I wasn’t going to go there with the masses

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Definitely wasn’t going to get all hyped up about Prince because, you know.

Sure, I danced my patootie off to 1999, but I never even saw Purple Rain and I was the perfect age to be a Prince fanatic.

imgresI just wasn’t and honestly, I didn’t think I was missing out on anything except another short man in makeup.

 

 

So when he died last week, I had a moment, Little Red Corvette got stuck in my mind for an hour and I thought, Jesus, Keith Richards is still going strong.

I started reading some of the gazillion articles about him and it piqued my curiosity. A couple of folks I know who have excellent and experienced taste in music pointed out that Prince was incredibly talented.

Yet another friend claimed that a Prince show was far superior to any other he had ever seen, and you’ve got to figure that as former Editor of Rolling Stone, this guy has witnessed a lot of good performances.

The tipping point came when someone posted this.

I was absolutely fucking mesmerized.

And a little turned on.

And suddenly, I am a fan.

Too little, too late, I realize.  And now, all of his music has been taken off of all my streaming sites so I can’t even search around for more like this one.

So I have to rely on people who were in the know in a timely manner, not years behind the times like me, to link me to youtube clips of Prince being talented, genius, creative, sexy Prince.

I’d even purchase some of his music if I knew what I should get that isn’t the super trendy Let’s Go Crazy

So if you’ve got anything, please please send it my way.

Thanksimages

The job

I completed the application.

Updated my resume.

Gathered letters of recommendation.

Wrote and rewrote a kickass cover letter.

Turned it in.

I sat in front of the school before I did, on the phone with MCB, second guessing everything. Does my resume show that I am qualified to do anything?

Clearly I must have paid people to write those reference letters because there is no way that I am that nice so, will everyone see right through it?

My cover letter – a little bit out of “normal” or even “professional.” Did I go too far?

And the biggest question, did I manage to sell myself enough that they maybe might overlook the fact that I have no certificate or even English classes under my belt to possibly get an interview.

All eggs – one basket.

So yeah, I had a mild freak out, then decided that there was no way I could write another draft of that fucking letter and so I might  as well turn it in.

And I did.

Later, two people at the school asked if I had applied and I got a thumbs up from one of them.

Oh Shit.

What if I get the job?

Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck – it’s a real job, serious work, important work, shaping the future of America.

They’d better not hire me.  Better not even grant me an interview. Matter of fact, they shouldn’t even waste their time with my 3,000 word cover letter and aesthetically appealing yet rather flimsy resume.

Total panic.

This happened on Facebook

So there’s this:
imgresthat goes with this:  he’s so cool
And then this conversation:
LKD: “OMG love Peter Dinklage! Did you know him growing up in Mendham (next town over)? I was in a Delbarton (boys’ school to our girls’ school) play with his brother Jonathan, but never knew Peter.”
DS: “yup! Peter and his fam lived down the street from us in Brookside (and Jonathan was a hottie)”
LKD:  “But he knew it…”
Me: “whoa girls, wait a minute here – did I know them?? Did Peter go to Delbarton?”
Who would ever have thought that Tyrion Lannister was from Medham, NJ?
And who would ever have thought that my hollywood crush would be a little person?
Seriously-I might have known him.
You’d think that I’d know if I knew him, but there is a lot about high school that I don’t remember, which is why I have to ask my friends.
But, the cool thing is when he and I are sitting down with a ham hock and gold cup of wine, we can totally play “do you know…”
I so have an ‘in’.

Today is a really big day

The other day I filled out some paperwork for a job and had to give them my social security card.

Their response: “Your checks will be made out to (married name) because that’s what your SS card says.

Holy guacamole!

I’ve been divorced for 6 years and that one slipped through the cracks? I thought that I had taken care of getting that wretched name off of everything immediately after our divorce was finalized.

Guess not.

But I do NOT want anything coming to me with that old moniker so I obviously need to deal with it.

I dug through all of my old files and found the green folder with all of the paperwork that let me know that I had begun the process, but never completed it.

Also in that folder? My Last Will and Testament that leaves everything to him.

Good God that needs to be dealt with.

IMMEDIATELY.

I know that if he dies tomorrow, I am not going to get all of his worldly possessions and debt because I am sure that he changed his will as we walked out of the court-house that day. And wouldn’t that be the great cosmic joke if I died tomorrow and he got mine?

Actually, since all I have is debt….

I know of one thing that he did overlook changing – the City Market Value Card.  I got and used all of his gas points for years – until just last fall. He was outraged, of course blamed it on me. Told the kids of my sneaky cheating ways.

