Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Further Thoughts On Turning Thirty

Maybe it's not so bad....


Does everyone remember last summer when Dan and I were handed the weighty responsibility of caring for Dan's aunt and uncle's menagerie of animals and plant life? Oh, you don't. Well, just go searching through the archives. I did some Pulitzer worthy recaps of all the animals we looked after. Not a big deal. I know you're all a little anxious to read the bio's of the dogs, horses, and The Teenager.

Go ahead.

Go dig.

I'll wait.

Are you back?

Excellent. Did you remember to read up on Jony the co-dependant miniature pony? So the deal with Jony is that he is old, and I was nervous to be looking after him for obvious reasons, ifyaknowwhatImean.

(Death! I mean capital 'D' Death! For the love of hay he was 32 years old!)

Dan's aunt assured me that in all the years Jony had been in their family, he had nary even cracked a hoof. He was a fit little dude, and as long as he continually had a buddy with him he would be fine. At the time, Jony's regular pal was Orania Z, but she was off holidaying at an equestrian centre so Dan's aunt and uncle brought in a pony to keep Jony company until Ms. Z returned. The timing was such that Orania was returning to our place the day that our family left on their holiday; so Ms. Z was returning, the little pony was going home, and Jony remained completely oblivious to how much planning had to go into ensuring his 32 year old self was catered to. 

The night before the pony left, there was an ENORMOUS fight between Jony and the pony who was supposed to be his buddy. I mean, if these two had been kids at a sleepover that shit would have been shut down--no more movies, popcorn, or truth or dare--and parents would be arriving at 3 a.m. to pick up their crying kids. The fight was busted up and Jony went into his stall, pony in the other, and I thought all was well.

Well, all was not fine because Jony had actually been kicked in the head during that fight, and two days into our stay he went down and could not get up on his own. I was actually at the stables when he went down, and it was a Sunday so Dan was home. I yelled at Dan to call the vet, got Jony up and against the fence to stabilize him, and clutched his halter with shaking hands as I waited for the vet. Jony had been fine at breakfast and lunch, so luckily whatever was going on had been caught immediately, and the vet was to our side in less than an hour. I had my suspicions that whatever was going on had to do with the fight, so I had Dan relay this and after some tests (wherein Jony couldn't even walk over a broom that was lying on the ground) the vet deduced brain swelling, and Jony was given a shot. If the swelling hadn't gone down in 24 hours well....

Thank goodness the swelling did go down and he was okay the rest of the time we were there, and today he is still a frisky little geriatric. But of course, I watched him like a hawk for those two weeks, and I refrained from writing about this terrible day because it was awful. The stress of this was not lost on Dan's family and in gratitude for looking after the animals and for Jony getting the quickest care possible, they gave Dan and I a luxury night away at a hotel in Kandersteg.

This gift has been sitting unused since last July, and truthfully I'd forgotten about it.

On Monday Dan told me that I had to be finished my work day by noon on Tuesday; I was a little confused because this didn't leave much notice, but hot damn I was excited because Tuesday was the day before today! My birthday! Birthday surprises!

We got to Kandersteg yesterday afternoon, and according to Dan this getaway wasn't my birthday present, he just thought it would be a classy way to say good-bye to a decade I didn't want to let go of, and use up the gift certificate that was fast expiring. The room we stayed in was...not what we expected; the luxury stay was actually a package deal for a night of ROMANCE. If you read my 'about me' tab you will understand that I am a girl who lacks the DNA code for liking typical romantic gestures, and so walking into a room strewn with rose petals caused me to feel itchy. And trapped.

Dan found my shallow, nervous breathing to be highly entertaining.

When the valet had left the room, I found a mix CD the hotel had provided called 'Love Songs'. Dan put it on and guess what started playing? As Long As You Love Me. By the Backstreet Boys! Backstreet was back! We started laughing. And then we couldn't stop. And then every once in awhile in between gasps of laughter one of us would hold up a stray rose petal and fling it at the other. Like it was something terrible and disgusting. Like a bug. Or a suggestive rose petal. So even though it was my last day of being in my twenties, it was still nice to know that at my very core I am still just an emotionally stunted juvenile.

What a relief.

But seriously though, this was free. It was a gorgeous room with a king size bed, a view, there was a whirlpool that wheeled onto the balcony, and our stay came with a gourmet meal and exclusive use of the swimming pool. So what if Dan's aunt and uncle bought us a night at the love shack? And that contraceptives were carefully nestled amongst the rose petals?

That's not funny at all, right?

Anyhow, we got ourselves together, told ourselves to act our age and not our shoe size, and went for a swim then we got ready for a dinner that was absolutely amazing. It was a four course meal with champagne and wine, and it was the sort of delicious you never want to end. Over our trio of desserts, Dan asked me to reflect on what I'd been doing on my twentieth birthday? How far had ten years taken me?

On my twentieth birthday I had been working a late shift at a stinky fast-food restaurant because I was knee deep in operation "Save Money For Tuition." I came home, went to bed, and got up the next day to work the opening shift.

There was no champagne. There was no salmon cream cannolis; no spicy pepper soup; no almond crusted tenderloin served on a bed of wilted spinach, spooned with a deep aus jus, and served with tomatoes poached in garlic oil. There also wasn't white chocolate mousse, raspberry crepes, and vanilla ice cream.

There was also no Dan.

So we toasted a decade that brought me more than I could ever have imagined, and today, the day of my thirtieth year--after a deluxe breakfast in bed--we walked in the sunshine beneath the glacial beauty of the alps, making notes to call his family and thank them for their generosity, and promising each other that we would return to this hotel...for dinner.

What? The love shack room creeped us out.


T said...

Haha, I'm with you! I am all for sweet gestures and holding hands but pretty much anything labelled "romantic" such as rose petals and pink hearts creep me out too!

Happy Birthday!!!

Helen said...

This made me laugh so much! Glad you had a good birthday and here's to a brilliant decade!

Ais said...

Gotta love some Backstreet Boys! Sounds like a nice place to stay too :)