Chewbacca has Left The Building

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Chewbacca has Left the Building

Peter Mayhew AKA Chewbacca, Chewy, Han Solo’s BFF and iconic sidekick died this year without the usual fanfare accorded a superstar.

There were no news breaks, day and night and even weekly coverage like a Kobe or a Michael, just a sense of loss on so many levels from Star Wars fans.

Not to denigrate from others’ greatness, but if you cut us do we not bleed?

To a Star Wars geek the loss of Chewy is a giant blow, pun intended. He was able while wearing a costume to evoke emotions some actors can’t do while the camera is staring right at their face. He also suffered physical pain and difficulties while creating an iconic character and handled it all with class and professionalism.

Chewy was lovable, loyal, funny, protective and smart. His utterances transcended words and fans loved the character and appreciated that the man who played him hit exactly the right notes.

I want to know who decides. Who says this person is more important and deserves more coverage than another? Who in the entertainment business speaks for us all?

Watching the Academy Awards, while hoping my gag reflex didn’t fail me I was shocked that Kirk Douglas’s death wasn’t mentioned the entire night until the pictures of the dead rolled on the giant screen. Kirk Douglas is just one of the throng? Really? Seriously?

I know that most of old Hollywood was either dead or missing in action at the awards ceremonies, proving the theory that old people are not welcome, but to not even mention a man like Kirk Douglas, an icon, and a legitimate legend.

At one point in the “festivities” Tom Hanks who was speaking about AMPAS, ended with “I am Spartacus,” alluding to Kirk Douglas’s iconic words in Spartacus.

That was it. A shout out to Hanks, but can’t the academy do better?

Not a single actor acknowledged him in any way. No “we lost a legend a few days ago” speech, nod or comment on a man that so contributed to Hollywood’s reputation. Just a cavalier, “another one bites the dust,” kind of attitude.

Tom Hanks was the only one who felt compelled to honor a legend? How sad.

What are the Academy Awards anyway? The entire industry takes itself so damn seriously, but it is that one night a year we are most reminded of their ego.

The fashion is no longer as entertaining as when Joan Rivers mocked and trashed the celebs parading across the red carpet. The movies are many no one has even seen or heard of anymore. Heaven forbid a movie that actually rakes in billions should be given a shout out. Hello Avengers, Star Wars, etc.

A place where Hollywood goes to convince itself it’s more than all that and stars become political commentators while everyone pats everyone else on the back because they finally caught one of the bad guys, Harvey Weinstein; with no help from Hollywood, by the way.

A show where the best acting is done by the losers who pretend to be happy for those who just beat them out for the award.

Shouldn’t there be a category for the Peter Mayhews who must act beneath ten tons of makeup and a confining costume. For someone who can create a character that is beloved by hundreds of millions across the globe.

Chewy didn’t need no stinkin’ subtitles to create a legend.

I’m not equating Kirk Douglas and Mayhew. They were far different actors, yet both excelled at their craft.

If numbers are the judge Chewy had as many fans as Michael Jackson or Kobe Bryant.

If character is the criteria, Mayhew and Harrison Ford created a more iconic and world renown team than Abbot and Costello.

Perhaps it’s because the geek in me was fired up when Chewy and Kirk Douglas’s deaths went so unheralded by the news and their own colleagues.

Douglas was part of a time when Hollywood was golden and stars were stars, and the big screen held magic and wonder because movies were played on giant screens instead of an iphone. One escaped into the world of make believe not into the palm of their own hand for escape.

Douglas was a true gentleman and an artist. I met him and I can say that first hand.

Mayhew was part of a franchise so gigantic that only something as huge as the mouse AKA Disney could take over and be trusted to carry on its greatness.

Unfortunately, I should be more surprised than I am by the slight, but in the end I, with all my fellow fans salute two Hollywood greats, along with many others that left the building this year.

The Hollywood sign outside my window is looking just a little rustier and older than before.

No Beverly Hills plastic surgeon can cover the mark they both left on the entertainment world.

RIP Kirk and Chewy, you will never be forgotten.