1 – he doesn’t have a City Market gas pump anywhere near him so he had no way of using the points anyway.  But I guess it’s the principle.

2 – more importantly, if I haven’t even gotten around to changing my social security and will, do you really think that my grocery shopping card was on my radar?

So today, I am going to the nearest Social Security office, with my age-old divorce decree, my incorrect social security card, and passport (which also needs updating but I can’t do that without the SS change) and beginning the process of finally getting rid of my past and moving forward.

Money and relationships

It is SO hard to navigate the financial waters in a relationship.  Business should be business, but when you’re talking with your partner, it’s pretty impossible to keep it at just business.

Is this news to anyone? Doubtful.  We all know the statistics that prove that money is one of the top reasons for divorce.

But knowing that doesn’t make it any easier.

Does having more money?

I actually don’t think that helps either – more money probably equals more decisions which demands more communication.

I could be wrong – I have no idea.  I’ve never had enough money to be comfortable, to not have to stress about every single penny coming in or going out.

All I know is that when I have to talk finances the feelings that come up run the gamut from trepidation to self-righteousness. Then add in all of the negative interactions and accusations and conditioning from past relationships and you’ve got a goddamn minefield to cross.

 

The rumor mill

urlJust when I think that my divorce is behind me (relatively speaking since we’re looking at court yet again), my son tells me something that cripples me.

Apparently there were rumors flying around town, rumors that my poor children had to hear, that I had cheated, more than once, on him.

I was embarrassingly faithful. Loyal in the face of his ridicule and contempt. I had married, had taken the ’till death do us part vows, had taken them very seriously.

I would never in a million years put my children through the pain and shame of being the mother who had an affair(s). I would not be that careless

Mentally I couldn’t have handled the secrecy, the deceit.

I am honest to a fault.

I loved this man. As f-ed as our marriage was, I was determined that love would conquer all. Every day I woke up and reminded myself of the good and tried to hang on to those thoughts through the bad.

Then I wonder how the rumors began – was it him? Did he tell people that I cheated? Now, seeing what he is capable of, I wouldn’t be surprised if he did, but back then, he was in such a hurry to leave that I don’t think he wouldn’t have taken the time to stop to gossip.

I feel betrayed by my community. It really hurt to hear this – even though it was years ago. I wonder if the gossipers paused to think about what it would do to my children to hear this trash in the middle of their lives imploding.

I question if folks finally realized that it wasn’t true, or if they still believe it but have moved on.

I feel sullied.

But really, the ironic thing about it all is that he left me for another woman.

WAY out on a limb

I am going to apply for a job that, on paper, I am not at all qualified for.

In experience, I am totally qualified – I could do a rockin’ job, but a piece of paper that I don’t have might actually get in my way.

High School English teacher.

Dream job.

No teaching certificate.

Too bad I didn’t realize that it was my dream before I was staring at 51 and 30 years out of college.

Something else that might cause a road block:

Everything about my college experience.

I went to a fantastic and highly competitive liberal arts college that I could never get into now if I tried – I just barely got in by the skin of my teeth back then when I was fresh out of prep school.

But, this school had a slightly different approach to…everything.

We had no course requirements. Okay, that’s an exaggeration, we were required to take a General Education class our freshman year and then of course whatever courses to complete a major. Other than that – it was pretty much a free-for-all.

I spent a lot of time in Women’s Studies, Religious Studies, Art, and whatever else sounded intriguing. I took classes based on who was teaching them rather than the subject area because my school had phenomenal professors.

I took one English class and that was because the professor was legendary. Sixteenth Century Religious Poetry. Probably won’t be touching on any of this in a high school class.

Actually, I wouldn’t really want to anyway. The only redeeming bit about that class was Professor Harvey.

I enrolled in a philosophy class because the professor was best friends with Mr. Rogers. We sat under a tree each day and read Charlotte’s Web.

No math, no science, no business.

Then there is the issue of grades. When I first started the we had a “slash” system. What this meant was that the only grades a student could receive were A, B, or C (no + or -).  If you didn’t do so well in a certain class, you could slash it which meant that it just didn’t show up on your transcript. You didn’t get credit for taking it, but you also didn’t get a failing grade.

Which leads to the next hurdle which is that we didn’t do credit hours. I’m still a bit baffled when people talk about needing this many or that many credits.

Honestly I have no fucking clue what a credit hour is and how many a person receives for one class.

So this application asks for Semester Hours.  Is that the same as credit hours? The rub here is that we weren’t on a semester schedule.

