Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Cruisin for a date

I had just broken up with someone.

Well, that's not true. I had been dating someone, who, after a weekend ski-trip with the boys, came back to tell me he had met someone else. He told me...over the phone. Just as I was about to see a client. Nice.

I already knew Mr. Cruisin, as he was a friend of a relative. We would see eachother at various events, but he had a girlfriend. Although I thought he was cute, and funny...I didn't look at him in that way, you know, potential husband material...because he was, well...taken.

But as fate would have evening right after a$%hole dumped me...I ran into Mr. Cruisin at a local restaurant. He proceeded to tell me that he and the girlfriend had broken up.

Now, you think I would have been jumping up and down ecstatic at this point, right? I mean, come on...nice Jewish boy, cute, funny, good job, tall, good dresser, hair on his head...what more could a girl ask for?

Well, being the "girl" that I was...I was too immersed in a self-pity party. Afterall, someone actually had the nerve to DUMP me! I was unable to see past my own sorrow, to notice that this perfect speciman of a guy was now available.

A few days later, the relative who was friends with Mr. Cruisin, told me that Mr. Cruisin wanted to ask me out. The relative told him not to...HUH? Well, as it turns out, the relative was just being protective, not wanting me to be a rebound, "transitional" person...and possibly get hurt.

Since I was still in a stupor and wallowing in self-pity, I didn't even react to this. I figured, okay, whatever.

Luckily for me, Mr. Cruisin is a self-made man. If you tell him he can't do something...he's all over it.

So, a few days later, to my surprise, I received a message at work...from none other than Mr. Cruisin. I proceeded to return his call, totally unaware that he was about to ask me out.

And sure enough...that's exactly what happened. We were having a fun, polite conversation, when out it popped...the question..."would you like to go out Saturday night?".

My head was could I go out with this guy when my relative had just told me it wasn't a good idea to go out with someone who was on the rebound? Not to mention, I was still having a wild time attending my own self-pity party.

What to do?

I pretty much had to go out with the poor guy...I mean, he did just break up with someone...wouldn't it be rude to say no? I had known him for years, afterall, and he was my relative's friend, and I felt kinda sorry for him, having just broken up and all.

So, I said YES. We set up the date and that was that...or so I thought.

When I hung up the phone, a thought occured...

Should I really go out with him on a Saturday night?...afterall, Saturday night was notoriously "date" night. I didn't want to say no, but I didn't want him to think I was really interested in that way, since I had been warned by my relative that I would probably end up hurt.

So this was my quick-thinking plan.

I would call him back, and explain that I couldn't go out Saturday night...something had come up, but I could go out with him Wednesday or Thursday night. He said it would be no problem and we changed the date to Thursday.

It just so happens that following my phone call to Mr. Cruisin, my mother called. I proceeded to tell her about my upcoming date...telling her of the switch from Saturday to Thursday, and the carefully thought out plan behind this decision, when she had this to say to me:

"Cruisin-mom (she always called me that)...don't you deserve to have a date on a Saturday night? You don't have to marry him...just go out on a nice date...there's no harm in that."

Panic quickly set mother (as always, dammit) was right. Why shouldn't I go out on a nice date, with a nice person, who could at the very least, end up being a good friend?

I picked up the phone, and called Mr. Cruisin back. I explained that the plans for Saturday night had been changed and I could go out afterall.

Mind you...this is all happening within a 20 minute time frame at the most.

Let's recap: Mr. Cruisin calls for Saturday night date. I say yes. I rethink, and call back within 5 minutes to change to Thursday night. I talk to mom 5 minutes later. I call Mr. Cruisin back to say Saturday night is good afterall. Cruisin Mom appears to be "nuts" at this point in time.

Thankfully, Mr. Cruisin was still in a bit of his own stupor, having just broken up with his throughout all of this he was just kind of like "whatever".

By now the guy knows I'm nuts, but decides to show up for the "Saturday night" date anyway.

Since that phone call, (or calls, I should say), I had developed the cold of the century. I was sneezing and coughing... and producing enough mucous to fill Dodger Stadium.

