Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I Met John Taylor

One might say that John Taylor was my first true love. I always said that until I got a little older and realized that love and infatuation were different things. But maybe they aren't different to a 12 year old.

It didn't seem so the last time I saw Duran Duran live. Remember that? One of my top 5 happy moments as I bounced up and down yelling out the lyrics to Planet Earth at the top of my lungs while my confident husband stood behind me holding my beer and purse and laughing himself into oblivion. He still falls into a fit of hysterics if you ask him about me at a Duran Duran concert all slapping his knee, throwing his head back and gasping for air, saying, "And then...hahahahaha...and then she....hahahaha." He can even finish a sentence.

Anyway, when I was 12 and spent hours and hours dreaming of my fated meeting with this beautiful man never, ever in my wildest dreams did I think I would be battling wrinkles, gray hairs and huge, milky rack; this isn't how I saw it happening. In reality, that is how it went it down and I am just thankful that I didn't come up to the table with baby vomit, poop or urine on me.

John Taylor was signing his new book so I met my friend Robyn at the Barnes and Noble on 54th and Lexington in Manhattan today.


We gave a gentle, far away hug, so unusual for me, because Ingram was nestled down in the Moby. And there we waited, in the BnN for 90 minutes before we caught a glimpse of the man who would send the crowd of mostly middle-aged women into a frenzy.


And then we waited some more. And we creeped forward in the line. We filled the time with stories and a quick Judaism 101 for me since I know nothing about it but really ought to know given the active Jewish community surrounding us now. There was also what Tim and I call the "fan off" where the people on either side of you are all about one-upping each other with examples of what dedicated fans they are. Compared with some of these people I am a really shitty fan. Nevertheless, at first I felt all excited and full of anticipation. Hey, I was on my way to meet my teenage heart-throb! It was fueled when we passed by JT signing books.

See him back there. Yep. I was soooo close.

But we still had a long ways to go. By the time we got from the childrens section to the travel and then history sections 90 minutes later Ingram was getting rooty. The raucous group in front of us wasn't helping. People were getting a little punch drunk from all the waiting. I tried to hold him off with 2 ounces of formula. The boy wasn't having it.

Yup. Moby with baby one on the front and backpack on the back. By the time I got home my back was breaking.  And look at that. All Ingram wants to know is where in the hell the boobs are?

I thought he pooped, which was a false alarm but I changed him anyway. Then I heard it and felt it and smelled it. Robyn cupped his little hiney in her hand, lifting him slightly to meet her nose, "Yep," she confirmed, "you got a stinky one there." Ugh. So once again I dropped to my knees and between the womens studies and psychology racks I changed a blow-out, breast-milk poopy diaper. It was on his elbow. It was on his feet. It was freaking everywhere! Robyns son is about the same age as Ada so this was no problem. She swung into 'solve it' mode and stashed the dirty diaper and wipes in one plastic bag, swiftly disposing of the stench in a trash bin far away from us, and the soiled onesie and changing pad in another bag. I took a minute to regroup then stood up for round two: standing up, holding the fussy baby and breast feeding about 10 feet from the subject of my hormonal teenage fantasies. For real.

At last we were at the corner: John Taylor was just around the bend. The time had come so I put my top back together and juggled my son in one hand while getting the camera and plastic bagless book ready with the other (the plastic bag had a higher calling). We tossed our stuff on the floor in a pile. I handed my book to a lady who handed it to John for signing and handed my camera to an assistant clearly hired for the purpose of taking pictures with other peoples cameras. Then I approached the table.

John Taylor looked up, my signed book in his hand. He looked at Ingram and said, "Oh, tiny baby." He handed me my book and made about 0.01 seconds of eye contact. I weakly said, "thanks" and scurried off while he gazed to his left looking for the next person waiting in line. There was barely time to take it all in.

Oh my God. Why does my face do that stupid thing when I'm super happy and excited? Why? No wonder he can't or won't look at me. 

That was it?

That is what I waited 28 years for? Man, I feel disappointed. Where was the witty banter? Jesus. Just ask me my sons name for crying out loud. Tell me I look great for just squeezing out a 10# baby 2.5 months ago. Freaking say anything to me.


Let me put it this way: Duran Duran will always hold in their famous hands my memories of a simpler, dare I say it, happier time in my life. When I hear their music I think of those naive early years when I really believed anything was possible and life was fair. Their music makes me happy and it always will. I don't know. Maybe he was jet lagged. Maybe he got some bad news this morning. Maybe he's getting the flu. Maybe it's because my attention was in three different directions and none of them included him. I want to give him the benefit of the doubt cause we all have days when we just aren't feeling it.
I think this is the last time I'll do something like this. It's time to settle down. I'm so grateful I have a career and family to fall back on since it seems that John Taylor and I aren't meant for each other after all. I'm just glad that I came to that realization while I was still a teenager and not at the age of 40!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Ten on 10

Just couldn't hold it together last night to post these. You know I love this photo project though so here's my better-late-than-never entry for October.











ten on ten button

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Simple Times = Good Time

Look at what I found.