 

 

 

Meeting an Old Friend for Lunch

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Meeting an Old Friend for Lunch

“In a better world we will find our young years and our old friends Jean Antoine Petit-Senn

Yesterday I met an old friend for lunch. As happens in life Carole Montgomery’s comedy career led her to different states to reside and as time passed and career and raising a family took her back to New York, our daily lives encroached upon our friendship. We stayed in touch through social media and occasional phone calls, but life and time can separate even those with whom one shares a true affinity for fun and a cache of happy memories.
Carole and I became friends during my time as a stand-up comic. Since we both worked in Las Vegas a great deal, she was the opening comic for a show called Crazy Girls at the Riviera and I was a regular at the Improv located in the hotel, we saw each other a lot. We also had much in common sort of, I couldn’t gamble and she knew all about it, so she taught me. She was from New York and incredibly street smart and I was a protected Jewish princess from Detroit. She was calm and cool in a time of chaos, while I was an hysterical crazy person.

Okay, so you’re wondering why we were friends, it was just a no brainer. We liked each other and enjoyed one another’s sense of humor. I thought Carole was hysterical. I laughed out loud at her jokes and respected her guts and fearlessness. She was my female Lenny Bruce. She worked blue and I came off like a Jewish mother. I guess it was the difference in our styles that made it so easy to appreciate each other. Whatever it was we remained in touch and yesterday we met for lunch.

Carole is out in Los Angeles for work and to promote her new Showtime Special More Funny Women of a Certain Age premiering Saturday, March 14th.

It had been as though no time had passed, as is so often the case when old friends meet. Like hearing a favorite old song on the radio that conjures up a treasured memory.

We ordered and then caught up. Being as we only had a lunchtime we prioritized and shared the highest items on our friends-need-to-know-priority list, family, work, future, new goals and projects and tomatoes or tater tots with our omelets. We compromised and shared both.

After saying goodbye I spent a good part of the day recalling life events we’d shared, show business insanity, our kid’s successes and the birth of her son, now of course grown and a force of his own. It seems our children inherited both our determination and senses of humor.

Of course as one ages it becomes apparent that people move in and out of our lives for reasons unknown. Yet, it’s also true that as people move away from us new ones come in.

I must ask why this is so. Why can’t we have everyone in our lives all the time?

Good question, but no answer.

Perhaps there is no room. Can’t say I agree with that one because our hearts are big enough to embrace the entire world. Even though people may physically leave our lives, they don’t leave our hearts.

I realized that fact yesterday over lunch with Carole. Although we’d been apart I still felt that sense of friendship. I wanted her to succeed and help her, although she is doing just great without any help from me.

Whether or not old friends are near or far away we never seem to stop wanting the best for them.

How many times have you heard something regarding a childhood friend and been moved by either joy or sadness at the news?

Friendship is a bond that connects us to one another, but can distance break that bond? Or does it simply stretch like elastic until it can be lax again?

In my experience the evidence is clear. Although we may find ourselves separated from old friends, once the connection is reset the bond is strong.

I’m certain there were times in your life you’ve thought of someone and suddenly wanted to hear their voice. Perhaps an old song, place you visit or picture someone shares on social media conjures up a memory.

It may be over Facebook or other social media, maybe an old-school phone call works best, but whatever the means the outcome is the same. As a result of the outreach we are filled with happy memories and good feelings about wonderful times shared.

I think old friends are a kind of medicine we can easily afford and with no scary side effects.

On a blue day instead of hitting the chocolate maybe a phone call to an old friend might do more to elevate your mood.

If you are remembering someone that has left your life simply pick up a phone and call to say hello or drop a message on Facebook or Instagram. Rekindle a happy time and share joyful thoughts. They may have been thinking of you, too.

Just because life has taken you to new places and experiences doesn’t mean we have to lose the older, good parts of ourselves forever.

Many times there are reasons we must part, but perhaps there are also good reasons to reconnect.

So make two people happy today and reach out to an old friend. It’s a great way to brighten two lives.

 

 

Maj at the Mall

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Maj Jong at the Mall

Every week five friends play maj jong at the mall. The first question from those who hear of our location is, “Where at the mall?”

I answer, “In the food court of course,” and they shake their head nodding it makes sense.

And it does. Aside from the fact it takes Karen ten minutes to find a table that doesn’t wobble, or text us to, then disinfect it we have found the perfect location.

