Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy New Year!!!!!

It’s the end of another year, and everywhere you turn, there are lists. Lists of top (fill in whatever you want here) of 2009. Worst of 2009, Potentials for 2010, everything you could even think of, there is a list for it.

So hear ya go!!! Yet another list..
Top 8 Suggestions to Make 2010 Your Best Year YET! (yeah 8 – not 10, not 5 – I wanted to be different!)

8) Stop sweating the small stuff!! In a week, is it really going to matter?? The other day, I went into work, same as usual. A million things racing through my mind, stressed from fighting traffic on the Long Island Expressway, annoyed that it was so cold, wondering if there would be enough time to run out at lunch and return some Christmas gifts… Then, my boss walked over to me and tells me that a co-worker was killed in a car accident the night before. Suddenly, nothing else mattered. I felt light-headed and everything that was on my mind, just left.

7) Dishes can wait, snuggling on the sofa, with your kids, watching a Curious George episode for the 100th time, cannot. I like organization, and cleanliness. I am also a fan of relaxing, but until recently, I found it very difficult to relax on the couch, watching TV, until the dishes were done, the garbage was out and the crumbs cleaned off the table and counters. Then I realized, spending 15 or 20 minutes sitting on the sofa, between my two favorite people, was extremely relaxing, and the more times I did it, the more I could squeeze Jessica, or smell Madeline’s hair. And a funny thing happened while sitting on that sofa – we started talking, and I learned that Madeline has a tough time a recess, when her best friend goes off to play with someone else, and I found out that Jessica is fascinated with how the inside of a human body works. Would I know these things without our ‘snuggle’ time? Maybe – but I am glad I know now!

6) A guy who makes you cry is not worth it. I am such a sucker when it comes to men. I know this. A few charming words, a little attention, and I am hooked. But these actions are temporary – and if he was really worth it, he would not do things that make you cry. If a guy is truly into you, he will make the effort, he will chase you. Any guy you have to chase, does not respect you. It took me a dozen years to learn that one. Now I just have to start living what I have learned.

5) There is no need to alert people to their shortcomings – somewhere inside them, they already know – and they really don’t need to hear it from you. We all fall into that pit. We know better than anyone, and it is our job to tell people how to live their lives. WRONG! Every person is different. Every parent has their own way of doing things. Every child has their own way of making their bed. Unless someone comes up to you and says “TELL ME WHAT TO DO, AND I WILL DO WHAT YOU SAY!!” – they are not looking for direction. If someone comes to you with their problems, they are not looking for you to solve them, they are just trying to get something that is bothering them off their chest. Be a friend, be supportive. Say, “I’m sorry you are feeling that way” or “I’m so sorry you have to go through this” Then ask if there is anything that you can do. That is being supportive. Telling them that they are stupid for getting in a situation does not help. Telling them that they should do what you tell them to do, is also an easy way to get tuned out. Also, pointing out someone’s flaws is not nice. Period. Unless you are prepared to hear a few of your own flaws, to which, in my experience, the person berating people, is usually so insecure in their own skin, that they have to bring someone else down, in order to attempt to bring themselves up. So, the next time you feel it is necessary to point out to your chubby friend that they looked better when they were exercising, be prepared to either be bitch slapped, or reminded that your ass looked so much smaller when YOU were exercising!

4) People who brag about how wonderful their lives are on their facebook status, usually have pretty crappy lives. You know that person – “my son made honor roll, was voted Class prom king, Class president, Class valedictorian and got a full scholarship to Harvard” Is usually their status. Well, let me tell you – it is annoying to hear how wonderful things are, be especially weary of those who throw in “my life is so great”! If you have to say it, it usually isn’t so! Now don’t get me wrong, and occasional brag is great – cool even. But you need to mix it up a little- how about “had a flat this morning– under the 6 feet of snow that fell last night” – and we are sympathizing with you in a big way. It shows that you are a human, and humans have flaws, and confident humans are those that are able to laugh at themselves. A highly attractive quality. I believe it is called, showboating – like telling a young woman, who has been struggling with infertility for five years that you are pregnant – and it was an accident. That is very nice for you – but have a little decency and consideration for the rest of the general public. Or maybe telling the man who just lost his wife to an illness that you can’t stand your wife – and you wish she was dead – all because she fed you chicken when you wanted lasagna.

