Friday, December 26, 2008

Blabber Mouth

My hands are tied. (not literally) I want to tell you about a date I had, but I can't. I told him about this blog. I'm a blabber mouth. My stupid ego made me. How can I make fun of him now? He's not for me, but he is a sweet guy. I can't diss him when I know he's going to read it. Apparently, I have scrupples. Funny word...scrupples. Anyway, I have them so no jabs about him here.

I did meet someone on line who is fun and energetic and good-looking. I confessed in my profile that I'm addicted to Utz dark pretzels and he wrapped them up in Christmas wrapping and gave them to me at our first meeting last week. Nice, nice start. I'm seeing him again tomorrow night. He also knows about this blog...Hello Daniel!

Okay...that's it. No more about dating until I have something concrete to say. It did shock me and must report back to you that there are lots and lots of 50 something men out there who when asked if they want children answer, "Undecided."

Are they nuts? Well, they certainly aren't having them with me...my eggs are dead. Well, even if they were alive - that ship has passed.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day passed too. Now at holiday three without Jimmy it's more comfortable to entertain and celebrate with many of the same friends from "before." I strive to incorporate yesterday with today. Life moves along and and I float with it staying on course to the future while I peek back almost to ask permission.

The permission thing reminds me of my old (and fired) bereavement shrink, Gene. She told me that when a widow wants to remarry she goes to the cemetery to ask permission. I told her that made sense to me...and she said, "Really? Well, isn't it interesting that none of the husbands ever say "no."

Good one, Gene....but I still don't miss you.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Where Are All The Funny Guys?

Banter is everything to me. Funny banter. I say this. He says that. We collapse (not literally) in laughter. I took for granted that all couples do it - like sex. On both fronts I was wrong. (People confide in me...)

Laughing together is like making love with your clothes on. Jimmy and I spent a lifetime laughing. Early in our marriage I learned that pointing and laughing when your husband is nude is a no-no. Pointing is fine. Laughing is great. Undressed, the combo is a mood breaker.

Armed with that vital morsel of experience I am marching into the world. First I trotted out to the virtual world. Then, I progressed to talking on the phone. Can someone please tell me... where are all the funny guys?

I've talked to four perspective dates this week and maybe I need a new vitamin regiment, but the drone of their voices made me fight to stay awake. I know I'm a tough audience, but don't start a sentence by saying, "This is a funny story." It's not. Nine times out of ten it's a bedtime story.

I love the ones who say, "I have a great sense of humor." Should they have to announce it?

Guess what, Mr. Catskills, we've been on the phone for seven or eight minutes already. That humor should have surfaced by now.

"Do you keep a Kosher home?" is on the J-date form and according to my nephew Chuck, "If you keep Kosher you can't be funny." His theory is not mixing meat and dairy takes too much concentration and this causes you to be serious. Apparently, lack of pork in the home strips you of your funny bone.

On Saturday night I have a date with someone kosher. He's seems like a sweet man, a widower and I'm hoping it was his wife who insisted they keep their kitchen kosher. Maybe, he just needs someone to accidentally bring him a ham and cheese sandwich and plop it on his counter.

That ought to test his sense of humor.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Liar Liar Pants on Fire

On line dating may not require hair and make-up but it's ridiculously time consuming. Scanning profiles and photos is like looking at a police line up, but instead of picking out the serial killer we hope to choose the cop.

The same man who in the future will probably sit silently on the couch refusing to "talk about it" relentlessly sends me messages, virtual roses and chocolates, all his phone numbers, his fax and e-mail address and the deed to his house.

They see I'm a comedy writer. They make feeble attempts at humor. 99% of the time humorless Charlie Rose is funnier.

They also lie. I called someone who claimed to be 61. We were on the phone less than five minutes when he confessed to being 68. They are always "Youthful and energetic" - "No one can believe my age" they all say. This is why they lie.

"Would you have called me if you knew I was 68?" he asks. "NO" I answered loudly.

It turns out his ex-wife is my age and graduated Jamaica High School the same year as I did. I probably know her. I wonder, was it the same woman who I saw two months ago at my 40th reunion ranting about her "asshole ex-husband?"

He refused to tell me her name. Not that I'm marrying him, but it would have been a time saver. Shelly Winters said, "When you are planning to marry someone go to lunch with his ex-wife."

The same "catches" pop up on the other sites, too and not to be paranoid, in one instance I felt I was being virtually stalked. YESTERDAY I joined Jdate and someone from Plenty of Fish or was it e-harmony?... instant messaged me TODAY.

I finally called him and although he seemed sweet and fun, it didn't take long for him to confess that he wasn't only married twice, but three times. Next up was his omission on his profile that he was unemployed.

Now I'm wary of these 60 somethings who write "retired" under "occupation"... When they say they're "good in the kitchen," could they mean "Soup kitchen?"

In his attempt to be charming this guy wooed me with the old joke "My boss told me two words that made it impossible for me to work there any longer. "You're fired" I said jumping on his punchline.

And, I meant it, too. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...Oh, Happy Thanksgiving.





Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Dating on Line

I posted this photo of me. I hope nobody notices
that there's a hand growing out of my shoulder.

I went and did it. Yes. I joined TWO dating services, eharmony.com and Plentyof fish.com. Filling out the questionnaire made me come face to face with the fact that I have no interests. I have no hobbies unless you count shopping, reading, watching TV and opening the mail.

I do zero physical activities except for the dancing lessons and I hesitate to make too big a deal out of that because the lower the expectations the better. My teacher, Rainer told me I started in Kindergarten and now 8 months later I'm in 8th grade.

It's progress, but I'm limited to the Hustle and the Fox Trot and I need someone not only to lead me, but to place me. Or, better yet, RE-place me. I'll just sit it out and watch.

Not to be labeled superficial I didn't circle the highest number when asked "How important are looks to you?" I circled the next to highest so I wouldn't be matched with the guy in the deli who has one tooth.

This was a huge mistake. I should have insisted my match have a good set of dentures. E-harmony paired me with extremely odd looking men. This was discouraging. At this service they match you with who they think you'd like based on what you write.

For age I put down for 54-62 and click - a match with Ken from Freeport - Aged 60, a widower for almost ten years. Very good looking photo, gray hair and mustache, sweet smile and broad shoulders. He said he was 5'7" and I happen to like shorter men - anyone over 5'10 is just unnecessary extra height. But, I'm thinking if he wrote 5'7 he could be a midget.

We talked on the phone. It went smoothly. Gene, my ex-bereavement shrink told me when I begin to go out with men I will be emotionally back to the age before I married Jimmy. Not true. I've still lived in the world all these years. I kinda sorta almost know how to talk to a man without being uptight or slutty...a balance is the answer...I think. Okay...perhaps Gene had a point.

