I Need an Exit Plan Here!!

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Can I Get an Expiration Date on all this Fun and Frivolity?

This was an unusual Mother’s Day. Where most are spent with children and grandchildren brunching, lunching or supping, this one was spent Zooming or Facetiming by far too many families.

Okay, I’ll say it, it sucks, but yes I’m grateful for the technology that allows us to see our families albeit from a distance.

This Brave New World that we all now inhabit courtesy of the Chinese Communist Party has not come cheap. So much for the economic benefits of manufacturing in China.

It has cost us all dearly and I for one need to know there is an end to this madness.

I have heard too many times lately that although the quarantine may end for those under sixty, the older folks, and sadly I must count myself among that group, although I have absolutely no idea how I got this old, will not be able to run amuck so quickly.

One of my friends confessed between sobs she was so lonesome for her children and grandchildren she admitted this is “getting to her.” An understatement of gargantuan proportions.

I feel her pain and I’m sure most of the rest of the world does as well.

While there are many whose children will allow visitation rights in this climate, many won’t. My children would feel better if they could shackle my leg to the couch, but I have behaved and stayed indoors except for the occasional walk around the neighborhood. My daughter, bless her heart, texts after my walk to see if I made it home okay. I imagine my children fear that a giant corona virus is lurking outside just to attack older people that can’t outrun it.

And yes, it’s a warm and fuzzy feeling to know my children are concerned about my welfare and very protective yet it does beg the question, “When the hell can I get out of here?”

That seems to be the dilemma for most of my friends. There isn’t a light at the end of this tunnel.

It’s far easier to except the inevitable when the inevitable has an expiration date. At this point in time no one can say with any certainty when this plague will be gone. Is it a month or a year or never?

Tough to get happy thinking we may never be able to step into the light unencumbered by the threat of sickness or death once again.

Yes, I know as my son has pointed out to make me feel better, that the greatest minds in the world are focused on only one thing, killing this viral sucker, and that does help.

After all, we do live in a world of impressive innovation.

There are cures for diseases, electric cars, reservations for recreational space travel, which by the way is looking real good right now, Alexa (or as I like to refer to her, Big Brother’s little sister), Downton Abbey, Cherry Garcia ice cream, magnetic false eyelashes, umbrellas that close upside down, air fryers, Amazon, and the Real Housewives of anywhere and everywhere, although they don’t resemble anyone I’ve ever known, in any house anywhere.

Yes, while great minds are at work 24/7 I’ve noticed some things conspicuously missing as I pondered why I’m having trouble finding certain pieces of my jigsaw puzzles.

Did you know for instance there are no television shows where old stars can go to remain semi relevant. And no, Dancing with the Stars doesn’t count. No Love Boats to watch as the characters we grew up with parade around the Lido Deck and order cocktails from Isaac.

I’ve also seriously questioned my intelligence while viewing reruns of That Girl on METV wondering how the hell Marlo Thomas afforded an apartment in New York and couture clothes working as a part-time actress?

As I watch the old shows I ask myself, “Was I dumb enough to buy into this horse shit?” As if Ann Marie and Donald weren’t sleeping together, yeah right!

And don’t even start me on Jeannie and Larry Hagman. Like any red-blooded American male wouldn’t wish for one thing first, last and always when he has a half-naked blond living on his coffee table.

Donna Reed with her perfect make up, wearing high heels, silk shirtwaist and pearls in the morning to make oatmeal. Really, seriously? No wonder I was so screwed up. My mother didn’t get out of bed until at least nine and when I returned home from school was still in her nightgown. Pearls and oatmeal were never a thing in our house. It was pretty much Tony the Tiger or my Dad’s special eggs, which were actually eggs scrambled in the pan that were breakfast fare most mornings.

As I’ve said before, I have way too much time on my hands now that I can’t play Maj Jong.

Thinking this much is over rated and so was the new Netflix series, Hollywood, but it served as a nice distraction for a few hours.

