Thursday, August 30, 2012

Groundhog Day, The Movie And What I Learned From Matt

Mama Kat’s Writing Prompt:
1.) Share something your child taught YOU about parenting.


So for the gazillionith time I will tell you that my kids, 19 and 21 years of age, are very different from each other. Day and Night. Black and White. Yin and Yang but not necessarily complementary, etc., etc., etc…….

I have learned so much from each of them and, of course, completely opposite and different things.

Today, I’d like to share something that Matt taught me.

He’s my gregarious and compassionate one. Also bright, charming, and affectionate with a hug for everyone. He’s my fly-by-the-seat-of–his-pants kid who lives in the moment and never looks before he leaps. His laugh is infectious. He doesn’t hold grudges and he’s present. Matt is passionate about life and has the capacity to love very deeply; it’s just in him.

Now, I’m telling you all of his strengths but with this child, the highs are oh-so high and the lows are crab-appleness at it’s finest. Quite often he’s a totally pain in the ass. And far from perfect but I wouldn’t (well maybe) change a thing about him because those great times are equivalent to a freshly minted bar of shiny gold or a beautiful rainbow. You just might have to put up with some stuff to reap these rewards sometimes.

One of our favorite family movies is Groundhog Day. You know, the one starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell. Somehow, we regularly fall into it on the tube without even looking. Happiest to catch it at the beginning, we’ll sit down to watch it at any point. Someone will yell, “Hurry! Groundhog Day is on!” and we cuddle up on the couches to watch. And of course, there’s a big fight as to who gets the big comfy chair (that person gets the dog!).

 If you don’t know the movie, here is a brief description of the plot line from the website

“On February 2, 1992, Phil, Rita, and Larry are sent on an assignment that Phil especially loathes: the annual Groundhog Day festivities in Punxsutawney, PA, where the citizens await the appearance of Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog who will supposedly determine the length of winter by his ability to see his own shadow. Phil is eager to beat a hasty retreat, but when a freak snowstorm strands him in Punxsutawney, he wakes up the next morning with the strangest sense of déjà vu: he seems to be living the same day over again. The next morning it happens again, and then again. Soon, no matter what he does, he's stuck in February 2, 1992; not imprisonment nor attempted suicide nor kidnapping the groundhog gets him out of the loop. But the more Phil relives the same day, the more he's forced to look at other people's lives, and something unusual happens: he begins to care about others. He starts to respect people, he tries to save the life of a homeless man, and he discovers that he's falling in love with Rita and therefore wants to be someone that she could love in return.”

As a parent, don’t you sometimes feel you are reliving the exact same day over and over and over again?

So what is it Matt taught me about parenting?

This boy, now a man, taught me to start each day fresh as if it were a clean slate. This child always woke with a smile from the time he was an infant, ready to begin his day with enthusiasm (except for some of those teen years).

Don’t wake up mad at anybody (my kids or husband or friends or parents). Choose to begin the day, again and again and again, happy. There is always a new adventure, whether big or small, waiting for me.

So on days when, as a young mom of toddlers then teens (and even now), I woke up grumpy or wanted to stay pissy forever, I would see his gorgeous blue eyes and beautiful face and remember.

Today is a clean slate.

Dump the baggage from yesterday.

Be present so you don't miss the moments.

Smile big and bright.

Living with him has been like Groundhog Day, the movie. While many days may seem mundane and repetitive (doesn’t everyone feel this way sometimes?), it’s up to us to find and make new moments for ourselves each and every day. And make a choice to start it fresh.

I try to leave my bed in the morning with a smile in my mind and often think of him doing the same (although, I’m sure he’s smiling much later being a college student). It doesn’t always work but I try. 

Mama’s Losin’ It

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Question For Three Types Of Mammals

Is it a realistic expectation to be able to do what you'd like, when you’d like to do it, for as long as you'd like or even for a short period of time if that's what you want? Is it fair to expect others in your life to allow for this?

I love to read. Everyone who knows me knows this. And even if you only know me a little, you know this, too. It’s one of the basic. It’s me.

Picture Belle from “Beauty and The Beast” walking around her village with her nose in a book, bumping into things. I’m not always that absorbed but I can be and if I have a spare moment, my hands will open a book.

