Monday, October 31, 2011

Zennon and The Black Russians

Did you ever have one of those first encounters with someone where the attraction is so strong it seems as though you and he are the only two people in the room?

I was about 20 years old and his name was Zennon.
He was tall, dark and yes very handsome.

It was Zennon's first day.  My boss was taking him around and introducing him.  When he got to my desk, I could literally feel the electricity between us.

And so it began.

He told me that he had a girlfriend.  I was kind of involved too, so I thought okay, wrong time wrong place, whatever.

Then one day he told me about this "friend" of his.  He thought that his "friend" and I were perfect for each other.  

So Zennon set up this double date.  It would be Zennon  and his girlfriend, Zennon's friend and me.

The day of the date, Zennon informed me that his girlfriend was no longer his girlfriend and his "friend" would not be able to make the date.
So Zennon asked me if I would be interested in going for a drink after work.
I said oh, okay YES!

You know when you have one of those first encounters, the kind where you and he are the only two in the room,  but your gut is telling you "watch out"?   You know those red flags that are raised, but you decide you are being silly and anyway, he is so gorgeous.  And that slight accent, yes he even had a foreign accent of some kind.   And besides his name was Zennon.

Okay, red flag number one:
 He couldn't drive, I think he mumbled something about no car, or no license, I don't remember.  I was too busy looking into those blue eyes.  Yes, he had dark hair and blue eyes.   Of course I said I would be happy to drive.

Red flag number two:
  We had to stop at his house for a minute.  Would that be okay?  Uh, okay.

Red flag number three:
  When we got to his house, he introduced me to his older brother.   The brother who was blond and had no accent.  The brother who asked Zennon where he was taking me and when Zennon told him, his brother said, "are you kidding me?"

Red flag number four:
   First he took me to a strip joint, then we went bar hopping.  At each stop he would order a couple of Black Russians.  

Red flag number five:
  All of these places we went to were within walking distance of his home.  After I had had enough, he told me that he was going to stop at one more place and that he would find his own way home.

That was a Friday night.  Zennon and I had to go into work the next day, Saturday.  We were the only ones in the office.

We went out for lunch, Zennon had a Black Russian and I have to admit I was still smitten.

That Monday, I did not go into work.  The next day, when I came into work, Zennon wasn't there.   My boss took me into his office and told me that Zennon had lied on his employment application and they fired him the day before.

Many months later Zennon had a mutual friend of ours deliver a note to me.
I will not reveal what the note said.  I will say, though,  it was the sixth and final red flag for me.

I have participated in Charlotte's ABC meme for 26 weeks, patiently waiting for the letter Z so I could tell the story of my encounter with the mysterious Zennon, whom I shall never forget.

True story by the way, and I did not change any names to protect the not so innocent.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I'll Have Mine Half Full Please

I recently received a phone call from a friend.   I'll call this friend Dora Doom.

Dora proceeded to tell me about her recent visit with our mutual friend, who shall be known here as Nancy Nice.

Dora seemed very agitated as she told me about her recent visit with Nancy.
Her version:
     "So I went to visit Nancy yesterday.   She's really not doing well. She has gotten so thin.  I personally think that she is a little depressed.  Do you know she is now a blond?  While we were visiting she got a phone call from that guy that she thinks she is in love with.  Ugh! I can't stand the man.  I just don't understand what she sees in him.  I mean the man is a writer.  What is that?  A writer?  Sounds like one of those dreamer types to me.   I can't believe she has stayed with him this long. I mean hello? Have you never heard of the book "He's Just Not That Into You?"  I am really worried about her."

Now I have to say, Dora is really not a bad person and actually does care a great deal about Nancy.  But Dora is a worrier.  She worries about everyone and everything.

Sometimes when I talk to Dora, her worrying becomes infectious.   And then I start worrying.

After I got off of the phone with Dora, I started to worry about Nancy.  A blond?  What if Dora is right and Nancy winds up getting hurt by that guy.  Maybe she is depressed.

So I decided to give Nancy a call.

