Easter, 2021. A tale of three Presidents.
Saturday, April 03, 2021
Saturday, March 13, 2021
Day 365, self quarantine
March 13, 2020 was the last day Gary and I worked. We giddily agreed to use two weeks of our vacation time to do our part to “flatten the curve.”
We were actually kinda excited about a totally unplanned holiday where we’d stock up on all kinds of great food and weed and hide out from the world while it fixed itself.
Ha. Ha. Ha.
How ironic that today, on our one year anniversary of quarantine, Gary and I both got vaccination #2.
In two weeks, after literally a year in the house except for stealth runs at dawn for groceries and dog walks, we’re free.
But...free to do what, exactly.
The kids aren’t vaccinated yet so even though Gary and I are losing our minds missing them, we have to wait.
I’m not ready to be around people yet anyway.
Let me put it like this. I no longer want to be around people I don’t love.
I’m old, I no longer have to, it’s one of the perks.
So I’m not going to ever put myself in that position again.
Omg I’ve changed so much this year and so has Gary...it’s unbelievable.
Gary...where do I start?
Gary has long hair and a beard and always talks the liberal hippie talk but honestly, I felt like I suffered through four years of Donald alone. Gary watched sports on television 24/7, he’d watch sumo wrestling over MSNBC.
He got angry at me if I brought up politics and/or Donald.
“He’s not getting re-elected,” he’d say, blowing me off.
I’d grit my teeth in anger. I was beyond worried we were stuck with him forever. If you will recall, I predicted the insurrection.
Sometime during the pandemic, that all changed.
Yesterday, Gary and I had a spirited discussion about how much we like Nicole Wallace and Joy Reid, Chuck Todd not so much.
I never in a million years could have dreamed of this conversation a year ago.
It’s nuts! I fucking love it!
Not working agrees with Gary. He’s basically stress free these days and almost always in a good head. He’s out in the yard feeding and talking to the birds every day, and if not for missing the kids and the virus, his life is pretty damn swell.
In my world, I’ve become acutely aware of how fragile life is. One second you’re here...and then you’re not, and there are devastated people weeping at the loss.
And yeah I know that thinking about all this when I’m shut in the house with a deadly virus outside the door is insane but it’s hard to stop.
Twelve people I knew and interacted with closely died last year.
My brain still can’t wrap around it.
I look at Gary. We’re together fifty years. We’ve been through so much unbelievable bad shit it’s a miracle we’re together.
I wonder how I could possibly go on without him.
And yet, I know people who do it every day.
This year, man.
Mind boggling. Life changing.
I am going to make sure those changes are positive.
And really, what a great time to do that, huh. I’m at the beginning of my golden years, dammit, time to get started.
This post is not what I intended.
I was going to do an epic wrap up and recap the entire year.
And then I thought, ew, who the fuck wants to relive that.
I just wanted to write what I’m feeling today, with so much that has changed, and so much about to change for me personally.
I will write more about that in the coming days after I get certain people to take their fingers out of their ears and stop singing la la la every time I bring up the retirement word but yeah yeah yeah my paper clip haggling days are over.
This summer is gonna be 🔥🔥🔥
Sunday, February 28, 2021
The summer I turned 15 was one of misery. I wanted to be free of my parents and old enough to live on a commune, where I’d smoke weed, bake banana bread and write all day. Gary and I weren’t in an adult relationship yet.
I was a baby hippie wannabe, obsessed with leaving home ever since hearing the Beatles sing about it two years earlier.
She’s Leaving Home was my fucking anthem.
I formulated a plan. I wasn’t old enough to leave for good, but I was old enough to leave for the summer if I could find a job as a mother’s helper at the Jersey shore.
In 1969, comfortable middle class Jewish families in Philadelphia would rent homes for the entire summer in Atlantic City. It was before legalized gambling. Moms didn’t work. The dads would stay in Philadelphia all week for their jobs, but every Friday night they would drive to the shore where they’d stay til Sunday night.
That’s where I came in. Mother’s little helper.
I only got paid $15 a week, but I had room and board at a beach house. All I allegedly had to do in return was help out with child care, especially when dad arrived.
And I also had a day off to spend that $15 weekly fortune and go wherever I wanted with no rules, because in Atlantic City, I had no parents.
I found the job in the Evening Bulletin, our nightly newspaper. Can you imagine a 14 year old cold calling strangers via a want ad? To apply for a job to live with them?
You might think my mom was insane to have let me do it, but life was so different and innocent back then.
