Monthly Archives: March 2017

Night Club

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So, there’s a  night club out there for a group of us.  It starts at two a.m.  No dress code needed.  Actually eveningwear is preferred but no one cares how you dress, because the truth is that this club is uber exclusive and the membership is discreet.  People only know about it if you mention it.  You will not necessarily run into anyone you know at the club because you won’t actually see them, in person.

A couple of nights ago, I renewed my membership to the after hours night club.  It was two a.m. and like a bolt of lightning struck me while I slept, I awakened with a mission.  I got up and headed out to the dance floor a.k.a. the kitchen and took a right into the spare bedroom a.k.a. the library, and like a truffle hog sniffing out truffles, I found the books I needed for the next day to bring to work. Mission accomplished, under cloak of darkness.  Therein lies the rub….as I turned victoriously  heading back to bed, I walked into a kitchen stool and the pain resonated through my foot and I knew I had done something bad, and fairly stupid.  Since my FHB was fast asleep in the other room, I did a silent scream,  and spun around a few times until the stinging feeling stopped, only to be replaced by that numbing ache of injury.  I have found that the best way to handle a known injury (including cuts, gashes and bruises) is not to look at them. Once you look at them it is all over. Then you can no longer deny that you hurt yourself, even if the blood is dripping somewhere off your body.  I knew by this time (now 2:20) that I only had a limited amount of time to go back to sleep. The practical part of my brain instructed me to get some ice, pack it into a bag, cover it with a towel, and go back to sleep with the ice firmly on my foot. My logic was that either one of two things was going to happen. It was either going to have  been a bad dream and I was fine, or it was going to be a little bad, but again, I wasn’t going to take any chances and look at the foot.  What you don’t know sometimes, can’t hurt you.

The membership in the club requires that you continue into the night doing things that can be done during the day but that you don’t get a chance to do,  and nighttime is the right time, as the commercial or song in my head goes.  I opened the freezer (mind you the house was dark, because it was nighttime) and as I reached into the ice container, I saw in the light of the freezer (dim and limited) that the ice had overflowed the container and was all over the back and bottom of the freezer.  Well, that needed to be taken care of, right then and right now.  I was now fully awake and in full task mode.  It provided a great distraction for the foot issue.  I pulled out the ice container and dumped the ice into the sink. The overflow had invaded a huge area of freezer real estate so it was time to excavate and purge.  It felt good to have this time to myself, doing something totally necessary.   I noted the time.  It was only three a.m. I had plenty of time to get sleep later.  I moved some of the food and found some archeological artifacts including a homemade pasta sauce from sometime in 2016 that no longer had the allure it had back in ’16.  Had to go.  There were some ground almonds that were in a bag whose date I could not decipher, so I got the flashlight.  I didn’t want to make too much noise and bring attention to the sleeping FHB and the cat.  I should mention that my FHB is not a member of the club. He is far too sane to earn an application.  I brought the flashlight to the freezer which was now humming loudly, since you are not supposed to keep the door open for such a long time.  I examined the almonds.  Freezer burn was obvious. Drat.  It joined the sauce.  Well, they probably knew one another having been in the same place for quite a while.   I took out some boxes of frozen vegetables and packages of wrapped meat.  I organized them by size and stacked them neatly.  I found some other remnants of unidentified things and even with the flashlight, they were mysterious.  I am pretty sure that mysterious foods don’t belong in the freezer after a while.  I wiped down the shelves, while I was at it and now that it was three-thirty I knew I had another two hours of solid sleep to look forward to.  I’m not an insomniac by any means. I am a recreational sleeper who enjoys those moments when I can and do sleep.  However, when you come across something urgent like I did, you have to strike while the iron is hot (perhaps a bad analogy considering we are discussing ice).  In any case, I took a step back, carefully, so as not to injure any other body parts.  I did a really good job. Organized and visible to the untrained eye.  Now, when I suggest to my FHB to get something specific out of the freezer, he will have a better than good chance of identifying it.  I then got an ice pack (found them in the back) and wrapped it in a towel and headed to bed, but not before shutting the freezer door, putting the flashlight back in its place.  It had been a good night at the club.  It had been a while since I put in an appearance.  I looked good in my rose colored flannel robe and felt good, despite that numbing feeling that came back once I headed to bed.  I knew that others were up, in their night club, perhaps not cleaning out the freezer but still doing something that made them feel that indescribably accomplished feeling.  I wished them each a silent “good night” and good sleep for the remainder of the evening.  Some may feel that night time is lonely and certainly  dark, and that things do look darkest before the dawn, but I think if you just watch your step, you can greet the daylight knowing it has already started to be a good day.

