Friday, September 28, 2007

A pair of black, spike-heeled boots

While standing on the train station platform this morning in my jeans and sneakers because it was “causal Friday,” I spied a cute young woman further down, wearing her stylish off-white, belted trench coat, and a pair of black ankle boots complete to with pointy toes and high spiked heels. Although probably “trendy” as my daughter would say, all I could think was “Jeez, how does that chick walk in those boots?” I also noted that she was standing smack-dab in the middle of the platform, and those traversing in one direction or another had to either move to walk behind her, or walk along the outside edge of the platform in front of her in order to make their way past. That was kind of rude and very poor commuter etiquette. But then again, maybe she wanted to make sure we all saw her spike-heeled ankle boots.

I’d like to say that were I twenty-five years younger I would have been wearing those boots, however, I know myself pretty well and would in all likelihood be wearing a black tulle skirt with matching combat boots. I’m not the spike-heeled type, although I do own a pair of really cute black, summer sandals with a spike heel, which I can walk all of two feet in before they start to kill me. I wore them on a date last summer, although I did not actually put them on until I was almost where I needed to go, stashing my flip-flops in the bag I was carrying, with my date, none the wiser.

While thinking about that experience I simultaneously wondered how this girl manages to walk in NYC wearing that type of footwear. I used to think “What’s the big deal? When you use the train or subway to move from place to place, why worry about comfortable shoes….you’re sitting down a lot.” Of course that is so not the case as I’ve come to learn, more than once the hard way and I still have the blisters to prove it. I’ve walked miles recently while using public transportation and decided I need to keep a pair of sneakers at work, just in case I have to go somewhere that requires walking I didn’t plan to do while wearing a cute pair of shoes. Frequently when I “Hop Stop” my subway directions I fail to notice just how far I have to walk from then I get off of, to where I want to end up. Walking is not normally a problem for me and I enjoy doing it, but only if I’m wearing the appropriated footwear.

I did sort of wistfully gaze at those ankle boots though, and think “Well, maybe I could wear them around the house.”

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Death warmed over

Somebody please take me out into the back yard and put me out of my misery. I have been sick since yesterday and today has been the worst! I have a massive cold and I’m running a temperature and I have just added Robitussen to my self-medication regime. And just so you know how bad this is, I didn’t even taste the Robitussen when I took it….. for anyone who has ever taken Robitussen, you know how yucky it is and to not have been able to taste is says a lot.

It’s unfortunate that I’m still in my probationary period at my new job or I would be staying home tomorrow. That period ends on Friday…… of course, and by which time I’m hoping to feel better. I could really have used a sick day tomorrow though, but considering I just signed an apartment lease, working a day without pay is not an option.

Yes, today I signed a lease on an apartment and I’m so excited about it…even if I feel like crap. Right now my fantasy is to have a nice guy in that apartment, who I really, really like, and who will run me a bath, make me tea and rub my back. Oh, and who would also know what to do about the “check engine light” that came on in my car tonight. That’s really a moot point since I’m selling my car, however I though I’d add it to the “guy wish list” just in case. I’ve already written about “car dilemmas” so I won’t go back down that road at this time though.

So, even though I feel like “death warmed over,” (a favorite saying of my father’s), and my car has decided it needs it’s engine checked, I’m getting a place of my own to live in…….how freakin’ cool is that?!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

11 secrets most men keep

I took this directly off of AOL tonight. In my new life, I've been doing a good deal of reading about relationships and what makes them work. This way, if one should happen my way I'll be better prepared.

I wonder what men think about these 11 secrets?

My comments are in blue, and not to be taken as part of this article.

"Magazine writer and editor Ty Wenger revealed in Redbook what every woman wants to know: What secrets is her husband keeping from her?Although men who tell too many lies and keep too many secrets risk souring a relationship from lack of trust, some of the more innocuous lies are told and secrets are kept to keep the peace. That is the kind of secret Wenger is revealing. And ladies, some of these secrets will melt your heart and make you so happy you married the man you did. 11 secrets most men keep, including your husband:

1. Yes, he falls in lust 10 times a day -- but it doesn't mean he wants to leave you. Yes, men like to look. Overall, they don't need the cerebral to get them going like most women do.

2. He actually does play golf to get away from you. I think time away from each other is a wonderful thing. Everyone needs their own interests in order to be well rounded people and partners.

3. He is unnerved by the notion of commitment, even after he has made one to you. Really?

4. Earning money makes him feel important. Not so much for me.

5. Though he often protests, he actually enjoys fixing things around the house. I don't really care if he can fix stuff, as long as he knows who to call when the stuff he can't fix, breaks.

6. He likes it when you mother him, but he's terrified that you'll become your mother. Me too! And, I do love my mother.

7. Every year he loves you more. That is so sweet. I'll have a man like this please.

8. He really doesn't understand what you're talking about when you discuss "issues" in your relationship. It makes no sense at all to him -- even though he will nod in agreement and apparent understanding. I don't think this is true for all men. I think this statement sells men short. I know a number of really great men who understand relationship issues and are good at talking about them.

9. He is terrified when you drive. I'm a great driver, even if I am slightly on the aggressive side.

10. He'll always wish he was 25 again. Not me....I'm loving where I am in life.

11. Give him an inch and he'll give you a lifetime. Translation: Let him be a dumb guy and play poker with his buddies or go on vacation alone, and he'll love you forever for that. 'And that's the truth,' insists Wegner. "

(Source: Redbook)

Friday, September 21, 2007

Beach scented perfume

Published in the Long Island Advance, September 20th

Last Sunday night was the one of those perfect evenings for walking. Almost fall like, it was cool and clear and the scents that perfumed the air overwhelmed me.

