Thursday, December 31, 2009

the flamingo club...

I'm not feeling the positive vibe from eHarmony. The prospects presented thus far have not made my heart feel all aflutter like on their commercials. It looks as though it might have been a better investment to buy some swamp land, and yet I continue to dredge through what matches they send.

There is a very interesting man in Zanesville that is witty and good looking. Bad news...Zanesville is 150 miles away. A little far for a coffee date.

I won't rule it out. Yet. I can't imagine moving presently, but you just never know! It's always good to have friends if it doesn't work out romantically.

Thinking about Zanesville brought some memories. The last time I was in Zanesville, I was there when I was a mere 16 for a synchronized swimming State Competition.

Yes. I was a synchronized swimmer.

Every week, 4 times a week, my mother would drive myself and Beth downtown to the YWCA for practice. We would swim for 2 hours. The first 1/2 hour was a warmup in the pool eggbeating. That's when you use your legs like eggbeaters in the water. No hands, just legs. We had to keep our hands above the water line.

Then we would have to swim laps. Not normal lap swimming, but on our backs sculling up and down the pool propelling ourselves with just our cupped hands pushing the water back and forth. Sound easy? You weren't allowed to create any water movement. It had to appear as if you were being pulled along. Body perfectly still, no current...up and down the pool 20 times each way.

And then, the warm-up for our lungs. As if we hadn't gotten that enough already. Holding your breath, you were to swim underwater for as many lengths of the Olympic sized swimming pool that you could. By the time I completed my last workout with the Flamingo Club, I was able to swim 4 lengths.

It was after all this 'warm-up' that we finally got to start practicing our routines.

The kind of routine that landed Beth and I at State Championships.

I was in amazing shape.

Beth and I had advanced to the point where we were a duet. Alike in stature, we made a good team. We practiced hard and could mirror each others moves so we appeared as one. We were good. She was also my next door neighbor and bestest buddy ever. So our teaming up to swim competitively together was a no-brainer.

Unfortunately, for me, I could hold my breath longer and had more endurance and strength than Beth did. So I was always the one underneath the water's surface pushing her up out of it to do all the pretty leg tricks and above water gestation's. Pointing, spinning, smiling...I was the power. She got all the glory.


That stance seems to have permeated everything in my life.

I'm the support behind everything. The background.

Which is actually the way I like it.
Or at least what fits me best.

I do the windows so the store looks good. I'd dress the models so they looked great on the runway. I'd make the basic story boards so the artists could then draw it out to present it to a client. I'd run the store so the company made it's figures and looked good.

Always behind the scenes.

So being out front and center with eHarmony is a stretch for me. I'm not great at tooting my own horn, although I know I can play. I just need a nudge.

And to be honest. Completely honest. With myself and what I expect.
And what I want. No shortchanging myself. I need to say what I mean and mean what I say.

I made it through the guided communication with a gentleman out in Willoughby. Gentleman might not be the right term. He sent me this note letting me know what he expected at this point of our getting to know one another.

Got your email. It sounds like your really booked up. Let me give you my approach to these things and you can see what works for you. Typically people over 40 have especially demanding schedules or at the minimum they require a lot of time in order to do the things they have put in place. I am that way. If you want to do any dating, I have found it to be a pain in the ass for the most part. Typically I find myself "squeezing" things in only to be not that enthused with the result. So, I can appreciate your alignment of priorities etc.
My philosophy today is that I typically skip the emails, the making plans and the talking on the phone unless I think there might be at least something interesting going on. If I do think there is something interesting going on, I will at least try to establish enough communication to get us to a meeting or a date. Once that happens, the rest is usually self evident. I don't mind busy schedules, especially once I have established the fact that the person is someone I am kind of interested in getting to know.
If you think it is worth trying to connect, then lets talk on the phone first and see if that warrants a translation into a face to face. If not, then thats totally OK too and I understand how things go. So, let me know what you think and we can figure out a good time to talk, or let me know if you think you just cant swing it right now. Either way, I will understand.

OK. That seemed a little odd. It is the holidays after all. With barely enough time for the people I DO know, let alone add another to the mix right now. So I sat on it a few days to think about it. With my response of :

Hi Randy.

