Every now and then someone does something really nice for you; like finally agree to get an apartment in New York City, even though it’s been taken over by a teenage boy in the throws of puberty. Quite honestly I think the term comes from the emotions that flow much like the waves of the ocean. Some days they are nice and calm and the next thing you know you are closing the shutters, preparing for a storm. Did I mention the clothing that gets put on every piece of furniture? That could also be part of the “throws” they are talking about.
And even though the apartment in the city hasn’t quite been the place I had envisioned, which would have involved my husband and I escaping every now and then and rekindling the vibe that attracted us to one another in the first place, we make do and I am grateful I can shut the bedroom door when my son is watching The Voice or another one of those cooking shows.
It’s a sad state of affairs when you have to travel thousands of miles to rekindle anything, but we managed last week when my husband surprised me with a trip to Turks and Caicos. If you’ve never been, I highly recommend it. The beaches are amongst the most beautiful I have ever seen and I have seen a lot. If you aren’t on a budget, check out the coral house. http://www.villasofdistinction.com/villas/turks-caicos. The beach in front of the property is out of this world and well, the property speaks for itself. If you can’t afford the coral house, then stay at Club Med while it’s still standing. Rustic (another word for no frills, but quite honestly how often are you in your room?), super staff and everything you could possibly want to do at your fingertips, including snorkeling or diving amongst a spectacular reef.
I like shelling. I spent the majority of my days lying on the beach or walking it and then going to the bar to get margaritas. I’m not sure if it was the surroundings, but it was the best one I’ve ever had. So I had several!
At night there are the shows, which in the past we have never made, due to having three children in tow who wanted to go to bed. We find these all-inclusive places to be a no-brainer when traveling with kids. Mine don’t eat, so what they offer in the way of food suits everyone. But this Club Med doesn’t allow children, which suited me just fine. As a matter of fact, when we walked down the beach one day and we heard children, we immediately turned to go the other direction.
We discovered that a vacation without kids is a vacation. What an epiphany! I cannot remember the last time I was that relaxed. When the only thing you have to think about is what time to get off your chair and head into eat, life is good. When you are away in the sunshine with your partner in crime and remember this is why you united in the first place, you realize that getting away and reconnecting with one another is paramount to the success of your relationship and quite honestly we were due for a reality check after the year we have had.
On that note I want to thank my husband for continuing to surprise me. While reluctant at first, he has done a lot of soul searching (he’ll love that word!) and like the phoenix, continues to rise from the ashes and reinvent himself. I am ultra proud of his growth and commitment to making us work. This isn’t easy. I’m not easy and neither is raising children. This is where you see the vast differences in the way you were raised and quite often, where couples disconnect. All of your shortcomings are put on the table and often times it’s a buffet of garbage. It’s easy to knit pick one another and pretty scary when you see a quality that you know has nothing to do with them, but the way they were raised. Relationships are constant work and I am so grateful to be in one with this man.
I also have to thank my mother, who cleared her schedule when no one else would and helped my husband make this wonderful vision a reality. No one else could have risen to the occasion but she did it with ease and made going away a real pleasure for us.
Of course the day wouldn’t have been complete without my sister and her family, so I thank them for making the trip into the city on my big day and making it extra special.
While the trip was amazing and I was astonished at the planning and coordinating it took him to make it happen which he started back in July, what meant the most to me was his insight into my character and knowing how much it meant to me to be on a beach and then coming home and having a meal with those I love most.
Thank you, Adam for being the Phoenix. I love you for it!
One would think I would be ecstatic since I have two agents for print, which are really hard to come by in New York City, but neither one of them calls me, not even for a go-see, so what’s the point. Granted they are big agents, which means they only call you when someone has asked to see you, but I have to say, I’m kinda missing the cattle calls!
I get more action from Backstage; a website that you can upload your own photos and resumes on for casting directors to peruse through and then email you if they think you are suitable for one of their roles.
But while I get more emails about submissions to movies, plays and web series, the parts they want me to play are ones I cannot bring myself to embrace. I blame my age on this. And while I would like to embrace my new number, I don’t like being type cast, even though I did wish to do more acting. Because I studied at Lee Strasberg, I was taught “The Method” which teaches you to take something that has happened in your life and bring it to the part you are playing. Most of us have a plethora of life experiences that we can play off of. If a scene calls for you to cry about the loss of your dog and you’ve never had one, you think about something else you lost and you’re there. As you read the words of the script they become authentic instead of acting. But when someone offers me a part for a character I find repulsive, I haven’t found the method for that yet, so I turn it down.
I actually cried one day when a director wanted me to play someone who resembled Tammy Faye Baker. I mean, I like mascara, especially the one called “Yes, They’re Real!” but Tammy Faye? Really? Do I resemble her? Because if I do, I’m never buying mascara again.
Two weeks ago I had an offer to audition for the part of a shrink. I thought this would be fun since I have plenty of material to work from here. I actually played one years ago in a theatre group I was in. When I agreed to see the script, the director wrote me back and said I would have to be comfortable kissing a woman. Hmm…funny how that was left out of the first email. Apparently my character is a lesbian who likes one of her patients. “You should do it!” My husband cheered, knowing this was the closest he was ever going to get to me agreeing to be with another woman. I’m still on the fence with this one and waiting for the script so I can see what this kiss entails. I am fond of the director, so the chances of me reading for this are 50/50.
The last thing I received was to play the part of a crass drunk. Sounded fun to me! I was thinking the mom from Two and A Half Men or the one from Arrested Development (the best show ever created). And while I do like those two women, it’s hard for me to wrap my head around playing one of them. To date I have not had any work done and I actually like my children but I could most certainly channel a few characters I know to make it authentic.
