May I Offer you some hand me downs

October 3, 2014

Green.

I hate wasting.  It’s only recently that I stopped saving soap the scraps.

I’m trying not to eat my kids uneaten macaroni and cheese.  It’s okay to throw this out.

It’s one of my indulgences; I am fortunate enough to not *need* to save a quarter glass of Tropicana.

Times are good.  I recently splurged on a new pair of pajamas via NordstromRack.com.  Why pay retail? Why leave home?

Thus, time to bid farewell to an older pair of sleepwear.  Would someone, somewhere want a four year old pair of NordstromRack.com hand me downs?  Perhaps the a village in Tibetan deconstruct the clothing to weave elaborate blankets sold by Richard Gere.

Is it insulting to offer them to my nanny?

One of the reasons I let the previous nanny go was because she did not receive hand me downs.  My daughter has beautiful clothing she’s outgrown?  I am involved in my community.  Her predecessor smiled and thanked me for giving her that sliver of soap.

So I lump in a pile with my very mildly stained Diane Von Furstenburg sweater, a ratty jog bra and my kids underwear.

material could be recylced into blankets for


Business for Women

October 1, 2014

Women still earn less than men for the same job.  A NY Times article highlights the pay disparity is not because women choose fields that pay less.  Perhaps it is the expectation that women will leave the work force once they have a child and therefore it does not make economical sense to invest in them.  Or as Sheryl Sandberg reminds us, women are less likely to negotiate as aggressively for raises and perks.

A graduate of a women’s college, I was taught that these differences should not exist nor be tolerated.  In several of my business dealings, older male colleagues have patronized me.  One restauranteur put his arm around me and reminded me that he has been in the business for over twenty years and he knows what he is doing.  And yet the plumber tells me what he is doing is not sufficient given the tender age of the building and its plumbing equipment.  I smile and nod, let out some comment that he will have to cope with the ramifications should the mechanics backfire because of neglect.

Is this what the owner, a man old enough to be my grandfather – or at least Great Uncle, needs to say to maintain his ego.  My mom would say let it slide.  The younger me would not; perhaps I’d equate his condescending tone with a polite tap on my ass or reference to an equally inappropriate irrelevant issue.  The current me agrees with my mom.  No need to engage in a fruitless contentious discussion.  And the best revenge, I communicate directly with his son, the real owner of the business.

In these situations, I may let some comments slide, but I continue to stand my ground, channel my mom and be a strong business woman who is not intimidated by male colleagues.  Amy Cuddy advises striking a power pose to fake it til you make it.  And so I try.  I pretend.  And I refuse to be a statistic.


Secret Indulgence

September 30, 2014

I just finished reading I’m Having So Much Fun Without You about a husband whose wife discovers he had been cheating for seven months.

Spoiler Alert: The mistress leaves to get married and his wife leaves him.

He does not so much regret the affair as he does his wife discovering it.  Both he and the mistress loved engaging in this fantasy parallel life that does not involve taking out the garbage.

To have the fantasy is okay; to act on it and jeopardize everything is not worth it.

Since a recent surgery kept me barely mobile for two weeks and then tack on another week of healing, Hubby and I have been on a sexual hiatus.  During this time he went to Los Angeles for two nights.  If I’m aware how long it has been, my able bodied husband must be feeling the void.

What if, what if he went to Los Angeles and had sought physical satisfaction elsewhere?  It would not mean anything, just that he was horny and he seized an opportunity.  I would not want to know.  I cannot imagine my husband doing it but if for some super stupid reason he was tempted with a brief escape, I do not think it would enhance our relationship in any way if I knew.  It would only hurt both of us more.

A New York Magazine article I had read a decade ago mentioned a couple who stayed together after a dalliance and when they would fight, however many years later, the scorned partner would remind the other of the affair.  It never goes away.

And how could one night, weekend, month of pleasure via a deceptive escape be worth the future of your family.

Personally, I’ll find other indulgences


The Pain Game

January 27, 2014

I’m in a lot of pain.  

My lower back is vulnerable to spasm in the lumbar region.  The pain ranges from mild discomfort to extraordinary cannot-move agony.  

My back can be good for months and even some years on end or flare up by doing the slightest movement in the wrong condition.  

 

I could feel the most recent outbreak looming before the big spasm. Despite my efforts to prevent it, the spasm debilitated me for three days.  

A recent X-ray did not show any abnormalities, for which I am grateful.  My younger self may have been disappointed that there was no concrete problem to correct, but my wiser current self knows that disk trouble would only complicate.  An MRI is scheduled for next week and if it is anything like the one from my back episode three years ago, it will reveal little if anything.  

 

Apart from physical therapy, my doctor has little to recommend.  I had been doing all of the exercises to strengthen my core and using caution when lifting.  My husband noted that these spasms correspond to emotional anniversaries or upcoming stresses.  With two parents recently gone and the normal stresses of a mother/wife/human – there are ample occasions to celebrate writhing on the floor in agony.  

