Thursday, April 30, 2009

Jerusalem, Thou Art So Far Away!

Oh, Jerusalem, thou art so far away! I've been home for over a month now but never wrote about our delightful adventures together! Time and distance have slipped in between us, and I don't think I can do your splendor justice. The sights and smells and sounds that were nestled snugly in my mind have been nudged out by worries of college choices, a court case, new church responsibilities and swine flu.

When I first got back from your Holy Land, I'd dream about you almost every night. It was like extending that magical trip, but now I can't dream about you no matter how many pictures I look at or how hard I shut my eyes and concentrate on your sacred places.

In the words of one of your favored sons:
"If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy."

A Swearing Mood


Dammit. There's just nothing I can do about it; I am in a swearing mood. I just woke up that way. I can't blame it on hormones. I can't blame it on weather. I blame it on the genes I inherited from my mom. My mom's family is notorious for their cussing. When my mom (Wannie) was a baby, her dad used to rock her to sleep with the dear little ditty, "Son-a-bitchin' Wannie, son-a-bitchin' Wannie". I remember when Grandma Hunt to used to chase us out of her kitchen after we raided her cookie jar with, "Come back here you little shits!" And when Mom asked Aunt Vena, "Don't you want to be married to Ed for eternity?", Vena replied, "Hell no! I've been putting up with son-of-a-bitch for too long already."

So, really. Is it any wonder that I occasionally wake up in a mood to cuss? If your Mom used yell at you and your cousins to "come and shit your goos on" (get your shoes on) so we can leave", maybe it leaves an impression. If your dad said, "Let's get the whole fam damily here so we can go", maybe it sort of sticks. If one of your family's favorite card games was "Dammit to Hell", maybe you'd be prone to swearing. If you're grandma was introduced to a famous star (who will remain nameless) in Vegas and said to him, "You're sure a handsome son-of-a-bitch", maybe you'd be prone to cussin'. Maybe if your mom referred to your oldest sister (who really was an awful teenager) as "your royal hind-ass", you'd be inclined to blurt out a bad word once in a while.

When my niece Ellie was about three and someone asked her what Grandpa says, she'd say, "Shut the damn door". I rest my case. It's in our blood.

So, if I occasionally wake up in a swearing mood, perhaps you'll understand. But let me assure you, that those genes I inherited from my mom's family are the same genes that gave me an explosive imagination and more creativity than I can handle. It gave me a sense of humor and a wild, adventurous spirit. It's given me a thirst to connect to people, to learn about other cultures, to talk to strangers and invite them to supper, to jump into the thick of life with no regret. So . . . to Grandma Hunt, to Grandpa Oz, to Aunt Vena and to Mom: Thanks, dammit! Thanks a lot.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Prom Bomb II

I've tried and tried to post the ONE picture of Kate in her prom dress, but to no avail. This program refuses to let me. Kate had an absolutely glorious time. Turns out that Micheal's mom was at the house where all the kids met for picture taking. She gave Kate a big hug, told her she looked beautiful and that it was worth the wait. She took lots of pictures.

Kate's dress (which cost $45 to get fitted) was not so fitted after all. The bodice kept falling down, so Kate spent half the night holding it up. The prom was at the Capitol Hill Hyatt - within the shadow of our Nation's Capitol. The theme was Viva Las Vegas and they served an all you could eat buffet for dinner and then another for breakfast. Pretty snazzy.

We'll take the dress back to tailor and hope it's fixed by the time Prom II arrives on May 22. Yes, she is wearing the same dress! I know I've complained a lot about this whole prom thing . . ..but really, isn't it just too wonderful that I have a lovely, beautiful daughter who is going to two proms with a wonderful young man? Isn't it great that we can afford a dress and all the other accouterments for such an event? Isn't it a blessing that I have friends who can listen to me complain and then laugh at make me and give me perspective? It is. And I am blessed.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Prom Bomb

What an insane week it's been getting Kate ready for prom! After going to over a dozen stores, we found a dress. It had to be tailored and I miraculously found someone to do it in one day (extra bucks go a long way). Yesterday evening Kate took the metro to Bethesda to get a spray tan. She got there to discover she had to have a parent sign a waiver, so I told her we could go this morning at 9 a.m. (before the shoe shopping, hair and make up appointments).

