This is what keeps me going

Last night my daughter came home from school and plopped on the couch.

She’s still getting back into the swing of high school hours. As am I.

She smiled big and said,” guess what happened today?”

Here’s why I love these moments: a) it means she’s going to share something with me…actually TELL me something – verbally!  And b) it’s probably something positive since bad news is delivered via text (it’s written in the 14-year-old code of behavior).

Back to her story. She found $20 on the stairs at school yesterday morning. So, she tells me matter-of-factly, she took the money to the office and gave it to the receptionist. The nice lady told her to stop by at the end of the day – if no one had claimed the money – it was hers. At this point in the story, she whipped out the bill and smiled big.

“That was so nice of you to bring it to the office” I said, to which she replied,” it could have been someone’s lunch money and I really felt bad for them.”

Small story, I know. But it made me feel so good.

Let me tell you a secret. When I look at my daughter, here’s the face I still see….

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and this one

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This will help you understand why I wanted to cry and sob tears of joy when she told me this story. And it wasn’t that I was so shocked by her wanting to give the money back or do the right thing – that’s pretty normal for her. It was that she knew how easy it could have been to shove the money in her pocket and never say a word – and she didn’t.

I told her she was a true humanitarian. She didn’t need to see proof of suffering to do the right thing – she did it because there was only one right thing to do.

Then she rolled her eyes and went up to her room.

The end.

 

A Full Plate

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Grilled cheese sandwiches have always been my friend.

No steaks
No caviar
No lobster
Not for me

That’s what I had in the Kmart cafe in Albany when I was 10 and my mom told me she was preggers with my sister.

It’s what I had at the Friendly’s across the street from the library in 10th grade with my bestie instead of doing our history paper.

It’s what my boyfriend in college treated me to. I was a cheap date.

It’s what I had when that boy married me and we partied all night and went to a Greek diner at 5am.

It’s what I have now with my punks and their friends on a rockin’ Friday night that ends at 8.

Cheese. Bread. The building blocks to a good life. Fries are good too.

Hair Apparent

It was the 80′s.

That’s my defense. I was so young, I didn’t know better. All the popular kids were doing it.  I was lured into it.

And by the way – where were all the parental figures in my life that could have saved me from this fate? Turns out, they were right next to me doing the same thing. Oh well. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger – that’s what Kelly Clarkson told me. Anyway, it’s time to come clean now. To open up all my cobwebbed secrets and get them out of my head – or off my head.  It’s time you all know about my deepest, darkest time. Although back then I thought I was happy. I thought I was rockin’ life. I thought I was cool. Sigh. Don’t judge me, just learn from me.  I was addicted to my…

PERM.

Not a long, flowing ringlets perm. This was a short, tight, helmut head perm. And I loved it. I was 10 and delusional.

With all this Michelle Obama bang talk I started thinking about my hair through the years. I rocked my hair styles yo. Sadly, some of the those styles were hideous and scary in hindsight. But that’s normal right? Right?

Listen, I had dark black hair. I couldn’t bleach it or lemon it or turn it funky colors like my blond haired pals (I’m talking to you Kelly Jensen), the most drastic thing I could do was curl it. And boy did I.

Because I’ve been absent from writing for a bit I feel like I owe you all. Big time.

To you from me PinkyLee (any Grease fans out there?).  I added a recent picture of myself so you see that bad 80′s perms really do grow out and because I do not want that picture to be your lasting impression of me. Although it’ll take a while to shake the image from your mind’s eye. Trust me.

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Sorry the old photo is a mess, I had to dig it out of my drawer of shame.

Phew. Now I feel better. Now we are even. All debts are paid. In full.

Peace out 2012

It’s been a year hasn’t it?  I won’t go into a list of resolutions (because I don’t have any) or  tell you about the happy, tragic, ridiculous things that have happened in the world this year.  You can google those.  But personally, for me and my fam, this year has been full of change. We leapt into high school, turned 40, let a teenager join Facebook, agreed to let a 9 year play football, saw the Eiffel tower, mended some broken fences (literally and figuratively), discovered gel manicures, skipped Fall Ball and did not feel guilty about it, and oh yeah – started a blog.