Ah, yes, I was a beautiful, red-nosed sight. And I had to decide what to wear on this okay-I'll go out with you on a Saturday night-but don't want you to get the idea that I'm interested-because you are on the rebound and I don't want to get hurt-date.

I decided to go casual, sweater and cords...nice but nothing fancy (hey, at least I wore something besides my blue jeans).

It was time, and Mr. Cruisin arrived...I opened the door, and there he stood...ADORABLE!!! My heart did that thing it does when you first realize you are actually attracted to someone...I believe it's called "skipping a beat" or "all a flutter" or "tingly all over" or "the need to throw up"...well, you get the idea.

There he stood...wearing a tie!!! I was dressed casual and he was wearing a tie...YIKES!

So of course, being the genteel gal that I was, I immediately blurted out, rather loudly I might add, "You're wearing a tie!!!" ...(Duuuuuh)

You know what that adorable man with hair on his head did? ... he bravely ripped off the tie! He could sense my discomfort (the scream may have tipped him off) . "Wow,...this guy is already getting me", I thought to myself, as I proceeded to blow mucous into a kleenex.

Off we went. We drove into Westwood (the ultimate date destination in those days) for a wonderful dinner and movie. A new movie starring Dustin Hoffman and Bill Murray had just opened (Tootsie) and we stood in line to see it. We talked effortlessly, really getting to know one another, while I proceeded to blow and hoch up buckets of mucous.

How could any man resist that?

Well apparently, this man couldn't. Here we were on a Saturday night, out on a non-date, date, having the time of our lives. The connection was undeniable. The conversation and laughter endless...not to mention the mucous.

He brought me home. We talked (yes, really, that's all) until the wee hours of the morning. At one point, I excused myself to the bathroom. And here is what Mr. Cruisin told me later about that moment:

He spied a mastercard bill sitting on my dining room table (open, so it wasn't like he was going through my mail). It was for a grand total of $32.50. It was at that very moment he knew he could spend his life with me.

Afterall, what woman has a mastercard bill of only $32.50? So, she screams and blows mucous and calls me 3 times within 20 minutes to keep rearranging our date...she has a mastercard bill of only $32.50. He knew then, I was the woman of his dreams. Needless to say, those bills have a few more zeros tacked on them now.

The evening was coming to a close...and he asked me out for a second date.

There was no turning back now. This man, apparently thought I was wonderful...mucous and all.
And I knew, that any man who could take in stride and laugh at endless streams of mucous and being screamed at on a first date, was most likely the man for me.

We danced the first dance at our wedding to...

the theme from Tootsie.

Saturday, April 22, 2006


It has been 10 days since my last post. I think that may be a record since I began blogging (for real) in December.

I'm blocked.

And I don't mean constipated.

I mostly like to write stories.

I don't like to write about what I did today, or rant too much...I really enjoy the challenge of turning a feeling, a thought, a memory, or an experience...into a full fledged story.

So what does one do, when one is blocked?

I decided the only route, is to fill you in on a few things that took place this week. We'll just have to see where that takes me.

Today, we all got new cell phones. (Hence, the picture of Ernestine the operator. Phones... get the idea).

This was quite an ordeal. Enough decision making was involved to make one's head spin right off of one's neck.

Should we get phones with or without cameras. With or without a speaker. With or without game upload abilility. With or without video capability. Text messaging or not.

We finally decided on purchasing one phone that allowed us to get 3 more for free (of course free means, they pretend it's a phone worth $200 and then charge you the tax on that amount). But still a pretty good deal, I suppose.

It's funny how different things are today from when I was a kid. We had one phone line. I know for sure, that one of the 3 phones we had in the house, was a lovely shade of avocado green. I had to beg and cajole my way into getting my own phone line upon entering teenhood.

Today it seems, that every teen has their own phone, with a camera and internet access to boot.

Is this really a good thing? I suppose, in the long-run it is. We can find our children anywhere, anytime...isn't that great? But for whom? (or is it *who*...always confuse those two). Certainly not our children.