I always have a book with me whether it’s downloaded on my phone from my Kindle through my iPad or a “real” book stuffed on my person or thrown on the passenger seat of the car. You have the idea, right?

Obviously I can’t read when I’m driving, although I would if I could, and actually I did once in college. Returning from a visit with my college love who lived an hour away and I needed to read a marketing article in preparation for class.

Anyway…All I wanted to do Monday was read even though I was looking at a very long “to-do” list of chores. Don’t you think the word “chore” has negative connotations? I do.

I ripped off the inside portion of the list and got to it; whipping through everything in an hour. I did a slightly better than a half assed job of it, in my opinion. Things looked decent and I declared myself finished for the day.

It was sunny and breezy and perfect for reading at the end of the pier. I snuck down unbeknownst to anyone.

Peace and quiet. Sun lounger and lemonade. Book and me. Ahhhhh!

It’s was perfect for ten minutes until 75 lbs. of furry brown fun came pouncing down to water's edge, ball in mouth. If she could speak, she was saying, “Play with me. I love water. Throw the ball. Again. Again. Again…”

This wasn’t working but I played for a while tiring her completely until her tongue was almost sweeping the ground. She plopped down and left me alone. Post shake, that is.

Mood only slightly diminished, I moved to the front yard. Set myself up on two chairs, cushion under my rear, legs propped up, and book opened….again.

After a few minutes, I heard a familiar chirping, not like a bird, coming from a spot 10 feet away and 20 feet above me. I knew what it was from its very first utterance.

It was this squirrel on its perch in my tree. I don’t know if it’s the same squirrel that constantly torments and taunts the dog but I knew its game here and I was really starting to get annoyed. Every time it started yipping at me, I would look up at it and it would stop. The minute I’d look down at my book, it chirped incessantly. This went on three or four times until I laughed and said out loud, “Really? You’re kidding me, right?” Nope, not kidding. I threw a stick up at the perch. 

But I began to wonder why it seemed like everything wanted my attention and/or didn’t want me to read. Could that be it?

Two attempts, two strikeouts. Third time a charm?

I readjusted myself and started again.

Not more than 15 minutes goes by and my husband, finished with his to-do's, showered, two margaritas in hand, sits down. “Wanna do something?”

I flip a few pages to see where the chapter ends and say, “Four pages. Can you wait for four pages?”

“Do you want to play cribbage or go for a boat ride?” he responds.

“I’m not doing anything until I read these four pages. Are you okay with that?”

“Sure, but what…”

“AH!” I interrupted holding my hand up.

That bought me enough silence to read ten more pages (I snuck in a few extra while he sipped his drink).

The dog, a crazy ass squirrel and my husband all made repeated attempts to disrupt me today for their own purposes. None of them are readers. Well, two can’t be. One doesn’t “get” it or consider it an immensely important part of life like I do.* The best I can relate it to is golf. For him. That's what reading means to me.

So, I tried to ignore them all. Tune them out the best I could. Engage in something I really wanted to do with my time. Told them to hold their horses! Just short of "Leave me alone."

Am I being defiant? Well, maybe. Yes.

I’m taking what I want. Everyone else does. They need to learn to entertain themselves, anyway.

I love them (well not the squirrel) but reading is my love, too. There are worse things I could be choosing to do with my time. It’s not like I’m hanging out at the bars.


*I have talked up The Hunger Games so much, “It’s right up your alley, Honey!” so just maybe…. I’ve only been able to get him to read three books, Private Parts by Howard Stern, Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton and Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson and only on vacations.

Un-cool, Part Two

If you’re like me and your kids are nearly adults, you’ve spent most of their lives leading by example. Teaching them how to treat others with genuine kindness and respect, act with high moral standards. Do what’s right.

While doing this I whispered to the cool, hip one, “Your turn will come. Now’s not the time.”

The voice inside shouts to the dinosaur currently paying my body’s rent. “But when?” 

“Dinosaur? I take offense! Soon. Be patient.”

Watering them lovingly for years, they've grown into gorgeous saplings. I’ve done my job and it’s time to cast them free. Experiment with life, shoulder consequences and develop healthy, lasting relationships.

Guess who gets to come out to play now? Meeeeeee! Myself. The same mom, just funnier and more rambunctious. 