Nancy's end of our phone conversation:
"Oh hi, Lynda.  I have been meaning to call you.   I wanted to let you know the good news.  "That Guy" has asked me to marry him.   We got engaged last night.   I'll tell you, I have never been happier in my life.   I have been on weight watchers and I get to the gym at least 4 times a week.  Yes, I have lost 40 pounds and I feel great!  Yes, it's true, I have changed my hair.  It's just a shade lighter, but I wanted a little change, you know, just to go along with my new body.  (she giggled).
Oh and one more piece of good news.  The book "That Guy" has been working's being published.  Isn't that exciting?"

Now I have to say, Nancy is very laid back and can be somewhat of a pollyanna.  She tends to be very trusting.   And she has gotten her heart broken a few times before.   Her favorite thing to say is "...but he/she is really a good person".

Something I noticed, and found interesting was that each conversation affected my mood.  When I got off the phone with Dora, I felt anxious and a little upset.   After speaking to Nancy, though, my spirits were lifted and I felt happy.
So two different versions by two totally different personality types.

But which one is closest to reality?

Dora's version which is affected by her caring, nurturing and sometimes overly worrisome attitude?
Or Nancy's version which is affected by her optimistic and sometimes overly zealous attitude?

To make my point and demonstrate how different outlooks such as "the glass is half full/half empty" affects everyone, and may even effect the truth, I have taken a few liberties with this tale.  And of course the names have been changed to protect the innocent.   That would be Dora Doom, Nancy Nice and That Guy.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Tony's Tattoos

So, I am grateful for each and any peaceful moments.

Joe had to spend a few days in the hospital.  They are trying to get his medications right and resolve some other issues he is having.  He was in good spirits when we arrived.
After a little while of visiting, he looked like he wanted to sleep.  I told him it was okay, get some sleep.

I dug out my knitting, popped in my ear buds and sat in a chair at the foot of the bed.  I watched as he started to doze off.
At the end of every row I would glance up and look at him.  After about 10 rows I noticed his breathing was quiet and steady, that his mouth was slightly open, and there was no pain in his face.  And we stayed like that, he and I, him peacefully asleep, me peacefully knitting.

Okay, maybe it wasn't quite that peaceful.  The guy in the next bed had two visitors who were hard of hearing.  So his T.V. was on, very loud, and the three of them were having a conversation, a very loud conversation.    This obviously did not effect Joe's ability to zone out, he really was sound asleep.  And I could still knit, but even cranking up the volume on the book I was listening to was not enough of a distraction.   After all,  their conversation was much more interesting than the book I was listening to.  Yes that was meant to be sarcastic.

It went something like this:

Patient: " How did you come?"
Grandpa:  "Wadda mean, how did I come?  Tony, here picked me up."
Patient:  "I know Tony picked you up, but how did you come?"
Tony:  "We came the way we always come."
Grandpa:  "Tony, how did you get to my house?"
Tony:  "I went the way I always go.  Down, Clark, when I get to the big gas station I make a right, then a left at the school."
Grandpa:  "No, you don't make a right at the gas station, you make a left."
Tony:  "Grandpa, you can't make a left there, you can only go right or straight."

This went on and on for what seemed like forever.

After they got that straightened out, the discussion turned to what happens when you get arrested.  Apparently, and I did not know this, besides mug shots and finger printing the police also take pictures of any scars or tattoos that you have.  Anyway that's what Tony's experience was.

By the end of the visit, they had covered a number of subjects ranging from the weather to whether or not Carmela was home making the gravy for tomorrow.

I was kinda disappointed when Grandpa got up and said to Tony, "You wanna go?"  "We should go before the traffic starts getting heavy."  "Tony, which way we gonna go?"
Of course Tony responded with, "The same way we always go."

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"Who Done It? No, No, Don't Tell Me"

I like listening to audio books.  Listening, rather than reading,  allows me to multi-task.  I can knit, or play "Words With Friends"; read my e-mail or check out facebook and twitter.

I have been  listening to "The White Lioness" by Henning Mankell for about a month now. This is the fourth book in the Kurt Wallander Swedish detective series.  It is 17 hours long.  

I first discovered Wallander through the PBS Masterpiece Mystery series.

I am having trouble getting through this book.  It doesn't matter when, where, or what I am doing,
 it seems that whenever I pop in my ipod earphones, and turn on this book, I immediately fall asleep.

