Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Other Happiest Place on Earth

Before we got married my husband and I traveled around the world for nine months. I would send very long emails to my people every couple of weeks. Once, while we were in Kathmandu, I wrote the mother of all emails about our journey through Thailand and then the power went out. Bye bye email. So me and the Welsh guy at the next terminal spent a few minutes cursing Nepal and the fucking ox that probably just tripped over the city's main electrical power line. And then we met my husband for a drink and I wrote an even better email the next day.

So let's just say that a lumbering ox named Blogger just deleted the blog entry I'd been writing for the last 45 minutes. Somehow the whole thing got erased just as it was auto-saving. Thanks for nothing auto-save. But let's assume that this version will be even better than what I just wrote. And I'll be able to write it in only ten minutes. Blind typing.

And let's also assume that my New Year's resolution was not to write in my blog every day. Obviously. Or even once a week at this rate. But I've been away visiting family in New Mexico. And I have a million stories to tell from the trip which is why I haven't been able to write because there's too much to write and isn't that always how it goes? So I will get through the stories slowly and probably not chronologically because that would feel like work. And I'm lazy.

I will tell you that on this trip I discovered heaven. Until now I've only really had a clear vision of hell. It's muggy in a way that leaves my hair permanently frizzy; there are thousands of two year olds  having tantrums; it is very dusty and full of state employees; I can only wear polyester; I always have my period and there are many, many cats. But, until now, I did not have as clear an image of heaven. My happy place, if you will. The place where I could go when I needed to shut out everything. There have been contenders. A lake by a mountain. Too many mosquitoes. A tranquil beach. Sand in my tushy.

But on this trip I found it. It's called Jackalope. Feast your eyes on this treasure of trove of handmade. Handsewn. Handcut. Handcarved. Handpainted. Handed over from an assembly line in China. This is a giant warehouse of chingaderas (little fucking things). Paper cut flags, oil cloth by the yard, lanterns, pottery, blown glass, worry dolls, day glow skulls, Frida magnets, baskets, furniture, embroidered everything, anything you could possibly need for a Dia de los Muertos celebration, carvings, lucha libre lunch boxes and sombreros.


And you bet your culo I bought my daughter one of these little embroidered dresses which I, against my better judgment, let her wear to preschool her first day back and which came home in a baggy smeared with paint. But I washed it out and she is ready to reprise her role as Frida for Halloween 2010.

And lucky me, I got to share heaven with two favorite women, my mommy and my sister in law. We left our husbands at home with our kids and spent the afternoon patrolling the plaza, drinking Mexican hot chocolate and finally arriving at this marvelous retreat. And as we are admiring a stack of woven carpets, I hear a faint cry. Mommy. That must be in my head.


But behold! It was not in my head. It was my kids! And my niece and nephew! In a wagon! Apparently their fathers, not knowing where we had ended up, had taken all the kids to see Alvin and the Chipmunks but it was sold out and in an act of desperation they came to Jackalope because not only does this place have every tchotchke known to man, it also has a petting zoo where you can feed donkeys. And a glass blower. Well you don't feed the glass blower. Just the donkeys.

And I thought, huh. Who invited my kids to my happy place? But there they were. Jumping around, screaming with glee and nearly bowling over a row of three foot St. Francis de Asisis. But I was very happy to share my happy place with them. And happier still when their father took them home in a separate car.


Renee said...

Who invited my kids to my happy place. har har

You are the best. I can't believe you travelled for 9 months you lucky duck.

Love Renee xoox

Susie Lubell said...

We spent about $5000 each for the whole trip and came back penniless and engaged.

aimee said...

what heaven it is to discover, well, a little heaven where you don't expect to find heaven.

i love the little fucking things.

no way said...

Just dropping in to say I love, love, love your blog-I found you through Artsyville. I have similarly aged children, teach drawing and photography, and can VERY MUCH relate to what you write. Keep it up!

DR said...

as always you make me laugh. i was also feeling guilty today because sometimes i ove my daughter most when she is asleep, haha.

i was in khatmandu in dec 98...the email was sooooooooo slow, even for dial-up! i recall those power shortages. i was told later that they shut the power off on know, twice a day they shut it off to conserve power, no accident at all!!!! (insert what you want here!)