367 The Inside Girl

I have to admit that my ego has taken a beating what with getting dumped and all.  But time has helped and I was beginning to feel like my old self (a phrase that I will never again use) when two different people offered me a seat on the bus this week.

I’d like to say that it was courteous men that offered hoping to curry my favor but it was young women both times. I smiled a thank you and refused politely.

I spent the rest of the ride holding on to the pole trying to appear surefooted with a frozen expression on my face and in my heart.  What is it about me that I appeared so fragile that these girls would feel the need to give up their seats to me?

I’m sixty nine, not ninety. I dye my hair, a pleasing blonde, if I do say so myself.  True, I haven’t had any work done, no lift, fillers or botox but hell, this is New York, not Hollywood.

When I look in the mirror I don’t see my twenty five year old self but I don’t burst into tears either. Clearly I’m wrong. What does the world see that I don’t?

I remember visiting my grandmother when I was a teen ager. She was going through her closet pulling out colorful cotton dresses.

“See? I like bright colors. I don’t dress like an old lady.” Then she said almost to herself “Inside I’m still a young girl”.

Is it that inside girl that I’m seeing when I look in the mirror?

I’m not totally blind. On occasion I am surprised when I’m in a department store and I catch a reflection of an older woman picking up the same black sweater that I’m looking at only to realize that that woman is me. I admit that’s a shock but I usually put it down to shopping makes me tired and if I tweak my make up I’ll look better.


Not everyone feels the way I do. I was on the bus yesterday, seated thankfully, when the frazzled woman across from me with a bunch of packages and two weepy kids said

“Would you like a seat?” to a thin, older woman (I say older but she wasn’t much older than I am, she might even have been the same age or a little younger, and she was wearing sneakers which suggests athleticism in anyone’s book).

In a clear voice the woman answered “Yes I would, thank you”

And she watched the younger woman struggle to her feet trying very hard not to drop any of her parcels and plopped herself down with a true sense of entitlement.

If I had been the recipient of that woman’s kindness, obviously I would have refused it and I would have spent the remainder of the trip trying to keep my sobs from becoming an irritant to the other passengers.

366. Girls just want to have fun

I just got back from an overnight visit with Julie to Montauk.

She came with me to help me put the finishing touches on my house so it is in fine shape for the people who have rented it for the summer.

Our plan was to drive out, walk the dogs (Julie has 3) on our arrival, spend a few hours working at the house cleaning, look in some shops then go over for cocktails at my dear friend Susan and her husband Allan’s house. You all may know Allan as the drummer on the James Brown hit, “Funky President”.  We’d wind the day up after 15 or 20 minutes having cocktails by then going out to dinner.

Except for the house cleaning we kept pretty much to our schedule. Unfortunately eliminating that sped up the cocktail hour and it went from 15 minutes to three hours.

The time went by very quickly. Before you could say “Jack Rabbit” or something with less consonants, three bottles of wine were history and Julie was giving Susan make up tips for her to pass on to her daughter Daisy, who does Martha Stewart’s make up.

Tip #1:  Why put on make up when you just have to wash it off 8 hours later?

I know she felt very strongly about this because she was saying it very loud and appreciated that Susan and I were trying hard to translate it into Russian for our friends in Something-vlad.

We had dinner and went home. Julie was afraid to sleep in the guest room alone so she and her dogs slept with me. It was actually very nice having the dogs in bed. Two of them lick your feet and ankles until you either fall asleep or shove them away. It was almost like an expensive spa massage if during the massage, the masseuse farts and snorts.


We woke up the next morning and picked up Susan for breakfast.

There are a lot of places to eat breakfast in Montauk. There’s John’s Pancake House for those who have just given up. Then there’s Joni’s, a terrific restaurant for people who like you to think they eat healthy without having to suffer even the tiniest bit. You might bump into Ralph Lauren or Aida Turturro here.  Then there’s the health food place where they don’t kid around. Muffins like dust and a bunch of stuff that looks nothing like it’s name.

Since I have known Susan she’s been trying to get me to eat things that really and truly taste like  poison while closing one eye in a pseudo wink and telling me how delicious it is.  She has actually described something made out of turnips as “heavenly”.

I keep saying “Susan, a hot fudge sundae is heavenly. A turnip is good for you”

It just goes to show how very much Julie and I wanted to be with Susan  because just to lure her we chose the health food place over Joni’s, our way preferred choice.

Sue didn’t disappoint when she ordered. She had a kale, spinach, any green crap you have lying around and one carrot juice.

Julie had granola and fruit and a muffin. She told me later that the owner of the restaurant should be jailed for daring to call that a muffin.