We met for lunch. He told the truth about his height. However, his photo was so old it may have been from his Bar Mitzvah album. The photo was a good (or bad) 8 years old. A lot happens to a face in 8 years, trust me.

A pleasant lunch. He asked me out again. I said something like 'uh, um, well, humph...' He understood. He suggested I call him if I change my mind. I offered to pay half. Happily, he said no.

On plenty of fish the questionnaire is not as intense and you get to "shop" for your match. They
select a group of men that might be a good "catch" but you can look at any one's profile and photo. It keeps you very busy, this site.

Several men were interesting and good looking and many sent me a message. I've corresponded with a few and not sure about giving out my phone number. Then, if I call them...they have it in their phone. Tricky.

It's strange, but I always played this game with myself: I would observe Jimmy from across a table or at the other end of a room and I'd ask myself: If I didn't know him would I want to get to know him? My answer was always yes. I wonder if eharmony would have paired us.

Anyway, just for the record and just to brag many men like older women. Hector at 23 was not as unusual as I thought. Gee...a baby of 26 was very persistant yesterday and today a young guy of 37. Put their ages together and I've got a match.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Obama and I Both Won Florida

Someone in the news today said that John McCain is about yesterday and Barack Obama is about the future.

After spending this past weekend in Florida I'm feeling much more future orientated in my own little world and therefore I'm in tune with our new almost President. He and I are practically one. An overstatment? I don't think so.

As some of you may know, my sense of direction is non-existent. Somehow, though, I was able to travel the roads of Florida and find my way. From the Ft. Lauderdale Airport, to Marion and Marcel (40 minutes away in Lake Worth) to Blondie and Barry in Coral Springs (another 30 minutes) to Mimi Scott in Hollywood and then back to the airport.

I was so impressed with myself my head was spinning around...which really made looking at the road ahead even more of a challenge.

You think electing the first black president is a miracle? Me, renting a car and programing a GPS and not mixing up the point A and B and winding up on road Z is like waking up from a lifelong coma.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Care to Comment?

Okay...I read the last comment from Carol (not me...I'm not so lame that I comment on my own blog.)

I re-read it. I read it again. I still have NO idea what she meant. I feel so dumb. Can anyone out there s'plain it to me?

Thanks in advance...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What Is This Thing Called "Dating?"

All right - so I put the ca bosh on sex with Hector. It may be something I'll regret especially considering I tell Jackie and Doug "We regret the things we don't do more than the things we do."

Ah, no one listens to me, anyway...why should I?

Here I am, a widow for two and a half years and still no date for the prom. (just an expression...I'm not really going to the prom)

I've sporadically gone to dinner, to a movie (okay once) and for drinks. A handful of men and no chemistry. What's the point? Until I meet someone I can't keep my hands off:

I'd rather play hide and seek with Skylar than hide in the ladies room praying my date will pay the check and go home.

I'd rather write in my blog while I sit in my underwear than be with an ugly 60 year old who farts in his.

I'd rather snuggle with my dog Tony than dance with a guy who has longer back hair than him.

I'd rather rent "Dumb and Dumber" for a laugh than be with a guy who's funniest part is his face.

Yup...I'm ready for a little romance - I accept that Jimmy isn't coming home for dinner. I haven't lost my appetite. I'm just a picky eater.










Saturday, October 11, 2008

What The Hec-tor!

He's 23 and he wants me. Yes. You heard me twenty-three years old. Even to a cougar this would be smutty. A score, but smutty. A smutty score.

The odds are that Hector won't be reading this blog. English is his second language. I'm guessing Spanish is his first, although through his heavy accent it's kinda difficult to tell.

Who cares? I understand him fine when he says "I've been thinking about you all day." WOW...which is MOM upside down...which is what he might call me if he thought about our age difference. (35 years)

Hector and I met when I hired him last month to barbecue. Immediately I saw that he really knew how to work my grill. My guests were drinking and teasing him...suggesting he wear a speedo and "Hey, Hector - aren't you hot by the heat? How about you take off your shirt?"

He smiled good natured pretending not to understand - and at the time I was thinking he was thinking "What a bunch of old pathetic drunk people."

Well, this pathetic old drunk person locked eyes with him in the kitchen. When he leaned over the counter and told me "You have beautiful eyes" I batted them. Isn't that what a woman does when a man tells her this? Who knows? It's been a while.

Perhaps, I encouraged him. I sampled those 23 year old lips right after I slipped him the 100 bucks for cooking and clean-up. In the dining room away from wide eyes and big mouth friends we kissed...a nice kiss that promised future kisses, etc.

The next day he called. I thought, "Boy, whatever outfit I wore yesterday...I'm wearing that everyday."

I put him off. Embarrassed and a little unable to understand him on the phone, I found out he is one of 19 brothers and sisters. He's a middle child, but in his family middle is number nine.

He probably didn't get too much attention growing up and one thing's for sure - he's used to sharing his bed.

I actually considered it. I knew in my travels I would never be the pick of the day in a room full of 25, 35, and 45 year old women. Maybe, I could hold my own next to a 50 year old, but Hector was my ticket for unpaid sex with a stud.

He continued to call every week wisely not referring to me as "Mommy." Just yesterday I firmly explained to him that I need to be with someone who remembers where they were when Kennedy was shot...

That's my criteria and I'm sticking to it. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...



Friday, September 26, 2008

Marty's Party

Marty & Me

Marty Fischer was my friend for more than 20 years. He died of a heart attack Monday night at age 61. He was the big brother I never had.

I did have a big sister, who was a lesbian and quite the dike to boot, but Doreen, gone now 11 years from drug abuse and taking herself too seriously, really didn't fit the brother role as well as Marty did.

I could count on Marty. I could count on Marty to council me and to comfort me and yes, to let me know when I disappointed him. He was a sensitive soul. He was sweet coupled with an irritating way that each day was a new day to prove my allegiance and love to him.

That part sucked. But, that part was only a small part of Marty. Marty lived to make people happy. He'd be the first person to party more after the party ended. His recent hangout was the downtown restaurant La Mela, but Brooklyn born Marty was Mr. Diner.

Oh, and Mr. Chinese buffet. This is where "Marty's Party" began. Years ago a Chinese maitre d directed Jimmy and me to a backroom gathering that Marty was hosting, "You here for Marty's Party?" Since then I called him this and began all my e-mails to him, "Hi Marty's Party,"

No one could pile a plate higher and dig in deeper than Marty. And, the check always mysteriously disappeared, paid by, you guessed it, Marty.

The man loved to eat because he loved to live. For him, it was all about excess. Maybe, it was his play for broke habits that killed him. Or, maybe, acutely aware that his father died in his early sixties of heart disease, Marty was racing the clock.

