Disappointment… such a lousy emotion. It comes tethered to expectations and rears its ugly head out of nowhere when you think you have ‘it’ all handled. I have tried my best to manage expectations to avoid this nasty sucker. But sometimes shit happens, you are at its mercy, and it takes you down.
To make it short and avoid a pity party, I have managed high blood pressure. It has been controlled for a long time, went a little wacky back in the fall and got back on track. Then I had a reaction to some meds that made me feel very ill and caused my ankle to swell (of course the one I sprained a while back) and the switch of meds set me on a BP roller coaster I do not wish on my worst enemy.
The net: I could not fly. And what was I supposed to do… you bet. Fly. To Spain. To see my boy who is studying abroad. Who I have not seen since January. On a trip we had planned forever. At a time when we really needed a break. On the first real vacation in many, many years. That we can’t reschedule. Not life shattering, just a piece of life that I can’t get back. One of the really fun pieces.
I am coming out the other side of this huge disappointment and all I can do is run through my head all of the things I have told my kids over the years when their expectations were shattered:
- Sometimes you just have to feel like crap.
- Misery gives happiness context.
- Everything happens for a reason and sometimes we don’t find out what that reason is for a long time.
- Who you are when things suck says more about you than who you are when they are great.
- Sometimes its not fair. Period.
On the other end of that wisdom I was fully aware of how annoying that wisdom could be. (sorry kids)
Until a friend of mine posted a favorite Maya Angelou quote that made me smile and think about who I really want to be:
“I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.”
Even a Jewish girl gets the last one.
So if you see me knocking on a christian neighbor’s door asking to borrow their christmas lights in the rain wearing the same thing for 2 days in a row, you will know that it is just an exercise.
As is all of life.
My son is studying abroad this semester in Spain.
Last weekend he went to visit a bunch of his HS and college friends in Rome.
The following day the Pope resigned. This hasn’t happened in almost 600 years…
As a parent, every few years you are faced with another rite of passage, another adventure your child is about to embark on, another chance for you to show your chops as a parent. Although your heart is hanging on to the hem of their pants as they walk through that door, your head is ready to let them fly…
The last time I wrote one of these my boy was off to college. Seems like yesterday, yet here we, are 3 and half years later and he is off for a semester abroad in Seville, Spain. I thought now would be a good time to give him one of my famous lists of advice. I do this every so often to remind him, or more likely myself, that I am not quite through imparting wisdom just yet. If I write it here instead of tell him all this to his face, I spare myself the humiliation of the sighing and eye-rolling. So here goes, in no particular order.
- Don’t be THAT American. This is similar to what I told my kids when they were first starting to experiment with drinking. Don’t be THAT girl/guy, the one that gets wasted and pukes on themselves. Don’t be THAT American simply means respect the local culture.
- Try to really SEE Europe, don’t just drink Europe. This is obvious to me and quite ridiculous to him. Hopefully somewhere in between will be his reality.
- Keep your eyes open and soak in everything. You never know what might wind up being the answer to what you want to do with your life.
- Be Smart. If it feels wrong, it probably is. If it seems unsafe, it probably is.
- Eat Everything, within reason. No explanation needed.
- Don’t be a dick (not that you ever would be). Again, the international version. This is like number 1 on steroids. Check the ego at the door and you might as well leave the egocentric there to keep it company.
- If you have to play beer pong, make sure you win the 100 Euro. Self-explanatory.
- Amsterdam – you MUST see the Anne Frank House. As Jana said, as a Jew it is your responsibility. Period.
- The rest of your time in Amsterdam. I do not need details, thanks.
- Have the time of your life. This one should be easy.
In all seriousness, you are an amazing young man and have always made us proud. We have no real worries about this trip. We are just a more than a little jealous.
Packaging. It can be so deceiving. At first glance the red and white box simply seemed to be the inhaler I had just picked up from the pharmacy, so it went in the ‘to pack’ pile for my son’s semester abroad.
Ok, so it was the dog’s ear drops instead. Hey, she never let’s me get near her with them, anyway. Someone might as well use them.
I know, a wheezing American in Spain would probably not have seen the humor in that.
Mom fail or honest mistake?
More from Woodstock. This post is dedicated to the signage. Again, I did feel like Woodstock had turned into sort of a parody of itself, but the nostalgia made us smile. There was the requisite window sign:
Apparently hippies are welcome but cell phones are not:
The oh so corny rainbow candle next to the Dream Bigger lighted sign in the candle shop:
And my favorite item that I am SO sorry I did not buy on a whim… the Che Guevara watch. You know, because it is always a good time for a revolution:
And the quintessential Woodstock official signage from a very groovy Education Department that discourages apathy and respects dissent; a great follow-up to the Che watch. Sort of a nice tagline for that hallowed ground, no?
Filed under signage, travel
Oh how I love this photo. This was hanging in a thrift shop window in Baltimore and the whole ensemble caught my eye. This would make one hell of a halloween costume. Probably not in my zip code but surely there is a time and place where this would be the envy of all the ‘girls’.
I especially love the type on the ‘form’. It is truly exquisite.
Hey, do you think this would go well with those afro wigs Gary has had his eye on? (don’t ask)
Yeh, that post title is a blog whore’s way of getting some (albeit unsavory) traffic. So shoot me. And no, my son had nothing to do with this… I hope. Actually, he could very well have been one of the dozen or so people gathered on the street watching this unfold, or undress as the case may be. A big thank you to Dr. Jimmy for sending this one to me.