I just called my college about obtaining a copy of my transcript. The last time I tried I received a one-pager that declared that I had graduated in 1987 with a BA in Art History.

That was it.

So I asked today about actually getting my grades included (which may or may not help my case since I wasn’t a stellar, studious, attendee.)

The woman in the Registrar’s office said, “Well, we didn’t calculate GPA’s back then.”

For reals.

My mother said that when my father wrote the checks for my tuition he would ponder aloud, “What exactly am I paying for?”

Maybe this will all work in my favor; I don’t have some haunting record that proves that I spent more time touring with the Dead than going to class and studying for exams.

And I don’t have any shitty grades in English classes since I didn’t take any.

So the fact that I am a literary nerd and successful writer stems directly from my passions and god-given talents, instead of education, so isn’t that a plus?

PS: There was a ban on Commencement speakers with any political bent due to the uncomfortable situation one year when the majority of students showed up sporting coat hangers on their heads to listen to a Conservative, anti-abortion orator. So, no shit, in 1986, we got Mr Rogers – piano and all. He began his speech with, “Thank you for welcoming me to your neighborhood.” How great is that?

The dinner party

When I was in Florida, my parents and I had dinner at Mary Lou’s house. Also in attendance were her daughter (my age) son-in-law, and college student granddaughter. The additional guests were old family friends who I haven’t seen in 20 years.

Lovely is the best word to describe the evening; lovely setting, lovely dinner, lovely company.

imgres-1Elegant is another word that I might use; from the 52 pieces of silverware at each place setting to the Wedgwood Blue striped wallpaper to the ocean waves lapping at the patio edges just outside the living room french doors.

Cashmere abounded.

A little wine, a bit of brie, and some very civilized pre-dinner tete-a-tete began the evening.

Then, dinner…individual pot pies crafted in the kitchen of the nearby clubhouse (country club, that is) and delivered with white gloves, hot and ready to eat (the pies, not the gloves).

There were place cards. imgres-2

Conversation was stimulating and sophisticated. We discussed one couple’s home in the Adirondacks that’s “much too big for just us.” Another diner who was “in railroads” shared humorous tales of his recent travels. One person shared her secret to serving creative, somewhat adventuresome, and delicious dinners to her family; mail order meals that arrive via Fed Ex on her doorstep 3 nights a week. “I’ve never cooked a plantain before and now I love them.”

We talked local politics where the mayor and councilperson’s party affiliations actually mean something.

We touched on prep school, college abroad, and Ivy League.

And I sat there praying with all my might that no one would ask me anything about my town, my life, my normal.

Because what could I say? “Oh our town board is working really hard on an ordinance regarding cows in people’s yards, and how many chickens they are allowed, and if they can have pigs. Roosters are out.”

Or, “Since we don’t live in town, we are raising chickens and cows and pigs.”

And, “I think I’m going to start carrying a gun when I run in case I encounter a cougar.”

Or simply, “We used to live on a paved street.”

I feel as if I come out of my town covered with a fine patina of barnyard dust and I was afraid I was going to leave a dirty ass mark on the upholstered silk dining chair.

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This Man

I used to write a lot about my dating and sex life and it was fun. But then I became involved in a serious relationship and it felt wrong to put anything about it or him out there in public.

Our relationship is sacred to me as is his privacy.

But today, I am filled with such overwhelming love and joy that I just have to share.

MCB is kind and warm and smart and funny and creative and introspective and lovely and well mannered and generous and delightful; he makes me swoon.

Yesterday he had an event for which he had to “dress.” He excitedly pulled out a suit; this was no slouchy, cheap fabric, ill-fitting suit; this was the real deal.

Next came the crisp white shirt, beautiful dress shoes, belt with initials and a bow tie.

Yes, he ties his own bow ties.

When he used his clothes brush to remove the dog hair from his overcoat, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.

The thing is, this is my childhood, my upbringing.

I spent so many years and so much energy resisting and rebelling against Brooks Brothers that I convinced myself that “classy” wasn’t on my list of desires in a partner. I married a blue-collar guy from a steel town who wouldn’t be caught dead in a tie or real shoes.

And I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with that or that one is better than the other; it’s more that in my old age, I am really drawn to what is familiar; what connects me to my wonderful childhood.

And I’m not saying that how a person dresses is more important than who the person is, but even Shakespeare observed, “Apparel oft proclaims the man.”

Clothing isn’t everything, but MCB is. There is so much that is admirable and agreeable and lovable; so much that makes me smile each and every day. So much for which I am thankful. So much more than meets the eye.

But the candy that meets the eye is pretty spectacular.