I received the script yesterday for that one. I read through it, expecting to see something really funny. It was about a mother talking to her son on the phone. I could pretend to be drunk and talking on the phone to my son; this would be fun. But as I read through the script I didn’t find it funny at all. It was rather tragic and her language was awful. In a couple of paragraphs I had to be drunk, surprised, cry and get angry. And how much was this paying? I don’t know because being computer illiterate, I am unable to find the casting on Backstage. My guess is probably nothing.
So while I hold out for the perfect role, I told my father about the offers that had been thrown my way. “It’s awful, Dad! What has become of me? You know you’re getting old, despite what you think, when other people see you in a way you don’t see yourself.” His words were: “You still got it! I think you should do all of the roles. Make them your own! Have fun with it!” I hung up the phone with him and thought about what he had said. Maybe he was right. Maybe I should give them all a go. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll head to Rickys and buy some fake lashes, watch some porn with two women and throw back four martinis as I think about all of the injustice in the world.
Like me being offered crappy parts with small budgets and probably opening the mail tomorrow and finding an invitation to AARP.
It was Rumi who said this, although I did not know it at the time I came across this little nugget.
Sometimes we are so perplexed with life and wanting answers, we become overwhelmed with what to do or where to turn for them.
Because I often have a thousand thoughts in my head, from where I am headed to where I have been, what I need to buy at the store or which child has a project due, every now and then I have to take time for myself and just be.
Being is hard for a lot of people. It used to be hard for me. Until I realized it is the only time I get answers to all of my questions. Some weeks are better than others. Most of the time I try and put the thoughts and daydreams about the life I imagine (remember my blog of the universe) to the back of my mind because generally my reality does not allow for them. Like most women who are mothers and wives, I am so busy doing for everyone else, that I often forget to do for myself.
But when I let those thoughts come and let my imagination take me elsewhere, I find that I smile from the inside out. I feel this incredible sense of happiness and a smile immediately erupts across my face. I’m sure when people witness it I look like the village idiot, especially when the rest of the city is walking around angry from all of the snow they are trudging through.
Feeling this way makes me wonder, is it better to walk around in a cloud pretending or accept this obnoxious thing called timing that I don’t have the patience for.
I mean, how much time has to pass before you realize what it is you want and the moment you actually obtain it? Ahhh… the impatience is a sign and I know it.
I decide to see Pailin (acupuncturist), who always calms me. This week I saw her in the city since I happened to be doing my ketchup plate duty.
As I sat in the waiting room I looked through the various magazines and then saw a book called “The Essential Rumi”. I skimmed through the pages and randomly stopped on one. I read down the page anxious to see what had drawn me to this particular one.
“What you seek is seeking you.”
There were many other quotes but this one caught my attention. I knew it was a sign. And while many people I know would laugh at me and my ”signs” they have pretty much brought me to where I am at this juncture and I don’t plan on ignoring them anytime soon.
Hey, when all else fails and your rational, logical mind can’t wrap it’s head around something, it doesn’t hurt to look for the signs. I’ve recently decided that mine is a butterfly. I told myself that whenever I see a butterfly it will be a sign for me to know that all is well, that everything is as it should be, that something I want is on it’s way to me or quite simply, a yes.
It is my belief that everyone should have one. I know it sounds juvenile, but it’s like finding a coin with the heads up. It’s these little things that allow you to believe in something bigger, even if it hasn’t quite made it to the physical realm just yet.
I had my session with Pailin and felt amazing. I felt grounded, able to concentrate and very creative. Often times I will come home and knock out several pages on my book. That day however I needed socks since the city was flooded and once again I hadn’t worn the appropriate shoes. This is a joke in my house, since I have about seventy pairs but never seem to wear the right one for the right occasion.
While I waited for the subway a young girl stepped in front of me and on her backpack was a butterfly. I smiled, thinking okay, a butterfly. But is this really a sign or my wanting to make it one? I mean, I just decided a butterfly was going to be my sign and a girl with a butterfly on her backpack isn’t sooo random.
I made may way through Century 21 to find socks to replace the soaked ones I was now wearing and as I passed through the shoe section (trying to keep blinders on) I saw a pair of rain boots with butterflies all over them and I laughed out loud. If I didn’t think the first butterfly was a sign, this certainly was.
“Okay, I get it!” Slipped out of my mouth and a woman walking by me said, “I’m glad somebody does!”
That’s when I accepted the fact that I will no longer question my sign any more or my thinking that what I want is unobtainable. The joy that emanates from me when I think about what I want is unquestionable. I radiate like the Hope diamond and my heart feels as though it could burst. There is no need for me to question what I already know because the butterflies have confirmed it. “What I seek is seeking me!”
At one time or another we have all felt cheated. Maybe you bought something and it didn’t meet up to your expectations. Perhaps it was a job that promised you one thing and delivered something else. Being cheated or feeling cheated can come in many forms. The most common one however, is being cheated on.
If you look up the word cheat, you will find the following meanings: To Defraud, Swindle, Elude, Escape, To Violate Rules or Agreements, To be Sexually Unfaithful.
The first thing that comes to mind for most people when you say he or she cheated on me, is the sexually unfaithful definition. Personally I think it has more to do with the violating the rules or agreements one. When you are in a committed relationship with someone there is an unwritten code that is understood; I don’t cheat on you and you don’t cheat on me. A violation of this code is grounds for a break-up or buying a poster size photo and throwing darts at it. A voo doo doll with an incredible likeness could work, too.
The reason I bring this topic up is because I am currently writing a book about it. I find the topic interesting because it is so prevalent in our society today. What was once considered the norm back in the day, is a major taboo in our society, unless of course you’re French.
