405. Being a divorcee doesn’t mean I’m open for business, you know, in the sex way.

I was coming home from Costco yesterday when suddenly my “check engine” light went on. That kind of thing really panics me.

I immediately called Susan.

Susan is my go to girl for any worrisome automobile situation since her cousin, Allen, is not just movie star handsome but he owns an auto shop.

I also call her for any health symptom that could be terminal since she is a veritable encyclopedia of things that look bad but aren’t (unless it’s on her in which case it’s definitely curtains).

I never, and I mean never, call Susan for her advice on something delicious to eat because everything she thinks is good is probably green, has beans in it and tastes like crap.

Anyway Sue called her cousin and he told her he would check out my car.  I was really happy because a few years ago I had an accident and when I went to him he got my car fixed for almost a thousand dollars less than the estimate Toyota gave me.

Naturally I asked Susan to cancel her dentist appointment and come with  me since last time I saw Allen I was a married woman and even though he “claims” to love his wife, I was worried that me being a divorcee now would be too much for him so better safe than sorry.

It’s a good thing I did too.

Even though he didn’t look at me or speak to me about anything but my car I could tell it was hard for him to keep his mind on business.

He checked out my car and told me it wasn’t anything I had to worry about.

He did say if it happened again I should let him know and he’d order the part.

His lips said it would be about $450 to fix but his eyes said it would be about $450 to fix.

Being a woman alone I have to be constantly alert.

Just as I learned how to turn on the charm, somehow I’m going to have to get someone to teach me how to turn it off or there’ll be hell to pay.

404. “Go fuck yourself” is the new “Nice meetin’ ya”

It’s strange how I feel about traveling by bus.

I don’t just don’t mind it, I really like it.

It’s bright and airy and I bring my book and read. Plus I get to see the world and it’s not uncommon for me to strike up a brief friendship.

Why just yesterday I was going to Julie’s to stay with Violet while Julie went to the gym.

Now that school’s out Violet sometimes goes with Julie and stays in the kid’s room but yesterday she dug her heels in because the day before, as she said, “Even you wouldn’t appreciate some kid shoving his computer game in your face”.  She had no intention of going through that indignity again.

Aunt Mattie to the rescue. I got on the uptown bus to ninety sixth street heavily engrossed in the book I was reading all about throbbing members and heaving chests.

At ninety sixth I walked across the street and waited for the crosstown bus. It’s a very short ride and stops right in front of Julie’s house.

Since that leg of the trip is not very long, I don’t read. I decided to wait for the ride home to find out if Lance got to put his hot dog in Victoria’s roll. I’m thinkin’ yes.

I was therefore open to being spoken to. You won’t be surprised to hear that the woman sitting next to me remarked on how pretty the color of my toe nail polish is.

“Thank you” I said and since I’m a people person I told her that since I had that color I only have to look at my toes to get happy and yadda yadda yadda.

One thing led to another and she asked me if I was married. I said I was divorced. She asked for how long, and I said a week.

She asked me a lot of questions and I told her my whole story including about my blog.

When she heard the name of my blog she brightened and said “I’m 67. I’ve never been married but I think I’m ready now.”

I wished her good luck and just as I was reaching my destination she said

“Don’t beat yourself up about the divorce. Nothing you could have done would have changed it. Not getting a face lift or losing weight. Even pretty women get dumped”

I smiled my people person smile and got off the bus all the while thinking, either,

” That’s good advice,  I ‘m glad I didn’t waste time wishing I were good looking because it wouldn’t have helped”


“Fuck you you fucking cunt. Lotsa luck getting a husband with that puss”

You choose.

403. My arch enemy keeps talking to me

I’m just now understanding the old saying that beautiful women die twice.

I live in fear of chipping my happy toe nail polish. The other day I went swimming in Stephanie’s pool and had to swim upside down so that my nails wouldn’t be scratched by the rough bottom. It’s a stone pool.

I had to be revived 3 times but I was a lot cooler.

But back to the subject at hand.

I have a neighbor, not Liz or David,  that I knew for over 20 years. I won’t say we were friends, more like acquaintances, but through the years we behaved like neighbors should.

I let her use my Montauk house. I kept her children in my house after school if she wasn’t home. I also cared for her animals, her bird and even her cat. She’d frequently travel for a month at a time. When I found  that her cat hadn’t had water for a week , I went to the woman who was supposed to care for him.  Since her answer was that a cat can live a long time without water I offered my services to feed him in the future when she went away.

