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Bend It Like Bikram
Jan 13th, 2010 by Christina

Right after we separated, people were all over me with optimism and advice. This was an opportunity! A chance to turn misfortune into something positive! A new lease on life! A gift! R himself assured me that I was going to thrive once he left.

I can’t tell you how many times people suggested that I take a class, get re-acquainted with a long-forgotten hobby, find a new hobby, learn a language, or do volunteer work with people who were really suffering so as to get perspective (actually, that one was my idea). What I can tell you is how many copies of The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle, were handed to me in those first few months: Three.

I have not yet read the book (and I doubt I will ever read all three copies, since I assume they say pretty much the same thing) nor have I taken a class or found a hobby or done volunteer work or even started composting. I’m not proud of my inertia in these areas. Instead of becoming all life-transforming and hobby-oriented, I was in a daze there for a while, focusing on little achievements like trying to cry every other day instead of every single day. And there were several hobbies I had to take up against my will, like mouse-icide, coping with my car’s mental illness, and online dating.

Then, a few months ago, my friend across the street tried to sell me on Bikram yoga–the one where you spend 90 minutes locked in a 105-degree room. She insisted that it would change my life, which got me vaguely interested. When she promised it would change my body too, turning me into a toned, lithe, uber-babe, I got onboard.

The first class was hell, mostly because I was terrified. People warned me that I would feel nauseous, dizzy and faint, but that it was worth it. So, even though I am not prone to any of those things, I spent the entire class fearing I was going to experience some kind of catastrophic physical event.

In fact, the only dramatic thing that happened was that I saw my shins sweat for the first time ever; it was miserably hot and humid in that room (think about it–have you ever seen your shins sweat?) Oh, and when I got home, I fell asleep for two hours.

Two days ago, I took my fourth class and I can see how it might become addictive. I’m not sure that Bikram will change my life, but I’ve started to groove on seeing those toxins spilling from my shins.

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Wow, Man, It Really IS Complicated
Jan 7th, 2010 by Christina

So I went to a lovely, elegant dinner party on New Year’s Eve, as befits a woman of my age and580229259_549c0ef722 station. But since that kooky script writer often shows up unannounced, a sitcom-esque drama ensued.

Here’s what happened: During the cheese and crackers phase of the evening, a few of us were
chatting about the movie It’s Complicated. We chuckled about a scene where Meryl Streep’s character smokes pot for the first time in 27 years and gets completely, stereotypically wasted. One of the guests at our New Year’s Eve party said maybe it would be fun to smoke pot again sometime. Eyebrows raised among the rest of us, who were no doubt thinking what a devilish, oh-so-naughty and vaguely tempting notion that was.

During dinner, we talked about how challenging it is to be parents of teenagers, to want to tell your kids to just say no, even though every one of us said yes at some point during our youthful years, with varying results, ranging from No regrets to Damn, I wasted my college education because I was stoned all the time.

Then, a few minutes after our age-appropriate midnight champagne toast, a joint landed on the dinner table, again upping eyebrows, along with the ante. Some, but not all, of the guests partook, and the banter got wittier until we noticed that one of the guests was slumped over on the woman sitting next to him. Was he just an affectionate sort, we wondered, or was something wrong?

Something was wrong, because the next thing we knew, he had slid to the floor and 911 was being dialed. Soon there was a fire truck and an ambulance outside and several EMS guys streaming through the front door.

Our passed-out friend came to, but his face was the color of mushroom soup and he was out of it. The EMS guys, who looked all of 19 years old, delivered their stock New Year’s Eve line (“Had a little too much to drink tonight, sir?”) After checking him for signs of stroke or a heart attack, they didn’t come to a conclusion as to what had happened, but it seemed clear to us that he had inhaled on that joint quite vigorously and that after two decades living a cannabis-free life, it had simply knocked him out. Fortunately, he was fine, and the scene did not devolve into an episode of ER.

Then, right after the emergency vehicles pulled away, our hosts’ teenager returned from his New Year’s Eve party! Hopefully he had no idea what the old people been up to.

Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think? The grown-ups trying to hide their pot-smoking from the teenager?

If you experimented with drugs when you were young and are now a parent, how do you walk the line between being honest and not?

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