Every year around this time, I am struck square in the gut by an almost uncontrollable desire to throw my bathing suit, a couple of pairs of clean underpants and some paperback books in a bag and then take off for more desirable weather. Wanderlust. I daydream about lying on a soft fluffy white towel on a chaise lounge parked under a palm tree, my brown skin shining in the sun, with my hair slicked back and my sunglasses on. I can taste the Coppertone and smell the seagulls and hear the warm salty breezes righting the ship of my soul, correcting my course, finding my bearings.
I sound like a Jimmy Buffett cover song, and not even one of the good ones, but I can't really help myself -- I was born and raised in the Northeast, lived my whole life in southeastern Pennsylvania and upstate New York, but I just wasn't made for this climate. There is a diagnosis of seasonal affective disorder and an old prescription for Prozac on file somewhere to prove it. White Christmases are fine in principle, but maybe only on a movie set. When I get into the deep dark recesses of January and I'm staring down the barrel of seven straight days of sub-zero weather, I just want to tell everyone I know to suck it and hop the first flight to San Diego.
There are worse places to be at this time of year than Pottstown, where we live now: Chicago and Syracuse spring instantly to mind. Fargo. Saskatchewan. Our winter has been pretty mild so far, maybe only a dozen or so cold days, and perhaps an inch and a half of snow in total. I don't care. Below 60°F during the day is too cold for me. Sunsets before 6:00 PM are too early. I want to see green grass and see bright flowers and see blue skies that aren't tinged with heavy grey clouds. I want to sit by the pool with my toes in the water and a mai tai close by, photosynthesizing.
Of course it isn't just the weather. We just got through the holidays, which were nothing short of hectic and harrowing. Work is exhausting, with the never-ending shit parade of year-end projects and paperwork and passive-aggression and power trips. We're still waiting for everything to be final with the Cupcake. My family is still crazy, and his mother is still crazy, and I'm still the Queen of the Crazies, and the long hours and short days and endless running amok and causing havoc are wearing me right the hell out. I ... need a vacation.
See these pictures? They're all from a trip to Los Cabos that G and I took back in February 2002. It feels like a thousand lifetimes ago, now. Before the house, before the bad economy, before the infertility, before the adoption, before World of Warcraft, before everything. Don't we look happy? Tanned? Well-rested? I like to think we were. We had a nice time on that trip, even though we spent it with the Wackaloons from Crazytown who worked at my previous company. It would do us good to get away again. Help me convince him that we need to go where it's warm.