I am no longer in the extreme pain, but my back still does not feel great. Today my stomach is tightening and a wave of nausea lingers during normal activities that should not cause pain. I could return to the Dr who I once visited with great frequency to target the trigger points.  I am optimistically trying Dr. Sarno’s book which exposes the mind – body connection.  Tension Myositis Syndrome is the physical manifestation of back pain from mental obstacles.  At least I think so. I can report after reading the book which should arrive this week.  It feels so indulgent to take a nap, especially with my cleaning lady and nanny both working as my son takes a nap.  High class problems! Real pain.  

 

Amazon should deliver it tomorrow.  


The Wrong Number

January 22, 2014

 

Before my first cell phone, a college graduation present, I had at most three telephone numbers.  My private line in college had voicemail where I would record silly greeting each time trying to outdo myself.  The succinct and efficient, “hello….No she’s is not here can I take a message” would catch veteran callers like my parents. 

 

The second number was for my parents’ houses.  My father did not have an answering machine and despite his desire for detailed and delivered messages he did not reciprocate.  He might scribble something resembling a message that would lay by the phone for days without acknowledging the recipient. That left my mom’s house complete with an answering machine and a favorable chance of me receiving information of an actual call.  As a result, family members could destroy more relationship attempts unconsciously than if they had attempted to an actual sabotage.   

 

Unlike today when we can track contacts over Facebook, Linkedin, email and text, I would entertain the idea that someone did indeed could not figure out how to contact me.  Nobody had warned me that he was just not into me. 

 

The benefit of the anonymity meant that it was easier to give false numbers that would not be immediately verified.  I’m sure the equivalent exists now, but as married mom I am not familiar with such brush-offs. 

 

Through poor handwriting, I had discovered that my phone number resembled that of a local hotline.  Dial my number except replace a scrawny “7” a “1” and reach Eddie, or Brenda at the Hamptons Transsexual Hotline. Twenty years ago this was even more taboo making adults and college kids snicker with amusement and so my sister and I discovered our false number. 


End of Life Support

November 1, 2013

Having experienced a disproportionate amount of loss in the last five years I have become proficient of the grieving process.  I can offer all the words of comfort to a mourner, share sympathies and some rationalizations to make sense of the loss no matter how sudden or expected.  I can ask the questions that a caregiver might want to hear during the ill’s end of life.  

 

Life has a zero percent survival rate.  

Nobody gets out alive.  

It is supposed to be difficult and awful.  
The grief is proportionate to the love. 

Loss is always too soon.  

Death is part of the cycle.  

And of course It could always be worse.

 

But just because it could be worse does not mean the moment and grief are seemingly unbearable.  Perhaps in worse situations the heart can find an even lower place to sink. 

And when we loose someone we love, religion tells us to Bless the Lord, whoever you may perceive as such.  Thank Him for allowing someone into our lives who we will miss.  Praise this higher being for He is the true judge.  We mere mortals think with our hearts and wish our family could live with us eternally on earth.  But they cannot.  And we know that.  But we still wish they could.  

The loss of my mom was devastating and shocking.  I could not comprehend how I could continue with her absence.  

Three years later, the loss of uncle was a painful surprise.  He was not part of my daily life so his passing did not dominate my thoughts and actions as my mother’s. 

The following year my father lay in a hospital bed telling me that he was not going to get better.  There was laughter and tears. If given the choice on one’s passing, my father would have gladly checked the box that said surrounded by family remembering great times.  But I was numb.  Somehow I had known in the months leading up to his bedside declaration that cancer was going to win.  Of course I did not want to believe it but I braced myself for it.  So the grief was not as shocking.  I had already faced my beliefs on death and afterlife, and memorized the script of comfort.  This is the right order of events.  It’s always too soon.  It could be worse. etc.

And last week my 99 year old grandmother who had buried two sons in the past 20 months passed away.  It should not have been a surprise.  She had scares before often having myself or another family member rush in to visit.  Better to come in and have some fun, then visit for the funeral, Grandma used to say.  Nonetheless her loss is painful.  There is a whole in the universe where this outspoken strong matriarch once commanded.  

And it is with these losses that my ancestry has disappeared.  As it is supposed to be, eventually.  And even then it will be too soon.  

 

I look to my husband, my three healthy children and thank the man above for my blessings.  

And I curl up in a ball wishing an elder was looking out for me here on Earth.  

This is the lot I received.  Some days I am more grateful for the family I had and the one I am creating, and other days the loneliness has a firmer grip.   

 

As I teach my children, you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.  

 


Over Father’s Day

June 11, 2013

Is this what I felt like all of those February 14th I longed for a boyfriend?  

This year my sister shares her birthday with Father’s Day just as she did on the day she was born.  I just cannot share Father’s Day with my dad.  

 

Going to my hometown this past weekend my father’s absence was so pronounced.  This huge void.  

 

This stream of consciousness capturing glimpse of pain that creeps up on me. And this week it will be exceptionally hard to avoid


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