838. The Sweet Sister

Ya know how everyone in a family has a descriptive tag that follows them through life, maybe only in the family?

Well I’m one of four sisters. In order of age, Iris was the smart sister, Phyllis was the pretty sister, Marcia was the sweet sister, and, since nothing jumped out when they labeled me, I was the baby.

sisters

Marcia was six years older than me and I became her responsibility. Not only because my mother was playing cards a lot but also because my mother was a little scary. Marcia, the sweet sister, was the one I clung to.

me and marcia little

Even as a kid I knew her sweetness could be used as a weapon. We slept in the same room in twin beds but that wasn’t close enough for me. I wanted to sleep in the bed with her.

Every night would start out with me asking to get in her bed and her saying no. I’d beg, “please please please etc” until she’d pick up her covers and I’d jump in.

Sometimes she’d hold out so I had to take out the big guns. I would lie on top of my blankets and shiver. Most people would just ignore me because all I had to do to stop shivering was get under the covers.

That certainly wouldn’t have worked with the pretty sister and the smart sister but they were already teen agers and mostly ignored me and Marcia who was way too sweet to let me shiver the night away.

Marcia always took care of me, mostly willingly. She’d buy me easter baskets and hide them, a strange thing for a jewish family that had a kosher home but my mother never noticed.

She was also responsible for my Christmas.

One year I begged her to show me what she got me for Christmas.  She didn’t want to but see the bed thing above.

She told me it would ruin the surprise. I insisted that it wouldn’t so she stood at the top of the stairs and showed me the twin dolls that she bought me.

Naturally I told her that now that I had nothing to look forward to we might as well forget the holiday all together.

When she was in high school she had a boyfriend, Bob. Or rather we had a boyfriend Bob since she had to take me on most of her dates. On Fridays we’d go to a drive in. I particularly liked that. Poor Bob thought I’d accept sitting in the back seat but as I explained to him, and Marcia backed me up, I wouldn’t enjoy the movie if I had to stretch my neck to see over them.

I’m thinking now as I look back at all this (and it’s only the tip of the iceberg) I might well be labeled the bitch sister.

I adored Marcia. I still count as one of the worst days of my life when Marcia went away to college. I cried for days.

Well today is the sweet sister’s birthday. I love her and owe her so much. More than I can ever repay.

Happy Birthday Sweet Sister.

 

I

837. I’m having a good day

Ray is ecstatic. My sister Marcia is visiting . He’s so in love with her that he follows her all over the house.

Follow Mar.

nag narc(If you notice my sister is wearing wool socks in my house because the terrace door is open and she’s freezing.)

I will admit that he’s guilty of acting out and showing off around her.

be bad

I’m having fun too. but I know how to behave when there’s company. I entertain.

All last night we watched the video over and over of Paul Simon  singing “Late In The Evening” with Steve Gadd playing great and looking hot and the sweet smile of the late Richard Tee bringing tears to my eyes. The joy they all had playing together was great to see.

I guess I have to thank my ex husband dave. Without him I wouldn’t know all these wonderful musicians, some of whom still talk to me.

I was lucky to be around to witness so many beautiful musical moments. For example, in the 70’s dave’s band played at The Five Spot which was the quintessential jazz club of the time. Musicians from all over town would come to see them.

One night I was sitting with the band during a break when one of them noticed a pretty girl cello player. She was sitting with some friends and she happened to have her legs spread apart while she was talking to them.

The sax player in dave’s band looked over and mumbled thoughtfully, “So that’s what it looks like without the cello.”

Maybe that doesn’t count as a major musical moment but who am I?  Tolstoy?

836. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar

I was on my computer today voting on the TMZ Poll, as I do most mornings, trying, as the people say, to make my vote count.

For example, to the question “Who was better off, Mariah or Nick?”, I didn’t just pick the one I liked better but I really weighed the two.

Mariah would always be successful but Nick got much further in show business by being married to Mariah so I had to pick Nick.

And whether Bieber and Selena were a good match or should move on? A no brainer, move on.

I think it was the self satisfied feeling I got in completing the poll that made me stop and think.

I might be dumb.

All my life the people close to me have always said that they couldn’t believe the TV shows I watch and the books I read because I’m so smart.

My friend Liz, at her own expense, put a smart people’s book on my Kindle because she was convinced that once I got a taste of something of quality I’d realize that I’m wasting my time reading mysteries and People magazine.

