Friday, December 31, 2010

Bye, Bye, 2010 .....

I can't believe it - going into the 2nd decade of the 21st Century.  Not bad for someone who was convinced she'd never make it past 30.  When that happened, I knew I'd never see 40.  After that it was 50, etc., etc.  Now I'm heading into what can only be called old age and I never planned for it, never thought about it and don't know quite what to do with it now that it's here.  The funny thing about getting older is that when you are younger you don't like the calendar turning those decades over - but at a certain point you just hope that you'll be around when the next decade comes around.  Completely new perspective.

In case any of you (who?  no one there .... but, nevertheles, "you") are folloing along closely, I can proudly say that 95% of all Christmas stuff has been taken upstairs and put away in the "Christmas closet."

It's truly amazing the minutiae that we can get caught up in and then see on TV a community in Arkansas totally wiped out by a tornado, with three people dead.  Those three people were not questioning whether or not they would see 2011; they knew they would.  But reality had other plans in store for them.  So who the hell cares if I have gotten my Christmas stuff put away or not?

And there's a hostage situation in Houston - hopefully all those being held at gunpoint will see 2011.

And God only knows what other horrors are happening on a minute-by-minute basis.

Suddently lost any desire to go into my trivial life ....

May "Happy" New Year be a reality for as many as possible and something to strive for for others.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Living up to the "I Wonder" portion of this blog's title .....

Been wondering when I'd get around to incorporating something into this blog that would explain at least a portion of its name.  Thought the time should be now. 

This is not new; I wrote it about 4 years ago.  It was the first in a series of "I Wonder" ramblings.  It belongs in this blog.

I wonder what it’s like to be thin.

I can’t even look back to a time and recall it.  I’ve always had to wonder about it.

As a 12 year old, shopping at the horrifically named "Chubby Club" in NYC, I was already over 5’8" snd topping the scales at 200+.

Early pictures, up to about the age of 8, show a perfectly normal sized, adorable ("the world will be mine!") munchkin. After than it begins to go wrong. Would it be too obvious, I wonder, to mention here that it was just about that time my parents divorced and we moved to the country, leaving my beloved father snd grandparents behind in New York City?

There were summer camps from which I’d come home 20, 30, 40 pounds lighter in August, only to have gained it all back (plus some) by November.

I wonder if being heavy would have been easier if I had not also been so tall.

By my early teens I had already reached my 5’11" height.  I think the enormity of me must have been overwhelming. Massive from side to side, and from top to bottom.

At 5'4", however, which is what I somehow determined as being the perfect height, the weight would have been worse. At just under 6’, I could somehow "carry" it, whereas at 5'4", my friends could have just rolled me down the street like a one-of-a-kind beach ball.  However, being told I "carried" my weight well was about the worst thing people could say to me.  It kind of made it awful, but okay.

So I guess tall was good, but it just added to the enormity that has always been me. (One reason I kept my hair long for many years, even though I could never effectively manage it, was that I dreaded the "excuse me, sir" comments from people coming up from behind. In the 60’s, even the long hair didn’t serve the purpose any more as many men wore there hair even longer than mine.)

Being large puts stresses on a child that I don’t think many are aware of.  Authority figures seem to think largeness equals maturity. "Marianne, you’re the biggest, I’m putting you in charge while I’m out of the classroom," said many a grammar school teacher.  Did I know how to be in charge? Absolutely not. I was too busy simply trying to fit in, to hide myself. Being singled out for the one thing which I was constantly trying to run from only heightened the anxiety, the ridicule and the retreat into immaturity.

"Fat people are always so jolly." Well, we have to be. We can’t go around crying all the time. When one feels that other people are poking fun and making jokes, survival mechanism sets in.

It’s easier to feel included, less outside of things, if we make the jokes first, if we ridicule ourselves before someone else has a chance to do it. I think we also think that by making fun of ourselves, we are saying, "See, I don’t care that I’m fat. It’s fun." Well, it’s not.

And, again, the total largeness of me – height and width. I don’t know if the experiences of a short fat girl are different from mine, but I tend to think they might have been. At age 11, I had to bring a birth certificate with me to the local movie theatre to prove to them that I could still purchase the "under 12" tickets. I look at pictures of me at that age and understand why the proprietor thought I was trying to get away with something. At 12, I looked at least 18 or 20, unless you look carefully at my face. And when you present the image I did, the face is rarely what gets scrutinized.

