Or, was 30. My birthday was this past Monday. About a month back I read an article in the New Yorker about how the Apatows’ version of 40 in This Is 40 doesn’t quite match up with a lot of other people’s. I haven’t seen the movie, but I highly doubt I’ll be anywhere near where the characters are in 9 years. So this is my more realistic version of a “sort-of prequel” to This Is 40 (which is the “sort-of sequel to Knocked Up,” according the trying-too-hard marketing tagline).
Last January was a busy month.
Things got kicked off with the first Boston One-Minute Play Festival! I had two little plays in it. Both were sad. I was still in a rough place in a lot of ways.
I decided to have a party for my birthday, which I’ve never really done before. It was 80s themed and it was awesome. It left me wanting to have another 80s party just for the hell of it. I spent too much money on ridiculous outfits.
Right after KCACTF, I got my permit and bought a car. Allan’s car had died right before my birthday, and I had decided that I had to get my license because it was ridiculous not having one. So I bought the car to learn with. Then I had a rough first outing behind the wheel and progress was slow moving for awhile. But the car is adorable.
This is one of the “real-life” parts that I’m talking about. Paying for real-life things like an apartment or a car or college sucks. Sometimes it’s hard to get by towards the end of a pay cycle. The characters in This Is 40 don’t seem to have had to deal with any of that.
And that’s about it.
Marmalade got out when our old roommate came in late one night and didn’t close the door fast enough. The following morning it poured and he was nowhere to be seen. I started putting up lost cat fliers the next day and put pictures all over facebook and twitter. I left food out on the porch, but all it did was make Oskar and Shadow want to go outside. I also searched the neighborhood every night, sometimes with family and friends and sometimes by myself. I met this cat who I named Not-Oskar.
My year as a New Voices Fellow at New Rep ended with our Festival of New Voices. It was only the second full-length reading I’d ever had and I was a bit terrified. But I loved working with everyone and it was an awesome year.
Photo by the lovely K. Alexa Mavromatis for the Playwrights’ Perspectives BPT blog.
Other than that reading, June was rough. I felt gross and decided that I needed to start losing the weight I’d put on after my dad died. The reading was just before the one-year anniversary of when he died (it feels weird to use the word “anniversary” for something awful, but my brain isn’t able to find anything else). I think after all the stress about writing that play was suddenly gone, and the friends who were in town for the graduations went back home, I had no more distractions from how I was feeling. There were a particularly rough couple weeks before I started to be able to pull myself back on track.
Oskar got really sick. He was spending a long time in the litterbox, and it happened more than once, so I called the vet on a Saturday to get him seen. Turns out his bladder was blocked, which is potentially life-threatening if not caught early. Luckily, we had caught it early. My mom drove us up to the emergency animal hospital in Woburn, where they were going to have to keep him for a few days and place a catheter to get rid of the blockage. Leaving him at the hospital was really rough. But there was good news… when they were prepping him for the catheter, his bladder unblocked itself. So he only had to stay one night for observation and didn’t need the procedure. He came home and let me know he was ok by peeing in his carrier on the car ride back. He wasn’t happy about how they shaved his front legs for the IV though.
This is another real-life thing. Animals get sick, and it really freaks you out and you cry and then you feel bad that you cried taking your cat to the hospital but not during your dad’s funeral. And vet bills are a lot of money. When you buy a car, you know what you’re getting into financially. But you’re never really planning for your cat to have a bladder obstruction. The pet insurance was very good investment in this case. But you still have to pay up front and then get reimbursed.
Annual fun with playwrights in NH! Sadly all my photos came out really bad because I took them all at night. But believe me when I say that it was a weekend full of fun, fireworks, swimming, and wine. Lots of wine.
I also started taking real driving lessons towards the end of the month. See above about slowly picking myself up and back on track.
And I really amped up on the driving lessons and started to not feel freaked out when I was driving. Which led to–
I got my license finally! yay! But all the expenses from paying for the lessons and road test and the licensing fees really hit me hard and I’ve been poor for months now. And all the holiday craziness started. Thanksgiving was with my family and Christmas was supposed to be with Allan’s, but–
First flights got insanely expensive. Then when we decided to take the train, that shot up in price to be almost as expensive as a flight. So we ended up having Christmas in Boston. It was nice being with my family, of course, but I’ve only met Allan’s family that one time and he hasn’t seen them in forever, and I really want to fix that sometime soon.
So that was my 30. No fancy house, no kids, no unique artsy job that somehow pays for all my expenses and then some. It’s more like struggling to pay bills, feeling guilty when you order food (or buy 80s outfits), conquering ridiculous fears like driving, celebrating small victories whenever possible, and cats. Lots of cats. But all of that probably doesn’t make for a good movie.