Monday, January 26, 2015

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Friday, December 12, 2014

writing work in progress...

I turned on Pandora as I was getting dressed. Desperado came on. It was like she was bursting to get through to me after I unceremoniously severed our connection two nights earlier.
"It's so beautiful" was one of the last sentences I ever heard out of her mouth. There was no beautiful goodbye like you see in the movies. Everything had seemed sudden and rushed, then dragged out to an agonizing slowness where nothing was happening, but nothing was being accomplished either. And then it was over. Even with my grandfather I had been brought in to say goodbye. He had looked me in the eyes and told me how proud he was of me and how much he loved me. It was heartbreaking, but it was perfect closure. We said goodbye and it was over. Shortly after he was gone.
This didn't end that way. One day she wasn't feeling well enough for Thanksgiving and the next she was incoherent and being rushed into hospice. Not even with it enough to say goodbye to the house. Or the cat. Or anything that we built our lives around and cherished. Not even us.
There weren't many words. The entirety of our family taking over the hospice center brought in enough words for the whole building. But she stayed silent.
She lay sunken in bed, barely a person. A wisp of herself. She'd finally lost that weight. How pleased she'd be if she knew. Her hair was gone again too. She always insisted she looked like Gollum. Now that the sickness had destroyed her from the inside it was making it's way out. Just like the cancer had sucked up all her life force it was now taking her color, her air, her personhood.
I had been ordered by a relative to buy her those fancy noise cancelling headphones. You know the ones, they cost about the same as a car payment. I would have spent anything to make her feel an ounce of comfort at that point. The headphones engulfed her small head and took her away to some other dimension. The Eagles had released their final album just in time. Two discs. It was immediately added to her mix of Don Henley, Eagles, Don Henley, more Eagles. "It's so beautiful," she sighed. The first coherent sentence I had heard from her. It anchored her, for just a little longer, to our world.
The radio started to get static-y as I entered the tunnel. I switched to the CD player and Glenn Frey's voice filled my car. I was on the edge. Of what I was not sure, but something had changed in me and the seams that held me together had started bursting apart faster than I could stitch them back together. The music started to fill my head and all I could hear was "it's so beautiful."
I slammed my palm into the off switch and started convulsing with sobs. "It's so beautiful." I don't care. I hit eject. I fumbled around, pushing a new album in. Anything to fill the blank space. Pop music. Alt rock. Anything else.
The next day or so I built a hard shell around myself. It didn't fix the broken stitches, but it kept everything from falling out. Pandora was not used. The radio stayed on z-100, I listened to awful songs about Taylor Swift's ex-boyfriends. Safe music. White noise. Unconsciously I turned on Pandora while getting ready for work. Desperado filled the space around me. It sucked in all the air in the room. Everything else went quiet.
She slammed her palm on the button, you will hear me. I am here. I am here. You think I'm gone. But I am here.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Story of the Fuchsia Sole Mates

eBay listing: Fuchsia velvet Marc by Marc Jacobs heels with metallic trim and bow in front. Size 7 1/2.

Seeing these shoes shouldn't make me sad because I already bought the same style in a size that doesn't cut off the circulation in my toes. But the new shoes don't have as special as a story. 

Ten years ago (YIKES! that long ago?!) Mommy showed me these shoes on the Saks website. They cost over $300. Clearly, I could not afford them. In fell so deeply in love that I printed out a picture and hung it in a frame on my dorm room wall. I wanted- no needed- these shoes. We were sole-mates, pardon the cheesy pun. Mommy bought herself a pair, and I was insanely jealous, especially since she never wore her fabulous shoes out. My foot was too big to even try squeezing into them. 

Christmas 2003 came and Mommy somehow knew about a sale at Saks the day after Christmas (back then things went on sale <ins>AFTER</ins> the holidays). At 7am, the day after Christmas, the two of us stood outside Saks amongst a small crowd of equally crazy, thrifty shoe addicts waiting to be let in. 

The doors opened, and as if I was on a game show contestant I ran to the shelf to find my coveted pink heels in a size 7 1/2. Mommy flagged a salesperson she was friendly with. I purchased the shoes at a price over $100, but no more than $120. I don't remember what the two of us did with the rest of our day. Knowing us we shopped some more. 

My best outfit with the shoes was Nanny's birthday party.  Mommy styled me to perfection. I wore an adorable pink and orange brocade Nicole Miller party dress with a little off white cardigan. Mommy layered different pearl necklaces on me. I looked "very Chanel". I was sad she didn't join me at the party, but I took along the best part of her- her flawless style. 