  I have been stuck on chapter 7 for what seems like forever.  I will fall asleep, wake up about a half hour later and have to re-wind back to the beginning of chapter 7.

It has gotten to the point that I will recite the words along with the narrater:
      "At dawn just before he woke up, Wallander had a dream that one of his hands was black.  He had not put on a black glove, it was his skin that had grown darker until his hand was like an African's."

I have not been able to get much further than that.

It is true that these books are not fast paced.  Occasionally there might be a car chase or Wallander might get knocked on the head.  But for the most part it is the angst of the main character,  his relationship with his daughter and an overbearing father, the author's descriptions of the bleak Swedish landscapes and Wallander's turmoil over his monotonous unrewarding police work that is appealing to me.

Last night I had trouble falling asleep.  So, I decided this would be a good time to listen to my book. True to form, I must have immediately fallen asleep.

I'm not sure what chapter the narrator was on when I woke up at around 4:30 a.m.  I just remember pulling out the earphones, turning over and falling back to sleep.

So if I ever get beyond chapter 7 and happen to guess "who done it" before the end, will it be because I am a good detective or will it be because it was revealed to me while I slept and is stored somewhere in my subconscious mind?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Y Oh Why?

Today is Monday.
That means it is ABC meme day.
It is week number 25
The letter is Y

Yesterday,  my mother took me to kindergarten orientation. It was held in the school auditorium.  The auditorium was filled with students from grades K-6.  After the announcements of the day, the principal asked that all of the new kindergarteners come up on stage.
 I didn't want to go.
My mother tried coaxing me, "Look everyone else is going up.  Come on now, be a big girl."
I never did go up on that stage. I watched from the safety of my seat as each of the other new kindergartners  went up, faced the audience, and said their name.

Yesterday,  it was January and we had just moved.  I was the new kid in the school.  By the end of the year, my claim to fame was getting an award for reading the most books.  Besides climbing trees and playing kickball in the street, reading was one of my favorite things to do.

Yesterday,   I was going to my first school dance.  Well the first dance that I had a "date" to.  We didn't actually go together, but he asked if he could "take" me to the dance.  I guess that meant that we would dance every dance together.  And we did.  He was very cute.

Yesterday,  I was discovering a new love and discarding an old one.

Yesterday I was engaged to be married.  My parents were happy for me...that is until I told them that we were not going to be married in "their" church.  They didn't speak to me during for most of the time that I was planning my wedding.
About a month before the wedding, my parents gave in.  My mom gave me a bridal shower and my dad walked me down the aisle.

Yesterday,  I held a newborn baby girl in my arms.
I'll never forget that feeling.  I was mesmerized by her beauty.

I experienced that same feeling two more times with my two sons, and each time it was as wonderful as the first.

Yesterday, my dad died of cancer.

Yesterday,   I looked around at the empty apartment, the apartment that I would soon move into.  It was the first time in my life that I would live entirely by myself.

Yesterday, we were in an old dance studio in NYC.  Sultry music was playing on the boom box.  I was in the arms of Carlos as he taught me the basic steps of the Argentine Tango.  Then I watched as Ross practiced his ochos (*) with Carlos.

I remember each of the yesterdays of each of my children's wedding days.

Yesterday, on a beautiful sunny day at the beach in Cape May NJ was my wedding day.

I remember each and every one of the yesterdays that each of my five grandchildren were born.

Yesterday, my mom died of cancer.

Yesterday, my son was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer.

And that's when time seemed to stop. And even though I know the better thing to do is stay in the present, that yesterday is where I seem to spend most of my time;  asking over and over again WHY?

*Ocho — Eight (pl. ochos); Figure eights: A crossing and pivoting figure from which the fan in American tango is derived.  Executed as a walking step with flexed knees and feet together while pivoting, ochos may be danced either forward or backward and are so designated from the lady’s perspective.  El Ocho is considered to be one of the oldest steps in tango along with caminada, the walking steps.  It dates from the era when women wore floor length skirts with full petticoats and danced on dirt floors.  Since the lady’s footwork could not be directly observed the quality of her dancing was judged by the figure she left behind in the dirt after she danced away.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sorry Mother, But You Are No Longer On The List

The following is a phone conversation I had with my son's doctor's nurse today.