When we were 17 and going on a date, the boy picked you up, met the parents, and off we went. Of course, we had a curfew, and hopefully came home on time.
But did we ever talk to our parents during the date?


Too bad for our kids...cause now we can track them down anywhere, anytime. And...we do!
But at what cost? And I don't mean monetarily speaking. I mean emotionally and psychologically. Is it really good for our children's growth to be calling and checking up on them?

I know it relieves my stress levels...but are they learning to make decisions and be independent if parents are always on their backs? Food for thought.

Another event that took place this week, was the anniversary of my marriage to Mr. Cruisin. Twenty one years is a long time to be with one person, don't you think? And no easy feat in this climate of divorce and affairs.

Someone asked me the other day, what our secret to a long marriage was. That's an easy one for me...

Marry someone you like. Marry someone with similar values. Marry someone who makes you laugh and thinks you're funny. Have a husband that accepts you even when you're going nuts.

But here's the most important one of all, that no one ever tells you. Marry a man who can fix things. This will keep him too busy and tired to ever want to even explore the idea of having an
affair, let alone actually having one. And let me tell you, when you start watching everything on your 50 year old body heading "south"...this is a good trick to have up your sleeve. That's the real reason "honey-do" lists were invented.

If you want to know how I feel about my husband of 21 can read here. That post pretty much sums it up.

I bought myself two skirts on Friday. They are long and crinkly. One is black, and one is white. I figure this will get me through every season. And it's the only way Robert Avrech will allow me back into the lovely lecture/brunch he has annually, to honor his son, Ariel. Since I mostly love wearing my blue jeans...I guess you could say that welcoming two new skirts into my wardrobe was a move out of my comfort zone.

Ace was given the boot on American Idol this week. I suppose he deserved it. Pulling the hair back was not a good strategy.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Taylor. He is completely full of joy, and exudes it all over the television screen. And although Catherine has an amazing voice and should probably win...Taylor should at least come in second.

Well, that's all I have to say.
I feel a little less blocked now.
Thanks for listening.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Death...Cruisin style

There are, of course, two things we all must face in our lifetime:

taxes and death

Yep, no choice in either one (well, i suppose you could choose not to pay taxes, but I don't really want to eat bread and water for the rest of my life or acquire a new friend named Bubba).

Since God invented accountants, let's just say, that worrying about taxes isn't all that necessary...send to the accountant...POOF, it's done.

But death, on the other hand, is something to worry about. There are many things to consider when facing the inevitablity of one's own demise.

Although cremation makes the most sense from an environmental standpoint...I just can't bring myself to go against religious mandate in this area (even though I'm not exactly what one would call religious).

Of course the first thing to consider, is what to be buried in. I have never been one for those fancy cadillac caskets. Just seems like a big waste of money, because let's face's never going to be viewed by anyone after the funeral, and if I can't enjoy it...well, what's the point.
A nice plain pine box for me, thank you.

Now here's something that has always struck me as odd. Why is it that loved ones assume that putting someone in their best suit or fanciest dress is the way to go when dressing the body for burial?

I suppose it's one thing if this is what the person spent most of their time wearing...okay, that makes sense. But for me? My favorite item of clothing is blue jeans. Wouldn't it be strange not to bury me in my most beloved piece of clothing?

To bury me in a dress would just be absurd. For crying out loud, I didn't even know you're supposed to wear a dress when attending an orthodox Jewish shul...why on earth would I be buried in one?

But here's the dilemma...and any woman will understand this. What if, on that fateful day, I can't get into my blue jeans. I mean, what if the mortuary employee is given my favorite pair of jeans to put on me, and I'm having a "fat day"?

How humiliating would that be? I guess the good news is, I'll be lying down. When I was in junior high, all of us girls would lay down on the bed and force each leg into our skin tight jeans, pull on, and suck it all in while trying to get that zipper up. I guess I can only hope that I will have dieted plenty before my demise, as to not have to face this one last humiliation.