I saw on the news that a drive-in movie just opened somewhere in Texas. I was so excited thinking of being outside on a summer night and watching the drink cups, ice cream bars, popcorn and hot dogs singing and dancing across the screen, “Let’s all go to the lobby to get ourselves a treat!” Now that was entertainment.

Some old stuff is looking pretty good right now, although I can’t say I am with no haircut and roots as long as a politician’s arrest record.

Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank has reintroduced carhops. Great, now we don’t even have to get a bit of exercise by walking into the restaurant. Calories on a tray hand delivered to your car. Is that innovation or a step back into lazy land?

Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy some down time like everyone else. There are puzzles to do, shows to watch, new recipes to try and some crafty things I can now find time for, but I need an end date on all this fun and frivolity. I’m burning out on relaxation.

No matter how many times we turn off the news we are all still aware, especially on a holiday, that these are scary times and somewhere in the back of our minds that fear lingers like the aroma of cheap drugstore perfume.

I have a new and profound respect for animals at the zoo. No wonder they look pissed off. I guess those monkey bars can get old pretty fast. I know mine are. So until we can once more overpay for a ticket to a mediocre movie and ten dollar tubs of popcorn I wish you all happy days filled with fun and interesting diversions.

Stay safe everyone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resolving to Remember Sara Lee

 

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Resolving to Remember Sara Lee

With the New Year comes resolutions. Yes, we all make them whether silently or out loud they creep into our mind with the stealth ability of a Russian spy satellite. And they are there, embedded into our psyche lurking and smirking while we valiantly attempt to live up to our goals.

Good luck with that one.

Talk about setting oneself up for failure. Of course we all wax nostalgic at this time and, of course, the smartest resolution would be to break all your New Year’s resolutions, thereby setting oneself up for achievable success.

How do you keep a resolution? If you ask most people, they don’t.

Because of all the craziness of the last year, one might ponder the best way to ease into 2020. A new decade filled with new hope, but for what? How easy does life get when one finally realizes that the force Obi Won wished would be with you is gravity, and it is no friend to anyone over the age of 35.

The passing of time, thankfully, usually goes unnoticed. Most people mark the passage of years with key events in their lives. A wedding, baptism, Bar Mitzvah, divorce.

Yet looking back, it’s sometimes the small things we remember most: a smile from someone we love, a first kiss, the first time our baby writes on the walls with a marker, the first insult from our mother-in-law.

If it’s true we don’t realize what we’ve lost until it’s gone and never wake up until it’s too late, this may be a good time to take stock of what’s important, what makes us happy. Things we have previously taken for granted, like privacy. Hold on, I have to re-tape the front of my computer because they, whoever they are, are watching.

Okay, I’m back.

Taking for granted the friends who are there for us through bad times is a normal human characteristic; some more than others are guilty of this transgression. Perhaps a good resolution would be to just love and appreciate the people in our life who make it better and eliminate the toxic energy.

Oops, just a second, there is a drone outside my window and I need to close the blinds. That’s better.

It used to be automatic to just reach into the freezer at the grocery store and toss the Sara Lee Brownies into my basket. I never thought much about the process. (We all do it—hoping no one notices that you are buying something fattening when you should be dieting.)

Once home, the brownies were always perfectly melted, ready to open and scrape the chocolate off the lid.

You’d cut a small square, but sometimes you found yourself cutting too deeply and making a slit in the aluminum tray. No problem, they never leaked through once back in the freezer.

So many memories, so many bad moments, so many broken things Sara Lee fixed.

She was always there.

Those chocolate brownies existed for a reason; they served a purpose and worked. They comforted and caressed each weary problem with a chocolate snuggle.

I can’t remember the exact moment I reached into my grocer’s freezer to grab a tray and they were gone. Maybe they’re out of them, I thought. I’ll try next time.

I searched the store for a substitute.

There was none.

How could this be happening?

The next week I tried again.