You cease in some respects being a human being. And you definitely cease having a femininity, any fragility.

You’re treated much like boys are when they are told they are too big to cry.I recall a high school bowling outing.
At one point, when I had my hand in the return slot waiting for my ball to come back to me, two balls came in quick succession, pinning my finger between them with some force. It hurt. No one seemed to give the pain much credence, so I shrugged it off and continued to bowl, getting a strike. ("See, I told you she wasn’t really hurt.  She's tough; She can take it.")

A short while later, my friend Judy, 5'2", size 6, blond hair in a perky pony tail, bent a nail while tossing her ball down the gutter. Not only did our game come to an abrupt halt while Judy’s finger was examined, caressed, blown on and kissed, but half the folks in the bowling alley came to Judy’s aid. Some 35 minutes later she bravely faced the pain and threw another ball. The cheers were deafening when poor injured Judy knocked down the 10 pin. I kept my finger, which was beginning to swell and turn an amazing shade of blue, carefully hidden from view.

There is a shame in being fat, which somehow turns into a shame at being needy, of requiring comforting and solace. I’ve never quite understood the correlation but there is one. Perhaps it stems from all those years of being told "you’re the biggest, behave," or "I can’t believe a little thing like that really hurt a big girl like you."

Perhaps it arises out of the acknowledgement that there is no one you can lean on, literally. How does someone twice the size of everyone around her get folded into someone’s comforting arms? How does she put her head on the shoulder of someone half a foot shorter? My attempting to lean on someone for solace would only have scared that poor person to death. So, you learn not to need, to be self-sufficient. You don’t learn how to comfort yourself, however. The comfort is withheld both externally and internally.

Would it have been different had I had my father around all the time? On those rare and all too short occasions when I was with him, I was allowed to fully be the way I generally on felt inside - small and fragile. A child.
His 6'6", handsome 300+ pound frame was just what I needed. He is the only man I’ve ever danced with that made dancing a pleasurable experience. He knew, also, exactly what I needed to feel feminine and loved. He cosseted me. That’s a word I’ve never used, but it is the exact word for how he treated me. Cosset: to make a pet of; to pamper.

I don’t have any statistics, but I would imagine that most fat girls become promiscuous. This fat girl did. It had very little to do with sex, and everything to do with being held and being (or at least believing myself to be) for the time involved, feminine. It took me decades to learn not to fall in love with every man who was nice to me, who "patted me on the head," or who seemed to appreciate the me who was inside. Years to learn that what most appreciated was the easiness of me – not much more.

On the rare occasions I found myself in an appropriate relationship, it was doomed from the day it began because I couldn’t believe in anyone sincerely caring for me. How could they? I didn’t.

To this day, I have to be careful. A wink from a man makes me weak in the knees and ready to follow him into the bowels of hell. My mind interprets a wink as something that a man offers a small child (small woman?) to let her know that he understands, that there is a special communication and that there is love.

On an easier to comprehend level, I wonder what it’s like to be thin on an airplane. I traveled once with my treasured size 4 niece and was soon looking for an exit from which to eject her from the plane. As my knees pressed painfully against the seat in front of me, and the pressure against my hips from the armrests slowly turned to pain, she curled her legs up under her on the seat and napped peacefully.

Rather than ask for a seat belt extender for each flight, I have over the years robbed various airlines of theirs. My pre-flight checklist now includes passport, ticket, license, seat belt extender, etc. It’s a bit less embarrassing not to have to ask.

Recently, however, I was removed from the exit row – with the luxurious extra legroom offered – because of the extender. The flight attendant explained to me that the extra length could become a hazard were access to the exit row become necessary. (I might have been able to make the seat belt work without the extender – with serious, ungraceful tugging and huffing and puffing, but it was a five hour flight - too long to be that tightly constricted.)

I wonder what it’s like to look forward to warm weather. While I hate being cold, I do love the cold-weather oversized sweaters, the long sleeves, the long pants – in other words, the clothing that covers me from head to toe.

