Spring Is Here and I’m Sneezing

Rita is giggly.  She’s probably picking up guys as we speak.  She called me at midnight squealing,” I”m a cougar, I’m a cougar.”  Oh no, I thought, now I have to deal with her adolescence.

“Pinkslip, I have another date on Friday” she said excitedly.

” Listen, I take it your not going to synagogue  Listen.  Don’t “put out on the first date. And don’t tell him whether you buy or rent.  Keep him guessing. ”  I said trying to be helpful.

Well, they say happiness is contagious. But I wasn’t.    I was ashamed at my own schadenfreude for all these years.

“I feel like a teenager again” she yelled.

“Rita, I’m so happy for you!” I cheered.

But inside I felt miserable.  Its just that  I never thought that at this point in life I would be living with a canine.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m counting my blessings.  She’s blond and  doesn’t talk back.  I have shelter and kibble.  But I never thought my life companion would have four paws.  But then again, many people would consider that trading up.

Ugh, love is everywhere.  Even my dog, Brie, has become a flirt.  In fact, she has fallen in love with a Cairn terrier down the block.  When he comes within a few feet of her, she pounces in front of him frantically, and then runs away.  My mature terrier repeats this frantic ritual 3 or 4 times until totally exhausted.  Then,. with her last burst of strength, she sprints down the street, dragging me like roadkill.  She also started to wake up  every morning at 3 am to flirt with the newspaper delivery guy.  In the middle of the night, she  listens for the “thud” that is her call to duty.  Then, she jumps out of my bed like Bat Dog and arrives at the door within a nanosecond.  First there’s the low guttural growl. ” Grrrr ” Then a soft  “arf….arf.”

A little louder. “Arf…Arf….”

A little faster, “Arf…Arf…”

Now, she howls with a cute smile.  “ARF!  ARF!”

The newspaper delivery guy howls back through the door, ” AROOOGH!”

He leaves, and she whines until 6:00, when my alarm goes off.  She then returns to my bed and stretches out on my pillow with paws in all directions, grinning.  It’s time for me to get up and for her to get her beauty rest.

Bimbo Doll

T and I have been good friends for a while.  She’s an investment banker and has a no nonsense approach to life.  With long blonde hair and large green eyes, I can safely say that T is not only brainy but beautiful.  And she’s tough.  But I can’t tell you too much about her or she’ll come after me.  So, we’re sitting at the Harvard Club crying about our misery.  Not enough money and no good men.

“I’ll tell you what men want, Pink Slip.” she grins seductively eying the men in the room.

“You would know”, I drown myself in Pinot Grigio wondering how does she ever walk in those shoes.

“The Bimbo Doll!”

“I get it.  She’s blonde and blue-eyed like Barbie, and her boobs are totally disproportional.  And she can’t talk except when you pull her string.  Oh, and she comes with no clothes.”

“Perfect” T smiles.

“Except for a tiny Perla thong and bra.”

“Bimbo has a hoarse voice like she’s had the swine flu.”

“Yeah.” I go for the pretzels and cheese whiz.  I’ll start my diet tomorrow.  (How does T stay at a size 2?)

T shoves a carrot in her mouth.  “Oh, baby you’re so great.  You’re just what I want…

I chime in to stop her from going all the way “Oh, Oh, Oh, I really need your big…reference?”

“Oh Pink Slip,  get a job already!”

She’s right.  But doing what?

Cyber Snoop

I’ve noticed that dating and interviewing for jobs are very similar.  But what do YOU think about “Googling” a potential date before you’ve even met them?  Does it really give you some kind of competitive advantage over drinks?”    I don’t know.  Personally, I think it’s unromantic and downright mercenary!  Do  you  think someone has the right to review all the details of your life , before you’ve both been severely inebriated together?  Now that’s romance!  Should a potential dating candidate (in the name of transparency) hurl , “I FacedBooked you!  I guess you graduated high school when you were 9…?” 

Maybe I am old fashioned,  but I believe in these times of  “the meet-up” , “the hook-up”, and “ the cybersnoop”, one should just let things unfold the natural way!

The New Date

We stare into each other eyes.  There is chemistry.

He asks:

I noticed on Linked-In that you’re a marketing strategy consultant.  What do you do all day long?

(Perhaps I should wink and say I will “do you!” )  That would make me popular.  I eat a pretzel.

“Do you own or rent?”  (Referring to my apartment. Not my body parts.)

(“Oh, of course I own.” I lie.  I shove a cracker with cheese whiz in my mouth.  And what about you?)

“I live in hospital housing.” he smiles.

(What does that mean?  Is he a doctor or an in-patient?)  I twirl my hair seductively in case he’s a doctor.  Damn.  I should have “Googled” him!”

He  circles back to the apartment. “When did you buy?”

That’s a very important asset question.   He’s also trying to figure out the capitol gains for when he moves in, divorces me, and claims ownership of my apartment.  Smart.  He must be an MD!

I smile coyly, “I can’t tell you that since I’ve frozen my age.”

He points at me with a a pretzel, “Got Ya!”

“It’s the new math.  Got it?”

“Where does your mother live?”  he asks.

“Not with me.  But I’m a good daughter.  I visit her every week. ” My smile is frozen.

“What is her address?” he commands as he puts his hand on my leg.  That is his way of eliciting secret information from me.  I stare blankly.

“Does she rent or own?” he continues.

” I don’t remember” I say weakly.  He senses huge capitol gains and squeezes my leg.  I start to stand, and he grabs my arm.

“Wait.  We’re just getting to know each other.  When did she buy?”  Just a few more questions.”  He pulls out a crumpled list.