He struggled to get it all in. He did it his way. He played Blackjack just enough that it hurt to lose. He invested in edgy businesses he had a passion for, mainly comedy clubs. This is where Marty shined. He immersed himself in comedy management. He drank in the comedy scene and comics loved and respected him. And, not for nothing, he was funnier than most.

He beamed when a comedian came off the stage, went right to his table and thanked him for the opportunity. He beamed even larger when big name comics were introduced to him and they shook his hand and said, "Of course, I know Marty Fischer!"

Ten years ago Marty sponsored me for Friars Club. I'd watch him schmooze with the staff, the members, the waiters. He had a special relationship with the waiters because "They give me stuff that's not on the menu."

As generous as Marty was, he had an area that prevented him from spending. We all have it, I guess. Jimmy could spend a fortune on a horse, but buying paper cups was "wasteful." With Marty if he got something for nothing it was not only a coo, but it must be used.

His business card printer misspelled his name, Martin FISHER - left out the c. He let Marty have them for free. Marty gave them out and then bitched that people misspelled his name.

A man about town, he loved most being with his grandsons, Alex, 5 and a half and Evan 2 and a half. And they worshipped him. The other grandpa is also named Marty, so the boys called him "Grandpa Marty Who Lives Alone." But, he was never really alone.

Marty was a fixture in so many lives and it's almost impossible to believe he's gone. Little by little, if we live long enough, the people we love disappear. We can't call them on the phone or touch them, but we can remember them. I know this isn't an original thought. It's universal. It's human.
In a few weeks Marty's friends, comics and family will gather to have a Comedy Tribute to him, a parade of loved ones to celebrate his life. We will attempt to give him the last Marty's Party.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Real Kodak Moments Don't Need Photos

I heard that photos are the most googled. People don't care about reading the text. They want to look at the image. Sarah Palin (Don't get me started...) is now the "person most googled" Although, she may be grouped in with Tina Fey.

I was always the picture taker in our family. Jimmy's theory was if it's important enough it will be etched in our memory. In other words, if it's a Kodak moment we don't need Kodak.

That said, he never anticipated the need to look over our life the way I do. Had I died maybe he'd be sorry that I was behind the camera and not in front of it. Okay. I take that back. Here I am assuming he'd be continually pouring over pictures of me. hahahahaha...Wait...Why am I laughing?

The other day an incident happened that forced me to consider that maybe kinda sorta Jimmy's theory had a speck of truth to it. As you see, it's difficult for me, even now to admit that in 33 years of marriage he may have been right - once.

Jackie was busy and I got Skylar off her school bus. I will never ever forget (although, it's only been 48 hours...ask me next year) the bus door opening to that little blond angelic face wearing grey sweatpants and a pink and white striped dress and an Ariel backpack. She stood on the top step and screeched"Grandma!" She leaped into my arms. Luckily I caught her.

We were still hugging as the bus pulled away. Later I thought of my in-laws. I remembered how overwhelmed they would be at a simple moment with my kids. They would both say,

"This has been the most wonderful day of my life!"
I'd think, "What the f%#@ is wrong with you?"

Now, I know. There was nothing wrong with them. They were grandparents...

P.S. If I had a photo I'd post it...See - Jimmy was wrong again!

Monday, September 08, 2008

House (Not the TV show)

72% of widows move within the first two years. hahahaha...I just made up that statistic. How would I know?

Many non-widows (is that like non-Jews? ) suggest I sell the house and start fresh. We bought this house 21 years ago. I remember this because Jackie was ten and Doug was six. Erma Bombeck said, "If we didn't use our kids as a gage we'd never remember when things happened." I guess she was right.

So, here I am. I continue to put my energy into house projects. I won't bore you with a list, but it's significant. So significant that my friends Alex, Richie, Anderson, Robert, Nadia, and Lynn came over yesterday and maybe they were thinking what Jim Scoroposki yelled, " So this is what you did with the insurance money!"

My latest project? I paneled and put a drop ceiling in the garage. Okay. Perhaps, that wasn't necessary. Still, it's a terrific looking garage and it adds value to the house, doesn't it? Am I selling? AHHHHHHHHH...I think that's panic speaking.

Our house has always been the "go to" house just like Jimmy was the "go to" guy. We had most holidays, even the "little" ones like Prom party, Mother's Day and Fathers Day and July 4th (wait...that's not so little)

When my friends Blondie and Barry moved to Florida and came up to New York they stayed here. Same with my cousins Marion and Marcel and my brother-in-law Robert and sister-in-law Carmela. My nephew Chuck has stayed weeks at a time.

Since Jimmy died all of the above have flopped in my guestroom. I wanted to establish early on that Jimmy wasn't the only gracious one. (When my friend Connie saw my pristine garage she said, "Now we know who the slob was.") When a couple divorces see who your friends prefer...you find out who the 'dead wood' is. In death, it's simpler.

In keeping with tradition, this Sunday will be the third bridal shower in this house since Jimmy died. Over the years we hosted a million (give or take) bridal showers and baby showers here. This house has heard more "oohs and ahhs" as the bride opens her presents than Brad and Angelina hear from the crowd as they walk the red carpet.

The famous baby shower line? "Wouldn't it be funny if her water broke right here!" Not really.


Can I move away from my next door neighbors, and close friends Sheri and Fred? And, what about Debbie and Henry, a town away. AHHHHHHHH...Jackie got divorced in July and I encouraged her and Skylar to move closer to me. Happily, they did so where am I going now?

Without getting into the tragic circumstances, just last week I even held a Shiva here. So "they" think I should move, huh? Between the kids and the friends and the overnight guests, not to mention the showers and the shivas, I'll never be able to get the &%$#@ out of here.

Monday, August 25, 2008

On My Own

I just finished reading a really good book that was praised by people far more distinguished than I. (this includes the entire Tri-state area)

Eve Ensler, the author of The Vagina Monologues called Florence Falk's On My Own: The Art of Being A Woman Alone " "A call to independence and empowerment" See what I mean? I said it was "a really good book."

Amy Sohn, author of Run Catch Kiss and My Old Man wrote, "On My Own is a provocative, smart read for any woman who is alone, wants to be alone, or is figuring out how to be alone. An empowering, emotionally honest book that is long overdue." (from the library?)

Before I was virtually alone (not cyberspace virtually) I wasn't aware how many woman as Vanessa Williams sang have, "One less egg to fry." I love these lyrics. The line "one less man to pick up after" gives me the chills. It's so simple while it says it.

I'm a little confused about the title, though. "One Less Bell To Answer" - Why would your husband be ringing the bell? Wouldn't he have a key?

