Memory


I couldn’t avoid,,,ran into had to see ,,saw the seventeen year man at a birthday party a couple of weeks ago.

Wait, let me back up: I actually chose to be in his presence at New Year’s thing because his brother was in town and I wanted to see him. But I pretty much ignored him. –>musical interlude–>”I’m looking through you- where did you go? I thought I knew you. What did I know? You don’t look different but you have changed. I’m looking through you. You’re not the same.” reeh reeh reeder reeder, reeh reeh reeder reeder “Baby you’ve changed. Yeah.  I’m lookin’ through you.” (Beatles never go out of style.)<–end of interlude

<side note: I grew up with the whole family, was best buds with one of ’em, dated one, have been friends with and in touch with many, and they’re pretty much my alternate family. Or have been in different phases of my life.>

Anyway, a few weeks ago, one of his sisters and I were talking and she asked if he’d called me. I was confused – as I said “Why would he call me?!” I couldn’t think of one reason, especially since I didn’t even talk to him at the holiday deal.

According to his sister, seeing me at New Year’s ‘sparked’ something in him and he wanted to call and ask me out but (and this says everything I guess) ‘he was scared I would curse him’ if he called me.

Again, I must refer you to the prologue so you understand why I think I can rightly say this…but I told his sister that I wouldn’t curse him out (though clearly he had a clue about why I’d be justified doing so), however,

1. I think I know where that spark was located and it was a little south of the mind or heart, 2. did he forget that he ‘forgot’ to break up with me lo those 17+ years ago? and 3. he’s getting old and freaking out and wants a mommy to take care of him.

For some reason, I guess she never told him all that because he walked up to me at the birthday party (remember that topic?!) and said something random about going back to Amsterdam. I breezily wished him  a good trip and walked away, when he called out “Muhree! blah blah blah – kept talking but lost me at Muhree

<side note: My name is spelled Marie but it is (as you know) pronounced Mary (thanks again, Mom and Dad).>

I whipped around and said, “WHAT did you just call me?” You would’ve thought he had yelled out “hey ‘ho!” or “hey beeatch” if you’d heard how I said it, but I was beyond shocked. It just came out (the words  that’d go on my tombstone if I weren’t being cremated).

Not only did he remember my name 6 months ago, but I’ve known this guy for the better part of 40 years. FORTY. Not to mention the 3+ years we were in a (apparently loosely-based) relationship. Seriously? “Muhreeeee?” WTF dude?! Way to ingratiate yourself. But I digress…

One of his sisters called me ‘Muhree’ at the bar after her mother’s memorial service, but she’s an alcky cokehead who lives across the country anyway, so while it pi**sed me off, this little malaprop (sp?) just frosted my as* for the rest of the night, as anyone who I talked at afterwards can attest to.  Obviously, it’s bugging me enough still to even write about it…

I can forgive someone from grade school I haven’t seen for 10 years but FORTY?! Come on. Seriously, that would be like one of my blood relatives calling me Muhree. Some things are just not excusable…

I know I need to let it go, and I certainly don’t obsess over it or even ponder it (wwbd*?) but for now it is a fingernail on my chalkboard.

*what would buddha do?<–He wouldn’ write this rant, I can tell you that much…

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OK I can’t stop thinking about this: My first job was babysitting for my 2nd family’s son’s baby (got that?). I remember Sean, the dad, picking me up in his yellow Sunfire, so that means I was not old enough to drive. I think #4 of the 5 of us sisters was born or soon to be born, so that means I was ~14-15.

The baby I watched (Jason) was still a toddler, and I remember I stopped watching him soon after the 2nd one was born, and I think it was a summer gig.

So years pass, lifetimes change, and the next time I see this little toddler, he is ~25 years old, taller than me, married and with kids.

If I hadn’t been introduced, I couldn’t have picked him (the babysat-for kid) out of a lineup! I never would have recognized him, and he (of course, since he was a baby) didn’t remember me.

And I guess the “with kids” part didn’t really register because we were at a funeral, and I don’t remember if they were with him anyway.

So that first – time – in – forever – last – time – I – saw – him was about 6 mos. before my 40th bday, which was 5 1/2 years ago, which means he’s now what, 30’ish? 33’ish tops?