You know, I got your e-mail and have given it much thought.
One of the things about my joining eHarmony was to meet someone and be completely honest. In my responses, in my choices.
And although I understand your wanting to 'cut to the chase' and be prudent with your sounds as if you've been down this road of meeting people and them not quite adding up to your expectations.

I appreciate that.

But in the same regard, your completely straightforward approach in skipping any e-mail 'conversations', get down to the basics and then see if we should just takes the mystique out of the dating experience and makes it more of a business arrangement. At least for me...
I'm new to eHarmony, so I've not been through perhaps the same processes as you have. It sounds as if you have pursued other people to be disappointed. I'm not at that stage yet. Like I said, I'm a newbie. My knee jerk reaction from your e-mail is, "I don't know..."

Yes, schedules are tight this time of year, but I don't want to be someone to 'squeeze in' to anyones planner. Your message makes me feel as if I don't already add up and not worth your time. And I don't even know you...
So I wish you luck in your search. I guess we are approaching meeting someone special differently.
I hope you have a wonderful Holiday Season!

And then immediately get a *bing* on my phone for an incoming e-mail. I open it to get this...

Hey Nancy,
Actually, I appreciate your analysis but in fact, the idea of being disappointed after meeting people has nothing to do with my prudence. The long and short of it is that I believe that two adults who have lived 40+ years of life each should be able to step up and share a conversation. If you think that meeting someone online is going to add "mystery" to the experience, get ready to be disappointed. Relationships require effort, end of story, this is nothing to do with the processes of Eharmony, this has to do with my experience in life. You can imagine anything you want, but until you talk with someone, meet someone and get to know someone, you will never know that someone. When someone tells me that they are too busy to pick up a phone until next week, I just have to question the fact that either they are the most busy person alive and have no time to date, or dating is way down on their priority list of things to do, or they have some paranoia or pre-concieved notions about dating and they have this need to go through 2 weeks of emails, followed by 4 phone conversations, followed by 2 meetings for coffee, followed by a lunch date, followed by a dinner date... I just don't have time or energy to figure it all out. I think humans were meant to speak to each other.

You've got to be kidding. Right? Didn't he just send me a note that he doesn't 'do e-mails'? How do I know who this person is and if I give them my number that they aren't going to track me down and kill me while I sleep. I mean, I don't even know this guy. Seriously. How would I know whether I want to meet with him if he won't put forth the effort to communicate? And then send me a note saying that humans should communicate? Did he or did he not just contradict himself.

Bah. I happened to be with Christine, my current BFF and she helped guide me through the quagmire of 'respond or don't respond'.

"Fuck him. What a dick.", she quickly responded.

"I know! Isn't that odd?"

I didn't respond. I just pushed the 'close match' button conveniently located. Seriously. If we couldn't get beyond two e-mails exchanges what possible future would we have? THAT match ain't goin' nowhere...

But I did get a lovely Christmas wish from a guy in Avon who wished me a "Merry Christmas, beautiful Nancy". He's a lawyer. My dad wouldn't be altogether pleased with his choice of professions, he thinks the best place for lawyers is 6 feet under. But if they are part of the family...well, wouldn't I get free service?

Christine...Damn girl, get your head out of the gutter. Free advice, darlin'. THAT's what I was talking about!

Ah. Memories. It's like being back in the ol' Flamingo Club days...

it's always someone else's legs up in the air.


Happy New Year, my friends! I will see you in 2010 after the Blue Moon.

Friday, December 25, 2009

santa snow, please?...

I know I talk about my darling daughter...a lot. And I suppose I'm a little biased in my opinion of her.

But seriously, when you read the following letter written by her to Santa this year, you'll agree that she is just one amazing kid.

Dear Santa,

If anything, this year all that I really want for Christmas is for it to snow. I don't mean a thin layer of frost on the ground. I really mean SNOW! A big snow, the snow where theres enough snow that schools out. When every one is able to go across the street and have a snowball fight or build a snowman in their front yard. If you can't make it snow, then can I get something that is like a craft, or an art project. Something simmallar to that. Maybe a new sled, I'll exept anything you get me. Anything! Whatever you think I would like. If you can, please, LET IT SNOW!

