415. The Tenth of Violet

Busy week busy week.

Most importantly I went to the first of Violet’s many tenth birthday parties.

Since she was born in the summer, all her friends are still in camp or tap dancing their way across the United States so her first birthday party was attended by all adults, her parents, grandparents, aunt, and dear adult friends who could be counted on to come up with good presents.

Even though she was the star of the evening, something that would be apparent to anyone with eyes, since she was dressed to the nines in a lovely blue cocktail dress, each guest was greeted with a spa treatment given by the birthday girl herself.

Luckily her grandparents had given her some kind of foot thing filled with swamp water and colored pebbles that popped all over your feet while you relaxed to a somewhat painful neck massage.

It didn’t stop there. She also worked on your coiffure.

As everyone knows, no proper hairstyle can occur without a thorough wet down, after which perfection is reached by using a 1 inch Barbie brush to fluff it up.  This was topped with the attachment of a lovely barrette that it seems was only on loan because attempting to leave the house with it still in your hair would certainly be frowned upon by the Birthday Girl because she ain’t made of butterfly barrettes.

The eats were top o’ the line, pigs in blankets, cheese and crackers, and all the pizza you could swallow.

Everyone had a lovely time. When the evening ended with the blowing out of the candles on a home made cake shaped like a monster with big teeth we all hugged and looked forward to Violet’s next party which I think will be on Thursday.

After all, hitting double digits is a real big deal.

414. Regrets, I’ve had a few.

I got an email from my sister in law (is she still my sister in law?) last night saying that dave’s cousin died.

Here’s the thing, writing a blog makes me more thoughtful about my life and even though I hadn’t seen Bobby in over 30 years I had just been thinking about him the other day.

He was a sweet person with a sad life. I think he had some mental problems and maybe some drug thing after serving in Viet Nam.

When last I saw him we were in Kentucky and he agreed to mind my dog, Norman while the rest of us went out for the day. Let’s not even discuss that I wouldn’t let Norman stay alone but right there is why I can’t get a dog now.

Through the years he called a few times and ask to “borrow” money.

I once sent him $500.

He called again about a year ago and left a message asking for money. The message ended with him saying “Either way, I love you guys.”

I played it for dave who asked his father if we should send him the money and dave’s dad said that he has two sons who take all his money and his needs are taken care of by the VA.

So we left it at that.

Just the other day I was thinking about this and wishing I had sent him the money. If he had been my cousin I know I would have.

Even if his sons took it he would have known, or thought, we loved him too.

413. One man’s trashy novel is another man’s Tolstoy.

Had an interesting day yesterday.

Actually that’s a lie. It wasn’t really interesting to anyone but me.

When I said that I realized that I never read anything like what I write. I read stories, hopefully plots with plenty of “throbbing members”in them. I particularly like mysteries but very few memoirs.

I don’t know, I’m just not my cup of tea.

Last night I was in Brooklyn having dinner with Susan and Allan. I know I’ve said this before but going to a restaurant with them is a unique experience.

After they order, “one teaspoon of this with just a dot of that”, they are not at all troubled that the owner of the restaurant stands and talks to them for what I felt was hours.

And you know when the waiter says “How was your meal?”, unless there was a dead rat in my soup my answer would be, “Fine”.

Al’s answer, “Only fair”.

It was some kind of sushi roll and he had eaten the whole thing.

Obviously this was important news to the waiter who immediately reported it to the  owner because Mr. Chatty came over to the table to see why such a mediocre review.

Unfortunately Al was in the bathroom and Susan, who can’t stand to see anyone in distress said “Everything was great, you know Al. I’m telling you he loved it.”

But this guy was no dummy. He wasn’t going to take Miss Sunshine’s word for it so when Allan came back he ran over again to tell him that he wouldn’t charge him because anything less than perfect just wasn’t good enough for his favorite customer.

This guy must have put another room on his house from their tips alone.

We continued our meal and in conversation I mentioned that I felt like a third wheel when I go out to dinner with a couple.  Al asked if I felt that way when I eat with them. I had to admit that I did.

He was shocked. We’ve been close friends for over 30 years and there were many times that Sue ate with me and dave and I ate with Al and Sue quite comfortably.