Anyway, finding your own situation in others is an old story. When you're shopping for lamps you notice lamps. In the market for a white car? Every car on the road is white. Thinking of joining a cult? Suddenly, everyone is wearing moccasins. It's a phenomenon.

Yesterday's New York Times Modern Love column in the Style Section had a line that jumped out at me (not literally) Bob Morris, the author wrote about marrying his boyfriend now that gay marriage is an option. He writes: "As someone who has been a defensive single most of my adult life, I still believe that solitude makes you a deeper person, not a lesser one."

While I was skimming, I mean reading Ms. Falk's book I nodded (off to sleep?) ...in agreement that I could truly become deeper simply by reprogramming my feeble brain to believe that
it's possible to befriend aloneness.

This goes against my claims as Dr. Friendship that "If you're your own best friend you need to get out more." I've staked my illustrious (or lack luster) career on the platform - "Hugging oneself may be good for the soul, but bad for the back." Let's face it. It's an awkward position.

I've always laughed at that love yourself first crap, but now that I have no choice (I have one less bell to answer) it may be time to look in the mirror and smile.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I Fired My Shrink

My bereavement shrink reminds me of Bette Davis. I half expect her to crazy dance and sing "I've Written a Letter to Daddy."

She hasn't signed my a clean bill of health yet, but when that day happens will it really count? Gene's judgement is as credible as John Edwards. I'll feel like I cheated on a mid-term, slept with the teacher or donated a wing to the school.

I've been seeing her since December of '06 so she has helped me through some tough times, although she's gotten tougher herself each visit. She's like a Mom I continue to disappoint.

With each shake of her head I feel she's saying I ought to go out into the world and embrace widowhood. "There's no shame in telling people your husband died. You didn't kill him."

Yet, I am self conscious. And, I still belittle him in my mind. How could a big, boisterous, intelligent man, a man I counted on for all the major decisions, allow a few little cancer cells to do him in?

I may not know how to analyze a company and until recently I thought a balance sheet had a thread count, but I feel superior. I've stayed alive longer. That's twisted, I know. I expected Gene to help me with that.

She boasts that she's seen "thousands" of clients and this is quite common. I am quite common.
We wait while I re-vavel what has unraveled. I can wait alone. Who needs her?

She tells me that I still think like a married woman. She tells me I'm naive. She says, "Do you really think your daughter doesn't lie to you?" Um...That hadn't occurred to me...not at 31 years old...

When I ask Gene a question she says, "How should I know?" This reminds me of how when Jimmy and I would watch TV and I would comment, "Why is that woman running away from that man?"

Jimmy would say, "How should I know? I started watching when you did." I wasn't

really expecting an answer.

Sometimes, I do expect an answer. Gene answers, "I can't tell you what to do."

I haven't officially fired Gene. I told her I'd call her for a next appointment. I considering not calling.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Skylar - Our Little Blonde Flower Girl

 
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Skylar and Adrianna

On Saturday my God-daughter Katharine married Pete - they looked so happy they actually sparkled! Skylar was one of the two flower girls.

Just nine months ago she was the flower girl for Katharine's sister Kristi...We're thinking of renting her out. Any interest? Oh, is this legal?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

It Is What It Is

Today is two years and four months since Jimmy died. When someone asks me how long it's been do I say "A little over two years" "Almost two and a half years" or "Two years and four months?" And, what do I say two weeks from now?

Or, does it matter? It is what it is. I love that expression. It covers a whole lot of situations and it's neither negative or positive. It's acceptance. I accept whatever I can't change. It is what it is. That's emotionally healthy. Isn't it? Just checking...

I recently heard a newscaster say, "BACK in 2006." If I was in a coma and just woke up I'd be worried. I'd assume the year was 2016 or more. I'd demand to see a newspaper. Stat.

I used stat because it's a hospital term. I figure I'd be in a hospital. I'm sure my kids wouldn't want me snoring and dribbling on their carpet for years. Actually, even a few minutes of that would be disturbing.

We're only half way through 2008. Is it accurate to say "BACK in 2006?" Not for me. That was two years and four months ago. And, I'm still back there a good part of each day.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Like a Virgin

"I crack my knuckles." That's what I tell people when they ask me what I do for exercise. If they press me, I elaborate, "Not just my fingers, I crack almost every bone in my body every few hours."

They think I'm kidding. So, I give them a show. I bend slightly backwards and my left hip goes 'pop' - I continue with my knees, my shoulders and by the time I'm up to my neck most normal people yell "stop."

Apparently, it's disconcerting to watch, to hear and I can see that it may be perhaps something I ought to do in private. Don't ask me about my exercise program, then.

Why do I have to watch sweaty men and women who are decades past looking reasonably attractive in short-shorts walk briskly by my house swinging their arms like military rejects? Stay home on your tread mill or join a gym, cheapskates!

This small rant is a result of my recent dance lesson. The Hustle is making a comeback and so am I. Since February, twice a week, my dance instructor, Rainer Trubere at Dancesport has been tackling a nearly impossible task. I may be too white, too Jewish and too old to stand up straight, but Rainer is determined to break my lifelong habit of zero activity.

This sweet, misguided man has vowed to "clean me up." In layman terms, this means my posture will no longer resemble the Tim Conway character on the old Carol Burnett Show.

Rainer dances as gracefully as a ballet dancer, yet excels in every possible sport. He is totally physical. And, as we know, I'm anything but. Luckily, his rigorous training for his body has bumped up his endurance for the mental anguish I drop on him each session. His sense of humor has kept him from a breakdown and more important, has saved me from being strangled.

The other evening we both learned something significant. I'd like to shout it out here out so I can virtually stick my tongue out to all the middle aged know it all "athletes" who may be taking a break to sit down and read a blog.

I couldn't point my toe. Yes, I can point it, but not the way Rainer wanted me to. Always ready with a creative alternative teaching tool (extremely necessary for this student) he demonstrated limping, "You know, favor one side, like when you twist your ankle."

"I've never twisted my ankle" I said. Too stunned to comment, Rainer stood on one foot (show off!) and simply looked at me. He reminded me of how my dog Tony cocks his head to one side straining to sort out the foreign words.

"What do you mean?" he finally stammered.

"Never happened." I said. "I don't do anything physical so I've managed to avoid torn ligaments, dislocated shoulders, knee problems - all the ailments from..."

"Movement." He finished my sentence. It sounded so odd hearing it from someone else, but it was true. Pushing myself is not finding a close enough parking space.

Flabbergasted that our worlds are so opposite, he shook his head and listed all the injuries he'd suffered throughout his lifetime. The list made me shudder and it also made me smirk.

He saw it and said, "No pain-no gain."
I countered, "No strain -No pain."

