Thursday, September 6, 2012

so i have a dog...

okay, so why is it that just because i have a dog people assume that my dog and i want to play with them and their fido...'cause i don' floppy eared dog who joyously accompanies, even begs me to walk her several miles everyday peaceful and without the noise of other dog enthusiasts...her tail and my ponytail bouncing along in harmony until we are startled by a similar couple looking trying to nudge in on our alone time and play with us.

Call me crazy but i find it somewhat disturbing that from the minute i got a dog people wanted to schedule doggie play dates suggesting that we either come to their house, so long as we have similar invisible fence systems (really????) or worse yet we should meet at the park and trudge through the tick laden woods...really so that i can police my dog in public, talking to her like we talk to our children, reminding and reprimanding my adorable Fluffy to play nice, site, don't go into the murky pond, don't jump and please come the first time i call...ugh...another situation where we can all point finger and feel mortified that our canine offspring will have no part of listening to my human beautiful dog has totally failed the obedience test of NO, COME, SIT and i don't want to be scolded for her lack of discipline and listen to the hushed quips by the other doggie mommy's who have well trained kids say please and thank you and know how to behave with other people...i have no problem letting them out in dog...she is cute, adorable and wants to jump on people and get them to play with her...not to mention that i don't really understand what makes dogs tick and have no interest in finding myself in the middle of a doggie dispute...i love my dog but i am not a dog person.

I can't follow another set of rules that i don't know who established, but i am acutely aware that Fluffy and I are not living up to the doggie play date please fellow dog owners, walk your puppies but don't at all feel obligated to include us in your reindeer games...that's why i wear dark sunglasses, even when its snowing and constantly check my iPhone...i'm trying to ignore the puppy play date overture, take my walk and get on with my me though i would love to have coffee!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

funny and nice...NOT

so here is the story people..honesty starts with knowing yourself and being honest about what makes you tick and how you can control your own list of personal strengths and weaknesses...then use them to quiet the chatter in your head or make better decisions while out for dinner...this is usually where i get into the most trouble...the moral compass kicks in and i cant sit idly by when people talk about folks who i find offensive...for example...last weekend i was at a lovely dinner party...a few of the guests began telling a story about a guy we all know saying oh how funny and nice and great he is..blah, blah, blah.....hell, i think this guy totally there i sat...seltzer in helps me manage my verbal outbreaks better than alcohol...and i'm thinking to myself...really, this guy is a jerk...he is competitive at the expense of others, he is creepy, his wife is a bully, his kid is mean and the list goes i think...i can blurt all of this out and let everyone know exactly how i feel...which will most likely change the entire tone of the conversation and evening as we will delve into the particulars of this guy and further digress into the nature of over competitive helicopter parents in suburbia...ugh...all of which i would have loved to debate but realized i was just too after 10 seconds, which seemed like an eternity in my mind i reengaged in the conversation with a pleasant smile and nod...and so this particular guy got to be known as funny, nice and everything else he is not in my mind.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The pick up line is killing me...

i'm not kidding, the pick up line is killing on a million different levels, i avoid it whenever possible..i have been doing it for 8 years now and still don't even understand how it works, it should not be so difficult yet it is a source of serious anxiety...oh you might be confusing me with a hip and cool city person hearing a pick up line at a bar...oh contrare...i am talking about 'the pick-up line' at school.

i got rid of my SUV about a year ago and went the other extreme...small, 2 door, convertible...on the days i need to do a school up up, which i try to limit to once a week...i am a huge fame of the little-yeller-feller...i find myself sandwiched between MLs and GLs....mega land vehicles and the even more so, gargantuan land vehicles...all decked out with stickers and magnets galore so that we all know where any given family vacations, what activities junior is involved with and what schools the family attends...these strolling family dossiers are all over suburbia.

today i found myself in a loaner car - 15K mile service - having to honk like a crazy person to save my life and that of my loaner car's passenger side door...i try to keep a low profile, whisking my kid home with out much interaction so incessantly honking my horn and watching a million heads turn in my direction is not what i was going SVU that was making a new line between the left and right lanes of the official pick up line was being yelled out to pick a line...thus causing the driver to need to back up before moving off to the right...thus jeopardizing my pristine loaner...finally the lines straightened out and everyone had a spot...i was safe now except for the fumes...

you can never count on the pick up line moving at anything other than a snails unless patience is your first, second and third name, which mine is not, i have to get to school 30 minutes prior to my kid's release in an effort to get in and out and to the appointment...the entire reason behind the pick up....on time! i now have a strategy, which has taken me all these years to perfect....i plan my entire day around the pick up line...i get there about 30 minutes early with my lunch, scout out a legitimate parking spot...which keeps me on the line until i can pull into the parking which point i try my best to wait patiently while listening to the soothing voices on NPR and enjoy my mixed all is good until i look out my rear view mirror and notice the line of SUVs that has created  an off shoot pick up line within the parking lot and i start to panic about how i am going to maneuver out of my space without hitting an HSE or GX or a car named for a place in Africa.

