Tag Archives: love

Things That Make Me Think Twice

I was shopping for a baby gift for a friend who recently found out she’s having a girl. She’s over the moon about her pregnancy, and, her excitement being as infectious as it is, lead me into a cute baby boutique a few blocks from my apartment to browse and perhaps buy a gift for said unborn child. But, quite unexpectedly, I found it. The dress that I had get for the friend’s baby. The dress that I had to get for every girl baby in the world. The dress I had to get for my baby. Wait. What? The baby I don’t have and, until that moment, wasn’t sure if I would ever want to have. But life is funny. My future flashed before me bathed in a pale pink cotton/silk blend with a round neck, tank sleeves, and a bell shape. I suddenly wanted a child more than anything else in the world. Someone who may or may not share my DNA, but a little person with thoughts, opinions and feelings that have a voice all their own, but stink of my influence.

A male friend of mine recently told me his feelings on becoming a dad for the second time:  “I never thought I would be the parenting type, but for some reason, it really suits me. I like the idea of being able to control some small piece of the world, but do it from an egoless and selfless place. That’s nice.” In that moment, standing there holding a tiny dress meant for a six month old girl, I got what he was saying. 

Picture 1 16-42-07

I bought the dress and took it home to wrap, but couldn’t bring myself to fold it up and put it in a box. I laid it out on my white chair, stretching the limits of the skirt to its fullest potential. I imagined a child wearing that dress. Not my friend’s baby per se, but a baby. Maybe even my baby. I wondered how long I would sit there with her on my lap inhaling her sweet baby smell as she fell asleep in my arms. How painful it would be if she woke up screaming in the night when cutting her first teeth. What her first word might be; her first sentence. And, as she grew older, the perfume she might wear, the books she would read and if she would be anything like me or anyone in my family. Would I see my sister in her, my mother, my father or grandfather? Would hazel eyes gaze back at me in rebellion or the blue or brown pools of my father’s/sister’s/mother’s eyes flash before me? Will she succeed in doing the things I did not?

But, then I thought of the world. Of things like cell phones and Facebook, text messaging and ‘tweens in skimpy bikinis. Of growing up too fast and not playing with dolls long enough or spending hours reading a book under a crab apple tree. And, even if a childhood lasts a little longer and is a little more innocent than my mind thinks, it still goes by in the blink of an eye. 

I kept the dress out on the chair for a few days. I got used to it being there, of walking by it every time I entered the living room. But then, I realized, it’s not mine. It’s a gift that will leave my hands and travel across the country to live a life and be worn, with love. I folded the dress carefully, wrapped it in tissue paper and placed it in a box. I wrapped the box in a bright pink and white floral paper, tying it with a pale blue bow to soften the loudness of the pink. I wrote out the card to my friend, telling her: “your greatest story is about to be written.” Her story is coming soon. Mine is still being outlined.

–Downtown

Miss Popularity

Given that this day is about bringing my dysfunctional sibs to the table, I was inspired by today’s Daily OM to express the following:

Oh, to be loved. If only I’d learned such a thing as a kid. Instead, I took care of my parents whose shortcomings and lack of confidence put them in a position to live the lives as pretenders. Rather than accept who they were, love who they were and BE who they were, they aimed to live in a town where they were NOT welcome and that was after this UT girl was rejected as a City girl from one of this City’s prestigious ALL-girl independent schools. Please note, first rejection on record.

Granted NYC in the 1960’s was not much to write home about if you aimed to be part of an establishment to which you were not born. S and S were NOT of the City but rather Long Island (one of the Five Towns) and the north shore of Chicago. Their “privileged” upbringing(s) means that they were educated as in the case of the Long Islander, a first generation American, and the North Shore Suburbanite, a fifth generation American. The New Yorker was raised by a nanny, the MidWesterner wasn’t. In coming of age, having met while they were both in graduate school in “Cambridge,” yes, Cambridge, MA, they moved to NYC together and set out to create a life together on the Upper West Side. I suspect that had they been true to themselves, they might not have moved out of the City or perhaps moved to Brooklyn or MAYBE Scarsdale, where “people like them” were welcome. Where a blonde hair blue eyed daughter might have accepted her heritage and NOT aimed to be like the blue blooded Wasps with whom she played. But then, a kid is a kid and at a certain juncture, all she wants to do is “fit in.” Which is precisely what happened to S & S. They wanted to fit in. BUT had they embraced their inner selves, they might have found a community where they could BE themselves and not TRY to be something they weren’t.