-Thank you
With Love, Amelia


She's the best. I'm blessed to know her.
I don't question which list she's on. It's always on the Nice list.

I think this might be the last year she is a 'Santa' believer. Some of the other kids at school are already on the non-believer sideline. She and I cry at the end of the movie Polar Express when some people can't hear the bell. Because you can't hear the sleigh bells if you don't believe...

The year it came out I managed to procure one of the coveted silver bells and golden ticket as a Christmas present. It was Bears favorite gift. She keeps them in her room year round and pulls the bell down from it's shelf from time to time to hear it's gentle ringing.

I love sitting in my office, which is across the hall from her room, and hear that ring.
It reassures me that she's so good. Still innocent. Still young. And young at heart.

I'm still young at heart.
I can still hear the ring.
I try to hold onto the view of a child, to see things in their simplistic form as a child would. Life is too fleeting for all the nonsensical things adults ponder. All the undue stress that we place upon ourselves. If only for a moment to allow the wonder of the season take all our worries away. And let us dream of lists made for Santa.

One of her school friends asked her, "Do you still believe in Santa?"

"Yes." my little one replied.

"I do too." said Lucy.

"I don't. There isn't a Santa Claus. It's just a story. For babies." Chloe chimed in.

And with that, Amelia then hopped into my car to head home, leaving her school friends to debate the 'does he or doesn't he exist' on the sidewalk.

"Mommy, Chloe doesn't believe in Santa." she told me. She turned to face me in her seat and with sadness in her voice said, "Isn't that just Soooooo sad?"

"Yes, Baby. It is."

Our street has a yearly tradition. Some of the closest of our neighborhood friends gather and carol our street. The entire street sets out lanterns to light the walkways and we stroll between houses with our pathetic version of the Christmas classics. You'd think after all these years we'd sing like the Tabernacle choir. But we aren't that good and get off key, out of tune and mess up the chorus to almost each song. But we make merry and have a good laugh over our mistakes. Many at the houses we sing at have begun to expect us and offer us treats and libations.

Every year we make plans to amend our song books to list just the songs that we sing best and leave out the old ones that the little ones have trouble with. With each year we also say we will increase the font so our failing eyes can see it. And most importantly we will limit all songs to only one stanza. Trust me, no one wants to hear all 5 verses of God Rest ye Merry Gentleman. At least while we're singing.

Then we retire next door to continue our good cheer. We clap each other on the back, commend ourselves for our vocal abilities and wish each other a heartfelt Merry Christmas. It's good to have such wonderful neighbors that you can honestly call 'friends'.

And finally the end of evening draws to a close. We saunter back home to snuggle, relax by the fire and bask in the lights of our Christmas tree. We talk about Santa and never forget to leave out cookies and milk.

Once tucked into bed, we wait to see if indeed it will snow. A White Chrsitmas is always at the top of our list.
But it hasn't.
Not today.

Apparently Mother Nature wasn't cooperating with Santa when he asked her to make it snow for a little girl in Lakewood. It's rainy. And windy. And cold, but not cold enough for snow.

But Santa did bring her the sleds.
And some art things.
And alot of other things as well.

Ah, the beautiful wonder of Christmas. It's been a grand day.
Wouldn't it be nice to feel this loved all year....?


I hope, my friends, you all had a very, very Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

last call, gate number 2...

I sometimes wonder how much of our lives are destined by our names.

Does being named 'Nancy' determine what kind of car I drive, people that I'm friends with or type of dogs I own?

Would another name change the person that I am today? How I think? Who I know? How we interact?

I was adopted at birth.

I never wanted to be one of those people on the talk shows that dwell on 'who their parents are'. My parents were wonderful parents. I always felt loved and well cared for. I never wanted for anything and overall had a very, very nice upbringing.

My parents waited a long time for children.

I have a brother 4 years my senior.
He's adopted as well.

I believe that we were fortunate in having a better upbringing than some children because my parents really 'wanted' us. No oopsies, no mistakes, no Irish twins. They applied to adopt children because they weren't able to have any of their own and then they...waited.

It took several years before my brother became available. He was also adopted at 3 days old. My parents almost immediately applied for a second child. I came along 4 years later.

