Steve Miller Memories

October 26, 2010

Just about every Steve Miller Band song I can name is from his greatest hits album. My friend in high school convinced me, among others to join BMG music club. You get the first dozen or so CDs for a dollar then maybe commit to buy one at full price. The trick is, unless you tell them otherwise, the club sends you a monthly CD pick that they would then bill you for. We found ways to circumvent that: write a letter, return the CD unopened, or cancel the club membership. And each member you signed up earned you an additional four CDs.

So not only did I own the Steve Miller Band Greatest Hits so did half of my dorm. And when my husband asked if I’d like to see him perform live I said yes, warning him that my knowledge of his music was limited to this one disc.

The story of dorm friend and all of our CD shenanigans is one of only a few recent high school memories in which I do not have any shame or guilt or embarrassment. How could that be?

Even though I do not talk to said dorm friend after she walked out of my wedding after flying across the country and before saying hello (this is a story for another time), I fondly recall all of colluding and sharing tricks of the BMG club membership. (Worst case scenario, she advised, just tell them you are under 18 and they can’t do anything.)

That night I had an odd dream about a dinner with a bunch of friends from my high schools including one girl who lost her twin sister in a car accident. The waitress wanted to microwave my muffin but I wouldn’t let her because the muffin was in memory of someone who passed and I wanted to eat it the way he did and I was looking to the twin for support.

And the best part of the dream: there were a list of specials named after the coach in Glee and other prominent entertainers. One special which I was too shy to order or even explore but I promised myself I would return to taste was the Milf Alert.

If that is not a sign that I should be writing more, than I do not know what is.

Please keep insulting comments to yourself

October 20, 2010

While shopping at a neighborhood boutique Wednesday my son began playing with the display toys while I meandered in another nook of the store.

“Where’s this kid’s mommy?” a customer asked. I ran over in time to hear her say, “that’s a kidnapping waiting to happen.” I told her to bite her tongue then brought my son to look at soaps on a rope.

The owner came out and grabbed the toy out of my son’s hand warning that we could scratch a plastic display chair. In his defense, it was the Philippe Starck Ghost Chair but he did not have to be so nasty.

Despite my better judgment I bought my friend a gift and since I had nothing to loose, after apologizing again to the owner attempted to solicit a donation for my daughter’s nursery school auction. He shut me down faster than he had snatched the toy from my son.

I know I was not 100% in the right. I know. But nor was I completely wrong. I did not feel that I was endangering my son in any way nor did I think he was misbehaving terribly at the store, yet I left feeling attacked.

There are too many unconcerned citizens policing other people’s children (and from what I hear dogs too) and voicing their condescending comments publicly. I’m sick of being the recipient.

Breast Cancer Frustration Month

October 18, 2010

October is officially Breast Cancer Awareness Month or as I like to call it Rub it in My Face Month.

My mom suffered from two bouts of breast cancer complete with chemotherapy, radiation and a metastasis. I doubt that cancer killed her. It was probably the uterine sarcoma that lodged itself in her lungs. But she passed in India and her MRIs do not show color contrasts so it is hard to pinpoint exactly what did her in. While I’d like to blame someone or at least the entire Indian medical community, I know people die from cancer all the time in New York. Wealthy people with access to the best medical care do not always beat cancer. But hey, nobody beats life so something is bound to get you in the end.

Signaling out one month to acknowledge a disease that has struck so many serves as a reminder that we still have a ways to go in terms of research and medical development. It’s also an opportunity to manufacturers to make an item in pink or stitch a ribbon somewhere, charge a premium and donate that premium to research. Why not donate a portion of the proceeds on everything sold that month instead of just the pink thing? And if you are going to spend an extra $5 for a pink flashlight, why not just donate to Breast Cancer Research independently. Must you advertise to the world that you support cancer?

I walk past aisles in stores and windows in storefronts reminding me that October is reserved to remember a disease that has affected my family so significantly. A reminder of why I get ultrasounds, mammograms and MRIs annually to prematurely catch any mutation in my breast.
Okay, maybe the awareness month will lead other woman to get a mammogram that normally would not, but I’m certain there is a better way.

Free Range Children

October 8, 2010

I began reading Lorna Lenore Skenazy’s book Free Range Kids: How to Raise Self-Reliant Kids (Without Going Nuts with Worry) and thought I found my guru. An advocate of letting children enjoy childhood without helicopter parenting, the author, like me and my parents, is not afraid to let their children fall or get a bruise.

As I read more, it confirmed how I allow my kids to run. They run in an open field near the apartment.
They run down the sidewalk, knowing to stop before they reach the curb. They run down the hallway playing peek a boo with the doorman. At three and one and a half my kids love to run and be kids. And I support this.

Yesterday they were playing one such game in the hallway when the doorman buzzed me. I brought the kids inside and continued with our nighttime routine/ negotiation. While in the tub my daughter asked who was upstairs. When the noise became louder and I realized my husband was not coming home early to surprise me, I went up to see four police officers standing in my apartment.
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