Sunday, January 22, 2012

Hey, Mom – It Snowed Last Night!

I love waking up to snow. It’s like a big event occurred while I was in a coma.  Now, I’m conscious and perhaps I’ve missed a season. Maybe, I’d better check the date on that newspaper that’s wrapped in orange plastic half buried in the driveway.
Trudging out to retrieve it is invigorating and as I shake the icy dandruff off the paper and look down at my footsteps making a fresh impression, I feel patriotic, like I’m walking on the moon about to plant a flag.
That image falls away fast as I notice Tony, my Morkie, a breed with very short legs up to wherever a dog’s knees are in white stuff that will soon be yellow stuff.  The romance of this morning is fading even before I’ve had my coffee. Thanks a lot Tony!
In the short time it takes to reach my front door again it’s starting to rain and it’s a warm rain that will melt everything by noon.  What a wimpy storm this is!
I think about how crowded it was yesterday in the supermarket, people swarming to stock up because surely they’ll starve without ‘supplies’ while they’re stuck in the house for 4 hours.
Most of these neighbors could walk to the stores, if necessary.  Reaching civilization is only a matter of being in decent shape and owning a coat.
But, wait…My refrigerator is looking pretty barren. I turned away from those long lines of panic yesterday, superior, refusing to join them.
Now, they are all enjoying their lazy Sunday and I have nothing in the house for lunch.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

“I Can’t Complain”

January 2011
Lately in response to my just to be polite, “How are you?” I hear “I can’t complain.” Then they add, “What’s the point?  Who will listen, anyway?” baiting me to lie and jump in with “No, no…I’ll listen. I care.”
did care a smidge before they were being snarky.  Now I don’t care at all.  Unless they tell me they’ve lost a limb, I’m thinking, leave me alone.  My mind is back on what’s really important to me…me.
They surprise even themselves when it works, that they actually have an audience so they pause to make something up and you know they had nothing because their complaint is always inconsequential like about the weather.
“Ugh” they begin – and such weariness fakes you out again – so much so that you prepare to leap from your chair to hug them.  Perhaps they did lose a limb.  They are wearing long sleeves.  “I can’t believe how cold it’s been” is their follow through.
“First of all,” I say much too aggressively, “It’s January. It’s New York. And, actually it’s it’s been unseasonably warm and sunny.  Last year at this time, we had 100 snowstorms already.”
“Once it dips below 50 degrees I get a chill,”  this one says. “Ira wants to move to Boca, but I told him “No way, too many complainers down there.”

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Flying Solo

Chocolate Pizza at Max Brenner NYC

The idea of dating again has crept into my consciousness possibly spurred on by a friend who lovingly said, “You’re not getting any younger you know.”
For decades, I was married and I defined myself that way.  Now, almost six years later I am seriously single and most of the time I like being free and breezy.  After my husband died I actually did have a bbbfriend for a year –and then – oh, who knows why, the pull to connect just evaporated.
Now it’s back and I’m afraid it may be a bad notion just like my judgement to polish off the above pictured chocolate pizza was several days ago.
I constantly talk about relationships without being in one.  Maybe I ought to either stop talking and start being.
I was a guest on a radio show recently with the brilliant Dr. Jane Greer and in response to “Did you feel guilty after your husband died?” I answered, “Why would I?  I didn’t kill him.” We laughed until she responsibly acknowledged that other widows do feel guilty.
Cornered, I confessed that what I did feel guilty about was that I might have been kinder to Jimmy throughout our marriage. I might have tried to control my PMS by electric shock, learned to make lasagna and I could have made him happy if I attempted to understand why football isn’t just a bunch of guys in a huddle and then before you know it they’re all in a pile.
As I said this on air, it occurred to me that a new relationship might require my full attention. Semi-attention is only semi-acceptable after the ring is a little scruffy.
Dr. Greer and I talked about how common it is to review our marriage after a loss of a spouse by death or divorce.  All the ‘what if’s’ waif through our heads until we convince ourselves that we were actually the perfect one.
Denial.  It’s the only way to live…especially when we are the last spouse standing with no body to contradict us with the facts.  Right Jane?
Jane wouldn’t confirm this, of course, although I think she was amused because she assumed that I was kidding. I was not.  In an effort to be a helpful and warm, she volunteered the professional equivocate of  “Don’t beat yourself up about it” by emphasizing how difficult intimate relationships are.
“Couples often hate each other sometimes 25 times a day” she said. “If it’s not one thing it’s another” she said sounding much like the wonderful Gilda Radner (“It’s Always Something”)
Dr. Greer confessed later that she low-balled with 25 not to scare anyone off.
I think she scared me, though.  I may continue to fly solo for a while.