OK, Am I Are you ready? Not only is he married with kids, but he is now a grandfather! This baby, this toddler, has a grandbaby!

Meaning that my friend Sean, is now a great-grandfather! And my friend (his sister — my age) is a great-great aunt!! And her “little brother” (who’s 43) is a great-great uncle! ::snicker snicker::

I’m sorry but we are just not that old. There must be something wrong with the math here. I know I have math anxiety (thank you, Gayle V. Wrongley) but seriously, the toddler I babysat is now a grandfather?!

Clearly, it all comes down to me when you think about it (acceptance, aging, blah – freakin’ – blah) but still…

That does not compute. That does not compute…

You already know I’m a recovering shoe addict, and you know I love gadgets, the nerdnet, photography, gardening, reading and Ted Drewes. I would still love cigarettes if I still smoked them. I have a few TV shows that I love. A few recipes I love.

I could go on with all the things I enjoy, but you get the idea.

I’m a love-er: when I love something I love it a lot. That means I do it/ buy it / read it/ watch it /eat it/ make it a lot.

If we were clinicians, we might call this a borderline “obsessive disorder” but we are not clinicians now, are we?

I do know I don’t need any more bad habits, things to be interested in, things to do, watch, eat, see, or read. I have enough of all for now, thank you.

And yet…

Twice now, I’ve come upon (and been sucked into) Password, the new version of the ’70s tv show. Remember Betty White and Alan Ludden? And the “celebrities” (people who actually DID something to deserve their fame) and players sat next to each other and tried to guess the secret passwords?

Well, it’s baaaack. It doesn’t have Betty White, though, and Allen Ludden died a long time ago.

This is either a memory-jogger or an educational tool:

(Click image for link to Wikipedia article.)

Now it’s got — annoying of annoying — Regis Philbin hosting. Ugh.

It also looks like any other “evening game show” on now: long ramps to the center, busy moving graphics, standing contestants, dark backdrops, overly-loud cheering audience, annoying computer-y music, flashing lights (really make me dizzy) and too many commercials and repeats of what the rules are.

But in between commercials and Regis pseudo-bonding with the contestants, it’s still fast-paced and I love watching how people try to tie words together. It’s absorbing. Way too absorbing.

I’m not at the point yet (nor do I ever hope to be) where I can think of my own hints to passwords or close my eyes and listen to the clues and figure out the passwords. No, my friend, those days are more distant than I can count right now.

The two shows I’ve seen have had Rosie O’Donnell. Now whether you love her or hate her, you hafta give her credit: the woman is a game show who@@ like I’m a reading who@@. She knows her games, is good at them, and is well, good at them.

Because I find her style so engaging and I love the game and don’t want to watch any additional tv shows, I hope they move the show around a lot so I’ll never know when it’s on (or missed it), or Regis will annoy me so much I can’t watch it anymore, or it’ll get canceled or something.

And yet…

it’s just the thing I could rationalize as a dementia-preventative. Let’s just hope it’s a summer replacement-type show and that it goes away in the fall, shall we? Ok, let’s…

I know this is hard to understand: But I still want a cigarette every time I smell one burning. Take tonight, for instance. I’m sitting on my screened-in back porch, enjoying the quiet night, my little white xmas lights are still up around the perimeter of the porch (4th time’s the charm?) (creating ambiance, doncha know) and the golf ball-size mosquitoes are asleep tonight.

What does all this have to do with cigarettes you ask? Well, nothing really, except that I just smelled my neighbor’s cigarette from 2 houses down. And it just smells so good.

I know, you’re about to gag, aren’t you.

It’s weird to me too, because every other time I’ve quit smoking, the smell has become absolutely repugnant. This time (5 years, 3 months and 3 weeks and 2 days, but who’s counting) it’s been different. I still want one whenever I smell one.

Actually, “want” might be too strong a word, since I am actually sometimes usually almost always satisfied by smelling it.

And I know it’s gross, and most people can’t even stand the smell of smoke. But it’s still appealing to me anyway.

Maybe this will help you understand me better: It’d be like deciding that for many reasons (health, cost, etc.) you decide to quit eating your <insert favorite food here>. You love this food, you have it whenever you can. You’re happier after you eat it. You can eat it any time, day or night. You can never have enough.

