gratitude-a-thon day 2037: the mommy attachment

Jess-McLeod-gender-reveal-smiling-pregnant-belly

Is it because my kid’s lived inside me for nine months that when they feel pain, I feel it too? I swear, when they are hurt emotionally, or physically, I get that in the middle of my chest and I want to throw up and scream and hold onto my heart so it doesn’t bust right out of me with the intensity of an asteroid (what a mess that would be).

There are so many things they don’t tell you in What to Expect When You’re Expecting, like how you will love in a way that is impossible to describe and bigger than the crowd in Time Square on New Year’s Eve, how your humanity will expand to eighty-two sizes larger than normal, how you will never again stop worrying, no matter how many fucking meditation tapes you listen to. There are no chapters on the fiery attachment that exists between mother and child. That book prepares your uterus, but not your heart.

And so it is, that once you have a child, you are in it. Oh, I am grateful for this epic roller coaster ride, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes I wish I could just leave the pain part at the door.

 

gratitude-a-thon day 2036: riley is 10. you should get a dog.

 

Today my dog is 10. I talked to him about this and I tried not to, but I cried.

I cried because I can’t actually imagine my life without this dog and I know he won’t likely live as long as I will. I nuzzled him and told him how darn much I loved him and that I hoped he’d had a good life so far. He didn’t answer, but he did purr. He purrs like a cat to tell me when he’s particularly happy. I always think his purring is pre-verbal and he will talk some one of these days.

This is the thing about Riley and me: I talk and talk to him, but he never talks back. He has particular barks. He has an “I need water bark,” an I have to pee, stat,” bark, “I’m about to poop on the rug” bark, a “play with me,” an “I’m starving,” and a “the mailman’s here and I’m going to tear him from limb to limb if he gets near the front door” bark. But he never speaks to me, and yet I totally understand him. Sometimes better than people who speak English to me. I don’t know, but that’s how it is. And this is why I love him so much and also because he’s really funny and well, I love funny.

I am so grateful that 10 years ago a dad in Coolidge Corner was allergic to a little puppy he flew in for his family from a breeder in Minneapolis. Turned out that Riley was more Cavalier King Charles Spaniel than Bichon, so his hypoallergenic-ness was a no-go. But that’s how we found our boy. It was meant to be. Because I can tell you, we were made for each other. If you don’t have a dog, I can’t recommend it enough. They make you a better person, and they are full of absolutely pure love.

 

 

 

 

 

gratitude-a-thon day 2035: march for our lives with hope: the kids

IMG_6730

I didn’t make it to D.C. yesterday, but I did make it to Boston Common’s March for Our Lives, where thousands and thousands of kids were out in force and demanding more from our politicians concerning gun control. They acted responsibly, spoke articulately and were passionate and clear about what they want and deserve from lawmakers. They were experiencing the high of activism–that kind of out-of-this-world energy you get from taking to the streets with others and telling the world that you’re not going to take it anymore. Or anyway, you’re not going to take it sitting silently. I hope this becomes an addiction. Because these kids seem to be on a positive path of getting shit done.

And there were plenty of older people, too. There to support this generation, who just might make something happen that we have not been able to pull off.

I don’t have enough words, enough yahoo’s, enough yippee’s or pats on the back for these well-organized kids who have given me hope about gun reform for the first time in my adult life.  This is a real moment. This is the way things change. Did you hear that Mr. President, or were your golf clubs in the way?

Gratitude to the current generation of get-it-done, we’re-not-backing-down, we-deserve-more, don’t-shoot, NEW OR ABOUT TO BE NEW VOTERS. You wow me.

 

gratitude-a-thon day 2034: temporary

Temporary.png

Everything is temporary. You don’t think so. Everything seems like it’s solidly yours, and that it’s like wedding vows—-forever and always. Sometimes to the extent that it’s boring, even.

Guess what. It’s impermanent. All of it. It can all be gone in the time it takes Trump to compose one of his idiot tweets.

When someone dies, who should not be going anywhere, but to work or the movies, or his son’s little league game, or dinner with his wife, it becomes quite clear that all we think we hold is really not able to be held.