Though even without the benefit of the internet, this family was easily identifiable. The dad owned a popular beauty salon in northeast Philadelphia. The mom went to the same high school my mom and I went to.
There’s no way they could have been as bad as my crazy family, with my jazz musician druggie father and my mom who did naked yoga in our living room.
That summer, one year after the Summer of Love, my parents and I were bitterly arguing every day. I think they were happy to get rid of me.
Plus they were worried I was getting too close with my boyfriend 😂
Anyway, gah, how do I even begin to talk about my adventures on my own that summer.
Woodstock fell on my 15th birthday. If I wasn’t a total idiot, I could have gone but honestly, I wasn’t devious or worldly back then and I never would have gotten away with it. I doubt I would have been savvy enough to even make it to the actual festival but a plan WAS in place and I was set to go but at the last minute, I called my mother for permission.
I have no idea why I did that. I stopped asking my mother for permission for things from the age of eleven when she cancelled a hotel reservation I’d made for a sleepover party at a local Howard Johnson’s.
Alas, my mother had already heard about Woodstock.
“What about your job?” she shrieked.
“I’m gonna quit, it’s the end of summer anyway.”
Well, I was...
“You can’t do that! You have responsibilities. If you don’t want to stay there I am coming now to pick you up! But you really shouldn’t leave, you made a commitment!”
So I didn’t go to Woodstock, I stayed in Atlantic City until Labor Day as promised.
The other thing I wanna tell you is that’s the summer I decided I’m never having kids.
Welp, the family who hired me had three boys, ages 3, 5 and 6. It wasn’t humanly possible for a 15 year old stoner to enjoyably take care of three little boys.
Oy, not only did I babysit, I had to give them baths, feed them, and put them to sleep.
And after they finally went to sleep, I had to do the family ironing.
So that was another thing I learned.
If it needs to be ironed, I don’t want it.
I don’t even want to own a fucking iron.
Anyway, you can’t even believe what happened.
That family loved me.
Omg, they wouldn’t leave me alone. They called me all year, begging me to come back the next summer.
Their three little boys worshipped me, probably because I would be totally off the wall like Otto the Bus Driver meets Mary Poppins. I’d make up crazy games and stories to tell them and sneak them candy and cookies in between meals so I wouldn’t have to cook them a lot for dinner.
I mean, I wasn’t much older than they were.
And because they loved me, I loved them back, kinda. I had zero confidence and couldn’t believe anyone liked or wanted me around.
At night, after I was done ironing, if she was feeling charitable, the mom, Roz, would have girl talks with me.
I thought Roz was so beautiful. She was tiny and had thick red hair cut into an edgy Vidal Sassoon courtesy of her husband and she wore white frosted lipstick and “designer” clothes from Ladybug/Villager.
Actually, that first summer, I kinda wanted to be Roz. I wasn’t used to a family that laughed all the time and talked about clothes and makeup and spent money freely without arguing.
The family offered to double my salary, Gary and I still weren’t in an adult relationship, and I needed money for college and/or my commune.
I used to be smart and skipped third grade so 1970 was the summer before my senior year of high school.
I was now a full fledged hippie.
The summer of 1970 was difficult. The Viet Nam war was raging. I suddenly looked at my employers not as a loving successful family who adored me but as plastic people, the establishment. I couldn’t believe their middle class values. I even sneered they had three kids, I believed in zero population.
I didn’t think Roz was beautiful anymore, either. I wore my hair long and parted in the middle, and wouldn’t be caught dead in makeup. Roz with her dyed flame colored hair and shiny white lips made me sick.
But okay okay, I was completely smitten with those three little boys. We were the musketeers, partners in crime.
So I felt bad when halfway through the summer, I called my mom to come get me.
I just couldn’t go on, “working for the man.”
I was young and irresponsible and anxious to start my senior year and plan my final escape.
But you don’t live with a family for almost two summers at your most impressionable age and forget about them.
And as time went on, I felt terrible that I walked out on them. They were pretty pissed. At my mom’s insistence, I sent them a letter of apology but they never responded.
So being creepy stalker girl, once I entered cyberspace you know I had to Google them.
Right away I learned the oldest and youngest boys were dead.
I can’t even...it almost killed me reading about them.
The dad died of cancer in 2002.
The middle boy married a doctor and ironically has three beautiful daughters all close in age. The two summers I watched over him, he was a wiry, freckled redhead.
He’s now a pudgy, bald 56 year old.
