At the movies (or, Hell is other people)

I was done with trying to align the planets so that I could go see a movie with my husband. I decided that, if I wanted to see This is Where I Leave You at the theater, I would have to go by myself. I rarely will cough up the cash to sit in a theater to watch a movie, but for this one, I wanted to make the effort (Hello? You had me at Tina Fey. And Kathryn Hahn).
movie stubI was lucky enough to find a niche of time in which no work schedules, carpooling, medical appointments, or householder responsibilities encroached…so I went for it.
I entered the darkened theater and took my favorite seat on the left in the last row. As my eyes adjusted, I realized that there were four others in there with me: three women and a man. (HINT: This is where the Hell part comes in).
One of the women hacked and coughed continuously, to the point that I almost regretted declining that Whooping Cough shot earlier this week…almost. The other two women talked non-stop. The man was silent…until he wasn’t.
What was great, though, was that it was worth it. The movie was mostly absorbing and funny (reference: Tina Fey) and loud enough to drown out much of the talking. I think the best part, though, was that I could laugh out loud and tear up at will, without worrying about embarrassing various family members that might have accompanied me to the show. So yes. I laughed. I cried. So there.

Best line (that I can remember) from the movie:
“Cut yourself some slack…Anything can happen. Anything happens all the time.”

One brave thing, part 2

I went to the Aqua Yoga class on Monday morning, despite my trepidation. I got my big girl pants on (read: found a bathing suit that fit) and I went. I pulled up to the door at 8:59am. This is significant because usually I am at least a half an hour early for everything. Because it was so late, though, I didn’t have time to hesitate. I just got out of my car and went right in.

As soon as I entered the pool area, I knew I had done the right thing by finally going. The instructor was playing music for the class and the song that was on was this: “Happy” by Pharrell. People that know me know that this is my new favorite song!  Because I heard the Happy song, I was immediately put at ease. I took it as a sign that I was in the right place.

Two other positive signs:

  1. The instructor, Jennifer, reminded me of one of my best friends, Karyn.
  2. One of the other women in the class reminded me of my one of my grandmothers.

So how did it go? It was hard! It was fun! Everyone was so nice! I wish I had started going (like the other women had) six months ago!


An old dog, a new (cheap) trick (part two)

robinThen Cheap Trick (did I mention that’s my husband’s favorite band?) came to town.

Sure, they had come to town before, but he never brought it up and I never did either. It was the elephant in the room until the show date came and went. There were usually plenty of good reasons (child care issues, work schedule conflicts, just a little too far away) why we both couldn’t have gone together to the show anyway. Oh, and also, I didn’t like Cheap Trick. I was perhaps the only person who didn’t think Robin Zander was hot.

Once, years ago, I casually mentioned to my husband that if I spent enough time around someone (read: a guy), I could find something about him to like.  After I got over the shock of realizing that he actually pays attention to what I say, I realized that he also used this to his advantage. Well, to our advantage. He started playing Cheap Trick music in the car when I with him-a cheap attempt to get me to ‘spend some time’ with Cheap Trick.

He also took me to the venue where they were playing a few weeks in advance to get familiar with the area. We spent several hours exploring and learning our way around, thereby exponentially increasing my comfort level.  The end result was this: a week before the show, I was singing along to Cheap Trick songs and looking forward to the show.


I know, right?

It was awesome. I had a great time. Oh, and now I am perhaps the only person who does think that Robin Zander is hot.

Just sayin’.

An old dog, a new (cheap) trick (part one)

Cheap TrickYou know how they say that your tastes change as you get older? I have found this to be true in my own life.

  1. I never liked cheese on my pizza. When I was little, maybe 4 or 5 years old, my parents used to scrape it off (and onto their own slices, I imagine) and tell me that they got some cheese-less pizza, “special” for me.  That changed by the time I got to high school, when I ordered my pizza with ‘extra cheese’, just like everyone else.
  2. I never liked seafood. With the exception of canned tuna (white, tuna, in water), and the odd clam strip filched from Dad’s plate once a year when we ate out at HoJo’s, nary a fish crossed my plate…for years. I didn’t start eating (fried only) seafood until I moved to Maine because, you know, it’s the law.
  3. Melted American cheese. No, wait, I still hate that.

To approach this from the standpoint of musical tastes, I also have undergone a transformation. Back in the day, I liked The Cars. The Motels. Face to Face. Fleetwood Mac. Still do.

I didn’t like Kiss. Def Leppard. Guns N’ Roses.  Headbanger music is what I called it.  Poison. Motley Crew…and Cheap Trick. As my grandmother would say, I ‘had no use for them’.

