Monday, April 30, 2012

Ugggghhhhh! Monday Morning, I'm Never Ready For You!

Mondays equal tired days, for me. Either from a lazy weekend and the lethargic feeling plans to run right into the next day; or “a way too busy” one, and I’m super tired from fun. It reminds me of the saying “When it rains, it pours.” I need to work on balance.

This weekend turned into two nights of utterly decadent FOOD COMAS.  I love to eat so it was perfection. The only thing I liked better than the incredible food was sharing both nights with my best friends who just so happen to be food piglets too. Subscribing to the theory “keep a good thing going”, I ate more chocolate chip cookies yesterday than I ever have in my life (wonder why I made them… to eat the dough?). Yummy all the way around!

Is it possible to gain ten pounds in one weekend? My sassy scale got a wide berth this morning.

Snapping back to reality was a jolt today especially as I contemplated my Monday morning nemesis. I reference them a lot here and they may not look like much to anyone but believe me, they’re rough.

If I don’t run for 30 minutes to warm up, my brain sends an instant message to my hamstrings and tells them to start freaking out when I get within 20 yards…it’s no lie.

 (This morning)
These are “The Stairs” at Swallow Cliff Forest Preserve. 125 uneven, flagstone steps that once gave access to the best toboggan run around. The first 20 stairs are a breeze; by stair 25, they start ramping up and by 35, there’re just straight up. Sounds fun, ya?

**4 sets of 125 stairs done 4 times for a total of 16 times up. That’s 2000 stairs. Approximately 44 minutes.  (I have never actually calculated that before; it’s just what I do. YIKES!)**

These stairs and this workout have a cult following of sorts in the Chicago area for people of all fitness levels and ages. Today was quiet because it was drizzling but I ran into an older man who always asks me how many I’ve done and, RATS! if he didn’t beat me by one today.

On Sundays, you get the studly, tough guy athletes who sprint up then do handstand pushups, pull-ups and shoulder press logs at the top (kind of fun to see if I happen to be there at noon on a Sunday) or people with their kids and dogs. The best is a guy that does them with his wee little baby strapped to his chest. So cute!

If you live in the Chicago suburbs or are looking to get out of the city for a beautiful afternoon, this is an awesome Forest Preserve for stair climbing or hiking and walking through the woods (over a dozen miles of trails).

Anyone can join me Monday or Thursday mornings and sometimes on a Sunday! Here is a short video clip of the infamous “Stairs”. Take a look if you're interested. 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

I Enjoy Change...Mostly

Two posts in one day. How unusual for me. Must relate back to my delirium due to lack of sleep. Maybe I’ve forgotten I already wrote one. 

OR maybe I’ve finished with all my important Sunday “to-do’s” like church, the big paper, a movie, total, I still am.

OR just maybe, I wasn’t going to do this at all then some things changed just now that changed my mind. I’m working on my predictability.

This is today’s (Optional) Writing Prompt over at Sunday Stream of Consciousness (All Things Fadra): How do you feel about change? Do you like routine and predictability? Does it bring you comfort or discontent? Talk about it general or tell us a specific story about a big change in your life and how you feel about it.

I have five minutes to do this? Unedited. Words only.


I feel I do very well to exceptional dealing with change. I enjoy change. I find it challenging and I love a good challenge, an opportunity for personal growth and reflection, and a way to participate actively in life. Most changes excite me…of course, I would definitely be speaking of changes of a positive nature. I don’t tend to sit still very often so change suits my personality quite well. I have no need to be in control of everything. I’m very flexible by nature. Change is great in my book.

I have also experienced very difficult and sad changes. The two biggies were the loss of someone extremely important to me and the loss of a major relationship in my life.  These were two tough things for me to wrestle with emotionally. With time I was able to accept, reconcile my feelings and move forward as difficult and as heartbreaking as that was. To this day, I still reflect on both one with joy yet sadness and the other with pure sadness and a bit of anger.

Quite possibly I don’t do as well with small changes. Sometimes small changes frustrate the heck out of  me. Things that make me a little mad.

This change happened today. Look at my favorite shoes. Let’s play the game what is different between these two things.