By now, my friends have told them stories about what I used to be like. They’re intelligent enough to know (because they’re my kids after all), there’s more to mom than meets the eye.

But it’s better to let out “cool and hip” me slowly. Don’t want anyone to freak.

Testing it out, I start belting out songs and seat dancing while driving together.

“Mom, you know the words to this song?”

“I’m down with this stuff.” (They don’t need to know it’s a remake)

“Ummmm. Wrong.”

Next step….Hit the dance floor at a college party.

Amanda says, “Whoa! Take it easy there, Mom! You’re not as good as you think!”

“Oh yeah! Dance with meeeeeee!!! I’ve had two beers. Watch me bust this move!”

“Matt! Get her to stop! NOW!”

On a roll, I try sprinkling in some language, including some “swears”, to spice things up. What did we used to say?

I know.

“I’m bad to the bone. Oh, don’t have a cow. Take a chill pill! Am I in deep shit?”

“Mom, you sound ridiculous. Plus you don’t swear. You’re not even good at it.”

“Wanna fucking* bet?”

It’s all in the 'tude.

Their friends thought I was cool.

Blogger's Note: This piece is almost entirely fiction... except for possibly the swearing and the things I've done right in raising my kids, of course. I'm way more chill than this! And dare I say cool.

*Just so it’s clear, they were definitely of driving age before the f-bomb passed my lips in their presence….I think! I should ask them.

The writing challenge was to use the third definition of the word Dinosaur: 3. one that is impractically large, out-of-date or obsolete.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Let's Be Friends, RV Travel, Name That Tune, Hands Out Of My Pocket!

Can’t believe it’s Tuesday. Again. And so quickly that happened.

The thing I like about Tuesdays is the opportunity to participate in Stacy’s Random Tuesday Thoughts and it provides just enough of an excuse for all this blah, blah, blah!

I’m not on Face Book much but I got a friend request (who knows when?) from a guy that messaged me first saying, “Hey, Gina. We went to college together. Do you remember me? Let’s be friends.” I looked at his picture. Didn’t ring any bells or jog any memories although his name is kind of familiar. He knows someone I know (mutual yet distant friend) but that’s just not enough on my end. Do you ignore the request? Obviously they know you are ignoring them when you don’t accept. But do I care that he knows? No, because I don’t know him. I knew I’d eventually answer my own question.

I love to drive and I could do it, by myself, for hours. And as I was driving home this morning from Indiana I had the opportunity to think about and do a few things.

(1)         I’d love to buy an RV (think “Lost In America”). One like the rock stars have but it doesn't have to be that pimped out. It can be basic but along these lines. I saw tons of them today. Ahhhhh! The freedom to travel. I have several specific uses in mind for MY  RV. I would take it to concerts all over the country. I’d see every band or artist that I ever wanted to see and I would enjoy both mapping out my trip and spontaneously seeing anyone of interest while also taking in our National Parks. This sounds perfect for me.

(2)         I like to drive by myself because my "in vehicle" music habits would drive the most insane person completely wacky. I don’t use an iPod or listen to CDs. I cruise the stations. NON-STOP!!! My finger is fixed to the station changer or tuner and I just roll with it. Sometimes I even play “Name That Tune” with myself and only leave a song on for a few notes, guess, then go back to the station to see if I was correct. Yes, I’m annoying but I am by myself so I can do what I want. Additionally, I have no problem singing at the top of my lungs and don’t care if people see me belting it out. I heard a lot of great songs this morning.
(3)         Part of any drive, I like to reserve for pure thinking time. I let my mind wander off without so much as a thought to reining it in. Stories formulate that way.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading The Hunger Games and Catching Fire but me thinks I will take a break before reading Mockingjay. This must be influenced by hearing that it wasn’t as good as the other two, not sure, but my wandering and curious mind is already off in a new direction (Mockingjay will have to wait).

I’m starting a book called What The Psychic Told The Pilgrim by Jane Christmas. Have you heard of it? I hadn’t but it was given to me by my neighbor, the one with whom I went off to Spain, and it’s a must read for me. We will be walking Spain’s Camino de Santiago de Compostela for 30 days beginning towards the end of May with the culmination being June 27th. If you’ve ever walked La Camino, please feel free to give advice or pointers. We will need them.