Roz moved to Florida after her sons and husband died.
I still think about her all the time, especially our girl talks.
I’d been meaning to Google her and check up on her, what with Covid down in Florida.
Instead, yesterday I read her obituary in the Jewish Exponent.
That’s 12 people close to me who’ve died this year.
I’m working on a one year apocalypse anniversary post for March 13. There’s a lot I have to fill you in on.
But for now, I think I am just going to close my eyes and remember what it was like to be 15 and living at the beach during the summer of 1969.
Thursday, January 14, 2021
Tuesday, December 15, 2020
Day 276, self quarantine:
Tuesday, December 15, 2020
Had she lived, today my mom would have been 91.
Alas, she didn’t even live to see 50.
We’re also officially into month 10 of quarantine. If you got pregnant at the beginning of the pandemic, you have a baby now.
I hope if you did, you named it Apocalypse.
Today’s photo, my Facebook memory from 2010, broke me.
It’s cookies I baked with Julie at her Philadelphia apartment, less than a mile from Casa Slick.
I used to complain she lived “too far.”
Ha ha ha.
These are the only cookies Gary doesn’t bake. They’re my recipe, and when the kids were little, we named them “Jems” for Julie Eric Mom Slick.
Anyway, no cookies this year, either.
What’s the point?
I can’t even believe I am saying this, but in the last couple of months, something major has changed with me.
I’ve stopped liking sweet, sugary food.
People, there’s still a full bowl of Halloween candy here.
I gotta be honest, last month I actually wondered if I had Covid.
That’s how little the idea of dessert appeals to me.
Conversely, I’ve been craving hot, spicy, peppery foods or anything with vinegar or a wine sauce.
I am what I eat?
I guess so.
Then why are my jeans tight, dammit?!
So Joe is now officially president?
Don’t count on it yet.
Bill Barr didn’t resign for no reason.
You can be sure something gross and disgusting is coming and pardons are the least of our worries.
But don’t listen to me, I’m a hysterical senior just trying to stay alive and keep her husband alive while we impatiently wait to see our family again sometime next year.
What do I know?
Apparently not much.
Ugh, I was hoping my mood would improve as I wrote this but apparently not.
Philadelphia has a pretty good chance of getting socked with a snowstorm tomorrow.
Our house is loaded with food and water.
The dog absolutely adores the snow and watching him play in it is everything.
And Gary and I don’t have to be anywhere, so...
Tomorrow should be a much better day.
Sunday, December 13, 2020
Day 274, self quarantine:
Sunday, December 13, 2020
Gary made sweet potato black bean enchiladas for dinner last night and they may be the best enchiladas I’ve ever eaten.
So that was awesome.
Other than that, I’m completely disgusted by Donald and his white supremacist supporters and wish I could put my house up for sale and leave America.
We’re broken and the people in this country are beyond ignorant and embracing anti-intellectualism and racism.
While I am no longer terrified Donald will have a successful coup, I remain terrified that he’s already incited his idiot voters to more violence and the next six weeks are going to be hell.
I hope I’m wrong.
Anyway, Merry Christmas. I’ve somehow finished shopping, I’ve completely lost track of what I bought, and in any other year, there would be a hundred gaily wrapped presents under our tree.
I kept lists for Gary and the kids, making sure I spent equal amounts on everyone. I wrapped packages in different paper for each recipient. I kept careful records of tracking and held on to gift receipts in an organized folder.
The only way I know it’s Christmas is my bank account is a couple thousand dollars lighter.
I feel bad for Gary, who has never shopped online and is incapable/unwilling to learn. Actually, I feel worse for me, I’m the one who won’t have presents 😂😂😂
Nah, I made it easy for him, I told him I want a television for my office/Julie’s room and since I refuse to let him go to a physical store, I pulled up televisions on my phone and let him think he picked one out :)
Oy, 2020. You’re killing me.
Actually, I apologize for that remark. It’s not even a little funny.
At least there’s light at the end of the tunnel. People my age should be vaccinated by spring.
Ask me how fast I am jumping on a plane to see my kids once we’re all vaccinated...
Though Gary keeps talking camper rental and open ended cross country trip in 2021.
Maybe even catching some of the kids’ concerts since THEY WILL BE ABLE TO TOUR!
Hell, why not?
We’ll have nothing but time, us old retired folk.
All we have to do is stay healthy between now and then.
We’re doing our best but...
Hahaha like I really pray.
Tuesday, December 08, 2020