My brother when told he was going to have a baby sister built a place for me to stay.
It was outside, next to the dogs house.
He wanted me to stay dry if it rained.

I was about 3 or 4 when my mother told me I was an adopted child.

We had this big upholstered rocking chair in our living room; green nubby fabric worn thin from love on the arms. I was sitting on my mothers lap with her rocking me cradled in her arms. She said, "I'm not your real mother. You're adopted."

Yeah, right mom. And my brother is from Mars.

Oh...he IS from Mars. Silly me. (Sorry there Charles's, ol' boy...I couldn't help myself.)
Seriously though, I was like, "No. YOU'RE my mom. You'll ALWAYS be my mom."

And that is about all that we ever talked about it. Not that she or I didn't want to. We just...didn't. No need to really. Why?

Sometimes when I would be asked questions at the doctors office I would wonder..."Does high blood pressure run in my family?" But other than medical questions, I rarely think about it.

I DID get upset when listening to Howard Stern one morning. He kept going on and on about how adopted children weren't wanted by their 'Real Parents' and that's why they were adopted. I wanted to call in. Let him know what I thought. I thought that had his own parents known what an asshole he'd turn out to be, they might have given him up as an infant. Of course, from what I understand, they felt that way most of his childhood. As you can tell, I'm not a big Howard fan. Some are, I'm not one of them. And his statements didn't help his case any.

Once when traveling to the Abacos in the Bahamas I forgot my passport at home. I knew exactly where I left it. On the butcher block in the kitchen. I called a friend when I got to Miami to have them overnight it to me as my flight to the Hope Town was in the morning.

I relaxed, had a nice room service dinner, set out my travel clothes for the next day and slept well. The next morning I called down to the desk to ask if UPS had delivered my package. They informed me that Yes, UPS had been there, but No, there was nothing for me. We called UPS and found out that my package had gotten misplaced and was now somewhere in Tennessee. That wouldn't do me any good when my flight was boarding in 2 hours.
So I called my mom.

She faxed down every piece of paper she had to identify my existence. She faxed her passport, her birth certificate, my birth certificate and my adoption papers.

Prior to that moment standing in the lobby of the Intercontinental hotel, I'd never seen them before.

I had been previously named by my birth parents. Marsha.

I now had in my hands my previous name. Complete with middle and last name. With this information I could easily track down my birth parents. Find out what the story is/was. But I felt no need. I felt no anxiety, no remorse for another life, no wanting to confront. What I felt was relief. Relief that my name was Nancy. Not Marsha Dee Wallner. That didn't sound right, feel right or have the same cadence of my own name.

I wonder if I had grown up with the name Marsha, how different would I be from the person I am today? I can't see myself answering to the name Marsha. It just fit. Me.

And then I think of my good friend Melissa. Beautiful, funny, witty, kind. With 3 lovely children and 1 loving husband.

And my neighbor Melissa who also has 3 lovely children and 1 loving husband.
And an old school friend named Melissa. Who also has 3 children and 1 husband.
If my name had been Melissa...would I have 3 children and a husband?

Is this coincidence that everyone that I personally know with that name seems to have marital bliss? And gorgeous offspring?

Maybe I should start wearing red like other Nancy namesakes. Maybe I should Google prominent successful people with the name of Nancy and see what connects them. Or maybe just change my name. To Melissa.

I talked my way onto that flight to the Bahamas without my passport. They allowed me on but couldn't guarantee that I could pass through customs once there. They asserted that there was a high probability the Bahamians would turn me away and I'd be returning to Miami to wait for the proper documentation. I succeeded in talking my way through customs onto the Island. I had to stay until my package caught up with my travels. I would not be able to return to the States without it.
But that's okay, it's gorgeous there in Hope Town.

I had a wonderful place to stay, and I fit into the local climate and settled into the pace of the Islands. I really didn't want to leave. As far as I was concerned, UPS could take all the time they wanted to deliver my passport. But all things come to an end and one day while sitting on the pier, enjoying the local food and cold beer, a dingy pulled up to the dock.

"Are you Nancy?" he asked me.

"Yes. I am."

He then handed me a brown UPS box. My passport had finally arrived. 3 weeks to the day that I arrived, it was now about time to go home. To the states.

Our hostess on the island name was Grace.

