Obama the Dream Boat?

One of the entertaining aspects of being completely incapable of getting a good night’s sleep these days is being able to remember the dreams I have. I’m actually awake long enough to acknowledge them, think about them, and give each a kind of evaluation. Nothing complicated. Just a sort of, “Whoa. That was interesting…” and it crops up through the day as I’m putzing around. A doozie will actually garner a mention of the dream to someone.

Like yesterday.

I was in my less than lovely lounging attire: flannel and beyond silky soft with wear jammy bottoms, a grungy blue tee, and an old Eddie Bauer oversized so not matching blue plaid shirt. It’s day time, or as much daytime as my dreams ever are. It’s my mother’s old neighborhood. The one we lived in the longest in the house right next door to my best friend’s house. I actually wonder whether her mother still lives there in all of this strangeness. There are lots of people standing behind yellow plastic Do Not Cross tape and a tall thin man in a great suit is striding away from where I’m standing with the crowd in the street. They’re cheering and pointing at him as I walk toward him, never quite seeing his face.

No one tries to stop me as I approach him, catching up.

I reach around from behind to embrace him as one might someone they care about and haven’t seen in a while completely unaffected by the oddness of this situation I find myself in.

“I missed you,” I say to him, wrapping my arms completely around until they meet and I clasp my hands at his waist.

“Why?” he answers softly. “I’ve been here all the time.”

“Because I spend all day reading and thinking about you,” I tell him, picturing time spent on the Internet seeing his face in a story here and and an article there.

How romantic, but it’s a bit strange when I consider that the man is not the MoH, it’s Obama.

Excuse me?

I had a dream about Barack Obama?

Okay…

So, first of all, I don’t spend my day reading about him on the Internet. In fact, I’m quite bad at reading news on the Internet period. My “homepage” is Google. So I see bits and pieces of news on the television in passing if the news is on, or hear snippets on NPR in the car while running errands and shuttling kids to and from school. I do keep my eye on the goings on and do tune in when yet another primary is approaching just so I can make sure I’m still as sick as I was of the pundits and their crap as I have been all along.

It sounds like a big fat load of excuses, doesn’t it?

And couldn’t I just dream of maybe seeing him? You know, in passing after a speech or something? That might be a tad more normal, don’t you think? Slightly?

I actually remember thinking in the dream that I could, clad as I was in my beyond tacky house potato attire, shed a poor light on his quest to be our next president. That people may not vote for him because some deranged woman, who surely must know that Michele Obama would be kicking her ass for touching her man, was, erm, touching her man. Embracing him. In public. With a crowd standing by.

Of course I had to consult with a dream interpretation source. I filed through the alpha list of “characters,” impatiently looking for what character Obama might represent while on my way to the “P” section. Politician, right?

Celebrity…Godzilla…Hero…Lawyer…Mummy…President…Wet Nurse? But no politician.

What does it suggest when one can find dream interpretations for a wet nurse, pervert, or a zombie, but not a politician and I’m dreaming about one?

Okay, so maybe it’s more about a feeling and not a character. The source mentions that dreaming of love denotes “intense feelings carried over from a waking relationship. It implies happiness and contentment with what you have and where you are in life.”

Whew. It had me going for a while to think that maybe my subconscious had the hots for the next President of the United States. Let alone that I’d be stoopid enough to go out in public in my slovenly comfies. After all, he does have very nice suits. I would only look that much worse standing next to him.

Or embracing him.

Obama.

Baby.

Where Do the Years Go?

Twenty-nine years and about two hours ago, I gave birth to my oldest after nine hours of labor with absolutely no meds. I was 22 years old.  What did I know?

But this isn’t about me.

It’s about him.  Happy Birthday to You!

Although I emailed him first thing this morning hoping he’d see it, and tried the cell number I know no longer works, I still don’t have the sense that he knows I’m thinking of him and how very fast time gets away from us all. Yes, I just saw him last Sunday, and sure, he came over and put his arm over my shoulders when I stopped in Whole Foods where he works, but still.

When I was 29, he was already six and his brother not quite two years behind. I had big hair.

Not about me. Not about me. Not about me.

But it has to be about me to some extent, doesn’t it? I’m thinking about how things come to pass. How some decisions are made in life with purpose, and others like confetti has been tossed into the wind. Sometimes, I think life feels somewhat like a house with several rooms — each containing aspects of who we once were and how we lived our lives, kept separate from each of those that follow. When I walk past the photographs that line the wall of our staircase and see the differences in the faces within the frames, it seems those people — we — are not the same people. The events in our lives have changed us.

