Month: August, 2012

Middle-aged Blues

“Did anyone tell you that you were the prettiest girl in the room today?”

“Nope. Not today.”

This silly exchange was a part of my ordinary life and I didn’t realize how important it was to me.  I won’t say that I took it for granted, but I didn’t appreciate it to its fullest extent.

 I miss compliments. (Does that make me shallow?) I feel invisible to the world. Will anyone (a man?) ever look at me with the (blinded) eyes of love again? Will he see beyond the flesh (saggy, craggy) and find something beautiful? I’m just not sure.


Changing Romance

As a girl my idea of the height of romance was holding hands. One of my happiest memories is being fourteen years old, walking in the rain on a summer day, through the mud, holding hands with Jimmy (whose last name shall be withheld). I was dizzy with the joy of the boy next to me, the rain, the freedom, the hand holding onto mine, onto me.

Today, when I dream of romance, I dream of kissing, sinking deep into the freedom with a kiss. It’s not Jimmy anymore. I don’t know who it is, but romance comes from a kiss.

Dream Job

Those folks on NPR have the best jobs. Think about it: Peter Sagal gets to interview his childhood literary hero. Garrison Keillor sings with whomever he pleases–or worse, sings by himself. (His voice is weak, at best.) Susan Stamberg, from her perch as a special correspondent, only works on stories that she cares about. Robert Seigel routinely interviews musicians, authors, and actors that many of us have never heard of, but whom he clearly admires.

I want that job. I want to chat with all my heroes, laugh at their jokes–or, better yet, have them laugh at mine.

Lemonade? I’ll have a french fry.

When life hands me lemons, I reach for the carbohydrates. It’s the strangest thing. When David received his diagnosis of lung cancer I was on a diet and doing quite well. Immediately, however, all I could think about eating was French fries, Reuben sandwiches, potato chips, and cookies. This went on for months. Needless to say, there went the diet!

Yesterday, I had a tiny little disappointment—right around dinner time—and all I could think about on the ride home was the carbs that I wanted to eat. Potato chips, ice cream, bread—ah, bread! Life can be cruel.

Back to School

My darlings are headed off to college this week. Abram is down in New Orleans. Lorraine and Sarah are at Pitt. Bobby is on his way to Rochester to create video games. Brendan is going to a little town in Pennsylvania. I think about the nerves and the excitement mixed together. Meeting friends. Eating cafeteria food. Missing home when they never thought they would. The Great American Rite of Passage.

Would I go back? Not for the food or even the friends, but for the freedom, the learning-only if I could go with the hard-earned wisdom that I have today.

100 Words—The Genesis

“Why 100 words?” you ask. Well, the first answer is: because I was asked. The second: because I can.
My life comes to me in flashes and spurts, whether it is a memory of my mother, a question about my husband or an idea for my job. It flashes into my brain, often as a picture; then I get distracted and move on to the next thing. When I go back to get it later, it is often gone, never to be retrieved.
100 words allows me to keep these things. And now, I’m sharing them. That makes me happy.

Still Stamping My Foot

When I was a mere tot, my mother would often exhort me, “Act like a lady!”  I shot back with, “I am not a lady and I will never be a lady!” (foot stamp) This disagreement was usually about sitting still or wearing pink—a color which, at the time, I detested.

Last week at a book reading the author said, “the lady asked……” in reference to a question that I posed to him.  I thought, “Me? A lady?” Hmmm, perhaps I have finally reached that poise and behavior that my mother—about 47 years ago—yearned for in me.


I expect too much from people. Or so I am told. I expect those I consider to be friends to want to spend time with me. I expect people to answer my emails, not ignore them and leave them hanging in cyberspace. I expect loved ones—you know, the ones who end every phone call with “I love you”—to make time for me in their lives.
Rachel told me today that I don’t try hard enough with my friends. Oh, yes, I do. I am trying. But there is only so much “putting out there” that I can do.

Cleaning–Part 1

When I was a child my mother would get down on her hands and knees and dust the baseboards! I thought she was nuts. She would also take down the venetian blinds and wash them in the tub. She changed the curtains and bedspreads for each season. I loved the big cabbage roses on the winter drapes. All six kids were expected to wash the tub when we finished with every bath or shower. I was always trying to figure out how to make it look clean without actually cleaning it.
Can you imagine anyone doing this today? Never happen.



When Jackie Kennedy died they said she was a woman of grace and dignity. Over and over again, “A woman of grace and dignity.” How I yearn to be remembered as a woman of grace and dignity. But, my favorite word is “fuck” and that is generally not associated with grace or dignity. Sometimes, even in public, my indignation overtakes my better judgment and I say something I wish I hadn’t. (Like, “Move the fuck out of my way!”)

So, what can I hope for? “We loved her?” “She made us laugh?” “She cared for us?”

I guess I’ll settle.