Still not past it, he said, "You mean, if we took an xray of you now it would show n o t h i n g?" I nodded. Knowing I'm no youngster he was excited like we were launching a new product - me.

"Do you realize that all your active friends who are your age probably have a chronic problem from tennis or jogging?"

"They do...and not for nothing...their skin is more wrinkled from the sun - which I avoid. Again, another casualty of outdoor activities." I rested my hand on my hip with attitude, just like he taught me.

With a renewed sense of purpose, he suggested that if I do a little bit of stretching (I kinda do when I crack) and aerobics along with my dance lessons - in a few years I'll be in amazing shape (for my age...they always add that to ruin it)

"You will be superior to them physically because you're just starting out. It's like you're a virgin."

And, I am, in so many ways. Jimmy said to me, "We should have danced more." Well, here I go.


Monday, July 28, 2008

My So-Called Love Life

Here I am back to blogging. Where have I been for two months? Is my sense of direction so bad that I can't locate my computer? I find it to e-mail friends. I play three card poker and video poker on-line.

Sometimes writing about life gets in the way of living it. Often, I'm writing in my head and it's just a matter of putting it down (not my head, the thoughts) Now, half the summer is gone. I'm attempting to review.

A week ago today my crackerjack agent, Victoria Skurnick of the Levine Greenberg Literary Agency sent my "Poor Widow Me" proposal out to publishers. She told me to keep my fingers crossed and I said, "How am I going to type like that?" I haven't heard from her since.

The memoir only covers the first year after Jimmy's death and if I'm lucky enough to get a "Yes" from a publisher today it will be nine months to a year before the book is out - At that point it will be over three years and as a reader I'd want an update. I'd want to know how the first year compares with the second, etc...and I'm too lazy to write another book.

So, my last chapter will be an epitaph (look it up) Keeping current with this blog will help me remember this time period. It will be my note taking for that chapter.

Starting today - no more huge gaps in these entries. It probably makes sense to categorize. Today, I'll talk a tinge about my love life.

Before I do that I must say that daily life is different for me now. I do similar things, but I'm more comfortable doing them. The change for me is internal. And, yet external because of the way people react and respond to me. That leads me right into my so-called love life.

The first year when I was asked "How are you?" it was accompanied by a crumpled face and a suffocating hug. At the year and a half mark "How are you?" was a careful tread bordering on perky and the translation was: "Are you dating yet?"

Today, two years and three months in, a wink precedes "How are you" and often no words are spoken to say "Seeing anyone special?"

In the romance department, I've learned I'm behind the curve. I've only gone on four dates and even those were just to get my feet wet. As I predicted, they only lead to soggy socks. My attraction to the handyman was inappropriate and I couldn't pull the trigger, anyway so I'm not sure if that one counts.

My bereavement shrink, Gene tells me I still think like a married woman. Yesterday, just to spite her when two cute guys in the elevator asked me if I was married, I much too enthusiastically said, "No." I think they expected me to add, "Press the stop button."

Gene tells me I'm naive. I half expect Cupid to find me at the cleaners or the butcher or in my kitchen. "Love doesn't come to you. You must go to love" she says. When I quote Gene in person I give her an Romanian accent. It adds flavor.

The biggest change is that I feel sorta kinda almost ready to experience someone Jimmy-like. This time we get to grow old together and he has a mustache. (or at least more hair on his upper lip than I have)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Never Say Never



Finally, it stopped raining...Experts told us it would stop one day. They just didn't tell us which day.


In keeping with my new love of the outdoors a crazy thought popped into my head. No, I am not planning a camping trip. To me, 'roughing it' means no room service. Jamie deRoy hits a truthful chord when she sings her parody song "Jews Don't Camp."

I'm seriously considering renting a small furnished place in...in...in...F L O R I D A... next January and February. I'm stuttering because I've never been a fan of Florida and Jimmy wanted to spend a chunk of the winter there. He hated the cold. I hate the hot. This was our standoff.


In my fumbling defense, that last February, '06 when we were there for five days I did say, "Ya know, at this time of the year, no hurricanes, not so sticky...not so bad." I was beginning to
break. I WAS!


Today's plan? My dog, Tony and I will hit the road right after the New Year. We'll drive down. We'll drive down? Not to be picky, I'll be doing all the driving.

Why the about face? When I got Tony last August I said to my next door neighbor, Fred..."I love walking a dog!" He said, "Wait until it's eleven degrees out."

Admittedly, in February, it was less pleasant. But we're New Yorkers, Tony and I. And, that means it's exhilarating to sniff bare bushes and lift our leg on the frozen pavement. Ice that stuck to our fur is a fun surprise that we simply recycle to our water dish.

Not to lean on a cliche, but you can't beat the change of seasons and layers are far more forgiving
than tank tops. Give us a puppy cut when the temperature drops and we're grateful. We have Spring to look forward to. After all, if you haven't fought the war you can't appreciate the peace. Too dramatic? Maybe...

On the other paw, (oh, no, she didn't...) where was Spring this year? It's May 21st. Is May the new March? After spending month after frigid month shivering with Tony in the backyard watching his stream practically freeze in mid-air I had this snow-bird revelation.

Recently, I discovered a hint of green scattered on the hard, cold lawn. I stared in disbelief. Tony gave me his "What's this?" expression, the one he puts on when I introduce a new treat. As the days passed more color appeared as the twigs sprouted leaves. Soon small purple flowers joined in and Tony and I found ourselves prancing around 'a garden.' Who knew it was under there all this time?

If we spend a few months in Florida next year I can see my buddy Blondie more and my cousins Marion and Marcel and Sharon and Eli and their kids and Puff and David and Skylar can visit with Jax and Doug will come and other friends will fly down.

But, how do I explain this to Jimmy?


Old Post Revisited

I'm not trying to sneak a recycled post by you. I'm not that lazy. Well, maybe I am, but I dug this one up from last July because with all this rain every day even anti-sun me is eager for a dry sunny day.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Who Jumped Into My Body?

Yesterday I opened the back door and actually breathed in the summer air without retreating fast to my crisp air-conditioned kitchen. Instead of my usual "Ugh. It's hot. My hair" I was "ahhhh. The sun. Feels good."Scratch my concern about my hair because it's been straighened the new Brazilian way. But I'm dumbfounded that I've spent a lifetime avoiding the sun, the beach and convertibles and yet just this morning I couldn't wait to be outside manuvering a push broom to sweep my front steps.

Then, I grabbed the garden hose and like an old lady warning "Get off my property" I nosed the nozzle at my driveway. I saw a rainbow. It was wonderful. It was invigorating.

