Carlos and me

Just in case you were wondering, Mexico is terrible and you totally shouldn’t go there.

For instance, as soon as you step outside at their airport, it’s 85 degrees and the sun is super bright on your weak little foreign eyes, and everyone is wearing jaunty wicker fedoras and suddenly you will want a jaunty wicker fedora, even though your hair is already gigantic and expanding exponentially in the humidity and the aforementioned jaunty wicker fedora would just sit atop your wad of hair at a precarious, decidedly unjaunty angle until it fell off and was trampled by people drinking margaritas while waiting for their cabs to the hotels, because you can also drink basically anywhere in Mexico.

Like in the back of your cab, for instance. We might have done that. Just to see how terrible it would be.

Then you show up at the hotel and it’s such a hellhole:

IMG_4733.JPG

And for some reason, this man won’t stop following you around and telling you he’s your butler and asking if he can please do something for you, and you’re like, nice try, man, but this isn’t an eighties sitcom and we’re not a sassy blended family and no one really has a butler.

IMG_4833

I never got to ask if he was related to Cheech.

So now you’ve got this guy up your butt all the time, and after awhile you begin to realize that he is actually watching you when you’re not looking, like you’ll get a phone call from Carlos that he saw you down by the ocean this morning, and he wants to know who set up your cabana since he knows it wasn’t him, and you’re like, okay, one, that’s creepy that you scoped us out on the beach and I’m unsure how you did this without us seeing you, because you always wear what appears to be a black military outfit, and two, we set it up ourselves, because butlers aren’t even real.

Maybe he hid behind this death trap, its coconut bombs waiting to crush your skull into the powder soft sand, and–

IMG_4734.JPG

OKAY, I CAN’T KEEP THIS UP MEXICO IS JUST THE GREATEST PLACE ON EARTH EVERYTHING IS AMAZING THERE ARE UNLIMITED MARGARITAS AND PING PONG AND THE OCEAN IS LIKE A WARM HUG FROM YOUR GRANDMA BUT IF YOUR GRANDMA WERE SEXY AND SMELLED LIKE BUBBLE GUM AND I ATE A QUAIL EGG AND DIDN’T DIE FROM IT AND I THINK MEXICO IS MAGIC AND LOOK AT THIS DOLPHIN:

IMG_4774

AND ONE NIGHT WE CAME BACK TO THE ROOM TO FIND THAT CARLOS HAD FILLED UP THE DOUBLE JACUZZI TUB IN OUR ROOM WITH BUBBLES AND WARM WATER AND I WAS LIKE THAT’S A LITTLE CREEPY BECAUSE THAT’S PROBABLY BASICALLY JUST A SEX TUB BUT REALLY VERY NICE THAT HE DID THAT FOR US, AND THERE WERE CATS THAT LIVED AT THE RESORT AND WE NAMED ALL OF THEM AND INSTEAD OF SQUIRRELS THEY HAVE IGUANAS:

IMG_4809

AND LITERALLY THE ONLY BAD THING THAT HAPPENED THE ENTIRE TIME WERE WERE THERE WAS THAT FOR SOME REASON THEY SHOWED A BEE-GEES CONCERT ON THE BUS ON THE WAY HOME FROM OUR EXCURSION TO XEL-HA.

IMG_4818.JPG

In short, Mexico is a perfect paradise of awesomeness, where you can wear a bikini and it doesn’t matter because you’ll never see anyone again. My only regret is that we didn’t find a way to stay a little longer.

And that we didn’t really use Carlos enough, because he genuinely seemed hurt that we kept setting up our own cabana.

 

Kindle Paralysis

I figure we will be in Mexico for around five days; this means I should be able to read one, MAYBE two books, and even that will only be possible if I completely ignore my husband on all flights. So of course, it makes sense that I just borrowed twelve Kindle books from the library, guaranteeing that I will be so overwhelmed with choices that I will likely panic and just read the five Entertainment Weeklys I have stockpiled in my bathroom right now for the trip (I STORE MY MAGAZINES IN THE BATHROOM DON’T YOU JUDGE ME).

It never used to be so easy to bring so many books on a trip– back when books were still just stacks of paper sewn together (it sounds so barbaric when you say it like that), you could really only bring one or two unless you wanted to sacrifice your entire suitcase to reading material. This could be disastrous– if the books you brought were a dud, you were doomed to days of staring directly into the sun, burning out your retinas and cursing your poor decision-making skills. But it also limited your options and forced you to choose wisely.