When walking outdoors, I have a few routes that I take that always lead me to the bay. Even on very cold winter days, that’s the direction I head, never north, always south, because I love the smell of the sea air.

On this particular evening as I started out toward the bay the first scent I noticed was that of a backyard fire place. I love the smell of fire places and used to have one in my yard. We would sit around it at night, drink coffee, talk with whoever showed up to sit and watch the fire burn, and listen to the Screech Owl that lived in the woods nearby.

Layered over top of the burning wood smell, was the scent of autumn clematis in full bloom. Growing vigorously throughout the summer, it blooms in a mass of tiny white flowers that perfume the air with a heady, sweet scent. This particular smell I recognized immediately, having planted this variety of clematis in my garden years ago and each summer, watching as it climbed its way up the side of my dining room window, with the scent of the tiny white flowers traveling into the house on the heels of the breeze that blew in through the open windows.

As I got closer to the bay, the scent of the sea air mingling with the others made me feel wistful, missing home before I have even left it. I love this smell, the smell of the bay and nearby ocean, that mixture of seaweed and salt, shells and suntan lotion. I have a “sun and sand” candle and a perfume called “Beach,” both of which if I close my eyes and breath in deeply, remind me of what it’s like to lie on the beach and listen to the surf roll onto shore, and watch the gulls as they glide on the ocean breezes.

As I continued my walk my son pulled up to the stop sign on the corner of Brook Street and Rider Ave. Having only seen him a short while before for dinner, it was amusing to run into him again so soon. Further up the road, I saw my father as he rode his bike across Rider, heading back home from his evening bike ride and one of my old neighbors as she cut her lawn. It’s odd to feel so excited about moving away and so sad about it too, sad to think about missing out on these every day encounters that for so long I have taken for granted.

My pile of boxes in the living room of my brother’s house is getting larger. I keep trying to keep in mind what he said when I was starting to say good-bye. (I’ve been starting to say good-bye in a variety of ways for a while now.) He reminded me that I’m moving to Queens, not California. I often use that line when talking about my move to other family members, like my 12 year old niece Regina, who I have also lived with for the past three years. We are making plans now for things she would like to do when she comes to visit me. This way, she too can be excited when I move, and not sad.

There’s a very good possibility that the next time I appear here, I will have written this column from an apartment in Jackson Heights. Hopefully I will be able to regal you with amusing tales and observations about how different life will become. I’m thinking that possibly I can get over the homesick part prior to actually leaving, at least that’s what I’m going to hope will happen. I’m feeling a bit dramatic about it all; you would think that I wasn’t planning to be back at least every other weekend. And in between, I can always turn out the lights, light my “sun and sand” candle, spray on my “Beach” perfume and close my eyes and breathe deeply.

(I can't believe I still have not posted my birthday column. Actually, I'm still working on it. )

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Another birthday.....

I can't believe that I didn't put a post up on what was a very big birthday for me...the half century mark....50! I did have a column in the newspaper where I wrote all about it, but....I couldn't say all I wanted to say.....hence, I'm still working on it to post here.

I'll be back soon....

Thursday, September 06, 2007

A new chapter begins

Published in the Long Island Advance
September 6, 2007

I’m back again, sitting in Brian’s chair and trying to come up with a plausible reason why I do this. Why I write these guest columns where the letter “I” shows up way too many times. It might have to do with the fact that I’m a social worker by nature, if not by degree. I process my life, and the lives of those I know in words, thoughts and feelings. I started out writing for myself as a means to see in a concrete way where I was coming from, and going too, and I have come to share this journey in a very public way with those of you who read what I write.

When setting out on this journey to create a new life, my decision was to make it as big and bold as it could be, and my hope was that others might see themselves reflected here as well. And, at this very moment I’ve come to the end of a chapter….and a new one is beginning.

While sitting in a friend’s kitchen in Greenwich Village one day last week I wondered out loud how I came to be at this point in my life and how it happened so fast. Not actually sitting in his kitchen, I know how I came to be there, but how I’ve reached the point where I’m on the cusp of accomplishing the last of three very large goals I set for myself two years ago.

Twenty-nine years ago I left my parents home to get married. Three years ago I left that home due to circumstances that so often happen in our lives, prompting us to choose different paths to follow. Three years ago I could never have envisioned this new life that’s unfolding in front of me.

When I was 5 or 6, I can distinctly remember looking out the window of our yellow, wood paneled station wagon as we drove through midtown Manhattan on our way to visit my grandparents in Pennsylvania, and telling my parents that one day I wanted to live in Manhattan. The sights, the sounds, the “bigness” of it all were so very appealing to me and for a number of years that was the vision I carried around in my head. Somewhere along the way I think I became afraid, afraid of living my life and my sister took over that dream and made it her own, at least for a little while. My fear was unconscious and my vision became buried somewhere deep inside of me, until it was surprisingly set free by life circumstances. Now that it’s taken flight, there’s no telling where it will end up…this vision of mine.

Today is September 6th and I am about to contact a realtor to begin apartment hunting in Queens. It may not be Manhattan, but it’s darn close. Not only will I be looking for a home of my own, I will be looking for it in the place I so long ago felt drawn to. It’s both exciting and frightening to teeter on the rim of this precipice.

As I stand here at the edge of a new beginning, I wonder about the journeys that others of you have taken, the steps and missteps, the laughter, and the tears that you shed along the way. As an observer and one who always has an opinion, I would love to hear your stories and continue to share mine with you, no matter how infrequently I can be found sitting in Brian’s chair. Yes, I write from a woman’s perspective, yet that is not the only point I can see from. If you would like to share any of your stories with me, please feel free. I’m going apartment hunting now, but….I’ll be back.