Our Second Honeymoon & Further Evidence of My Midlife Crisis

Max wants brains.

Recently, life has been a struggle for the Cottrell-Thompson parents. Our three children continue to plot our demise. While Mali and Simon’s methods are North Korea-ish, Maxwell’s strategy makes me second guess the CDC’s declaration against a zombie apocalypse. For our protection, and to celebrate our one year anniversary, Brian and I headed north three hours to New York City for a weekend.

Brian desired to follow the love he had for his stay-at-home-dad status. It went on vacation months ago. I required to gain a false sense of youth.


  • I turn forty in approximately 7 months, 13 days, and 22.5 hours.
  • Spending my entire work day next to someone who JUST TURNED 21 has made my nearing expiration date seem nearer. This child plans on popping out five kids before she’s 30 because she wants to be able to run around with them. My legs will still be able to run, or at least walk briskly, when Maxwell’s in Pre-K. Right?
  • I’m not a senoir citizen, but frequently play one at work. A few weeks ago, the amazement I held for my place of employment’s ability to redecorate overnight disintegrated when I realized that the actual floor I work on is two levels up. Elevators can be tricky.
  • Pulling tight my loose belly skin and dancing in the mirror (like Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs but backwards) turns out to be only temporarily age-defying.

If you are older than me and desire to yell at me about how I’m still young, please do. It may make me feel better.

We booked a room at The Pod Hotel which is advertised as hip and efficient. Despite desiring to feel younger, we opted not to get bunk beds and went with a full bed. We even forked over a few extra dollars so we wouldn’t have to use a communal wash room. (Watching middle age women freely stroll the hallways in towels, gave me a sense of belonging.) Efficient is an understatement. To take this picture, I held my breath and became one with the door.

We strolled to the place partly responsible for Brian falling in love with me. Harrington’s. Conveniently located within carrying distance of Penn Station. I enjoyed two less martinis than I had that fateful night.

Then, we went to some other bar (forgot the name)(shocker). I kindly requested three shots of Bombay Sapphire and a glass of water–which Brian claimed made me sound like an alcoholic. Whatever.

After that, we hopped to another bar, and didn’t stay awake for midnight karaoke, or so I’ve been told. Bedtime was a bit past 11:30 that night.

Untitled, Keith Haring 1982

The next morning, Brian fought a fierce throat infection and we traveled to the Brooklyn Museum to devour the Keith Haring exhibit. Art has been a center point of our relationship. Haring is one of our favorites. We’ve even recreated one of his pieces on our kitchen wall. Untitled. Not the Untitled one shown on this page, but another. His work exudes life, but served as a reminder of how little I’ve completed as a 39 year old. This man would have had tens of thousands of works titled Untitled if he had lived past 31.

Then we ate, convalesced in our hotel room, and turned on Law and Order. While Brian purchased more cold remedies at the corner, my eye lids closed. No sheep needed. In the city that never sleeps, I slept. Time: ~9:30. Pathetic.

Upon wakening, since neither of us have ever visited the Guggenheim, we did. Just typing the word Guggenheim makes me feel septuagenarian. The available, and tempting, wheelchairs also had the same effect. There, we stumbled upon photography by Francesca Woodman. I was unfamiliar with her work, but was quickly taken in by her genius. Her work is autobiographical and includes primarily nude self portraits. Untitled, after Untitled, after Untitled: 120 eerily beautiful. All of them were done as parts of school projects when she was 18-20. She died at 22. I left tasting like an unaccomplished, outdated gallon of milk.

Francesca Woodman, Untitled, Providence, Rhode Island, 1976, Gelatin silver © George and Betty Woodman.

I’ve learned a few lessons.

When booking a room over the age of 35, consider the proximity to the closest drugstore. Our trip was riddled with various physical ailments and numerous trips to Duane Reade on the corner. (I stopped counting at four.)

You can never escape your children. Mali may have been stalking us or working with someone in the area to remind us of her existence, and inability to clean up after herself. No only had an unknown creature eaten Chef Boyardee directly from the can, they left it under our subway seat. Home sweet home.

No matter who you are, or what you’ve made out of your life, there will always be someone who’s more accomplished than you in some area. Never compete with dead people. It’s not fair, because you’ll always win. You’re still alive and have endless potential.

When in doubt on what to name anything, Untitled always works. Almost makes me want to conceive. Untitled Cottrell-Thompson. That kid could be anything.

“You should click this link if you enjoy my wife’s blog. Even if you don’t enjoy it, you should click it. A little charity never hurt anyone. Except that Kony documentarian. He went apesh*t but we shouldn’t blame it on charity. I think he just came into money and lost it.” ~Brian Cottrell-Thompson

3 thoughts on “Our Second Honeymoon & Further Evidence of My Midlife Crisis

  1. Glad that you got away! And managed to pound back some bombay sapphire (used to be my fav drink until I had my third child then found I couldn’t drink it anymore). And there is no shame in going to bed at 9.30 at our age. Even if you are on a romantic weekend away! Really enjoyed your post as always!


  2. I feel I’m going through a mid-life crisis myself…
    You’re right, we should never compare ourselves with others, because someone somewhere will always be better than us in some aspect.
    LOL at Untitled Cottrell-Thompson. 🙂


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