Next, the funeral service itself. Why is it that even your mean Aunt Beatrice, who abused every family member by making them kiss her smelly face and eat her dry boiled chicken for years, becomes a woman of valor on the day of her funeral?

Me?...I want it all out there...the good, the bad, and the ugly. In fact, a sort of Broadway show would be nice. Okay, maybe off need to set my sights so high. You know, like a one woman tribute show to ME. (But who would star...any thoughts?)

The music is always so somber at these things. I'd like some show tunes, of course, with a chaser of Beatles music. If people want to dance...all the better. The show, I mean funeral, should end with Gloria Gaynor belting out "I Will Survive". Now that's a funeral service!

After the funeral, the tradition is to go back to someone's home to delight in deli and reminisce about the deceased. Don't get me wrong, I love good deli. In fact, I don't really mind attending funerals, because I know I will be going back to someone's home to stuff myself with deli and babke.

But here's the deal...while deli is always a sure-fire hit...I say, why not be daring and fun and alive at the after funeral gathering.

That's why I propose In and Out Burger. I know that some of you reading this from other than the left coast, may not be familiar with In and Out. Let me just say that they are thee best burgers this side of heaven (well, I'll let you know for sure when I get there).

And here's the best part: In and Out has a special cookout trailer that will come to your home and cook their delicious burgers right on the spot for you!!!

That's deli at my after party...burgers, fries, and diet cokes will abound.

Quite frankly, this is something that each and everyone of us needs to consider seriously. Don't leave your loved ones wondering what to dress you in, how to memorialize you, and most of all...what to eat at the after party.

I say, even in death...leave 'em laughing, singing, dancing, and eating well.

(Humor is a way for me to express feelings about death and grief, that I have known since the age of 10...I hope this post is taken in the good spirit it was intended. It is not meant to be hurtful in anyway to anyone who is grieving or has gone through the journey of grief).

Sunday, April 09, 2006

You can "quote" me on that.

Well, it's Sunday, and I had a little spare time between paying bills and cleaning up this joint (who am I kidding...I've been on this damn computer) I thought I'd ramble a bit about favorite movie quotes.

Below are just a few of my favorite movie quotes. Of course, I could go on all day, so I just picked a few.

"Nobody puts Baby in a corner".

C'mon, don't you love when Patrick Swayze tells Baby's father..."nobody puts Baby in a corner"?
I mean, really, the guts to stand up to the doctor who just saved his best friend's life...amazing.
Such conviction, strength and fortitude. I say the doctor deserved it, afterall, who names their kid, BABY?

"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The hard... is what makes it great".
This is a quote from A League of Their Own. I adore this movie. Tom Hanks was in a bit of a slump when Penny Marshall had the genius to cast Hanks in this role.

This quote just gets me everytime. It's like the ultimate life lesson wrapped up in three little lines. Hank's character is referring, of course, to playing baseball. Geena Davis' character wants to give up, stating it's just gotten too hard. This is Hank's response.

But isn't it true for all of life...for anything you choose to do? Aren't the things we struggle and work hard for more meaningful than those that just fall into our laps?

"There's no crying in baseball".
This quote has no deep meaning. But it is one of thee funniest scenes, ever, in a movie (well, at least to me). If you've seen it, you know what I'm talking just makes me laugh hysterically everytime.

"I'll have what she's having".
The quote from the greatest relationship movie ever. That line comes right after Meg Ryan shows us that women can, well, um, let's just say...pretend. It's the perfect surprise ending to a most unexpected scene.

Just that one little word conjures up an entire movie. There are many great lines from The Graduate, but all you need is that one word. I love this movie and could watch it over and over. Anne Bancroft was genius in this role, and was just a few years older than Dustin Hoffman at the time.

"Show me the money".
Okay, so Tom has lost his mind, but Jerry Maguire is still one of my favorite movies. The scene when Cuba Gooding makes Jerry yell show me the money is hysterical every time I see it.

I could go on and on. Let's not forget the scene in China Town when Faye Dunaway reveals who her daughter is, sister is, daughter is...well you get what I mean.

