I recently wrote about three of patients, that in spite of their age, are living vital active lives and they aren’t afraid to share their wisdom amongst the masses on the importance of doing just that. When Harry, Norman & Robert Met Lisa
The jury is still out on what has been happening since that essay. Is it coincidence, a conspiracy, my vivid imagination? Or all of the above.
While food shopping, a clerk who has never uttered a single word to me before, suddenly starts discussing the downside of growing older …. with ME …. as if we were one. My cart was not filled with adult diapers so back it up lady.
Just when I thought I was safe, my neighbor approaches to strike up a conversation about bones. Pointing out how “our” bones aren’t the same when “we” get older. My bones are cool thank you very much.
It’s now obvious to me that once the post office realizes you’ve turned the big 50, your regular mailman is replaced with the Grim Reaper. When death starts to moonlight … I can’t.
The amount of geriatric mail that enters my mailbox is ridiculous. Yesterday I received a pamphlet from the Sunny Hill Crematory. Seriously now! I’ll assume the Victoria Secret catalogs are now being placed in those younger, more attractive mailboxes down the street.
AARP has literally hijacked my mailbox with their paraphernalia. The amount of literature is equal to political ads. I’m only 2 years in bitch, save your stamps!
Back in the day the Grim Reaper kept his distance, giving nature a chance to take its course. Sooooo …. WTF happened? Why the constant notification? What’s the rush to the grave?
To put this in perspective, at my current age, my parents were working, functioning adults with active lives. My dad was 57 when I was born for god sakes, so I wasn’t even thought of when he was 52. Let that fester for a minute AARP!
It’s as if society is pushing us closer to the cliffs edge to make room for the newer improved models. We’re not cell phones, so calm your jets!
No one is spared really. I see this rush is across the board. While adults are being pushed into the grave at 50, the poor 10 year olds are being thrown into adulthood. I was basically in a playpen at 10 compared to kids today.
I know, I know, I must sound very geriatric right now comparing generations, but it’s more than a “back when I was a kid” comparison. I’m not that girl … I’m really not.
It’s just that when it comes to aging, society has become an aggressive seagull and I’m starting to feel like a lone Cheeto waiting to be swiped up by its talons. Back it up!
Don’t get me wrong, my inner geriatric has raised its snow-capped head for brief appearances, but I’m still young enough to shove it right back in the closet. Hey, those skeletons need some company.
I’m not trying to be a teenager here folks, I’m just trying to age gracefully while I continue to … Enjoy the Ride!
Groovin On A Sunday Afternoon
Well well well Mother Nature, it looks as though you may have redeemed yourself with these much-needed two days in a row filled with just the right amount of heat, sunshine and breezes to make the world good again.
Today was the perfect day to be happy so we rolled out the ole MLC (Mid Life Crisis) for the first time this season. It was so nice out we couldn’t bear the thought of Peanut and Landon cooped up in the house, so they hitched along.
As you can see Peanut is already convertible savvy with his hair blowing in the wind with zero fucks given about how he’ll look once we stop moving.
On the other hand, Landon decided to play it safe chillin’ in his bed for fear he would look like a tumble weed with eyes by the end of this adventure.
We took a ride to the Max Hansen Carversville Grocery, which is an incredible little slice of awesomeness in Bucks County. The food is I N S A N E and it’s loaded with local artisan do-dads, honey, jelly and so much more. It’s a MUST stop for anyone in the area.
We sat in a little picnic area to share a piece of lemon pound cake while being fully entertained two very rambunctious little boys and their newly rescued dog Kingston. Cuteness overload!
The brothers were rolling around on the grass professing in unison “I’m having sooooo much fun!” I would have joined them, but the thought of itchy eyes, a runny nose and hives stopped me in my tracks.
This place is a gem! The second you enter the Village of Carversville, you immediately feel as if you arrived in a DeLorean. It’s incredibly quaint, but with wi-fi and amazing food choices. No doubt this place is the cusp of both worlds. It was like being the third wheel on the simpler times meets good quality food hook-up.
When we first pulled up there was an older gentleman sitting on a bench listening to a baseball game on a small radio with a real live antenna. Seriously, I was waiting for the Beav and Wally to walk through the door.