Being with the same person day after day can get a little stale, the tricks become one in the same and you can practically time how long it’s going to take you to get from “I’m feeling frisky” to “Goodnight!” This is certainly not how most relationships start out, but eventually they all get there. And just because you get to this point of comfort with another human being is by no means grounds for a person to cheat.
This place of comfort is both good and bad. The good is far outweighed by the bad. There’s something to be said about knowing a person inside and out and feeling comfortable enough to share your every thought and knowing that if you put your heart out there they won’t laugh. They feel your pain, your joy, your frustration and you know that if you get sick they will be the one standing over you with a cold towel and not be turned off by the liquids coming out of your body. The bad can only be when you take this person for granted which is why you have to work hard at keeping it fresh.
When you are dating someone neither good or bad exists. It’s probably what keeps it exciting but also makes it extremely unrealistic. The true measure of a person and a relationship is when you tell them something personal and you don’t see the doe in the headlights look in their eye as they mentally go through all of their latest connections on Match.com. They don’t judge, find you less attractive and they most definitely don’t stop calling you just because you showed your vulnerability.
In every relationship there comes a point where you have to become vulnerable. It’s that rainbow bridge that leads you to the coveted pot of gold on the other side. If you don’t cross that bridge, then you will never have real love. Your relationships will all have the depth of which you give them; safe and superficial. While safe may appeal to someone who has had their heart broken or has been cheated on, ironically, if you approach all relationships in this manner, you only wind up cheating yourself.
I happen to know this because someone cheated on me once. It was years ago but the repercussion stayed with me for a very long time. Despite my best attempt to hide it, I wore it like a perfume. And not a nice smelling one. I denied myself many relationships simply because I wasn’t about to let that happen to me again. I built walls around me the Tisch family would be proud of and swore I would never let anyone penetrate them.
And then one day someone came along who refused to be stopped by my façade and pushed me out of my comfort zone. He asked questions, listened to the answers and only smiled and said how sorry he was that I had been hurt. He didn’t go away simply because I told him my story and I finally had to realize it was only a story, my story, not the one that really happened. And so I was catapulted out of my safe existence and forced to take notice of him and the way he made me feel. Consequently, I married him!
“The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.” ~Mother Teresa
Often times we want so badly to have people hear our story that we forget there are two sides to all of them. We often refuse to see the other person’s story because we are so wrapped up in our own. We tell anyone who will listen how awful the other person was, how they wronged us or maybe we say nothing at all. Maybe we are in so much pain we let other people come to their own conclusions. But what we never do, is acknowledge our part in it.
As much as I blamed my ex for what he had done to me and told my victim story as though I hadn’t been an active participant in the relationship, but only an innocent bystander, I was the one who wanted the relationship to end, I just didn’t know how to tell him. I knew it was over way before he did. His cheating was only the effect of my lack of love for him. What did I expect him to do?
It took a lot of work for me to be able to admit that. Believe me, there were years of me wishing I would be in the Mack truck when it finally hit him! I don’t even know where he is or what he is doing today and I simply don’t care. I no longer wish him ill will or that a house would drop on his head. This is progress. Nor do I wish the tramp he cheated on me with to get a really bad case of herpes either.
You see, now I can laugh about it! But for the longest time I was overwrought with what it did to me. I used to think people could tell someone cheated on me, like I was some loser incapable of keeping a man happy or that there must be something wrong with me or no one would ever love me again. Of course the only demons I carried were the ones inside my head. No one had a clue that this had happened to me, except for the way I distanced myself from anyone who tried to get close. As much as I thought I was doing a good job of disguising my pain, it became evident in every relationship I had.
Until I realized there was no one to blame for the crumbling of my relationship. Sometimes people just outgrow one another and they don’t know how to tell the person they are with. This not only happens in marriages but friendships and families as well. It’s so much easier to blame new people that come along than those we are closest with because that would be admitting we are faulted for not seeing so clearly that something was wrong all along. Most people are not introspective and therefore have no desire to look at themselves and see how they could have contributed to the demise of a relationship.
“The hardest learned lesson is that people have only their kind of love to give, not our kind.” Mignon McLaughlin
I can honestly say I have finally reached a point in my life where I am thankful for the lessons I learned from my ex. My nails have recovered nicely from all of the dishes I washed at his restaurant, I know how to make a pizza and flip it, make a dynamite alfredo sauce, know how to negotiate my way out of car repossession and have come to realize that men who wear suits don’t necessarily work for the IRS. All of this makes material for a book.
We choose those we like; with those we love, we have no say in the matter. ~Mignon McLaughlin
We should all be thankful for the people who push us out of our comfort zone, break down our walls and offer us a glimpse of that pot of gold. What would life be without people who do this? A world full of people out to dinner with someone half their age, counting the number of times they say “like” in a conversation.
Absence diminishes small loves and increases great ones, as the wind blows out the candle and fans the bonfire. ~François Duc de La Rochefoucauld
If you haven’t heard about “Notes from the Universe” let me be the first to enlighten you. Everyday (well, Monday-Friday) notes from the Universe arrives in my mailbox and I can hardly wait to read it. I cannot tell you how many times I have read it and it correlates to something that is going on in my life.
“Notes” are sent by a man named Mike Dooley, who has a very interesting success story. His website is: www.tut.com
If you go to the website you too can sign up for the notes. It will ask you to put in a profile (its’ short and gets you thinking). In the profile it asks you two questions. Be very specific when writing what it is you want. The concept is based on the much talked about “Secret” which is really no secret at all. The premise is your thoughts create your reality. Bad thoughts-bad day. Good thoughts-good day. And if you think this is some sort of spiritual mumbo-jumbo, please note that “Think and Grow Rich” is one of the most published books in history and is based solely on this concept.
