Monday, April 4, 2022

The Best of Claire

Not quite two, and the toddler we call Claire is already coming out of her shell (see what I did there?), expressing herself, running the show, giving directions, setting boundaries, and making her positions known.
"I don't clean up room, Mommy."

"Hand, Gampa!"

"Stop singing, Gamma!

"We no talk about Buno, no, no, no."  

"Love you, Gamma!"

Thursday, March 31, 2022

The Lightest Sleeper In The World

"Did you hear those people fighting last night?" 

"What people?"

"The people behind us."

"The a-holes who blast music?” 

"Yes. Them."

"What time were they fighting?"

"Three a.m."

"You checked the time?"

"I knew you'd want to know."

"Oh, honey, thank you."

"You're welcome."

"How did I not hear them?"

"You were sleeping."

"I can't believe they didn't wake me up. I'm the lightest sleeper in the world."

"Not last night. You slept through it."

"Who fights at three a.m.?"

"The a-holes behind us."

"What were they fighting about?"

"I couldn't hear them that well."

"Were they swearing at each other?"

"I heard swearing, I think. "

"You think? Could you at least make out any words?"

"Not really." 

"Honey! I need specifics!  'You sh*t head! You embarrassed me tonight!"  'I hate your eff'n friends!' Anything like that?"


"Come on, man. Think! Three a.m.! Something big must've happened. Did someone yell, 'That's it, you bastard! I've had it with you! Take your hoot and your coot and get oot.' "

"No one would ever yell something that dumb during an argument."

"Dumber things have been yelled during arguments."

"Next time they have an argument at three a.m., I'll wake you up."


"I give you my word." 

Monday, February 14, 2022

Say It Every Day

"Love, look at the two of us, strangers in many ways." I don't need Valentine's Day to sing this old Carpenters song to longtime hubby at least once, if not twice a month, with my own special Ethel Merman spin. Not that the lyrics apply to us. Five decades in, we're not strangers in any way. He knows me too well. He knows I'm a little too honest at times. And he's fine with that. But don't take my word for it. On this Valentine's Day, 2022, let's double-check:

"Honey, are you okay with how honest I am?" 

"Do I have a choice?" 

See. Acceptance is so important in a healthy marriage. But how did I get here? How did I arrive at this honest approach to marriage, and so much more? I caught it from my parents. They were big fans of honesty, even if it hurt. More importantly, they were big fans of saying, "I love you." A lot. Not a day went by when I didn't hear them say, "I love you." To each other. To their children. Sometimes it came with an addendum. "I don't always like you, but I always love you." Not a day goes by when I don't say "I love you" to my family and friends, and of course, the Royal Rescue Pup. I have my parents to thank for that. So don't wait for Valentine's Day, Birthdays, or National Ice Scream Day to say it. Say "I love you" every day. It's good for you. It's the best part of being alive. 

Monday, January 10, 2022

Denial, Bargaining & What To Wear

Chris Rose, on her way to somewhere wonderful

It's not the kind of invitation delivered via Evite. It doesn't come with a gift registry, a list of hotels, or directions to the rehearsal dinner. How do you rehearse for this kind of thing, anyway? You really can't. There are too many variables, too many unknowns. Some happen at a cemetery. Others at a lovely location. The one we went to yesterday, in honor of our dear friend Chris Rose, the kindest, gentlest, sweetest soul, took place at a beautiful country club, her home away from home. 

Given all the stages of grief, I'm kinda surprised Kubler-Ross left out the one that always hits me the hardest, pre-memorial. I'm referring to the most unspoken stage of all: What To Wear. I know, it makes me sound shallow and not terribly evolved. Too bad. I was honoring a wonderful lady I absolutely adored. I needed to look nice. I couldn't show up in my standard Pandemic-wear. Sweatpants, faded T-shirt and slippers. The wardrobe issue overwhelmed me, and soon, I slipped into Denial. Until Thursday, when reality set in. I needed to perform an emergency dress intervention without entering a germ-ridden mall. I ordered a black dress online, and paid way too much for shipping. What's more enticing than "Two-day delivery?" At this moment in my life, nothing. I felt so good. I knew Chris, who always looked sharp, would approve. 

But then, the cruel emails started arriving: "Your shipment is being prepared!" "Your shipment is on its way!" "Your shipment will arrive on Monday!" Excuse me? Monday? I didn't pay extra for Monday. The memorial is Sunday. Boom. I slipped into Bargaining. If I promise to be the best human ever, the dress will arrive on Saturday. If I track the shipment, and keep tracking it, the dress will arrive on Saturday. It didn't help that FedEx kept teasing me. "Your package is in Bloomington, California!" Where the @#$% is that? I looked it up. Somewhere in San Bernardino? At least it wasn't Indiana. 

I toggled in and out of Denial, Anger, Bargaining and Depression. Back and forth I went, managing to fit in a new stage: Noshing. "This cookie will make me feel better." And it did. By Friday night, I landed on Acceptance. I went into my closet, grabbed a dress that might be too cheerful for a memorial, and decided it was okay. Not great. But okay. A sense of calm descended. I knew that Chris, who faced many challenges in her life, including the death of her beloved son, was guiding me, telling me to chill. I knew we would've had a good laugh over my wardrobe insanity the next time we ran into each other at Gelson's. Saturday afternoon, the dress arrived. Chris was working her special brand of magic from the Great Beyond. 

Friday, December 31, 2021

Shalom, 2021

So, it's the final day of this crapola year, and I've already replaced my 2021 calendar on the fridge with my 2022. I'm tempted to leave my 2021 up on the fridge, not because the pages announce wonderful upcoming events. I pretty much stayed home again. Calendar-wise, it's hard for me to take down 2021. Every month features a fabulous photo of my granddaughter, frozen in time. 

But time marches on, and so must my calendar, an old school tradition I will never surrender, Dorothy. Never. At the moment, like so many of us, I feel like I'm marching in reverse. Double-vaxxed and boosted, we almost made it out of 2021 without someone in the family catching you-know-what. Then, right before Christmas, four treasured someones got the omnipresent, dreaded It. My eldest, his wife, their toddler and baby boy. Scary doesn't quite cover it. They're much better now, recovered, kina hora. We're incredibly grateful and relieved. If there's ever a time to count blessings, and keep counting them, it's today. 

So, as my late great Daddy Ben used to say, "Onward!" Let's put one foot in front of the other and try not to trip. Let's keep marching toward the good things that await us. 
Happy New Year! 

Saturday, December 18, 2021

When She Smiles That Smile

When a guy turns thirty he must declare
His plans for the future with utmost care
So he calls up the bar where they first met
Arranges a surprise she won't forget

Inside Blue Collar a song starts to play
The same song that played on that fateful day
He takes out a ring, gets down on one knee
Looks up and inquires, "Will you marry me?"

The gal he adores wipes some tears away
It's hard to keep her emotions at bay
Her answer relieves him of all his stress
When she smiles that smile, and gives him a yes

Sunday, November 28, 2021

A Latke For Your Thought-Ke


Nothing rhymes with latkes
In English that is true
In Yiddish try gatkes
Long underwear to you 

Shredded spuds, golden brown
A Hanukkah delight
Grab a plate, sit right down
Menorahs shining bright

Fried or baked or frozen
It's all delish to me
Some may call us Chosen
Ask Judah Maccabee