It lasted 13 days. I’m actually surprised it took them that long to ask about money. The kids, I mean. I usually get “hit up” sooner and more frequently. However, I did offer to pay for any date nights they had with each other…just the two of them since they attend the same school and live a mere four doors down from each other. You see…they don’t get along. AT ALL! One says “black” and the other simultaneously says “white”. ALWAYS! I want them to bond, to like each other and if it’s over sushi (their only shared love), then I’m willing to pay for it. I owe someone $30.

They sent a picture from that night, after dinner, and those smiles look real. I don't have many like is always faking it! Plus it's confirmation they are ALIVE!

I need to get to the stairs. Remember "Storm The Stadium"? That stupid thing I said I'd do (6000 stairs in Soldier Field); the stupid goal I set for September 22nd. Thinking about them right now makes me want to puke.

Oh, and lastly, I would like to look like Jillian Michaels on the cover of September's Shape Magazine. 

I only have 6 inches, 20 lbs. and 12 years on her but...maybe? She looks great. Healthy. Strong. Fit. Just the right look to me!!!

Thanks again, Stacy, for hosting!!!


Seriously Shawn

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Art Of Goosing Someone

Write a 33-word response using the name of an animal as a verb


Rein in your excitement.

Take moments to be certain.

Glimpsing a profile definitely helps

Before running up to goose someone you think you know.

It’s inappropriate to touch strangers

And embarrassing.

Mostly awkward.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Oh The Things It Makes You Do...

Have you ever felt as if someone reached inside your chest, grabbed your heart with their hand and squeezed firmly refusing to let go? The first time you physically laid eyes on someone?

I'll raise my hand. And I'll name it. The "Crushing Hard" heart.

My junior year of college, I saw this gorgeous hunk of a guy at a kegger his fraternity was throwing. My best girlfriend, afraid I would embarrass myself AND her, told me to, "Pull it together. Put your tongue back in your mouth and wipe the drool from your chin." 


It wasn't that bad but I was crushing bigger and harder than ever before and we didn't know what to do. 

I was bitten by "love at first sight". 

I had him in a class too, Business Writing, and his physical presence (so he walked in and sat down) made my schoolgirl heart want to leap out of my body, onto his desk and scream, "Talk to me, please!" 

There were a few problems...(1) we didn't know each other (some silly eye contact was all) and (2) I was shy.

He always boxed in a campus charity event called "Fight Night". So my girlfriends devised a plan to get this tough, and naughty as the day was long, guy's guy to notice their girlfriend and ask her out.

They cast me as our sorority’s entry for "Miss Fight Night" claiming it was the only way to help a sister out because no one really knew him. RIGHT! Yet, they also knew it wasn't "me" to get up in a ring in front of a thousand plus people, all dressed up, and I’d most likely chicken out.  

Never underestimate the highly motivated.

“We” came in second but he saw me in the ring before his light heavyweight fight. I waved and the hook was set.

Who knew he’d be the most sensitive guy in the world?

Or we’d date for years and think it would last forever.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Toes, Cement, A Car Wreak, Extreme Fitness, Brain Cramps And MORE!!!

Have you ever wanted to stick your toes or a hand or write something with a stick in freshly laid cement? It definitely brings out the child in me.

This is my village this morning. 

Who the heck thinks we need to keep beautifying this one block town? Look at it! That’s all there is. But it’s in a constant state of rearranging on our taxpayer dollars.

I bring this up because you can see my coffee shop in the forefront. This morning, right outside, the cement mason was putting his final touches on a decorative circle before my eyes. The ONLY thing I could think of was taking off my flip-flops and digging my toes in. Leaving my mark. Childish, right?

My sensibility kicked in. I thought about the bill we’d receive from the village and the ‘splaining I’d have to do…

Speaking of ‘splaining…

It came to my attention this weekend (from my daughter), and as clever as I thought I’d been, my husband knows about a fender bender I may or may not have gotten in with her car recently. I immediately took it to “my guy” for a cheap repair (doesn’t everyone have a guy on hand for such things?) and had it fixed fairly well for 50 bucks. The alternative was a much more costly replaced wheel well and quarter panel. Plus it wasn’t on the driver’s side which is the side mostly seen from our driveway. I thought I made a good decision here. Funny, my husband has never mentioned a thing to me even though he has seen it, inspected it (no doubt), mentioned it to my daughter and knows who the culprit was. And he knows I know he's seen it. Patient man.