We will heading back to this new find on May 30 for Carversville Day. There will be crafters, fun for the whole family with free parking and free admission. No doubt Ward & June Cleaver will be making an appearance that day.
This is exactly the type of place I want to settle down in. I would get to experience the simpler life, with modern amenities of course. Then when I’m itching for a sense of city life, I can just hop in the car for a 10 minute trip to New Hope, Pa., where Lord knows I’ll be able to see everything imaginable in 5 seconds for my fix. A win win in my book!
Take time to get your Groove on, even if it’s in a little town thrown back in time and Enjoy the Ride!
I am trying very hard to age gracefully, but I must admit there’s not much grace involved when you are suddenly half blind and randomly peeing your pants.
I must admit that my biggest peeve so far has been the loss of my once perfect vision. Perfect …. it was PERFECT!
Of course I know that I must sound like a whining ungrateful first world person with partial vision, but I don’t care …. I MISS MY SIGHT! I do not like depending on my young eye rolling daughter for assistance in reading price tags, text messages or labels. I’m basically sending her to college to be a guide dog at this point.
Ugh, the struggles are endless. Oh, yes I did say struggle and I’m not afraid to bump it up to hardship if necessary. When I’m out and about on my own I find myself scanning the room for a set of young friendly, potentially assisting eyes. I’m convinced the Cougars out there aren’t looking for hot sex, they’re looking for a good set of eyes!
I guess you’re all saying “Get Glasses!” right about now aren’t you? Well, for your information I have glasses, but I REFUSE to wear them on top of my head, where I know they’ll be entangled in my hair, creating the potential for a bald spot or heaven forbid having them dangling around my neck on one of those decorative chains that just draws even more attention to my loss of perfect sight. Therefore, my stubbornness has resulted in me CONSTANTLY loosing my glasses.
The reason I am bitching, moaning and beating a fossilized horse on this subject is something happened to me a few weeks ago that brought this acute Mr. Magoo lifestyle to the surface full force. For the crowd under 40, Mr. Magoo was a famous cartoon character who made a fortune off of his blindness.
A few weeks ago I went out back with my love bug Peanut for his morning walk. I’ve learned the hard way to always LOOK carefully before opening the gate, because critters are always roaming around waiting to scare the shit out of me. Animals have a sick sense of humor, especially in the morning.
There was no need for me to wear glasses on this trip out back … or so I thought. Just as I was about to open the gate I noticed a beautiful blue parrot just sitting peacefully in the field. I went back in the house to grab a phone so I could capture a photo of this once in a lifetime moment. My husband was perplexed at my behavior, but I assured him my excitement was justified.
I gently opened the gate, channeled my inner church mouse and proceeded to tip toe through the grass. I couldn’t believe my luck that the bird wasn’t fleeing as I got closer. It was like he was just waiting for me. My heart was pounding out of my chest with excitement over my luck!
As I got a few feet away my EYES started to adjust and I suddenly had the sad realization that I was not going to be the one to capture this beautiful bird and collect the handsome reward that would most likely be posted for its safe return.
Nope, I was not going to post a photo of this grand bird on my Facebook page, where it would no doubt receive millions of “likes” and be shared all over the world.
Nope, my photo was not going to blow up Twitter like Ellen’s selfie at the Oscars … it just wasn’t going to happen.
Apparently I had misjudged the identification of this species, most likely due to my recent case of Magooitis, but my friend Dan, who was obviously concerned, sent my photo to the local Bird Society where it was correctly identified.
I am happy to present to you the Herr’s Blue Chip Foil, normally found in the potato fields of Idaho, but due to recent climate changes high winds this beauty landed smack in the middle of Northeastern Philadelphia where it resided until the next big wind.
Needless to say when I realized what I had stumbled upon I went down on my knees, laughed out loud and of course … peed my pants. Even though I miss my 20/20 vision a great deal, I must say having Magooitis has provided me with some great laughs while I continue to … Enjoy the Ride!
Youth Has No Age
I’m sure you were all wondering if I decided to drive off a cliff with the top down after turning 50, but actually it’s been just the opposite. That’s right I’ve been out and about spending my days being nothing short of FAB-U-LOUS!
