Sunday, November 5, 2017

My Most Cringe-Worthy Moment

With a title like this, you would think this post pertains to my children. Like the time I took Kitty to see Earth, Wind & Fire. Chris Botti was their opening act. If you don’t know who he is, he is a jazz trumpeter and a little piece of blond male perfection. After his performance, he was doing a meet and greet. I hustled Kitty over there so he could meet his bride to be: ME! We stood in line and when it was our turn, he signed my CD and made small talk as I envisioned our wedding day. Then he turned to Kitty and said, "How are you tonight?" She looked at him and responded, "I’m here to see Earth Wind & Fire". Yep: cringe-worthy and that’s why he isn’t her new daddy!

Anyhoo, there is a moment that is even worse than that. We have to go back several years, to when I was about 18. Okay: a LOT of years. It was summer, and instead of my usual crew I was hanging out with a couple of sisters that I knew from school. We were going up to Lake George to go dancing. However, they first wanted to stop at Duffy’s to say hi to their parents and to have a drink with them. Hey: they were my ride so I said of course that’s fine! Famous last words…

So we got to Duffy’s and went in. They spotted their parents so we went up to chat. There was a man playing the piano and singing. It was an older crowd and I was hoping that we could leave soon. I had dancing to do!

After a little while I noticed the piano player, probably in his late 40s or early 50s, was looking at me and smiling. I kind of smiled back and then resumed my conversation. But when his current song ended, I looked around and he motioned to me. My friends said, "Oh he must want to meet you!" Why? But because I had been raised to be polite, I went over to the piano. He said, "You are the loveliest girl in the room. I’d like to sing a special song for you. Please sit here with me." I was a little dubious about this, but said "Okay thank you." So he turned to the crowd and announced, "I’d like to sing my favorite Fats Waller song for you and this special young lady." He then began to sing ‘Black and Blue’.

In case you are not familiar with this song, some of the lyrics are: "’Cause you’re black, folks think you lack, They laugh at you, and scorn you too. What did I do to be so black and blue". Seriously. You can google the rest of the lyrics.

I was mortified. All I could think was WTF? "’How will it end? Ain’t got a friend, My only sin is my skin, What did I do to be so black and blue." And this man was smiling at me and singing to me like it was his crowning achievement. As God is my witness: this is true. And I had to sit there until that excruciating song was over.

After the wild applause from the crowd (did they think this was an act?) the gentleman turned to me and said, "I just love Fats Waller and I’m so glad I got to perform that song for you." I’m thinking ‘are you crazy????’ but I was raised to be polite so I said, "Well…um, thanks." I stood up but he grabbed my hand and said, "Won’t you stay? I’d love to buy you a drink and get acquainted." Instead of saying, "Not on your life old man!" I just told him I was with friends and we were leaving. Then I beat a hasty retreat.

My friends thought it was great! They had never been sung to before and were a little envious. Yep: that’s the mentality that they had. All I wanted to do was get out of there and shake those lyrics from my mind. But as you can see by this post: that never happened!

Oh, if only it had been Chris Botti playing a romantic tune on his trumpet: that would have been an entirely different story!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Hanging With Marie