I won’t say she wasn’t grateful.  Although she didn’t ever say thank you, she did bring me a gift from one of her trips of 3 vanilla beans.

It all went smoothly until IT happened.  While she was away, I broke an ashtray. It was a pretty ash tray.

Now I could have said that  the cat knocked it over but I never lie, except to save my skin and I had no idea that this was one of those times.

I wrote her an email saying that I broke the ashtray and how very sorry I was. I told her I would search for a replacement and if I couldn’t find one I would certainly pay for it.

I received an answer the next day. I assumed it would say please don’t feel bad. You were such a dear to be kind to my cat, who by the way, left a crap gift under dave’s desk almost every day, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.

The letter said to never set foot in her house again, that she’d arrange for someone else to feed the cat and that the ashtray was a priceless heirloom.


When she returned a few weeks later, she came to my door and said that she was furious that I hadn’t come to her house immediately on her return to further apologize.

I was forced to tell her that when the painters dropped my grandmother’s hand painted 100 year old mirror and broke it, I treated them with more compassion than she did me.

I said that I’d certainly pay for the ashtray. Her response, “It’s priceless”.

I said “Priceless? No such thing. I’ll write you a check right now. Was it $1,000, $5,000, $10,000?”

I could see dave in the background looking like he was going to faint because my writing any of those checks might well have put us in the slammer.

Anyway she thankfully felt that calling me out on how low class I was was sufficient punishment and  she walked away never to speak to me again.

That is until recently.

She owns the apartment that the french people rented down the hall and since they’ve vacated, she’s back to prepare it for the next renters. When she came back she heard about me and dave and became miss chatty.

She has been divorced for many years. “I’m so surprised. I couldn’t believe it. You were such a loving couple, We must have a drink sometime”

Since I’m a live and let live girl, when David invited us both for dinner, I accepted.

It is certainly better like this. Just imagine what going down in the elevator with someone who is giving you dirty looks the whole time is like.  I much prefer this.

However, she calls me and comes over constantly. She borrows stuff and ignores my “That’s not necessary” when she suggests coming over for a drink to thank me for the dishes, or bowls or whatever I’ve given her since she’s staying in a mostly empty apartment.

Just last night she came over and started sobbing because her daughter is getting married and she’d miss her.

Luckily I’m very good at comforting people. “There there” I said.

I started thinking why now, after about ten years, has she decided to reconnect with me.

Then I remembered what my friend Susan and I had been talking about yesterday.

I told her that even though my everyday life is better now, my feelings of self worth are not.

I think it’s because I was raised to believe you’re only as valuable as the man you married.

My identity was largely built around being dave’s wife. He was a very successful musician and writer. I gained a great deal of status by being married to him.

I was always being told “Your husband is such a genius”. I believed it to be true and I bathed in some of that light. Since he wasn’t that much of a talker I spoke for him frequently, telling musicians that he admired that he admired them and sometimes doing his dirty work so he could stay pristine.

When dave left me he took a great part of my identity with him which is why that bitch thinks I give a shit that she’s going to miss her kid.

I wonder if selling something I write will restore something important in me.

Probably not as much as marrying one of the Rolling Stones would.

At least in my mother’s eyes.



402. There’s no problem that polishing your toes a happy pink color won’t solve.

I had a good day yesterday.

I went to Brooklyn to play with Susan. One of my best activities. I can’t exactly tell you why. We really don’t do much.

We go out to lunch, either japanese or greek. It’s always a difficult decision. Greek is healthier but more expensive. Every time I eat japanese food it’s a reminder that it’s from a country that now houses the man who broke my heart but with an $8.99 three course special my pain goes on the back burner.

Then we can have a choice of mani pedi, hair cut or shopping.

Yesterday we chose the first two.  I’ve told you about where I get my hair cut. The beautician, Tony, is Chinese and speaks very little english so the whole time he’s cutting my hair, Susan is screaming “long layers, long layers” at him and  he seems to respond. The man is Da Vinci with a scissors.

I used to get my hair cut in the Soho Grand for $120 plus tax and tips. Tony charges $8.00 (I give him $20 cause I’m a sport) and aside from it taking 10 minutes, the presence of a shrine, dust and all, contributes to my emotional well being.