I long for the sun and for the warmth, but hate the clothing. I do not greet 90 degree days with sleeveless shirts and shorts. I’m always just a bit overdressed for the warm seasons. And bathing suits! Do I even have to really go into that trauma? I look at pictures of women frolicking on the beach at the turn of the century and envy them their bathing suits that cover them from shoulder to knee.

Again, I have no statistics, but I am willing to bet that most fat people love the water, love swimming.

I become a 90 pound sylph in the water. I’m buoyant, energetic and can outswim most people. I adore being in the water. But it requires being in a bathing suit. You will always find me (covered by a large towel) in the lounge chair nearest the pool entry steps or at the very edge of the ocean....shortening the length of time necessary to make it to the sweet cover of water.

There is agony in going to the beach with friends because one of them will inevitably convince the group to "park our stuff over there where we’re far away from the water and everything else." And the trips to the bathroom or to the refreshment stand for something cold to drink. Nightmare time. Surrounded by bikinis, Speedos, frisbee tossers and volleyball exhibitionists, I imagine myself invisible, treading the hot sand fully covered in a muu muu or similar cover up.

Shame, thankfully, rarely keeps me from enjoying my love of water, although I must admit to never having been to a water park. I wonder if they are as much fun as they appear to be in the commercials.

I wish there was a way to gauge the attention I draw to myself fully dressed at the beach in August versus going with the flow and parading myself around in a bathing suit. I think my concern is more for those who would be forced to view me than it is for my own embarrassment.

I mourn both the end and the beginning of summer, complaining all winter about hating the cold. I guess that’s one way to make a year pass.

An interesting observation. One rarely sees fat people hanging out together as a group. Thin people hang out together, but I doubt that has anything to do with a choice; it has more to do with the fact that most people are thin (or complaining about those pesky five pounds they have to shed by June or the upcoming reunion). Fat folk, I think, make a conscious effort not to group themselves together.

Do we think we become smaller by pairing up with a 5’4", 120 pound counter-part? Do we think that by being associated with the more acceptable portion of humanity our shameful sin is somehow mitigated? Are our choices of who we become friends with limited by the gene pool which seems to favor those not challenged by obesity? It’s a little of all those things, but I have a confession to make. Fat people don’t like other fat people.

I’m not certain as to all of the specifics for why that is, but I believe it to be true. We who so desperately want to be seen for who we are and not how we look, are just as judgmental as those who we are tormented by.

Were an obese man to call me and ask me out, I am fairly certain that unless it was clear that there was never going to be an intimacy issue, I would kindly decline. Would I then hang up the phone feeling his pain at having been denied solely because of his weight, or would I wonder why in god’s name he thought I’d ever go out with him? It’s never happened so I don’t have to wonder, but I don’t think I’d like the answer I’d be forced to give should the scenario arise.

As for fat girlfriends, first, as I mentioned, there aren’t that many out there to select as friends, or at least not in my world.

As an aside, I spent a summer in a mid-west state that will remain nameless and overall found myself to be one of the smallest women I encountered, all seemingly having chosen the smallest men possible to marry. Was it mandatory to be fat in that state? I did consider moving their, but the reason didn’t seem rationale enough to uproot myself.

Back to why we "full-figured gals" (if that term were to go away this second, my life would instantly improve, just on general principles) tend not to gather in flocks. I think one reason is that we tend to not want to see ourselves mirrored in others. I for one would much prefer to mirror my image in my small perfect friends. (I wonder what that says about why they have chosen to be my friend ... but that’s for another "I Wonder" chapter.)

I think the main reason for our not being together, is that when you are one of a kind in a group it is easier to block out reality, to convince yourself (and perhaps the world) that this is a temporary thing, a fixable thing, a "thing" that can at any time go away. By putting yourself in the midst of others with the same thing, you are almost saying this is an OK thing. Look at us – we’ve decided to be this way; it’s a choice and we’re flaunting it.

I wonder if anyone of normal size can understand the pathology, the psychology, the lexicology, the escapism (yes, we do escape behind our bulk – quite successfully, as a matter of fact) and the sheer logistics of being fat.

Ah, the logistics. We can scan a room in seconds to determine which chairs are too delicate for us to attempt, which are too small for us to fit into, which will give us enormous trouble (thereby drawing attention) to get out of. Walking into a diner, we can quickly determine if we "prefer" the counter by sizing up the booth space. If asked by a group of four to join them for a drive, a quick once over of the size of the vehicle will help cement the decision as to whether to join them, or to suddenly recall the important appointment forgotten until that moment.