This past Saturday my mother had a bill due so I stopped by in the morning to grab it and pay it. She looked so little and alone, I asked her if after I ran my errands I could bring her something for lunch. She visibly brightened and said to surprise her. So after Brie and I had our hair appointments, I dropped her off and went to Dunkies to get my mother’s favorite sandwich and a hot chocolate. It was a cold day and I knew she would enjoy it.
I took it to her and she was happy. I didn’t have any other plans until I had to drop of Kitty somewhere, so I told her I would keep her company. And she knows the rule: if I am at her house we do NOT watch the news. I always find something crazy for her to watch so she isn’t just inundated with bad news all the time.
This day, one of the channels was running a Twilight movie marathon. Pay dirt! I turned to the channel and she said, “What in the world is this?”  I explained a bit of the plot line to her. She thought for a minute and said, “I don’t think I’d like to date a vampire. I’d worry that he’d be chewing on me while I was sleeping.”  Yes, I literally laughed out loud. I said that was her choice. Then she wanted to know if I thought there were any around her. I assured her that if there were any, they were far away in Transylvania. I told her that I was team Wolf Pack anyway. This seemed to cause her a bit of concern. “I’m sure they are much too big and smelly to be pleasant.” Sorry Jacob: my mother doesn’t approve!
Presently I had to go take Kai to her friend’s house. “Well, thank you for coming over,” my mother said sadly. I told her she didn’t have to watch any more Twilight and I turned the channel to news. Ugh!
After I dropped off Kai I decided to treat myself to my new addiction: a cherry icee from Cumberland Farms. Yes it was 20 degrees but so what? It wasn’t like I was going to drink it outside. Then I figured since I was getting myself a treat: why not stop at Stewart’s and get Marie some ice cream? So I did.
You can imagine her surprise when I came back through the door, especially with her Philly’s Apple Pie ice cream. She ate ½ of the 2 scoop dish and said she would save the rest for the next day. And of course I had again changed the channel back to the Twilight marathon. So we watched TV and talked and she said, “If you happen to fall asleep I’m not going to wake you up. I’ll just let you sleep there all night!” I knew she would have loved that, but seriously I was sitting in a spot next to her that was freezing! I was maybe…a little over 2 feet from the heater, which was set at 78, but I felt nothing. I then wrapped up in an afghan AND a blanket but was still freezing. I told her that Robin must be sitting in the chair with me because nothing warmed me up. She said, “You really think so?” I told her that I knew without a doubt that Robin was always with her. That seemed to satisfy her.
When I finally left (because it was warmer outside than in her living room chair) I was glad that I spent most of the day with her. It made her happy, it kept her company and we got to talk about her dating preferences (no vampires!), ha ha. And you know what? I think I’ll do it again real soon. But this time I’ll bring my own heater!  

Saturday, January 7, 2017

In the Mood

I love music, as anyone who knows me can attest. I was in radio for several years and that was a dream for me; and I actually started out as a club deejay when I was in my first year of college. Music is a BIG part of my life.

Over the years I have made several music lists for various reasons; and I have folders of music on my tablet and phone. Like most women, I  have a "list" of songs for when I'm with that special someone. Surprisingly, the downside is I've never played it for anyone. Yet hope springs eternal!

With that being said, and since it's Saturday night which is usually date night (notice how I'm home), I thought I'd share my top 10 "in the mood" songs. Of course they have changed over the years but the sentiment remains the same. I currently have 80 songs on  my list and I look forward to finally having someone to share them with. So now in no particular order (except for number one) here they are:

  • Sail by AWOL Nation - now at first listen you might not consider this song, but if you had seen "Thunder" dance to this: it would be on your list too!
  • I want You by Marvin Gaye - I think the title sums it up.
  • How Can I Fall by Breathe - David Glasper has one of the best voices out there, and what he does with it on this song: it's magic.
  • Unthinkable by Damien Escobar - if you haven't discovered this contemporary violinist by now: get thyself to YouTube. This song is killer.
  •  At Last by the Fatback Band - forget Etta James. Once that sax wails at the beginning of this song, you know what's coming.
  • You've Got It by Simply Red - Mick Hucknell can croon to me anytime with that voice of his.
  • Creepin' by Stevie Wonder - there's just something about this song and how his voice joins with Minnie Ripperton's that makes you think of being in a cabana by the ocean and becoming one as the waves lap at the shore...
  • Don't Say Goodnight by the Isley Brothers - when they say it's time for love, you'll be ready.
  • A Love of Your own by the Average Whited Band - trust me: they are WAY above average! You'll go from slow dancing to slow something else...
  • You by Raheem DeVaughn - this is my number one song that totally transports me...
So that's my list. I'm sure there are songs up here that you're not familiar with so go to YouTube and give a listen. Who knows: a couple of these might end up on YOUR list!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Mother & Daughter

It's hard to describe how sad I was to hear of Debbie Reynolds' passing a day after her daughter, Carrie Fisher died. To have that kind of love for your child, no matter what the age, is amazing. I can understand it because I have seen it.

When the paramedics pronounced my sister dead, I saw my mother literally crumple into herself. I know she was wishing it had been her, or probably any of the rest of us, instead of Robin. My sister was the one child out of five that lived with my parents her entire life. She and my mother were hang out partners. After my father died Robin would sit in my mother's chair while Marie sat in my father's "throne". That's where I would always find them when I would go to their house.

Don't get me wrong: their relationship wasn't perfect. They were different people and each wished the other was more accepting. But they were very close and had the kind of mother / daughter relationship I wished I could have had with Marie. But that's another story for another day...maybe.