Then we got a mani pedi. I got a crazy hot pink color on my toes . Even though I smudged my fingernails on the way out (I have no patience to sit there until it’s fully dried), I love the way my toes look.

Again, I can’t tell you why these days with Susan are perfect. I just know they are.

The day finished off with my staying to go out to dinner with Sue and Al where we were fired by the waiter.

Now dining with these two is an adventure. They never order what’s on the menu.

David says he’s seen people ask the waiter to leave out the mushrooms but he’s never heard of anyone starting from scratch when they give their food request.

“Take some chopped garlic, very little oil, add some escarole, some beans and maybe a little, just a tablespoon or so, of spicy tomato sauce”

My response to him is that they are loved by every restaurant they frequent because they tip very well and are lovely to the staff.

I was proven right last night when we went to one of their regular haunts but their usual waiter was taking care of a large party so someone else helped us.

We knew there would be a problem when I asked for a separate check and the guy said no. Then my request for a vegetable instead of pasta was greeted by a “No can do”.

I knew that when he got to Allan who probably wanted a mixture of kidney beans and geraniums, with garlic of course,  slaps would have occurred.

Obviously their usual waiter, I think his name was Jeffrey, felt the same as I did because that was when he started hovering around the table trying to helpfully suggest the preferences of his favorite customers until our original waiter, let’s call him Gavone, shoved his pad into Jeff’s hands and walked away saying “You obviously know what they want more than I do”.

I should note that Jeffrey saw no problem with replacing my pasta with spinach.

That was yesterday.

When I got home last night I picked up my mail. I didn’t open it until this morning.

The first was  from the MTA telling me the credit card for my old person bus pass was going to expire. Since the bus has become my lifeline I immediately tried to replenish it on line. That didn’t work so I had to do it by phone.

I’m not lying, I held on for at least 30 minutes. When a woman finally came on the line she asked me to read my account number from the letter which I did. Then she asked for my name which I gave her. There was a pause and she said  “That’s not the name I have”

I looked at the letter and realized that it wasn’t my card that needed replenishing it was dave’s.

“Wait a minute. That’s my husband.” The ex isn’t yet in the forefront of my mind. “He lives in Japan with his girlfriend. Let her pay for his bus pass”

The woman laughed, we spoke for a few minutes about what shits men are and just as we were about to hang up she asked the question that I’ve been getting for years, “Is he THE Dave Matthews?”.

“No” but before I could think I said what I always used to say

” Well kind of, he used to be James Brown’s bandleader and he worked on “The Concert In Central Park for Simon and Garfunkle”.

When I gave it some thought I’m ashamed to say that I still liked to brag that my husband was someone. Not a good trait of mine.

Then I opened another letter from the New York State Thruway Authority saying that I had been speeding through the E-ZPass plaza and if I did it again I would lose my E-ZPass.

It really upset me because I drive like a snail and if  I did this I had no memory of it.  I was worried that here was one more thing that getting older makes me not trust in myself.

Then I decided to check the date. You can imagine my delight when I found out it was Julie who was driving my car, flying at 29 mph through the toll.

I took a picture of the letter and texted it to her.

She immediately called and apologized and told me it would never happen again.

I thought that that was that until I got an email from her saying that she felt very bad about this and it was my fault, I think for having a car, and that I would have to make it up to her.

She’s right.

Anyway every time I look at my pretty garish pink toes it makes me happy.

I’ll send Julie a picture of them.

401. Today I’m going to discover radioactivity or wash my hair; Madame Curie

Miss Liz and Rupie went back to Santa Fe last night.

I tried to cheer myself up this morning by watching Britney Spear’s new video with her kids and the Smurfs.

It helped a little.

I have to say it was good having Liz home. The whole 18th floor was feeling happy again.

David kept his racial and religious slurs to a minimum and except for his side splitting joke (to him)  of inviting me over and then putting on the chain so I couldn’t get in he was pretty nice to me.

It’s not one of his new jokes but at least now Liz screamed at him when he did it.

It was also good having one on one time with Rupert but I have to say at 15 he’s not as chatty as he used to be. He spent a good deal of the time sawing logs.

When I woke up today I decided that I’m going to stop putting off my future just because I’m scared. I’m going to buy a bunch of magazines and submit stuff to all of them.