 

P.S.  When I did finally examine the foot and toes they were were a lovely shade of midnight blue.  My FHB did a great job of taping the toes together and not asking too many questions.  Cue the eyeroll.

Control Freaks

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It rained today.  I washed my car yesterday. People around me were grousing (one of my favorite words) about the rain. I was sure that they knew about the car wash and would hold me responsible for the rain.  This morning the fire alarms went off in the loft building and I put on my dirty clothes that were sitting next to the hamper…okay sue me…and got my shoes on sans socks, grabbed my coat, phone, eye glasses and headed out the door. I did assure the cat that this was probably not a real fire so she didn’t need to worry.  Of course Paka gave me a glare that indicated “But  how are you  so SURE it’s not real and  yet you are so willing to abandon me?”.  I hurried down the staircase and heard lots of footsteps ahead and behind me as one of the neighbors was heading back up and told me that the sprinklers were being worked on and there was no fire.  I turned back to return up several flights. A couple of neighbors who  were appropriately anxious were just about to head down and I reassured them that there was no fire, just work being done, and they started yelling at me about not being notified.  I just smiled and squeezed by them.  I am not in charge as much as I like to think I am.

I would readily admit sometimes I act as though I am in charge of stuff or that I know how things are supposed to be.  A long time ago, before cell phones, my sister and I were meeting at a store that she had never been to, and I had been to once. It was not near either of us and there were no GPS directions, apps and no one looked at maps while driving alone.  I gave her directions, very explicit directions.  It was a matter of being absolutely adamant that I knew the way.  Did I mention that I will often say left when I mean right? I didn’t send her directions via snail mail since we didn’t have email or texts and skywriting was out of my budget.  I just told her in that tone, which she will icily recall, seems less reassuring and more defiantly demanding, as to how to get there.  Needless to say (another favorite expression which is clearly out of vogue), we both got lost but eventually found the store and there was still time to shop.  The store is long gone. I attribute it to being difficult to find.  In retrospect I probably should have used logic and contacted the store and written down the directions, rather than relying on instinct or memory.  I actually have a good memory for directions, but there may be something lost in translation since I often use landmarks that no longer exist but reference them in the “remember where the Gulf gas station used to be….” and so on.  Sometimes people are impatient about these things. I don’t get it.

Technology is still mysterious to me although I have a lot of devices that I use with some skill. The skill has been developed as a result of dumb luck and some intuition.  I can’t be bothered to be taught how to do things by my Gen X and  millennial age children. They are impatient with me since there was an obvious adaptation in DNA in the generations after I was created, that makes people in those age groups believe that I should just “listen and watch” and when I listen and watch, it still does not gel easily.  I’m no luddite and I am willing to be part of this great new world, but I will figure it out.  Yesterday, while in the middle of doing a project for work from home, the printer stopped actually printing but went through the lemon juice process wherein, it typed, but nothing actually appeared on the paper.  This was after I had “printed” eight documents only to find that I had eight blank sheets.  Screaming while living in a loft does not get you good results.  Trust me, the neighbors, whether they care about your safety or wellbeing will know, and they will give you knowing glances while waiting for the elevator.  I was hellbent on figuring out the problem with the printer. I did not have time to waste.  Ink supply, plenty on tap.  Paper, plenty in the tray.  Connection, no problem.  I went through the list and consulted with my FHB who after a cursory review from across the room, indicated things looked fine to him.  Gotta love the man.  I deigned to go to the computer’s website for an additional opinion and troubleshooting despite knowing that I already did everything anyone who knows everything would have done.  Kind of like the “is it plugged in moment” which it was.  The website encouraged me to consider, rather than tell me to, that I might want to clean the printer heads.  I hadn’t thought of that although I might have if I had more time.  I proceeded to follow their directions, begrudgingly.  Victory was mine.  Small dance of joy!  I am just brilliant under pressure.  People who know everything will understand what I mean.  This was an inherited trait that I learned from my father, who actually did know everything. All you had to do was ask him.  One of his favorite expressions was “I knew that!”.  He was the person in the family that others went to for advice.