Maj is a total snacks game. There are usually nuts of some kind, m and ms, chocolate gummy bears, (we should never have discovered those), chips, cut up veggies for the diet conscious, drinks, coffee and for the more adventurous even lunch.

So it always falls to the hostess to plan the eats and it can be tedious and a great deal of work.

Problem solved at the mall.

Everyone can eat what they want, drink the best coffees and of course we still sneak in chocolates for those of us with absolutely no self-control.

(I’m raising my hand here but you can’t see it of course.)

Even if I begin the day with a healthy mindset vowing not to eat junk food, a lot can happen to change my resolve before I sit down in front of those tiles. Perhaps the son of a bitch who cut me off in traffic created the need for a handful of m and ms to calm me down. Yes, I’m a chocoholic and I admit it freely.

Yes, it’s well known that will power is not an absolute. One’s need for chocolate can change in a millisecond depending on circumstances. Is this a good hair day or are my locks determined to have a mind of their own? Why does my make up look like I just turned into a raccoon? I know these damn jeans fit yesterday what’s going on here with this muffin top situation?

Get me the damn Sees Candy! Where once Shakespeare advised Ophelia, “Get thee to a nunnery,” I say get thee to Godiva.

The real fun about the mall is the little community that assembles there, and they are quite a cast of characters.

There are always other tables of maj players as well. Now there is even a table of rummicubers.

Next to our usual table is a group of older men from Israel. There are probably ten of them and they eat, talk, tell stories and love to flirt with us. Sometimes they bring baked goods and offer them up to us.

The security guard always stops by to say hello and ask who’s winning then stays to chat.

Of course there is also the assortment of customers that come and go with their various dishes and sometimes screaming children.

Another group comes in after five to have dinner. Among the five o’clockers are Virginia, now 99 and Francis, now 92 along with their male friends that make sure they have what they need. Virginia’s boyfriend bought her a gorgeous watch for Christmas.

The same people show up every week and if someone isn’t there everyone else notices.

After the maj game is over Randi, Deb and I shop for a while and Janet buys dinner to take home. Karen meets her husband Mark for dinner and after shopping we stop by to chat with Virginia and her friends to show off our new purchases before we leave.

It’s rare that we go through a day without a friend of one of ours walking up to the table to say hello. Or people stopping by to ask, what is that game you’re playing.

Obviously we don’t play as many games as we would were we at someone’s home. Nor is it as quiet.

So you ask, if you’re serious maj players why do you play at the mall with all the distractions?

That’s the point. We love the distractions. Okay occasionally it can get a bit raucous at the retired men’s table and yes the screaming kids bother some more than others.

Our maj game has become a highlight of our week. We have not only all become great friends, but we have added so many interesting people to our lives.

We all can’t wait to get there on Fridays to see everyone and hear about one another’s week. What’s the latest news or just saying hello and meeting and greeting everyone?

So thank you for bearing with me because I do have a point here. Malls are dying and that is terribly sad.

In a world where people are watching a techie toy more than each other, the mall is one of the last bastions of community left.

It’s not just that we all enjoy ourselves it’s also about the kids. You see them hanging out, having lunch, talking laughing and interacting with one another. If the mall goes away will kids ever look at anything ever again besides Instagram or have any sense of what if feels like to be part of a community?

Man was not created to be alone. Just like wolves we travel in packs and are happier to do so. Even the Romans gathered together in the coliseum to feed the lions.

The mall offers a place that is completely inter generational and a safe place to gather and share happy moments.

The sad part of what’s occurring is that malls are closing because the stores can’t compete with online business. Yet a mall is so much more and the loss would be incredibly damaging to social interaction.

The day Amazon can provide me with interesting people to meet, greet and play maj with will be a cold day in California. I have to believe that for now maj at the mall will be a safe haven for everyone, for a long time to come.

 

 

 

 

Riding the Guilt Train at a Senior Discount

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Riding the Guilt Train at a Senior Discount

Why do I feel guilty for doing nothing? By doing nothing I don’t mean doing nothing to feel guilty about, I mean nothing in the purest sense of the world.

Like sitting like a couch potato staring at the television and eating a nacho kind of nothing.

I can’t seem to reconcile getting through a day without accomplishing something. I’m not quite certain if it’s my type A personality or just the DNA in my bloodstream from years of Jewish guilt.

