Monthly Archives: December 2008

“The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”

I am not perfect.  Never has this fact become more clear to more people than it has this month.  It could have been worse, I suppose, and yet … well, see for yourself:

1. I didn’t invite a handful of people to “The Noodle’s” birthday party, who probably should have been invited.

2. I have also allowed myself to be offended and affected by another person’s bleak and bitter opinion of a Christmas card. (I really want to write more about this, but will spare you tonight… perhaps another day…)

3. And to top it all off, I somehow have managed to (unintentionally) exclude one of the people that mean the most – on Christmas day (of all times).  Also, I still have not finished (and therefore not sent out) our family’s Christmas cards.

This is but a small sampling of my failings this year, but I think you get the point.  Now, in my defense, I have been running myself ragged all month, and until yesterday, have not been getting to bed until sometime after midnight.  I managed to single-handedly organize 2 birthday parties for “the Noodle” (one for his classmates & one for our family), do all the holiday baking to give to the neighbors, friends, family, help with “The Noodle’s” school Christmas party, accomplish all of the Christmas, Channukah and birthday decorating, do all of the gift shopping for our collective family and friends (and do all the wrapping), figure out how to work “the Noodle’s” birthday, Holiday parties, Channukah, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (we’re a mixed family, so we do both), got part 1 of a root canal, and still got the normal day to day tasks taken care of (rehearsals, gig, lessons, laundry, meals, etc) – even if it did mean that the kids watched too much television.  Small consolation, I am sure to the person I love who spent Christmas day by herself.  The thing is that this person is Jewish, and I thought, only kinda celebrated Christmas because I celebrated it.  Little did I know that it was her favorite holiday.  I feel terrible.  All I really needed to do was make a couple of extra phone calls – or make a decision and just tell everyone what was happening (that this person was going to come to my parents’ house on Christmas)… but that still required phone calls, which I only found myself remembering I needed to make after 11pm each night, which was too late for everyone.  Really, it all boils down to the fact that I simply wasn’t organized enough… or that I need an assistant… or that root canals & changes of dentists should only be attempted after the holidays… take your pick.

I guess my one saving grace is that I really was just trying to make everyone happy (probably too hard, and too many people), and I do have the best of intentions.   But, as some of you may remember, my dad always says “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”.  I guess that ol’ devil is putting in another mile marker right about now.

(Ok, I was going to leave it like this, but I just can’t.  I have to leave tonight on a brighter note: it’s part of my psychosis.  The bright side to this holiday season was that the “Noodle” only fully appreciated the magic and wonder of Santa Claus this year & it added such a beautiful innocence to the season.  I have more to write on that too, but am so tired, I may fall asleep on the keyboard.  Anyway, “Merry Christmas to all (who celebrate it – see line item #2), and to all a good night”. )

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The Past

I have noticed an interesting phenomenon recently.  It seems that my past (the entire thing from grade school to college to those years between then and now) has been catching up with me.  This is something that, at first, made me nervous.  I found myself holding my breath, closing my eyes, then slowly peeking out of a little squinty slit at the email in my inbox.  I don’t know what it was that worried me.  I honestly can’t quite pinpoint it…unless,  it was just the idea that I might somehow be exposed.  Exposed as what – or for what – I really wasn’t sure.  I’ve been pretty open about my formative dorky years.  It wasn’t easy being among the nerdiest, but I think, I’ve managed to come out ok.  Then there’s always the embarrassing  – maybe compromising is a better word – college moments.   All in all, though, I think I at least showed a modicum of restraint.

So what was it that I was so worried about?  I’m thinking it can only be those relationships that have remained unresolved: the boy I had a crush on in high school, the boy everyone thought I had a crush on, the boy who I really wanted to be friends with but was afraid that everyone would think I had a crush on.  Then in college & after, the relationships that were kinda of like dating, but not really.  Then the actual dates.  Then the people that just weren’t called back (that’s really just wrong, I know, but I was immature – truly.  I didn’t think I was, but I was).

So what happens when ten or so years after college graduation, these people are magically brought back into my life?  Something interesting: there are no flirtations, or worries over hidden passions, or overt innuendo.  Most of us seem to have found the person we were meant to find, and are married, engaged, or fully aware and respectful of the marital status of those that are.   Gone are the fears of “what other people might think”, and these people are just there, as I had always hoped they would be.    I can safely ask how someone’s day is going, without that chorus of teenage whispers “She likes him.  You see how she just smiled??”  Or invite someone out to see my band without the “dude, she wants you”.    I can now honestly say to some of these people “you know, I’ve always wanted to be your friend.  I’m really glad to know you now.”  I can watch the lives of “old fames” unfold and become wonderful; and side by side enjoy watching our children grow up knowing each other.  The past seems to live where it does – in the past, where it matters little, but to serve as a point of reference, or as a well from which stories are drawn up and shared. It is truly a remarkable and wonderful place to be.  We are young enough to enjoy the company of one another, and share in a lifetime of joys and sorrows; and old enough to be secure in our relationships  so that this can be possible.

There are still a few chapters, though, that have been left open.  Good friends who I have let drift away for one reason or another- and one in particular, who I hope to reconnect with soon.  It is such a shame when intent is misunderstood by those around us.  Years are lost.  There are so many years ahead, though, and I look forward to each of them.

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“Happily Ever After …”

Yesterday, my husband & I celebrated 7 years of marriage. We had a really lovely, laid-back evening. Jeff came home with roses, and while I heated up some chicken nuggets, spiral mac & cheese, and broccoli for the kids, he read the card I made him, then we ordered truly decadent carry-out. The kids ate while Jeff picked up our dinner, and when he got home, we put on “The Backyardigans” for the Muffin & Noodle in the hopes that it would keep them entranced for a full 20 minutes while we ate. I should have figured that “the Muffin” would foil our efforts. So, while I ate, she tried feeding me every other bite and decided she needed to climb up & down off my chair (with me on it) until I was finished. Still, it was nice. The evening was actually a good representation of our marriage. Comfortable, laid-back, kind, welcoming. We shared two dishes – he picked one that he thought I’d like, and I picked one I thought he’d like. But the truly warming aspect of this is that I think it was subconscious. I found myself choosing something that I’d never usually pick (garlic noodles – you know it’s love if you later don’t mind the garlicky dinner), and he chose the Thai noodle. It wasn’t until today that I realized what had happened there, and I think it is why our life together is so wonderful and easy. We think about each other without even realizing we’ve done so. The act of putting ourselves in each other’s shoes has become second nature. If we are doing it intentionally, it’s never a bother and always uncomplicated.

Many people talk about how marriage is all about compromise – and maybe it is – but I don’t think it should feel that way. (It certainly doesn’t to me.)  Of course, no one is perfect, so I’m sure there are things that I do that aggravate my beautiful husband to no end; and there are things, too, that sometimes make me growl – but these things so rarely ever bother me, that they really are no issue. If there is a day that I’m growling, it’s usually has more to do with my own “malfunctions” than anything else – and I know it.

I realize I’m very lucky to have found the man I married seven years ago. I truly have been living with my greatest friend and ally… or partner in crime, depending on how you look at it… which reminds me: it’s time to help him lock up & turn in.

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