Me:  "I am very concerned about my son's condition and would like to speak with Dr. P. I have several questions that I would like to ask him."
Nurse:  "Does your son know that you have contacted us?"
Me:  "Well, no,  I thought I could have a confidential conversation with his doctor."
Nurse: "I am sorry.  I really cannot speak to you without your son's permission."
Me:  "I spent an entire day and night with him yesterday.  I am very worried because he is not eating. He also seems very weak."
Nurse: "I know you are his mother, and  I understand you are upset.  However, you are not listed on the paperwork he filled out  Only his wife is listed.  She is the only one we can reveal information about him to."
Nurse:  "You wouldn't believe the amount of phone calls I get from people asking about the condition of a family member."  Boy, I can tell you some horror stories about the drama that takes place when there are conflicts within the family.  You know, especially if there are wills or life insurance involved. "

I didn't quite know how our conversation went from me expressing concern over my son's condition to Nurse, "revealing" the seedier side of family members and their not so honorable motives.

Of course, my primary and only motive is that I want my son to get the optimal attention and care that he needs.

So, after I finished my not so productive conversation with Nurse, I called my daughter-in-law.  I explained my concerns to her.  As it turns out, she has a lot of the same concerns as I do.
I sent her an e-mail with an attached list of my questions.  She said she would check with my son and if he agreed, she would pass along the questions to Dr. P.

It doesn't matter if "mother" is no longer listed as the one to contact on the permission slips.
Even if chronologically, they should not be referred to as children,  a mother never stops caring, worrying, loving and, well, wanting to mother her children.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Over the Fence Knitting in The Tall Grass

Ross and I each have an  iMac desk top Apple Computer .
We each face a wall of the room in our den.  Our backs are towards each other.
Here is what it looks like. (Rico is filling in for me while I take the picture)

Here is where Rico usually is, when he is not filling in for me.

In order to have a face to face conversation,  we would each have to spin around in our office desk chairs.   Most of the time we don't bother spinning around.  We just kind of talk to each other, facing our computers, with mice in hand,  as we continue to tap, tap on our  keyboards.

We have a large window in the den with a view of a retention pond.
The pond is actually quite pretty. There are pine trees, wild flowers and tall grasses.
The "pond" fills up with water after a rain fall.   Then the geese come for a swim.
The deer come out after dusk, cross the pond, jump the fence and eat my flowers.

Here is a view of the pond from our den window.  Today it is raining very hard.

 I can't see the pond  right now because I am facing a wall as I write this blog.
"Did you hear, me Ross?"  "I said..."
Oh well, I guess he is busy typing or mousing or something.

Yesterday, it was a beautiful day.  I decided to take some up close and personal pictures of the "pond".

These were taken from the street side of the fence.
Maybe some day I will take my knitting, climb over the fence, and settle in among the tall grass.
I think that the geese and deer might notice that I am there.
 But I wonder if Ross will notice that I am not...there that is.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

X Marks The Canvas

This is the 24th week of the ABC meme that I am participating in.
The letter is X.

You don't hear very many people using words that begin with the letter X.  
So, of course I googled "words that begin with the letter x" and found a couple of impressive lists.
I only recognized two of the words, which I'm sure are the two words that everyone thinks of when asked to name a word that begins with the letter X.

Xerox (n) - the patented process for copying documents, and the name of a corporation. 

Xylophone (n) - a percussion instrument with a series of graduated wooden bars or metal tubes that is played by striking with two small mallets.

Oh wait a minute, sometimes when I am under a great deal of stress, which sadly happens a little too often lately, I am familiar with this word:

Xanax (n) - a pharmaceutical drug that is used to treat depression and anxiety.

One of the best uses for the letter X, though is this:

The letter X is also used in English as a symbolic representation of a kiss. Legend has it that in ancient times, illiterate people signed their names with a cross or an X, and then kissed the signature to indicate that they approve and blessed their signature.

Way back in the late 1980's, when I didn't need glasses, I spent a lot of time counting little squares and filling them with x's.