Autumn is here.


I have been waiting for a proper fall for about 16 years now. Simply didn't have it in Gainesville or San Francisco. It's always been my favorite season so when I realized we would be in the northeast just in time for fall I about lept for joy at the very prospect of it. Oh, how I have missed the way the days grow shorter and the shadows grow longer or how the leaves smell when they are dry, which is so different from when they're wet. I have missed the way the cold air mixes with the smell of a fireplace somewhere in the distance and how that invokes visions of people being cozy and smiling about it. I love sweaters and boots and cider and pumpkin soup and maple everything. What a glorious season!

This weekend Tim and I fulfilled a dream: the weekend daytime date.

There's not enough support for the daytime date, in my opinion. Frankly we find that, though we like going out for dinner, it lacks the opportunity for connection that we're looking to get out of a date. We're tired, distracted and too close to the following days activities to still be focused on this one. A couple of years ago we started dreaming about the time when I wasn't working weekends anymore and we could carve out some of that time for just us. The surprise lunch date during these couple of years was an appetizer and a reminder of the goodness we were holding out for. I feel a little bit like I'm cheating the kids out of family time but marriage fortification is really for the good of the whole family., I get super jazzed about anything that is for the greater good of my family.

Tim and I went to a neighboring town and walked around before having lunch on the Long Island sound. That was all. Simplest of dates, really, but it was beautiful in its simplicity.


We sat on a bench in the town square looking at the trees...


and drinking our coffee out of paper cups. Something miraculous happened: we locked eyes and had a conversation complete with full sentences and thoughtful responses. Anyone with small children doesn't need me to point out how rare an occurrence this is. The first of many Saturday afternoon dates. I'm so excited!

Of course, I get bejiggety about leaving tiny Ingram. He's only 10 weeks old now. But the kids were fine. We stumbled upon some great, reliable childcare, which makes it easier to get out.

A holdover from moving - she prefers to color on cardboard boxes. 


We had been talking up our Sunday trip to Ada all week. A visit to ....dum da da dum...THE FARM.


She was so excited, it was all she could talk about for days. Of course, about 5 minutes down the road from the farm she fell asleep so we got a little lost on purpose. The further north you go, the more and more beautiful it becomes. We went to a town where I almost rented a house. It's a bit further north than where we are now so I opted for the town closer to NYC. Still, as we drove past our almost-house I couldn't help but think about if and how our lives might have been different had we moved there instead. I think it's where all the local hippies are and I'm missing my people.

Finally, we made it to the farm with refreshed, rested children. It was rainy and chilly but Ada still loved seeing the animals. She was quiet and observant most of the time.


Mixed in were the hyper-excited moments like trying maple cotton candy.


I nursed Ingram on a cold, wet picnic table while Tim took Ada to the pumpkin patch.

Serenity. Pure serenity.

I watched from outside the fence as she tried her little heart out to pick up these giant pumpkins while Tim stood beside her stifling chuckles. Finally, she settled on one she could carry.


So, so very proud of her pumpkin. She agreed that I could use it to make a vegan panang curry later in the week.


Then we went home all worn out from a good day of exploring. Seriously, the most simple weekend but I sat on the couch Sunday night thinking of my children and my husband and how lost and undefined I would be without these people. I am seriously lucky and I know it deep in my bones.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Deep Thoughts

On Friday I had a sitter come to stay with the kids. I had to take both car seats out to accommodate a huge piece of art that was finally done being framed. I took the opportunity to go to Target. Alone. Even though I said I wouldn't buy any clothes until my hips drifted back to their normal place I kind of had to. The weather is changing and all I have to wear is maternity pants, which fall down all the time, or my "fat" pants, which, while I can get them on, are really not looking great.

So I walked out of Target with a one-size-larger-than-usual pair of peacock blue corduroy pants in a bag and some I-feel-bad-about-myself thoughts in my head. In the fitting room of Target I faced what every woman who has ever given birth faces: a totally different body. Over the past 10 weeks, my feelings toward my physical appearance are ones of disgust. Then I have to remind myself that my body did something really remarkable in supporting the growth and birth of a baby. It deserves a little more respect and reverence for that so I vowed to wear my new pants with confidence and gratitude for the reason I'm in them in the first place.