Julie says that it’s helpful to know someone when you send your stuff.  Luckily I saw Neil Sedaka eating lunch in a diner near me yesterday. I think he was having soup. He didn’t speak or look at me but since that diner only gets a B in cleanliness I’m sure that a man of the people like Neil who clearly doesn’t give a shit what he eats won’t mind me dropping his name.

So I’m going to roll up my sleeves and polish up my articles and dip my toe in the literary waters so I can get rich and famous.

Or I’m going to go see “Grown ups 2”

400. The new me will be spending the holidays with Ezio Pinza, Care to join us?

As the people who know me know, I have my finger on the pulse of rock and roll. I consider any modern music rock and roll, hip hop: soul, rap, you  know, anything that a cover band plays at a Bar Mitzvah I’m hip to.

I always loved music but it reached it’s peak in the eighties when MTV first started showing videos. I had the flu and couldn’t concentrate for more than a few minutes at a time.

I lay in bed moaning and screaming to the ceiling ( I wasn’t a big  God person even then) “Why me??” when Prince singing “When Doves Cry” came on the screen.

I fell immediately in love with him and the song. He was “Man” as far as I was concerned and the world has never been the same. I watched MTV constantly so I really knew “what was happ’nin'”.

Oh yeah, and my husband, the man who done me wrong, was in the music business too which probably added to my interest.

Now why was I saying this? Another thing the people who know me know and find very irritating is that I can’t tell a story straight, that I always go off on tangents.

I remember.

I was checking out Celebuzz as I do each morning and there was a video of Ellen Grossman, the woman who met Jay Z on the train and won everyone’s heart. She was wearing headphones and listening and reviewing Jay Z’s new music.

She is everything I wish I was. Even at her age she is lovely and smart and sweet and she doesn’t seem to even try. You couldn’t help but be drawn to her. I bet Jay Z will invite her to dinner and to his house to cuddle little Blue Jay or whatever her name is.

I’ve met lots of stars, Billy Joel, Paul Simon, Miles Davis Bobby Rydell, FABIAN, to name a few and not one of them has shown any interest in spending more time with me.

I still fantasize meeting Elvis, or Bob Dylan and saying just the right thing to them to make them like me. To be perfectly honest it never ended in lunch, it was always movie star kisses, something that I’m sure a classy dame like Ellen Grossman never let enter her sweet brain.

And no one will ever refer to me as sweet. In fact when I was a case worker in the South Bronx during the seventies, my friend Ernie Matterasso once said I was the nicest and meanest girl he ever knew.

That description came about when a guy who worked with me brought me a rose. He was someone I always found annoying but I put it on my desk in a glass of water and thanked him and told him  how sweet a gesture it was.

He stood at the other side of my desk talking to me and while he was chatting he kept mindlessly tidying up my desk. I asked him to stop very nicely several times to no avail. Realizing that he considered giving me that rose an entrance into my privacy I was forced to take the rose, rip it up and throw it in the garbage thereby stripping him of any rights to touching my stuff.

Ernie burst out laughing and said that that was the meanest thing he’d ever seen. In a world with Hitler I think that was a bit excessive but these many years later I can see how it might be viewed as harsh.

Something Ellen Grossman would never do.

I’m going to work on being more like her. I just hope that when I meet Bob Dylan he doesn’t touch my stuff.


399. There are heroes and then there is me.

Yes Miss Liz and Rupert are home , at least for a little while.

The eighteenth floor is happy again. Yesterday I saw David smile.

I have been thinking and thinking lately.  Nothing momentous, just stuff.

My niece, Julie, might be the best person I  know. She doesn’t just say she’s good, she’s willing to do hard things.

It was 1000 degrees yesterday and muggy. She, Violet and I were sitting on my couch having wine in air conditioned comfort waiting for it to be dinner time. Not Violet, we cut her off after 2 because the kid can’t hold her liquor.

Suddenly Julie looked at her phone and said “I may have to go to Brooklyn. People were traveling from Connecticut to pick up a rescue french bulldog and they may not be able to make it before the shelter closes”

I could drag this story out but I won’t. When she made sure that the dog wouldn’t be put down and it seemed like the people would get there on time or would be able to pick up the dog the next morning it was no longer necessary for her to go.