3) If someone is going through a hard time – do NOT say ‘Call me if you need anything’. First off, this is not about you. That has to be one of the laziest excuses for support ever. A few years back, I was sick. Really sick – like it’s a miracle I am still alive sick. That was an amazing gift to me. Because I got to see first hand, who my true friend were, and who were the ones that were disposable out of my life – if necessary. When you are going through a bad time, you don’t want to burden people with you problems, or asking them for help – and by calling them, you will be putting them out. If someone is that important to you, you would not wait to be called, you would be there – doing things, trying to really help, being a support, because you wanted to, because you cared about someone other than yourself. “Call me if you need anything” gets you off the hook, because most people know, that the person in need is usually not going to call if they need something – and if they do call, you can always make up some excuse like “oh I can’t – my sister in law’s ex husband’s cousin is in town”. Therefore – by saying those words – “Call me if you need me” – it appears that you are a caring person – yet you are not required to be inconvenienced in the slightest – because now, you are off the hook from actually doing anything – and if you are called upon, you can always make up an excuse to get out of it.

2) Sex is Sex, and just because it is good – does not mean that a relationship will develop. A man with an erection will do anything and say anything you want him to. Once that erection has been satisfied – he’s done. The sex could be amazing. You could make him cry at the point of orgasm. Once his brain cells have returned to his head, he will return to his wife, girlfriend, dog, mother. A man that is yours emotionally, and who comes after you, even after the return of the brain cells Northward, has potential for a future – however, always remember the old saying “Why buy the cow when you get the milk for free” – it may be slightly outdated, but the meaning is the same. Men don’t respect easy women. Once they fuck you – and they got what they wanted, the chase is over – and they move on to the next conquest. However, if the emotional relationship has been established prior to the physical one, then there is a chance that he may stick around. Maybe.

1) Don’t be a Dick. If you do something – and you realize that you hurt someone else – apologize, mean it, and don’t do it again. Nuff said.

Happy New Year all.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

An ode to Mrs. Brady

Everything I really need to know, I learned from 70’s and 80’s Television.

My childhood was one of solitude. I look back, and can say that honestly. Due to tragic circumstances, I was raised in a single parent home. My one parent was not emotionally equipped to raise a child - and my only sibling was several years older than I was. I spent most of my younger years entertaining myself – and watching TV. With a lack of guidance, I could have taken a turn for the worse, and become a ‘bad’ kid – in fact, in today’s world, I would probably either be drugged out, involved in porn (for a career, not just for enjoyment), or dead. This path however, is not the one I have taken. Due to my independence at such an early age – I have become a completely self-sufficient and extremely independent person. I believe that I owe a lot of my character to TV shows from the 70’s and 80’s.

In those days, schools did not care about your socialization skills, or if you were a ‘high risk’ child. If you were an average student, and went to a fairly large sized school, as I did, you could get by being practically invisible. If you think about it, before the horrors that occurred at Columbine, schools did not have the know-how to help kids with their emotional struggles. Math, Science, English – good. Self Esteem, Emotional support, Confidence Building – Whu? Not the schools problem – you can’t grade Self-Esteem. Nowadays, the school Social Worker is out in the open, involved in activities, available to any student in need. Back then, I don’t even know if the school had a Social Worker.

I remember one time, going to see my guidance counselor, because a girl had stolen my purse, which, at age 14, was chock full of sentimental little treasures. A few weeks later, the sister of the thief was walking around the school, carrying my purse. The guidance counselor brought the two of us in the room, and she said she did not know it was mine, and she would give it back. Which she did, a few days later – empty of course, with a broken closure. The thief did not even get a slap on the wrist.
 THE GIRL STOLE FROM ME! When I think back to how poorly that was handled, it makes me crazy. But that is another story..

So, back to my character development and television. For a latch-key kid, as I was, coming home to an empty house meant hours of television watching. There was always the boob-tube. My babysitter, my companion, my encyclopedia, my mentor. Decades before anyone had ever heard of Google, we went to the television for answers to our questions.

There was The Brady Bunch, which I proudly admit, I watched over and over again, even when it was an unwritten law that nobody was permitted to watch such an incredibly uncool show. There was Mrs. Brady – square dancing with me in the living room and making my costume for the school play. Alice – giving me a special locket, when I felt like no one was interested in my struggles being the middle child. And Mr. Brady – carrying me when I fell in the water on our camping trip, and looking so groovy in his colorful leisure suits.