My husband hosted a luncheon in my honor at the beautiful Bridgetown Mill House, where I was celebrated by my family. I must say the best gift of the day was not purchased at any store. I know that sounds like a cliché, but it is 100% true.
There is something extremely healthy about being surrounded by people who really love you with all their heart. Truly the best birthday EVAH!
After all the celebrating I made a decision to take on some fears that have been preventing me from being the best me. Fears tend to do that you know.
It was time to pack up my younger self for a short trip down memory lane.I gave her a big “it’s been real bitch”, grabbed my aging self and ran like hell! Honestly, the “who cares” phase is so much more liberating than the “what will they think?” phase of my life.
Next up was recognizing or admitting that I’m not getting those younger years back, so I better start a hot and heavy love affair with the future real soon. Once I realized that 50 was actually the threshold to get me to the future, I came to terms with the realities. Holding onto the past is only going to leave you standing out on the porch pissed off at the world.
Below is a sample of some truths that I chose to face before crossing the threshold.
1. No matter how good I feel about the look of my ass, I will NEVER be able to go commando in my workout pants … ever!
- REASON: Panty lines are no longer a big deal when you’ve been forced to wear the equivalent of a twin sized mattress between your legs for fear of peeing all over the floor during a workout.
2. I really should have taken the time to appreciate what I saw in the mirror when I had the chance. I feel as though I wasted so much time and energy focusing on my “faults” during every reflection, I never got to appreciate the whole package.
- REASON: The day will come when you pass a mirror, take a few steps back, look again and say “who the fuck is that?”
3. Now when my phone rings in the middle of the night it will not be a drunk girlfriend summoning me to a club where there is an abundance of hot available men nor will it be a hot available man summoning my booty.
- REASON: Phone calls in the middle of the night now mean two things .. DEATH or DEATH.
4. Sight is a gift that I have taken for granted. I wish I spent my youth threading more needles, reading more newspapers or just “seeing” anything and everything.
- REASON: The day will come when you realize you now have the same vision as a naked mole rat. This means that your chances of mistaking a mannequin for a live person now have better odds than you winning the lottery.
5. During my 20’s I really should have taken advantage of going braless. I should have worked the perkiness of my breasts and flaunted them to the world. They were nothing short of magnificent!!
- REASON: One day you will wake up and actually justify rolling up your now sagging breasts, placing them into a something that resembles a medieval torture contraption … just to go food shopping.
I’ll admit crossing the threshold was filled with some mixed emotions. It was like being really happy at a funeral. If that makes any sense at all. I just stood in the doorway thinking “damn this is liberating” , until I noticed the sickle of the Grim Reaper shining just a tad brighter in the distance. Back It Up Bitch!
Instead of trying to beat age make the most of it. If that means bedazzling your adults diapers … do it!
Enjoy the Ride!
When Crazy Ideas Shack Up…
Daily Prompt: The Excitement Never Ends
Tell us about the last thing you got excited about — butterflies-in-the-stomach, giggling, can’t-wait excited.
Well, recently I did something so far out of my normal realm I’m still not sure what came over me. Maybe I’m going through a little MLC of my own. Was I excited to jump into this venture head first? That would depend on your definition of “excited.” Did I have butterflies-in the-stomach? Um, it felt more like a flock of geese, but yes. Was there that giggling, can’t wait excited feeling? In my world there is always giggling, but in this case, it was the let’s just make fun of ourselves in order to survive kind of giggling, so yes, there was in fact lots of giggling.
I bet you’re on the edge of your seats wondering what the hell I’ve been keeping from you all……Drum Roll Please.
The answer is CrossFit (this is in red to signify the fires of hell I endure every time I attend class). If anyone is wondering “what the hell is CrossFit?” The official definition is: CrossFit is a strength and conditioning brand. CrossFit combines weightlifting, sprinting, and gymnastics. My definition is: CrossFit is a love/hate relationship that will push you to thoughts of self demise and euphoria in the same hour. CrossFit does not discriminate against any of your muscle groups, in fact, parts of your body will hurt that you weren’t even aware existed.