This is one crazy story. It appears that 25-year-old Kevin Horner (seriously? is that REALLY his name?) took to jumping on the bed of a second floor hotel room in – of all places – Madison, WI. Mr. Horny, I mean Horner, was jumping in front of the window of his room at the University Inn on Frances and State Streets…. sans pants.
I happen to know his corner quite well as it directly across the street from the freshman dorm that both my kids lived in. In fact, you could be running on the treadmill in the second floor gym and look straight into the window that Kevin was wiggling his johnson in. (no not on Johnson Street, that was Frances Street).
The arresting officer said his goal was to keep any innocent bystanders from being exposed and offended by the view. Damn, that guy is no fun! Unless of course the Horner Johnson was, in fact, an offensive looking one.
Horner admitted, “I made a mistake and should have kept my pants on”.
Why is no one asking why a 25-year-old was jumping on the bed?
Can’t make this stuff up.
Five years, two kids, hundreds of pounds of luggage and thousands of dollars at Bed Bath and Target and you would think I had this thing down pat already. Actually, the funny part is I really thought I did. Until of course I reached the rental car line at the Milwaukee airport and realized that somewhere between the security check at LGA and the very spot I was standing I had somehow…
LOST MY LICENSE.
Loud enough? I wrote that in caps because I want you all to understand the gravity of being 74 miles from Madison with upwards of 160 lbs of luggage, 150 lbs of boy and NO CAR. That’s right kiddies… almost 52 years old and I am still losing my license. I like to think of it as part of my charm. My son likes to think of it as one of my least endearing qualities.
After a few moments of OMG panic and what the hell are we going to do now behavior I figuratively slapped myself across the face and subscribed to my friend Jeanne’s famous theory, “Money is the answer, now tell me your problem”. Let me just interject with the fact that I do not really believe that, although outside of loss, health issues and affairs of the heart it is hard to argue the point that money can’t fix most things. It certainly fixed this problem.
I would like to thank my new BFF Jodi, from Step Ahead Services in Madison, WI who jumped in her town car and rescued me from winning the Loser Mother of the Year Award. If you are ever in the Milwaukee/Madison area please consider using their services. Not only did she drop everything and get to us as fast as humanly possible, she agreed to take us to Bed Bath/Target, stop at my hotel to drop my bags, a restaurant to pick up Danny’s keys from his roomies and ultimately to his apartment – all at no extra charge.
While waiting for Jodi I ran around the airport reporting the lost license to the airport sherrif’s department, where I met the lovely Officer James who had a hard time understanding my NY accent along with the brewing laryngitis from the plague I have been suffering. Then there was the fabulous Luce at the AirTran lost and found and of course the ever sympathetic crowd at the Enterprise office who were praying that I did not start to cry while begging them to rent me a car to an 18 year old. (no go, btw). Almost got them to drive us to Madison for the price of my rental.
The saga continued and yes I was able to fly back thanks to the fact that I have lost my license before and had a spare one that was not expired in my house (hold the comments on pattern of behavior, please). My hero Jimmy G just happened to be flying back to Madtown from Equifunk on Sunday and promptly delivered it to my hotel… indebted to that boy for life. AND of course my dear friends Linda and Richie made sure to rescue me to the bar that first night and help me see the humor in the situation.
All in all a lesson learned.
Don’t lose your damn license when you are traveling!
Filed under danny, humor, travel
Once again, the universe dropped a big helping of ridiculous on my plate. I could not believe my good fortune that this couple should cross my path just as I was taking the first draw off a really kick ass smoothie from Joni’s. I live for these smoothies and only wish that Joni would open a place closer than the 2.5 hour drive to Montauk (on a good day).
So these two? Did they wake up in the morning and say, “Hey, let’s wear our I Heart NY t-shirts to the beach”? Or was it a coincidence? I think not.
Way to work as hard as you can to look like a tourist.
I give these two the What the Hell Were you thinking award this week.
Yesterday we spent a glorious day on Fire Island. It was one of those picture perfect summer mornings when taking the ferry sets the tone for the wonderful day ahead. Years ago, we spent our summers there in share houses. Yesterday we were visiting friends who we met back then and now own a home just blocks away from where we stayed.
As we sat down on the top deck of the ferry I was hit with a wave of nostalgia. It struck me how that whole scene was flashback to those carefree days before kids, mortgages and a few decades of hard work had worn us down. These people were us back then and it was fun to revisit that time. One thing that has not changed are the silly conversations you overhear on that boat. Here are some of my favorites:
1. Me? I hate to shower alone when I am stoned. I INSIST that someone sits in the bathroom with me while I shower. (as an aside, she was adorable and I am thinking there was a line in her house for volunteers)
2. So, she was there last night and I have to say she is such a bitch. Then I get home and she had friended me. And I am like all, well I can’t ignore the friend request so I just gave her limited access.
3. Did you see her wall this morning. I could not believe her x-boyfriend’s sister left this whole long thing congratulating her on her engagement. Even SHE knew her brother was an asshole.
Gary still marvels at my ability to keep a conversation with him going and still be able to hear these other things being said around me. I think that women have an innate ability to do that. It is sort of like auditory multi-tasking.
The boat home was a whole other story. We took the 11:00 which is the slightly toasted but not totally s–t faced boat (that’s the 1AM boat). We took a shuttle to the parking lot with a guy banging on a bongo and a sort of tipsy guy who commented a bit too loud and lot too blatantly about the size of the breasts of a girl leaving the shuttle. This prompted his date to start a round of a song she called “Your So Obnoxious” with half the shuttle joining in on the chorus.
Yep, a good time was had by all.