Here’s the thing. She was prepared to drag her kid on the hot train, pick up the dog, bring it home by taxi (something she can ill afford) to her 3 killer dogs and keep him until the people could come get him.

I would have wanted to be that person but I hate to be hot.


398. Patriotic thoughts

New York is so nice they named it twice.

Nobody wants to blow up Guam because no one would be mad at them if they did.

There is no town in the United States where you can’t get a pizza.

Though only a few Americans say “youse” all of them know it’s a plural.

If you forget your recipe for pot roast and it was in an email that your friend sent you last year and you don’t have that account any more you can call the White House and ask them to send you a copy of it and they will.

If you are invited to a July fourth BBQ and the host tells you that you have to sit at the children’s table because everyone else is a couple and you are a single due to something that is not your fault you can say “No way Jose”. If you were French you’d have to do it.

They don’t call American cheese AMERICAN cheese for nothing.

Thank you.

397. “Though a person is a shit, proximity allows you to keep them as a friend” Tolstoy

Miss Liz and Rupie are coming home tomorrow so we’re all excited.

They are having a BBQ  for July 4 and in preparation Lizzie has had delivered a new table and chairs for her terrace.

When they arrived I called David at work to let him know.

I said they were in big boxes so he told me to offer the guy “an Andrew Jackson” to remove them from the boxes and take the boxes away.

I asked the guy who immediately said “No.”.

I called David and said the good news, bad news thing , “You still have twenty bucks but there are six huge boxes on your terrace.”

Always grateful, he started screaming at me that once again I fucked up and played it all wrong, “You should have let him see the twenty while you were asking him.”

“And what if he takes the twenty and still says no. What shot would I have in getting the money back from you?”

He had to admit I had a point.

This morning he called me and advised me that it was time to unbox the furniture.

I had told him when the stuff arrived that maybe we should save the boxes in case Liz wants to send it back but he poo pooed that. ( I should note that when Liz called later and told him not to throw out the boxes he said “Mattie wanted to throw them out but I said not to”. I spend my life under the bus)

It turned out that since it rained yesterday the boxes were soaked and there was no saving them.

I went over and we began uncrating the furniture. He kept referring to his “weak left arm” and instructing me to hold the heavy parts and lug the boxes into the hall.

He let me know if it wasn’t for the arm thing plus the risk of passing another kidney stone he’d be happy to be more of a help.

After we finished and he posed smiling for a picture at the table for me to send to his lady love I reminded him that I was almost 70 so he might have pushed himself a bit more.

Naturally he felt bad. I’m sure when he said that he was glad I waited until it was all finished to remind him of that, what he meant was

“I shouldn’t have let you do all that heavy lifting. Only a real prick would take advantage of an old lady that way.”

396. Fidelity is for suckers

First of all I want to tell you that after over 500 images Shelby McChord is taking the summer off from doing the drawings for this blog. You people will just have to endure my whining without the frills.

Shelby is not only an incredible artist, she’s a funny, creative soul who shines light on all her relationships.

Have a wonderful summer, Shelby.

Now back to me.

I never thought you could Jew down Bloomingdales but I just did. You should note that I didn’t even use my go to pity deal that my husband divorced  me after 38 years of marriage.

All I did was say that I thought the sheets I was buying were on sale and got a little teary and voila she put them on sale. I saved $50. I think I’ll go back and buy a couch.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately.

I think that when you get married you should always keep your options open.

Say your husband cheats once and is then is sorry.

If you love him you should take him back but never again let yourself be caught unawares.

Pretend you forgive and have forgotten but from that time on look for someone else. Someone to keep in a box if or when your husband falls back into his old ways.

I don’t want to hear from all you moral know it alls.  My plan is foolproof.

First of all you’ve got something for a rainy day and knowing this will make you way more pleasant to be around.

No one takes a cheating husband back without devoting a good part of their life punishing him.

If you do what I say, you’ll feel guilty. I don’t know about you but I’m much nicer if I feel guilty than I am if I feel self righteous

Now the guy in the box doesn’t have to be terrific. He doesn’t even have to be as good as your mate. He just has to be better than nothing which is what you’ll have if fuckface goes back to his old ways.

Oh yeah and you should be hiding money.

I’m just sorry that I don’t have a daughter to pass my bon mots down to but lucky for youse, I have a blog.