Nancy means grace.
So I was already home. In a way.

But I wonder...had I been Marsha, would it have been the same? I think not.

That just wouldn't


Monday, December 14, 2009

super powers...

I have ears.
Two of 'em, actually. One on each side of my head. Just the way they are supposed to be.

Nicely formed, if I do say so myself, and they both work quite well. They aren't too large like Horton, and not too small like Jerry. They are just right...for me.

Every Friday morning after the kids are safely in school, a small group of us ladies get together for coffee and conversation. A koffee klatch, per se.

I love these ladies.
I really do.

They are always a constant source of support and inspiration; laughs and amusement.

I look forward to Friday mornings.

This Friday past the conversation veered to sleep patterns. Go figure. With the holidays zooming in, obligations stacking up, schedules tight, we talked about how we are individually dealing with it.

I've long left my diva days behind. I'm a 'early to bed and early to rise' type. I figure I must have been a farmer in a past life. When it gets dark, I go to bed. When the sun rises, I get up. Pretty simple stuff, boring perhaps, but simple nonetheless.

But as of late due to my overworked brain, my farmer has left the field. Sometimes it works for me. Sometimes it doesn't.

There are those nights that you just can't quite fall to sleep. And the more you dwell on your lack of sleep, the less able you are to relax to let the zzz's come over you.

One of the klatch ladies shared that she takes Tylenol PM which aids her in her quest for rest. Another chimed in that Benedryl works for her. And as I'm adding a little more sugar and a little more cream to my heavily caffinated beverage allowing me to remove the toothpicks aiding in holding my puffy eyes open, I'm thinking a martini later might help. We chuckled through our fatigue about our common bond of sleepless nights, the conversation circled around.

Christine said she'd lost her ear.

"Um, your ear? Are you a distant VanGogh relative? I know it's been cold, but how did you lose your ear?" Secretly I'm scanning the sides of her head under her hair to see if there is a bandage concealing something missing.

She said, "My 'Mom Ear'."

Her ability to hear what's going on around her once she's asleep.
Aaaahhhhh. MOM Ear.

I have them.
Mom Ears.
I just didn't know what they were called.

They don't look any different than regular ears, they just react different.

I never fall too deeply asleep. I can always hear what's going on.
I not only tune in to my own household, but hear the sounds from the neighborhood as well. Even with the windows shut tight for the winter I hear my next door neighbors when they pull in or out of the driveway. When they drag their garbage can down to the curb at 5am, or come home at 3. I seem to be the only one to hear this. No one else in the house does. None of my other neighbors hear it as well. But I do.

Is my hearing that great?
Have I been blessed with some super power?

Last night I heard car doors. At 5am. I had to get up for a drink of water and to release some water anyway, so I peeked out the windows. My master bedroom is up on the third floor of my century home. The eves act like giant ears. I can see everything from that vantage point, and hear most things for blocks. A pair of binoculars and I could be my very own block watch.
There are 4 police cruisers on my dark street and 5 uniformed officers. They are going back to their cruisers from my neighbors house a few doors down. Strolling back in no hurry. No visible agitation, no one in handcuffs. Why are they here before the break of dawn? My mind is running all possible scenarios. I've not come up with anything yet...but damn did my ears work well.

My daughter has 'selective hearing'. If you mention chocolate chip cookies, she can hear you from several yards over. If you ask her if her homework is done, I might as well be on the moon.

I had a dog with selective hearing.
And a husband too.

Is this super hearing 'mom ear' a learned thing? Or are you born with it.
Does it come with parenthood?
Or marriage?

I remember waking as soon as my husband would pull in the drive when he was out with friends. Before his usually late arrival I was blissfully taking in the sights of my inner eyelids. But as soon as I heard the tires on pavement...I'd be wide awake.

My mother had super hearing. Or now since Christine told me, Mom Ears.

We lived at a base of a hill. It was quiet there, outside of the gentle sound from the stream in the backyard. You could sometimes hear a distant train, or over head air traffic from the airport 10 miles away. Very few cars came down our road. It was a very tranquil neighborhood.

My bedroom had a balcony. Prior to cable we had a large tower antenna right off my balcony. High tech for it's time, it could rotate to pick up a television signal. We could get stations from different states. It also provided a stellar way to enter or exit the house without being noticed.