We got there before I discovered that I left my purse at home. Thankfully, Kate had enough money to pay for the tan, and I cleverly distracted the lady so she forgot to ask me for a photo ID. But...that meant we had to go back home before our shoe shopping.

We actually found the shoes pretty quickly -- and some lovely jewelry. We were doing so well, in fact, that we stopped for lunch. It was over pizza that I realized we hadn't bought Michael a boutonniere, so we rushed home and I made calls to a florist for a 2 p.m. pick up.

Kate's dress was supposed to be done at 1 pm. It was in Silver Spring. The lady called to say the dress was done but they'd lost the shawl. Oh well, it was 92 degrees and Kate could do without a shawl.

The trip to Silver Spring was uneventful, but College Park (a.k.a. location of the florist) was a nightmare -- it was Maryland Day.

I got home just in time for Kate to go to her hair appointment. After she left, I felt bad: it was HOT and her car has no air conditioning. The updo and the makeup would surely wither before she got home. I rushed to the salon and traded cars with her -- only to realize her gas light was on and her tank was completely empty. So...$31.53 later I was finally home.

I lost track of time when the doorbell rang. It was 6:30 and Michael was at the door. Sadly, Kate was not. She was still getting her make up done. Four couples were waiting for Michael and Kate and kept texting him as we chatted for FORTY minutes waiting for Kate, who claimed she was ten minutes away.

Shortly after 7:00, she rushed in, dashed up the stairs, got dressed, grabbed her backpack (she's sleeping at Nikkis) and ran out the door. I only got to snap a single picture and hardly even had time to look at her in all her beautifulness. I won't see her until "the morning after" when all that's left of the magical senior prom is a wrinkled dress, wilted crossage, smeared make up and groggy teenager.

So, I'm feeling used, abused, and disappointed. Good thing this was Michael's prom and that her prom is in three weeks. Maybe we'll have our act together!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Dream Come True!

In Chinatown in NYC, there are some little places you can slip into after a long day of shopping when your back is screeching in pain and your feet are swollen and sore. These little oriental massage places charge $20 for a half hour of pure heaven. They are dark. They are cheap. They require no appointment. They don't ask for your name. You get a heavenly massage while fully clothed and listening to exotic oriental music. In short, they are my idea of heaven, and I always look forward to my secret indulgence when I go to New York.

Imagine my surprise -- my complete delight! -- when I was prom shoe shopping with Kate today in Silver Spring and found a similar place -- but this one in a mall! I quickly forgot our mission to find some strappy silver shoes and said to the friendly man, "We'll take two 30 minute sessions." Before I knew it I was on a massage table fantasizing about slipping out of the office once a week during lunch to get a massge. I thought of how many bagels and VitaminWater 10's would equal a massage. Before I knew it, I was so relaxed I was drooling through the head rest. Now, that was a half hour of pure heaven!! I was ready to conquer the shoe shopping mission. I think I can handle just about any challenge when I can see a massage in my future. The heavens are smiling today!

Oh, these guys are open from 10:00 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. seven days a week. Could there be any better news?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Teenrager Hell

I have spent the last TWELVE days devoted to Kate. Getting the house ready for a weekend friend and running them all over. Taking Kate to the emergency room on Easter, followed by a day off work for follow up visits to doctors. I took four days off work to take Kate and three friends to NYC for two days, followed by a road trip to North Carolina and Virginia to look at colleges. We spent hours in North Carolina malls looking for a graduation dress. I spent Sunday and Monday trying figure out how we could possibly pay for Virginia Tech.

Last night Kate told me that Micheal's prom is this Saturday and she needed a dress. So I left work early and fought rush hour traffic and rain to take her to TEN (count them) stores. She could not find a single dress she liked. Not at Macy's. Not at Bloomingdale's. Not even at Lord and Taylor. So, I was exhausted and hungry and my gas light went on in heavy traffic on the beltway when Kate cranked up the radio and declared that she is the unluckiest person in the world. OMG!! Really? Did she just say that? I am officially exasperointed (a cross between exasperated and disappointed). If she is the unluckiest person in the world . . .well, you can only imagine where my thoughts go from there.

Let's see, when does her freshman year start?