Wednesday, December 31, 2008


New Year's Eve: Why Must You Disappoint Me So?

I was all ready to go to Kenneth's mansion in Edinburgh and photograph his coupola to prove to friends that it really does exist . . . and then I woke up at 4:30 AM this morning and knew that I was going to vomit. And I did. Five times. Now I am in my unheated room at the B and B, hoping that someone will have received my pathetic text message in which I ask that the owner tell us how to heat this god-forsaken place so I don't have to keep huddling under my down coat, hoping waves of nausea will pass.

New Year's Eve--Hogmanay, whatever--you totally break my heart. You are worse than Christmas. I came home from Scotland two years ago, having contracted the Noro virus on New Year's Eve. I spent my second New Year's in Scotland stuck in a bed like this after having thrown up a round of Mull Island cheddar while Gordon and his mother danced beside my bed sipping champagne, and fireworks went off outside my window. There was the year I spent New Year's Eve in the hospital, because I'd had the mother of all migraines, and I listened to the nurse announce that it was midnight on the PA while a drug addict moaned in the hallway. This was after I faked feeling "fine" to go out to dinner with our friends Laurence and Traci, before finally collapsing out of pain and . . . nausea.

There have been a few good New Year's Eve celebrations. I remember one in Washington DC (though I think I freaked out during that one too because I didn't get a marriage proposal--I knew I wasn't going to--when everyone else was so sure I was going to get one and the pressure was just awful). That was kind of a tortured evening. There was my very first New Year's in Scotland in which I was kissed by men wandering around in kilts at 3 AM, and engaged in the practice of first footing, which meant I couldn't go into our own house until someone else had crossed our threshold first, and finally expired at 6 AM while my husband's parents just kept going (we spent the following day returning abandoned cups to neighbors). There was a crazy New Year's Eve in San Francisco in which I went to see some ska band, then walked home for 2 miles in the pouring rain before a cab finally picked us up. I got sick then too. And there was a lovely New Year's Eve in Japan where I drank sake with gold, ate noodles and . . . threw up the next day after eating sea cucumber intestines (never again. They ask me in Japan what I don't eat, and I say "Sea cucumber intestines" and they all nod. That's right. I am hard core. I draw the line at sea cucumber intestines).

Trying to look at this metaphorically, I would say that my system likes to give me clean intestines in time for the New Year. Well, okay, but does my body have to go to this extreme? What a waste of a good holiday.

I am thinking that next year, I will arrange to be home, with a little bowl of consume, ready to ward off any new year demons intent on exorcising my digestive track.

It does all rather reek of a Buddhist cleansing ritual. But I'm sorry about your discomfort. If it makes you feel any better, everyone stateside is totally snowed in and not going anywhere at all.

feel better soon--

Akemashite Omedetou!
Hilarious, only because this reminds me of my husband's toxic stomach incident when we were in Scotland/London/Cardiff years ago. Nothing like driving in your Welsh rental car, sans map, to the local ALDI to buy 6 boxes of Immodium on a Sunday (the looks I got from the locals and cashier, all of whom started to back away from me slowly) and getting lost on the way back to the hotel (good thing Cardiff is small). Spent a lot of time wondering if what did him in was 1) shellfish in Edinburgh or 2) shellfish in London. Also fun to get a delirious, nauseous man and his suitcase onto the train.... Oy.

Happy New Year. Angus sends you a puff of sleepy orange fur.
Aw, thank you both!

Made it home in one piece, after sharing whatever afflicted me with my mother as well. Somehow we both got on the plane, and landed in NYC, and somehow my husband, man of iron, was completely unaffected.

Next year I'm saying home, I tell you, home!
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