I like to think I work well with others, as long as they know that I probably know what I am talking about. If not, they will come around.  I’m patient. It has taken me a lifetime to know that control is just another way to hold on to what makes you comfortable.  Learning to compromise in all my relationships has forced the issue, over and over again.  People are so stubborn.  We could save a lot of time and energy if I would just let other people lead.  Maybe that’s why I am not a good dancer, except with my very wonderful FHB.  At six feet tall, hovering over my four foot eleven inch stature,  he leads and I happily let it happy.  The choice is still mine, but if I want to dance, and I do, I let the music handle any differences.

Goodbye Old Friends

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It’s been said that it’s only a problem when you think it’s a problem or something like that.  For those who recall Imelda Marcos of the Phillippines, the wife of the 10th president of the country, she also is rumored to have had  more than one thousand pairs of shoes.  That’s a problem.  Her shoes are now part of a museum in Manila.  I say “Good for her!”.  Then I quietly assess my collection of footware and realize that the difference between Imelda and me is only 965-ish pairs of shoes.  So, it is not a matter of acquisition but more a matter of distribution and discarding of things that have been close to me, quite literally.  For a while, I had a policy (probably like IM) that was replace and discard one for one. Get a pair, give a pair.  Then I got busy with other things. Hard to imagine that I ignored my own policy.

Spring cleaning is something I don’t really adhere to since I can’t possibly clean the 13 foot tall windows in the loft.  Fear of high places and all that.  However,  sometimes you have to  recognize that cleaning also means cleaning out. I get up before the dawn breaks and that would be one of my flimiest excuses for not noticing that I had accumulated a significant number of shoes.  In the dark, it never looks like there are so many.  Truth be told, some of them have been sitting patiently waiting to be remembered, like old friends who you lose track of but are happy to see you when you do reach out because they remember the good times.  Yes, a perfect example of personification.  So many of the pairs are no longer viable, i.e.  can’t stand up in them and my toes are crushed and they may have been comfortable at one time, for about ten minutes.  There was an expression I remember hearing from a much older cousin as she yanked my hair in her attempt to style it “One must suffer for beauty”.  I think she was also referring to shoes.  As I disassembled my racks and pockets of shoes to identify potential victims of shoe murders, I put together (as indicated by Exhibit #1 above)  an arrangement of said victims. I was truly shocked to see that having rows of primarily black shoes (heels, slingbacks, boots, flats and the like), made quite an embarrassing array.  I know I am not a centipede nor a fashionista but wow….it is a bit absurd.  So, there are a lot more where those come from, hidden in the recesses of the closet, forgotten.

It is clearly time for letting go, step by step.  First they all were lined up and then they were prioritized by comfort, then season, then age.  Quite a few did not make the cut in any of those categories and they are now placed in an undisclosed location, until they can be moved to a witness type protection program for shoes with memories of things I did.  I can’t have them ratting me out…remember some shoes have tongues.  I may also eliminate some of my FHB’s pairs, since he doesn’t remember anymore than I do about some whose time has passed, and so must they.  They are no longer contributing to my days, collecting dust, losing value.  Last year, or maybe the year before, I evaluated my party shoes (weddings, dressy events) and off they went to prom dress land to accompany some girls to their big day. That actually felt all right.  I am just not a sequin type of woman although the shoes were artforms in their own right.  Moments of nostalgia left to be remembered but no longer in the loft.