Yes. Someone ate them including the insole. I bought these purple suede loafers on my birthday in Positano, on the Amalfi Coast, in October. I wear them for some part of every single day. They really mean something to me even though they don’t look like much to anyone else. I’m pissed off. I’m not good at all with this change.

I also don’t care for airlines all that much. Especially when they change my flights and the seats I have paid for with out so much as an email. I heard about it today from a friend and had to hunt down United and rearrange plans that I made two months ago.  I always feel they are trying to pull a fast one. You can not change seats for someone who paid a premium for 9C (okay, I used miles for the upgrade but still...)then put them in 33E, the middle. NOT COOL. Try  speaking with them on the phone and see where that gets you… no where?

I guess it’s not change I necessarily have a problem with. It’s the frustration that goes along with these two in particular today.

Sleep and Me: The Relationship

Relationships come easily to me; always have. At least the really good ones do and the less complicated the better. (Actually, I'll do complicated if there's something really good to work with.)
My relationship with sleep does not fall into the easy category at all and it’s not because I don’t love it. I do.

I need it. I want it. We just disagree.

It takes an awful lot for me to fall asleep then stay that way for any length of time. I stay up way too late reading; thinking that will lull me into slumber. Maybe I should change this…maybe it’s what’s keeping me up.  I couldn’t bear the thought.

Success usually strikes around midnight.

Somewhere between 2:16 am and 2:46 am, two times I regularly see, BING! Power up! I’m so wide awake I could just about start my day. You do the math; I haven’t been sleeping very long.

Then there’s the issue of what to do at that point. Toss. Turn. Don’t want to wake up my sleeping buddy, so I can’t turn on the lights and don’t want to stir the dogs so downstairs isn’t an option either. I literally have about 2 ½ hours of time to fill! 

What’s a girl to do? Seriously!

**As a side note...from 5am to 7am have my best, most vivid and incredible dreams. Maybe it's my payment for their awesomeness?**

Then I have my quirks. Doesn’t everyone have quirks?

I have three pillows. They’re mine. You may use them; rest your head on them while you watch TV; sleep with them…That is until I get in bed. If your head is on one, it will be removed as gently as possible, and replaced by another. Sorry if it wakes you.   

Is anyone else out there annoyed with a TV in their bedroom? I don’t care for it at all. Don’t like the noise. I think bedrooms should be a quiet place. Maybe it just me. Whatever.

I’m a very light sleeper. Anything you do next to me is likely to wake me up. I'm mostly speaking to snoring. If you snore, you will be nudged or turned without hesitation. Again, sorry.

I sleepwalk. It’s very cyclical and I don’t know what triggers it. Yet from time to time, I'm on the go. Unless said sleeping buddy catches me at the bedroom door and asks “Where are you going?”. I’ve sprung! Usually waking up as I’m approaching the kitchen or front foyer but absolutely on a mission for something and not quite knowing how I got there. I ask me, “What in the world are you doing? It’s the middle of the night.” My sleepwalking self admits, “I can’t remember. Darn it! Let’s go back to bed.” (Happened last night for the first time in a long time and I hope it’s not starting again!)

I have an idea. Maybe I should sneak down and start writing posts. I could call them “From The Dark Side” and write about saucy things that might happen in the middle of the night. Who knows?

No wonder I walk around all day in a state of delirium and chaos. Don't I sound like bunches of fun???

Anyone else up all night?

Anyone out there have suggestions for improving this relationship?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Oh, Oh. She's In!

Since lake time is just around the corner and Dumpster Diving is still fresh in my mind.  Below is another fairly recent tale from the “Lake House” archives.

This story is told by me; then Scott; then our great friend, Jack.

Carefully stepping on the boat’s back, 
I’m balanced perfectly. 
Hair, makeup, sundress, shades…check.

Stunned? Shocked? In the water? Really?!

"Jack! WHY did you gas the throttle?"

Pissed? Nahhhh.

Do over.

“You look nice, Honey! Hop on”

“Jack, careful pulling away and watch that other boat. Okay, you’re pretty close. Give it some idle.”

“Oh, Oh!!! SHE’S IN.” 

“Best if we go back home.”

“Scott, you do it. There’re too many boats around.”

“Give it gas? How much?”

“I guess that was a little too much! Gina, Soooooo Sorry!”

