Welp! I'm back. Just like the near-run/bound/skip back down Mt Kosciusko, the ride back to Melbourne seemed to take a fraction of the time it took to get to our destination/chalet/couples' retreat. Maybe its because I didn't spend the first half crammed into the back seat with two other people within a tiny car. Maybe it's because we passed the time listening to episodes of This American Life. Maybe it's because I knew that soon I'd be home and showering and in my own bed. Not that it wasn't a lovely, fun-filled weekend of course - but there really is a lot to be said for one's own bed, and for being able to watch the latest offering from The Walking Dead.
You know, if I had my laptop and a slightly less temperamental internet connection, I may have just stuck around. Because it was an incredibly lovely and beautiful house in gorgeous surrounds, with a large and luxurious shower. With the addition of The Walking Dead, I'm sure I would have been pretty much opposed to heading back to civilisation. But that's neither here nor there.
The weekend was really lovely. It was incredibly relaxing, it was full of delicious food, it was filled with good times. I slept enough, I read a lot, I did a bit of writing, and I unwound enough to actually forget what day it was, and to let my phone run out of juice. All in all, a successful weekend.
In any case, I realised THREE THINGS on this weekend away across the border.
1. I've been running around the shiny streets of my neighbourhood recently, and this seems to be helping.
This isn't to say that I've become shinier, or that I've suddenly invested in a number of rabbit-fur vests and a series of botox injections. Rather, I mean to say that I have become LESS UNFIT. For someone who spent the first basketball game of the season wheezing up and down the court and damn near passing out, the realisation that death in fact is not near after a few minutes of activity is very pleasing indeed. I bounded up the mountain, ahead of the pack. Of course, it was hardly the toughest hike in the world by any stretch of the imagination, but I barely broke a sweat throughout the entire walk. And then, I ran much of the way down. RAN. Very pleasing indeed.
2. More and more, I'm enjoying quiet nights of moderate booze, amazing food, and good television programming more than Ridiculous Nights Out.
Perhaps it was because we were spending time with a number of people ranging from about five to twelve years older than us, or perhaps it was because I had some serious George R. R. Martin to be get through. But man oh man, if you were to ask what my highlights were for the weekend, I'd reply with wild over the top descriptions of the food we ate, the mountain we climbed, the many hours I spent reading, and the stellar run of programs we watched on ABC. Louis Theroux! Q&A! Louis Theroux while eating dessert? Holy smokes, I'm in heaven.
I'd be lying if I said I'd completely deleted crazy shenanigans from my schedule, but I have of late found that I'm increasingly prone to getting major kicks from a glass of wine, doing some actual cooking, and then watching a whole lot of The West Wing. The weekend just gone only served to remind me of that interesting fact.
3. There's nothing like being surrounded by four couples to constantly remind you of how very single you are.
Don't get me wrong - I'm not complaining. I revel in my singledom. I enjoy it thoroughly. I am also fully aware of how quickly I become sick of people when I spend too much time amongst them, let alone if I were to spend all of my time with one person. So that ain't no thang. What I'm referring to is the feeling you get when everyone's paired up on the couch, with their arms wrapped around their significant other and you're on the single couch with a novel called A Dance With Dragons. It's not a feeling of loneliness, or of jealousy. It's more a slightly amused pondering along the lines of, "Man, I am such a leftover at this point in time."
In no way am I implying that I was ever excluded by my pals. However, the fact is that when you're away with a bunch of couples, the singles are always the easiest to put in the shitty room with the tiny bed. It makes sense! If you're a couple, you need a bed that fits two! A single person needs one! And so, the single people are relegated to the mediocre room. I tell you what, it might actually be worth pairing up with someone just so each of us might be able to taste the large-room fruits of coupledom, as well as save a bit of money on booze.
"Darling, do you want a piece of toast?"
"Piglet, do you know where my sunnies are?"
"You burnt the crumble! This might be the worst crumble you've ever made."
I adore my friends, but I think the fact that I viewed much of the weekend as an anthropological sight-see into the realm of many couples is a sign that I'm not in the right place to team up with someone romantically. Or maybe that's a lie, and I was just relieved that since I wasn't part of a cooking "team", I didn't have to tackle dinner and was instead put in charge of "cheeses and snacks". Cheese and snacks I can handle, dinner for ten I cannot.