Whatever the case I can’t go to bed at night feeling good without knowing what tasks I undertook and succeeded at that day.

So I imagine the question would be: what is an accomplishment?

Aha. There’s the rub, for at various stages of our lives the word task morphs into far different meanings.

When young a task might be doing homework, making your bed or taking out the garbage. We never considered reading a book, playing outside until the streetlights came on or buying a new comic book part of the task category. Those things were the fun things we did, the parts of our lives we felt total control over.

Then we became older and a task was far more defined. In college we did our homework, studied for exams, did philanthropic activities with our sororities and left ourselves time for the fun stuff like catching up with our favorite soap opera, partying, watching Charlie Brown specials and listening to music while we danced around the dorm. There was a definite disconnection between fun and work and we felt the difference as we accomplished both.

Marriage and children brought even more awareness of the lines between pleasure and production although our underlying motivations were slightly blurred.

Changing our baby’s diaper was work yet it was done with love. So there was that, a whole love work conundrum.

Of course housework, carpooling, shopping or cooking were all things a Mom undertook with love and tolerance because our choices to raise our family had been conscious and resolute.

Some of us worked outside the house as well and at times the work felt less like work and more like fun. At least it did for me when I was doing stand-up comedy.

The point to all this is the fact that we were all productive. Our days were filled with responsibilities that needed to be met and loved ones to care for as the days passed quickly by.

At night we didn’t ever wonder, “what did I accomplish today?”

We were too damn tired and our heads were usually swimming with thoughts of what we had to do the next day.

It was a far different time.

And now here we are at a very different point in our lives.

Most of us, and I can’t speak for all of course, but many have chosen to slow life down a bit. Like a horse that used to run races and now sort of wanders about the fields sniffing the clover and munching on hay, and if he’s lucky gets put out to stud occasionally.

Some still have significant others and husbands (I am in no way implying that a husband is not significant here) so we do have another person in our lives to answer to.

However, there are those who do not.

I no longer have to worry about meals. I can eat what I want, when I want.

I work part time at my own pace so I needn’t be so strict about that any longer.

Hmm. So what is there that I absolutely need to do now?

And I am not certain if playing maj jong is considered a task or fun as at times the lines have now completely blurred from simply okay-so-I’m-getting-out-of-bed this morning, to healing the oceans.

I’m brutally honest with myself, I can’t retire as I’d be bored out of my skull with nothing to do. I envy those who can retire, but are they really?

What is retirement?

Does that mean sitting idol all day or perhaps running from doctor appointment to appointment as part of the weekly routine. No, I’m not sure if those visits to the doctor count as work or pleasure. I guess we should invent a new category for that one. Perhaps pain in the butt would be applicable.

Some golf, the healthy ones tennis, swim, play canasta, hang with friends, maj jong, go to the gym, meet friends for lunch, write that screenplay or novel, volunteer for charities, see the grandchildren and all of the many things one can do to fill time.

Although we take on tasks each day, for me it has changed a bit. Where once I could get up in the morning and clean all day, now, I merely take on a chore at a time with even a respite in between.

However, I need to do something, anything to make me feel as if I’ve accomplished something.

For me it is a necessity and I feel incredible guilty if I have ended a day without being productive.

So let’s examine what is considered productive.

Could one consider binge watching the entire season of Mrs. Maisel or Grace and Frankie productive?

Is cleaning a drawer or your closet?

How about writing a blog?

Can I sneak in maj jong under than heading?

Is it perfectly okay to count going to the gym as a positive day?

Case in point: Would you consider sitting in front of the television all day binge watching NCIS productive? I’m not going to argue the benefits of looking at Mark Harmon for eight hours although I can see no downside there. I merely wonder if I should feel guilty because I didn’t invent the cure for cancer instead? Is having a non-productive day and merely enjoying oneself a bad thing? What is truly beneficial as an activity?

As we age shouldn’t we be grateful we are able to function, walk, talk, enjoy our children and grandchildren? Isn’t contentment and gratitude a goal; a benefit of being alive?

Where once we sought more days to spend on pleasurable uses of our time, now we are blessed with scads of it. Is taking advantage of those hours not okay?

Should one feel guilty about simply enjoying doing nothing in particular?

I still have problems justifying 24 hours without producing something, whether it be a blog, a cleaner house, a charitable endeavor or even a new recipe.