"Look Jimmy, I'm outside! If Jimmy is watching me, I know he's pissed. He would beg me to go to the beach. I hated the scratchness of the sand. He'd promise to drive his convertible slow enough so my hair wouldn't look like a rat's nest. Of course, he lied. How do you do 20 mph on the Long Island Expressway?

He'd conjole me to have coffee with him on the deck and I did...until the sun got too intense. (6 minutes)I happily lived in a dark cold cave and now that Jimmy is no longer alive I suddenly appreciate what he wanted me to soak in with him. LIFE.

Yet, if he hadn't died I never would have deeply known how fragile life is, how the sand can hug my heel and my arch and make walking a whole new almost life affirming experience. I guess, it's not always about the shoes.

I so regret that I didn't take more strolls on the beach with him and that we rarely just sat together sipping a cold drink on a hot deck. It took losing him to understand.Don't get me wrong, though. I haven't turned into a nature freak. I may be seduced by the smell of freshly cut grass, but I'm still not about to roll around on the lawn and risk staining my white pants.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Tips for Getting 'On With It'

Today I did a radio interview with Dr. Jane Greer on www.healthylife.net. It was an hour (less commercials) of talking about myself and my "circumstances." I know Jane for many years and she's a real pro and easy to talk with. The hour flew by...at least, for me, it did. Although, when I hear it I may have to tie myself to a train track...

Jane introduced me by reading my writing credentials and explaining my new status as widow. She emphasized that I'm adusting remarkably to my new life. She attributed my healing to my sense of humor. I believe she's right.

A handful of months ago I was on the Judith Regan Show talking for the first time about this blog and the memoir based on it. My previous radio experience was silly and jokey as Dr. Friendship, the female friendship expert. (Rule #1: If you're your own best friend, you need to get out more.")

Today's interview was easier and harder. It was easier because I was simply talking about my life. It was harder because it once again drove home the point, made it official - my husband has died. When asked 'marital status' I circle 'widow.'

In one of her books, The After life Connection Jane writes, "You never get over it...you get on with it." Towards the end of the show Jane asked me to give her audience tips for "getting on with it." It made me pause. It caused me to view myself semi-responsible for the widow world. Oh, my...Did I sign up for that?

My babble about my life started to sound small. Here was an opportunity to spell out what has worked for me. So, what has worked for poor widow me? I blurted out what I knew to be true.

1. GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO LAUGH.

I realize many widows feel squimish or guilty about laughing. I never did. This may be because I come from the comedy world and it's said that if it's your circumstance you can make fun of it. More importantly, Jimmy and I spent our lives laughing...He would be the first to see the humor within the tragedy.

When I look back on the day I changed my on-line profile I'm amazed. I wrote I would "find the funny." This was only three months after Jimmy died... I wasn't deturmined to find humor. Deturmined implies it was an effort. It wasn't.

I knew I'd be able to pull humor from my new life because my sense of humor is my core. To anyone who has lost a husband or a wife ...We may have lost our spouse, but we haven't lost ourselves. Who you are without him isn't all that clear immediately. Take this as an opportunity to find out.

2. WRITE DOWN YOUR FEELINGS OFTEN.

You don't have to put them in a blog for the public to see. You don't have to spell correctly, either. Writing unscatters feelings. When you write about your emotions you're forced to pinpoint what the MAIN emotion is. So many feelings are swimming within us especially the first year, that putting it on paper makes us choose a theme among all the sub-plots. One feeling at a time is much easier to deal with.

3. KEEP BUSY.

It's difficult to know what to keep busy with - After all, so many of our activities have been as a couple. I'm fortunate to have my writing and many woman work real day jobs that gives them a reason to get out of bed each day. I've always had my own time with friends. Ironically, As Dr. Friendship I used to say that since women live longer than men - the other widows won't let you in the card game if you haven't been playing all these years.

Staying physical has helped me - I find myself actually moving faster and I'm more annimated than ever before. It may have something to do with needing to feel alive. Moving about = fighting back.

I started taking dancing lesssons a few months ago. Don't ask. I'm ridiculously white. I'm majoring in Hustle and a little bit of Salsa. I'm awful in both. Still, I'm having fun and maybe someday I'll actually find a partner.

4. DO FUN THINGS WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS

It's awkward. It's painful, for us and for them. They see me. They see Jimmy. Still, the relationships need to be nutured - so many widows complain their couple friends have left the building. I wonder who left first.

And, the kids are here for the long haul. Jimmy, assuming he'd be in his 80's used to joke and tell them "If I feel myself going I'll try to take your mother with me...so she won't live to be a burden to you."
They never agrued. Nice. Now, they're going to pay.





Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Not A Celebration or a Tribute....

This past Sunday, April 13th, marked the second year since Jimmy died. As the day approached I tumbled back again experiencing the weeks leading up to his death. I replayed that terrible time frame by frame.

Gene, my bereavement shrink (now I go every other week) affirmed that this is natural at "anniversary time." She knows this to be true because she's treated "thousands and thousands of grieving people." A session is not a session without the word "thousands" coming out of her mouth. One day I'm going to ask her to name them.

Here it is only a few days later and already I feel lighter and more focused on the future. How can a number on the calendar can be so powerful?

It may be because we didn't gloss over the day. Several of us visited Jimmy at the cemetery in the morning and then Jackie, Skylar, Doug, my nephew Chuckie, Fanny and my friends Debbie and Henry went to dinner - Connie and Trifon surprised us - met us at Puglia in East Meadow.

So many of Jimmy's core people eating and laughing together twisted the day away from a drowsy, rundown, flu-like feeling. It wasn't a celebration or a tribute. It was simply a bunch of us appreciative to have each other and grateful to be alive and well.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Can We Move On Without Moving Out?

A fellow member of the Friars Club waved her bony finger at me and said, "You don't belong in that house, anymore. The city is the place for you."

I should have punched her in the mouth. I've never actually hit anyone and I think this would have been a good moment to start. You may be thinking, "Who is SHE to tell YOU where to live?" Well, she's a real estate agent and these baracudas just can't help themselves. Everyone is a property to them.

She waited what she considered a respectable amount of time before she swept in with the ad she's been composing in her head since she heard that Jimmy died:

House for Sale

"Poor Widow has lost her mate and now has no need for a kitchen...who is she going to cook for anyway? One bedroom is plenty...a place for her to lay her zombie-like body after a day of sobbing. Her kitchen table can double as an office where she sits for hours pulling her hair out writing checks for services she never knew she had to pay for, like water.

All furniture will stay because everyone knows after a loss like this it's way too painful to surround yourself with familar stuff. One exception: The ridiculously expensive, yet extremely cool leather chair her husband refused to buy because "Do I have an S on my forehead that stands for shmuck?"

Naturally, the widow got her way and that chair became her husband's favorite. The seller wants to keep it to remind herself that she won that war.