About 10 minutes later in my child-free excursion I ran across a good physical reminder of the exchange that just occurred internally. It's a good thought to start off the week:


Monday, October 1, 2012


One Sunday afternoon a few weeks ago, Tim and I attempted to go do a little shopping with the kids. I say "attempted" because this usually ends up with both of us rolling our eyes at each other, at them, at ourselves, at nothing or running after Ada calling out, "I thought you had her," to the other person. Add in some huffing and throwing of hands up in the air and well, there you have it: shopping with the kids. Loads of non-productive fun.

We went into a department store and I was browsing the shoe section while Tim was off looking at ties. I've vowed to not buy any clothes until my hips drift back together so shoes are the only thing that bring me any kind of satisfaction. I did my duty of oohing and aahing at the sparkly adult shoes befit for a toddlers attention. There is a direct correlation in that the less likely I am to ever wear them, the more Ada likes them. Then, I spotted them: glorious, rich chocolate brown, shiny leather riding-style Frye boots. I've coveted boots like these for years. Years. I picked up the left display boot and petted it. I casually spun the boot upside down, pretending to inspect the heel, but really I was glancing at the price. I might have sniffed the leather on it's way back down to the display table.


I thought about that pair of boots for the next 12 days. Tims first week of call as an attending finally wore me down (what a long, lonely week). He got home late, late one night and in a moment of being totally worn down I mentioned to him that I liked those boots and might go back to try them on. He asked how much they cost and after I told him he wrinkled his brow, threw back a shoulder and said "Buy them!" with a characteristic mix of enthusiasm and dismissal. I needed his confirmation that it's safe now: I can buy a pair of boots without our meticulously controlled finances caving in around our ears. The next day I loaded the kids into the car and responsibly folded up my to-do list before I irresponsibly tucked it out of sight. Then I drove with purpose to the Lord and Taylor. I was giddy with excitement and palms sweating with nervousness as I piled the kids out of the car and made my way to the double doors at the front of the store.

Growing up we were not wealthy. My mom was a single mom with a high school education. We lived paycheck-to-paycheck and money was tight. My mom was really smart about money and disciplined at saving. There were always plenty of presents under the tree, she bought a house in a good school district and we always had what we needed. Even if that meant buying my shoes at KMart, not that there's anything wrong with that, but it's tough to be cool under the circumstance. As a teenager I recognized that our financial situation was what it was and I stopped asking to buy anything from the front of store at the Limited and instead headed straight to the clearance racks. I asked for money for Christmas because I could get so much more at the after-Christmas sales. Later, I embraced reality and wove it into my identity: I became "most outrageously dressed" at my high school. My senior yearbook from 1990 says so. Back then you didn't need to do much other than wear a lot of black. I still wear a lot of black. I even wrote a "how-to" article for my high school newspaper about thrift shopping.

It's still my first inclination to say "we can't afford it" when it comes time to spend money on anything, even if we can easily afford it. Years of graduate school took a childhood habit and ingrained it deeply. I'm not a cheapskate though. I love to give generous gifts and believe in the value of certain things like organic food, good coffee and good wine. Still, even if we had really super nice stuff now it would be wasted on me - I wouldn't enjoy it because I'd constantly be thinking about how expensive it was and then worrying about ruining it. So when I walked into the department store ready to lay down some cash for these boots it was a big, big moment.

Then I saw a message from heaven. The red-lettered sign read:

20% off one
25% off two
30% off three

Oh. My. Goodness.

Surely this was a sign from heaven! And it was telling me that I should not only buy the coveted Frye boots but also the coveted red Hunter wellies that I'm told I will live in come winter in New York. Oh yes, divinity was a part of this for certain. Two pairs of boots and one pair of fleece wellies socks all for less than the original price of the Frye boots.

I walked out of the store with my giant bags rhythmically banging the sides of the stroller. I was satisfied and proud. How lucky that there happened to be this sale on this day? I got a great deal. I spent more money than I ever, ever have on shoes ever before but I still got a great deal. So the frugal girl in me is stoked while the grown up woman in me is so happy in her boots. I've worn those boots nearly every day since I bought them. I love those boots. They fit like a glove and the leather is giving in all the right places. My friend texted a picture of her wearing a brand new pair of beautiful, flashy Manolos and I texted back a picture of me in my new boots.

They were a belated birthday present to myself. They were my reward for doing a great job getting us moved. They were an offering to offset the terrible call week (I thought this was supposed to get better after training was officially over?) They were on sale, which is great, but I would have bought them anyway.

We have, in a very weird way, arrived.