its finally time to collect my prodigy...we return to the car giving  a friendly glance to the driver parked directly perpendicular to me thus inhibiting my clean break, thankfully he takes the hint, moves his land machine and off we go...until next weeks pick up line

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Stand in line....quietly, please!

okay twitchy you think that by standing behind me just off in the corner of my peripheral vision with your bad body language, hands on your hips and your gym chomping, ever so subtly punctuated by your annoying 'ummmmph" is going to encourage me to move any faster or make the ATM process my transactions any quicker???? Think again....I saw you sitting in your suburban armored vehicle as I pulled into the parking spot next to were busy chatting away on your cell, two tennis rackets in your passenger's were happy to idle away time and money...that is until you saw a potential, i might actually get to that empty ATM first...oh no!!!
So you quickly ended your call and flew out of your car...but alas, you were to late...i had my hand on the door and whereas i would have otherwise held it for you allowing you to enter first, i crossed the threshold and held the door backwards so that i was polite enough not to have it smack you in the crept up behind me and let out the first annoying 'ummmph' of our brief encounter...

i was doing a quick drive by shop yesterday for my boys...jeans, boxers, socks...etc, the basics...a woman at the front register had been arguing with the cashier since the time a walked in...when i found myself on a long line due to her shenanigans i got into the line zone...look around, make mental lists and if all else fails strike up a utilitarian conversation with the first person online that smiles in your direction...the woman in front of me smiled...she and our cashier both commented on the shenanigans woman and were in agreement that people feel very entitled...i gave them a breif retelling of my ATM story...they laughed...and when the woman in front of me check out she turned and handed me her 20% off take that ummmph and shenanigan ladies...i just got myself a discount!!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

do we know when enough is enough???

one of the great memories from my childhood was going to work with my father...i loved getting up early, putting on my 'work' clothes and going through the adult motions; grabbing coffee to go (a novelty in the 70's) rushing for the train, folding the paper along the crease to make it as compact a reading experience as possible and listening to great conversations...oh before i go on you want to know what my father did/does, right...yes of course you do...this was a question never asked when i was a kid...and if anyone did inquire just 'cause they did i usually told them that he sold dream and illusions...which i guess is not much different from the guys who sold mortgages to everyone who wanted to be part of the great american dream in the early part of this century....yes of course i grew up in suburbia and my dad was a math wiz, so you guessed it, he is a wall street guy...back when men wore 3 piece suits, had outlandish lunches and played cards in the smoking car on the way home, a time when no one asked 'what does your father do?" fact i did not even know what some of my friend's fathers did until long into my 20's when i moved back to the same suburban town from whence i which point i started to meet people who went to college with my childhood friends and acquaintances and would say 'oh you must know sallyjoedavid and their father who started-owed-tookpublic thegreatestcompanyever!!! wow...well now i know and good for sallyjoedavid and their family!

the other thing i knew was that 'back then' there was a sense of in you, me, us, we have enough...
and if you had enough or were lucky to have more than enough you had the good graces not to let everybody know how much enough lesson i learned on the way home from work with my dad one day was told to me by his partner...a man of the same age who loved cars...and who had enough...this lesson was shared with me on a day we drove to work...after work when we walked to our spot in the garage on a side street west of broadway behind Trinity church i noticed a really nice car and commented to that affect...our friend said, 'let me tell you what you can learn about a person from their car'....the person who has nothing drives a jalopy and happy for the simple mode of transportation enabling him to get to and from....the person who has cash to burn but has not saved drives a cadillac (remember this is the last 70's) or a mercedes...the person who is comfortable in their own skin or has a trust fund drives a BMW one will look twice and its great car...the man who told me this story still drives his subaru wagon and flies coach between his homes in the north east and california....his point was well has less to do with how nice your car is, how big your house, how fancy your vacation and more to do with how much is enough and when enough is really enough are you aware how blessed you are and realize it is time to give back...we all have our own idea of what is one can set that thresh hold for good citizens however it is up to us to interpret how much enough is.

so often we let life get the better of us..we need and have to have...we want people to know us for our set pieces; our cars,  our parties, our vacations or our homes...what we do for a living...rather than what we do with what we do for a living...when we have enough we need to give back, share the happiness...give ourselves a hardy 'congratulations' and realize our enough.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Supermarket Psychology

no don't be silly...i am not talking about those wonderful trash rags that we all  love  reading on the checkout line while contemplating the danger of eating the Nestle's Crunch bar as a crowd of strapping supermodels are  staring at us from the airbrushed covers of fashion, i am talking about the cathartic feeling after you bump into someone in the supermarket or encounter a perfect stranger and share a deep conversation about life, love and the pursuit of happiness in the burbs...its a funny start with a cheerful hello and then someone opens the proverbial can of worms with a question about family, friends or work or a comment about the service on the checkout line, the weather or something about the community at large...and bam you go into a dissertation about what's good, bad and currently on your mind as if you are lying on a shrink's couch rather than standing in your local grocery store on your way home from the mind you the supermarket physiologist is most likely not your bestie or they would know that answers to all these pressing questions and would know the turmoil or the levity of your current sitch but non-the-less you start in on a conversation....

