As you get older you start to run out of first times. All of the good ones, the big – important ones, happen pretty early on in life. The first kiss. The first date. The first job. The first time you have sex. Your first heartbreak. The first time you hear a Neil Diamond song. You know, the life changing firsts. Sure you can have a first kiss with a different people, but it really isn’t the same thing is it? In fact, you’ll probably get your heart broken a couple of times, but none will sting as much as that first one – that boy who you loved more than anything, the one who left you crying in a parking lot, at sixteen. Yep, there is only one first time for everything, and they seem to be in short supply, as you get older.
I think it takes some sort of concerted effort to keep having firsts. I mean, when you are young they just sort of happen to you – you don’t have to do much. You are at a party and the next thing you know – BAM! – Four firsts are out of they way: first beer, first kiss, first time being drunk, first time puking in a toilet. But now, you really have to try for a first time at something. You have to over come all of that “grown-up” training and brain washing to have more firsts. Fear? Time? Age? Paltry excuses, the lot of them. Hell I wouldn’t be living the dream right now if I let any of that stuff into my head. I have been having firsts right and left – making Matzo Ball soup (photo included!), teaching, speaking Czech, and living abroad – the hits just keep on coming.
As a matter of fact, I had a few firsts just today! It started snowing quite heavily last night. I was excited until I remembered that I had to wake up and go to work in it. I like snow from the comfort and warmth of my nice, big apartment, or in the movies where it belongs. But, I woke up to real snow and had to deal with it. So, I dawned my boots and for the first time, walked to work in the snow. I know it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but to this little California girl it’s a pretty amazing feat. Actual snow was falling from the sky and not from a big snow maker. Snowflakes actually fell on my nose and eyelashes, just like in that song! I was bundled up like that kid from “A Christmas Story” walking around Prague, taking pictures of the snow just to prove it was real. It is my first time living in a foreign country and I am damned well going to document every moment of it. I want to look back on this time and say, “Dang, that was amazing…I was so skinny!”
Now, as most of you know, my own personal High Holy Day is quick approaching. I plan all year for it and take it very seriously. Yes, that’s right, I am talking about the Academy Awards. Well, I awoke this morning to find out that the Oscar nominations were announced. Holy crap. I am going to miss the Oscar’s. This can’t be happening. There must be something I can do about it. How much are flights home? Is that crazy? Shit, that is crazy. This will mark the first time since…um…ever…that I have missed the Oscars. I am not a happy camper. Much like having your heart trampled on by that first boy you loved, missing the Academy Awards is not a first that I am happy to be partaking in. And shit! I haven’t seen all of the films either! Another first! I usually know what is going to be nominated, who will win and which award will be the big upset all by New Year’s day! Not this year…and what a year to miss. Little Miss Sunshine nominated for best picture? What? That rocks! If there is a god, she will have the telecast for download on iTunes. Pray for me dear friends, pray for me.
I guess it’s a matter of give and take, it usually is. Would I give up the opportunity to live in Prague just to watch the Oscars? Um…ask me again later, the wound is still fresh…but probably not. It’s kind of like that first heartbreak – It may have hurt like hell at the time, but, eventually, I got over it. And I learned from it too. I learned that first loves are just little boys that don’t know any better. First heartbreaks are just bruises on you psyche. The Oscars? Well…those are just little golden men.
And hell, they’ll break your heart too.