Not there.

A week later a different store.

No Sara.

I was filled with a sinking feeling, an inkling of doom that perhaps something bad had happened. Yet it was true.

No more Sara Lee Frozen Brownies.

No more help for a bad day, PMS, tight jeans or a haircut from hell. No chocolaty friend to comfort me in my time of cocoa need. No brownie shoulder to cry on.

I hadn’t appreciated what I had and now it was gone.

The thought still plagues me that perhaps more than Sara Lee Brownies have slipped out of my life.

What else have I missed? What other treasures have escaped my notice while I wasn’t looking?

Where am I most of the time? Where are we all? What are we paying attention to anyway?

What’s that? Oh my Lord, a pop up just jumped up on screen with a picture of a blouse I looked at online a week ago. “Get thee gone, Google!”

Okay I’m back, so if Sara came back, would I appreciate her now? Can any of these questions ever be answered?

Probably not, so I’ll just move on.

New Year is always a time to look back and take stock of what was, and plan for what may be.

How to best do this is a great feat and yet I shall attempt to do so.

I will strive to:

Start off the year happy. Make resolutions that are easily doable and resolve to be nicer to me and everyone else.

We all make mistakes; I have a list longer than Harvey Weinstein’s victims. Next time I want to beat myself up, I’ll remember there are enough people waiting in line to do it for me. Call someone to beat you up and there is always someone to oblige.

So how do we make it a great year, even without Sara Lee?

I’m going to download a favorite song from high school or college then play it in the car extra loud with the window down.

Reinvent myself. This is something so easy for a woman to do. A new hairstyle or color, a new lipstick, nail polish or new Spanx and I’m good to go.

Men well, not much to do there, but the proverbial new red sports car is still a good choice.

I won’t resolve to lose or gain weight! Pressure is the worst thing for diets. I have embraced what I call retail cardio. I go to the mall and walk around shopping for hours.

Great exercise and it’s fun. I don’t even realize I’m moving around and doing something healthy.

I’ll call someone with whom I’ve lost touch and wish them a ‘Happy New Year.’

I imagine it’s a good thing to take stock of the things that aren’t as I’d want them to be. If there are changes that need to be made in a job, home, appearance or relationships, make the changes. Nothing has to move in an instant; change does take time so I’ll have to practice patience.

Know the difference between what can and cannot be changed and find a way to deal with what cannot. That’s a toughie for sure.

Start each day with ten minutes for myself. Do yoga, meditate, pray, listen to a favorite song, have a special blend of coffee, but start each day on a positive note.

I always try to combine unpleasant or tedious routine chores with favorite things. While paying bills, I play a favorite CD or watch a favorite movie.

“What’s that SIRI? No, I don’t want to make a call right now!”

I shall attempt to eat one—only one—forbidden food a week and once a week won’t play havoc with my diet.

I’ll save a five dollars a week and at Christmas time buy some toys for needy children with the money.

I will compliment strangers, because they may be having a bad day and kind words may be just what they need to feel better.

Maybe a new hobby; it’s relaxing. Take up painting…what if Picasso had put things off this long?

I’ll buy beads and make that amazing necklace I’ve been dreaming about.

Eat more chocolate and try a new dessert recipe.

Resolve to see the glass ‘half full.’ Negative thoughts breed negative results. Life shouldn’t be such a battle. I’ll lay back and let life happen sometimes. The earth will revolve without me controlling it each second.

There is a lesson to be learned from the demise of Sara Lee Brownies. This year I’m stocking my freezer with Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia.

I must promise myself to appreciate the people I love and care about, before they too are taken off the supermarket shelves.

Just a minute, Alexa wants to tell me something. “Excuse me! I do not look especially bloated today.”

Sorry everyone, but I have to make a trip to the garbage to throw something away so have a fabulous new year.

“Come to Momma, Alexa, I just want to take you on a little trip…”

A very happy and healthy New Year and new decade, everyone!

 

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