It’s been one week to the day since my little monsters left for school. Need I say more? AHHHHHHHHHHH…..

People who have been following me for the last 4-5 months know I get a bit wigged out over exercise. I always need to have a fitness goal or challenge dangling in front of me. If you live in the Chicago area, are going to be in the area OR want to be in the area and you like fitness challenges (Hey! Think along the lines of the writing challenges for which we are all so fond!), sign up for STORM THE STADIUM on September 22nd and do it with my friends and me!!! Check out the website. It should be a blast and I will be talking about it as it gets closer...A LOT! And it’s not about how fast you can do those 6000 stairs; it’s about just doing it. And who can resist a Survivor hunk or hunkette?

I love participating in Trifecta and Yeah Write writing challenges. However, I’m suffering from an extreme lack of ideas. Anyone out there have any suggestions for a writer’s brain cramp? Jack, I know you’ll say there is no such thing and to just keep writing and it takes practice and…

And I need sleep aids because I’m not doing it. Sleeping much. And I'm staying up way too late. And I’m thinking instead of sleeping. Counted back from 100 about 100 times last night and thought about Trifecta topic way too much. Sleep is overrated but I need just a little, pretty please!

I’ve been told the third book of The Hunger Games series isn’t as good as the first two. True? I should finish the series, don’t you think?

I always like to thank Stacy on Tuesdays for letting have a place to just be….Random!


And Seriously Shawn and Impulsive Addict for indulging our impulses to write whatever comes to mind.

Seriously Shawn

And this is a train I’ve never been on before, Tuesday Train. I’m a nubee so I’m looking forward to an adventure.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Three Towers, Wine And A Very Scary Day

Mr. "Ants In His Pants” was ready to go.

How’s it possible? 

Up too late, sipping limoncello, consuming enough food and beverage for six people, past 2:00 a.m. on Florence’s Piazza Signoria. We conjured up stories about everyone; secret rendezvous’ and nighttime escapades. Talking, laughing, listening to strolling violinists, and gazing at each other, the Italians, the star filled night.

Morning’s light crept in through the dark curtains at what seemed like the precise moment I closed my eyes. I had no clue what time it but I knew it was Tuesday.

Feeling a gentle nudge followed closely by a firm one which I failed to acknowledge, I received a more significant shake and a rather loud, to my currently delicate ears (and gray matter), “Come on! Get up! Let’s go!”


Opening one eye first and immediately groaning, Scott handed me three Advil and said, “You’ll need these.” My second eye flew open in disbelief. In the wee hours of my unconsciousness, he’d packed up the entire room leaving me to quickly shower, throw on some clothes and find my toothbrush. Stellar!

The streets of Florence are meant for Vespas not cars (look both ways before you step off a curb, I’ll warn). It’s dangerous and my husband, not having enough practice on American roads to safely maneuver those Italian (too many years traveling on Chicago’s public transportation system), was at the wheel for our exodus from the city. I simply closed my eyes and waited for my cue to navigate.

We weren’t headed far, about an hour south, to the charming medieval walled village of Monteriggioni; excited for picnics, wine tastings, traversing small villages and taking in the quietness of the Tuscan countryside. And Siena…

Too early for hotel check in (why did we hustle?), we dropped our bags with Gigi, the proprietor, and headed out exploring.

Taking only back roads through Southern Tuscany, we basked in monks’ chanting at Sant’ Antimo abbey during morning mass and sipped grappa at a local taverna before noon, bought magnum upon magnum, and bottle after bottle of Brunello de Montalcino at vineyards along the road. And with a few hours of afternoon daylight left, cruised up the Autostrada to San Gimignano, the city of towers. Climbing to the top of the tallest, the church bell tower, the entire glory of a gorgeous Italian countryside spread out before us. Pure Tuscan style.

Having nothing to do with any extended effects from the night before, the day thoroughly exhausted us.