Little House on the Prairie had me crying when my horse, Bunny died, laughing at Nellie and her crazy mother, and feeling loved, as Ma and Pa embraced me and cried because they loved me so much.

There was Happy Days, the coolest show to watch – and its spinoff, Laverne and Shirley. Both, a bit risqué for a young child to watch – but like a taboo, I was drawn to it, for its coolness. I relished the power the next day on the bus, when I got to rehash every single moment. Fonzie and I danced the dance marathon. Potsie sang to me and I sent him love notes calling him ‘Dren’ (nerd spelled backwards). I worked at Shotz and drank Milk and Pepsi, and Chachi – well he was just too hot for words.
Three’s Company had me hanging out at the Regal Beagle, putting half my hair in pony tails, and wishing I had a roommate to share my room with. I struggled to come up with the rent money, and waited patiently for Mr. Roper to fix my window.

As I got a little older, and more mature, The Facts of Life had me going out on my first date, experiencing my first kiss, and suffering the backlash when I would not let my boyfriend go all the way in the back of his van.

I enjoyed many vacations aboard the Love Boat. Puerto Vallarta is lovely, and you can never have too many Horse Piñatas. I always left, knowing that I would be back, and life would be that much sweeter because my friends, Julie, Doc, Gopher, Isaac and the Captain would be able to solve all of my problems.

I hosted Saturday Night Live, played Match Game, and won the Stanley Cup, all from my couch in the den with the orange and brown paneling. I know that it is not the most ideal childhood. However, I did get the understanding that Drugs are bad, you should not steal, girls who go all the way are easy, and you should always tell the truth. I also learned that there are people who love and care about each other . TV gave me a sense of security – I could turn on the TV, and magically, there were people there who I could depend on to be there (unless they got cancelled – but they came back, through the power of syndication). I could disappear into someone else’s life. I could be pretty, I could be popular, I could be funny, I could be mean, I could be loved.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I've Fallen! and I can't get up!!!!

When I was a young child, buttons made me gag. I truly have no idea why, but the sight of them, literally made me convulse in spasm. If I close my eyes, I see them, and I remember being repulsed by them. Any type of button - any shape, any texture. This presented quite a problem for my mother, as she had to be sure that every stitch of clothing that I owned, could not have a button anywhere on the garment. Think about it, no button closures on shirts (I wore a lot of turtlenecks) – no buttons on pants (snaps I could handle – and being young, I was not yet a slave to fashion) – no buttons on jackets (ahhh, I remember my faux fur purple jacket, with the funky closures circa 1975)..

I eventually outgrew the aversion, or perhaps traded it for others. There was the summer where I refused to wear a bikini top – there I was, swimming in the pool, with my green checkered bikini bottoms, with the ruffled skirt attached – and no top. I was probably 4 or 5 at the time – and I remember my parents softly suggesting that I add a top to my suit – and I flatly refused. This would eventually come back to haunt me, in the form of pictures in the family photo album. Thankfully, they have not found their way onto Facebook, although I am sure that eventually they will, completely destroying any chance of me having a reputable movie career..

There was my fear of shredded wheat. I guess it was not really a fear – but more of an aversion. You see, the last time I had eaten shredded wheat - I went to school, and wound up puking pink all over the classroom floor – yes, pink, like Pepto Bismol. I was in 3rd grade, and my dear friend, Tricia, whom I have been friends with for well over 35 years, has no problem bringing the story up, repeatedly, to anyone we both come in contact with. I thought in my head that it was in fact, the shredded wheat that made me puke, when in fact, it was probably something completely unrelated. Come to think of it, I believe that Tricia mentioned my pink puke nightmare in a speech on my wedding day. No wonder my marriage didn’t last!

As I have aged, things have gotten worse – aversion wise. Yet, I think I have a perfectly logical explanation for many of my idiosyncrasies..

There is my issue with plastic cutlery. Open plastic forks, knives, spoons – gross! Who knows what grimy fingers were touching them! Perhaps someone sneezed on them. Perhaps small creatures defecated on them. All in all, whenever I am eating, and it necessitates plastic utensils, a part of me dies inside.

Windmills - Those giant blades swinging around.. I am terrified of being hit by one. Worse! I am afraid that one will swoop around, and I will be forced to grab on and swing around on one.. I am sure it would not be enjoyable, especially with my huge fear of falling.