“Thank God you didn’t lose your Ray Bans.”


Your task, should you choose to accept, is to take a scene that involves (or affects) at least three people. You should then write this scene from the point of view of three of the characters, using 33 words for each character.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Game Of Tug Of War Between The Heart and The Mind

The mind threw open it’s window to a warm and sweet smelling breeze. In with the wind came seeds of thought; like particles of dust. The mind planted these seeds and watered them daily. The plants began to flower and the mind loved the view.

Overwatering in the hopes of growing something bigger and better, the water began spilling over the edge trickling from its source. A rivulet began to run making its way down, past one clear blue eye to the corner of the mouth, trickling down the neck, pooling at the collarbone and cascading to the chest. The water found its ground as it always does and began filling the heart. Once filled to the brim, the heart almost bursting, looked up at the mind and asked, “Why didn’t you close the window sooner; before the rain poured in?” The once very bright and intelligent mind just shook its head and said, “I don’t know.”

The mind and the heart were uncomfortably filled and began a game called Tug of War. Refusing to compromise, they pulled in opposite directions. As one gained ground the other pulled harder. And so it went, back and forth, back and forth.

The body knew this fight couldn’t go on much longer.

It was so full with conflict it refused to eat and was too troubled to sleep. The weight was so heavy it felt like a boulder resting on the body’s chest. And it was too weak to remove it without the help of one of the other two.

Every time the body closed its eyes, they tugged. Pulling harder, each refusing to give up and both determined to win.

But there could be only one winner.

It would be the one that fought the hardest, put up the best fight. And made the most sense.

When the winner’s hand was raised in victory, the body could finally rest. And it did. It slept for the first night in its recent memory. However dreamless. 

By Duncan Sheik

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What's Wrong With Dumpster Diving?

Every summer since my kids were born, we’ve live at a lake, in the middle of nowhere from June through September. It’s where they really consider home.

Weekends were filled with family, friends and crazy times. When Sunday evening arrived, everything perfectly stilled and the next five days simply became moms and kids on the lookout for the next great adventure.

We discovered one, as some close friends were moving out of their fancy spread across the lake and, coincidentally, a dumpster appeared in their driveway right about that time. Always subscribing to the theory “One man’s junk is another’s treasure”, it was catnip to us.

At issue was the height of the dumpster… too tall to get a glimpse inside and no ladder in the vicinity. Deciding the best way to know what it contained was for someone to pop inside and take a look.

Assessing our options for scaling the side, we had two 8-year-old girlie cousins and my almost 6-year-old wannabe tough guy who wasn’t the biggest risk taker in the world. Where was my feisty daughter when we needed her? Summer camp?

We huddle up for a plan. “Matt, you’re going in.“ “Ok???” he said with a large dose of hesitation mixed with fright. “Take a look around. Give a shout and we’ll pull you out”.

Who does this to their kid?

After 2-3 minutes, he screams. “A Beeeeeee!!!! IT BIT ME!!!”

Fortunate for us (NOT), the next day we visited the pediatrician for Matt’s yearly check up. Giving him a pep talk before entering the office to ensure we were on the same page about his very swollen, bee bitten fat lip, we discussed the meaning of the word “confidence”. Between you and me, pal, “Got it!”

Dr. Froelich: “Matthew, what on earth happened to your lip?” “My mom and my aunt made me dumpster dive and I got bitten by a bee.”

Where's a good hole to crawl in when you need one?

   c : support especially in a legislative body <vote ofconfidence> href="" >

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Success Made Simple

Stream of Consciousness Sunday has a very ambitious topic for today. It’s scope scares me just a bit and I’m not sure why (maybe because I have only 5 short minutes?) Here it is:

What is success to you and how will you know when you achieve it? And here goes:


“Success is a Journey, Not a Destination.”  Ben Sweetland

Success in my life, to me, is really very simple. I feel successful when I have made the people in my life happy. I feel successful when we are all loving and getting along. I feel successful when I am forgiven for my mistakes. I feel successful when I’m appreciated. I feel successful when I feel happy at the same time as everyone else which is sometimes the tricky piece of the puzzle.

I try to measure my success on an everyday basis. Some days are very very successful. Others…not so much! A happy day equals a successful day.