I wonder why anorexia and bulimia are accepted as illnesses while obesity is simply seen as a choice some people have made. Believe me, this is not a choice I have made. Nor is it simply a simple case of not applying will power.
I have an amazing power of will when it comes to certain things, a strength of character. But not in this one area.

I wonder what thin people worry about on a daily basis, what their fixations and insecurities are. I wonder if I would be a different human being if I were thin. I wonder what richness being fat has brought to my life.

I know what areas of poverty it has presented.

Christmas 2010 Can Finally Be Put To Rest .....

Deconstruction has begun .... decorations coming down, cleared spots once again filled with the clutter of daily living. I was really quite pleased (and proud) with how things looked; I seem to have developed a bit of skill in being creative (multi-colored Christmas tree balls in glass vases looked somewhat elegant). My "tree" (hard to describe) looked good and Elizabeth (God child #3, in order of appearance in this blog, but not necessarily in order of appearance in my heart)took a picture of it and sent it to me - wish I had a clue as to how to add it to this blog. If I figure it out, I'll attach it later (probably to a blog celebrating the summer solstice but better late than never?).


Started the above yesterday and for some reason couldn't get into continuing with, or finishing, it. Truth be told, when I have nothing to stress about, I let depression take the place of stress. When getting ready for my two Christmases, I was up and down the stairs time after time, bringing decorations down, moving things upstairs to make room, going to the store numerous time to get what I'd forgotten the last time, setting the table, getting ready to make dinner, etc., etc., etc.

After the fact has been a whole different story. It took me two hours to get a cup of coffee made and all the decorations are packed up, but they remain downstairs. The 10 trips I made easily to bring everything down seem impossible to make going in the opposite direction.

Oh, well - I've got until Monday (before the stress begins once again by going back to work). Hopefully, I can accomplish something between now and then (5 and a half days should be sufficient).

I was scheduled to go to Foxwoods yesterday, staying through tomorrow. At the last minute I decided not to go because I really don't have the money to lose (which, let's face it, is the pretty much guaranteed result), especially if I want to do the two-week Alaska cruise in May. I know I did the right thing (ugh - the "grown up" thing) by not going, but I really wish I had.

Foxwoods (or any casino, I guess) is a dangerous place for someone who feels lonely, has an addictive personality and misses the highs and lows that used to make up her life, the life which is now a pretty straight line which most would say is a good thing. But for most of my life I was either soaring or crashing and while I don't really miss the terrible lows, I do miss the roller coaster ride, the excitement.

Foxwoods fills all the needs. You win big, you lose big. You are by no means alone, or if you are, you are alone with 1,000 other people who are also alone. Or you are one of a great group of like-minded people. There is no sense of time and your mind goes blank. My first trip to Foxwoods was two weeks after 9/11. For some reason, there was no one to hang out with that weekend and being alone, remembering and anticipating "what was next," seemed more than I could handle. That's when I learned that being caught up in gambling, combined with not sleeping, does shut your mind off. So, I'm missing the release that being there would have given me. Being an adult about things really sucks.

Are any of you (if there are any of you) bored with all of this yet? I would think you would be. I'm still trying to learn what blogging is all about. So far it feels like journaling which is a good thing, but doing it publicly is wierd. However, if it gets me fairly faithfully journaling then it is a good thing, personally at least.

Before I sign off for today, let me tell you about me and journaling. In my heart and mind I know it is one of the most important things you can do. It clears the mind, it resolves some issues, it retains memories and it's just a good exercise in trying to get past some issues, or to reach for some others. There is no young person in my life who I do not say "you must keep a journal," and I explain to them, rather well, I think, why it's so important.

My #3 god child (again only #3 for purposes of this blog) has always kept a journal, and her sister (they are both nieces and children of my heart) has always kept one, beginning with one she kept with her first boyfriend when they were in prep school together. As they grew older I envied them their journaling discipline, and almost on a daily basis I would resolve to begin tomorrow.