So I have found a way around this conundrum.

Each day I find one thing to do that I can feel is going to result in something positive.

So I blog, fix something, work on a project or charity, call a friend, or even just catch up on housework. Then after that I can feel good about my time with Harmon or binge watching Mad Men, which a friend has been urging me to do. So in a way this is very productive because I’m making my friend happy by simply watching the show. Two birds huh?

I once saw Joan Rivers open her date book and point to empty pages and tell the interviewer, “This is what terrifies me.”

Right on Joan, Having nothing to do terrifies me, also.

Yet, there are still those lazy days, but what the heck? I intend to live them guilt free and with no remorse.

At the end of our lives when we are faced with that flashback of our existence on earth will it be the individual moments we see or the totality of our achievements? Our children, grandchildren, the love we gave and received and the loved ones standing beside us to guide us into the next great adventure?

I imagine I won’t care at that moment how many days I just binge watched Netflix or chatted on the phone with a friend in lieu of saving the world. Hopefully I’ll just be grateful for all the moments I spent on this crazy ball spinning in space and sorry to have to leave.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Getting Old is Really Getting Old!

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I’m really not one to complain, unless of course, someone is listening.

Okay, so I really need to stop answering my phone.

The other day I learned that two people I know died, one of my best friends in having surgery and the world is coming to an end on January fifth, 2088.

Since the world has ended numerous times in my lifetime that one is not really an issue, but this picking up the phone and finding out people are sick and dying really has to end.

Oh I know there is no way to stop the Grim Reaper. He does know where you are at all times, so I guess he’s the GPS for humanity. And there’s no blocking or turning off his signal.

Once upon a time long ago I actually got out of bed in the morning without stopping three times to check and see why parts of me weren’t cooperating in the effort. Now it’s a slow and painful process. When I actually make contact with the floor, it’s not exactly like a kiss from Prince Charming, and my feet spend at least the next five minutes complaining bitterly until they give up and just settle into a low hum of pain for the rest of the day.

Being from Detroit I know of what I speak. Just like cars are planned for obsolescence so are people. None of us is built to last forever, even if we are built Ford Tough.

Sure, you say, some people are full of piss and vinegar right up till the end, and to that I say bull crap. Even if one cultivates a good attitude toward aging, as we get older we are all just schlepping through life looking for replacement parts as we go.

I now know very few people that are not bionic in some form; new knees, valves, hips, stints,

shoulders and even wrists are as available as a sucked-up, tucked-up blond in a room full of ninety-year-old millionaires.

Dentures have been replaced with implants, hair plugs have it all over toupees and women tattoo their eyebrows on. It’s a world of new tech, new times and new inventions to keep us believing we are not actually aging.

Aha! Don’t be fooled because your body is laughing all the way to the plastic surgeon’s office. “Forget the neck lift,” it is saying. “I have a whole new hip in store for you soon.”

I know women who scotch tape their necks for an instant lift. I am thinking of inventing flesh colored duct tape to hold up my touchas every day. Bet it would sell great.

The newest great invention seems to be adult underwear, aka diapers. Oh sure they’ve disguised them with pretty little designs and flowers, but honey we all know they are Pampers 2.0. I thought that was the nursing home wardrobe. What’s the hurry to start wearing plastic panties? A few flowers and I’m supposed to get excited about this new lingerie? Ooh, I feel sexy.

Even though we look like we’re twenty years younger thanks to Botox, fillers, lifts and medical magic, inside our bodies are decaying faster than Senor Happy tooth in a sea of Godiva chocolate.

So what is there to do to reverse the aging process?

We could call Harry Potter to bring his wand, but I am too far gone for that. Magic can only go so far.

Some hang at the gym and believe they can walk faster than Father Time, thus beating him to the punch. Okay, I’m game.

I’m here at the gym and it’s very foreign to me. I’m not sure what language they’re speaking in this strange new land. Just a minute I can catch one word here, downward dog. Yes, I know that one; it’s a Yoga term. It means squatting like a dog until your toes break off on the mat. I remember even trying that once. Couldn’t walk for a week.

Just a second someone is climbing on a treadmill and wait he’s setting the incline. I thought just walking a straight line was enough of a challenge. Damn the man’s walking up hill. I’m getting heart flutters just watching him. I need to find somewhere to sit.

