In Which I Am Amy Holt

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It's time for convention echoes! Here's Ariel and Alexis!
I decided to uproot some bushes along the north wall. My goal, this summer, is to install something akin to an English rose garden. Right now I have three rose bushes, a sad hydrangea, some potted azaleas, and two jovial garden gnomes that have yet to be stolen by neighborhood kids—mostly because PlayStation 4 was invented.
We all took the kids to the park for three hours.
Sarah looked after 15 children.
Tina texted texts.
I took pictures of our shoes.
Dahlia was enthused.
Archer was portable.
I bought a shovel that’s nearly as tall as I am, but unfortunately, uprooting an agapanthus isn’t exactly a single “heave ho” job. In fact, our soil was so dry, my shovel made a clanging sound each time it made contact with the earth. I also decided to do this during the hottest time of the day. Not to mention that I live across the street from a fairly busy restaurant with outdoor seating. The patrons on the patio were given a cinematic view of my fool’s errand, complete with all the knuckle cracking, teeth seething, tear stained prayers I uttered while Kevin periodically stuck his head out the side door calling out, “Ready to move to Georgia yet? Lovin’ the great outdoors yet? Bahahaha.”

My entire family thinks it’s a joke that I’m begging to leave Los Angeles. My friends think it’s the comedy of the century. People have actually said things to me like, “Ann. If you move to Atlanta. Where will you shop?” As though Atlanta is some undeveloped region of nomads and roaming tumbleweeds that has yet to witness the excitement of a strip mall. As if I can’t hit up Saks from the convenience of my smartphone.


So really, me pulling out an agapanthus and an old azalea bush is sort of a rite of passage—proof that I can handle the forsaken wilderness of metropolitan Georgia. But after about twenty minutes of digging, perspiring, and swearing, I realized my agapanthus was wrapped up in tree roots, and I resorted to slicing it with repeated whacks using the side of my shovel. By this time, I’d garnered the full attention of everyone across the street, including one man who said something like, “Sh*t. That girl just needs to call it a day.” And combined with Kevs’ sardonic laughter and his need to call my mother and report my failings with, “She’s out there swearing like a real Southern belle!” I felt inspired to do far more with my shovel than plant a garden.

On Sunday morning, Sarah spent four hours in the convention kitchen, and Tina and I went to Starbucks. It's way more fun to be us than Sarah.
Should we park in a handicap space? Nuh-uh. We're super good people. Also, Tina said, "No."
Tina told me to buckle my seat belt a billion times, which is RIDICULOUS BECAUSE STARBUCKS IS ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE MEETING HALL.
Tina asked me to order her a "Tall Flat White," which I assumed was totally racist against my people.
But it turns out it's the menu that's totally racist, and could describe me perfectly in a police line-up.
I wish I were like John Locke from the television show Lost—one of those, “Don’t tell me what I can’t do” types of people that rage against the highest tides and triumph duly. Instead, after hearing the words of my critics, I was prepared to quit. I mean, what do I know about landscaping? What do I even know?
When we got back, I ate half the cilantro Sarah was chopping. I also drank the latte I was supposed to bring her. Sarah hates LA.
Kevin came outside with some seltzer to watch me go belly up. As a last ditch effort, I dragged a hose over to the azalea and let water trickle into its stalwart soil for a good five minutes. Kevin, of course, was absolutely hooting over my new plan. “What’s better than digging in rock? Digging in mud. Bahahaha—Whoohoohooo.” Tears and peals and all that.

I tell you what. After that five minutes of soil soaking was up, magic happened. My shovel sank so easily under that bush, I got bold. Right in front of that restaurant full of Philistines, I yanked the entire azalea up from the ground WITH MY BARE HANDS.

There was a hearty ten pounds of soil attached to its roots, but Kevs immediately ceased his cackling and watched me dump my trophy onto the lawn. “I will plant some roses today,” I told him. 

And I’ll see you clowns in Georgia.

This is Aaron. He thought his trip to LA would involve beaches and babes. But instead he ended up in a Free Mason Lodge.
Super Bummer.
Tina asked if he was on suicide watch. And if so, could we watch?
I think it's safe to say that Tina and I are better therapists than any of our therapists.
Look. I don’t have a lot of moments like this in my life, but at almost 35 years of age, I still feel heavily underestimated. As though none of you really know who I am. Or what I can actually do.
Case in point: This weekend was the Memorial Day convention for my parents’ church. I’ve attended this convention nearly every year of my life either by choice, or through the sheer misfortune of following people into a car. Moreover, throughout the years, every member of my family has attended this convention, representative of themselves.