Despite my rant, I understand that as parents, they did the best they could. Now that they are no longer here, and believe me, I miss them dearly despite their shortcomings, it is incumbent upon me to accept myself for who I am, from whence I’ve come and to do my best to encourage my children to like love themselves and just be the best they can be, whatever their aspirations, now and in the future.

April 19, 2008
Easy Attraction
Libra Daily Horoscope

You are likely attracting a great deal of attention and praise from your loved ones and peers today, so you may feel more charming than usual. A sense that you are captivating others with your wit or wisdom can inspire curiosity within you, prompting you to question the origin of your new magnetism. You may discover that the answer is simple and lies in your smile, your laughter, and your openness. As you express your amiability and generous spirit, you will likely find that you never want for company and are bombarded with friendly overtures from individuals who are cheerful and buoyant. If you allow your natural ebullience to shine forth today, you will unconsciously invite good people into your life.

And with that, i have to say, it’s good to be loved but most important is to love yourself. And since I turned 40, I’m doing a fairly good job. There’s one problem though, I’m getting a bit frustrated over the ideas I generate and inability to be monetarily compensated. As the husband tells me, it’s all in the execution. So, on to execution…

peace, love and executionally yours,

UT

Walking a Mile in a Younger Soul

Uptown,

Your Yoga post reminded me of a comment I had made to a friend while walking home from a book party at Housing Works last month. We were on Crosby street, after a night of 6-wording it with other “youngsters” and a late night drink at Balthazar, when I turned to one of my group and said, “Do you ever walk down a New York street and remember the first time you ever stepped foot on it?” I got a bunch of odd looks, so kept the rest of my thoughts to myself (perhaps it was a little too much for everyone to think about at 1 am), but I do think about it a lot.

Crosby Street was where I lost my innocence of freewheeling summers and part-time jobs at J. Crew and entered the “real people” working world. My first day and night of work happened to be on the spot I was standing. I can still feel the uncertainty of my 17-year-old self, attired in jeans, converse sneakers and a long-sleeve shirt, waiting for the rain truck to water down the street for our night shoot on the film “28 Days.” I didn’t have a clue as to what I was doing, but I was naive and enthusiastic enough that I wasn’t afraid of the consequences. Walking down that same cobblestone street nine years later, I wondered if I would have as much passion and sheer gall as I did at 17. I’d like to think I would, but after trading in the converse for the heels, I’m not entirely sure. istockphoto_284371_cobblestone_street_nyc.jpg

Later that night, I walked by Cowgirl on Hudson Street, where on that same film, I had lunch and frozen margaritas with a guy I thought I loved. I remember playing it cool, thinking it was entirely normal to be drinking margaritas during a work day afternoon with a 29-year-old man who I was “involved” with. Halfway through lunch, his 28-year-old girlfriend (the first I’d heard of her) happened to walk in after seeing us sitting in the restaurant window. Introductions went around, I looked at him, she looked at him and he remained as cool as that margarita saying, “Anna, meet my co-worker. She’s a great kid.” I was flushed both from the alcohol and embarrassment. I had gone from sharing my first real kisses and stolen moments with him, to suddenly become a head pat away from a “kid.” The last thing I remember is him paying the bill with our petty cash, throwing an arm around his girlfriend as they walked out together and turning back to casually ask me to cover for him since he was “ducking out” early. I forced out an “ok,” went in the bathroom and threw up.

The streets I walked down after Crosby and Hudson taught me much more. Cobblestones turned to smoother pavement in Times Square where I spent several five AM dates with a fellow PA (closer to my age) as we were opening the set and sharing laughter & stories over very strong cups of coffee. Stanton Street for a post-wrap party with an incredibly tender guy, whom I still think about and whose beautiful eyes will always haunt my dreams. And Noble Street in Brooklyn, where that same tender guy asked if he could kiss me, but first traced my lips with his fingers — making that kiss even more powerful. Alas, he moved West and I stayed East, continuing to pound the pavement.

But it is in those real world moments (that all started at 17), when New York streets briefly intersect and I learn how to navigate them, each one bringing me a step closer to becoming myself.

-Downtown