It's amazing how putting together a bunch of x's can turn a blank canvas into something like this.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Bumpy Road Indeed!

My grandson, Domani, turned one year old on Oct. 11.  Today was his party.  It was held in a small town fire house hall.  
The day was filled with emotion for me.   On one hand there was the joy of celebrating Domani's first birthday.

On the other hand, my heart ached to see how fragile Joe seemed.  He has been through a lot during the last two weeks.

But he made it for his son's first birthday party.  

On the way home from the party, Ross decided that he wanted to avoid the major highways, so he took the back country roads instead.   One of the roads was blocked with a sign which read: "Road Closed" "Local Traffic Only Allowed".

Ross kept driving though, figuring we would probably be able to get through.
The road was bumpy because it was in the process of being re-paved.  The wheels of the car kicked up pebbles of tar and gravel. 

A woman was standing by her mail box at one of the houses we were approaching.  She was waving her arms, flagging us down.  Ross stopped and rolled the window down. 

She asked us if we lived on this street.   We said no.   She was very irate and said that Ross had no business being on that street.   She also told us that if we were stopped by a police officer it would result in a 5 point penalty on his license.

Biting my tongue, I told Ross to just go.  

But what I really wanted to do was tell this woman that we just came from my grandson's birthday party.   I wanted her to know that we were celebrating his first birthday.  I wanted her to know that my son, the father of the one year old, has stage IV colon cancer and that it is incurable.   I wanted her to know how trivial, unnecessary, unimportant, and needless her anger towards us was.   I wanted her to know that this ride down her bumpy unpaved road was nothing compared to the road my son has traveled so far.  A road that has led him to this day.  This day that he was able to see his one year old son smile as we all sang "Happy Birthday Dear Domani, Happy Birthday to you."

That's what I really wanted that woman to know.

Time For Cake

Some more photos of what's really important in life.

My granddaughter, Bella.  I kept calling her by her mother's name, Jen, because she looks just like her mother.

My Two Sons With Their Sons

My Four Grandsons
Birthday Boy With The Number 1 on his shirt

Friday, October 14, 2011

Meditating Under Tall Pines

It's been recommended to me that I try meditation.

A "Guided Meditation" group meets once a week in our community center.  I agreed to go and give it a try.

There were about 20 of us in the group.  Most of us were women, but there were also three men.  They were there with their wives.

As I looked around the room, I noticed that one of the couples was having a disagreement about the placement of their chairs.

"Hmmm", I giggled to myself,  "I was under the impression that meditation was supposed to promote peace and tranquility."

Once everyone got settled, we started off the session with one member of the group leading us in a set of Tai Chi moves.

I liked the slowness and the repetition of the moves.  It was kind of hypnotic actually.  I had never done anything like that before.  I felt very relaxed afterwards.

After we finished with the Tai Chi, we sat on our chairs in a circle.

The leader began to guide us through a visualization.

As I sat there with my eyes closed, listening to the calm voice of the leader, I could feel myself entering into somewhat of a tranced state.

I pictured myself siting on a rocker on the front porch of a lakeside cabin.  I felt safe and protected by the tall pines which cocooned the area.   Rays of sun filtered through the trees and reflected on the calm water.

I then began to picture someone very dear to me sitting on the rocker next to me.  He turned to me and smiled.  He seemed so happy.   Suddenly, I started to experience a rush of emotion.

I managed to hold back tears, maintain my composure and finish the exercise.

As I was getting ready to leave, one of the woman came up to me and asked me if I enjoyed the meditation.

I told her what happened to me.   She explained that what happened to me was very normal.

I'm not sure I am ready to go back to the group yet.  I think that perhaps I should practice in private for awhile first.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Family Secrets Shh Don't Tell

I received a phone call late one night last week.   It was from a close family member who I shall call Harry.

Harry confided in me that he was going through a rough patch.

After I got off the phone with Harry, I was really bothered by what he was going through.  He was very upset and I felt so bad for him.   I listened and offered my support and yes perhaps a little motherly advice.

Now Harry didn't specifically tell me that I should not tell anyone else in the family about this, but knowing Harry I assumed that he wouldn't want me to.

