The thing about being essentially homebound to recover from abdominal surgery is that eventually, even if you think you’re a champion recluse who never needs to leave the house, you will get terrifically bored and start to act out in strange ways. Currently, I can’t drive or walk very far, so I’m limited to…well, sitting around or getting the mail, basically. I’m wearing down the battery on my phone by early afternoon because there’s little else to do but fuck around on Twitter, and even though I’m really good at it, sometimes it gets boring and that’s when I turn to online shopping.
This is a problem. I mean, it’s not a financial problem – even though I’m online shopping more than I’ve ever done before, I’m still me and in charge of my bank account with an almost fanatical kind of precision – but it’s a problem because I know I’m doing it for purposes of release and that kind of weirds me out. It’s so…so capitalist, I guess, and the exact kind of thing I make fun of people for.
But you know, doctors did spend over 4 hours cutting into and prying stuff out of my guts, so forgive me if I seem out of line.
In addition to buying all new underwear (because without a uterus, I’ll never have a period-damaged pair again, MWAhahahahahaha!), I’ve also gone a tiny bit crazy on things that no one else would ever be excited about. My standard black tank tops, t-shirts, and leggings, for example. Cheap and plentiful and pretty much all I ever wear and if Younger Me had been less slutty and more Catholic, she might have become a nun just because having a uniform is so easy.
I also started an Amazon wishlist and frequently feel drunk with power when adding items to it. I shared the link with Graham after he asked what I wanted for my birthday, and his first words upon checking it were “none of this is fun stuff, though.” (Note: he only briefly raised his eyebrows at the $700 dining room table + chairs I want, which is a very weird under-reaction from him.) So I’m going shopping-nuts for me, but nobody else would be impressed.
In addition to the shopping I’ve already done, I told Graham that I want to spend all my extra money in 2016 and 2017 on travel. We’ve never been able to travel together before due to conflicting schedules and money (I maniacally saved mine, he didn’t have any extra to throw away) but lately I’ve come to realize that traveling more makes me happy, and if I have to be a slowly decaying barren woman in her 30s, I might as well make the most of it.
This year is Iceland in the spring, after rescheduling the trip twice (once because I decided to pick a mid-winter date for the likelihood of seeing the Northern Lights, another time because I found out about my bum uterus and couldn’t breathe without severe pain for nearly 2 months). Then hopefully an all-inclusive Caribbean trip in the fall with Graham, who blanched at the price initially but then I did what I’ve been doing to myself and just whispered “all-inclusive” while urging him to imagine the condensation of a cold blender drink for which he doesn’t have to pay or tip, in his hand.
2017 should be Cuba and a national park – Graham wants to see the Grand Canyon for the first time, I’m willing to endure the tourists if it means we can see Yosemite soon – and maybe we can fit in a third short trip, like a weekend in Vancouver or the San Juans. I can get a credit card that nets miles and we can see where that takes us (eventually).
After that, ideally I’d like to try for one international and one domestic trip per year. We’re supposed to be making lists. So far, mine includes Yellowstone, Big Sur, the Florida Keys, Santa Fe, Kauai, Maine, Nova Scotia, Buenos Aires, Uruguay, Colombia, Budapest, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Manchester (and the rest of the North), the Hebrides, Lisbon, Sweden, Vietnam, New Zealand and Kenya. I don’t know what’s on Graham’s list and he says he’ll go wherever with me, but honestly, I would like to take the occasional trip by myself, too. I mean, obviously not the big ones, but I like traveling by myself like I like going to movies and eating fancy meals by myself. It just feels…comforting, in a weird way, knowing that I am dependent upon myself and can do whatever and go wherever I want.
Of course, all of this is just me pretending to be a rich person for awhile, without the spectre of medical bills and rent and all that stuff. But it’s nice to think about, and I occasionally fall into the “why not me?” mindset as I watch people I know go on trips and do things and have experiences that aren’t limited to spending a weekend at IKEA.