I  needed a hobby, something besides eating. Last year, around this time, I started thinking about WMEP.  In all honesty, I started the blog to write about event planning. After all, it’s what I do, it’s what I love. But then I began thinking about blog titles – and defining myself as just a planner didn’t fit. Something was off.  I read a few blogs on how to start blogs.  Then, like the true spaz that I am, I read blogs on how to blog successfully. What kind of blog did I want to be? Funny? Informative? Personal? Lots of pressure. I didn’t tell anyone about it at first, but eventually I owned up to my husband.  I told him that in order to make it interesting – I may have to put some personal family stuff out into the universe. With photos. Because I’m convinced people need a visual. Or is that just me? He told me to go for it (with a few caveats).  And so I did. It took me a few months to get my act together, to get back to writing, to do something that was literally just for me.  And I loved it. I love it.

In the beginning I wrote every day – or tried to. It’s been harder the last few months, work and stress and life seem to be taking up all my time. But it’s the start of a new year, I’ve been writing since last April. 178 posts. Over 16,000 views. Almost a 1,000 comments. I’m hooked!

So maybe I will make a resolution for 2013. I resolve to blog every day. Or at least every other day. Every week at the latest.

I resolve to write something in 2013 at some time.

See how tough I am?

We toasted the New Year in last night with shrimp and champagne. Hope you were toasted too.

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Girl, Uninterrupted

Yesterday was “International Day of the Girl”. Did you know that? I didn’t. I thought it was “International Day of the Conference Call”.

CNN.com asked some of the most impressive women in the world what they’d tell their 15-year-old self. I won’t tell you how many times I tried to link that article to this post and failed. Just know that I tried.  WordPress is getting under my nerves. I digress.

Here’s what I would tell my 15-year-old self if I could:

  • Even though they are driving you crazy right now – your family will be the most important thing in your life.
  • Although you’ve been plotting to get the hell out of Pennsylvania – in about 20 years you’ll be back – and love it.
  • Be kind to everyone. You have no idea what they are going through.
  • In 4 years you’ll meet the man you’ll spend the rest of your life with. Sorry. It won’t be David Canfield. You’ll do much better.
  • Go get your eyebrows waxed. Today. Now.
  • All the reasons you think you’re goofy, dorky and weird will be all the reasons why people love you. Lighten up.

Not as eloquent as Melinda Gates or Oprah – but there you have it.

I couldn’t find a picture of myself at 15 – but here’s one that’s close enough. Yes, that’s a maroon velvet vest I’m wearing. There may or may not have been a matching skort on the bottom.

1998

I need to do one more post about my baby starting high school.

It has to happen. Indulge me. I need it. Because I think I’m going to break down.

She was just born – yesterday. I remember it very clearly, and I have an awful memory, trust me – I don’t remember what happened this past weekend.

She was a week early. We were living in New York City in a one bedroom walk-up. My husband was on the couch – because we’d just had a great, big fight and i had kicked him out of bed. I don’t remember what the argument was about but I’m sure I was right. I went into labor at 5am.

We hopped a cab to the hospital – my water broke around 82nd street. I’m sure worse things have happened in a cab. We tipped him well.

Then it’s a blur – involving a revolving epidural and some really great nurses.

And at 9:00 on the dot – she was there.  Botoxed lips and all.  And then everything started on fast forward…

And today – she’s off to high school – 9th grade – 4 years away from college…gulp.  Maybe she won’t go to college, maybe she’ll stay with me forever? Pray for that.

I’m proud, I’m happy, I’m sad, I’m proud.

If I could will the universe to make things good for her I would – but she doesn’t need it. I need it. I need it bad.

Thank god I still have my 10 foot tall baby boy.

The Road to Hell?

So tomorrow, at 6:30am, my little girl starts high school.  Yes. I know. High School.

But….but…she was just born yesterday. How did this happen? Make it stop.

At the beginning of the summer, she started talking about getting her cartilage pierced. Then she talked about it for 90 days and 2,160 minutes non-stop.

Last week, mission accomplished. Finally.

What I forgot to tell her was to ease our family into it.  Most of her aunts, cousins, etc. love it. But some folks, aka MY MOTHER, were mortified. Why? Why? She asked. She didn’t say it – but I knew what she was thinking. This is an open door, this is the start of delinquency, what’s next – Crack? No. No. And No.

Between you, me and the world – I had no issues with it.  Dating, Facebook, the World Wide Web? I have issues with. A second earring? Not so much.  My two cents on this –  as long as she’s a good human being in the world and isn’t hurting herself or anyone else (and not a crack addict) – go for it.

Her Dad was a little more reluctant and unsure, but he knows she’s a good kid and went for it (ok, he didn’t go for it but he didn’t block the door).  We’ll take it.

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