Is my idea of success in my life simplistic? Some may say so and I don’t really care. It's MY life. If people around me are happy, I’m happy. I know FOR SURE that if I’m happy, it’s likely they will be too.

I believe I can tell if I’ve achieved my little piece of success regularly. I can feel it in the way people interact with me and their attitude, or their opinion of me, or their desire to be around me. Long term success… We will just have to see who sticks around. I feel most will, if not all.

So I guess that will be the yardstick at the end of my life. Who will surround me when the time comes? Who will my life have mattered to? If a few people stuck around...I would consider that a success.

“I don’t know the key to Success, BUT the key to Failure is trying to please everybody.” Bill Cosby


Friday, April 20, 2012

"Think Like A Man": My $8.00 Nap

How I ended up napping through the first half of this movie earlier today  (in a theater located in an Amish town, in the middle of Northern Indiana) would require a bit of explanation. But there's really no logical way to explain other than to say, it just happened.

(Okay. I'm not being truthful. There is an explanation for why I'm here, in the middle of nowhere, and I'm not entirely happy with it so I've decided to pretend that I AM happy I'm here even though it was last minute (therefore spontaneous) and changed my plans and cut into my time but, of course, I'm happy. Lovely run on sentence and believe me, I could have kept it going far longer but that would just bore anyone who reads this and me, too, for that matter!)

I NEVER fall asleep in a theater so it must have been the movie ;).    It wasn't very all... but only IMO. My viewing partner really enjoyed it but I won't judge her for her taste. We both didn't expect fantastic but thought it might have been better acted and funnier. Sure, it was filled with B- actors but it was based on the popular book "Act Like A Lady; Think Like A Man" by Steve Harvey.  The premise sounded interesting, a " play book" for women as to the inner workings of men's thought processes regarding the opposite sex and how to go on the offense as opposed to always playing defense. Sounds kind of fun, right?

The only value I received for my $8.00 was much needed rest and some mighty fine eye candy...shirtless, muscled men...not bad viewing at all (best look...Zeke cooking breakfast in flannel pajama pants but that was probably only worth a dollar or two).

The highlight of the night, however, was our realization that we were only minutes from a local diner featured on Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives called South Side Soda Shop. They're known for their Chili Parfaits served in a tall soda glass with noodles on the bottom, chili, cheese, onions and sour cream on top (like whipped cream, I suppose) YUM! And when you're asked if you want the shoe string fries, you say, "Of course!" I can't remember the last time I had fries...pitiful. By the time the waitress brings over the tray of 20 different types of pie and asks "Are you interested in dessert?" How can you say anything other than "Sure, why not?" because you've already had chili and fries, and chocolate, peanut butter cream pie sounds delightful, doesn't it? (peanut butter in the crust, too!).      

Unexpected, spontaneous days are quite a treat! ;-)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Pondering Promises

I like to run outside. Preferably through a beautiful forest preserve. Somewhere I won’t likely run into people I know which is just about everywhere in this tiny place I live.

I don’t listen to music while I run (unless I’m sorely lacking motivation) because, to me, it’s thinking time. My mind is quiet for a change.

I drove to one of my favorite places this morning, Swallow Cliff (Home to the infamous “Stairs” I talk about). I needed this today. It was a gorgeous morning; peaceful and quiet and perfect to ponder “a promise” prompt courtesy of Mama Kat's Writing Challenge.

Not one to follow rules precisely, I decided to twist this and thought about my feelings about promises in general.

How do I feel about promises? What kind of promises do I make? Should I, or anyone, promise anything? You know, stuff along those lines.

I thought about the kind of promises I made to people when I was younger. “I promise we’ll always be together” (probably not a good thing to do at age 21), “I promise I won’t tell.”, “I promise to go with you to….” They were simple, small and easy to keep with the exception of the one I should never have made. Lessons….

“Promise only what you can deliver. Then deliver more than you promise.” 
- Author Unknown

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve promised less. And it’s not for fear of falling short and I don’t believe I’m copping out either. It just hasn’t been required. People know they can count on me. I’ve demonstrated the “reliability factor”. I don’t often let people down but I have on occasion.

