“Give me something funny I can write about this week,” I pleaded with my daughter.
Nothing. She had nothing for me. Whenever I am away from home, I switch to “vacation mode” and the thought of coming up with something to write about haunts me, sits on me for days like a heavy sweater that I just want to tear off.
I had to find meaning, something important to say, about this very visit, which I just wanted to be light and fun. I guess I expected my daughter, or her friends, to give me a hand (they usually come up with the ideas for “what I learned from the kids,“) but this time, she had nothing for me. After all, I’ve become an expert in acronyms and acai bowls.
I am visiting my daughter in San Francisco, where she just moved this summer from New York City. Her studio apartment is in a beautiful neighborhood: it is a land of gorgeous architecture and creature comforts- designer fitness boutiques, fancy coffee shops, waxing, laser and nail salons, expensive shoes. In contrast, her studio apartment, while large by New York City standards, has no view, no dishwasher, and no microwave.
“Exactly how am I supposed to warm up my coffee?”, I ask her the first morning.
“With a pot on the stove?” she question-answers me back. Ha! Who lives without a microwave these days? I offer to buy her one. She adamantly refuses.
“How about you write about the differences between San Francisco and Boston?” she finally suggests before dinner one evening.
“Like there are any?” I ask her, referring to the violent agreement (her term) of our politics, the culture, the intellectual curiosity.
“There are plenty, you keep mentioning them,” she reminds me.
“Like how there are no people my age?” I ask. Maybe it’s her neighborhood, but I can count on my hand the number of middle aged men and women I have crossed paths with in the last three days. And my silver hair is an anomaly here, despite how trendy I thought it was.
“Exactly,” she says flatly.
“Like how everyone has their hair in a ponytail and goes around all day in athleisure” (are you going to the gym, miss, or do you just dress that way?)
“Like how there are Sushirittos here and you can’t find one in Boston?”
“Like how it is so damned hilly it’s impossible to walk anywhere in heels, or walk for more than 5 minutes without getting winded?”
“Like how you couldn’t possibly live without a smart phone because everyone uses Uber Pool to get everywhere?”
“Like how the coffee shops are filled with young people who are ‘working from home’?” I ask.
“Ya, like that.”
“Like how everyone uses Twitter?” I suggest.
“Doesn’t everyone use Twitter everywhere?” she asks (right, sure…)
“Like how it rains all the time here?”
“Mom, it doesn’t rain all the time here. It never rains; it’s always sunny and in the 60s. The weather is perfect here.”
“Except this weekend?”
It’s hard to believe her. It has rained for three days straight- it started the minute I got off the plane.
“How about some funny videos? Do you have any funny videos I could share?”
And with a few clicks on the computer, she shares this with me:
So, this is all I have this week- a few differences between Boston and San Francisco and a funny video. As I said, I’m in vacation mode.
And now, I need to go boil my cold cup of coffee on the stove to heat it up. I intend on getting out of the apartment today — the sun is finally out and I’ve got my athleisure wear on. Time to go walk up a hill and get a sushirrito.