I read the book, well half of it, because I was bored shitless.

And David suggested that I watch “TheRoosevelts” because…. I don’t know why. He’s always calling me a half wit so I really should have left him out of this.

(I actually did watch the part about Eleanor but when they moved on to the rest of the family I quickly changed the channel to “Mob Wives” to ‘clean my palate’.)

Anyway I’ve always accepted the smart label because who wouldn’t?

But when the facts are examined, I never did that well in school, I certainly didn’t make much of myself. I don’t watch “Love and Hip Hop” ironically. I really get steamed at those people.

It’s hard to reevaluate your life at 71. To realize that you aren’t the person you always thought you were takes some real deep thinking.

Fortunately I’m too dumb for that so I’ll just shrug my shoulders and see what’s on “Gossip Cop”

835. Marie Curie got nuthin on me

I’m a bit of a scientist.

I leave my terrace door open every night because I don’t want my dog to have one moment of discomfort. If he has to “you know what” while I’m sleeping I want him to be able to do it.

But since it’s been really cold, 10 degrees,  don’t ask how cold my apartment is, I started thinking.

What if he sleeps through the night and I’m freezing my ass off for nothing? Hence my experiment.

I closed the terrace door. Ray and I went to bed at our usual time. But I kept waking up every few hours to see if he left the room. Nope he didn’t.

in bed

 

 

That is until at 4 a.m. He crawled out from under the covers, stretched and jumped off the bed.

I quietly followed him. He slowly walked into the living room and stood in front of the closed door with a puzzled look on his face.

puzzled 1

I ran over and opened the door and he went out, did his business and came back. He also paused at his empty bowl so I put some food in it. He ate and we went back to bed and slept til 8.

I could have waited another night because there were clues left that would have permitted me a decent night’s sleep

footsteps

 

Oh yes and

Je Suis Charlie

834. No Birthday Blues for me

Today is my birthday and I’m really happy.

The celebrating started last night when David called and asked me to come over.

When I got there his apartment was all decorated with balloons and a Happy Birthday Mattie banner across the living room. A lovely pie with candles was on the table because he knows I love pie.

Either that or we were sitting there and he was showing me a chart that he and some of the dopes in his office had made explaining graphically why my family is nuts when I said “Tomorrow’s my birthday”

“It is?”

“Yep”

“Okay let’s send out. Dinner’s on me”

See? He’s not all bad.

Then we rented a movie, again on his dime, “The Equalizer”. He’d already seen it but he wanted to rewatch Denzel kill people with hand tools.

A perfect evening.

Today is starting out great too.

I had some presents to open that my nieces and nephews sent me.

I must give special mention to a magic cup that Steph and Laura gave me. It looks like a night scene in the woods but when you put something hot in it the woods come to life.

Before:

cup1

After:

cup2

I have a wonderful day planned.

First I am going to my Shrink because I’m out of crazy pills.

Then home to hug my dog and play with my garbage can.

Then wine and cheese from Oregon.

THEN a fancy dinner with Julie and her sweet boyfriend Dan. We’re going to a restaurant that I’ve always wanted to go to.

I’m going to put curlers in my hair for this. I want to look extra nice.

I’m thinking a flip will turn heads.

833. My New Year’s Resolution for 2015; Ditto

The new year has begun.

David is back from Santa Fe so I have a drinking buddy again.

He emailed me yesterday from Liz’ house to ask me to tape a football game for him. When I looked at his DVR it was 80% full. I was worried that the game wouldn’t tape so I called him to ask if I should cancel some of the 1950 shit that he has taped. I kid you not, “Rawhide” was one of them and probably the most recent.

His response, “Just mind your own business and tape what I tell you to tape. Leave the rest of it alone.”

Unfortunately he was on speaker phone and my sister Marcia was in the room. Like she doesn’t hate him enough for calling her an idiot for being against fracking. Oh yeah and the racial and religious bigotry doesn’t exactly endear him to her either.

Even Liz screaming at him in the background “She’s doing you a favor, stupid” didn’t help.

I am her baby sister after all. I think I actually saw smoke coming out of her ears.

I didn’t think anything of it myself because he’s never really nice but he has one very useful trait. He truly doesn’t give a shit what I write about him in my blog.

But maybe I should insist that he start treating me with respect or he can just find someone else to pick up his mail and rifle through his private papers when he travels.