I have done everything possible for my mother (still) since Robin's passing. But the one thing I can't be is Robin. And that's what she wants. Someone who can take her daughter's place by her side all the time. What breaks my heart is the fact that she doesn't really want to be in her house alone. Yet she doesn't want to move directly across the street into my house with me so I can take care of her. Truth be told, I know why she wants to stay there so I have stopped asking her to do something she so obviously doesn't want to do. I know in my heart of hearts that my mother wants to die in that house. Her husband died there, her daughter died there, so she wants the same for herself.

I don't have to like it, but I do have to accept it. And I will. I just hope that God is merciful to her and mends her broken heart. That's pretty much all I can ask for her. Amen.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Sissy Loves You

💖According to the coroner and paramedics, my sister died on December 6, 2015. But in my heart I know she died the night of December 5, 2015. But the medical personnel didn't "call" it until after midnight.  Thankfully, the paramedics said that she never felt a thing: she just dropped to the floor in her room. Thank God for small favors...

So I'm using her computer to write a little tribute to her. She was totally computer illiterate but felt like she should get one and join the 21st century. But she didn't use it. I wanted to teach her about Facebook at least. However, she said she didn't want to get all involved with that. So I became friends with her school friends so she could keep in touch vicariously! And the funny thing was: her friends all thought I was her, and had changed my name after high school! So that was interesting trying to convince them that we were really 2 different people!

And we were totally different. She was a homebody: I loved the nightlife. She was an introvert: I tried hard to be an extrovert. I liked to tease her about liking to dress like "Garanimals": she teased  me that I wouldn't wear a bathing suit because it was improper but would wear sheer clothing out to the club. I was married and divorced with kids: she didn't even date.

In spite of this we were best friends. We shared a love of movies, music and Jason Statham. She turned me on to the series "Roswell" which I thought would be lame but was phenomenal. I would go to her house every Saturday afternoon and we'd watch an episode, or 3. Then we tried to do the same with "Nip/Tuck", one of the nastiest shows on television (until "Sons of Anarchy" rolled around. But I digress). We watched a couple of seasons but then most of the sex scenes were so raunchy I had to bow out. It was a great series, quirky with great story lines but I just couldn't. I think she finished the series but she did it without me!

We used to always ask each other for favors, or would use the barter system. Like if she wanted something from the store, she'd offer to buy me something. Or if she wanted me to drive us to our hair appointment, I'd say yes but then I'd want to drive her big beautiful Nissan. We'd borrow money from each other, go shopping or to the movies together. And we always knew when one of us wanted something because the phone call would begin, "Who loves Sissy?" That's how we knew!

I would love to hear her say that one more time. But that's not going to happen until I see her again in the presence of the Lord. I'm just glad that I know she's there.

At the end of those phone calls we'd always say, "Sissy loves you".  And to this day that is true. Miss you Robin. Sissy loves you. Thanks for the memories.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Happy Birthday Robin

Today my sister would have been 50 years old. I still can't believe it's been 7 months since she passed away...

Brie asked my friend Bonnie Miller, who is very crafty, to make a plaque for me for Christmas. When I opened the box I took one look and then quickly shut it. I saw the word "sisters" but knew I couldn't read it. I didn't think I'd ever be able to read it.

But since today is Robin's birthday, I took the plaque with me to work and left it in my car. Then after work I drove to the cemetery so I could open it with Robin and read it to her. That's exactly what I did...

The plaque was beautiful, and of course had a piano and music notes on it. It's purple: Robin's favorite color. And the poem Bonnie wrote was so beautiful...I cried and cried as I read it out loud. It said all the things I felt about my sister. Then I put it back in the box because it's painful for me, still. Maybe one day I'll be able to actually take it out and hang it up in the house I moved into that was right across the street from hers. Sadly, she never even got a chance to see the inside.

However, I don't want to end this on a sad note. Here's one of my favorite memories. Probably 28 years ago or so, when Freihofer's was still awesome, Robin and I used to go there whenever the mood struck us and buy a birthday sheet cake. Was it one of our birthdays? Nope! We'd just buy it and then eat it at her house! And when Marie told us we didn't need to eat all of that cake: then we'd just do it at my house so Marie didn't know. Ha ha Marie! And if they didn't have cake we'd get the 6-pack od cupcakes with the real icing and eat those. Sooo delicious!

I wish I could get a cake or cupcakes in her honor but I can't. So I'll save the calories and think of the Heavenly celebration she had today; at least in my mortal mind.

Happy Birthday Sissy. I love you.