I will do my best to break down “The Law of Attraction” or “Secret” for you, although I found the book to be rather simplistic in nature and doesn’t really explain the concept in much detail. I prefer the book called The Kybalion which is not to be mistaken with the Kabbalah. Here goes:
Have you ever been thinking about someone and out of the blue they call you or you run into them? This is the law of attraction at work or “The Secret”. You can’t just sit around all day and have good thoughts without taking any action towards achieving your goals, but the idea is if you want something, think good thoughts about what it would be like to have it, actually see yourself in the situation, literally feel what it feels like to have it and then take action to obtain it, you should be able to get it. Oh! I forgot to mention the part about “letting go”. The universe doesn’t like mistrust. Once you send a thought or idea out there, it pretty much goes into overdrive to make sure it happens. Unless of course you screw it up!
You see, in order for the “Secret” or “Law of Attraction” to work, you have to be on a vibrational match with what it is you are trying to attract. Meaning, if you are thinking negative things (i.e. your lack of what it is you want) you are not going to attract it. Positive thoughts + positive energy (or vibration) = positive outcome. There’s the secret for you in a nutshell.
The hardest part for people is remaining positive. Because we are a society that wants something yesterday, we lose patience with out positivity and wind up being negative. And thus, you don’t get what you are trying to attract. “I want a great job!” You put it out there and within a short time you still don’t have the great job but what you do have is time to think about your lack of a great job and thus, you are not on a vibrational match with the great job, but a crappy one instead. It sounds like a catch 22 I know and it can be quite complex, but broken down it’s really quite simple. Just be positive all the time! And if you find that you are having a hard time remaining positive and only focusing on what you don’t have, then look at what you do have and focus on that instead. Another words, fake it till you make it.
A good way to know that you are on track with what it is you are trying to achieve are little signs from the universe. Let’s say you want a new job. You are riding the train and you hear two people talking about a company that sounds interesting. Later that day you open a magazine and see an advertisement for the same company. Perhaps you are out at a restaurant and someone mentions the name again.
And of course with Valentine’s Day on the horizon I would be amiss if I didn’t mention love. The nice 4-letter word. If love is what you want in your life, then give more of it. Radiate love, sleep, drink and smell like love. You can’t attract someone if you look tired, bored, uninterested or smell like Pepe le Pew. “Secret 101″: You gotta give it to receive it. And for Pete’s sake – don’t focus on your lack of it – it only brings more of the same.
If what you want is a special connection, like the twin flame or soul mate one, someone who knows everything about you (yes, all of your dirty little secrets) and still loves you regardless, then you have to imagine yourself with this person. What do they look like, what do they say to you, where do you eat together, what do you talk about, what do they wear. Picture yourself with them. This can be fun! Just order what you want and pretend you already have it. People don’t need to know you’re doing this. It’s not like you’re gonna chat in the breakroom about how you were out to dinner last night with your imaginary lover. But what they will notice about you is the change in your attitude (which can translate to your energy). You will appear happier and then they will assume you have met someone because you will have “that look” on your face. You know the one! That stupid love-struck look or the one that shows the world you were up all night and it wasn’t to watch highlights of the Knicks or the news. This goes back to fake it till you make it. If you look like you’re getting some, then chances are it’s probably on the way!
I find that the notes are like my daily cheerleader. They remind me that I’m really awesome, even when the rest of the world thinks I’m mediocre.
Just yesterday I tore out two pages from a magazine (don’t tell) while waiting for an appointment. They were the “top” products for reducing wrinkles, bags under the eyes, night treatments, day treatments hydra-boosts and serums. Some of the names sounded so technical, I began to wonder what they would do to my face.
There’s always injections. I thought to myself. These are the conversations a woman approaching fifty has with herself and her very close friends. We think we’re still 30, but the comments like “Ma am” or girls at check out counters relaying a story to you about their grandmother or some random stranger thinking your son is your grandson are all tell-tale signs that you’re not.
Have I really become one of those women who dresses too young? You know the ones I’m talking about! We snicker behind their backs because they are wearing leopard print pants and heels that say anything but ‘I’m a stay at home Mom.’
I personally think plastic surgery is a waste of money if it is for vanity alone. When all is said and done you look like a person who is trying to look young, but only look like a person who had plastic surgery. Sorry to break it to you, but it’s true! And it’s creepy! When your smile is forced, your forehead is too smooth and you look like every other woman dining on Madison Avenue, you know you’ve gone too far.
The funny thing with plastic surgery is people who have it done always say they want to look like they haven’t had any. This is hysterical! When someone cuts your face, pulls it off and puts it back on again, you’re gonna look like you had something done. And if you don’t, they probably put you under, punched you in the face a few times, had a good laugh and then presented you with a huge bill. You only thought you looked better. But in reality you look the same, so why even bother?
So after all the meticulous ripping out I did yesterday in search of the magical cream that would restore my youth, this was my note today.
“Gretchen, do you want to know what’s really beautiful? Confidence.
Do you want to know what’s really powerful? Persistence.
Do you want to know what’s really sexy? (Please, I know about sexy.) Not needing to be needed.
And if still “they” don’t notice your good looks, your strength, and your sashay… could you feel more sorry for them?
Tallyho, The Universe
Gretchen, who needs night cream?”
When the Universe sends you a note like this you have to not only pay attention, you have to stop paying money for creams that promise something they can’t deliver and focus on the one thing that has all the power to change something in an instant. This would be you; the one of a kind unique individual that brings something to the world that no one else does. Whether it’s your humor, your sensitivity or the way you smile (which could account for the lines around the eyes and mouth), people refer to you by this trait. If you don’t like the one that has been assigned to you, then get a new one. Change your story/change your vibration, it’s really that simple.