832. The Country Mouse and the City Mouse

Well New Years Eve wasn’t exactly the way I planned.

I was counting on going to Montauk to bring 2015 in with Susan and Allan. It wasn’t to be.

My niece Laura had an operation on her foot that turned out to be more painful than she expected. I just wanted to hold her.

Stephanie picked her up and brought her to her house so that I could go up and rub her head. She likes that.

She said that next to her mother, my sister Iris, I was the second best head rubber in the world.

In spite of her delicate condition I was forced to remind her that her mother being dead pushes me up a notch. She couldn’t disagree.

Anyway the day before New Year’s Eve I packed up my suitcase and my dog and left for Newtown Ct. I was staying the night.

It’s an hour and a half ride with no traffic made extra enjoyable by Ray sobbing and looking out the window the whole time. My Montauk house is 3 hours away, again with no traffic, that will surely be a trip from hell.

Once we got there it was great. Raymond truly enjoys most of his cousins. The 2 cats and 2 dogs are favorites.

Here he is with Lucy.

lucy and rayBut the horses and donkeys piss him off no end. He screams at them whenever they look his way.

barking at horseIt was a nice change of pace for him but he’s a city dog at heart. While his cousin Theo watched for trespassers he anxiously wished that someone there recognized that when lunch is late he just isn’t himself.

lunch

After a lovely run in the woods Ray and I returned to the City for New Years Eve. And yes he cried all the way home.

I brought in the New Year with Julie’s boyfriend since she was still visiting her parents. I really had fun with him.

Ray would have joined us but he refused to get out of bed. I think I heard him mumbling something like “Why would anyone want to live so far from a McDonald’s ???”

asleep

831. A Christmas Story that only Jews will understand

I like my chicken well done. Any sign of pink and I get the dry heaves.

When I go to any restaurant I always ask for my chicken burnt. They try but it’s rarely as well done as I’d like.

Some people are irritated by this. My nephew Terry, Stephanie’s husband, has requested that I don’t order chicken when I’m with him and since he almost always pays I’m more that happy to oblige.

There is one restaurant that gets it. It’s the indian restaurant on my block. I’ve been going there for years and  I even have them cater my Thanksgiving dinner (except for this year which was a mistake).

After a brief trial and error they finally made chicken exactly how I like it even though they are mystified by it.

One time the chef came out to see if I was actually going to eat it.

Last night Julie and I and Susan and Allan and their daughter Nicole went there for dinner. There was a new Maitre d’ who took our order so I told him that I want my chicken very well done.

When he came back to the table he said  “The chef says he knows the way you like your chicken”.

“Flattering” I thought.

Then  my chicken comes. It is so burnt that I could light it and cook a hot dog on it. It was a bunch of little black lumps. No there was no pink on it but was also no beige.

Now I’m in a quandry. They made it the way I’ve always requested it. So they went a little overboard. Can I tell them to dial it back a bit?

I’ll answer that for you.

NO!

In the spirit of the season I will still eat in this restaurant and order chicken.

Isn’t that what Christmas is all about? I may not be one of you but if I’ve learned anything in my 70 years it’s how to horn in on other people’s stuff. Oh yeah and that looking a gift horse in the mouth thing.

Now a seasonal present for all of you to thank you for reading my blog.

A picture of Ray and his brother Mickey

M&R

And a picture of my niece Stephanie’s horse and his cat.

cat horse

830. Why can’t we all come together? Why can’t we have food AND drinks at our parties?

Last night was David’s office party.

I actually wasn’t going to go because I hate talking to strangers. I only said I was going to annoy David.

I was peacefully watching a rerun of Love and Hip Hop Hollywood when David called. It seems that one of his guests wanted to meet me because David reads him all the disgusting things I write about him in my blog. NOTE: He’s proud of that stuff I say about him, go figure.

So I wiped the tomato sauce off the front of my sweater (from yesterday) and went over.

I remember that my mother always had stains on her blouses towards the end of the day. Maybe it isn’t wrinkles that show that you’re old but the fact that you don’t notice when your food flies out of your mouth. (Must tell AARP. Sounds like they ought to check this out)

Naturally Ray was ecstatic. He twirled all the way down the hall.

When I got there only David and this 23 year old kid were present. I’ve heard about the kid. David says he never even asks for the last names of the girls he sleeps with. No big deal to me. Unless he intends to monogram a sweater for them he doesn’t need to know it and cute as he is I’ll bet they pass on his last name too.