There is actually one thing that I will promise and I do so often. I’ll always hold someone’s confidence in a securely locked spot deep within me. Consider it a vault made of steel…NOTHING is coming out…not tomorrow, not next week or next year. Not ever.

Promises get broken and that saddens me because I know it hurts. I’ve felt it but I don’t spend time worrying that someone will disappoint me. We all make mistakes, and I’m a frequent offender. I also don’t believe those close to me would ever intentionally disappoint me either, but sometimes they do. I’m a big girl and I can deal with disappointment.

What weighs on me the most is the possibility that I might disappoint someone else. That’s tough for me.  I don’t want my promises to be empty and unreliable. So, I don't frequently make them.

Is it a bad thing that I don’t make promises often? I’m not sure how to answer my own question but I don’t think so.

I like this promise...It's sweet and easy, and these days, I'm loving sweet and easy!


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Once In A Blue Moon: April 2012

I feel like being selfish! May I please, just this once? Of course, I may!

I will be instituting a brand new holiday this Saturday.

If anyone chooses to be upset with regard to said holiday, the Event Coordinator extends a heart felt apology. However, plans for this event will not change; it's happening rain or shine.

Everyone is so busy doing what he or she does that no one is paying one bit of attention to what Gina’s doing. And you know what I say to that? Yea for me!

The name of my new holiday is:

“Once In A Blue Moon: April 2012”

For 36 hours this weekend and, for once in a blue moon, I’m going to think about Moi! No. One. Else.

I’ve heard the Event Coordinator has plans to observe  “Once In A Blue Moon” quarterly and that sounds pretty sweet to its sole participant (who's also happens to be the Event Coordinator).

Tentative itinerary for celebrating this brand spankin’ new holiday:

* Arrive city by 10 a.m.

* Drop bag at The Hotel Lincoln (Chicago’s Hippest New Boutique Hotel)
* “Cab it” to the Art Institute of Chicago

* Head back to Hotel for massage at 5:00 p.m.
* Order one glass of wine from Room Service to enjoy while getting ready
* Dinner at Perennial Virant (yummy hotel restaurant) pour deux (me and my book!)
* Dessert delivered to room during back-to-back Pay-Per-View new releases
* Read unendingly or until book falls
* Coffee and a short, four block walk for Mass at my old church, St. Clement.

* A quick change of clothes for brisk walk to North Avenue Beach (watch some volleyball?)

* Walk back through the Zoo in time for check out :-( !

* Stroll down the lovely and famous Michigan Avenue and lunch at RL (Ralph Lauren)
* Continue on to Millennium Park and "The Bean". Appreciate all Grant Park has to offer on a beautiful afternoon! The gardens.......

* Drive home while daydreaming about my new holiday...

If the inaugural event is a smash hit, the guest list may open up for future dates…or not, if going solo proves to be as much fun as expected. One never knows?

In reality, about 4 things on this list will happen this weekend but a girl’s gotta dream. So why not go BIG?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Sensuous Woman by “J”: Book Review, Sort of...

I'm writing this for Stream of Consciousness Sunday over at All Things Fadra.

Here's part of my day described in five short minutes. BELIEVE ME! I could have written about this far longer as you will note after reading. This is an unedited, five minutes of writing beginning now:

While away this weekend, I took the opportunity to go through some things that I have meant to attend to for 7.66 years. It was time to drag out some of my mother-in-law's stuff and decide what to keep and what to dump.

She and I shared a love of books always bringing one to exchange whenever we saw the other. While going through her boxes of books, I found two very interesting selections. See below.

Any one ever heard of this?

Take a look at chapters 12-16. Interesting don’t you think?

My MIL was a very prim and proper woman as are/were all of her friends. I know they were all avid readers and shared all their books with one another. The spine of this thing is cracked and pages almost falling out...over read, perhaps?

I can’t wait to see one of them, a dear friend of mine over Memorial Day weekend and ask her about these.

The book is 192 pages long  and published in 1969 and was the perfect length for me to get through on a 2.5 hour drive home. I did skim just a bit but not much. (Small pages, large print)

A girlfriend and I always use this expression and I believe it applies here. You don’t know what you don’t know!

I'd like to share, outside the five minute time allotment, the review from the back of the book:
The author 
of this book is not 
especially pretty.

