Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tredive er den nye tyve.

"To fall in love with a country or another human being requires somes gullibility, and I have plenty to spare." (Charles Simic, U.S. Poet Laureate/ expatriate)

I recently celebrated a birthday, and I'm allowing only Danish speakers to know my real age. It was a fantastic occasion, topped off by a surprise visit from my mother and father all the way from California. I hosted an "American-style" birthday party at my flat attended by my Danish family, close friends and my parents. There were plenty of mojitos, tapas and embarrassing party games on tap to make it a full and memorable evening.
My triathlete/marathon friends back home in the U.S. were quick to congratulate me -- not on my birthday -- but on my entrance into a new age bracket at triathlons. A much more competitive, fiercer crowd, I will have to step up my training if I hope to not finish in last place at my next race. (Now, I will go from running 0 to 3 times a week, to 1 to 3 times). At my birthday dinner, my best friend (and former au pair) Anne Louise commented in a heart-warming toast that she was proud of the way I had adapted so well to European culture, adopting a very Danish lifestyle. She gave specific examples and they included the following newly-acquired attributes:
  • straightening my hair
  • becoming less digitized
  • kicking my BlackBerry™ addiction
  • wearing less make-up
  • exercising less
  • riding my bike more
  • dressing more danish (fewer bikinis, more raincoats)
  • stopping to smell the roses
  • becoming more open about certain taboo topics (like sex!)
  • appreciating strange Danish humor (a la Klovn)
  • being more silly
  • consuming more cocktails
My mother expanded on the list, commenting that she was glad to see I now do wild things like "eat food" and "have a bit of fun." There are many 20-somethings in LA who measure their self-worth in designer couture and pounds lost. I once resided in that demographic of formerly skinny, post-Gen X sorority girls who consider a breath of fresh air: breakfast, and search for meaning in Ethan Hawke films. So glad to know a way out is possible, by way of turning 30 or fleeing to Europe.
To my Kappa friends back home, my sisters, my training buddies, my pals from work, from childhood, in LA, Aspen and the cycling world -- thank you for your kind wishes. I'm truly touched, and I miss you.