Driving through the village arches to the back of the hotel at 7:00p.m., all that was left to this Tuesday was figuring out a way to look presentable within the hour and dining in the village’s 4-star restaurant right next door. We got this!

Strangely, Gigi was waiting for us at the door. “Have you seen this?” he said without a smile. As he led us into the small lobby that housed the only television in this quainter than quaint hotel, a couple from Houston hardly looked away from the screen. She had tears streaking down her cheeks.

Scott said, “Is that Beirut or a Die Hard movie?”

The man from Houston said, “No. That’s New York City.”

We sat.

No. We hadn’t seen it. We’d been too busy. No one with whom we came in contact the entire day mentioned a word. How could no one have known?

It quickly became the longest and scariest day of our lives as we panicked trying to call home to speak with our parents who were caring for our young children. International phone lines were busy for 24 hours straight.

But we were hungry, so we kept our time at the restaurant next door because we didn’t know what else to do. Strangers, once hearing our voices, offered condolences for the tragedy that was currently unfolding. We shared a shocked and emotional glass of wine with the only other Americans around, the couple from Houston.

My husband insisted we stay up until we heard our President speak at 9:30p.m. EST. The once math major in me quickly calculated that we’d be glued to coverage until 3:30 a.m. local Italian time. So we watched the planes hit again and again and again. And watched the first tower go down just like everyone else who wasn’t on vacation.

My husband did business with many folks working in Tower One (and was in One Financial Place the day before it's truck bomb attack).

We prayed.

Over the next few days so many kind people gave us advice. 

Don’t even think about returning your rental car (you may not get out). Get as far from the major cities and tourist spots as possible (there won’t be any “room at the inn”). Drink all your wine (rumors of no liquids carried on).

What???? No liquids!!!

There was just no physical way just two people, who both intensely love wine, could drink what we purchased.

However, we gave it the good ole American try!

And we giggled and stressed and laughed and cried straight through the rest of our wine induced haze of an Italian vacation. There was extreme guilt having fun considering the awful circumstances of our country.

Last September, we drank the last magnum of Brunello de Montalcino we stashed in the dirty clothes of our luggage. It was an opportunity to reflect on how the world changed that day.

[Especially heartbreaking was a report from home later that our very sensitive, anxiety-ridden, young son who, because my mother-in-law with Alzheimer's couldn’t stop watching the news, kept thinking more planes were hitting more and more buildings in New York.]

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Dreams, Love Them: Stream of Consciousness Sunday

Stream of consciousness writing below where my timer was set for 5 minutes and I just spilled out my most immediate thoughts on the optional prompt for today which is one of my very favorite things to do and write about!



Love them.

I have a very, very vivid imagination during my waking hours and I’m often quite surprised by where my mind finds itself.

Let’s just say my nocturnal imagination leaves my daytime one in the dust. See ya!

And I remember everything. Okay, not everything, but 95% of what I dream, I could piece together the next morning and I often do.

My best dreamtime is from 5am-7am. Oftentimes I’m up between 4-5am for physical reasons or my mind is engaged in thought and won’t let my body drift off. Anyway, the dreams I have during this time are amazing and they usually involve people (whoever happens to be on my mind at the time?). It can be slightly discombobulating waking up spooning my husband who may or may not have been present in my dream (just kidding? I’m only human!)

Sometimes I wake startled from an incredible dream and it wasn’t finished yet and I want back!!!


So I lie there (like from my favorite movie Somewhere In Time where Richard wills himself to go back in time to his greatest truest love, Elise McKenna) and will myself back. It doesn’t usually work and I’m just left with an incomplete but very vivid memory of what might have been.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Life Long Love Affair

Sometimes things can be fixed. And all consuming, passionate, can’t breathe without you love can last. Forever. Eyes tearing, Gabby said, “I’m so sorry if I lead you on. I can’t do this.” 

33 word ending sentence to a story, which started a long time ago.

Waiting At The Bar: Write On Edge

All she could think about was getting to O’Hare, through security, and to the bar closest to the departure gate for LaGuardia. The spot.

Gabby was sitting on a stool, absorbed in thought as a fabulously dressed businessman asked, “Is this seat taken?”

Geeze! Not now, she thought.