This all came to life after meeting a long-time friend for coffee. Maybe someone slipped something into our Lattes. My friend started telling me how she wanted to try CrossFit, which I never heard of and I shared that I wanted to try one of those Mud races….Muddrella to be exact, which she never heard of and this folks is how insanity was born. Two crazy ideas shacking up in the middle of a Starbucks produced a bundle of over zealous confidence that brought us to sign our lives away to a CrossFit facility.
You see, my dear friend and I are approaching milestone, or as I like to call them, “very special birthdays” soon. One of us (not me) isn’t venturing into this next chapter with the same vigor as someone else (me). You see, she confessed that this is the first Summer she hasn’t worn a bikini. Tragic, I know. She was looking for something challenging so she wouldn’t turn into “one of those hideous older people” as she so eloquently described it. She could never be hideous, but I knew exactly what she meant.
This conversation provoked me to do some math and I came to the horrific realization that this is my 21st year without wearing a bikini, along with my 5th year without wearing a bathing suit of any kind, so I think it’s safe to say that I was just a Christmas sweater away from a catastrophic level of hideous aging. YIKES! All I can say is … THANK GOD for whatever divine intervention led us to meet for coffee that day!
Yesterday we concluded our second full week of CrossFit and believe it or not we are both making significant strides. For starters we’re still alive! Everyone, including all of the young what the hell are you doing here with that amazing body guys and girls are very supportive of our endeavours. They encourage us, answer our questions and cheer us on one WOD (work-out of the day) at a time. It’s really nice having your own personal cheerleaders … a girl could get use to this love.
We are running, the actual verb form of running too, not the “I’m running to the store” adjective kind. We are also jumping rope. Do you have any idea what happens when middle-aged women run & jump rope? They begin to laugh out loud at the prospect of wearing a diaper and they actually start to justify it! Hey, Lisa Rinna wore one on the Red Carpet, she says so in the commercial!
We are lifting weights, dangling from gigantic rubber bands, contorting our bodies into positions we didn’t know were possible, but most of all we are having a great time….a very sore time, but a great time. No pain, no gain … right?
As of this morning I am 20.2 pounds lighter. Um, yes, she did include that .2. I am healthier, happier and more determined than ever to continue on this path of Non-Hideous aging. I think I feel a bumper sticker coming on…perhaps a t-shirt.
Honestly though, the best part of this whole journey has been spending time with my dear friend. We make each other laugh through our inadequacies while we celebrate our personal milestones, which to date include running without stopping and staying alive. Enjoy the Ride!
LWTTD … Take 2
Today marks quite a milestone here at Life With The Top Down. One year ago today I decided to take the plunge into the great big world of blogging. I nervously hit that big blue Publish button and sent my first post The C-Word out into the blogosphere. I had a love/hate relationship with that button for quite some time, but we’re cool now.
Yesterday I took a little trip back in time and discovered that I really have come a long way through this journey. The first thing I noticed was that my overall well-being and my writing skills have both grown quite a bit in the last 365 days. Along with my ass, but that’s another story.
It was also nice to discover that my girl Miss Four Eyes was the first and only person to like my words. We all know how important it is to be acknowledged. MFE is a breath of fresh air. She is no doubt an old soul who expresses her youthful, yet wise self perfectly both in and outside of her posts. Thank you MFE!
No matter how things go down, you never forget your first and that stands true for followers as well. My very first follower or followers are Daryl and Devon. Do the math, yes it was a threesome. I have laughed, loved & learned quite a bit through their views on politics, current events, black history & music. They certainly keep things real, which was an immediate attraction for me. Thank you D&D!
Of course, the list of people who have sat shot-gun with me on this ride and were kind enough to bring their support, inspiration and encouragement along, have certainly grown over this past year. They include my real life family & friends, along with a new group of virtual friends that I would consider family. You all deserve a great big thank you, thank you and one thank you very much for the road!
I wasn’t sure what my expectations were for this venture, but I did know it was something that was absolutely necessary for me… for so many reasons. I was at a point in my life where my kids suddenly left me in the dust…they decided to grow-up and I was finally handed the pink slip. Of course they call me back occasionally for advice, assistance and we can’t forget the big one …money, but all in all they were doing their thing and I needed to do mine. It was my time to shine!