Since that time it is not an exageration to say that I have purchased or been gifted with more than 50 (possibly closer to 100) journals. In my head, I think I believed that if I just had the right journal, the journaling would begin. I have on occasion, for brief periods of time, kept a journal. On trips, I often do. And then, just from time to time, for no particular reason I do. I have on my shelves many journals with the first 30, 20 or 3 pages full ... followed by blank page after page.

While I was not journaling I would long for journals that could fill in gaps surrounding some of the most important times of my life. What would I give today for a journal of my time in Haiti - definitely the most important and wonderful time of my life. My eight years with Joe would make for extremely interesting and revealing reading. Giving up my daughter, losing my brother, moving to East Hampton to get married, breaking up in East Hampton, so much, much more. So many times and thoughts and feelings lost to memory. So sad.

The reality of the fact that for some reason I was never going to maintain an on-going journal was the day I purchased a book, "How to Keep a Journal." When I told that to my shrink, she just looked at me and said, "How could I not love you," which I took to be a "you're pathetic" comment.

But here I am blogging, which feels very much like journaling.

Going to make one of the first of many trips lugging things upstairs. I'd like to have that all done today.

If you're out there, thanks for sticking with me. If you're not, then thanks for this journaling opportunity.

Bye for now ...............

Sunday, December 26, 2010

I made it through another Christmas .....

Hi whoever you are --- It's the day after Christmas and other than a total meltdown for about an hour on Christmas Eve, I seem to have come through it in one piece.

Had a really nice Christmas Day with my friend and her family - laid back, cozy, two kids (9 and 6) making a mess, Sex and the City Part II, good food --- very nice.

But I got home around 10:30 to a voice mail message from one of the three God children who were coming here for Christmas today. "Did you hear about the blizzart, the Nor'easter that's going to hit tomorrow afternoon? I don't think it's going to be drivable weather. Can we maybe do it earlier in the day, so long as I can leave while it's still daylight."

Well, I thought about the fondue (cheese and chocolate) dinner I had planned, all the decorations which really look best at night, and how brief a time it would be with him and his sister (two of the three God chidren) --- another meltdown. This was the Christmas I was counting on - the day that would get me through all the previous ones. And now Mother Nature was going to ruin it? Stamped my feet and held my breath for a few minutss and then decided to try to be adult about things.

Let me digress for a minute - my first reaction to his message was that he was using the storm to lessen or limit the amount of time he (and his sister) would have to spend with me. It took me a while to realize that I was putting my motives on him because that's exactly what I used to do when I was living in NYC. The day before Thanksgiving I'd pray for severe weather so I wouldn't have to go home for Thanksgiving - both because I didn't particularly want to and because I loved loved loved goint to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. Going home for Christmas was harder to get out of, regardless of weather, and I never did spend a Christmas anywhere by home until the last of "home" passed away (my mother in '86).
But many Thanksgivings found me happily staying in the city, eating with friends and hanging out at the Tap-A-Keg (our favorite home away from home on 76th and Columbus). It was Cheers long before there was a Cheers. Almost everything we did included the Tap-A-Keg. Either meeting there to go somewhere else, of capping off an evening of being somewhere else, or not going anywhere, just staying there ... Bored? Let's to to the Tap. Happy? Let's go to the Tap. Sad? Come on, let's go to the Tap, that'll cheer you up. Celebration? Well, what else? Let's celebrate at the Tap.

Boy, did I digress. Getting back onto point.

Spenser and I did a bit of calling back and forth, with him checking in with his sister (Kelley) and moved our Christmas to tomorrow night. Once I knew what the two of them were doing and stopped having a temper tantrum about a snow storm, I called Elizabeth (God child #3, actually my first born God child, but #3 for purposes of this posting) to see if she could do tomorrow night. Unfortunately, no. But she wanted to do tonight (until I told her about the coming deluge about which she had not heard a word). So, she came over around Noon and we had a lovely day. She left about 5pm to beat the storm.

Now - about this storm. It danged well better be a biggie. It seems to be coming in weaker than the "warnings" all over the TV. I want to see at least 10" when I wake up tomorrow morning.

My worst fear right now is that it is coming slower than expected and will hamper travel tomorrow night. Then I swear I will become violent. Don't know quite how to inflict pain upon Mother Nature, but believe me I'll think of a way.

