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Showing posts from 2015

Chronicles of a Paper Bag

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I sat there on that park bench and let the wind surround me. I didn't hold my hair away from my face like I  normally would have. Vanity suddenly didn't seem very important in that moment. I allowed my highlighted strands to cover my eyes and then eventually, nose. I was tired of resisting. It felt good to finally let go and allow something beyond my control engulf me for once. In between locks of hair, I saw a brown paper bag approaching me. It appeared to be stuck in its own wind tunnel, unaffected by the pattern of wind blowing everything else to the north. It was bobbing up and down as though it were dancing.

Most people see beautiful feathers or leaves prancing in the open air. I see a brown paper bag. Laughing to myself, I watched it maneuver over to the table of businessmen next to me and lean up against the empty chair across from them. I wondered where the paper bag had come from and where it had begun its journey. I imagined that it was trying to find its way home. P…

The Four Letter Word

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I once heard our family friend get his mouth washed out with soap. I remember wondering how it tasted. I quickly gathered not very good on account of all the gurgling, coughing and shouts of "but Mom!" My sisters and I never got our mouths washed out so this caused true intrigue among the three of us. That's not to say that I didn't sometimes have a potty mouth, being I was "the bad sister." I was just extra careful as to when I unleashed the hounds. I of course being the nosy Nelly that I was had to scope out the situation. I got as close to the bathroom door as I could and began to shout, "I'll save you!" through the door to Joey when my sister Kari put her hand over my mouth and ushered me away.

It had been a long day on the boat fishing with Mr. Johnson and our temperaments, and consequently mouths, were paying the price.  There was a competition at sea that day to see how many fish we could each catch. Being there was six of us kids, w…

A Light on the Field

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I went into my windmill motion, snapped my wrist and released the softball.

"Ball!" the umpire called.

This would be a much cooler start to my story if it had been a strike, but the honest to God's truth is that it was a ball. One more and I would have walked two batters.  Then, BAM, I was nailed square in the nose. Not by a line drive up the middle, but by a throw back from the umpire. Embarrassingly, me.

The umpire threw the ball back to me without making sure I was paying attention first. That's my version of the story at least. Needless to say, my nose bled like a faucet for nearly ten minutes. Before that night I was a fourth grader who dreamed of pitching in high school. After that night, I was a fourth grader who wanted to play a different position.

Fast forward to high school when I made the Junior Varsity softball team at Immaculate Heart Academy.  Call it luck, good karma, or the workings of a few sympathetic angels, anyway you slice it; I made the cut. IH…

Firecracker

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I walked into the boardroom just in time for the presentation to start. The Studio Director winked at me in relief while the Account Director, never missing a beat, introduced me to our potential new clients. Somewhere in between our handshakes and awkward small talk it hit me... I only had eyeliner on one eye. While this is seemingly better than say, having my fly open, it's not exactly a confidence booster before presenting to a group.

While my colleagues spoke, I discretely dug into my Mary Poppins bag of tricks for a mirror to at least assess the situation. Two pacifiers, a bib and a Fourth of July noise blower passed my line of vision before my index finger met the pointed edge of the baby nail clippers. I jerked forward just at the same time the Account Director passed the presentation my way, making me look over eager and slightly jittery.

I couldn't decide if the fact that they were a cosmetic company made it OK for me to have half  "my face" on. I mean if t…

Loser on First

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I can still feel the ground vibrating beneath my feet. The noise from the crowd echoed throughout the entire stadium and if I closed my eyes long enough an instant chill would fill my bones. It was electric. There were moments in that building where you could hear the person next to you gulp. Moments where every single eye was on home plate. Instances where the pitcher's mound served as a shrine. The old Yankee Stadium gave you a high that a drug couldn't possibly rebut.  A devoted plenty came to fill their hunger for competition every season. They were thirsty for perfection and they wanted something tangible to feed that craving.

Perfection is hard to obtain and even harder to maintain, especially if you wear pinstripes. To be a member of the New York Yankee organization, or for that matter any professional ball club, is not only an honor, but also a challenge of a lifetime. Could you imagine getting booed off the mound in one game and then celebrated a few weeks later by t…

Edwina Scissorhands

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I entered the kitchen, scratched my head and yelled, "Moooooom!"

When I didn't hear her immediate reply I shouted over the counter again, "Mooooom."

"Ok, Lungs, I hear ya. I'm not deaf," she popped up from the couch in the living room. My sisters and I had the habit of yelling for Mom before we even looked for her. I'm sure it was music to her ears.

"Get under the light," she ordered.

"It's still greasy," I whined. Mom ran her hand through my hair with a puzzled look on her face.

She rolled up her sleeves, "you must not have washed it correctly," put your head in the sink. I hesitated and went to protest...

"Hop to it," she interjected.

 My sister Kari came into the kitchen to steal another piece of Entenmann's Chocolate Chip Crumb Loaf Cake, it was her favorite and it in no way interfered with her perfect figure. "How many times have you washed your hair now?"

"Three," I g…

A Year in the Life of a Mother

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A year ago today a bedside full of love surrounded you while you listened to a video of your sweet granddaughter's laughter. We, your daughters, held your hands and assured you that it was ok to let go and finally move on. To finally get your wings. To finally be free.

I pictured Kari leaping through heaven's gates to meet you.  Our Kari finally with you. You finally with your first born. Kari couldn't enter a room without jumping through a doorway at home, so surely this had to be the way you were greeted. If a person is going to have an O.C.D., it should be this one.  It is happily endearing and makes neurosis look so damn cute.  The thought that my big sister and beloved mother were reuniting, coupled with the belief that Mom was seeing her parents, Grandma Kitty and Grandpa Jack again, made those first few days livable. That, and the fact that I would probably lose a little weight in the process.

Hey, a little vanity does a girl good. I would be lying if I didn't a…

Twenty or Nothin'

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I stood in front of the train tracks and watched the cat-sized rat sniff its way around the rails. It didn't exactly set the scene for a playful daydream, but I was feeling pretty euphoric that evening.  It was as though my favorite city read my mind because a guy across the tracks began to play, "When I Fall in Love" on his saxophone. Only in New York. I thought about my husband and daughter and began to wonder what it would be like when we had a second baby. I smiled at the thought of having a round belly again. No announcements here, folks. You just have to give it to life; its good at keeping you on your toes. It hasn't been an easy year without my mother, yet somehow I was still standing and still pretty damn happy with my little family of three. I quickly got in the mood for some Justin Timberlake. Because, when I get happy—I get dance happy.

I reached into my purse for my iPhone so I could jam out to my boyfriend when something caught my eye. There was a twen…