Harry and I are very close and, as I said, I was upset for him.

Cathy is another close family member.  She and Harry are also very close.

So I thought it probably would be okay if I called Cathy to tell her what was going on.

But I did have to warn Cathy that she probably shouldn't let on to Harry that she knew what was going on.  I thought that it would be better if Harry told her himself.  Cathy agreed.

However, apparently, Harry didn't feel comfortable telling Cathy because so far he has not said a word to her about his situation.

Now I have to admit,  Harry has called me several times since with updates about what is going on.

Now I also have to admit, as soon as I get off the phone with Harry, I call Cathy to tell her the latest.

Two days ago Harry and Cathy were together for most of the day.  Cathy said that she and Harry had a nice day together, but that he never mentioned anything to her about his problem.

So the bottom line is, Harry doesn't know that Cathy knows what I know.

It is a common thing for this to happen in my family.
The conversation usually goes something like this:

"Hi, you."
"Have you talked to so and so lately?"
"No, why what's going on?"
"No, I really shouldn't say anything."
"Oh come on now, you started saying something, you have to tell me now."
"Well so and so told me not to tell anyone.  If I tell you, you have to promise that you won't tell anyone."
"Of course, I won't.  I mean who am I going to tell?"

I have decided that the next time I talk to Harry I am going to tell him that Cathy knows.
It's too confusing to keep track of what Cathy is supposed to know or not know .
After all Cathy cares a great deal about Harry and I'm sure she wouldn't tell anyone else. :)


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Purple Light Of October

I don't remember planting it  and I don't know what it's name  is.
Many times I wondered if it was a weed that I should pull out.
Every time I walked by it I would stop to look for flower buds.
I waited and waited all summer long.
It finally burst into a haze of purple on October 1.
Now every time I walk by it and stop and look, it makes me smile and lifts my spirits, just enough.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Domani Joseph - Happy Birthday

Today Anne took Joe to Memorial Sloan Kettering in NYC for a procedure.  He has a fluid build up around his lungs.  The procedure involved inserting a catheter in his chest to allow the fluid to drain.  They drained a liter out today.  There is still about a liter left.   With the catheter he will be able to drain the fluid out as needed.

It was a long day for everyone, especially Joe and Anne.
They left the house at 8:00 this morning and didn't get home until 7:00 this evening.

Joe seemed to be okay.    He looked tired.

Ross and I babysat for Domani.

Last year at this time we were visiting Anne and Joe at a different hospital.

Today is Domani Joseph's
 first birthday.   

When Anne and Joe got home, we had a little celebration with a birthday cupcake for Domani.

Domani means tomorrow in Italian.

I hope for many tomorrow's Joseph.

What a year it has been.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Too Many W's

Since I am participating in the Learn Your ABC  Meme  and Blogtober Fest my post is going to do double duty today.

The letter is W

I am Waiting for the phone to ring.
I am Watching for the next text message.  

I Want to know what's going on.
I don't Want to know what's going on.

Will he get through the next treatment?
Will he eat cake at his son's one year old birthday party?

What if I fall apart?
What can I do to stay strong?

Why won't he talk?
Why can't I find the words?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Blogtoberfest My First Entry

As I glanced at my blog archive, I noticed a steady decline in the number of posts I have written each month.

In an effort to be more dedicated and disciplined, I have decided to participate in Blogtoberfest 2011.

The goal is to attempt to write and post each and every day of the month of October.   I have joined in a little late,  but this will be quite a challenge for me,  and I am willing to give it a try.

Even though I don't know the other 270 participants of Blogtorberfest,  I feel that in some way we have all entered into a committed relationship of a sort.

When I think about it,  I realize that I have had many different types of committed relationships during my life.

When I was very young, I probably didn't treat the commitments as seriously as I should have.

I remember an incident when I was in my teens.  My best friend and I made plans to spend a weekend together.  My aunt and uncle had a house near the beach and generously offered to let us stay with them.

Her parents drove us down on a Friday afternoon.

At the time I was dating a young man and I told him where he could find me and Betty that Saturday.

I knew that Betty probably wouldn't like the idea, so I didn't tell her that I had "invited" my boyfriend to visit.

