If you knew me in real life, you’d know that I say this all the time:
“I like vacations more than real life.”
And maybe everybody says this. But i really mean it. I’m a goal-directed girl, and i can work really really hard if i know that there’s a reward coming. vacations are the best reward for me. four days of beach, movies, french pastries, reading on the beach, listening to podcasts. Even the travel itself is part of the vacation: planes, trains, metros. I just open up my book and read until we get there.
This was my first sober vacation (yes, thank you very much, today is day 66). I did OK 3 out of 4 days, which is pretty good. I drank lots of tonic water, tons of tea, gallons of bottled water (Badoit with tiny bubbles), and only one day did i want to kill my husband.
We had a movie pass for one full day during the 4 day vacation, and the movie pass gave us unlimited access to see movies back to back. The first one we wanted to see started at 11:30 am. Seems reasonable. Woke up at 10:30 am (gotta love quiet hotels with dark curtains that let you sleep forever). Headed off on foot to the movie part of town. Figured we’d get breakfast on the way.
Now, breakfast in France is tricky business. France is an entire country full of people who don’t eat eggs (or protein) for breakfast. Coffee, pastry and juice — YES. Eggs and home fries and bacon and toast — NO. Yogurt and fruit and granola — NO. Tofu scramble? Definitely non.
So let’s take this newly sober girl, who’s used to eating lots of protein, and let’s give her … oh, i don’t know, a regular french breakfast which is straight sugar and adrenaline: coffee, OJ, croissant, and then white bread with butter and highly processed strawberry jam.
She eats it all, of course, it’s very yummy. And off she goes to watch the first movie.
Fast forward 2.5 hours, the end of the first movie. Starvation isn’t really the right word. It is more like an all-encompassing feeling, head-to-toe blanket of murderous rage.
I cannot seem to communicate to my husband that i am STARVING and that i have to eat right now. No i can’t sit on the beach and eat baguette with cheese. I need to eat an entire cow. Are you listening to me? If i don’t eat a whole chicken, head first, in the next three minutes, i’m going to fucking implode.
My husband really cannot figure me out, and so i say something shitty like “why don’t you pretend just for one minute that you love me, you know, like you used to, and just for one minute imagine that what i’m saying is important to you.” He glares, he really has no idea why i’m yelling. And this makes me even more furious so I start shrieking, in a crowd, and yes people actually turn to look at the poor man whose wife is going off on him. He says “do we have to run?” (i’m walking very very quickly, yelling, not looking back to see if he’s behind me any more). Yes, we have to run, I say, I have to eat something. He says: “fine, you can go alone then.”
which means we’ll get separated in this big crowd.
And I really really don’t care. At all. I keep walking and i don’t look back. I’m as close to drinking as i’ve ever been in 66 days. murderous rage. completely out of proportion to the event, and i know i’m hungry but i can’t seem to control my mouth, or my mood, or my pace of walking, or my yelling.
i arrive in front of a bad hamburger place. Husband is behind me (of course). We eat. I try very lamely to explain. I say “please don’t be a dick.” and he says “please don’t be crazy.” and then i start laughing. because crazy is exactly what I am.
There was no alcohol involved. I ate some cow and felt better. The burger was terrible but did the job (the French aren’t great on making American-style hamburgers either, but in a pinch they’ll do).
The next day (yesterday) I ate terrible runny eggs for breakfast (runny yolks and runny whites). Husband had to avert his eyes, it’s truly gross. I didn’t care what they looked like, i knew i needed protein. And thus, yesterday, the runny egg day, i had the best day of the entire vacation. Relaxed, happy, even, un-anxious, well rested. We sat on the beach for 3 hours reading. We had tea and quiche for lunch (Look! More Eggs!). We bought apples to eat on the trip back. We got home late last night (11:00 pm) and went out to our favorite corner place for roast chicken.
I have more to say about vacations, about september, about this time of year. but i’ll save it for later. this is already too long and i want to put in a few more pictures : )