I had something that sounded like an egg McMuffin with nothing McMuffiny about it.

Susan offered us both a sip of her juice. Julie said that only the addition of eel would make it more disgusting than it looked.

It may not sound it but both Julie and I agreed that it was the best weekend we’ve had in a long time.

365. Divorce, Bronx style

How has divorce, well my coming divorce, changed me?

One way is that I never think of marriages as permanent any more. Sorry Kim, the chances of you growing old with Kanye? Almost nil.

If I knew then what I know now would I have married dave? There were times while I was married that I wondered if I would have been better off marrying a Jewish guy and living in the suburbs with kids.

While I was dating dave my mother gave my number to the son of one of her friends and I went out with him. I never defied my mother until I actually married dave.

He was nice looking, funny and familiar. We both really liked each other and had it been a different time we would have continued dating. I had to tell him that unfortunately I was seeing someone that I was pretty sure I was in love with.

He understood why I went out with him anyway since his mother had made him call me. That’s pretty much how the Jewish Mother Mafia worked.

He wrote his phone number on my calendar and said to call him if it didn’t work out with dave.

Some of my friends are going through separations and divorces now. I’m listening to what their marriages were like and I can’t imagine how they lived like that. These were really unhappy homes. One wonders how they lasted as long as they did.

Mine was never like that. I lived a good life. We laughed a lot and dave always treated me with respect. He took care of me financially and made me feel loved until he didn’t. The show business part of our life was fun and exciting.

Would I have married him if I knew what was in store for me? Yes I would. But remember I’m talking about our relationship from my point of view. I’m sure he’d say differently.

Knowing what I know would I have left him before he left me while I was still young enough to find someone else. Maybe but I don’t think so. I was really bored for the last 7 or 8 years but I loved him and wouldn’t have been able to hurt him.

I just realized that I’m forgetting that I would have known in this scenario that he was going to leave me so that doesn’t hold true. I might have been too scared even with that information. Maybe I would have squirreled away some dough and looked for a boyfriend. Yeah that’s probably what I would do. I feel better now.

Remember when I told you about that guy who wrote his phone number on my calendar? The year was 1975. The year I got married. I’m a saver. I have stuff from my high school prom and the first LP I ever bought (Elvis). I’m sure I have that calendar saved somewhere.


Maybe I should dig it up and give that dude a call. After all it didn’t work out with dave, did it?

364.I try to make my blog educational and I think I’ve achieved that.

Miss Liz is home for a few days and that’s making all of us on the 18th floor (me and David) very happy.

Because she’s here David is being much nicer to me. Why just yesterday morning he brought me a fresh bagel for my breakfast.

He delivered it by throwing it against my door from down the hall. I was so touched that I ran over to thank him. It took me a few minutes to show my appreciation because he put the chain on his door so I couldn’t get in. Luckily Liz heard the rattling of the lock so she gave David what for and opened up.


I know that some people would give the little lovebirds some time alone which I do. They have from midnight to 7 a.m. to coo sweet nothings to each other. I also know however that neither one of them would want to miss the lively conversations that are a result of the three of us sharing the mornings together.

There is always something to be learned in the give and take of three different points of view, two sane (me and Lizzie) and one stupid (him).

Why just yesterday David tried to put me down because I didn’t have the exact population of the United States at my fingertips. I thought it was 8 million. But I quickly proved that with a little brain power and my math skills I was able to rectify my mistake once I realized that I was thinking of New York rather than the whole country, something that in my mind isn’t exactly false, I multiplied the 8 million by 50 which is pretty clever since some states have more people and some less. I came to an approximate count of 400 million which is really close to the Census Bureau’s count of 314 million.

See? I realized my mistake and used the new information to get the correct answer.

And besides, unless I’m planning on buying them all  jackets, who gives a shit how many people are in the United States?

363. It’s possible that I might be dead of poison by the time you read this.

I understand that you want to save the earth. I’m an earth fan myself.

But that doesn’t mean that when there is green furry shit on the ricotta cheese you can scrape it off and serve the rest of it without saying a word and only mentioning that we need more ricotta cheese when someone who is kindly visiting (me) and has already eaten it offers to refill the little serving bowl .


And the bowl, like the rest of the pottery in this house,  is adorable.

It’s ceramic and has happy flowers on it with a little matching ceramic spoon disguising the plague ridden crap inside of it so you can pass off the last little remnants of poison to unwary fools because heaven forbid you might be asked to throw it out if someone doesn’t eat it and there goes the future.

I also noticed he didn’t eat any.  BTW I’m talking about my brother in law, Paul. When I questioned him about this his answer was “Don’t worry, I only put out the white part”


So I say to all you earth loving whackos, you know who you are.