I feel the duct tape on my ass coming lose and I think I should go into the bathroom to fix it. If it falls off as I’m walking that would be embarrassing. Damn a piece is hanging out from under my shorts. I knew I should have worn spandex. I’ll just wrap the towel around my bottom and walk slowly.

Oy, they’re all looking at me now. Damn that man is cute and now he thinks I’m some kind of freak who walks around with a towel covering my tush.

Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea. I think my retail cardio is better. I’m going to the mall and walk around shopping for an hour or two. Who needs this when I can just park a little farther away from the door and burn off those extra calories? Plus, I know the language there better.

Sale, twenty off today, escalator, food court; these are words I can work with and feel comfortable around.

Okay, don’t start writing letters and leaving nasty comments on social media, I know exercise is valuable as one ages, but fun? I don’t think so! If it were designed to be fun it would contain some type of chocolate as part of the process.

I think getting old is difficult because it creeps up on us like a Hari Krishna at the airport. You never see it coming until it’s too late and the wrinkles are there, staring back at you, smirking because they crossed the finish line while you simply blinked.

There is a way to avoid the sight if you stop using the devil’s favorite invention: the magnifying mirror. I’m sure he’s proud of that one. God took pity on us and made our eyesight worse as we get older, thereby not seeing wrinkles. Oh, but the devil said, “what a great opportunity to do evil.” and there you have it. You will notice that a Nobel Prize was never awarded for that invention.

I have never heard one person I know say, “I expected this getting old thing to happen sooner. What took so long?”

Nope, it’s more like, “when the hell did this happen? I never saw it coming. Yesterday I was young and swinging in the backyard with my kids, and now there is some strange, old person staring back at me in the mirror.”

I know we all would rather be here than somewhere else, destination unknown, but the journey always seems so short looking back.

I have no answers except maybe the duct tape if I can perfect it, but I guess we all have to be grateful to be here to complain and check out the new crop of wrinkles. If you find the fountain of youth, send me a map and I’ll pass it along to my readers. Until then, think young, stay young, enjoy life and throw away that damn-magnifying mirror.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Newest Grammy Décor

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Bring on those dirty little hands,

Microfiber is my new hero.

Anyone of a certain age understands life’s close relationship with enormous irony.

One that I recently discovered was the Grandma Décor Dilemma.

Every mother knows when babies become mobile, a serious redecorating effort occurs.

Glass is replace with wood or Formica, all tabletop items are wrapped for storage or placed on higher shelves. A great cover up is afoot to save at least a scintilla of worldly goods.

But now we have microfiber.

Ah microfiber! No, not micro greens, the new word for lettuce scraps on your plate. The new miracle fiber that battles chocolate, peanut better and sandbox residue lurking on adorable, busy, little hands.

A new practically indestructible fabric that resembles suede resists stains and was definitely designed with Grandmas in mind. I am smiling just remembering when my children roamed the house and valuables were secured and safely placed aside in high-placed locked boxes more inaccessible than my youth.

Living with sparseness of design as a Mom, has now been coined minimalist, I believe just to up the price tag.

I recall the tumult of more toys than Santa’s workshop covering my floors, while I dreamed of house beautiful.

Perusing home magazines with a sad sigh, wishing for a time when I could actually consider a white sofa and glass tables was sheer heaven.

A toy-free zone to display my crystal and fine pieces openly and freely far from their storage prisons.

Lalique, Daum, Waterford would dance across my dreams carrying rainbows of champagne and canapés onto regally appointed buffets and glass, cocktail tables.

As the years flew by, and as we know they do fly, my children grew to adulthood.

My new adult child home was filled with white sofas, glass tables and matching towels in the guest bathroom. Ah, all those forbidden fruits of décor.

What fun!

The years passed in a haze of entertaining with “good” china still bearing the flakes of sawdust from the original shipping container, crystal glasses and silver flatware.

I felt like the Queen of England and as strange as it might sound to Meghan Markle, life felt pretty damn good in the royal palace. Paper plates were verboten and I could even hear the sound of fork hitting china when I cut my chicken.

Ah, but then the tide turned once more. Suddenly a new arrival signaled the end of all that opulence. The splendor, the elegance destined to disappear from the landscape once again.