Sometimes things just pop into our lives to help us along the way, like Kathy over at Friday Night Family, who I hadn’t seen or spoke to since high school did! There she was, this blast from the past, encouraging and inspiring me to find what makes me happy. Well done Kathy…well done indeed!
“You can’t reach for anything new if your hands are full of yesterday’s junk.”
So, I finally decided to unloaded some junk mostly fear and give birth to Life With The Top Down on March 4, 2012 at 12:58 pm. Her first year was a quite a challenge, but I think she is ready to enter year 2 with vigor and excitement.
Hope you will all continue to join me as we … Enjoy the Ride!
Mr.Clarence Clemons On Sax
Most of us are excellent at being self-deprecating, and are not so good at the opposite. Tell us your favorite thing about yourself.
It’s so interesting that this would be the prompt for the day. Just yesterday I was visiting one of my favorite places, Susie Lindau’s Wild Ride. She provided her readers the opportunity to take part in a little experiment of sorts, it’s something called Typealzyed. You must go her page and partake in the festivities. I am still amazed at the accuracy of my results, which now brings me all the way back to the initial prompt. You’ll thank me later for the detour over to Susie’s place!
Considering I hold a Phd. in self-deprecation, it’s not easy for me to toot my own horn. The real reason, according to the results of my Typealze study, is because it’s just not my nature. I get much more satisfaction out of hearing about or supporting the accomplishments of the people around me, than I do from talking about my own. See, apparently I am an ISFP personality. We tend not to give ourselves enough credit for the things we do well. Hence the lack of horn tooting.
I must say I am in very good company with my fellow ISFP personalities. Some famous ISFP’s are Jacki O., John Travolta, David Beckham and Michael Jackson. Not to shabby if i do say so myself. I consider myself honored to be in such good company.
ISFPs are observant, considerate, and kind. They appreciate being in the moment, and are often able to see beauty where others may not. ISFPs are particularly attuned to their environment and the emotions of those around them, and are motivated to bring harmony to both. ISFPs enjoy helping people achieve their goals, as they find meaning in being of service to others.
ISFPs are excellent listeners, and are sensitive to the needs of others. They value common sense and facts, often searching for a practical and immediate solution to a problem. ISFPs typically prefer to support others quietly and in the background, and may not have any desire to control or lead people and projects. As a result, an ISFP may find their accomplishments overlooked or underestimated by others.
Mark your calendars folks! Today is the day that this ISFP personality is going to turn over her Phd in self-depreciation, dust off that beautiful hand-crafted horn sitting in the corner and she is going to give it the toot of a lifetime. Please note: I am being very dramatic to build myself up.
TOOT: If I’m going to to release this toot, you better believe it will be done in style. So I now present to you Mr. Clarence Clemons on the Sax! Please insert sweet soulful sounds.
I am proud to announce the thing I like most about myself would be my incredibly quick wit. I’m not sure how you define “wit” but, my definition would include terms like; fast come-backs, under the breath sarcasm, snarky responses and hilarious one liners. This talent has been confirmed by the smiles or laughter they leave behind.
Everyone deserves a good toot now and then, so pick up your favorite horn and Enjoy the Ride!
Well it’s official my case has been closed. I received the letter yesterday from my therapist that my file had been closed, but I would be welcomed back if I need services. Doesn’t the BUT get you every time? You’re not a loon right now, but you certainly have the potential for future lunacy.
Since I received the letter, I can’t help but think about all I’ve learned about myself over those 3 years. One of the biggest obstacles I overcame was feeling inadequate. This ran deep.
I spent my crucial formative years in the shadow of my sister. Some years were more like an eclipse, but we don’t need to get into details. My sister and I are very close in age, at only 15 months apart, which provided plenty of opportunity for comparisons. She was smart I had commonsense. She had confidence I needed approval. The list goes on, but I’m sure you get the idea.
Confidence: the quality or state of being certain :certitude <they had every confidence of success.
Of course I could dwell on the fact that it took me 40 plus years to open my eyes, but what good would that do me. I have to accept that I wasn’t ready, or willing until recently to regain my sight. No regrets, just following the master plan. Now that I can see, it’s time to move on with the knowledge and understanding of what I learned from this journey. Oh, what a journey it was….
