Posts Tagged ‘friends’

Party of One……

February 16, 2011

She’s either walking ahead of the group or floatin’ along behind. When we’re out in public, not that I am not keeping track of my brood, but with that one in particular we have to keep an eye. For instance, My friend and I had taken our young superheros out on the mall of our nation’s capitol to one of the various events. We were walking back to the car, talking, enjoying the summer day, a along doing a visual headcount. One was not close by, it was Glamour Rayz. I looked ahead, no Glamour. Looked behind and there she was, swinging on one of the chains that is used to partition off grassy areas. She was sitting there, just a swinging, and a singing, not caring one bit that we had moved on. That’s my girl, Glamour, Party of One.

The other night, we were standing in line waiting to get tickets to a concert. We were in the line on the right, she was standing to my left. I got the tickets and backed away from the table. Glamour was so engrossed in the person standing in the other line, I thought she had decided that she was trading up and was going to go with that family. With a clap and call, she snapped out of her zone and I guess decided to join us. Glamour, party of one.

During the recent snow days, Glamour Rayz, Whirling Dervish, and Whirling’s best friend, McGillicuddy, decided to take a red wagon full of snowballs over to a friend’s house in preparation for an impending neighborhood snowball fight. Whirling was pulling the wagon along, trying to maneuver around the piles of shoveled snow, not quite understanding that the wagon goes where she goes, having a bit of difficulty. To compound the problem, Glamour stepped between Whirling and wagon, and got run over. Blammo, face plant in the snow.

Now one would think that being run over by a wagon would make Glamour more alert, and perhaps avoid getting in between Whirling and the wagon. Nope, not my Glamour Rayz. She did it not once, not twice, but three or four times, leaving body outlines all the way down the street. McGillicuddy’s mom, one of my girls, Red Lantern, was getting a migraine from yelling at them to get out of each others’ way. And so it went all the way to the neighbor’s house. Red Lantern needed a drink upon return.

I really should rent Glamour and her other siblings out for people to test their stress management or children rearing skills.

To be sure, Glamour Rayz is very bright, and handles her business when necessary. Secure in her own abilities, she just doesn’t feel the need to let everyone else know what she knows and doesn’t care either. An admirable trait for sure.

She’s also very shrewd. People are often fooled by Glamour’s petite stature, doe eyes and perceived aloofness. Add a little stubbornness , and some glitter(the shinier the better!) to the mix and poof! It’s a brown-eyed bedazzled diva! That’s Glamour Rayz!

I feel sorry for those who end up in her wake when she gets older. They’re doomed. But for now, I’ll take my Glamour girl, doin’ her own thang. One party at a time.

Big Daddy and the Little Man

April 10, 2010

They say you marry someone who is like your parent of the opposite sex. It’s true, sort of.  The two men that I have loved most in my life couldn’t have been more different physically. My dad, aka the Little Man, was 5’6″ and dark chocolate brown. Big Daddy is 6’2″ and lightly toasted. But they were  both cut from the same personality cloth–caring, generous, loving, loud, vibrant, youthful. Good souls, both of them.

You could hear my dad laughing from a mile away. He was smart and funny and very easy-going.  He had a temper, but it never flared for long especially with me, as daddy’s girl.  With the batting of my lashes, I could get off punishment sooner rather than later.  He was always dressed to the nines in suits, or in tennis clothes, or dressed to play in his garden, socks on with his sandals.  When my Dad turned 50, my mom got him a green plexiglass skateboard that he would ride around our neighborhhood on. That was him, that was the Little Man.  My best friend.

When Big Daddy and I flew home so that he could ask my dad if he could marry me and meet the rest of the family, they took an instance liking to each other.  Well, almost instant.  As a member of a large extended family, the test for Big Daddy was meeting the crowd and withstanding the pressure.  If the Little Man, the aunts, uncles, and cousins (and there’s a ton of them) cracked on him, then him, then he was in like Flynn as the saying goes.  If they didn’t and didn’t talk to him much, we wouldn’t make it. Big Daddy took the razzing in good spirit, so it was decided that he was a keeper.

Big Daddy’s relationship with his dad was tenuous at best.  But he and the Little Man’s relationship blossomed.  My father taught Big Daddy how to cook.  They shared a deep love for music, for sports, for bar stools, for life, and for me.  My dad loved him just as much.  And I loved Big Daddy all the more for loving my daddy.