I’ve made a shift to include navy shoes in my wardrobe. This is an homage to my mother, who was always making sure my sister and I had good shoes because she had grown up with bad shoes (?) which made her feel ache. She suffered but not for beauty but because of having less choices, resulting in bad feet.  My mother wore a lot of navy and it is less harsh than black (there’s a fashion tip for women of a certain age).  It’s a bit more hopeful.  Our mother wanted to be a fashion designer but as life choices were dealt in her case, she took a more traditional route of wife and mother.  Her wardrobe was practical but  not designed, and more applied.  She had classic beauty as a younger woman and a sparkle in her eyes that belied her inner thoughts.  There were  time when  I would visit her in New York and we would shop for a new pair of shoes for me, courtesy of my mother.

Indulgences, whether shoes, clothing or jewelry feed a need that may be fleeting but important in the moment. Then we move on to practical matters of function or form.  Tomorrow will be the day that the discarded shoes take their last “walk” down  memory lane.  The ones that remain are the ones that are sensible, comfortable and practical.  Feet have to keep me going for many miles to come.  I think Mom would approve.  Problem identified, and solved for the moment.

 

No two

 

Some days, things just happen the right way.  I was surprised, and of course, had to research what actually happened, to make Spring arrive today, March 20th shortly after midnight (GMT).  Apparently, once again, I either didn’t get the memo, or read the whole scientific explanation, or even know that I was operating in the old school belief, that Spring arrives on March 21st.  But now I know, and I was happy to celebrate the vernal equinox.  I think this is what writers and  poets have in mind, when they describe a glorious day.

I seem to end up, on Mondays, in one of my favorite towns. Fairhaven is surrounded by  a lot of charm and is just a drive across the New Bedford-Fairhaven Bridge, a short span which, if you time it just right, holds up car traffic, to make way for cargo ships and fishing boats to leave or arrive.  It’s one of those events, that if you are in a hurry, don’t plan on the bridge.  I prefer the wait.  The window was rolled down, the temperature was about 54 and bright sunshine required sunglasses.  When I looked to my left, I saw the fishing boats moored in the most inner harbor (see above left).  Some people are impatient and as they approach and see the bridge in the open position, they make a u-turn and head on their way in the opposite direction.  To each their own.  It takes about fifteen minutes but it is time well spent especially on the first day of spring.  As the bridge re-engages in the closed position, the cars move slowly across the road and we head east to Fairhaven.  I headed south toward the center of town to do a library return and some pick ups.  The good news was that I was prepared to pay my fine for overdue books only to find out that somehow there was no fine due.  I don’t argue with good news.  I walked out and down the steps and just stood and looked around.  The lighting was perfect, the sky azure blue.  Grabbed my phone (who has an actual camera these days) and took a picture of the library (photo on the right).

I had essentially the same conversation today with two people, a sixteen year old boy and an almost fifty year old man.  They both talked about the velocity of time.  The younger man, talked of how quickly the school year was going and how he remembered the last day of the past school year “like it just happened”.  The older man shared that his older daughter of twenty-five was half his age.  We spoke of knowing one another long before she had been born.  I thought of them both, along the continuum of the life span, both acknowledging the same concept at two different points.  Trying to hold on to a day is hard.  No two moments, no two people, no two days are exactly the same.  I want to remember this first day of spring but know that they come and go so fast it seems that it is impossible to grab it tightly.  Taking a couple of pictures allows me to hold that feeling but doesn’t stop the momentum.