As things are right now, it's a bit sad I won't have all 3 tomorrow, but having a lovely day with Elizabeth today and then Spenser and Kelley tomorrow night did spread things out a bit for me. And if there are weather problems tomorrow everning I'm going to the nearest skating rink, hijacking a Zamboni and going to get them.

I hope that all of you who celebrate Christmas had a wonderful one - for others I hope your Channukah was warm and cozy, your Kwanza everything that you wanted it to be and that any other celebratory activities brought you comfort and happiness.

Talk to whoever of you who is out there soon.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Still talking to myself ...

Got all excited for a minute - saw that I had two followers. Wow. Getting popular. So I went to see who had joined my one follower - turns out it was me. Somehow at some point when I was trying to figure things out I added myself as a follower of my own blog. Well, if i can't expect myself to follow myself don't see how I can expect it of anyone else.

Car update - seems that the problem with the car may not be as serious as first thought. In any case, I did advise them of the potential problem and they said they were fine with it. Hopefully any fix needed at some point will be a whole heck of a lot less than $1,500.

Now - here we are on the eve of Christmas Eve. The hardest night of the year for me. Too many memories of people no longer here ... no real family left. Christmas Day has never been a big deal for me, but Christmas Eve is a killer. Following the European tradition, we always celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve. Candles on the tree. Yes, candles. And, NO, not dangerous. There was always a pail of water right next to the tree and the rule was that there always HAD to be someone in the room whenever the candles were lit. Year after year I'd hear about fires caused by lights, but we never had a fire. And gifts were exchanged on Christmas Eve. And my beloved grandmother made it all so beautiful. She would disappear into the Christmas room and at some point a small bell would wring (I still have the bell). That meant we could now enter. Silent Night would be playing and my grandfather, and later my brother, would light the candles. To this day I cannot listen to Silent Night without totally losing it.

I love the buying, I love the giving, I tolerate the wrapping, but the actual days of Christmas not so much.

Saving grace this year is the day after Christmas, my three god children are coming over for dinner and gifts and love. They are 20, 21 and 42 and the true loves of my life. Been decorating the house just for that one evening, but it's been kind of fun. No tree and that makes it harder. When you have a tree it sort of doesn't matter how much else is decorated as the tree makes the statement and is hard to miss. But I've got things looking pretty nice, I think. The only thing really missing is the smell of the tree. I miss that.

So, rather than get any more emotional, I'll bid you all (?) a good night, the Merriest of Christmases and I'm sure I'll be back before it's time to wish you a Happy New Year.

Ta ta for now.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Starting to figure things out .....

Starting right out, I wonder how much harder this would be without the help I'm getting from David and Roberto. Thanks to both of you. I'm still a bit confused about the logistics of it, etc., but at least I was able to get in this evening to post another .... another what? Is it an entry? Is it a blog? The whole thing is a blog, so entering something into it wouldn't be called a blog. A post?

Roberto brought up something that is one of my pet peeves. I know he was trying to make me "grow up" and was being helpful when he suggested that I use the help manual, but ......

The problem I have with help manuals is that they are written by individuals so familiar with what they're writing about that they forget it is novices that are reading what they wrote. My company has a tech division and when we were smaller and less "corporate" whenever they developed something and had a manual for users, we would make the least computer literate of us (believe it or not it usually wasn't me) follow the manual step by step and see what happened. Invariably, there were steps missing, or language so confusing or technical so as not to be follow-able. I think that was an excellent way to handle the issue and I wish every manual creater would have an idiot try to see if it was written in such a way as to be helpful.

Granted, I have not yet used the manual for this blog so I may be jumping to conclusions - but I'm much more of a learn by doing person than learn by reading. So, bear with me, Roberto ... I'll try not to ask too many questions.

Well, tomorrow is "pick up the new car and pass the old car on day." And, I have a dilemma.

I told the old car for a scheduled service call today - wanted to hand it off in as good shape as possible. The mechanic cais that there was something (a gasket) that was getting ready to "fail" and when it did it would be $1,500 to repair. He said it could go in a week, a month or 6 months. So, now I'm faced with handing over a car to folks who have no money to get the truck they have fixed which might cost them $1,500 in a very short time. Merry Christmas. I know you need a car so I thought I'd make your life easier, at least for a week or two.