On one of our last trips home before we were to be married there, the three of us were getting into my dad’s car.  He asked me to drive, so I took the keys.  When we got out to the car, Big Daddy went to the back door to allow the Little Man to sit in the front.  After all, he was the elder and Big Daddy was raised right.  But the Little Man grabbed Big Daddy’s arm and said, while pointing at me, “No, you sit up here now.  Your place is beside her.” I beamed for the both of them.

 While we were growing up, the Little Man always said that he didn’t want any crying, that he wanted us to have a party for him when he died. My brothers, sister, and I dismissed it as crazy talk.  But when he died in 2000, that’s exactly what we did.  We celebrated a life well lived with great food, great drinks, great music, and lots of dancing, with family, laughter, and love. 

Just as the Little Man wanted.

Jersey Girl and the Marathon…

December 10, 2009

 I ran the Marine Corps marathon in 2002. I am NOT a runner. I hate running and always have. But our realtor ran it a few years prior to raise money for the Whitman-Walker Clinic in DC. Of course, she did yoga, and ran 500 miles a day, and wasn’t bigger than a minute—you’d think my internal warning system would have gone off reminding me that I had eaten steaks bigger than she and that this was not such a good idea. Alas, it did not and a signed up anyway. Through the training program, I would be better, stronger, and faster and I would bond with the people in my pace group, blah, blah, blah. I fell for the little promotional video hook, line and sinker. I was a sucker. I thought aaawwww, I could say I ran a marathon AND helping people living with AIDS. I was reserving my seat in heaven. So I go out to the meet site on the first day. Mind you, I have given birth to two children thus far, so there is some extra shit jumpin’ around that wasn’t there before. But I’m figuring I was an athlete in college and I’m not in all THAT bad shape. And I have mega-ultra spandex on, so bring it on, baby! I am, along with about 100 other people are all pumped up, ready to do our part for mankind. Go Team! We are instructed to run three miles, 1.5 out and 1.5 back in. In my usual, overly exuberant way (that’s code for not being able to pace myself), I blast out, thinking 3 miles is easy, how bad could it be? Bloody Hell!!! I get about 1/8 of a mile and get a stitch in my side and a cramp in my calf. Trying not to look like an Uber Ass, I pushed on through and FINALLY finished. I think I missed one of my kid’s birthdays it took so damn long. The following week we are assigned our pace groups. They call names for the four-minute mile group, then the five-minute mile group (Bitches). I know I am not in the fastest groups, but am sure they’re going to call my name relatively soon. Eight-minute milers are called (Whores). Ten… (I must be in the next group, okay maybe the next). I finally hear my name. 15-minute mile group????!!!! Surely there is some mistake because I KNOW I can walk backwards faster than that. My pace group gathers together for introductions….One guy has a pacemaker and went to high school with Jesus. One lady, whose running in orthopedic shoes is rubbing her varicose veins. I am soooo screwed. I “ran” with this group on Sundays for a few weeks, but then decided to change groups, otherwise I was doomed. I put “ran” in quotations, because those of us that were younger in the group never got a full run in because we were too busy administering CPR to Methusala and her posse of ancients who picked the symbols for the Rosetta Stone. So, I switched to a Saturday group. The gods had indeed smiled upon me for there were people who were born within 10 years of me, so I could hang up my defibrillator. There was another transplant from different group who left her original group because they said they didn’t cuss, to which she responded, “Well FUCK!” My kindred spirit! Fuckin’ A right!

There was another woman in our group, with whom we bonded, who oddly enough walked faster than she ran. I’m not sure how this works from a physics standpoint, but hey, she worked it out. Three Musketeers look out!

Through it all though, Jersey Girl and I really bonded and pushed each other, laughed, growled, and cussed, and then cussed some more. We talked of her upcoming nuptials, parents, my life on the edge of crazy. Only she could appreciate me showing up to her wedding in my running shoes because I was running late and thought I’d rather witness the big moment than wrestle my pumps on. She is God-Mother to my youngest child. I am the one she calls first when her son is sick. Her husband has reminded her on occasion that I am not actually a doctor to which she responds that I have four children that are alive and thriving and that I don’t charge for midnight calls. I can call her to back me off my edge of crazy so as not to end up in jail for some momentary lapse of sanity.

I laugh that we could have been on the sappy promotional video for runners that took up the gauntlet in the years following our successful completion of the 2003 Marine Corps Marathon. (My husband laughs because the 83 year-old man and the one-legged man finished before us, but we finished damn it, unlike the 4,000 runners and the dead woman who didn’t. ASS!) It was most certainly true that the bonds we would make would be for life, that we would be forever changed by the experience. Truer words were never spoken.

I still hate running. But I love my Jersey Girl.


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