A backyard is no longer necessary for this middle-aged single. After all, she should be perched at the front window just in case someone attractive passes by. Perhaps, she can rub her thighs together for friction and when a spark catches she can run out the front door screaming, "Fire!"

This is far more inventive than placing an ad on JDate or Match.com."

So, other widows - do what feels right for you. I'm staying here with my memories. It's home until it no longer feels like where I should be.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

What is Progress?

At the wedding...
Big head or small hat?

Cowgirl Jax


Cowboy Doug

Traveling alone is a very grown-up thing to do. It begins with the deciding to go. That in itself makes me shake my head with the realization that I can go and do whatever I want - whenever I want.

Not having to 'check in' or 'check with' Jimmy is beginning to feel liberating. In two weeks it will be two years that he's gone. In these last few months something shifted and not to be cliche - the fog lifted. Using a cliche is bad writing, but, until very recently there was an actual fog all around me. These days, I feel more relaxed, better capable of understanding how the world works.

On the other hand, (another cliche) I still can't set my alarm clock. I still get lost even in a parking lot. And, I still smack my side mirror backing out of my garage. But, there's progress. I feel fairly comfortable saying "my garage."

I intended to write today about my most recent trip, last week's Vegas jaunt, but I want to backtrack a bit...partly as an excuse to post those photos. A few weeks ago, on March 14th Jackie and Doug and I flew to Houston, Texas for my cousin's Pam's wedding. That day would have been Jimmy's 58th birthday. We ate dinner in the airport and we clicked glasses - "Happy Birthday."

When we got on the airplane I felt like we were leaving him behind. His family is traveling to an event being part of life's celebrations, but where is Jimmy? Is he back in that restaurant or is he sitting next to the pilot invisible to us all?

I shook off that thought and put my headset on. I closed my eyes and listened to the oldie channel, sentimental music. I can do that now. This is progress - I told myself...although, real progress would be not even thinking that this is progress. Damn.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

What a Casino Means To Me

Tomorrow morning I'm meeting my friend Lori in Las Vegas. I've been back a few times since Jimmy died, but I recently realized that a casino represents all the stages of my life. I can trace who I am today and who I was forty years ago by remembering my occasions in a casino.

My first trip to Vegas was with my mother. I was 17 and my father had recently died. He was 57 just a year older than Jimmy was. My mother was much younger. She was a widow at 43.

She was eager to jump back into the dating pool and swim with a younger guy. That was clear to me as she dressed me up to make me look older and legal; her companion and bait. She was like that. There were always strings attached.

Five years later when we were 22 Jimmy and I went to Vegas for our honeymoon. We only had enough money for one of us to gamble. Fresh faced and totally enamoured I stood over him at the blackjack table. As he played craps I convinced myself that I was his "lady luck."

The casino, an atmosphere of chance, excited and energized us. We were grown-ups here; sexy.
He was my James Bond and our incredible life lay stretched out in front of us, a winding trail of pure happiness.

Decades later I'd take note of young couples at the tables with similar body language. I'd smile remembering us. Often there would be an older woman in her fifties, sixties and even seventies, an obvious regular. Both extremes told me I was smack in the middle of life.

I knew the girl's stories but I'd be curious about the older woman. Where was her husband? Did
he leave her beause she had a gambling problem? Had he died? Is her diamond bracelet real?

Soon after our honeymoon we graduated to gambling junkets. Everything was paid for as long as Jimmy played heavy enough. We bet above our means to get a taste of the high life. Once I watched Jimmy play roulette and parlay our last fifty dollars up to nine hundred. Some wives would be horrified. I was proud. "Come on 14. We need a new fence for the backyard" we would yell.

When Resorts Hotel and Casino opened in Atlantic City, just a three hour drive from us, we were practically at the door before the ribbon was cut. Then, we "worked" hard to establish a credit line.

Before long they were sending a limo for us and soon after that the casino offered us 45 minute helicopter rides. This insured we'd get there quicker and spend more money. We knew this but being young and stupid it still made us feel special.

One evening a stormy and fog-filled sky forced us to make an emergency landing. Jackie and Doug were eight and four years old. We made a pact. No more helicopters for us.

But, of course we continued to gamble. Jimmy always played much more than I did. The comps for free rooms, food and transportation were based on his play. We'd begin our gambling day standing on the outskirts of the casino pumped up and ready, like a boxer about to lunge from his corner.

He would hand me cash knowing full well within an hour and a half I'd be down to zero. I'd find him, watch him play a few hands and pretend to be interested. Naturally, I showed up to replenish. Finally, he'd plop a few chips in my hand and I was on my way. I was consistantly unlucky. Jimmy called me his anchor, but not in a good way.

Fun filled trips to casinos with friends and family continued throughout the years. Whether we won or we lost, we always laughed. Of course, we laughed harder when we won.

I assumed we'd be that old couple in ridiculous bermuda shorts strolling hand in hand on the boardwalk in Atlantic City or on the strip in Las Vegas. Instead, tomorrow I'll be sitting at a table aware that a thirty-something girl next to me is eyeing my diamond bracelet. I'll watch her have a run of bad luck. I'll notice her chips dwindling.

She'll sigh as she gets up and she'll wish everyone at the table good luck. She'll walk in the direction of the high stakes pit area and I'll hear Jimmy's voice say, "Back so soon? You're killing me."

Sunday, March 23, 2008

May Our Friends Be Our Family & Our Family Be Our Friends

Bunny runs in the family...I mean, funny...

Skylar and I often wear our bunny ears. Luckily, it's Easter time. We got, "Oh, how festive!" instead of the usual "Enough already with the ears, you two!"

Holidays are getting easier. I actually looked forward to the preparing. In the 'old' days my preparing was picking out a great outfit and making sure I had a hair appointment. For some reason Jimmy didn't trust me to touch anything food related. I didn't mind. I set the table and ran out for extra ice. We were a team.

This year we celebrated Easter Eve which worked out perfectly since I did lots of last minute shopping and apparently most places close on Easter Sunday. Who knew?

I happen to be excellent at errands. Even with my non-existent sense of direction I manage to
to navigate from store to store logically. I never understood why Jimmy would have five things on his list and come home after doing three "to take a break." As I was leaving the liquor store yesterday I thought, 'Jimmy would come home now for fifteen minutes.'

When will I stop thinking "Jimmy would...?"

We were eleven people and I'm grateful I was able to surround myself with a perfect blend of family and friends. My kids, Sky and Fanny, my mother-in-law was the family.

In the friends corner (I didn't actually make them sit in a corner) were Connie and Terry. Unfortunately, their daughter Kristi and her husband Matt couldn't make it, but my god-daughter Katharine and her fiance Pete were there and so were my friends Debbie and Henry.