All of this insanity started to surface when my sister told me she had a reading with a Median. Apparently my dad came through during the reading giving her praise for what she had done with her life…a pat on the back from the spirit world. Needless to say the ghostly compliments pushed me over the edge. I didn’t get any praise in the real world and she is getting them from the efing grave! I’m sure you can all understand how that might annoy someone with insecurity issues. The tears started, but this time they wouldn’t stop…Houston, we have a problem.
After many conversations, tears & laughter with my therapist I was able to recognize some very important traits about yours truly. Some good, some bad, but all me.
First things first: Children do not come with instruction manuals. For generations parents have been doing the best they can with the knowledge they have on hand, along with some instincts. In this case none. My mother was an orphan raised without role models and my father was raised by his mother, however was on his own at a young age. A perfect union of the blind leading the blind. Lesson: Don’t waste time pointing fingers at your parents, you’ll never move forward. Learn to understand and accept the circumstances surrounding the bigger picture. The whys’ are not important, they will just continue to hold you in the past.
Second: My sister was already the “smart” one placed high up on a pedestal at home, leaving me at the base. So that good old-fashioned Catholic school education provided a generous amount of reinforcement for my insecurities.The constant comparisons, along with a heaping side of humiliation became the pillars for my issues. Lesson: If you’re not happy being in the shadow, step out and see what the light has to offer. I guarantee you’ll be happier in your own light.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. Marianne Williamson
Third: I spent YEARS focused on the wonderful labels that were placed on my sister, without recognizing my own. Labels are sticky do not apply onto people. While I was trying to live up to her labels, I was living down to my own. I was the quiet, nice, dependable one with a big heart. Not too shabby, right? My need to be something I wasn’t brought out the worst in my good qualities. This caused me to be more of a
doormat wall-to-wall carpet or an extreme pleaser. Lesson: Don’t waste time resenting what you’re not. Enhance your strengths, embrace your weaknesses and never be ashamed of who you are.
Fourth: I always thought life was good up there on the pedestal. I imagined there must be rainbows, unicorns and butterflies just waiting to blow glitter on my sister every day. Who wouldn’t be jealous? What I didn’t see were the pressures to meet those high standards that were so generously distributed. Lesson: The pedestal is big enough for everyone. Never be afraid to use your talents. Live your life being as marvelous as God intended you to be and never dull your sparkle for someone else.
Fifth: Holding on, whether it’s anger or hurt is not healthy. Considering my extreme need to please I had a debilitating habit of remaining silent, never confronting, never resolving and never trusting. So, who’s up for a big glass of poison? Taking a long hard look at my past hurt wasn’t easy. But, doing it in a setting that allowed me to express myself constructively, understand it compassionately and recognize the role I played in each situation, I was able to let go. Lesson: Forgiveness and Letting Go are your best friends. They are a wonderful couple that always bring along freedom and well-being to hang out. This doesn’t mean you will forget the hurt, it means you now have the power to look back without that triple threat of bitterness, resentment and anger preventing happiness in its tracks.
Life is better, but I still consider myself a work in progress who is still learning while she does her best to Enjoy the Ride!
The Oscar Goes To…
The suspense is over folks! The Oscar goes to Life With The Top Down for her stellar performance as a balloon handler in Philadelphia’s 93rd annual Thanksgiving Day Parade. Insert a standing ovation and roars of applause while the camera pans over to my I won I won I won face.
It was all I imagined it would be and so much more. I would like to thank my dear friend Susanne for her consistent pleas on Facebook for volunteers to represent the SPCA. And also for signing me up before I even said yes! If it weren’t for your ability to beg, plead and forge my name, I would not be beaming from ear to ear today. 2012 is the best Thanksgiving on record.
I would also like to give a HUGE shout out to my daughter for joining me in the shenanigans of the day. Not to mention getting up early, taking pictures and limiting her eye rolling. But, most of all for being by my side as I fulfilled this dream.