Falling - I am not graceful. Nor am I blessed with ample cushion in my posterior. So, when I fall on my ass, it hurts, and I am sure rather a funny scene, as with no upper arm strength, and bad knees, getting up is a bit of a challenge. I try to avoid falling at all costs. I don’t wear shoes with any sort of heel, as my lack of coordination could turn into a nasty fall. I walk around puddles, small creatures, children and plants (there could be a hidden branch that could jump out at any time). Last year’s difficult winter was a nightmare for me. The snow, I was fine with. It was the hidden danger – ice… the arch enemy to those afraid of falling. Last year, I had just started a new job, and had to struggle to get there on time every morning, even during the snow and sleet. The parking lot was not plowed very well, and there were many patches of snow and ice. I would be forced to climb snow banks, to get to the building entrance. One morning, I climbed over a snow bank, and unbeknownst to me, right onto a patch of ice, covered in snow. I immediately went down. Worse.. I could not get up, as I was dead center in the ice. I had to crawl to a dry patch of street, and hug the curb as I hauled myself up off the ground. Thankfully¸ no one saw my acrobatics. But my day was ruined, and my knees and ass were soaked.

Horses – Now, from a distance, horses are beautiful animals. Watching someone ride a horse is a beautiful thing. In my youth, I wanted nothing more than to learn how to ride a horse. But, then I remember my experience with Paul Bunyon Day Camp – and I find it difficult to harness the pain.

It was the summer before I entered fourth grade. My parents both worked, and I had to be stuck somewhere for the summer. So, my parents thought it would be good for me to go to day camp. I hated the plan. I wanted to stay home with my older brother and watch reruns of ‘What’s Happening’ and ride my bike and look for frogs. Side note: Have you noticed that there are no frogs around? I never see a frog in my yard, even though I have quite the forest going on back there. But anyhow, back to Paul Bunyon and his awful camp… We went to the camp, to take a tour, sometime around April or May. Back then you did not have to go on a waiting list for two years before getting your child into a day camp. So, we tour the place, which to me, sucked. I made it quite clear that I had no interest in going when my parents threw in the ultimate bribe… “If you go to day camp.. you can take HORSEBACK RIDING!!!!” I immediately saw myself astride a beautiful palomino, graceful and happy, jumping those things horses jump.. me, with my fashionable riding gear and snappy hat… It was beautiful. It was every 8 year old girls’ dream. Yeah, well, a funny thing happened on the way to day camp.. HORSEBACK RIDING IS EXPENSIVE! So, I never got to go to the horseback riding classes. I got to change in and out of my bathing suite in a room with 35 other girls. Not exactly my idea of a good summer, and not exactly a good self esteem builder for the chubby girl. That was also the summer that a cat came into our backyard, and ate my pet duck. But, I couldn’t grieve – because I had to go to DAY CAMP!

You may ask, what does this story have to do with my fear of horses?? I’m getting to that part.. You see, when I got older, and I started dating my first boyfriend. Horseback riding was one of those romantic things you do in the beginning of a relationship. We also went row boating, kissing down by the water, on many picnics and pumpkin picking around Halloween. But, I digress. We decided to take a car trip out east, towards Montauk. Along the way, we see a sign, “HORSEBACK RIDING”.. so I squeal like a girl, then I share the story of my youth with my new boyfriend. Because he had yet obtained carnal knowledge of me, he was anxious to please me, in hopes of getting me to play with his ding ding.. So, off we went to ride horses.

We got to the farm, and parked the car. We walked toward the stable. I was so excited. I could not wait to straddle the beast (the horse – the boyfriend came later.. literally) . We walked up to a horse.. the smell was so strong, I could barely breathe. The files were like a swarm of locust, passing over the town. The horse was huge! In my fantasies, it never occurred to me exactly how I was going to get up on the giant beast – I somehow, just magically appeared astride the beautiful creature. Then, it began to pee. Or, should I say, without being too graphic, the horse’s giant penis emerged, and from it, a monsoon of urine erupted. All I could think about was my shoes. It was at that point, I decided that I was afraid of horses. So, in order to appear cool in front of my man, I turned to him and said “You wanna do this, or go back to my place and have sex?” He never knew that I was scared, although I think he was always a little intimidated by the size of the horse’s appendage.

So, here I am, a 42 year-old lunatic. I guess I should re-read this, to be sure that I spelled everything correctly, but alas, for some strange reason.. I am afraid.

Good Night everyone. Sweet Dreams.