We promised to make this a yearly tradition. Still, as we anticipate many more years of happy holidays together that familiar twinge of reality is ever present. It's kind of like our innocence was collectively taken away. Year to year? We don't know from day to day.

Living in the present is the only way for me to live now. Appreciating the NOW seems to work. That's why I didn't repeat last Easter's toast, "Family is doing things you don't want to do with people you don't want to do them with."

I can't deny that's mostly true. And, of course that's why it's funny. Still, as I saw all the people I loved sitting together at my Easter Saturday table I said,

"May our friends be our family and our family be our friends."

Then, Skylar and I tapped our bunny ears for luck.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Dancing With the Klutz

These days when people ask me "What's new?" there's a gleam in their eyes. I translate that to:

"So, are you dating?"

My standard answer is "I'm ready for a little romance. It's got to be the right chemistry,
though."

Sometimes I say, "I've gone out to dinner...a few men, but Jimmy is a tough act to follow."

My friend Vera wanted to fix me up with Tom. He's 60 but only dates women under 45. I have two words for him and it's not "Happy Birthday."

Eventually, Mr. Right will come along and as the comic Mickey Freeman says, "I was looking for Mrs. Right...who knew her first name was "Always?" - Hopefully, my Mr. Right's first name will be "You're always."

I'd like to try on easy-going. Jimmy loved the IDEA of being easy-going and he aspired to that, but often when he said, "It's no big deal" it was. He sulked. At my age, I have no time for sulking. I'd say to Jimmy,

"I've never seen a man work so hard to be so easy-going."

In anticipation of meeting someone I had to do something to get ready, but what?

Bathe? check.
Moisturize? check.
Color, straighten and continually obsess about my hair? check
Shop for shoes? check
Play on-line poker? check
Giggle about Spitzer check
Exercise? NO

Hmmm...My friend, Sheri suggested I join her pilates class. It's supposed to make you leaner and taller. Yippee! I pictured those extra inches around my waist stretched up and peeking out of my head. Pretty disgusting, actually.

Pilaties is the movement for ex-dancers. It keeps your body in line. Sheri has great posture or as my mother used to call it, "carriage." I've known Sheri for 20 years and pre-pilates she stood up straight. If she were a chimpanzee she'd walk on two legs.

I hemmed and hawed. Most decisions are difficult for me except for
"Should we stop for Carvel?"

Then, something wonderful happened. My friend Connie's mother went to the hospital. Yes, she died soon after, but that's not the wonderful part. Connie called me from the car on her way from seeing her dying mother. Naturally, she was sad. Suddenly, she perked up,

"Hey, today's Monday! Dancing With the Stars is on tonight!" she said.

Her enthusiasm was a ten out of ten. I thought, 'Gee, any show that can lift her spirits like that is a show worth checking out. '

As I watched that night I felt myself smiling. Tony almost smiled, too but that was because I was rubbing his tummy. Anyway, as I mentioned in yesterday's post, he has no lips.

Epiphany! Rather than take a class for ex-dancers, why not learn to dance? It's exercise with a skill. I may never go out dancing, yet I do go to weddings. And, at weddings I'm known as the Elaine from Seinfeld dancer. Remember that episode where Elaine thought she was such a cool dancer? After she saw the video of her arms and legs going in different directions she was mortified.

Jimmy was light on his feet and loved to dance. He would throw me around like a Raggity Ann doll. He thought that was funny. He'd almost be surprised when I stumbled back to his arms only to toss me out again.

We were carefree when we danced. Often I was looped. That may have contributed. Not to be morbid, but one of the last things he said to me was,

"We should have danced more."

That's why I kept his tuxedo and patent leather shoes. And, maybe that's why I'm taking dance lessons. So far I love it. My "carriage" is improving. I'm still a klutz, though.





Thursday, March 20, 2008

Back to Blogging

Tony Bologne Scibelli

I've missed blogging. I've missed the immediate response from readers. So, here I am...back to blogging. If anyone has an objection blame it on Alison Grambs. I ran into her last night at the Friars Club and she said,


"You MUST get back out there! While you're writing your memoir "Poor Widow Me" you can still keep your blog fresh. How lazy can you be?"


I'm assuming that was a retorical question because I sure can be lazy. Alison is the author of two must buy books, "The Smart Girl's Guide to Getting Even" and "The Man Translator" so she obviously doesn't understand the irresistible pull to leave the computer mid-sentence to tweeze her eyebrows.


It's a good bet, too that she doesn't disconnect from a thought because she hears pretzels calling to her from downstairs. Alison gets the job done and from what I can see her eyebrows are in good shape. She must leave a bowl of pretzels near her workspace.


As I write this, Tony, the new man in my life is laying at my feet...and I can tell you this - Jimmy never stooped so low. Of course, Jimmy never pooped on the carpet either, unless you count that time when he was prepping for a colonoscopy...no, wait...that was me...
Back in August my gardener GAVE me Tony - he came from an unhappy home with two huge dogs who didn't understand that he wasn't their chew toy. (Tony, not my gardener)
Since Tony was already a year and a half he had a name - Bones - Well, I couldn't live with that so since Tone and Bone rhyme I changed his name to Tony. He responded immediately. I took that as a sign that either he was gifted or he never really knew his old name.
Everyone was thrilled that I got a dog. Luckily, I kept in mind what my nephew, Roby wisely said immediately after Jimmy died. He whispered, "Remember...People mean well."
This sage advice helped me to deal with comments that otherwise might have made me feel pathetic.
1. "Good for you! Now you don't have to come home to an empty house."
2. "He sleeps with you? Sweet - On Jimmy's side of the bed?"
3. "Tony's so affectionate. You must miss that."
I have Tony for 8 months now. We recently celebrated his 2nd birthday. We had a little party for him and I invited my good friends Debbie and Henry for cake. My daughter, Jackie came and my granddaughter Skylar helped to blow out the candles since Tony doesn't have lips.
Not to keep quoting nephews, but right after Tony came to live with me I thought about how my other nephew, Chuck told me I should get a dog. But, he told me this about five years ago.
He was about 40 at the time, but he nagged me like a six year old.
"Why don't you get a dog?" he asked.
"Someday I'll get a dog" I said.
"When?"
"Someday, Chuck..."
"You love dogs. You should get one."
"I know. I know. I will."
"When? When?"
Finally, his eyes opened wide as though he'd solved a big mystery and he said,
"Oh, I know, when Uncle Jimmy dies, right?"
I nodded sheepishly. So, I guess, deep down I thought he would die first. I just took it for granted it would happen 20 or 30 years from now.
So this is life...bottomline...I couldn't love Tony more and yes, he is wonderful to come home to.