Or so I thought.

I had a curfew.
Many times I broke it.

One time coming home, I switched off the my cars engine at the top of the hill and coasted into the driveway, bringing it to a stop quiet as a mouse. I snuck around back, stealthily climbed the antenna tower and hoisted myself gracefully across the banister. As I went to open the patio doors there stood my mother.

"Why didn't you use the front door? I left it open for you." she asked me ever so politely.

"Uh, I didn't want to wake you...?", I sheepishly (and foolishly) threw out there as a possible excuse.

She just gave me that look.

You know the one.

The one that tells you you are full of kaka but I'm not going to acknowledge that because you and I both know you are in the wrong but I don't want to wake your father because it really isn't that big of a deal however next time don't make me stand waiting for you to sneak in the house off the balcony.

That look.

I hated getting that look.I tried not to get that look. I'd had rather a barrage of profanity's or a verbal lambasting about responsibility. I might have even preferred a paddling. But not the look.

The look could make you cringe.
And make you cry.
And also make you hope that you will be good enough in the future to never, ever see it again.

Unfortunately I did see it again. Several times. I was a diva!
But it never hurt me any less. And over time, I did get better. And low and behold I did see it less. I wonder if I'll get 'that look' as well as my inherited 'mom ears'. Maybe I should start working on it...
MY look won't look like hers, I'm sure.
I've tried to practice it a few times, but I just look like I'm constipated.

What a dire punishment that would be for an errant offspring.
To give them the look that makes them run...

for the Ex-Lax.


Friday, December 11, 2009

for love of sheep and cashmere...

As the time continues to tick away, I look at my daughter and wonder "Where really did the time go?" Where?

When? How....?

How did it manage to be so fleeting? How did it slip by me? I was there all please tell me, when exactly did she get so damn big?

Boo'est turns 11 in January.

We have a door in my office that over the years we have marked with spurts of growth and dates. We haven't measured her for a bit. So we did the other evening. She stood by the door and I was amazed where she was on the chart. She had grown a full 4 inches from the last marking...which was just 5 months ago.

I recalled a time last month when she took her shoes off at night and in the morning they didn't fit. In a matter of 8 hours her feet had grown. Really. I was amazed and wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't actually seen it with my own eyes.

Recently she has taken a liking to fashion. She pays a little closer attention to what she's wearing. Which is cool. I like her fashion sense. Her interpretation of fashion emulates my own. Understated, classic with a twist. She just wears slightly more color. Like red. I don't do red.

After school she was changing out of her uniform and getting dressed in 'street clothes'. She changed not once, not twice; but four times before the ensemble is acceptable. Leaving in her wake a pile of clothes that looked as if Hurricane Ida had rumbled through her room as well.

Now this might be a common occurrence with kids these days, but it's never been like that with Boo before. She was like an Old Navy spokesperson, jeans with a printed T. Flips or Uggs and she's good to go.

At some point that changed.

I just don't know when...

It seems just yesterday that I was out running errands and she was just a baby. Strangers would stop and give you advice. " cute. Take note! It doesn't last long!"

And your like, "Uh yeah, Right...okay, thanks for the advice!"

When your silently thinking to yourself, "I don't know you." Besides, I know that I'll remember every. single. minute. that I'll ever spend with my daughter...

But years later I now realize that they were right. Every single word was right.

It does fly.
It did fly.

And it continues to fly.

And now I find myself saying the very same thing to other unsuspecting parents in line at the grocery...

Her outfit, after all the change of clothes, was finalized with a pair of gray leggings, black classic Uggs and a teal sweater dress turned into tunic by our tailor Bobby.

I pondered how many other ten year olds have knowledge of tailors. Or have a tailor. One that she knows by name. I find it amusing and slightly disconcerting that she now looks at a clothing item and says, "Bobby can fix it." or "Bobby can take that in."

We were shopping for a new ski parka and she found one she liked. But it had a hood that wasn't detachable. She insisted that it was okay, however knowing my daughter the way I do I knew it would be cause for dislike down the road.

"Mommy, I hate this hood.", she said the other afternoon. "It pulls and bothers me."

