David now has a GPS finder named Julie who speaks with an English accent and tells us where we are and where we need to go. David used to have a traveling companion named Iris who once spoke with a heavy New Jersey accent, looked at a map and just screamed about which way to go. Or as an alternative insisted he pull over and ask for directions. This is supposed to be considered progress. What happened to the days when fighting was part of the travel entertainment and pastime.
We are going to use this GPS to take us to New Hampshire for the big debates on the 5th. What an interesting way to start the New Year. I’m hoping to start a buzz about “So You Think You Can Be President”, but with all the much too serious media personalities spouting useless information about things they cannot predict, who knows. Nevermind, let’s talk about what we do know ...
Politics (domestic and international), remains a puzzlement – that’s what the King said in “The King and I”, and he was right. It will take two men to replace one woman leader in Pakistan. It would only take one woman to change the political history of this great nation, and there are more than three men who have spent millions of dollars vying for the endorsement of the little baby Jesus. There is violence in Kenya, rioting in Pakistan, and much indecision in North Korea. The US military insists that “the surge” worked and there are fewer deaths and less violence in Iraq. Less than what—before we got there. I don’t think so. Less than after we got there and gave Al Queda a reason to unite every terrorist in the Middle East and on many foreign shores. We are told there were ‘only’ 21 deaths this month – I wonder if 21 mothers and families are comforted by that. Surely I wouldn’t be. (“There she goes again”, you may say). And you are correct -- it’s not about me. Bet you never thought you’d here me say that.
Anyway, I don’t want to start the New Year out with any whining. There are so many things to be happy about. David and I will celebrate the anniversary of the night we got engaged 24 years ago. We are spending the evening in glorious Napa valley, with our generous friends Eric and Erica Sklar and their children. I will try to stay awake until midnight, which will be 3am my body time. And in addition to the body time issue, there is always good wine, of which I usually drink too much. Falling asleep at inappropriate times with David, is not new to me. (Don’t go there). In 1980, on the last night of the Democratic Convention, a caravan of police vehicles with lights flashing and sirens blasting (I loved the theater of the security effort), escorted us to the Empire diner on 10th Avenue. It was also about 3am and I had been working 24/7 for at least a week. After many teary goodbyes, to what seemed like the entire NYC police force, we went in to get something to eat. I ordered eggs over easy (very easy!) and I remember David catching my face right before it hit the plate. I ruined the eggs, but everything else is pretty much a blur.
Yesterday we spent the day with college friends Margie and Joe, and their fabulous children and grandchildren. We got out the Emerson yearbooks and Jordan tried to find pictures of who we used to be so she could ridicule us—it’s easier to do that than poke fun at who we have become.
Iris and her former roomate/PromQueen and the kidlets
What was really amazing was that Margie had never told her kids that she was the Prom queen—or that we even had a prom. I am told (by my not too happy former roommate, that now privy to this invaluable information) these children, who had the good sense to have children who have no shortage of imagination or silly things wear, have not stopped making fun of the former queen. That being the bad news, all of our friends appear to be in pretty good health. At least we’re all standing. Our children are safe and healthy and smart and beautiful and sensitive, and have good taste... what more could we ask for. (‘Wear’ was I? Get the clever transition) Oh yes, most of my family is speaking to me—even if they don’t want to. Our mothers are holding their own. The Pats beat the Giants and we have no pets.
This is also the time of year when we take a minute to reflect about the people who we lost -- might not have known but who we loved and made an impact on our lives. It’s funny how connected we get connected to celebrities we hardly or never knew. We often feel these losses as if they were our friends or family. This year, among many others, we said goodbye to Art Buchwald, with whom I always had a great time, Joel Siegel, an entertainment critic who never sucked up to the people he reviewed, and Molly Ivins, who was never at a loss of words or wit. I find it particularly difficult to hear about all of them at once, even though I suffered the losses separately when they died. When you hear about who is gone with somber or moving music playing in the background, the tug at your heartstrings is magnified ten fold. I often find myself weeping (I’ve been doing a lot of this lately) about these losses. Uh oh, I’m back to being morbid and I did want to avoid that in this first blob of the New Year.
So, let’s try to think only happy thoughts –until at least noon when we find ourselves watching a parade, and hopefully good football. Or we listen to more Iowa yammering by the next President of the United States (whoever that might be) and of course, while we are following accurate directions by our new friend Julie. “Take the next Left, then take the Motorway...” We’re just sayin... Iris