I know you want your grandchildren to have clean sunny air but do I have to eat old cheese so that little Violet won’t ever have a little haze in the sky?

362. I can’t talk now. I’m watching a repeat of “Barney Miller” that i haven’t seen since the night of my prom

I got to my sister and brother in law’s house yesterday. They live in the other New York. The one with 9 Democrats, 2 of which are my sister Marcia and her husband Paul.

My sister had her knee replaced so I came up to give them a hand.

It’s very odd stepping into another couple’s life even when you all love each other. As I said, they try very hard to leave no carbon footprint while mine is a big fat snowshoe., with socks.

They have a very specific evening routine. Dinner, TV and bed.

That’s something I can easily and happily  get into except when they turned on the TV I banged my head on 1997. They watched “Cheers” and followed it up with a little “Friends”.  I think 1967 crept in for a minute because I’m fairly sure I saw a little Raymond Burr.

Until she is recovered, Marcia is temporarily using a walker. Interestingly enough she gets around the house quite well considering she has one dog the size of a cow and another who appears to be perpetually on speed. They know she isn’t herself though so they move near her very gently.


Even though I’m a shitty cook I’m trying to prepare the meals when I can, which brings up that footprint thing in spades. Tonight my brother in law Paul told me that he doesn’t like me using a microwave  oven because “who knows what all those rays do to the food you’re eating”. I wanted to tell  him “I know what it does. It cooks it and whatever  else it does it won’t affect us because we’re almost a million.

And nothing is garbage in this house. If you can’t eat it, wear it, plant it or pack something into it you can paint it and put a frame on it.

This place is nothing like New York City. I went to the supermarket this afternoon. Everyone was so nice that I felt like I was going to bump into Beaver Cleaver in the vegetable aisle.

If I had I’d have knocked him over with my cart. That nice thing gets old very fast.

As sweet as I’m being they aren’t really paying much attention to me. I was sitting in Marcia’s room this afternoon when I realized that I was wearing 2 different shoes and no one noticed. They weren’t anything alike either. Well of course they were both black but one had laces and the other was a loafer.


In NYC even my doorman would have goofed on me for that.

I’ll be glad to get home. I’m afraid I’m getting soft.

361.Here’s why I’m a great writer. Because I said so.

I just realized that when you write a blog there are people who actually read it and are somewhat affected by what you write.

For example the other day I wrote about being sad. I feel fine now but I keep hearing from people who love me telling me to keep my chin up.

I’ve been treating my blog like confession. After I yap I feel all better. I really should have been Catholic. I absolutely adore that confession thing. You tell some guy what you did wrong and then you pray and then you have a clean slate.

I also like Easter now that the Catholics have removed all the hard words from the Lord’s Prayer and Christmas makes Hanukkah a dumb boring cousin.

Back to me and my mood. I had a lovely day yesterday. Julie came over and we had lunch and played cards. I’m suspicious that Julie might have been cheating because in the middle of the game I found a ten of diamonds under her chair.


It didn’t help her though. I was victorious. And I was a good winner. I only gave one whoop and one bow while forming an L with my fingers on my forehead signaling ‘you know what’.

I was reading a magazine which said that people in their 50s and 60s are at their most empathetic. First of all because they have had a lot of life experiences and also because my generation went through the free thinking 1960’s so we are more liable to look at the other person’s point of view.

I forgot why I mentioned that. Maybe it’s because I was thinking about other ways those my age differ from younger people. My cell phone. I never leave home without my cell phone not because I want to be reached but if I get run over I want to call my sister.

Hardly anyone ever calls me on my cell. In fact, when I first got it,whenever my phone rang it was usually spam but I pretended that it was Lance from Nsync. (I want to thank my nephew Joe for reminding me of that. I say he’s MY nephew even though he’s from dave’s side of the family because I’m sure I love him more than dave does. When he was about four I even let him pee on the door of the ice cream shop in Montauk when they wouldn’t let him use the bathroom, but that’s a story for another day)


What was I saying? Oh yeah becoming Catholic. If they don’t mind my saying “Oy” every time I kneel down, I’m in.

360.Tip toe through the tulips…

We have another member of the family.

My sister got a new knee.

I’m going up to see her in a few days. The reason I’m giving is that I want to help but really I want to hug her. I’ve been out of sorts lately. dave and I had a brief personal sentence in our email and unfortunately it’s been a setback for me.

It wasn’t anything. I only said in my note telling him what he can deduct on his taxes next year that I can’t believe that he’s a stranger to me now. he answered, “I know”.

For some reason I haven’t been the same since. My eyes keep filling up with tears. I don’t know why. It’s also brought back the bad dreams.