Thank you universe for my reminder today and for the older woman with the scrappy little dog in Trader Joes, who pulled me aside and said, “Your smile makes people feel good about themselves.” I guess the universe is right, “Who needs face creams?”
Last summer I called our family The Grisfelds after we took a car trip to Virginia to a theme park. It was a horrible trip! The kids hated the car ride, my husband and I hated the car ride and the theme park was hell on earth for him and I. We like remote tropical islands. We’re a bit snobbish when it comes to travel but there’s nothing like three boys to bring you back to reality.
I know there are a lot of parents out there who would question the way my husband and I parent. Quite frankly, I don’t give a shit! My kids eat garbage, have selective hearing, watch inappropriate television and video games, swear and talk back. And while they have some qualities that aren’t stellar, they also have several that are; they get good grades, play the drums, the clarinet, the piano, the guitar, they are artistic, take honors classes, build servers, have character, make us laugh, love animals, give back to society, cry when they see an animal or person who is homeless, volunteer their time and love their mom and dad unconditionally. So when you add it all up, they’re human.
While my husband and I are currently slipping in and out of residences more than a call girl, we know it’s all in the name of giving our son an opportunity to fulfill his dream. Our other two boys seem quite content with the arrangement for now and it allows us more time to focus on their dreams as well. We all get together on the weekends and relish our time together more now. This isn’t so foreign to people. Kids have been going to boarding school for years! I only wish that were the case! Then maybe we could sneak into the place on our own once in awhile, without having to spend the first hour of arriving, cleaning up after his royal prince.
Today we all took one for the team. The Griswelds got dressed-up and went to church.
This was no easy task. My youngest (the angel) got dressed without a fuss. He’s used to wearing his school uniform, so he did as he was asked and returned to the video games to play Modern Warfare. Odd, I know, before heading to church to pray to God, but life is in effect warfare, is it not? Church with people who don’t want to be there certainly is!
My other two couldn’t stop laughing. I could hear them upstairs blaring out lyrics to a song they were making up about religion. I think I heard the word *()&^% in it. They came down three times in different shades of sweat pants before I finally screamed at them (finding my own religion) so they would understand what “dressed appropriately” meant. Finally they returned, looking pretty sharp, so we all piled into the car to leave. As we pulled out of the driveway the backseat wasn’t locked in which prompted the seat to roll back into my middle son’s lap. He laughed hysterically, along with the other two and then my oldest broke out in the song again. I found more religion all the way to the church parking lot.
This wasn’t a usual Sunday for us by any means. We generally start the day with crepes or pancakes made by my husband or I and then spend the rest of the day inside, sitting by the fire eating and watching a movie or playing video games.
My youngest was given the honor of being invited to speak at mass today for Catholic Schools Week, so we knew we had to go. My husband and I try very hard to instill in our boys the importance of supporting one another and always rally around each other when one of us has something going on. We know how important and vital these relationships will be when they grow older and really try to drive this home with them.
Imagine Clark and his family sitting in a pew, trying to look as though they belong. Now picture my husband (who is Jewish and into organized religion about as much as he is amusement parks) trying to look engaged. I must have clutched his hand in mine at least four times, trying to keep him from rubbing his eyes. The other two kept looking over at me and giggling. I tried not to make eye contact with them for fear that I would do the same. But when the moment came for our youngest to step up to the mike and say his verse, we all came to attention. This is what it’s all about! This is where you see what you have tried so hard to instill in your kids. His brothers actually walked along the pew to try and get the best view of him and then beamed with pride when he was finished.
There are some people out there who think that respect is a virtue that is just given to people who are older or in a certain position but I strongly disagree. In my opinion, respect is always something that is earned. If you play your cards right and are a good person, it’s pretty much a no-brainer that you will receive it.
My husband and I have encouraged their individuality, despite our trials with them, but I know at the end of the day they will do what is asked of them, as long as they feel they are not compromising their integrity or beliefs in any way.
Today,however, all of our beliefs were tested,. as we made our way into the church.
I am not one for organized religion of any kind. I find it repetitive, boring and rehearsed. I hate the way people collectively say what it is expected of them and cross themselves as they step inside the pew. I wonder if they even know why they are saying the things they say. It’s like it has been conditioned in them for so long, they don’t even question why. When you stop questioning things…Houston, you have a problem! You should always question things…especially authority. Which is why I like it when my kids question me. I’m not saying it isn’t exhausting-it’s EXHAUSTING!!! But I know that in their questioning me they are learning about themselves and what works best for them.
Who am I to make my children do something? Do I really think I am instilling some value in them that is worthy, by making them go somewhere, see people or do things that society says they should be doing when kids who feel so much, feel nothing in their heart? The last thing I want are children who are robots.
We are also supportive of their opinions and choices, even when they might not be one we agree with. This is the price you pay for encouraging your children to be individuals. While you encourage their individuality and voices, often times they tell you things you may not want to hear. Like they don’t care to go somewhere or be with people you would like them to be.
My kids are incredible people. They are exceptionally funny, articulate and have incredible empathy. If you’re not bringing one of those assets to the table, you’re pretty much toast. I admire them in so many ways.
There isn’t a day that goes by that one of us is not complimented on how polite, intelligent or kind our children are. Sure they might test our patience, not always do what we ask and refuse to put themselves in a situation they do not feel is healthy, but you have to admire their choices. It’s what all parents should do; give your children choices.
Which is why I give mine several.
Last night as we watched Madagascar 3 together, we snacked on pizza, mini hot dogs, parmesan crips, tater tots and meatballs with garlic bread. Afterwards we had a dessert platter with apples, strawberries, nilla wafers, marshmallows, potato chips, brownies and chocolate fondue.