But you know you have to stop eating it because it is bad / will be bad / might be bad for you. And you know it’s the right choice and that you’ll be better off, blah blah blah. So you do stop.

Yet every time you smelled it, and you knew it was bad for you and that you wouldn’t have any (for today anyway, because you take it one day at a time because you know that “all or nothing” “I’ll never…” thinking is dangerous), even though all of that, it still made you salivate, it still held its power over you. It still attracted you.

Some days you’re tempted more than others. You think you can have it “just once” (you know better, though). Some days you’re okay with just smelling it, remembering how it used to taste. Some days you long for it, knowing that (for today anyway) you won’t have it. Some days other things, like stress or need for comfort make you want to run to it.

And some days you can just sit and smell and be okay with it. You remember all those things you loved about it, and know that it could all change tomorrow, but that for tonight at least, you’re okay with just smelling it…

So I’m sure you remember my talking before about <My brush with a brush with greatness>

Sure you do.

Well, now comes word that my cousin KNOWS the hopefully – still – oh – so – hot (to a 9-year old) co-star of Lost in Space, Major Jim West!!!!!! played by Mark Goddard (thanks for saving me the lookup Matt!).

All I can say is “AAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!” <scream in high-pitch 9-year old voice>

Oh — my — god. If he knew what a crush my 2 sisters and friend Meg had on him. Mmm, we thought he was suh-weeeet.

Isn’t that <can’t think of good word> how two groups of people, (the friends I grew up with) and my cousin (who’s lived all over the place) who don’t even know each other have such up – close – and – personal ties to the same tv show?! OK, well I think it is <can’t think of good word>…

Life lesson of the day: It’s a small world after all. (I dare you to not sing that song for the rest of the day now…heh heh heh.) It’s like the 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon or something. It’s just crazy, I tell you, crazy!

So, Matt, how do you know him????? Give us the scoop man.

Inquiring minds want to know!

Yes, I know I could just call you or email you or IM you or text you or post a letter to you but tell us all here, wouldja???

This is more than a brush with a brush with greatness now. It’s turning into a GE Home Cleaning System with greatness, sucking everything into its vortex.

<For past post about the GE Home Cleaning System see <The right tool for the right job (today’s cheap thrill)> in which I describe how my world was rocked by one simple thing.>

Further proof that Karma exists and thrives: Remember how I used to steal liberate daffodils from parks, public places, and private – places – where – there – were – so – many – that – nobody – would – notice?

And I’m not just talking about a few either. Nobody who witnessed (or was beneficiary) would deny that I took dozens.

Before we could drive we’d take – home -a – sak (grab, walk fast and bag along the way). When we got our licenses I (or whoever was driving) would pull over far enough to “hide,” I’d run, grab and go. We really had it down to a science.

Then I would give most of them away to friends’ mothers. Of course they loved me already but this made them just love me more. I would also, of course, bring them home to my mother and tell her I’d gotten them out of my friend’s mother’s garden.

It was all quite convoluted, but to this day, my friends see daffodils in my yard and bring up Marie/y’s little “problem.” Note that they conveniently forget they were either participants or recipients of “Marie/y’s little problem.”

Anyway: this should come as no surprise to anyone that believes in Karma: Now, with my own garden full of them I have become ragingly allergic to daffodils.

I brought some to work. They smelled so good but I had to move them from so much sniffling and sneezing. I finally ended up dumping them before they were really dead because I kept sneezing. They’re all over my garden, in their prime, tempting me, yet I can’t pick them because they drive me nuts.

See? There really is Karma. I stole enjoyment, therefore I get it stolen from me now.

Yours in profundity,

M.

Previous entry on karma

I’ll always think about my grandfather Farley on St. Patrick’s Day. Despite his penchant for wearing yarmulkes, he was Irish through and through.

When I think of him, I can’t also help think of Bernie D., the guy below, whom I used to work with, who is also Irish, who has white hair, who’s always smiling, and who reminds me of my grandpa.

!dscn2226-medium.jpg

I bet my Grandpa would have dyed his hair green on St. Patty’s day too, if they’d had it back then.

But here he is in 1965 with my sister Emily, white hair intact.

emily-and-grandfather-1965-medium.jpg

No real point here, just a remembrance…

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