When I explained that I wouldn’t feel that way if dave were just out of town but it being a permanent situation made a difference, he understood.

Then he asked me to tell him what makes me truly happy. I didn’t have to think for long.

It’s when I’m writing and I feel it flowing.

Considering that given a choice I wouldn’t read the crap I write if I was stuck on a mountain for ten years, that says a lot.

412. Tell me again, why would anyone live in the country?

I’m back home again and not a minute too soon.

Once Stephanie started feeling better her real personality came back.

I was kind enough to drive her all over, to the doctor, to the grocery store, even to Walmart’s where she got into one of those riding carts and drove all over the place at top speed. She actually ran into me twice and sorry isn’t a word that passes her lips.

Speaking of speed, she couldn’t stop criticizing how slow I drive., “Are we even moving?”

I explained that since I had gotten a  written warning for driving in her neighborhood at 45 in a 35 mph zone I wasn’t taking any chances. I couldn’t take being thrown in the slammer even if it was just to get printed and released on my own recognizance so she could just keep her snotty remarks to herself.

I’m not a fast driver anyway. It was once said that if I hit someone with my car, I’d just shove them down the block.

Anyway I’m back in my home. I have to admit it’s kind of lonely here.

Liz is in Santa Fe, David is with her and my arch enemy has returned to her home in Meanland so there’s no one on the floor but me.

Speaking of Liz, a bear broke into her father’s house.

On second thought, being lonely isn’t the worst thing.

411.Sometimes there is just no right side of the bed to wake up on.

I’m going back to Steph’s house tomorrow.

It seems that she had to jump up and run on her bad foot in order to grab a live woodpecker out of her cat’s mouth. Clearly she isn’t getting the care she needs without me being there.

I know people really love living in the country but,  huh?

And that cat needs a talking to also. Why would he even want to eat woodpecker?

Speaking of eating. I had dinner with Julie today.

We both were feeling a little low. In fact when I walked in she said “You look like I feel”. Not flattering but true assuming she felt like shit.

Again continuing with the theme, (this is what makes me a brilliant though undiscovered writer) speaking of shit, when questioned, Julie admitted that her low feelings had to do with her apartment getting an influx of roaches and when she woke up this morning one of her dogs took a dump in the hall and when she picked it up a roach ran out from under it.

Anyway once we got to the root of her problem, Julie and I perked up and went out to dinner.

I never found out what was bothering me, probably not being able to watch CBS because of fucking Time Warner but seeing Julie made me happy because I love her so much and tomorrow I’m seeing someone else I love, Stephanie, so no complaints here.

410. Cats and pussies

I just came back from my niece Stephanie’s house. She had an operation on her foot and was really incapacitated so I was helping take care of her.

I’ve told you about this house before. It’s magnificent if you don’t consider cable a necessity.

The day I got there I was sitting on the couch with one of Steph’s cats on my lap thinking, maybe I should get a cat. I wouldn’t feel so bad leaving them alone the way I would if I had a dog, especially if I got two of them .

Then I stepped outside and right in the doorway was a murdered vole.

No cat for me.

One of the things about getting old is you think things like, “I remember when a quart of milk was a quarter”.

If you’re smart you never say these things aloud.  The world changes and you change with it if you have any hope of people wanting to spend time with you.

But every once in awhile something hits you in the face and you can’t help but react.

While I was there I found out something that I had no idea about.

It seems that young women no longer have hair on their pussies.

I couldn’t believe it.  Steph seemed surprised that I was surprised.

I had heard of bikini waxes but no hair at all? It seems like pedophilia to me.

I realized that this needed more investigation but I put it on my back burner until I was able to look into it further.

Surprisingly the opportunity came up almost immediately after I returned home.

I was at David’s house for dinner last night with his sons and his son’s girlfriend.

One of his sons had pictures from a bachelor party he had been to in Vegas and I looked at his cell phone and saw a picture of who I assumed was the soon to be groom with a naked stripper on his head and sure enough this girl was bald as an eagle.

I had no choice but to question the three young people about this new phenomena.

You’d think that of these free thinkers at least one of them would be willing to discuss it but no. Even David who usually encourages me to speak my mind seemed to turn on me.

“Why are you talking about this?  And at dinner?”