While the food they eat isn’t always healthy, I believe what my husband and I are serving up is. A sense of togetherness, a sense of stability, a sense of knowing their opinions and thoughts always matter and no dream is ever too big to accomplish as long as you believe in yourself. And always know that your family, The Grisfelds, will always support and love you no matter what.
This afternoon I was watching the recording of Rachel versus Guy while I had a moment of quiet time in the house. My favorite episodes were the ones with Johnny Weir in them. He was hilarious and could cook!
This time around there’s Tiffany from the 80′s. I soo remember her song: “I think we’re alone now.” I don’t know what happened to her after that song but I’m guessing she spent too much time alone because we never heard from her again. She was out around the time Debby Gibson was. Remember her? I once went to her apartment in Manhattan and colored her hair. I remember having to wash it out in the kitchen sink. I’m dating myself now which isn’t so hard to do these days. I’m feeling older by the second.
Anyway, back to the show.
Hershell Walker is on there and he is awesome! Penn of Penn and Teller fame ( a little scruffy for my taste but entertaining), an annoying comic named Judy who I would personally like to slap! All she does is complain and serve up left over jokes about Jewish mothers. Tired! Chris Kattan was sent home last week and I have to say I don’t miss him. He had this sort of whiny thing going that wasn’t funny, even though he is also a comedian. Vanilla Ice has come back from the dead to be on the show and I have to say he’s a pretty good cook. I wonder if he has any regrets from having all those tattoos done. My guess is no, because he still rocks the famous person sunglasses like he did back in the day. Florence Henderson has used “America’s favorite Mom” a little too much for my taste. Am I the only one who found her obnoxious as Carol Brady? My least favorite contestant is some guy named…I can’t even remember it, that’s how insignificant he is. His claim to fame was being on the Bachelor and then he did the second-hand celebrity shows of Dancing with the Stars, etc. This guy honestly thought he was going to win because he thought he had swagger. In fact, every time he talked about his strategy it had something to do with charming the people. How about you just cook like everybody else does? Oh, wait! Because you can’t! When Rachel told him not to use the peaches in his salsa he went ahead and did so anyway. You know why? Because he thought his charm and good looks would outweigh a successful woman’s opinion. And what happened to the idiot? He got eliminated!
I started laughing today when he was doing his thing again because he reminded me so much of a guy I used to know named George. My sister is probably laughing at the mere mention of his name. We called him “The Hanger” but we should have called him “The Fish.”
I started thinking about how good looking men and fish have so much in common. First of all, it has been my experience that they have the same intellect. Every time you go near the tank the fish think you’re gonna feed them. They flit back and forth in the tank showing off their colors and then look at you with those big bug eyes like they haven’t eaten since…that morning. It’s the same thing with the pretty men! All you have to do is glance at them and they’re showing their colors; only most women are too blind to see them for what they really are. They peer at you with those dreamy eyes and expect you to serve up the world for them but offer nothing in return. The fish swim in your tank and people ooh and ahh and tell you what a pretty tank you have. When you date a good looking man all of the women around you do the same thing, only they’re not so subtle. Much like the fish you take care of and basically work for, the good looking man will never give you more than what you see at first glance, because quite frankly, he isn’t capable of more. There’s simply nothing else there.
It’s a sad reality but the truth never the less. God giveth and God taketh away. Even museums understand this! When was the last time you were gazing at a piece of art and then allowed to get closer to it, to actually reach out and touch it without a guard yelling at you? Never! Beautiful works of art are only meant to be admired from afar; much like beautiful men.
I first spotted George at a club called 8.0 in Dallas. He always stood by the door sort of leaning on it, dressed in a suit. I admired him from afar and often thought about going over to talk to him but I never found the courage to and gave up. One night George found me and I was ecstatic! I could barely talk to him I was so nervous! But within a few moments I noticed that he couldn’t talk to me either. I wrote it off as a mysterious coolness. His gorgeous green eyes and dark hair were enough for me and I didn’t care what language he spoke, as long as he was speaking it to me. I was smitten and quite intrigued until I realized after our first date that the only thing mysterious about George was the fact that he had made it this far in life.
He was dumb! And not just dumb, boring, vapid and shallow. George was so boring, I found it painful to be in his company. I actually found him extremely unattractive because he had nothing to say.
George confided in me on our first and only date that he had a hard time meeting someone special; someone of substance; someone he connected with. I felt bad for him as he opened his heart to me, clearly perplexed as to why he hadn’t settled down and married yet. He was heartbroken about his circumstance, almost as much as I was. How could it be? How could this Adonis have nothing going for him but that face? I wanted to die at that moment. How cruel had the Gods been? A handsome face and nothing more? I’d rather be ugly! And I’d rather date ugly men!
I wasn’t going to be the one that broke it to him, so I just listened and thought about how I would tell him how much I would love to be in a relationship with him, if I didn’t have to move to Africa for the Peace Corps.
Whenever I saw him out after that I never looked at him the same way. It was sad but a real awakening for me. It gave me a new understanding about him. You see, despite what other men think, men like George envy everyone else. They want what everyone else has but have a harder time obtaining it. Logic says it should be easy for them because they have so much going for them. And it probably is, as long as they don’t set the bar too high. Meaning, they go out with someone who continues to satiate their ego, instead of someone who challenges it.
I wonder what ever happened to George; a man destined to be alone or with someone he didn’t really care about. I wonder if he ever started to look within for the answers instead of outward. My guess is probably not. For all I know he might still be at 8.0, only this time he’s the lecherous old man all the young girls steer clear of, unless of course he’s footing the bill!