Spent some time with my FHB and a dear friend and some amazing chocolate cake.  We talked about the present and the past.  We realized (actually she did) that we hadn’t actually seen one another since Thanksgiving.  Could that be…guess so.  We shared memories and caught up and then she was on her way.  Good way to spend another first day of spring.  The cake, new yesterday and gone today.  Some things don’t get better with time.

The earth’s orbit  is moving in a more cyclical way so the first day of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere is changing.

“While it’s true that we’ve traditionally celebrated the beginning of spring on March 21, astronomers and calendar manufacturers alike now say that the spring season starts one day earlier, March 20, in all time zones in North America. Unheard of? Not if you look at the statistics. In fact, did you know that during the 20th Century, March 21 was actually the exception rather than the rule?

The vernal equinox landed on March 21, only 36 out of 100 years. ”  Space.com 2005

So the way I figure it,  we need to grab the chocolate cake as often as it appears.  Spring 2018 is only 364 days away.

 

 

 

 

Freakin’ Friday

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This morning wrapped up a series of unfortunate but not serious or deadly events this week, making it feel as though it was about two weeks long, and that included a snowstorm that was underwhelming (thank you whomever) in addition to the moving forward of the clocks, which, according to some reading of news (real or alternative) discussed the possibility (probably not in my lifetime) of eliminating it and making our time to include just enough hours to make us get into more or less trouble, depending on where you stand in life.  Sorry for the run on sentence, it was my way of exhaling.

This Friday morning,  I gave myself an additional 6 minutes after the alarm went off (to the sound of the Beatles “Blackbird”) to get myself out of bed.  According to the daily routine which I follow as the servant of a cat, I first go and replace her now tepid water and remove the bowl to clean out the food she clearly distained.  Tepid water is still a surprise as it spills over your nightgown, when you jump at the sound of your now awake, thought he was fast asleep, FHB, who approached  from behind to get some juice.  The cat who sat nearby giving me the death look, as her food was not ready when she was,  walked away, obviously pissed at my ineptitude.  I remain quiet and breathe and put the food and water on her placemat (same ones we use at the dining room table) with the water on the left and the food on the right, just the way she likes it.  She walked over, sniffed it, and walked away.  Yes, this was just the beginning.

I went into the bathroom to get the shower running to begin my morning ablutions.  This was the morning that I forgot to put the new shampoo in the shower, which necessitated leaving a nice hot shower and padding to the closet to retrieve the new bottle.  Did I mention that we pride ourselves on never yet, having turned the heat on in the loft, this whole winter?  I regretted that decision as I exited.  I was all set to get to the task, when I realized, someone, and I am not mentioning names nor casting aspersions, did not replace the soap yesterday. Did you know that shampoo is as good a soap, as soap is?  File that under “things, just in case”.  The towel, because it hangs conveniently next to the tub, was soaking wet, since as I left and returned, I hadn’t thought that in seventeen seconds would get soaked and then not be considered useful to dry myself with.  I soldiered on as now I wished that I hadn’t taken that six minutes extra when I clearly needed it now.  I reached for the deodorant.  Yesterday, I had determined that I had one more day left.  I overestimated that.  So, because I don’t like running out of things,  I remembered I had bought a double package. I felt victorious. It’s great to be organized.  It’s lousy when you don’t remember where you might have put that double pack.  I try to use logic but at six a.m.  I have misplaced that as well.  Considering I have an office job and I don’t work on the docks, I probably could have gotten away without deodorant since shampoo is as good as soap.  However, now I was annoyed with myself and damn it….I was going to find it.  I looked where I imagined in my organized mind I should have put it.  Well, I discovered that we have more bath soap than Walgreens and more body wash than CVS, but the deodorant was missing.  I got on my knees and emptied the cabinet under my side of the vanity.  I keep a lot of things there and discovered it is like a black hole with treasures of lost items. It is dark under there, but luckily, from a previous voyage to the underbelly of the sink, I found a flashlight to help me excavate in the darkness. Aha!  There in the corner on the bottom, in the back, underneath two more bottles of body wash (maybe I am a bit obsessed about running out), was the doublepack of deodorant, faced down, almost hiding.  I retreated back into the light with glee, but not before smacking my head on the drainpipe.  It was too dark to see stars but it was a good smack.  I gingerly stood up and assessed the damage.  I had to carefully put everything back in a rather haphazard way (I now had about twelve minutes to finish getting ready to head out the door, which included make-up, hair drying, getting dressed, making coffee and lunch).  It was Supermarket Sweepstakes and I tripped in aisle two.