“Who else am I gonna ask? I’m assuming that the two boys have seen lots of pussie’s and the girl has one. What’s the big deal?”

Obviously it was a big deal to them.

I decided to cool things down and drop it.

“Did I ever tell you guys that when I was a kid a comic cost ten cents. oh yeah and we didn’t even comb our twats”



409. New York is good and the rest of the world is bad except for maybe France. Just kidding, France stinks too.

Remember when I told you about going up to my sister’s house with Julie, Violet and the three dogs a few weeks ago?

I guess you’re wondering why I never spoke about it since I blab about every single thing I do.

Well I didn’t because I thought my sister would be mad if I did but it turns out she couldn’t care less. And also something sad happened to one of the dogs but I’m not going to talk about it.

As I’ve told you before, my sister Marcia and her husband Paul live in upstate New York in a town as far from NYC as any place I’ve ever been where they still speak English.

They have a beautiful home on top of a mountain with a lovely swimming pond.

I might have mentioned that my brother in law is intent on leaving as little carbon footprint as he can. He recycles everything. He even prefers to comb the carpeting rather than vacuum to avoid something, I’m not sure what. I think it’s nitrogen or some other poison thing.

Anyway the house has one guest bedroom on the top floor and 2 bedrooms on the bottom floor. One of these rooms is like being in a lovely bed and breakfast and the other has the carbon footprint thing going for it with a magic toilet that I think evaporates doody.

Julie’s brother, Brian, his wife Cheryl and their two teenaged daughters, Sadie and Lily were going to be there too.  Julie had put in for the nice room months ago and just assumed that she and Violet would get it since she had the 3 dogs and could let them in and out during the night. The two girls were sleeping upstairs so they could be near a mirror at all times (a choice that they would soon regret since they were late sleepers and were forced to hear their grandfather’s “bathroom noises” every morning. I can only assume that means farts.

Unfortunately Brian got there first and as he said “First come …”

This didn’t go over that well with Julie especially since Violet announced that she wasn’t about to sleep in the ‘bad’ room (which my sister fixed up to be quite lovely) and I had to admit that whatever room Julie slept in I was going to sleep in since I brought a blow up bed so I was hoping for the nice room too.

Since I never voice my opinion and go along with the crowd (no matter what my sister says which is that I have something to say about everything) I just left it to them to work out, at least that’s what I’m claiming.

Well Julie’s sad face got to her brother and Cheryl and he told Julie and Violet that they could have the ” good ” room.

He moved his stuff out and went to lay down in the disappearing doody (but beautifully decorated) room.

Not 10 minutes later he came out and announced to Julie that she was going to be so disappointed that she agreed to change rooms because his new room had something that the old room didn’t have.

Bats, two of them.

Now here’s the interesting thing about this. My brother in law and sister looked up totally unsurprised by this.

“Oh yeah, when we cleaned that room we found one dead bat and one live bat in there. Just open the door. They’ll leave.”

I could see that my brother in law thought his son was a real candy ass when he went to the phone and booked a room in a B&B in town.

That blow up bed looked less attractive every minute so I accompanied them to the hotel.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve got nothing against bats… OF COURSE I DO.

Bats are lousy.

My sister says to just face it when you live in the country there are bats and snakes.

Wait did I forget to mention the snakes???? And not just 6 snakes, there are about 50 snakes and they don’t try to lay low either. Open up a box of towels and hello – a snake. Sit down in the grass and there’s a cobra smokin’ a butt right next to you.

Which is why you can take that whole back to nature thing and shove it.

I’ll take a mugger over a bat any day.

408. I will no longer speak to strangers unless they’re Elvis impersonators

You can guess by the fact that I haven’t written much that my last few months haven’t been exactly action packed.

Maybe that’s why I started searching Facebook for people in my past this morning. Not to contact them but to see what was up with them.

I hit pay dirt on my first query.

I found a guy I used to date when I was in my late teens. I spent a whole summer mooning over him and waiting for him to call.

I first met him on the Jones Beach Expressway. I told you I was kind of slutty when I was young.

My friend and I were coming home from, where else? Jones Beach. We were in traffic and some guys in the next car started talking to us. One of them said he went to Amherst, the school that my close friend’s brother went to.  It turns out that they knew each other and the romance went on from there.