“He” had arrived. My first grandson, the new king and now the palace became all about nothing more than “Him” and what suited “His Highness’s ” needs. Suddenly there were Sesame street plastic dishes and tippee cups, organic cloths and toys, and green smoothies with unknown ingredients that my daughter insisted enhanced life.

The boxes appeared once more. Bubble paper and bubble bursting filled quiet moments between emptying tables and glass shelves filled with delicate chachkees.

Once again my life was filled with toy-filled corners, empty tabletops and baby step stools. Shelves that had once displayed French Limoges, now flaunted frames filled with baby pictures.

Over lunches, my friends and I discussed how to make room for storage cabinets and redo a bedroom with a toddler theme. Discussions of new colors and designs that were the rage in baby world replaced the latest handbag, new boutique opening, vacation spot or Pilate’s injury.

Our iphones overflowed with the latest photos of Halloween costumes, petting zoos and hugging grandma pics.

Cars sported baby car seats and books, toys and hand cleaners were shoved in seat pockets.

Some of my wealthier friends hired designers and muralists to create a special theme. Shimmer and Shine, Paw Patrol, Dora the Explorer and Bubble Guppies were hot. We discussed singing groups like Yo Gabba Gabba recalling how our parents had laughed at our obsession with the Beatles.

Rainbows, dinosaurs and computers were also on board as décor stalwarts.

A new vibe hovered over our regular get togethers as toys, pictures and brilliant baby quotes took center stage. It was toddler town all day every day and we were proud residents reveling in our new roles.

Instead of the latest gallery opening, we exchanged news about children’s exhibits and virtual play areas. New ideas about what to do days we had, “the little angels” were passed around like refills of champagne at a Beverly Hills gala.

We wore the name grandma as proudly as couture and shamelessly bragged and repeated baby stories ad nauseum.

Our computer screen savers were full size pictures of smiling partially, toothed grins that changed with each new development.

It had finally happened—we were grandmas—and our homes had gone from chic to child friendly in a heartbeat.

And strangely enough none of us seemed to mind a bit.

Our priorities had shifted from fabulous to fun and we were happy to forego our designer duds for jeans and sweats for crawling and wrestling when necessary.

I suppose life is ultimately about surrounding yourself with the people you love and yes, that means with the things they love as well.

So, until my grandsons develop a taste for Waterford and other such finery, it shall be unbreakable and easy if you pleasey.

 

 

Driving in L.A. Dating Schmating

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Driving in L.A.—Dating Schmating

What is love? Do we have a soul mate or true love like Wesley and Buttercup, or do we simply blindly stumble through life with our arms open, seeking the “one,” eyes closed and heart vulnerable to all attacks foreign and domestic?

My husband now passed on, once told me we were soul mates. I never probed further to find out why he had drawn that conclusion since at that time we were divorced and he was happily ensconced in the arms of a new girlfriend that seemed like a good fit.

Begs the question were we soul mates? Or if we were than why weren’t we together forever? Isn’t that the meaning of a soul mate, the joining together of two parts of a soul to complete one?

So I imagine that if you don’t meet your true soul mate you are doomed to walk the earth with half of you missing. Although half of married couples would gladly be missing that other half, hence the divorce rate, I still choose to believe in that ancient myth about knowing immediately you have found your other half. Despite the fact I have been wrong on too many occasions, I remain a hopeful romantic.

Dating in what is laughingly referred to as the golden years is not for the faint of heart. There are few opportunities to meet a significant other save for dating sites or hobbies. Perhaps through a fix up by friends or just randomly minding your business and like in the movies you run into a building out of the rain, your eyes meet and you instantly know that’s it, they are the one and you live happily ever after.

Of course no one tells you that on your wedding night your husband drops his pants and leaves them lying on that floor for the next fifty years. Oh I’m sorry, am I corrupting the fairy-tale ending? I often wondered when Cinderella rode off with her prince; did he snore, pick his nose in public or hold the covers over her head when he farted in bed? Guess they left that part of the story out.

There have been moments when I was swept away by the notion of a soul mate. Not for the obvious reasons of a glorious exciting affair dancing through Paris at night in a montage of starlit skies and clinking wine glasses. No, because of the fact it seems it would be so damn easy!