Now I load my Kindle with abandon– in addition to the occasional full-priced splurge, I find myself haunting the daily deal sales and the year-end specials, which is how I ended up with an Andrew Jackson biography and several cult-escapee memoirs. When you throw in Overdrive, which allows you to check out Kindle books from your public library, my choices are essentially endless.

And that’s a problem. Not unlike my two-year-old, I do best in scenarios when I am given only two options. Once a third choice enters the mix, we melt down, choosing nothing and, more often than not, peeing ourselves.

Right now, I have managed to create a pretty fantastic line-up, which pretty much guarantees I will read nothing at all. Here are some of the highlights– any suggestions would be much appreciated!

  • A Manual For Cleaning Women, Lucia Berlin
  • Fates and Furies, Lauren Groff
  • Modern Romance, Aziz Ansari
  • Peyton Place, Grace Metalious
  • The Daylight Marriage, Heidi Pitlor
  • The Martian, Andy Weir (keeping in mind that I am TERRIFIED of outer space, but I heard this book was excellent, so I’m taking a risk)
  • Down the Rabbit Hole, Holly Madison
  • Bad Feminist, Roxane Gay
  • How Did You Get This Number, Sloane Crosley
  • Eileen, Ottessa Moshfegh
  • The Narrow Door, Paul Lisicky
  • Bark, Lorrie Moore
  • Among the Ten Thousand Things, Julia Pierpont
  • Fuck Feelings, Michael and Sarah Bennett
  • Carry On, Rainbow Rowell
  • Beyond Belief, Jenna Miscavige Hill
  • Pretty Girls, Karin Slaughter
  • Purity, Jonathan Franzen
  • Dietland, Sarai Walker
  • Blackout, Sarah Hepola
  • Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee (I feel like I shouldn’t read this?)
  • Gold Fame Citrus, Claire Vaye Watkins
  • Dear Mr. You, Mary-Louise Parker
  • Side Effects May Vary, Julie Murphy
  • All three of JK Rowling’s Cormoran Strike novels
  • A book about meditation? Which the idea of reading a meditation book kind of stresses me out, thus defeating the whole point

Anything I can’t miss? Anything I can skip? Please let me know in the comments!

¡Viva los Ojas!

The time has finally arrived– Ben and I are headed to Mexico in a few days, sans kids, for our first solo vacation since before Rosie was born. In fact, the last time we went on vacation by ourselves, I was actually two months pregnant with Rosie, and it turns out that being pregnant at an all-inclusive resort is about as fun as just lugging your Pack and Play to a different country and setting up shop in the Little Explorers club in the shallow end of the pool. While also vomiting intermittently, although I imagine other people at an all-inclusive resort might run into that problem regardless.

And yes, we are aware that Mexico is a hotbed of corruption, drugs, kidnapping and death. When we went there on our honeymoon nine years ago, we had to arm wrestle a heroin kingpin every night when we wanted to get back into our room, not unlike the Fat Lady in Gryffindor tower. We’re looking forward to visiting with him upon our return, to see if he’ll finally make good on that promise of a mountain of cocaine we can bury our faces in.

But did you know that, in addition to being a nightmarish hellscape, Mexico actually looks like this?

Honeymoon 172

It also inexplicably has pigs wandering around, sharing discarded McDonald’s with feral cats. This alone was worth the price of admission to Mexico, in my opinion.

Honeymoon 152

I wonder if that cat is Coconut’s great-great-great-great grandmother.

Of course, before we make it south of the border, we still need to run the gauntlet of preparations necessary to even make it out of our driveway. The kids need five days’ worth of outfits, plus spares, t-shirts in case it gets warm, winter boots in case it gets cold, books and blankets and favorite DVDs and toiletries and stuffed animals and possibly we might just put our entire house on a flatbed truck and move it over to the babysitter’s for a few days because that would honestly be easier than gathering up all this shit. Then I need to unearth my summer clothes, rifle through them sadly looking for something that will fit me after a winter of gluttony and neglect, and spend several hours feeling very bad about my physique before remembering that literally no one I see in Mexico will ever see me again, and then say fuck it and dig out my old bikini.

But all this preparation can’t possibly be as stressful as planning a wedding, so I figure I have it easier than last time we went to Mexico. Besides, having lost our luggage for the beginning of our honeymoon, I know for a fact that there is a Wal-Mart in Playa Del Carmen, so anything we forget, we can always just buy.

Like a bottle of tequila for the people watching these two for a week.

IMG_4632