Everyone tells me I have no obligation to pay for it if, and when, whatever it is happens - and I know I have no "obligation," but I feel that the whole idea of the gift becomes worthless if I don't. So now what I'm looking at is a gift that has already cost me about $5,000/$6,000 in lost trade-in (which I was more than happy to forego) and which will shortly cost me another $1,500.

Proves the old maxim - No Good Deed Ever Goes Unpunished.

Good night for now, whoever you are out there.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

New Degree of "Impulse Shopping"

Hello - anyone out there? Still feels strange writing to the vast void, but also kind of fun. I do already have one "follower" and I'm curious to know how he found this, why he found it and, basically, how it all works. I don't follow any blogs other than my niece's - a brilliant artist, a gorgeous human being <- in case anyone's interested.

Anyway - impulse shopping. I admit to being an impulse buyer but it's generally relatively small items. Today, i purchased a 2009 Subaru Forrester pretty much on impulse. 48 hours ago I was content with the Forrester I have (had), a 1999 with only about 50,000 miles on it. As far as I knew, my plan was to drive it into the ground. It's fully paid for and costs very little to maintain. But the urge hit on Thursday and by 3pm today I had fully financed the new one (built in GPS and a sun roof so big it's almost like a convertible). I'm happy about the car but even happier about what's going to happen to the old one.

I have some neighbors who are salt of the earth people, with very little money. There are four of them and at this point they have half a working vehicle, on its last legs. I have been letting them borrow my car when I'm out of town (they drive me to the airport and pick me up) and when they need it for a doctor's appointment or something. The minute I knew I was approved to buy the new car I knew that I would be giving them the old one. I went next door and asked them to give me $5 and while they were puzzled and looked at me strangely they gave it to me and I said "You've just bought a car." There were tears and hugs. It was nice. It really is sort of a selfish thing to do something like that because it makes you feel so good. It's probably the best Christmas present I've ever given.

So what is it I'm wondering right about now?

I'm wondering how the Subaru salesman could have gotten what he called a "triple A" credit rating on me. I guess no one knows how much behond my means I live on a daily basis. Do they not know the embarassing number of credit cards I have? Clearly no one knows about my forays (unsuccessful forays) to Foxwoods.

I'm wondering how long it will be before I get a scratch on the new car. It's sort of like the theory I have about new parents making a point to drop the baby as soon as possible after they bring him/her home. That way they get the terror of doing it out of their system and will probably never do it again. Sort of the same thing - should I run it up against the side of the garage the first time I pull in? Ot do I just live in fear of when it happens - as we all know it will happen.

Well, I don't pick it up until Friday so we know it was stay in pristine condition at least until then.

And I wonder if I will keep it clean (no ashes or crumbs) and not use it as a spare closet. I know that is my plan, but .......

That's it for now.

Good night to whoever's out ther. Been fun talking to you.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Do I know what I'm doing here?

First, let me be clear.

I am of an age that I don't just remember, but I remember (and miss SOME of the following) ..... typewriters
carbon paper
rotary phones
TVs that remained on the same channel all night because no one wanted to cross the room to change it
albums, 45s and LPs
the summer of love
the Beatles arrival in NYC
Woodstock (never got closer than about 50 miles away)
Timothy Leary
Elvis, The Everly Brothers and Buddy Holly
The moon landing
Castro coming to NYC and staying at the Theresa Hotel in Harlem rather than the Waldorf
and so on ---

Don't want to bore you with things I remember which are probably things you've never heard of or which are only something you know about from Jeopardy or Trivial Pursuit.

Interesting thing about a blog - I just found myself saying "you" three times in the above sentence.

Is there a "you" reading this? Isn't that what blogs are all about. Or am I really just talking to myself.

Clearly from the list of things above you (there I go again) will realize that I am not of the generation born to blogs, twitters, tweets, text messages, etc. But a blog seemed like something I could handle, even though I don't really know how they work in terms of "connecting" with people. I guess I'll find out if this does connect and if it does I'll learn how it works.

Don't know the etiquette for a first blog posting, but probably old manners work well here, too --- be short and sweet and to the point.

Let me know if "you" are there. I guess I'll write some more over the weekend (to get to the explanation for the title of this blog, "What if, I Wonder and Peeves."