"May the Force be With You"...In 1977, I thought this was the greatest line I had ever heard (hey, that was 29 years ago, give me a break).

Well, it's time to go pay bills...really...and clean up the more quotes...

You're welcome to throw out a few of your favorites.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Bathroom Blues

Can you tell what that picture is? Well, if I could have taken a picture of myself the first day of junior high, that is what you would have seen.

That is a person inside a bathroom stall.

Why am I posting a pic of a person in a bathroom stall, you ask?

The comments in my last post were so surprising and really quite unexpected. I displayed a little ad I received in the mail about menopause, wrote a humorous little ditty to go along with it, and lo and behold people had many memories stirred from childhood.

But one of the themes that seemed to run through many of the comments was that of embarrassment.

So it got me to thinking...back to my most embarrassing moment from girlhood.

So, here it is.

The first day of junior high, which was 7th grade, was a scary one. I was not quite 12 (my visitor hadn't even arrived yet), and there I was, starting this all important day in my life.

I woke up, put on a dress, (yes, in those days, girls actually had to wear a dress to school. It was not until 9th grade that we were allowed to have "pants day"...that's right, one day in the whole school year to wear pants. Oh, just one more aside: we weren't allowed to wear patent leather shoes because a boy could look in the shoes, and see your underwear...Holy Crap).

I went to all my new classes, scared but excited at the same time. The day went pretty well, as well as a day can go in a new school.

Everything in my life was different at this point. Since my dad's death a year and a half earlier, my mom had gone back to work part-time, and wasn't going to be home after school, like she had always been before. But, I was almost 12, and very mature (or so I thought) this wasn't going to be a problem.

I had arranged to meet a friend after school by a certain post. But as nature often does, it called to me at the end of the day. So before meeting my friend, I figured I would go use the bathroom.

So off I went. I found a bathroom and went in. A few girls were in there when I entered. I went into the stall to do my "business".

While sitting in the stall, recounting the not-so-bad events of my first day in junior high, I realized that it had grown very quiet. No big deal...all the other girls had left the premises.

Suddenly, I heard a man's voice shouting, "Is anyone in there?" "Is anyone still in here?"

Now, for some unexplicable reason, I had decided in my head, that the man's voice was not directed at me, let alone to anyone in this particular bathroom. I still ask myself why I thought that...but still don't know the answer.

So...since the man's question, in my mind, wasn't for me...I continued to sit...and not rush to finish my delicate business.

But while I sat, I heard a strange noise...kind of like a lock turning...well, NOT KIND WAS a lock turning!!!

That man was the janitor, and he was making sure the bathroom was empty so he could lock it for the night.

You've never seen anyone finish their delicate business so quickly, jump up, (sorry, no time to wash hands) and run to the door.

And I began BANGING on that door. As hard as my little almost 12 year old body would allow. It seemed like my heart was pounding louder than I was banging on the door.

How could this be? Why didn't I know he was talking to ME? Was I destined to spend my first night of junior high in the girl's bathroom? Would I have to eat toilet paper for dinner and breakfast? What was to become of me?

Well, here is what became of me. After what seemed like an eternity (maybe 5 minutes), the janitor came back and unlocked the door.


But here was the embarrassing part...when the door opened...there stood the "popular" girls. One of them had heard the pounding and found the janitor.

But they stood there. And laughed. And giggled. And made faces. All as if to say...LOSER!!!
(and that wasn't even an expression in those days).

What luck. There is something about me and toilets.

I walked out of that bathroom, humiliated and downright embarrassed. I tried not to look at them...and just kept walking...head not so held high.

I found my friend, who was waiting by the post we had decided on earlier that day. We walked home.

I entered an empty house. I called my mom. Upon hearing her voice, I remember breaking down in tears. The day had just ended so wrong.

But maybe it's moments like those, that eventually lead to strength. Because without moments like those, it's hard to imagine ever learning to live through life's tough little moments. It's hard to imagine ever learning to laugh at one's self.

As you can probably imagine...that's one thing (besides finding my way to toilets) thatI'm pretty good at.