And each year, I go as Amy Holt.

That’s right. Even though I’ve been attending the same convention for over three decades, everyone seems to think I am Amy Holt. If you don’t know who Amy is, her blog is over here. She’s tall, and blonde, and German, and tends to marry people who look exactly like her, whereas I marry everyone else. Although I’m pretty sure everyone who has proposed to me thinks they are actually wooing Amy, which would explain why all my relationships follow the trajectory of Flight 718.

This year’s convention was no different. I did a very good job of being Amy—despite wearing a nametag that stated otherwise, as well as an expression of pure human contempt. Per usual, my weekend was overflowing with, “Amy! How’s your dad doing? How’s life treating you.” To which I fashioned a variety of responses:

“My ankle monitor was removed last month--probation officer says I’m almost ready to stand on my own.”

“Working the streets is hard, but the pay is so rewarding.”

“Most people are surprised to learn that there are over 200 species of fleas in America.”

To be fair, although Amy is at least two inches taller and I’m about two inches fatter, we are strikingly similar in that our names both start with the letter “A.” Such parallels are bound to cause confusion for the course of a lifetime. I forgive you all, for not knowing who I am, because in the end, it really doesn’t matter. It completely doesn’t matter that Amy has lived on the other side of the globe for half a decade and I’m still here, ruining both her life and my own. My name doesn’t matter. My cellular entity is completely irrelevant to the turning of the world.

Now it's craft time with Sarah.

Alexis made the best birdhouse by far. EVERYONE ELSE'S SUCKED.
That's not a birdhouse, Sebastian. It's a drive-by.

I gave birth to the child who painted this one.
The girls did marginally better on the whole.
I fear for the future of architectural design.
It only matters that my children, busy as they are, parsing the entire book of Genesis in Latin, are very well aware that Amy Holt is not their mother. Though they certainly wish she were, as do I, every time I correct their homework.
In principio creaaaaaavit Deus caelum et terrrram and all the fun has died.
This. THIS is how a good story ends. BAHAHAHAHA.


Write comments
Amy Holt
May 31, 2016 at 2:31 AM delete

I'm LOLing so hard. "Sarah hates LA" and "the sheer misfortune of following people into a car".
I've been sick the last few days so I figured I was hallucinating when I saw my name. If it helps, I get the very same thing. If I had a penny for every time someone called me Ann I'd have like 47 pennies. I mean we are both extremely pale, suffer from RBF and have A-names so I totally get it. I wonder if Lisa and Butch get confused for each other.

May 31, 2016 at 10:43 AM delete

At this point, when people mistake me for you, I just roll with it. I'm really looking forward to writing your memoir, When I am Not Myself: The True Story of the Untrue Amy Holt.

Hope you feel better!

Amy Holt
June 1, 2016 at 4:33 AM delete

I would LURV to hear the Untrue Memoir

Josh Nagy
June 1, 2016 at 10:22 AM delete

I'm a little surprised you didn't hit Kevin with the Dirt ball end of your bush when you were done. You've changed, I don't even know you anymore.

June 1, 2016 at 10:32 AM delete

Two things come to mind...well several, actually, but I'll only mention two. 1) When planning to do gardening where digging is involved, soaking the soil 24 hrs in advance is usually preferred. John has learned this lesson (more than once) the hard way. 2) It hasn't happened in awhile, but I would frequently be called "Lisa" at conventions. Usually with a question mark, so correcting people wasn't so bad. The only reason I can think of for the mix up is we both have 4 letter names. Pretty thin, but it's all I got.

June 1, 2016 at 5:17 PM delete

I'm a quitter not a hitter...:p. Also, that thing was hard to lift beyond five seconds. Kevs had to throw it out for me!

June 1, 2016 at 5:17 PM delete

I'm so confused that we don't have separate names.

Sarah Kantner
June 2, 2016 at 11:36 AM delete

Oh Ann, you gardened on your own! Can I start calling you "Grasshopper"?