Lori Welch Brown
La Vita Perfetta
Since we last spoke, my husband XXL and I celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary. And, they said we’d never make it! I turned the big 5-0. And, they said I’d never make it! To commemorate both these extraordinary accomplishments, we spent two weeks in la bella Italia—which tops the charts at #1 on my bucket list. All of these events are the stuff of life—my perfect life, aka la vita perfetta. My cup over-floweth. I skipped right over grande life and said “Supersize me, please. Make mine a Venti!’ (Interestingly enough, there are no Starbucks in Italy). Anyhow, XXL with his exquisite Adonis-like body, even temperament, and perfectly aligned, brilliant white sparking smile and I (with my perfectly coiffed hair, effortless grace & poise, perfectly small waist, not to mention happy disposition and constant smile) decided to whisk our perfect selves away for a perfect vacation. We packed our designer luggage, climbed into the back of our shiny black chauffeur-driven sedan, said goodbye to our perfectly behaved fur-baby children, and waved ‘arrivederci’ as we pulled away from our beautifully-appointed waterfront mansion on our quiet cul-de-sac. I know what you’re thinking—Italy was an odd choice for us, right? I mean, really. Every day is a vacation for my beloved and I—we are like a page from a Harlequin romance or like Brangelina….the good years (circa People 2004).
Whew. I’m exhausted, but my Facebook life is off the charts. That picture of me delicately sipping a flute of Prosecco in front of the Trevia fountain got 98 likes. That’s what it’s all about, right? My life looks ‘perfect’ as far as social media is concerned. Well—maybe not as perfect as Alicia’s who has the PERFECT husband. XXL is pretty darned close to perfect except for those Trump posts and political rants (Note to self: post pics of those roses XXL sent you last year. Or was that two years ago?). Or maybe Linda with her beautiful home and meticulous yard, with not one, but two fire pits! (Note to self: ask XXL to scoop dog poo so you can post pic of pumpkin on porch before it decays). Or maybe Annie who has THE perfect career and appears to be just raking in the business over there. Where is she putting all that money?! Clearly into her hair which is frickin’ amazing. I mean really. I haven’t had my roots done in months. And, then there’s Susan with that phenomenal body—look at those biceps. Are they photo shopped? Is there a surgery to tighten those? (Note to self: Make appointment with personal trainer and buy baseball hat to cover roots. Take selfies that convey athleticism—wrist only shots). OMG. Is that a picture of Brooke with yet another frickin’ marathon medallion? Look at those legs! Once this arthritis loosens up a bit, I’ll lace up and head out! In the meantime, I’ll post a pic of my new Saucony treads. It is fun to be a voyeur. Not gonna lie. You perfect people are perfectly enviable, except for those of you who don’t comprehend that social media is for boasting about your perfect life so please stop posting about your lost jobs, bad hair days and relationship issues. It is such a DOWNER. If you don’t have anything glowing to report, post a picture of what you’re eating for God’s sake.
Facebook may have given me a skewed perspective of what I imagine your life to be, but my idea of a perfect life hasn’t really changed. It is the life you live on vacation—sans the AMEX bill and jet lag. I’m not just talking about day drinking either. I’m talking about unplugging, relaxing, and REALIZING that the fact that you are living, breathing and have people who love you is about as perfect as it gets. Facebook be damned. Whatever my real life is—rest assured that in between the passports and Prosecco, there are long lines at DMV, hairballs on carpets, cramps, misunderstandings with XXL, flat tires, aching joints and late fees. Yes—it was just weeks ago that I was sitting outside an idyllic cafe in Florence sipping my afternoon Espresso and contemplating whether it was too early for a glass of wine (it’s never too early when you’re on vacation). I decided not to post anything about the heated conversation I had with a hotel concierge who wasn’t quite grasping the concept of customer service (warning—don’t call me in the middle of a hot flash). Nor did I post a picture of the very large vein that popped out of the left side of my head when XXL questioned me for the 38th time about where our driver for the evening was picking us up. You would have been too distracted by my tent-like shirt expertly selected to disguise the Texas-size bloat that beseeched my body when my friend Matt Menopause went on vacation the same time I did and invited Aunt Flo in for a visit. La vita perfetta.
Hot flashes and cramps aside, my life is pretty frickin’ perfect. I’m not even going to feel guilty about it, but I also don’t want to brag because I’m old enough to know it can change with one phone call. I’m convinced that God gave us vacations to remind us to throw open the windows, inhale deeply, smile with your whole body and enjoy the hell out of the days that no one is in ICU or awaiting the results of a biopsy. Seriously. Enjoy these moments—even the ones without the idyllic view, tan lines and cocktail umbrellas. Gratefully embrace your imperfection, but go ahead and post that picture of your steamed broccoli before the mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie gets cold.