It’s an event like this. a premature death, that makes you begin to understand that life is like antique lace, exquisite, but ready to tear into an unrecognizable and useless fragment of what was once perfect. Things do not last. Nothing follows the rules we’ve created in our organized heads of life’s chronology. Don’t be fooled or lulled into complacency about your existence not having an expiration date, like a carton of milk. It does. It’s just not printed on our foreheads.

Is there something essential to be learned from this? If you realize there’s no guarantee that tomorrow is waiting in the wings, would you spend your day differently, having more fun, for instance?  Does indoctrinating yourself to believe that we don’t know when our lives will end, help us to stay in the impossible to stay in moment that everybody’s always trying to step into? Is this a curse, or the gift?

Does it really matter that I just painted my house, or does it matter more because of the immense pleasure I’ve gotten from the soothing new colors I’m living in? Should I stop worrying about the inconsequential, and just remember that I could be given a six-month window in which I could permanently stop breathing? And all of it, all of my worries and backup worries would become utterly and totally useless forcing me to wonder why I spent so much time thinking about such ridiculous and useless shit to start with.

The longer you live, the better you understand how this life works and all the ways that it’s unfair and sad and beautiful, too. But make no mistake, life is temporary. Treat it like that. And be grateful for what it is you have today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

gratitude-a-thon day 2033: I heart coffee

 

IMG_6342.JPG
This was an especially delish cappuccino in South Beach at a little Italian place that was supremo. And that heart, that’s how I feel about coffee.

 

God, that first sip of coffee. Sigh, gasp. Happy face.

I will, every once in a while, if I’m really beyond exhausted and have to be on that night, have a second cup in the afternoon, or a little swallow, but really I’m just that morning wake up cup that says, “hey, brain, start it up, we’re on deck.”

I heat the milk in the microwave and there’s a whole lot of it. I am big on the milk, albeit lactaid milk, truth is I can’t tell the difference. Then I pour in the coffee and a generous teaspoon of agave. I know some people think agave is bad for you, but I am a little in love with the taste of it and you need less than sugar, which people also think is bad for you, but I am a moderation person, so I sing along with Mary Poppins “Just a spoonful of sugar.”

Yes, I’ve gratituded over coffee before, but can one be too thankful that one’s cup runneth over with Dunkin’?  It’s the little things. Today it’s the coffee.

 

 

gratitude-a-thon day 2032: and i’m getting older, too

Getting older is a tricky business. On the one hand, I’m all like, “Hallelujah, celebrate your lines and wrinkles as the cumulative map of all the experiences you’ve had!”  On the other hand, I’m like, “I need a head and body transplant, fucking stat.”

I make fun of celebrities who have transformed themselves into people who are barely recognizable, or look like blow-up sex dolls, but with better hair. I think how terrible it would be to have to rely on my looks to get a job, or to be so vastly insecure that I would have to make sure the world didn’t know how old I was. To be under a magnifying glass like that would make me want to go into a govt. witness protection program and live in a small town in the Northern Alps where people wear those face mask hats.

My audience consists of me. I look in the mirror every day and see the changes. Some days I can manage them with a good attitude. But other days, I scare myself when I see a version of my mother’s face or an old woman who I don’t know, and I use my hands to smooth my skin out for a moment to remind myself of who I am. Of what I am. Of what I’m made of and what I’ve made.

This is the only really satisfying solution I can come up with to the dilemma of aging. Who is it you’ve become, what is it you’ve created,  while those crow’s feet were burrowing into your eye area? Was the bliss of basking and frolicking on a sunny beach worth the skin damage (I have to say yes). Would you give up having those kids to be without a c-section scar, to have more Victoria Secret boobs, or fewer worry lines? Would you have cried less as you lost your mother, not spent so much time concentrating on your work, or great books, or museum exhibits, in order to have fewer furrows? Would you have chosen not to laugh so much, just so your face wouldn’t have the creases that come from repetitive guffaws?