Gabby never gave off the vibe of approachability. Yet it still happened. Only brave and secure men attempted to penetrate her aloof exterior. Those who made a genuine attempt were usually rewarded with a smile and simple conversation.


She wanted to spend these precious moments thinking about her plans but Joe, the businessman, kept pressing. “Where’re you going?” “Going alone?” “Why isn’t he here then?”

Gabby was getting a migraine. The Pinot Noir wasn’t helping and Extra Strength Tylenol wasn’t touching it.

Joe had a valid point.

Where the hell was he?

Nowhere in her practical and rational mind did she ever think they'd carry out this plan. Always playing around in an innocently suggestive manner. Scheming, putting together wish lists, bucket lists and everything close friends do.

Were they fooling themselves thinking men and women could truly be just that? Friends.

“May I buy you a glass of wine?” Joe asked.

Glancing at her watch, Gabby had 20 minutes before she was due to board.

“Thank you.” She said quietly. Proceeding to stare into the deep red liquid never raising the glass to her lips and never saying another word to Joe.

Every few seconds, she flipped her wrist to glance at the minute hand. Talk about moving at a snail’s pace. Her brain, however, was in overdrive working through the entire scenario of how she arrived here; on this stool, talking with stranger and waiting for a man who might never come.

It was his idea to tag along on her business trip then make a weekend out of it. He secured tickets to the hot new Broadway play, researched and made all the dinner reservations, planned their walking itinerary through Central Park to The Met.

And now HE’S the one chickening out? All along, he teased and accused her of being the one who would.

God! This is embarrassing. Being stood up by a “friend” no less.

Hearing, “Boarding all rows for flight #344.”

She swung her long legs off the stool, stood, and began her walk of shame to the gate. As she got closer, she glanced up and saw that familiar gait approaching her with his head hanging down.

“Hey you!” Gabby shouted.

Surprised, Will smiled broadly, “I waited at the bar over there for over an hour.”

“And I was at that bar.” Gabby pointed back laughing at her stupid doubt.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Things I'm Looking Forward To After Goodbye

I cried.

Of course I did because I always do when they leave, or I leave them. They make fun of me saying I cry too easily even during commercials or silly TV shows.

I had droplets streaking down my cheeks…for about five minutes as we were hugging goodbye and saying see you in a month.

Guilty as charged!

But you know what? Those tears dried up lickety split!

And I immediately sat down with my book (Catching Fire, second in The Hunger Games trilogy), which is #1 on my list of “Things I’m looking forward to about sending the kids back to school”.

1.)  I want to read OBSESSIVELY! I’ve got books on books on books in a physical and virtual pile just waiting to be devoured.

2.)  My laundry load has been severely, and thankfully, cut to 1/3 of what it was 24 hours ago. Need I say more?

3.)  I’m looking very much forward to getting back to some sort of exercise routine. I exercised yesterday, really exercised, for the first time since late June. I’m so stiff and sore I can hardly walk and I know it will get worse later and even more so tomorrow. I love the feeling!!!

4.)  My ears will be completely cleansed of bickering. Unless, however, my husband and I decide to pick it up which is highly unlikely.  When we go out with a couple that happens to be having “issues” we refer to them as “The Bickersons”. If they are good friends, we say it directly to them…meant fondly, of course.

5.)  I just returned from watching a movie on a rainy afternoon. And the trailers made me want to see so many more. Wouldn’t a bi-weekly popcorn and Diet Coke lunch at the movie theater be perfect?

6.)  The amount of cash in my wallet is static from day to day. I never have much and my cash needs are small, like a cup of coffee. Sometimes, there is not even that.

7.)  Date nights where no one barges in because they hear you making reservations at Nabuki for sushi and it’s exactly what they wanted for dinner too. You up the reservation to four because how can you say “no” when your time together is dwindling. You whisper in your husband's ear, “Honey, just one more week and I’m all yours!” and you make some enticing suggestions for the night they leave.

8.)  You now have more TVs in the house than the total number of occupants. We both get to watch whatever we want but each hopes you’ll watch together. And instead of claiming separate couches, you choose to sit close. Unless, the dog decides she’d like to be right in the middle (happens!)

Today, I’m not crying but will miss them something fierce as I put on makeup and my best pair of jeans for date night!
Mama’s Losin’ It