Before "J" became "The Sensuous Woman" she went through life unnoticed.

It's very different now. "J" is called "ravishingly sexy" by some of the world's most exciting males. They describe her as "all woman, maddeningly exciting, a modern Aphrodite, a perfect bed-mate and life-mate."

Now "J" reveals her secret, step-by-step program that allows every woman to free her body, train her senses, and realize her tremendous feminine capacity for giving and receiving pleasure.

"'J' is unmistakably female; no man could possibly be so exquisitely knowing about how a woman can make the most of what she's got." - Playboy Magazine

Friday, April 13, 2012

Never Trust Me With Your Cellphone!

I’m not sure, at all, why I have a problem owning a cell phone. Middle school children do a fine and responsible job of it. I truly am a mature and responsible adult! Why can’t I? And yet, maybe it’s not me? Maybe, I’m just a victim of circumstance…let’s go with that.

For starters, maybe I need to get my phone off vibrate. My reasoning, it kind of annoys me when I hear people’s phones ringing all the time so I don’t want mine to be a bother to anyone else.

Or maybe, I shouldn’t leave it in my car for hours on end because it never fails that I will run into someone or someone will come home from work and say, “I’ve been trying to get a hold of you all day!” Oops! Yesterday, I was even accused in a 5th such text from the same person, “What? Are you napping?” I DON’T NAP! I couldn’t if I tried. I suppose I should answer the home phone when it rings as well but I swear I didn’t hear it!

* We won’t go over the number of phones I have washed in the last five years because I do not accept responsibility if you haven’t emptied your pockets. However, I will take and keep all monies I find in the wash and use it for my morning coffee. Fair game. *
First of all, I have only owned one nice phone (a Blackberry), outright meaning it was purchased by me, for me. All other phones I’ve used, have either come out of the drawer for unwanted phones or were cheapies. I am totally cool with hand-me-downs. It takes a whole lot of pressure off me because something ALWAYS happens.

This is what a phone needs to do for me... call,  text and take a few pictures.

That’s it; pretty basic. The Blackberry was overkill for my purposes.

Blackberry #1 pretty and black and fell out of my pocket in my driveway. The SIM card was intact after it found itself under my wheel. Someone was smart enough to purchase insurance on it. ;-) So, along came…

Blackberry #2 was shiny maroon. This one was a tough cookie but water proved to be too much for it to handle. First, it was knocked into the sink and not by me. You know what works? Take it apart and submerge it in a sealed container filled with white rice. Presto! In four days it was working pretty well but the L, K, and a few other keys stuck. Also, the phone rattled when you shook it. Poor phone took a beating at a graduation party a few months later when my mom spilled a glass of wine on it. Well, forget about it then. It was truly toast.

Phone #3 was the cheapest phone the AT&T store had since my plan wasn’t up until January. Its only responsibilities were to call and text.

I only had it a month. While dining at a friend’s house, my friend, Elaine, kept insisting “just put your phone in my purse then you don’t have to worry about it.” So I did.

Traveling by boat that night, I dropped Elaine off at her pier on my way home. She’d had a bit of wine and as she got out of the boat she slipped and fell into the water. It was pitch black outside. I heard the splash. Guess what she had in her hand at the time? Her purse. What was in her purse? My phone. “Elaine, you have to go down and get your purse. Our phones!” It took her a few shuffles along the bottom of the lake and only one dive to retrieve the purse and phones. Pretty good for how dark it was that night.

Phone #4 was a keeper and lasted for six whole months until my plan came up in January.

Phone #5 a techie in the family swooped up my contract renewal and got a brand new iPhone 4S. I took the hand-me-down and all is good. However, this iPhone does way too much stuff! I don’t have the patience to figure it out so it’s wasted on me since all I do is call, text and take pictures.

When your bad behavior begins to affect others, you definitely have a problem.

Last night, I went out for a lovely dinner with great friends. They were so excited to show us pictures of their son’s recent bachelor party (it was the nice and proper kind.) They were a beautiful looking group of “20 somethings”, I might add. Can’t wait for the wedding!

Bob, whose iPhone housed those pictures, excused himself to go to the boys’ room but was gone for 20 minutes. Weird!

