Happy Birthday Bodhisattvas!

 

 

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Last night we celebrated a double birthday dinner for my Best Friend in the World and my eldest, Frasier’s 24 years, a fact that fills me with such strong emotion that I am unsure how to carry it or how to process.

It’s such a cliché to hear so many mums lamenting throughout the years about how fast time goes and since this is one of the worst things that one can say to a new mother strung out on no sleep I can proudly say, that I have never said it myself – honestly – but the fact is? It’s the icy, shocking, can’t-believe-this-is-happening-to-ME truth. One minute I was running down the street with a forgotten lunch bag or volunteering on a school bus trip, breathing in the heady smell of little-kids’-feet and strawberry Chapstick for two hours and now here I am surrounded by colleagues and a Significant Other who are all quoting gloomy economic forecasts, consulting charts and obsessing about retirement. How did I allow this passing of time to happen without holding on to key moments more tightly than I did? When am I ever going to be pretty now? Why do my ankles suddenly swell for no good reason, lending that camel-feet look to every outfit? Will I soon begin cultivating an interest in supportive underwear? When exactly is my writing career going to take off in earnest– and how long can I keep kidding myself that this is even a thing? I mean how pretentious to even try, my inner voices accuse darkly, pointing out the futility of this very blog, as a feeble exercise in self-absorption. Oh and why is it only about shaved or regular slice at the deli counter now, when it used to be about looking up from under my lashes at the swarthy and romance-cover-worthy butcher?

Now the butcher seems to be only eleven and wants me to hurry up, already, between the stone-roast ham or the Black Forest. Continue reading

MadMen Allusions No Illusions

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No one has captured an era more effectively, more poignantly and frankly, more truthfully than the creators of ‘MadMen.’

I won’t make this into a thesis paper – even though I am tempted and could go on and on with psychological examples – but the way that the children are treated especially resonates with me.

Consider the following conversation circa 1965 between myself and my perfectly lovely mother.

ME: “When Daddy leaves the car running, I get really scared. I know you can’t drive and I worry that the car will drive away on its own. What would happen?”

MUM: (Lighting a cigarette and snapping open the newspaper) “Don’t talk daft. Now, are you peeling the carrots?”

You will notice the distinct absence of any heartfelt “When you say, I feel …” conversations, no one-on-one explanations and certainly no therapists were consulted.

And you know what? All I wanted was a practical answer like, “hell, we’d pull the car key out” or how about “I know where the hand brake is?” I continued to fret for YEARS about this and have since relegated it to some control issues I may have had as a child although really, truly, I just wanted to know if ANYONE knew where the brake was. It’s not that unreasonable! Continue reading