Living your dream is not an easy task to tackle. It doesn’t matter if you’re climbing mountains or carrying a 40 foot latex Lorax through the streets of Philadelphia, there will be obstacles and lessons along the journey. Some good, some bad and some……
The day started with getting UP at 2:00a.m., out into the bitter cold by 3:00, dressed in an orange jumpsuit with gold “hair” looking as if I escaped from Disco prison and inflating balloons in the street … all by 3:45 a.m. For the Love of God I never in my life thought that sentence would come from me!
Honestly, there is nothing more disturbing than approaching an alleyway blanketed with deflated cartoon characters. It looked like a crime scene for christ’s sake! Once the shock wore off we were put to work.
The night before the big show it was brought to my attention that I would also be part of the “Inflation Team” just something else to beef up the resume. Actually volunteering for this team landed the SPCA a nice donation by the parade coordinators. Life is good! The pleasure was all mine as I assisted in the resuscitation of Clifford the Big Red Dog, The Hungry Caterpillar and of course The Lorax.
I met so many amazing people on this journey. The SPCA volunteers were a genuinely compassionate group of people who were a pleasure to have in my company. Living the dream surrounded by good people was a perk.
We were interviewed by WPVI 6ABC, where I graciously answered the question “Is there anyone here who always wanted to do this? with a very enthusiastic “YES! me…it has always been my dream!” Nothing confirms crazy like silence from a News Reporter.
Next up was Sam Champion from Good Morning America. This time I stayed back while Susanne & Emily took center stage with Sam. He was so nice, genuine and very easy on the eyes in person. It was very exciting!
While they were out hobnobbing with celebrities, I chose to spend some quality time with an Auguste a/k/a a Clown. I’ll admit I was a little jealous that they were on National TV. Hey, this is my dream right? So, what does one do when she’s green with envy? She roams the street looking for her own celebrity, in this case the Christmas Clown. If you’re gonna live it, you gotta do it all….including Christmas Clowns. I’ll admit our relationship was brief. We didn’t exchange names or numbers, but with both walked away with a little extra spring in our step.
While spending some time in our trailer, sipping on an endless supply of hot coffee & cocoa, by trailer I mean Septa bus with hot beverages supplied by the Red Cross, I had the pleasure of meeting “Simon.” This young man was with the wonderful crew of hardworking men who provide these latex beauties for parades all across the country.
He came in with a big “Hello, how’s everyone doing today” “Are you all having a good time?” No one was spared hearing about my dream, including Simon. I told him my tale of living the dream, when he opened up to me about his dream of wanting to try out for Xfactor, he was a singer. I said “show me what you got…sing me a song.” After some intense begging, he took my challenge.
This brave young man began to snap his fingers, tap his foot and provide us all with an AMAZING version of Lady In My Life by Michael Jackson. It was indeed a memorable moment that will not be forgotten anytime soon. Not many people can take on an icon like MJ, but this 18-year-old did and he nailed it! The rest of his story is for another post. That’s all I can say is, I’m much whiter than I thought.
FINALLY around 7:30 we headed out onto the street to get the Lorax ready for his debut. We didn’t actually get into the parade line until around 9:00, which meant standing in the cold for over an hour while we held the balloon. At this point one of the other handlers offered me a swig of vodka from her flask. Seriously? I told her ” I can’t drink, I’m operating heavy equipment.” forgetting she also had a damn rope! Just imagine getting a DUI for walking a Lorax while intoxicated…come on.
Once we began our journey down JFK Blvd., greeted by thousands of people screaming Happy Thanksgiving and chanting Spin It! Spin It! Spin It! I was beaming like a glowworm.
We willfully met the demands of the crowd by running in circles with the balloon.They roared with enthusiasm as we scored a perfect 10 for our performance. Meanwhile with every “Spin it” I peed a little…mind you, this went on for hours. NOTE TO SELF: Wear A Diaper.
As we approached the Grand Stand our Captain informed us we will be on TV, so this was our moment to shine just a little brighter. This is when it occurred to me that I lost my Disco hair 4 “Spin Its” back and I was walking in soaking wet pee pants! It’s not exactly what I imagined, but the dream must go on.
I put on my camera face, gripped my rope a little tighter and handled that latex Lorax like a boss!
Live your dreams and Enjoy The Ride!