As I think of him today, I unlock each of those rooms and enter, letting the memories wash over me, smiling at many, regretting some, and feeling wistful at most. There is so little I don’t remember. I hang on to it all like it was a gift.

Craig & Me I could write forever about this man whom I swear wanted to live in the Fifties, and what has made him so unique, but I can’t. Not right now. Not today.

Twenty-nine things will give a glimmer of an idea instead…

You picked up a pencil to draw when you were two and never stopped.

You loved Lucy and watched every episode over and over until we thought we’d go nuts.

You love cats. Love. Them. Even though you can’t breathe around them.

You never, ever fought with your brother — well physically, anyway. You did call him some interesting things like “gristle, fat, and lard,” which we now laugh about, including him.

You loved music that we loved so saved us from having to listen to music we were ready to tolerate at best.

You’ve only really asked for one thing, ever. One.

I don’t think you wanted to poke out my eyeballs too badly when I encouraged you to go to the prom with that girl.

Twinkle Eyes Your eyes twinkle when you smile even though they’re so brown I can’t see your pupils.

You have a completely disgusting sense of humor.

You love all things retro and used to wish they were still that way.

You love Corvairs.

You were in that Corvair club with all those old farts, and didn’t you have to bring a casserole or something once? Bwhahahaha!

You tolerated the piano lessons until I stopped them, and then told me years later that you wish you’d stuck it out.

You wear clothes you find that belong to others and it doesn’t matter to you.

You tolerated a job that nearly sucked the life out of you, keeping you from doing what you really wanted to do. I think.

You went to the vet when it was time to let Holis go and helped bury him because I couldn’t.

You cut the molding for the stairs after the MoH and I couldn’t and it took you about three minutes.

You used to disappear for a couple of days and when you got back, tell us you felt like driving to Arizona.

You’re better than you used to be about visiting when you said you would instead of not showing up.

You have always been respectful of me. Well, except the time you didn’t show up for your birthday dinner after you asked me to make it.

You love your gramster.

You burn the candle at both ends and don’t know I know it. I know everything. Really.

You tolerate people and things you wish you didn’t have to — including me.

Great Brother…well, sort of… You’re still nice to your brother.

You’ve always been lovely to the RTR.

You’ve never liked math and ended up studying something that depends on it.  Funny how life works.

You told me long ago that someday you wanted to buy old houses, fix them, and then let people who couldn’t afford houses live in them. I think you were about 11 or 12. And no, I don’t know where you got that idea.

You survived how many schools that I subjected you to? Goodness. A kid shouldn’t be as resilient.

You’ve been friends to people who have taken advantage of you and then you pay for it. Literally. And you just deal with it.

Is that 29?  Did I count correctly?

Sigh.

Dude… This is your Birthday Song. It isn’t very long.

I love you and look forward to seeing you this weekend when I bake my very first gluten-free chocolate birthday cake.

Goodness.

Puttin’ on the ritz. Literally.

IMG_6094.JPG With nearly a week ahead of us and the rarely accurate weatherman’s doom and gloom forecast for the week messing with our heads (not), our jaunt to the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel as a Valentine from the MoH to moi is now officially a memory.

But what a lovely one.

Remember those commercials that one of the cruise lines used to run depicting an average person pumping gas and day dreaming about their experience in temporary splendor? Doesn’t ring any bells? Fine.

Well, that was our weekend at the Ritz. Totally. Amazing. Now, it would have been a bit better if the coffee we stopped for on the way would have had a lid that actually kept the coffee IN the cup instead of dripping down my white shirt, but no problem. I just happened to have a damp towel in the car so I could wipe down the console on the way to keep the valets from actually knowing we were slobs instead of just wondering.

I’d been to the Ritz once before with a group of girlfriends and since then, a make over of more contemporary lines, patterns, and color palate has given the hotel a fresh summery look — so much so that I had trouble remembering it was mid February. You know, with temperatures in the high sixties and low seventies instead of mid-eighties? Sorry. I couldn’t resist. You do understand that I would enjoy having a real winter, right? I know I’ve made that perfectly clear.

But I digress.

So how relaxing was it?

Continue reading “Puttin’ on the ritz. Literally.”

The sun did come up today.

I need the sky to be grey and angry looking. I want the wind to blow and rain to fall. But it’s blue as far as I can see.