It’s funny but whenever I dream of him and his girlfriend they have children which is odd because they’re old. Well he is. I don’t know how old she is.

I think it’s just another way of my saying to myself that I failed him by not having kids.


This is getting way too deep.

I’m not going to answer my phone today because Stephanie always calls and yells at me when I write something sad.

What she doesn’t realize is that after I write it I can put it aside because I feel much better.

I just got a very happy thought. On my way back from my sister’s house I’m going to buy some rose bushes for my terrace.

And dare I get some peonies?

Yes I think I will.

359. God on a GED

I seem to be on a religious theme this week. Today we are discussing Easter. Why Easter? Why now? Because I was waiting for David to leave the country.

He was so hot under the collar last week after attending Easter services that I didn’t want to upset him by writing about it and have to listen to his rant again.

He chose the church he would go to carefully. He wouldn’t consider a Catholic church. Too much up and down stuff plus he’s not , heaven forbid, Catholic. I’m not exactly sure what he is. According to my mother, anyone who wasn’t Jewish was Catholic so all those other religions somewhat blend in to me. Maybe not Buddhist but I’m not really sure.

Anyway on Easter he and I were “sharing the morning” when he informed me that we had to cut it short because he wanted to put on his finery and go to Church.

When next I saw him I asked  him how his communion with God was. Big mistake.

He was fit to be tied.

“I purposely picked the most high falutin church in town” I don’t really think he said high falutin but this was awhile ago and  my memory isn’t what it once was.

The point he was making was  that he purposely went to Christ Church on 60th and Park so that he wouldn’t have to rub elbows with anyone who made less that a mill a year when he was slapped in the face with a dumbing down of the Lord’s Prayer.

Yes you heard me. No longer would He “Forgive our trespasses”, now He would forgive our “wrongs” or something like that. There were other changes that I would like to talk about but he had ripped up the program into teeny pieces so I’ll just have to try and remember the rest. I’m sort of remembering “Give us this day our daily taco” but I could be wrong.

Anyway David would have none of this. He told me that he said the prayer “correctly” in a very loud voice so that the “uninformed” would hear God’s words as they were meant to be spoken.


And spoken by a guy who thinks, no “knows”  he’s got His ear.

358. Apparently it’s a real big deal to drop the Torah.

The trip to Annapolis was great. We even stopped on the way at Gail, the cookie queen’s house where she gave us homemade cookies in case we hit a storm and got snowed in.

Lily’s Bat Mitzvah was a raging success.

I did take my sister’s place on the stage. The Rabbi introduced me as a stand in by asking us all to pray for the recovery of Lily’s grandfather. I, for one, felt stupid praying for a flu healing but whatever.

Anyway I was up there next to my nephew Brian, his wife, Cheryl and Lily while the Rabbi explained that he was going to give me the Torah to be passed down the line.

I kept mumbling “Please, Jesus,don’t let me drop the Torah”over and over. I think the Rabbi heard me because he just placed it in my arms without actually letting go until Brian had control of it. I think I did a fine job.

This was on Friday evening. The service ended at around 10 and since I was the designated driver I didn’t join in the wine and stuff served afterwards.

Now as to my driving. At the best of times I’m not that great a driver but at night?  Don’t ask. I can barely see so I explained to Julie and Violet that the ride back to the hotel was going to have to be a team effort.

Julie, since she wasn’t dedicated to anything but toasting her little niece’s accomplishment had partaken in the refreshments. As the t shirt says though, Julie has no problem drinking. She drinks, gets drunk, falls down, no problem.

But she was really fine and we did have a GPS.

Unfortunately we misheard the instructions so many times that all the GPS said was “recalculating”.

It took us about an hour to make a fifteen minute trip. Julie was no help at all. Every time we’d pass a turn I’d yell at her and she’d just claim that it wasn’t her fault because either she was drunk or tired and I could take my choice which excuse I wanted. I thought we’d have to wait for daylight before I could see the road again so we could get back to the motel.

Everyone that says that kids are so useful because they have good eyes and little fingers. I guess the little fingers are only needed if you want to make sneakers but you can forget the sharp eyes if the kid doesn’t want to use them to benefit the greater good.

Violet wasn’t even paying attention. She was so busy telling us how beautiful her new dress was and how lovely she was going to look for the next night’s party that for all she cared we could have driven into the Potomac or whatever the damn river is in Annapolis.

The next night was the party. Also a fabulous evening. This was held only about 6 blocks from our hotel so it only took us about an hour and 45 minutes to get home.

I’m pretty sure that once or twice we “recalculated” past the Washington Monument.