As Betty and I were laying on our beach blankets, chatting and enjoying the beautiful day, my boyfriend showed up with a couple of his friends.

I tried to act surprised, but Betty knew that it was not by chance that he showed up.   She was very upset with me.   So much so, that she found a phone booth and called her parents to come and pick her up.

She never spoke to me again.

At the time I thought that Betty over reacted to the whole thing.
When I look back at it now, I realize that I was the one who was not being a very good friend.

I learned a valuable lesson from that incident about commitments, especially as they relate to friendships and relationships.

At this stage in my life, I also realize the amount of effort it takes to keep a commitment.  I also realize that sometimes relationships just don't work out, no matter how committed one person is to the other.

So, I have chosen to commit to Blogtoberfest, but I hope "Betty" will forgive me if I don't make it every day.  Trust me, it won't be because my "boyfriend" showed up.  :)

To see more entries in Blogtober fest click here

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Vanity or Self Confidence?

This is my contribution to the Accidental Knitter's ABC Meme
The Letter is V


The crowd of about 60 people, all in wheelchairs,  were being entertained by Donny and Marie.  No, not that Donny and Marie.   This was a husband and wife singing and dancing duo who made the rounds on the nursing home circuit.  They were probably in their late fifties.

Some members of the audience were clapping in time to the music.  Others were mouthing the words along with the singers.  Some were content to just watch and listen.

One woman stood apart, out in front, dancing while holding onto her walker.

I was visiting my aunt and we were also enjoying the show.

After a little while, my aunt and I  decided to move into the lounge.  We settled into a quiet corner so that we could have a conversation without shouting over the loud music.

A woman (who I shall refer to as Mom) and her two children were sitting not very far away from us.   I assume she was waiting for her mom or dad to finish watching the show.

Mom was in her early 40's.  She had long straight blond hair which she would frequently flick by tossing her head.

Her teenage daughter had her blond hair tied up neatly in a pony tail.

Mom's makeup, which was expertly applied, emphasized the brilliance of the blueness of her eyes.  Yet when she was handed a photograph to look at, she squinted and held the picture at arms length. She finally walked over to the window, perhaps thinking that the better lighting would help her to see the picture more clearly.  I heard her mention that her glasses were somewhere in her purse.

Her daughter, who wore no makeup, glanced at the photo without a hint of a squint.

Mom began to fuss over her son's sprained ankle.   She was telling him that he needed to rest his foot so that he wouldn't miss out on the rest of the football season.

The son, who was probably around 12 years old,  seemed more interested in the jig saw puzzle he was trying to complete.  He did not appear to be very concerned about the rest of the football season.

Mom  told her daughter that since her brother's football team was the only team that didn't have cheerleaders,  Mom had been leading the "crowd" in cheers.

Mom said she was going to bring along a little cheerleading outfit, complete with pom-poms to her son's next football game.  She said that she would go to the game in her regular clothes.  (Perhaps something similar to what she was wearing that day, tight fitting jeans and tank top?) and that after the first kickoff, she would changed into the cheerleading outfit.

"Your brother will be so surprised," she told her daughter.   "Wait until the crowd sees me in my outfit. They are going to love it."

I would venture a guess that on a good day the "crowd" numbered around 40 and consisted of mostly moms, dads, and grandparents.

The daughter said, not so under her breath..."how embarrassing."

After awhile another woman was wheeled into the lounge by an aide.   Her makeup was expertly applied.  I was drawn to her brilliant blue eyes.   She wore a purple sequined velvet jump suit.

Mom, her teenage daughter and son went over to the older woman and asked if she enjoyed the show.   The older woman  said, "Oh, yes!"  I was right out in front singing and dancing.
"The crowd loved it," exclaimed the older woman.

The day was full of stark contrasts of ages and aging.

When the teenage daughter faces her fortieth birthday, will she remember feeling embarrassed by her Mom's look and behavior?

When will the forty year old mom realize that she is forty?

The older woman reminded me of the poem "Warning" by Jenny Joseph.

It starts off:
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit.
You can were terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes...
One definition of Vanity is:


1. Excessive pride in or admiration of one's own appearance or achievements.

I suppose it all depends on your point of view.