Then I met my husband. The first time I got in his jeep and heard what he was listening to on the radio, I knew that we had, um, widely different tastes in music. I was a Kiss 108 kind of girl. He was an FNX (listen to it? I’d never even heard of it) kind of guy.

We met in the middle with John Mellencamp and Bon Jovi and made the best of it. I didn’t make him listen to my music and he didn’t make me listen to his.

Then Cheap Trick (did I mention that’s my husband’s favorite band?) came to town.

(to be continued…)

Lost at sea

Busy beachI love to go to the ocean. I go every day that I possibly can, rain or shine, summer or winter. Even if I only have 1 hour…hell, even if I only 5 minutes, I go.

One thing that I don’t often do, however, is swim in it. It’s not that I don’t want to (I do!), or that I am a wimp about how cold the Maine ocean water is (I am! But I go in any way!).  It’s because I’m nearsighted.

Stupid reason not to go in? Maybe. If I am with others, it’s not so bad. I can take off my glasses and fear not: there are people other than me nearby with a stake in my well-being. I can be reasonably certain that I will make it back from the ocean, back to my glasses and thereby restoring my vision, within a reasonable time frame. When I am by myself, well, let’s just say that there are no guarantees.

But for the first time this year, I gave it a shot.  I took off my glasses and put them in the case. I put the case into the bright pink beach bag that I brought with  me. I positioned my chair so that it was right next to the stairs I took to get down to the beach. I took note of landmarks near my chair (2 large hotel/motel buildings). I walked a bee-line straight into the water.  I continually checked my landmarks as best as I could while I was swimming.

When I was finished swimming and attempted to retrace my bee-line, I felt my confidence slipping as I neared where I thought I had left my things, but no bright pink bag was in sight. I was getting nervous…what would I do? I mentally rehearsed my opening line: “Excuse me-I know this is going to sound odd, but I’m lost…”

It was unnecessary after all. I suddenly saw my pink bag…2 people had put up their umbrella and placed their chairs directly in front of my spot.

Really? Really?

The next day I ordered some prescription swim goggles.

Looking for clues

Now that I’ve started walking regularly again (well, this week at least), I’m finding that it reminds me of other regular walking routes I’ve had in the past.

I had a regular loop that I walked when I lived in a different city. I was twelve or thirteen years younger (and about twenty pounds heavier…but I digress). I walked with my son, who was little then, around 7 or 8 years old, and later on, my infant daughter Isabelle accompanied us. We took turns pushing her along in her stroller.

We walked, but we didn’t call it walking, because that’s no fun. For some reason,  Anthony started calling it ‘looking for clues’ (nod to Robert Palmer).

So, we would leave our driveway and start our trek up Lake Street. We would search for anything interesting on the ground as we went. Truthfully, the most interesting part of our walk was the midpoint, Pizzi’s (the farm store) where we sometimes (okay, often) made a pit stop on the way for ice cream or soda or candy.

Once, one of the clues we found was Izzy’s baby sock (that we had lost on a previous trip), but usually we found rocks and such. Nothing of value, really.

Except my memories of that time that we spent together.

Pig aggression

I was walking my route other morning when I heard an animal noise from behind me. I was passing the pig sty (literal, not figurative) that is on the street adjacent to mine right at the side of the road, so of course I knew it was a pig. These pigs also routinely jump the fence so I shouldn’t have been surprised when I saw him in the road, staring at me, grunting.
Note: a pig’s grunt sounds ominously like a mountain lion. I don’t know why. It just does.

For several seconds I just stood there, unsure if I should try to pass it or go back the other way.  Should I call my husband to come and pick me up (which he would have done, after he finished laughing)?  What if it charged me? It looked like it was almost as big as I am, and may even have outweighed me. I decided to close my eyes and walk very fast past the pen while chanting to myself, “I am very safe; I am very safe.”

I told my husband about this when I got back and we had a good laugh.

The next day I went to the beach instead (in order to avoid another pig incident) to do my usual walk to the jetty. I was almost all the way back when I became aware of footsteps running up behind me, then retreating, then catching up again. I didn’t look at first, because there were so many unleashed dogs on the beach that I thought it must be that. The third time it approached, though, I did turn and look…and it was a male wearing a rubber pig face mask, which was about an inch from my face.

Need I say that I was scared to death?

This time, my husband was there. Within about a second he was running full tilt toward me to see if I was okay, then he went to, um, discuss the event with the perp. This time, I didn’t have to convince myself I was safe. This time, my husband made sure that I was safe.

One question remains: What the heck is the universe trying to tell me with these pigs?



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