Living is a combination of smile-inducing moments that create marionette lines around your mouth, and disastrous days where your face takes on a deep scowl. Our crazy journeys up happy mountains and down into the deepest parts of the valley make our faces what they are. When I view my wrinkles and saggy skin this way, as the trip, I still don’t love them, but I do begin to like them some.  And I begin to be a little proud of them, too. And maybe even a little grateful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

gratitude-a-thon day 2031: red carpet-a-thon: the oscars

Last night was the King of the Jungle, the Manolo Blahnik, the Dunkin’ Donuts coffee of Award Shows: the Oscars. So, let’s get on with the fussing, the mussing and the cussing and get right to fashion lashin’, the clothing loathing, the who ones who looked like they were dressed for Halloween, and those who got it perfectly right.

Let’s start with the sisters who just go to show that having money does not mean you have taste:

Salma (What the) Hayek (are you wearing?)

 

From the chandelier crystal sleeves to the sad color and flammable fabric, this dress is a Glamour Don’t from head to toe. Only if you told me that Trump would step down as president if I wore this, would I.

Sister Maya Rudolph, let us pray.

My friend Yvette texted me while Ms. Rudolph was presenting to ask me if she’d purchased this at The Handmaid Tale’s Outlet. I responded that yes, yes, she must have and I hoped it was half price.

Nicole are you Kid(ding)man me?

I think this dress looks superimposed on Nicole’s body, like it’s not real, like it’s a Jessica Rabbit thing. And that fabric looks so stiff it could walk the carpet on its own.

Whoopsi Goldberg

I love that at least she made an effort, so devoted to comfort clothes is Whoopi, but this is just a tortured mess of fabric and are you kidding me with the black Spanx/Cami/T-shirt that is covering her cleavage? And speaking of cleavage, could she have not worn some support for the girls? They are crying out for help.

Haley Bennett almost got mowed down on the carpet.

I think this is actual sod. Sod that didn’t do well and had to be picked up off of her yard, while her stylist was taking a meeting at her house and said to Haley, “Hey, I know, let’s be all eco-friendly and make your dress out of this.” This is all I can think of, because WHY ELSE?

Queen (of comedy) Tiffany Haddish

Wait, is she from Wakanda? No, she’s not, she’s on the worst dressed list.

Let’s be (Emily) Blunt, this is ugly.

Dug out of her closet and repurposed from the prom she was forced to attend with her cousin Leonard because her boyfriend abruptly broke up with her when he saw the dress.

And the wondrously gorg! The beautifully perfect! The girls who got it so damn right.

Margot Robbie hits a fashion triple axel, triple toe combo to score a 10.

I’m not sure what Margot could wear to ruin her effortless beauty, but this dress was soooooo good. Paper-thin flowy fabric, a beautiful and simple cut with just a little bit of zhoozh. So smart to keep this gorgeous face fresh and clean and the hair simple.

No need to Wonder Woman, you look amazing.

Gal Godot just looks smashing. This dress is fun. The fit is perfect and it lights up the whole damn room, just like her smile.

Mary J. Blige keeps killing it on the carpet.

Mary’s transformation from a singer to a singer and actress has included a total style upgrade. Everything she wears is really well thought out and fits her perfectly. This dress is no exception. I absolutely love it.

Eiza Gonzalez wears an awful color and still looks better than everybody else.

I don’t like yellow. It’s too harsh, too bright, too just plain wrong, but this dress on this body is everything good in the world.

Greta Gerwig gets it right for once.

All hail the only female director in the bunch. And all hail her dress, too. Greta is not a fashion icon in my book, but this look was numero diez. Her hair was a little old Hollywood wave, with that dark lip enhancing it, and the dress is just easy and effortless. Let’s face it, I have never met a flower I didn’t like.

Looks like Jennifer Garner is done being sad over Ben leaving.

If looking good is the best revenge, Jen wins. Back from a public divorce and looking better than ever, I hate this color, but love this dress and her strong and confident hair and makeup. Yup, this one is back.

Lady Saoirse Ronan

How adorable is she? I just love this look. It’s sweet and oh so simple. She is young and fresh and looks it.