Sunday, June 20, 2010

Here's to Old Pals

The lyrics… “I’m always doing laundry, because there are a lot of dirty clothes.” …sung to the tune of “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows.” There I was, singing in the communal basement laundry room about this tedious chore, when what should appear but an entire family, clearly having an adventure. The kids were running wild chasing cockroaches and emptying the trash. The father was involved in a book and paid no attention to them. The mother was clueless. There was no chance that she knew how or what to discipline. I thought about protecting the washers and dryers from the attack of the little people in 4C, but I changed my mind because I was distracted by an older woman ironing in the corner.

Am I simply complaining about the difficulty of my life, or is this another rant about misbehaving children? Neither. This is a blob about a multitude of topics because once again, I have been lax about writing. Among those topics are children and pets and friendships that outlast time, change, and trouble.

When you are a young teen or an old teen (teen is important because you have little or no baggage), you make friends fast and easily, and often lose touch with them when your life changes. Sometimes, however, the connection was so powerful that they made an indelible mark on your life, and from time to time you wonder about who and where they are now. Which brings us to my next story. You may recall that a few months ago I wrote a blob about my life as a teen “down the Jersey Shore”. Even if you don’t, I did, and the two people who had great impact on my teen life were Vicki and Davey [Editor’s note: that would be a different, though no less fabulous Davey than this reporter] –for very different reasons. I reunited with Davey in 1976 but often wondered about Vicki. (The first time I met her she was ironing in the corner of the basement, in the house where she worked as a mother’s helper… this was pre- the “chicness” of being an ‘au pair’ – hence, the woman ironing in the corner of our laundry room took me back. Whew, I knew I could make that connect for you.) Until three days ago, thanks to the world of the web, she found the blob and tracked us down. Anyway, long-time pal Joyce (who introduced us,) and I went to see her and she is still a fabulous babe. Totally unchanged by life or love. “Every guy I went out with loved me, but insisted I change. Except Jack”. To whom she has been married for many, many, many years. She has kids and grandkids, she bought a car on e-bay, and she remains as silly as we were in the 60’s. What very good news. We all loved seeing each other and I feel we will build on what we had, to have even more – adventures and life together.

Then there’s Jordan’s new dog Ernie. She loves the dog and he loves her – but dogs love anyone who pays only minimal attention –which she does not. She is on that dog like a cheap suit. She simply hangs all over him. For this I blame myself. Having a pet you can touch is a new experience for her. The only other pet she had was a gold fish that we won at a fair and that died while we were on our way home and made a stop for Chinese food. When I realized the fish was dead I said, “Honey. The fish has died and is floating on the top of the bowl. We will need to get rid of it.”. And she said, “I don’t care if it’s dead. I’m keeping it anyway. Fish don’t do that much and I won’t have to feed it.” Anyway, I am delighted that she has this new love in her life and I think I probably, as her Aunt Soozie suggested, I should have let her express her affection for a pet long ago.

You never know who is going to make a difference in your life. For example, I love the time I spend in NY because I have wonderful family around. While I have always spent time with my cousins Honey, Rosalie, and big Sheila (it’s an age rather than size description), I never spent any extended time with little Sheila, until I started to spend time in the Big Apple. We have stuff we love to do together—simple things, like walks and discovering places we have never been. When I am stressed because of work or whatever, I find a good dose of Sheila does wonders for my mood.

How lucky am I, to have reunited with a wonderful friend, to have children that can think beyond themselves, and to have family who I know will always be there for me. Sometimes we need to pause and take a look at the gifts that we have been given, and whether we say thank God, or thank you Dad, or a personal thank you (you credit yourself with your good fortune), a thank you to whomever is clearly in order. We’re just sayin’… Iris

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