"I knew you wouldn't like it. Didn't I tell you?"

"Yes.", she replied, as disgruntled. But then she perked up as the light bulb went off in her head. "Bobby can take it off! I know he can!"

And yes, Bobby did indeed take off the hood of Boo's new ski parka. He said it wasn't easy and normally he wouldn't have done it. But for Boo, he'd do anything.

And she's got the tailor wrapped around her little pinkie.

Oh boy....

She digs Uggs. And I don't blame her. They are comfortable and warm. Hell, I've bought my first pair 20 years ago. But she seem to grasp why people buy the knockoffs...

"Well, Uggs are expensive honey. Not everyone can afford to buy a real pair of Uggs." I explain. We've had this talk about value and the value of money.

"But they sell them on eBay, mommy. You don't have to buy them at Dillard's and pay full price. It's better to buy the real ones. They last lonnnnnggggggerrrrrrrrrrrrrr."

(My smart, smart girl. She WAS listening after all.) "Not everyone does eBay, baby."

"Mommy, it just doesn't make sense. You could buy one pair of Uggs and it'll last 4 tines longer than the fake ones."

"True. You're a smart girl bear."

"You're the smart one, mommy. I learned it from you."

Yeah, that and her new found love of cashmere.
However, I like my cashmere in the form of turtlenecks.

She likes cardigans.

Which reminds me of that other unsolicited saying people always tell you.
I guess that apple really doesn't fall too far from the proverbial tree...


Monday, December 7, 2009

in pursuit of diamonds(?)...

My daughter spent the night at her dad's Friday night.

Sounds all 'modern family', doesn't it?

He and I have mellowed over the years into a very amicable relationship. We do annual family ski vacations and engage in group hugs. He and I are bonded by our love of our daughter. And that's okay. (as long as he no longer tells me I look tired...)

I'm glad that even when we first split, we put bears interests above our own egos. Sure, there have been moments when we've hated each other, but have always worked things out...because of boo. And it shows. She's a better kid because of it. She wasn't damaged like some children can be from splits. I know some parents that can't even attend teacher conferences at the same time. That is just so, so sad.

It seems nowadays the majority of kids are either from divorced parents, remarried parents, single parents or divorced remarried parents. Very few actually have the Christmas card nuclear family with both parents, 2 kids and a dog any more. The 1950's ideal of family has gone way by the side of the road.

I think I'd rather be on that road. The classic family road. I long for the simplistic nature that traditional roles in family provide.

Seriously, this doing everything; being everything gets really, really old.

And to maybe get back on that road I recently signed up on eHarmony.
I know, I know.

It's probably a futile effort and a waste of money, but I thought I'd give it a try. As much as I cringe every time I go to sign on and see the smiling mugs of LJ and Shannon; Married: August 5, 2006!, I do hear good things about it from some people.
I've closed several matches just because I didn't like their photo. That might be a little superficial, but hey, it's realistic at least. Perhaps they were my 'soul mate' (whatever that is) and I didn't give it a shot. I suppose mustaches could be shaved off. But seriously, if someone posts a photo of themselves with a mustache, mullet and muscle shirt? Yeah, I'm not starting any communication with that one. That's a little too much boyfriend makeover. It might work on TV, but not in real life. Perhaps they thought it a good photo because it showed off their 'guns'. It might be okay for some women, but it's not my style. If I want a gun, I'll go to a gun shop.

There were a few guys that I have to commend that they were so blatantly honest. A guy in Toledo listed that he was 'basically a mail carrier'. And 'basically, he liked his job because he had health insurance, job security and enough money to go to the bar on Friday night'. Really, those were his exact words.

He was sort of cute. But I've enough of cute, dumb boys. Oh, did I mention that he was 43? High standards? I don't think so. But I bet his double wide mobile home is beautiful...(bad Nancy. Shame, shame.)

There are alot of short men as well. I'm sure that it's okay if you are Tom Cruise, you can afford to buy lifts for your shoes when you date someone taller. But these guys are Tom. Not that I'm Katie Holmes, but that isn't going to work for me either.

As I peruse these people that have been 'matched' with me, I've become rather critical.

I thought about that the other night. It's so unlike me.