Does it look bad if you stand outside your apartment building and rummage through your handbag for them? I mean, what are the chances that someone might come along and mug you then? The funny thing is, I have this false sense of security when I am in the city, as opposed to how I feel when I stand outside the side door of my home on Long Island.
Often times when I come home after dark and I walk towards the house and the wind blows in an eerie sort of Bram Stoker way and my mind plays tricks on me. I think I hear things, like the rustling of leaves or a dog barking. Wait! That is a dog…mine. Who needs an alarm system with that beast? She is a good argument for people not wanting dogs. Sure, she’s sweet, but enough of the barking. When she’s not barking she gets those squeak toys and talks to you with it and she has a lot to say! My brother in-law loves her. (insert sarcasm here).
Today I needed to get away from the barking. And not just from the dogs. I swear, they give kids long weekends off to punish parents. Every time you think about passing that budget vote, remember those days off. Having more than two days off a week is not natural. I don’t recall ever having all of the days off from school that my kids do. Every time I turn around they’re off for something. Catholic school is worse. They hold a mass once a month and they get out at 11:30.
One of my favorite days off from public school is Superintendents Day. What the @#$% is that? Ours found her fifteen minutes of fame when she ignorantly announced our children were not allowed to play with balls (a word I can’t say in my house without giggles) during recess. She was misquoted of course, but she didn’t even have her facts straight. For this she gets her own day off? I hope she spent it at the library doing research or at classes on how to get smart.
Moms do get a day off…once a year. Most of the time we spend it cooking for our own mothers or our husband’s mother. Unless you’re like me, the selfish @#$%$ who finally said enough is enough and decided to redeem that coveted one day off a year. But I feel for all of those women who labor on their supposedly day off. When is it their time as a mother? There’s always a mother cooking for another mother. Why haven’t the men owned up to their responsibility and started doing the cooking?
I have to say, when it comes to men I hit the jackpot! Mine cooks, cleans, watches the kids, tries to listen to my banter about spirituality without looking bored (he keeps both eyes open now) understands that in order for a relationship to work it has to be equal parts give and receive and has benefitted greatly from this wisdom. He’s pretty good at fixing things around the house, too. You should see the way he handles his drill! (I know he will appreciate the juvenile humor here-this is where my boys get it!) I forgot to mention his computer skills. He thinks he is sub-par at the computer thing but if you compare him to my computer skills, he’s a whiz. I am a complete idiot when it comes to anything electronic. This is why I’ve never owned a…enough said.
My husband was gracious enough to hang art, photos and curtains for me yesterday and I could hardly wait to get back there and just be in the space without someone asking me for something. It’s amazing how quiet the place is. This is good and bad. I find that quiet is where your mind begins to play those nasty little tricks on you. I seldom find the silence as golden as people say it is. I find it rather haunting, which is why I try to occupy myself by eating.
I said I needed to come here to work; which is true. There are way too many distractions at home for me to concentrate. The washing machine beckons me, the children, the dogs, the cat, the garbage, the dishes. It’s exhausting just thinking about it. What I really had to do was be in the apartment…alone. It’s so rare these days. With my oldest occupying the couch most days, I feel like a visitor. Today I felt like the place was supposed to feel-like mine.
So while I am sitting here trying to find the time and inspiration to write, I’m also finding a bag of M&Ms, a bag of Cape Cod chips (I think the kid was holding out on me), a bottle of nice wine my husband dropped off from work (hopefully he won’t expect me to save any for him) and pistachios. Are there any better nuts than those? Maybe Macadamia. Pecans run a close third. Then cashews. On second thought, I think I like cashews better. I like nuts! I can hear my boys laughing now! Honestly, you can’t mention the word nuts in my house without hysterical laughter. I haven’t touched the Milanos, Mallowmars or those icky chip cookies with the fake M&Ms in them. I have to leave them some treats.
So while I am sitting here trying to find the time to work on those great stories that are on my computer and I have never finished, I realize I cannot do a completely effective job of writing unless I have my desk. It’s got my mojo on it. It’s the right size for the chairs that are here and it has all of my ideas and scribblings in files on top of it. Oh, and that little burn mark from the candle wax that oozed out over the top of it. I like running my finger over it when I’m bored. And my dictionaries! I can’t write effectively without it. Especially my Thesaurus. What would writing be without that? I can’t be saying large every single time. I have to use different words, like obese, zaftig and tremendous. I need my desk!
Since my husband has gotten so good at the giving part lately, I am hoping he will find an hour or two on Saturday to make “one last trip” into the city with the desk. I promise I won’t ask for anything else to be brought here. Until next year…when I ask you to bring the rest of our family.
Was it really a mystery where my oldest got it from?
It’s a funny thing, this search for “the one”. Ed Burns wrote a movie about it, so I am guessing men actually think about this concept as well as women do. Probably not as much though. It’s a biggy for women!
Often times you will hear a friend refer to the man they are dating as “the one” and then you meet the loser and you think to yourself, “He’s the one alright! The one that will break your heart!”
I have heard about this concept of soul mates for a long time. Probably even referred to someone I had dated as one, back in the days of thinking everyone I dated was one, or at least wanting them to be. A lot of people poo poo the idea of soul mates, but if you know what one is, then you would probably agree that you have been involved with one at some point in your life.
Soul mates can be either male or female. He/she will enter your life for varied reasons; to teach, assist, support or help you achieve a mission. They can influence your hopes and dreams or gain knowledge from you. In addition, the encounter can be either positive or negative, joyful or painful, but one thing is certain – the experience will be one of growth mentally, emotionally, or spiritually.