Being of a certain age I have little patience for the so- tell-me-about-yourself bull crap that has become a necessity for getting to know someone. Then you must figure out if they are dating three other women besides you, if they are lying about their age, are after your money, a serial killer or whatever other horror stories one hears every day. If you knew right away you were soul mates how easy is that?

Okay, let’s forego all the other junk, get married or be a couple and move forward.

Easy peasey and made for the lazy at love.

I imagine that’s why many people hook up at class reunions because it’s so easy. Whew I don’t have to ask you a single question cause I know everything about you. My Aunt Marcia played bridge with your cousin Sue and I’ve heard all about you; simple yet effective.

But what if you have a soul mate and he’s a serial killer or drug addict or thinks monogamy is a dirty word?

If this man is your destiny or perhaps a lesson you are here to learn then is there a way to say, no thanks I’ll pass?

Or is everyone who comes into your life in a meaningful way actually your destiny? If we are here to learn lessons as so many believe, then a soul mate can be a real nightmare if there is a lesson to be learned from living with or loving them.

Wouldn’t life just be easier if could just use an x-ray machine on every man we went out with to see what’s going on inside his head?

Or perhaps a lie detector test would be appropriate on a first date?

You say your ex wife was a nightmare? Oops lines off the charts.

Okay, so you say you never would cheat on a woman. Lines again.

Uh Huh and you never take drugs. Running out of paper here.

So you are very wealthy and need no one’s money. Oops running out of ink here, guess that one is off the charts as well.

You spent how much time in prison??

That would be a short first date, but a productive one.

The trouble with the process is that one never learns these truths until it’s way too late.

Although it’s true some men are up front about their shortcomings because, believe it or not, they have no remorse for their misdeeds.

I actually went out for coffee with a man who’d been arrested and charged for swindling people in the penny stock scandal of the nineties.

He complained bitterly about how the government had taken away all his toys, money and other goodies.

I asked, “ What about all those people whose pensions and savings you destroyed and stole?”

“Shit happens,” he responded unapologetically. End of date.

I, as most others, would like to believe that a soul mate has to be the perfect person for us. But what does that really mean?

Maybe we’re far too trusting and we need a man to wake us up to stop our romanticizing everyone we fall for. So that soul mate may be someone who ultimately comes into our life to hurt us…in a good way of course. But can being hurt be good?

There is an expression I have heard countless times…You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you meet Prince Charming.

Well I assume that many of you, as I am, are covered with so many warts we have to wear long-sleeved shirts all year long.

And if that is true when is enough enough?

Are there a set number of frogs we must endure before achieving love nirvana? Who decides that amount? Is it ultimately up to us to decide when we’ve had our fill of warts?

I am a firm believer in two very crucial elements to this puzzle.

One: some people are just born smarter than others on this subject. They seem to know at an early age what they are seeking and ultimately need to make them happy.

And two: there is luck involved here as well. But I do concede that part of that luck could be attached to the smarts part of the equation.

Yes, I admit some people take longer to learn lessons than others. As my daughter has pointed put on numerous occasions, “Mother, lessons not learned will be repeated.”

And as an aside, yes we all want our children to be smarter than us, but it does come back to bite you in the ass sometimes does it not?

Anyway I digress. So what can we do to ensure we can get smarter and thereby luckier where love is concerned?

Perhaps it helps to reexamine a problem with a fresh perspective.

If you are always attracted to a certain type of man, maybe changing things up might work in one’s favor.

I am a sucker for a sense of humor in a man, but I always found after the laughter stopped the crying commenced.

So maybe someone sullen and serious is the ticket. I’ll do the jokes here, thank you.

Of course I have no idea if I could survive a man without humor, so that might not be the answer.

I guess what I’m ultimately saying is that there is no answer.

I suppose you must go with your gut and hope for the best. Perhaps we also need to understand that as we grow and change so does what we need in another person to make us happy. Then begs the question, shouldn’t we already be happy within ourselves and not look for someone else to complete us?

Dating at any age is brutal and the older you get the more set in your ways you become.
If true love is in your future I applaud you and I am one who believes the more love you have the better life is.

Good luck with finding Mr. Right to enhance and add more happiness to your life.

I will spend my time creating and building that frog-revealing lie detector machine. I’ll let you know when I’m ready to take orders.