okay so here is the thing...i like my supermarket psychology...i enjoy the intense conversations i have while pushing a cart full of yummies and whiling away the hours at my local market...i enjoy the exchange of stories, the advise and even the small talk...there is a comradery in sharing with an acquaintance and an unwritten rule that what happens in the market stays in the market.

but here's the little town no longer has a supermarket, at one point we had we have 8 banks, 6 nail salons and 4 real estate offices among our 24 storefronts...we can get money, buy and sell our homes and keep nicely groomed but we can't get 3 cans of sauce for 99 cents...we do have a delicious gourmet market which is now thankfully open on Sundays...and i must say i was delighted last Sunday when i went out to grab some provisions for Sunday supper and bumped into 2 old, as in we have been friends since elementary school..the other new, as in we meet 18 years ago...they too are friends with each other and i found them in the middle of a pow pow about their which point i felt the need to interject and add my shared experiences to the conversation...which turned what should have been a 20 minute trip into an hour and i walked away having shared good information and gotten great validation of my circumstances...i left with my head high and two bags of meat and veggies!

since our 'supermarket' closed down after the great flood i have found myself moving about from market to market to procure my provisions, and as such have expanded my repertoire of communal Bedford Falls i bumped into two women i mostly talk to on the sports who's company i quite enjoy...i felt compelled to discuss with her the sports captain selection at my kid's school...she offered wise advise and shared a personal story...i left feeling propped up and armed with a good Pottersville i had an encounter at the bagel store over boars head and nova with a smart lady who i have hardly talked to but have known for the past 15 years...she and i discussed books, backgrounds and, not stock futures...we shared some stories and offered advise and our mutual concern about teenagers and their choices....and again i left behind the menagerie of bagels as well as the baggage of my concerns dujuor...i took something away and left my fellow shopper with food for thought

so relish a chance encounter, i promise you there is an unwritten governance that covers the privacy of your conversations, you will feel better as you connect and share and leave with some groceries to nourish your soul.

Monday, January 9, 2012

...on the one hand

funny, we are a 'so on the one hand but on the other hand' kindda generation of parents...we like to see all sides and choose our religion as we see fit...we are non committal and non confrontational while sticking to our guns, which we don't want our kids to play with (read on) old friend of mine who is both a rabbi and a ball player turned spiritualist once told me not to be afraid of  not going to temple as every person is their own rabbi... thus i was empowered to rule self i said "what do i believe in today???" although  i am still trying to answer that on a practical level, on a macro level i feel well advised by my self....but it is on the micro level that i find fascinating both my decisions and those of my fellow suburbanites regarding ourselves and our children....

like many decisions in my kid's lives they were a bit pre-destined due to a rich tradition of doing, going and of these things was sleep away camp...although i despised sleep away camp...i know, you must be should never put that many girls together in a non-military like structured environment if you are expecting anything more than petty behavior with mascara running down sad faces and enough hairspray to attract all the bugs north of Portland Maine!

....none-the-less my kids headed off to an all boys (thankfully) summer camp in the north east...during the spring prior to leaving for the summer i was sitting on the side of a ball field (the site of 75% of poorly behaved parenting outbursts, myself included, especially when another parent yells at my kid who did not make a tag out at home...oh i digress and i am sure that's in another post)...when discussing summer camp with a group of parents...(a suburban parents hot button topic as most believe their child's camp is the preeminent...although i like my kid's camp, and more importantly they love it, i do believe that camps like nursery schools are all within 5 degrees of each other or they would not be in existence for 100+ years) mom preceded to get on her soap box about how she would never even consider visiting the camp my boys go to because they have riflery....really, riflery, her decision came down to riflery...amazing since her kid's behavior is feared by 90% of the kids in town and goes unchecked as her little cherub faced angel barrels over other children with verbal bullets, she did not want to send her kid to a camp with riflery...on the one hand lets condemn a camp because of an age old activity that can't hurt anyone without intention while on the other hand let us justify verbal bullets with a patented tag line of  oh you can't control what a 12 year old says

in the world of condemnation, i find it interesting  that on the one had we sit around as parents condemning underage kids who drink, yes alcohol not juice boxes...but we let our kids have Facebook pages where they display images of themselves with alcohol type paraphernalia...we get our bee in a bonnet when our kid is not invited to a party in the fall  but on the other hand we are able to justify the hell out of why another kid did not need to be included at a party in the spring...we bash one parent's choice to let their almost 17 year old drive after nine one year and the next year blatantly let our almost 17 year old routinely drive after nine. friends we are all our own rabbi in the big bad world of parenting...on the one hand lets be honest with ourselves and on the other hand lets be respectful of how our decisions will affect others...and let us not forget the most important rule at should love, or at least respect your neighbor as yourself...