I'm really a very accepting person.
Almost to a fault.
But lately it seems that I've crossed some invisible barrier. One where I'm now more demanding, more attune to what it is that I want. Which somehow makes me less accepting of behaviour that I used to put up with.

Even with my friend whom I used to be romantically involved with, I've noticed a change in my attitude. The other day he was being a moody dick. Normally I'd try to find out what the problem is and resolve it. Yesterday I just told him, "You're being a dick. Snap out of it."

"Me? You're the one on edge!" he replied.

"Uh. No. You're a dick. Call me when you have it sorted out. I don't want to be around you when you're a dick."

"Sorry, I've got a lot of things on my mind.", he said.

Which is fine. We've all been there. But it's not MY problem. I used to make it my problem. I used to absorb the issue and resolve it, shoulder the burden. But I don't need to any longer. There ain't no ring on my finger that makes it my problem.

Go away.
Take care of whatever is bugging you and then, come back to talk to me.
Until then, I've got my own stuff to worry about...

I thought about it.
My response to him; my response to those on eHarmony and decided that somewhere along the way...I've evolved.

I've changed.

I'm finally getting the mindset that it's alright for me to have a say. To know what I want. To feel like I deserve to be treated with respect.

Over at DigitalMCS, Mike recently got engaged. He had a post where he wrote about how his "fiance's eyes sparkled when she smiled." How sweet is that? Pukey, sickly sweet. But I love it and I'm happy for them. It's refreshing. And it's real...

Christmas is the season where you can't turn on a television, open a magazine or read a newspaper without being bombarded with jewelry advertisements. I've seen the Kay Jewelers commercial now about 6 dozen times and each time it makes me want to tear up.

"I love you."

That's all that's said. From the younger guy to his girlfriend; the older couple sitting at their kitchenette table; the middle aged couple having tea by the fireplace...a diamond, in any form, will seemingly convey this message. And yeah. I agree.

But being today what it is, I will continue to peruse the lame list of guys available on eHarmony. I don't have high hopes for the matching site, but I'll try to stay optimistic about it. Because that's what I am, an optimist.

However I admit, I am a hypocrite.

When I 'close' the match, I'm not honest.
I should click on the option that best let them know why I'm not pursuing the communication. Should I be honest and let them know that their profile is creepy, or their picture just isn't showing their best side. Instead I prefer to save them face. I click on the 'other reason' button. Which won't hurt their feelings that they are a schmutz, but might leave them wondering, "Why?".

I have to say that I've gotten a couple of messages from others that closed the match on me. The message was, "I don't feel that the chemistry is there."

To me, that sounds like, "You look tired."
Oh. Look at this one!
Hmmm. This guy in Westlake is nice looking and sails. Cool.
But what's with the soul patch on his chin?
That's gotta go.

Didn't I just see an ad for a sale on Norelco...


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

in. need. of. sleep...

My inner clock is all messed up.
It's usually pretty 'on time', but the last month or so it's been off like a 17th century pocket watch.

Some of this I blame on the time change.

When it gets pitch black at 5:30pm, it makes my body go into sleep mode. We wrap things up for the evening and hit the pillows. Unfortunately when you go to bed at 9, I then wake up at 4...and that ain't good for my daytime productivity.

Or the delicate skin under my eyes.

When your ex-husband stops by and says, "You look tired..." , that isn't something that you like to hear. "You look fabulous!" would have been much better. Especially since that particular day I felt alright. I wasn't tired...yet.

Some of the sleep issues are stress related. Minor, mind you. But stress nonetheless. I wake up wondering about schedules and appointments. Thinking about what needs to be done and timelines to do it in. And about this....

Remember that project that I started, instigated really, with that mighty swing of my sledgehammer? Yeah. So this is where we are now.
The upside of this dusty mess is that by Christmas my daughter will have a brand new BIG room, complete with walk-in closet and futon for her posse. We've done our shopping at Pottery Barn Teen and picked out new bedding. She's chosen the wall colors and I'm having a custom headboard built. The carpetings been ordered and the new blinds. If all goes well, they should all arrive and the project will continue along as planned.

If not, well...I'll have something else to lose sleep over.

And until then I managing to lose sleep over not having it done. Either way, it looks like I should invest in some Tylenol PM....