I don’t want to hear the kids at the end of the block playing in the cul-de-sac. But they’re laughing and screaming at one another, having fun.

I want the trees to be bare like they’re supposed to be in the winter, and not green with signs of spring already.

I’m not in the right frame of mind for blooming and regrowth. Sprouting and budding.

I thought it might be good to bury my head in the pillows until about noon, but knew that was never going to happen. And once I’m awake, the last thing I want to do is lay there and think. Not today. Especially today.

I headed for the bathroom acknowledging my numb around the edges self, knowing that I wouldn’t see Blackitty, and wondering whether my ugly, red, puffy eyes could actually squeeze out more tears. They felt like they wanted to. And right when I could feel the wave of grief begin to wash over me, the door nudged forward and my dog’s big golden head and soft brown eyes pushed into the space, tentatively, seeking permission. Her cold wet nose bumped against my knee and I could hear the thump of her tail against the vanity as I scratched her head to say thank you for continuing Blackitty’s routine. A very nice dog.

So amazing.

Continue reading “The sun did come up today.”

My Heart is Broken…

I have been fortunate to have known many lovely cats in my life. If I proceed slowly backwards, with each name I recall, I can glimpse a bit of the life I was leading when I had each one, and smile remembering what knowing them brought to me.

Blackitty (Mr. Blaxter Blackington) & Precious (The Yack Star)…Dear, dear Holis and his friend, Miss Mew…Rocky Lou…Yeller, Jasper. Tar Baby. Spark Good Buddy. Sissy Kitty. Tuffy. Big Kitty. Boomer…and so many others.

A few of them have been very special. They had the quiet ability to soothe when the need was there. To calm. To provide warmth and a bit of softness exactly when it was needed. Somehow they just understood that their responsibility was to share themselves unselfishly. I can think of almost nothing else that is as simple, and yet so valuable.

I lost the dearest one today. Blackitty. The loveliest cat I’ve ever had. IMG_0971.JPG

I knew something was wrong, but I just couldn’t bring myself to deal with it. I didn’t want to imagine how it might be to not see him each morning in the bathroom after I’d dragged myself out of bed. He’d push open the door, slink through it, rub against my legs, and then stretch his velvety body with one paw pushed against the wall.

He didn’t do that today.

Continue reading “My Heart is Broken…”

If I wish it…

I love December. I’m sure you’re thinking it’s made easier because I’ve never had to deal with snow and sludge, freezing temperatures and pipes that burst. Those things are rarely experienced in places like San Diego, Key West and the south of Spain. But living as I have in the warmer climes my entire life has only my heart grow fonder.

And speaking of hearts, mine is wired for anything that can be even remotely construed as hopelessly romantic — Jane Austin, The Goodbye Girl, Sleepless in Seattle, Harry Nilhsson’s “Without You”, Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnets from the Portuguese…Dorothy and Toto…I can’t help it.
Oddly, all my loveliest swoonable memories can be traced back to December. The MoH and I became inextricably involved in December of 1987. For me, it was almost as painful as an unrequited crush in junior high. Thankfully, my life with the MoH has had a lovely outcome — one that has endured 20 years.

I get sappy when I hear certain songs and have warm memories of going to movies, or sitting on the same side of the table in tacky restaurants sipping margaritas and holding hands. Doing crossword puzzles, taking long walks, and window shopping in malls filled our spare time because they were free and neither of us had any money.

We also wrote love letters to one another.

I still have them, and get a bit squirmy thinking of the pages that are raw with emotion. It’s a wonder they’ve survived me, always on the verge of ridding myself of anything that could be classified as embarassing to myself. But I tuck them away each time I happen across them, glad that they mark a time that mattered so much. Some day, they’ll belong to the RT so he can be mortified that his parents felt the way they do about one another.

When I first knew the MoH, I remember my understandably horrified mother questioning the extent to which I might be in love with “that boy” one night while I was ironing in her house where I was living with my two older boys, not quite 5 and 6. The MoH is nearly seven years younger than I, but no, I wouldn’t have classified him as a boy.

And I did fancy myself in love with him.

Still. IMG_4995.JPG We can’t help ourselves.

It has made all the difference.

It’s called perspective. And I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Tiffany’s and Dust Motes

It rained in Paradise yesterday. Now don’t all fall over at the same time with that news, stupendous as it is. Not only did it rain — it poured much of the day: a record-setting .73″. I can’t remember how long it’s been since it rained enough to do more than dampen the top layer of soil in my flower bed. But yesterday water filled the gutters and at many points during the gloriously soggy day, moved in sheets across the road as the wind whipped the palm trees into a frenzy, fronds no longer sheltering the birds that normally perch there.

