Clearly this blog is going to be turned into a movie eventually. So I've decided to save the producers the time and money that casting involves, and do the job myself. (And by the way, Tina Fey -- I know you're reading this, so if you want to help with the film adaptation, I'm open to a conversation). Vote for your choices or add a suggestion as a comment below!
From early on in our relationship my husband (Tal) and I have fantasized about living abroad.
Our day dreams run the gamut from brief conversations about picking up and leaving for a few months on a whim, all the way to elaborate plans which include quitting our jobs, selling all our worldly possessions on Craigslist and traversing the world with just our backpacks and each other.
Those of you who know me know these two things:
1. I rarely do "brief" and I never do "whim". I plan. Then I plan some more. And when you think there can't possibly be anything else left to plan, I make a to-do list. In excel.
2. I love my worldly possessions. A lot. Not as much as I love Tal but it's very, very close.
So, we realized that if our dream was to become a reality we'd need to involve more structure, and more stuff. We were just beginning to outline a schedule and a plot, when fate intervened and our dream crashed right into our laps.
In the first week of March, Tal was asked to join the small division of his company which consults exclusively for non-profit organizations. For my sweet do-gooder husband, this was a dream come true. Many of the details of the plan were still quite fuzzy, but if he were to accept the offer, this new phase of his career would begin in India, at the end of May.
Given our shared dream of living abroad, this should be an easy decision right? Well... there was a teeeeeeeensy tiiiiiiiiiny problem. The same day Tal received this offer, I was starting a new job. A job I was VERY excited about. A job that was based in New York City. For the next few days I fretted about how I should respond to Tal's offer. Crush his dreams and turn down an opportunity that may not come back around, or sacrifice my own career?
And then, Tal learned the detail that changed our lives.
"Have you heard of a city called Bangalore?" he asked.
"Umm...WHY?!?!" I answered characteristically, by asking another question.
"That's where the project is that they want me to join. IF I join I mean, which of course we will discuss together with the aid of your many pro and con lists, and I will be infinitely patient with you because I am the Husband of all Husbands" he replied. (Verbatim, of course.)
And then I said something eloquent like, "HOLY SHIT BALLS!!!!". Because, you see, my job has ONE international outpost. And it is in Bangalore, India.
I will give you a moment to digest that.
So that is the story of how we decided to pack up all of our things into a 16 foot POD container and place it in a climate controlled storage facility, say goodbye to all of our wonderful friends in New York City, send our families into nearly fatal shock, and move our lives abroad indefinitely.
Folk legend Neil Young wrote the song Sugar Mountain when he was only 19, lamenting the end of his youth.
"Oh, to live on Sugar Mountain With the barkers and the colored balloons, You can't be twenty on Sugar Mountain Though you're thinking that You're leaving there too soon"
His friend Joni Mitchell, upset by the defeated tone of the lyrics, responded a few years later with her own coming-of-age song, Circle Game.
"So the years spin by and now the boy is twenty Though his dreams have lost some grandeur coming true There'll be new dreams maybe better dreams and plenty Before the last revolving year is through"
My Dad, on board the Joni Mitchell train, found the end of Puff The Magic Dragon, similarly upsetting.
When he sings it, he concludes the song like this:
"Yes Jackie left forever, to grow and be a man. Puff the mighty dragon swore he'd never rise again. But from the cavern entrance a familiar voice there came. A child's hearty laughter loudly calling out Puff's name.
From unknown depths he clamored, and rose to see the sun
Young Jackie smiled, tipped his hat, and waved the dragon on. Again the boy will vanish, his manhood to explore. But each child will return to Puff to hear that fearless roar!"
Each summer, as a child, I took it upon myself to explain to the nouveau hippie music director at my beloved camp that this is the real ending to the song.
But now that I'm adult, I might have to do a little re-write myself.
As much as I love Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and of course- my Dad, I married a man who vowed to me on our wedding day, that he will "keep me young, as we grow old". And as I watched his 82 year old grandfather and his 90 year old brother taking tequila shots and boogieing on the dance floor with their multiple generations of progeny, I knew that it was promise he intends to keep.
Someday, we'll have a "Young Jackie" who we'll take, hand in hand in hand, to meet Puff and the pirates, kings and princes. But until then, we'll continue to have our own magical adventures, perched side-by-side on that gigantic tail.