I grew up in the sixties. These kids got nothing on me.

Shortly after I arrived the others started drifting in. There were about 5 or 6 men and one woman. all of them quite nice.

I sat there thinking that this was not like any cocktail party I had ever been to and I finally realized why. It was all cocktails and very little food. David always has the best wines and liquor though.

Plus what measly food there was was at the other side of the room so people had to get up from where they were sitting to get a snack.

David had put about 4 or 5 lumps of cheese and a little salami (I do mean a little salami) and crackers on the dining room table. The salami went in the first 5 minutes.

You can take your WASP parties and shove them up your ass. These people were coming straight from work. They weren’t expecting dinner but puleeze. I decided to Jew the place up a little.

I got smaller plates and separated the cheese and crackers and spread them around the room. Then I  went into the kitchen and got some nuts and put them out. I also got a bowl of popcorn from my house.

They gobbled that shit up.

Everyone was having a good time. David brought out his hatchet to show his friends. Surprisingly they were intrigued. They also amused themselves by testing the young kid about how little he knows about the world which brought to mind the old joke from the eighties about a kid telling his friends that he had just found out that Paul McCartney played in a band before Wings.

I whispered a question to David, “Are you going to want to go out to eat when everyone leaves?”

He looked at me like I was crazy and glanced at his glass. And then I realized that the real difference between WASPS and Jews is the way they feel about food.

Unless I’m projectile vomiting I want dinner whereas David can get by on snacks and booze and be quite happy.

And I always thought the only difference between David and me was that I’m a saint and he’s a right wing stupid gun loving racist.

829. You can’t always get what you wa-ant…..But if you try sometime….

Whenever I go to Costco I am attracted to those Giant stuffed animals. I always pick them up and hug them. I put them back though because, well, I’m seventy.

A few weeks ago I was there with my sister when I saw a big bin filled with person sized Mickey and Minnie Mouses. I mean they were great. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about them.

A few nights ago I was at David’s house, having cocktails, as you might have guessed, and I mentioned them to him.

“It’s a shame I’m so old because I still want toys. I love dolls and stuffed animals but I never actually wished I could purchase one until I saw those giant Mickeys and Minnies.”

David didn’t look away from the TV where he was watching “Rawhide” or something like it. He just said “Why didn’t you buy one?”

I was surprised at this.

“What would I do with it? Where would I put it?”

“You could just sit it in your living room on the couch or in a chair.”

“My living room is kind of formal. It would look silly.”

“It’s your house. You can put whatever you want in it. You live alone. Who do you have to impress?”

I wasn’t used to his being so encouraging. I gave it some thought. Then I felt a rush of happiness come over me.

“I’m getting one, maybe Mickey, maybe Minnie. At first I was sure I’d get Minnie because I’m a girl but, as I explained to David “If I get Mickey I can dance with him.” This brought me back to my childhood when my mother would let me dance with a raw turkey before she cooked it.

I have to admit that for the next few days I got glad any time I thought of it.

Then last night my bell rang at about 9:30 p.m. It was my super, his wife and his two children. They had a Christmas gift for me.

I had mentioned at the building Christmas party that as a new alcoholic I was really enjoying my vodka. Their gift was a bottle of Grey Goose. Tres snooty.

Their little boy, Christopher was so excited to be giving a present that he wanted to say something nice so he yelled “I miss you”. I guess that was the nicest thing he could think of saying.

I assured both kids that their gifts would be coming soon.

Lightbulb! I realized that I could kill two birds with one stone (I just realized what a disgusting saying that is).

This morning I rushed off to Costco to get presents for the kids and Mickey for me. I could barely contain my excitement.

But when I got there not only didn’t they have Mickey any more, they didn’t even have the giant bears which would have been second best but acceptable.

I got presents for my super’s kids and went home.

When I got in the car I called David. “There were no Mickeys or Minnies” I was really feeling low.

“So what.”

“You said it was a good idea. Were you just saying that to goof on me?”

“Of course I was, although I never thought that you’d take me seriously. How stupid would you have to be to buy a giant Mickey Mouse at your age?”

“Kinda stupid I guess”

(That’s what I said but what I was thinking was “Fuck you you fucking fuck. I’m getting me a giant soft stuffed  animal and I’m going to hug it and dance with it and you can shut your fat pie face”)