Friday, December 16, 2011

beyond the bubble

We’re definitely not in Bra anymore.

I’ve heard this song no fewer than four times since I returned to Baltimore less than 48 hours ago. In that time I’ve also:

1. Worked out on my spin bike while watching LOTR.

2. Huffed and puffed and wondered how the hell this was my daily exercise, once upon a time.

3. Got a Twiggy-esque hair-cut.

4. Winced at the cruel irony of its juxtaposition with my non-Twiggy-esque frame.

5. Received a new winter wardrobe featuring exclusively stretchy waistbands. Thanks, Mom.

I’ve been away from home for seven months, and during that time I’ve met new people, traveled, laughed and ate and studied and ate some more. My old life as a waitress in Baltimore couldn’t seem more far removed from my new life as a professional eater/student/bon-vivant in Bra.

I felt like Rip Van Winkle after waking up from a long night’s sleep yesterday. What is this new yet strangely familiar land I find myself in, where people buy olive oil in clear glass bottles and don’t stop and smell anything and everything? And why are there so many full-length mirrors? Were all the memories of feasts and travels a figment of my imagination?

But no. The place may still be the same, but I’ve changed (and not only physically.) I’ve moved beyond the bubble. Though this isn't quite the "real world" adults keep referring to, it's definitely a preview. And that may or may not be freaking me out.

I'm off to Georgetown today to meet my cousin for our annual rendezvous. While I've been complaining about the unpleasantries of too much foie gras, she's been working with children in the landfills of Nicaragua. Hopefully I'll find some good vintage threads and a better dose of perspective.