He came back to our table saying his phone was nowhere to be found. He had been all over the restaurant looking for it, back to his car, into his golf bag, in the bar, etc. He even called it but there was no answer.

Then it occurred to someone at the table and they all looked at me. Well, his phone looks just like mine (forgetting I didn’t bring mine out). I suppose you can’t hear it ringing from the bottom of a purse, right? Oops!!!

I guess no one should let me near THEIR phone either.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

What Would You Do? REALLY

Surely I’m being filmed for that ABC show with John Quinones which tests how people would handle a complicated situation...

Many moons ago, my telephone rang extremely late. Only one person would do this to me…Laurie, my closest high school friend who forever tried to convert me into a happy night owl like herself.

In a panicked tone, she said, “You will NEVER guess who I saw out at Bennigan’s tonight kissing someone. This is gonna be a scandal?

 I yawn. “Ok, who?”

“Jeff! Marggy’s Jeff. You have to tell her!”

“Noooooooo. Why me?”

“Because you’re way better friends with her” Just so happens I roomed with her in college.

“But YOU saw him. Are you ABSOLUTELY sure it was Jeff?!” He has distinctive white blonde hair.

I already knew the answer. Damn. This was going to be huge.

I lie awake the entire night because Marggy was one of my best friends and I, quite possibly, was about to devastate her.

AND we had planned to take off work the next afternoon to golf.

My usual hour commute the next morning seemed brutally long due to extreme nauseousness. After careful thought, and without putting it off, this is what I did the minute I walked into my office.

“Jeff! Hey it’s Gina. Were you at Bennigan’s last night with a girl?”

“Uh, no!”

“Someone saw you.”



“Oh shit!”

“Here’s the deal. You tell Marggy this morning or I tell her this afternoon. Sound fair?” Click!

An hour later, Marggy called me and said,

“We aren’t going to golf today (I figured). I also need to tell you Jeff’s not the only one having an affair.”

I hung up the telephone without a single word…

scan·dal noun \ˈskan-dəl\

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Spin The Bottle

Connie lived across the street when we started walking to Kindergarten together just two blocks away. Graduating to the middle school, we hoofed the six block walk every day as well; weather didn’t matter because we weren’t getting a ride.

Neither had gone steady with a boy yet, not even close, but we were more than slightly obsessed. Who would be the first one to kiss?

All the “popular” boys had given their I.D. bracelets to all the “popular” girls and everyone knew what that meant… Immediate access to the infamous boy/girl parties to which we had NEVER been invited for two reasons…No boyfriend, Not exactly popular!

The “grapevine” said EXACTLY what went on in the pretty girls’ basements; Spin The Bottle and Seven Minutes. Even the names fascinated us. We were extremely intrigued, curious yet way out of our league. “Wow” was all either one could say. We whispered secret feelings, on our walks to and from school…a desire to see, with our own eyes just what went on in the darkness of “Georgie’s” basement.

Somehow, someway by someone, we were deemed worthy one Friday afternoon.

Expected in our front doors by 3:30, we ran the half-mile home breathlessly hatching a plan. “Just say a quick ‘hi’ to your mom, then let’s go”; an excuse was right at the tip of our tongues. "Going to Kathleen's."

No words could describe how nervous we were seeing the house. Almost backing out at Patti’s front door, we saw a taped note. “We’re in the basement” Duh?

It took a few moments for our eyes to adjust. Kids were everywhere AND they were making out! Smack in the middle of a circle of twenty, or so, was the glass Coke bottle.

Georgie waved us over as someone took a spin. Crawling on hands and knees to the center, a boy and a girl kissed. Suddenly, I had a pit in my stomach and I was beginning to sweat. I touched Connie’s arm and said to everyone, “I’m going to use the bathroom”. Connie said, “I’ll go with you”.

Would you call that leaving a party with grace? Uh, uh. I would call that extremely awkward but unavoidable at the time. I might have been more embarrassed if I’d vomited in the circle.

Think back to your own adolescence. With the perspective of time, try to find the beauty or grace in an awkward adolescent situation, even if there is only a sliver to find.
If you are one of the two people on the planet to make it through your pre-teen and teen years without a single moment of awkwardness, try to write about a situation you observed during that time that seemed awkward for someone else.
400 word limit.