Down to the car in record time, I get in and realize that I opened the trunk in my attempt to open the door.  I got out of the car, pushed the trunk shut, got back in the car and realized I had put the car keys on top of the car, got out of the car, retrieved the keys, got back in the car…. I hate my life (not really, feeling like the adolescents I hear saying that). Off to work.  Coffee is still on the kitchen counter with my lunch. Yeah…of course.

It’s after 1o pm daylight saving time.  The rest of the day was a marathon I ran with my shoelaces tied together.  It’s over, and I finished, that’s all that matters.  As I often say, sometimes to other people, and most times to myself “Let’s not do that again, EVER!”

I really don’t hate my life…I love the weekends.  Ahhh.  Good night.

 

 

 

 

 

Snow Daze

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The best thing to happen on the Monday after Daylight Saving Time is a snow day on Tuesday. It softens the blow that accompanies that disoriented feeling as though you have travelled through a time zone only to realize you wake up in your own bed, and not in Chicago.  My colleagues at school were walking around after lunch checking to see if school had been called off for tomorrow.  It was like waiting for your potential lottery ticket and hoping you have at least four out of five numbers if not the winning ticket.  Yes, we have a winner (winter?). Despite living in New England for the past forty years, it still stymies the best of us as we somehow forget that this is the region that can see a hint of spring in the air and feel the hope and the joy, akin to the Red Sox before they broke that curse, only to be shocked to find we may have another winter storm in March.  After all is said and done, we have zero control over this mystery called weather forecasting and radar and maps and just as we always do, we wait for the text, or FB message or in my case, the RI Broadcasters Association to give a thumbs up and declare ” New Bedford Pub. Schools. Closed Tomorrow”.  Sweet words even though it means in June we are still in school as spring then turns to summer.

I was trying to recall snow days in New York City.  I know we had them and yet somehow they didn’t leave as much of an impact as they do now.  Maybe we were  heartier souls.  New Yorkers are a tough breed.  I remember lots of hurricanes coming through and post storm downed trees, and mayhem in the neighborhood, with debris everywhere and schools closings. In the sixties and seventies we had Hurricanes Donna, Agnes, Doria and Carrie.  We might have lost power, but as long as I had my friends to play with in the apartment building, my sister and I didn’t have to go far to be entertained.  I imagine my parents were glued to the radio and television to watch the weather patterns.  After the storms, it felt like we were all Dorothy waking up after the twister, and there was sunshine and it seemed like a dream and we certainly weren’t in Kansas.  School years seemed about five years long.  Snow didn’t stay  long on the ground and it turned to dirty gray pretty quickly because of the cars.  The corners of the blocks were usually piled high with snow mountains and crossing streets was somewhat treacherous but if you fell, it was fun even if you fell in murky, icy water.  The storm drains worked furiously taking away the melted snow.  The supers who were responsible for clearing paths in front of our building, worked to move the snow close to the curbs and usually blocked access to the cars parked on both sides of the street.  Once the snowstorms passed, you would see people out with shovels trying to find their cars under lots of snow and little place to put the snow, which seemed to end up in the streets.  I was glad I wasn’t a grown-up so I didn’t have to help.