“I noticed you only worked with American Baby for one year?  How come?”

“How many pairs of shoes do you own?”

“Do you have long term care insurance?”

“Do you believe in decorating for the holidays?  If so, with what?”

(How do you want me to decorate you, honey?)

“Do you believe in “Soul Mates?”

“How much money do you make?”

“What do you think about ME!!!”

“Tell me about the perfect relationship.”

“I really like your orange jump suit.  What did you DO to get it?”

I say:

I think I’ll have some nuts…

Retrospective-Thanksgiving Day Invictus

“Jane, come out to Long Island for a Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving.”

“Thanks  Dave.  But we’re not “dating.”  I’m the girl you “passed” on.  You know, that Tiffany ring thing.  So, I shouldn’t do holiday fraternizing  with your family.  But, come to think of it, after five years, I should get a gold watch or a plaque .” (other than arterial sclerosis.)

“Ha Ha Pink Slip.   Everyone loves you.  There’ll  be dogs.”

“Listen, I have other plans.  I’m going to go to the Harvard Club and sit and the “orphan’s table.”  Sorry, they call it the “community table.”  Women in funny hats.”

“I’ll pick you up at 2:00 he says.  At your mother’s place.  Try arguing with an attorney.

He shows up promptly in a blue blazer looking unusually handsome.

“Some irises.”

“These are my mother’s favorite flowers! How did you know?”

He smiles and looks unusually charming.  (Does he know her maiden name too?)

We walk into my mother’s bedroom, her new throne, and take our positions on the bed with her.We watch the “Toy Dog” segment of the Westminster Dog show on TV.  This is a sacred ritual and no one is allowed to speak until the “Best of Show” is revealed.

“Remember, Pink Slip, when we there in person?  Then we went downstairs and saw all the dogs,”  she breaks the silence.  We all think about happier days and try to avoid looking at the delicate floral urn on my mother’s dresser that’s housings Dora’s ashes.  I ache.

The three of us are mourning the death of my mother’s Maltese dog, Dora, her beloved companion, who died this past May.  We look at the pictures stationed around the room–many of which were shot by Dave.  My mother’s bedroom is a shrine, not to the memories of her two grown children and grandchildren, but to her departed Maltese. She now exists with  the two mechanical cats that I purchased in a drugstore–Miss Kitty and LuLu, “The Non-Life Breed”.   My mother continues to babble about how the “girls”  are watching the show, but what they really love are cartoons and they have their own schedule.  “One ran out of batteries so she’s just relaxing now.  We’ll have to deal with that situation.”

I pretend not to hear the request for batteries.  I’ve been giving my mother dinner for the past three hours, and I’m about to pass out from exhaustion.  So far every aid has quit, but it’s difficult for a daughter to turn in her walking papers.  Throughout dinner, she continually lapsed into anger. I don’t know when my mother will erupt.  Constantly walking on eggshells makes me feel like I will break.  I look at her skin and see that  is becoming translucent.  There is a sad beauty in what is left–even in a fading leaf.

I drift of to sleep to the sound of a Purina Dog Chow commercial.  I’m dreaming.  A really handsome man is walking me on a pink rhinestone leash!   (I’m not going to tell you whether I’m wearing my dog coat and booties…) Yippee!  There is an afterlife.

“Let’s go Pink Slip”  I hear Dave command.  “We have a train to catch.”

I feel relief as I peel myself off my mother’s bed.  I kiss her goodbye.  She is angry, but resigned.  I wonder if this is our last Thanksgiving together.

We emerge from the elevator onto the street.  I feel like I’m under a spell.  The cold air hits my face.  I’m filled with grief, exhaustion, and loneliness.  I can hardly stand.

Dave starts to babble with his nose in a train schedule,” Well, we can catch the 6, then the D, then the trains to Great Neck.  They run pretty frequently…”

I erupt in anger, ” Listen, let’s take a taxi to Penn Station.  I’ll pay for it. I”m exhausted.  Or maybe I’ll just go to the  “orphans” table.”  I am exhausted from years of frustration.

“No that’s OK.”  Silence.  I can be a jerk sometimes.

We sit in silence on the train on our way  to the “perfect” Thanksgiving.  In 45 minutes, we arrive at the “perfect” home  in North Shore horse country as  the “perfect” couple from NYC.

We walk up the stone steps and Dave turns to me and hurls ” You know, Pink Slip , you really have some of your mother’s characteristics.”

I think about the orphan turkey that I lost…

My Broken Heart

My life was a strange and unforeseen array of NY parties, openings, late night bars, dates, dumpings, Manolo buying, Manolo hocking, binge eating, food restricting, and Mallomar hiding, job hunting, and  firings that went on far beyond its expiration date. One day I’m walking to a meet a lunch date a Grand Central Terminal and my heart starts to hurt.  I figure it’s either the new angst of my life or my heels are too high.  Maybe it’s the fact that elder lawyers and accountants are on my speed dial.  After a three week battery of tests, I ended up in Lenox Hill Hospital for an emergency cardiac procedure.   I was there alone and was told to put the contents of my life into a small plastic bag.  (There went the Manolos!)  Thank God I was wearing lipstick!  “Pink Sweetheart”. And where is a slinky strapless gown and thong when you need it?   It wasn’t bad being the “babe” in the cardiac ward.  There were lots of captive men and residents to talk to. I watched my heartbeat, on one of those monitors, but then my cell phone crashed.    Three days later I took a taxi home and pondered the tenuousness of life.  I saw buildings and flowers with new color.  But this sense of wonder and gratitude faded as I renewed my various “searches “just three weeks later.  My heart has never healed.