I can't think of anything more comforting than having someone you love offer to take over for a while, even for just a few hours. I love road trips, but not solo. I love the kind of road trip where you have someone to talk to and share driving and take turns napping.
One of my dearest friends visited last week for SXSW and, while we did get out and about, my second favorite thing about her visit (my first favorite thing was just seeing her damn face in person for the first time in a few years) was that she kind of took over. On the first night of her visit, as we sat in my living room eating salads from La Salsa, she looked around and said, "I really want to organize this area." And of course, I said "not on your vacation."
But here's the thing. She really wanted to. She's the kind of person who can take $50 and turn it into a showcase living area worthy of HGTV. She likes order. She cleans her kitchen before she goes to bed because she likes to wake up to a photo-worthy kitchen. So I let her drive. And she spent two days rearranging my furniture, office area, and electronics, plus picked up some globe lanterns (these were a mystery to me) and tab top drapes (and a tea kettle, mostly because she was aghast that I did not own a tea kettle considering the amount of tea that I drink). Let me add that the whole process was not without hilarity, as we resumed the roles in which Erin bosses me around and I let her, see this post from 2006 when she put my bicycle together for me.
It felt like she waved a wand and turned my relatively comfy living space into a showcase, but there was a lot of work and a lot of dust and other things I couldn't explain (like why my TV was in the corner of my living room or why I kept my desktop computer hooked up even though I don't use it). The photos don't do it justice. But here's one:
So my dear friend, who breezed into my life and out again, leaving me this lovely place to come home to every day, probably doesn't know how much this meant to me. Even though I made feeble attempts to explain. What it is, really, is comfort. When I watched this past weeks' season finale of Girls, Hannah said the following mid-meltdown, trying to explain:
You know when you’re young and you drop a
glass, and your dad says, like, “Get out of the way!” so you can be safe
while he cleans it up? Well, now, no one really cares if I clean it up
myself. No one really cares if I get cut with glass. If I break
something, no one says, “Let me take care of that,” you know?
When Erin was moving my couches around, she found broken glass. Because months ago, my cat knocked a really heavy lead crystal bowl off of my desk and it basically exploded into a million shards. Some of it went under the couch and, although I swept and vacuumed and mopped and thought I had gotten every little piece of glass, it was still there. So yeah, that's what it was like, having someone come into my life and say "let me take care of that." It made me feel like I could breathe again, like someone had my back, like someone cared if I got cut with glass.
What I do when I'm not here (besides watching TV and painting my nails): I wrote a guest post for my favorite organic beauty blog, Indigo+Canary. You should read it. Especially if you live in Austin.