The anticipation, even after the snow day is declared, is couched in wondering when the snow will begin.  The storm is predicted to be blizzard-like and regions north of us might experience several feet.  The winds are supposed to be fierce with whiteouts. It all sounds so dramatic and the plows are ready for business.  Sometimes it takes a snow day, when we are “forced” to stay in and stay put, to bring that feeling back fifty years or more.  I can look out the big windows and watch the storm come through and I can settle in and do something that doesn’t look  or feel like work.  Loft living means no shovelling and losing power is rare.  It’s like a weekend day without errands.  Family will call from the other side of the country to check if we are all right.  We have bread and milk, and enough food to make it through the rest of the month, if not into April.  No need to worry, we’ll be just fine.  Thanks for worrying, though.  We are New Englanders, with a little bit of New York swag.

Moved to tears

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Recently, I found out that Stoicism was an ancient Greek philosophy that was based in accepting that which we have been given in life and not allowing ourselves to be controlled by our fears or desire for pleasure and that it was part of nature’s plan.  I knew it as something that was often a word that described how we, as children, were to act in public.  We were to keep our emotions inside, and perhaps, pretend that things were all right.  We were to be strong and reserved.  It seemed as though this came about as a by-product of being the children of parents who had been affected by their own upbringing and their bearing witness to persecution and oppression.  One learns to manage feelings.  Somehow tears were shed in private.  Looking back, I “learned” not to cry.

Then  I grew up, and I revel in the delight of feeling so many different feelings, sometimes all at once and sometimes when I least expect it, I burst into laughter or I burst into tears.  When I found out that we were going to be grandparents for the second time, the moment it registered, I exploded into wails of uncontrollable crying, and they were absolutely tears of joy.  I hadn’t remembered ever actually experiencing that rollercoaster of emotion.  My son actually videotaped my face and it was real, but not real pretty.  A blubbering mess which in retrospect was one of the best moments in recent history.  It has been a feeling that a switch was turned on and crying is something that comes easily.  I react to movies, television stories, commercials, anything about babies, animals, old folks, young love, new love, reunions, and all those things that tug at my tear ducts.  I am a mush and I have the snotty tissues to prove it.  I don’t go out of my way to watch or find things that evoke strong emotions, but they find me and I emote.  It isn’t because it is always sad, it is just responding to life with all its circumstances.  I am often a silent crier, with shoulders shaking up and down and lots of sniffling and covert tissue recovery, but not my sleeve because that’s pretty gross.  My FHB and I often both respond with tears and somehow we move closer on the couch and lean into one another for comfort, but avert eye contact, since we know, that is not necessary, because it’s just another sappy commercial for coffee.

My FHB and I don’t really share the same sense of humor.  I am pretty sophomoric when it comes to laughing and I react to visual humor and funny accents and idiocy.  I also don’t have a lilting laugh.  I snort and then, when I try and get it under control, I bark and my FHB is simply horrified, which just makes me more hysterical.  It is almost as though the more sternly he looks at me, the more I have to shriek till my sides hurt.  Perhaps another effect of stoic parents.  I love to laugh and giggle.  Sometimes, I say something that only I find funny which is lonely, but I get over it quickly and hope that it is infectious to those around me.  My sister and I usually can laugh at the same things and react with giggles. Those moments, which might be based in a past experience, could arise just from a glance or a word, and the rest is unspoken but the laughter is loud.  My FHB’s smile is slow to form and often shared in metered doses. It is like the sunrise.  It starts slowly and then it lights the sky.  While I smile much of the time,  and it  is perhaps observable to most who look my way, his smile is very valuable and saved for what he deems deserving.  I remember when we met I knew his smile meant something, and came from deep inside.  It is often my challenge to unwrap his smile because it is so worth the wait.

When our granddaughters laugh, it reaches to our core and makes everything in that moment  incredible.  How children know what’s funny is mysterious.  The connection is real.  They are better at getting Saba to smile and that special smile is reserved for those girls.

A sense of humor these days is  necessary .  There’s always lots to cry about, with little provocation.  A strong belly laugh can sustain you and if you can share it with someone, it can echo and come back and keep a positive momentum. Make a funny face and have a good weekend.