Once I sell, giveaway, whatever the shoes, that is one less item she helped me add to my wardrobe. Yes, I have their <ins>exact</ins> replicas, but they are impostors. She didn't help me pick those out. She didn't put together fun outfits to match them. If I tell myself they are the same it is all just a lie.

As I replace my teenage/college clothes with newer items I have less and less with their own special stories. When all the stories are over what will be left?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Nobody is really dead...

I watch too much TV. A good chunk of that time is taken up by soap operas. When I first started watching soaps with my mom- I mean really watching, not just mocking her show in the background during school days off, or pretending not to listen back in my preschool days- she taught me "nobody is really dead on soap operas." I remember General Hospital was the first soap we started watching together- it began shortly after I got home from middle school. One of the first "soapy" deaths I recall was a character named Cesar Faison. He blew up in some sort of boat explosion, but my mom said, "he's not dead." I couldn't understand, the boat very clearly exploded while he was STANDING RIGHT ON IT! I argued this with her, but she maintained her stance that he would be alive. She was right. A few weeks later his character reappeared. Ten people can see the person's dead body, attend the funeral, and bury the person, but he'll be back. One Life to Live, I'm looking at you with Victor's "death" here, since we all know he'll be back. In the ten plus years I've been watching soap operas I have seen more "deaths" and reappearances (sometimes with new faces as well) than I can count. That is why sometimes the thought crosses my mind, what if real life worked like this? I think occasionally that my mom will walk back into my life, "oops, I've actually been alive the last four years. Those ashes you spread in California? Those were from the vacuum." I've had vivid dreams where this has happened. Sometimes they feel so real I wake up looking for my mom and calling her name. Maybe I'll hear a noise in my bathroom, pull open the shower curtain, and there she'll be using up my expensive cleanser (that's really hers). What is it Mark Twain said, "the rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated"? I never saw her pass, and how does somebody go from being completely coherent to gone in just a matter of two or three weeks? Days really. What exactly does cancer do to just shut off a person's body? I'm calling bullshit. She's been hiding out in France all this time, studying how to become a Limoges box maker. Okay, maybe not, but one can dream, right? I blame my soaps, and my mom for getting me hooked on said soaps. But if you are out there somewhere... please come back in time for the new Dallas reboot to start next summer. I miss you.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Dating Game

After college it gets harder and harder to meet people (esp guys) your own age. Sports leagues can be fun, but after your sport is over people sometimes wander off and become busy again. Working in a pediatric office, the only guys I come across are teenage patients and people's fathers. Neither of those are viable options. Ick. There was a really cute drug rep once, but he was redistricted before I got a chance to really get to know him. I keep telling them to hire a cute, single, male doc, but apparently it's illegal to hire people specifically with those requirements. HMPH, LAWS. I always hear about people going to singles events in Hoboken and NYC, so when I saw a sign for one in Tart and Tufo I decided to sign right up!

Tonight's event was supposed to be "The Dating Game". When I called to RSVP they asked for my age, and then asked if I would like to be a contestant. Ready for an adventure, I said sure! Super excited, I rushed home, blew out my hair (which takes forever and a ton of patience), and did some really killer makeup. I was looking pretty nice after all that effort!

I got to Pazzo Pazzo and was greeted by the event coordinators, two women in their late fifties (at least). One of them looked just like Patricia Clarkson, which I found interesting. That was probably the only interesting part of the night... I arrived right on time, and thought maybe the rest of the young people were running late. There were two other men there, both in their late fifties to early sixties and another woman, also older. Another guy walked in, closer to my age at maybe late thirties, early forties. Still, no young people. I talked to one of the older guys, still looking around for the other young'ns to walk in. They set up the "stage" for the gameshow. There weren't even enough people there to play the game show. As I snacked on some appetizers, Patricia Clarkson asked if we minded waiting another twenty minutes for more people to arrive. I really hoped she meant the whole crowd of twenty-somethings.

I was talking to the "younger" guy, who was majorly into the fact that he's a landlord, desperately waiting for the real party to get started. Since I despise landlords right now, it wasn't really the most exciting topic for me. We spoke about a few of the restaurants in Morristown, but somehow it went back to real estate, and the latest place he bought. I couldn't figure out his age, until he told me a story about a bartender he was friendly with, who figured out he had been serving this guy for nearly thirty years. Even if this guy started getting into bars and drinking at FIFTEEN he was still way too old for me. To me, dating an older guy means dating somebody in their early thirties. HELLO I'M NOT THAT OLD! Even worse, people tell me I look like I'm a teenager, so weren't these coordinators a little confused when I showed up? Meanwhile, two women walked in who were most likely in their sixties.