As I said that summer was spent sitting at home waiting for him to call.

Here’s the interesting thing about this. He was pretty cute but not that cute and I never had a good time with him. He’d come over to my house with a six pack of beer or two and plop himself in front of the TV and watch baseball while I read a book.

Even though he went to a fairly serious school he could only discuss two subjects, sports and rock and roll. And after finishing the first six pack not even that.

He’d take me to WASPY parties that needless to say my Bronx Jewish humor didn’t entice any of the girls there to ask me to join their sororities or sewing circles or whatever the hell those girls did for laughs.

I don’t remember him ever spending a cent on me.

Which is why I shouldn’t have been that surprised to find when I googled him that he had won a Nobel Prize for Economics.

Now what’s the point of this?

Last night David and I each took our dinner out to his terrace and ate together.

Once again he took the opportunity to tell me what a pea brain I am. He insists that I know less about stuff than anyone he knows.

I admit that Geography isn’t my strong suit but I balked when he said I was ignorant of history. Not knowing about the Crimean War does not a dumb person make. Crimean, Shrimean who cares and how will that knowledge help me get a good seat on the bus? I know plenty of history stuff for example I know that he’s a big stupid jerk and he has been for ages.

PLUS I bet none of his high falutin’ geography loving friends have ever swapped spit with a Nobel Prize winner.

Nuff said.

407. I’m thinking of going to one of those states where you can carry hidden guns and shoot people through my pocket.

I’m doing something strange today. Well not strange exactly, more like gullible.

I’m dying my hair with a product that I bought on line.

When Julie questioned the intelligence of this I explained that the ad said that beauticians all over America are furious because this product is is so great that no one will go to salons any more (I actually call them beauty parlors but I had to be true to the quote).

She asked me who told me about the mad beauticians and after thinking a bit I had to admit that it was the people who were selling it, “But they wouldn’t lie”.

“You sound like Violet”,  her 9 year old daughter “She always wants me to “call now” so she can buy anything “as seen on TV”.

I usually don’t let my posts go over a day but we had a tragedy in the family so I couldn’t write.

Life goes on however and my roots were becoming the color of my hair so I used the mail order hair dye.

Maybe it did sting a little, but they never said it wouldn’t .

I do look gorgeous, however. Well maybe not gorgeous, blonde.

I’ve been watching that do it yourself nose job.  Looks easy.

406. Your word is your bond unless it isn’t

It’s Sunday morning.

I woke up to the sound of bagel hitting my door.

I was busy packing. I’m going up to visit my sweet sister with Julie, Violet and the three dogs, one of which vomits in moving vehicles. I don’t know which one because when I turn around three black and white faces stare at me with a “Who Me?” expression.

I had just realized that a shirt I had washed and wanted to take with me was still damp so since the bagel signaled that David was awake I emailed him asking if I could use his dryer.

I got his answer which was “NFW” and I grabbed my shirt, coffee and bagel and went over to his house. He was feeling really generous today because along with the bagel he had left his new issue of “Varmint” in front of my door.

I won’t even start about how disgusting that magazine is but I will say that David isn’t all bad. The dryer door was open for me.

We sat on his terrace drinking coffee and shooting the breeze. I mentioned that his son had asked me to come along with David to his house for drinks and then dinner last night but I had to decline because I already had plans with Julie.

He said he always cancels any plans if something better comes up.

My answer was that that was one way dave was a better person than he is.

If dave took a job and a more lucrative offer came up, he never cancelled the first one.

I told him a story that I’ve always been very proud of.

dave and I were traveling through Italy when we decided to go to Taormina which is a long train trip from where we were. dave called and the man from the hotel said he had one room that he would save for us.

“You are definitely coming, Mr Matthews?”

dave assured him he was.

On the way I looked up the hotel and it didn’t have a very good review.

“Let’s go somewhere else” I said.

dave, “I gave my word”

I sulked and carried on to no avail. He wouldn’t budge.

The hotel turned out to be lovely and the host had a tray of dinner waiting in our room but that’s beside the point, I explained to David, he kept his word.

David looked at me with disgust. “Yeah, he kept his word to a stranger but what was that thing about “Til death do us part?”

“Point taken. My shirt’s probably dry now.”