The MoH called from work to ask what I was doing. He wondered whether I had popped open the garage door, settled in a chair and bundled in layers to watch the show. He knows I love this weather.

What he struggles with is being practical — as in, too practical. Overly, cautiously so. I have thin streaks of practicality, and depending on the situation, will listen to my inner nagging voice that chastises me I really shouldn’t or better not.

Or, sometimes not listen.

Last night, he and I ventured out in the weather.

We thought we’d have a quick dinner and begin our leisurely search for gift ideas for Christmas. I’ve learned that it doesn’t really do any good to try and get this done earlier in the year, because he likes waiting. He enjoys thinking about it, talking about it, and then going to purchase after he’s found the perfect gift for each person on his list. I like that about him, because although the routine does lend itself to quench his selective need for systemic order, it’s also a little messy around the edges because he waits so long.

But this year, we are celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary. I know. It’s a doozie. We were married the day after Christmas, so have always sort of collapsed our acknowledgment of one another into a dinner out in January, or a quick weekend trip before tax season exerts its ugly coils around our free time.

But this is a mile stone. How many people today can not only say that they’ve been married that long, but actually like one another. Look forward to doing things together. Love one another. Act sappy about it.

So over dinner last night, the MoH begins with, “I didn’t want to talk about his last night, so I waited to bring it up until tonight since I knew we’d be out and about.” And I knew what he was going to bring up, because I always know. “I was going to buy you something very expensive for your anniversary,” he continued, and then proceeded to wonder whether I’d prefer something for the house instead, or perhaps a trip somewhere. I could tell he was struggling with the topic and was thinking aloud more than talking with me. The MoH doesn’t like to spend a lot of money. Ever. And although I don’t have that particular problem, I do have that practical voice in me that has been in full scream for the better part of a year now because I cast my former income to the wind to sow the seeds of possibility for our future life. Sounds good, doesn’t it? But still. It has been quite the generous gift to myself and I wallow in it daily, knowing how fortunate I am to have this time.

As I listened to him, I had to be careful. I had to make sure he couldn’t see that ridiculous, tiny piece of the stereotypical girl left inside me after all these years that, no matter how much she doesn’t want or like or have to admit it — wishes for a fairy tale.

I know.

And you thought I was Matilda the Hun.

I did too. And I am, most of the time. But I guess not this close to a 20th wedding anniversary.

And the funny thing is, it’s not the “expensive” aspect of the whole thing that I’m interested in. Truly. Unfortunately, lovely things can cost quite a bit of money. They don’t have to, though. Not if one thinks about it for a time, savoring the possibilities.

Right now, I’m not comfortable with the whole “costs a lot of money” part of this. The sprinklers in the flower bed don’t work. The lights on the patio don’t work. My car needs a tune up badly, the carpets need to be torn out and replaced with wood flooring so the MoH can breathe in this house. It needs a fresh coat of paint…there’s annual physicals to pay for, and the RT’s college tuition is just around the corner.

I don’t want to discuss what I want him to give me for our 20th wedding anniversary. “I know you wouldn’t turn down a nice ring if you got one,” he concludes after other possibilities have been pondered. No, I probably wouldn’t, but I’d been attempting to explain to him that the idea of a diamond to signify our time together didn’t quite fit anymore. I use my hands so much and don’t get out amongst the masses. And was the purpose of wearing such a gift to show others? No, that just seemed all wrong. It would be shiny, and throw fiery shards of light against my face, distracting me from mundane tasks, but dust motes wafting in a stuffy room already do that and cost far less.

If the MoH happened to surprise me by capturing one of those motes, enclosing it in a crystal box and then tell me he knew how much I love the idea of a moment suspended in time, I’d sigh knowing he’d thought about that perfect gift, just for me.

See? Fairy tales. Actually, it’s the idea of a fairy tale.

Better than a sharp stick in the eye, as my mother would say. Yes, most things are, Mom.

And it’s especially better than having to ride in a smelly pumpkin to have a guy you’ve never met try and fit a glass shoe on your foot.

I’d have to wear a party dress to do that, and you know how I feel about those.

Tiffany's Window

Still, Breakfast at Tiffany’s would be quite romantic. And DVD’s are cheap.