"Question one: what do you do in your spare time?"
Bachelor #1- "I keep up my properties around the area. Did I mention I'm a landlord for several properties?"

The event started, and a guy dressed in seventies garb did "The Dating Game" trivia, which I had no idea of, since I wasn't alive in the seventies. The kind of trivia that you had to be there to know, rather than see a few clips here and there, and maybe an episode once or twice on GSN during a sick day before onDemand was created. I was starting to panic, since I didn't want to be courted by guys older than my dad and the landlord. As it is, the host tried to get me to give my number out. He chatted up the ladies who arrived late. What are they doing this weekend? Visiting their grandchildren.

"Question two: where do you like to go on vacation?"
Bachelor #2- "I spend my winters in Boca."

Was I going to have to go out on a date with one of these guys? I texted Kathy "Everybody is old. Get me out of here." Kathy texted me and told me to get out of there ASAP, feel no guilt. I couldn't figure out a polite way to do so. At my request, she called me up on the phone. "Are you okay?! OMG, calm down, calm down, I'm coming now!" I said into the phone. I said to the coordinator "I HAVE TO pick up my friend, she's having an emergency, she needs me." "Will you be coming back?" she asked. "I'll try my best! I don't know..." and I ran out. RAN. I felt guilty leaving the landlord in the dust, and the game without a bachelorette, but I didn't owe anybody there anything. I think Patricia Clarkson and partner owe ME $15. So here goes- NEVER EVER USE MORRIS COUNTY SINGLES.

"Question three- do you like to ski?"
Bachelor #3- "I used to go with my grandkids, but since my hip replacement I haven't been able to."

I was there for about an hour and a half, but it was so awful I'd swear it was at least three hours. I was just so disappointed. I had high hopes for the night, and so did every single person I mentioned the event to. Not one person said, hey do you think it'll only be a bunch of old people? I don't think I was jumping to a crazy conclusion, was I? If you were the coordinator, would you warn a 26 year old girl that not a single person her age had RSVP'd? Where does that fall on the business ethics scale?

Luckily, dodgeball starts up again in October. I'll be exposed to more people my own age again, and maybe even some eligible bachelors. I won't get to be a contestant on the dating show, but at least I'll be mingling with people who may be in the same peer circles as my grandmothers.

*the questions may have been exaggerated ideas in my head, since I ran away before they started the game

Friday, July 30, 2010

The world is mine today!!

As regular blog readers may recall, I lost my mom to ovarian cancer, and it was later found that my grandmother and both her sisters have the cancer gene. Having this gene means you will most likely get cancer. For a long time I was being pressured into having genetic testing done. I was terrified to do the testing, and put it off as long as possible. My doctor recommended getting the testing done at 25, so when my birthday rolled around this April I was full of dread.

About two weeks ago, my Aunt Ricki forced me to make the appointment. It began poorly. I had little to eat and a lot of caffeine, my veins were small and hiding. The doctor was forced to take the blood from my hand- OUCH! My delicate little hand was completely bruised for several days. I didn't put together my lack of sleep and uneasy feeling until today.

At 4:45, only fifteen minutes before I got out of work, an unknown number popped up on my phone. I almost didn't answer in case it was a solicitor, but my gut told me to pick up the phone. It was Dr. Hirsch, telling me he only calls on Fridays with good news. I do not have the gene. I will not have to go every six months for intense check ups. I am not nearly guaranteed to have cancer. I had no idea how worried I was about the call until the relief flooded over me. I can't recall ever crying from happiness and relief once in my life, but today I couldn't stop the tears from flooding.

Tonight I am celebrating my life and health with a bottle of champagne, and good times out on the town. I only wish it wasn't so last minute so I could invite anybody and everybody! I raise my glass (glad i finally went out and bought some this week!) to my mother and grandfather, who are without a doubt watching over me.

Life is good, friends, life is good.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Attached to a glass of champagne

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Doppelgangers (thanks a lot facebook)

A few celebrities myheritage thinks I look like. I think this is completely inaccurate, but it's kind of interesting that Kristin Kreuk came up most of the times I ran this (note: I did this a few more times than shown, which is why she's not appearing on 2/3 charts pictured). My guess is that they go by the shape of your smile or the squint of your eyes via some Photoshop like program, which is why these matches don't quite work most of the time. I get Sofia Coppola from a lot of people, and my Uncle Barry is convince I look like Claire Danes (which I don't see, but a few people have agreed with). Interestingly enough, Sofia Coppola did appear on ONE of the charts that popped up. I'm still going to judge this a big fat INACCURATE.