LAUGHTER: the experience or manifestation of mirth, amusement, scorn, or joy.
I love to laugh and it’s no secret that I enjoy making others join right in on the silliness. Over the past few weeks, mostly though writing this blog, I’ve been having flashbacks of different times in my life when the laughter took over into nothing short of hysteria.
My very first memory of this happening was in my 3rd grade classroom. I sat next to Philip Shreiber. Ah, Philip had one of those faces that always lit up like a cartoon. You actually can be born animated, Philip was living proof. Philip always appeared to be on the brink of laughter, which of course is contagious, especially in a restricted environment like a Catholic school classroom.
That’s all it ever took was eye contact to get the giggles going. Well, all I remember about this day was he pointed at me with his shoe and we both lost complete control. I’m so easy.
Sister Marie Donald one of the good ones asked us to refrain, which as we all know is impossible. We were summoned to the back of the room like 2 criminals, along with ALL of the belongings in our desk. Just for added humiliation, because that’s how Catholics’ roll. One would think that would be enough to stop the insanity in its tracks, but it actually made it worse. Looking pathetic is also hilarious.
Philip was then incarcerated into the closet and I was exiled to the corner. To this day I laugh thinking about the snickers from behind the closed closet door. The longer it went on, the harder the laughter. Somethings never change now do they?
After our return to civilization we were separated. I’m glad we never had to explain what was so funny, lord knows “he was pointing with his shoe” sounds very lame after the fact.
In my unauthorized research, I have concluded that this sort of hysteria laughter generally occurs in unacceptable locations or at inappropriate times, which just seems to enhance the intensity.
Now, what I am about to share is 100% true and parental discretion is advised.
Both of our children started taking martial arts when they were 8 & 10 with some other children on the block. Apparently not ALL the children.
Building self-esteem, 45 minute classes held 3 times a week that we didn’t have to stay and
be bored watch, it was a parental dream come true. Judge away, it was the best $99 we ever spent…a win win if you will.
So what do young parents do when the house is empty? They get it on of course, without having to muffle the sounds of their pleasure. Bring on the sexual circus we have 45 minutes to get this done!
Let me set the scene for you..the season is Summer, the windows are open and we live in a row home. Scary combination for many reasons, but especially for what is about to happen.
Just as things got started under the Big Top there was a knock at the door. In moments like this, the whole men are from mars, women are from venus thing becomes crystal clear.
Me: It must be the police letting us know something happened to one of the kids. Him: Acute deafness sets in. Perhaps if I was with someone from my own planet, things would have turned out very differently.
Me: Are you going to see who that is? Him: What? The knocking continues and my eyes are like saucers as the hubby peeks to see who dares to interrupt his good time.
Him: It’s Jeff (a kid) returning that movie. Now, where were we…The knocking was endless. This kid was determined to return the dam movie!
Me: Let me answer the door. Him: No, just focus come on he’ll leave. Me: Focus? The giggles start.
Kid: Zaaaaaac’s Moooooom are you in there? Me: Lost it! Laughing out loud. Busting a gut is an understatement.
Him: Very close to a pivotal moment. Me: Busted out in full-fledged laughter. Kid: Zac’s mom I know you’re in there I can hear you laughing. Laying there like a porpoise, laughing like a hyena…looking as unsexy as one could possibly look at any given time.
Him: Jumps up to look out the window while mumbling something about how he can’t wait to ruin the kid’s sex life one day. The visual will be forever etched in my mind.
Me: Complete hysteria, there is no coming back. Him: Sweating and pleading..Please just stay with me…focus. Ok, am I in a bed or clinging to a life raft in the middle of ocean?
Me: Laughing so hard I can’t even form words, let alone FOCUS.
Kid: Zaaaaaaaaaac’s mooooooooom …….I can still hear you laughing. I may have died and come back at this point..I remember a light.
Him: Mission accomplished. Me: Still laughing from under the pillow that somehow found its way over my face. Suddenly felt the need for a cigarette and I don’t smoke.
So, what’s the moral of this wonderful piece of literature you ask? Life is full of unexpected opportunities, challenges and change. How you respond is the key to your happiness. So..keep it light, keep it happy and just … Enjoy the Ride!
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