nail and Spa USA and got myself a mani/pedi in a spa chair, American style, by a Vietnamese woman from Santa Barbara.
How is that for a boon from the gods?
I need to get the hell out of dodge and back to the states so I can remember how frustrating life there can be too. At this point it really is the land of milk and honey and streets made of gold or at least filled with shoe stores that actually have cute shoes that don’t have Adidas stripes or are the color of putty. I would kill for a kitten heel Mary Jane and a smooth sidewalk to wear them on. Cobblestones are cute for like 2 weeks then they’re just a broken ankle waiting to happen.
And as you can see, once the damn breaks, you just can’t shut me up.
And thanks Dorian D. for asking. Sometimes that’s all a person needs.