Quite honestly this sounds like most marriages or long term relationships, so I guess when people say there are looking for this connection, what they really want is a best friend or to be married.
The Twin Flame can only be of the opposite sex. He/she enters your life for the sole purpose of expressing, giving, and sharing the ultimate joy – LOVE! The Twin Flame encounter is not without its trials and tribulations, however, it does overcome any obstacle! It is a compatible union on all four levels mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Encompassing every aspect of love in its purest form, the Twin Flame encounter is unconditional, undeniable, understanding, unselfish, and unforgettable.
Who knew such a union existed? Apparently a lot of people! My friend Sue turned me onto this book called, “Divine Intervention II: A Guide to Twin Flames, Soul Mates and Kindred Spirits.” She and I share many things with one another; Cold Duck and cigars in our twenties, guidance and support, lots of laughs and a quest for spiritual growth and understanding. We always referred to one another as “Our other half” which in terms of soul mates or kindred spirits, we are.
But if what you are looking for is the actual “one” than you really need to find your twin flame; the “first class” in relationships. If you prefer to fly first class over coach, then settling for anything less would be beneath you, but be warned; it’s not an easy path. But you like a challenge, don’t you? There are tons of articles written about twin flames and this website was the first one that came up on a Google search about the topic: http://why-twin-flames-run.weebly.com The title alone should alarm you!
I have done you the courtesy of listing several of the signs to look for so that you will know when you meet your twin flame:
An overwhelming magnetic attraction, an instant regognition of their soul, feeling like you KNOW them deep down when you don’t know them in the physical, a huge empathy towards them, telepathic communication, knowing how they are feeling or what they are thinking without even saying a word, feeling yourself getting “lost” in their eyes (the eyes truly are the window to the soul), feeling “complete” when you are near them (they don’t make you complete, but they make you remember the feeling of completeness in the Spirit World which is where you know each other best), you bring the best and worst out in each other, meeting them spurred on a spiritual awakening, meeting them has turned your life upside down, you feel drawn back to them no matter how much they have hurt you, the love doesn’t feel just romantic, it is felt more in the soul, you can feel each other’s emotions even when you are apart, a feeling that you are so close that you feel related, like a brother or sister, lucid dreams of each other, intense fears come up about getting close and being hurt or rejected, everything that needs healing within comes to the surface, you will have many synchronicities where you will keep “accidentally” bumping into each other, texting or calling at the same time, making the same drastic changes in your lives at the same time, crying with sheer joy at the gratefulness you have of being brought together again in this lifetime, the desire to be together no matter what obstacles are in your way, the ability to dream of the twin flame in their current state which can later be verified as accurate, when you are together it is as if time stands still, when you are together everything else around you seems to fall away because you simply don’t notice it anymore, strangers in the street stare at you both when you are together because your love shines through so brightly, you can complete each other’s sentences or answer questions that the other is thinking in their head but has not yet verbalized, you can be sexually intimate without ever being in the same place through your spiritual energies, you see signs from the universe everywhere that point to your connection and possibly even number patterns 1111, 222 etc, you met through strange circumstances, you feel so awake since meeting your twin flame when before your meeting you can see how asleep you were in life, the connection is immediate as if no time has passed since you met in a past life, there is a strong sense that you will be together for eternity in some way even if in this lifetime your physical bodies are not together, you know your souls always will be, your twin flame inspires you like no other to live your dreams, work on your goals and share your spiritual truth with the world, there is nothing hidden between the two of you because the telepathic bond cannot hide a thing even if the physical bodies try to hold the truth back, you feel UNCONDITIONAL love for each other, you see the beauty in yourself through the reflection of the twin flame, you automatically have trust, patience and acceptance of each other’s weaknesses.
Now that’s a mouthful! Just when you thought your soul mate was good enough or how lucky you were to have met them, this little boomerang is thrown your way and you realize there could be somebody better out there for you. This is really what our life is all about today, isn’t it? The next best thing! Twin Flame is like the “Apple” of love. And just like “Apple” when it comes out with a new device, the odds of finding this twin flame are pretty slim. Often times, even when you meet one of them, they aren’t ready for the intense connection and run in the opposite direction.
In the meantime there’s always your soul mate. I wonder if the dating websites have caught onto this. If not, they should! It would be a real money maker for them! I can see the computer page now. You will log in and see three columns of available candidates. “Twin Flame” (will cost you a premium) “Soul Mate” (less money but your odds are greater) and “In a Pinch” (dirt cheap but also has upgrades like: has hair, employed, no criminal record).
Here’s to everyone in search of what fills their soul most and only YOU know the answer to that.
“You can’t sit in here in your underwear!” I remind him. “No one can see me!” He says and continues to watch television. “Do you see people across the street in their apartments?” I ask. “Yeah, look at that!” He sounds amazed. “Well, they can see in here, too. Now put some pants on!”
“Please don’t leave that ketchup plate in the living room.” I sigh. “Yeah! Yeah! You tell me this every day.” He rolls his eyes at me. “Because every day you leave it there.”
“You can’t leave your shoes, backpack and socks all over the place. This isn’t your bachelor pad!” “It’s not?” He laughs.
“How do you go to West End Avenue for the bus when you have gone to Amsterdam for the past two weeks?” I am in awe. “I don’t know!” He shrugs his shoulders.
“You can’t walk and talk on your phone in the city.” I scold him. “What’s the big deal?” He asks, oblivious to the dangers around him, like the garbage he trips on as he says this.
“You have to ride the bus to school. The city pays for the bus not the subway.” I tell him, as he asks me for subway fare. “But the subway is faster. Who cares if it costs money.” “Oh, that reminds me! I have to visit the money tree in the park again.” I joke, but he doesn’t think it’s funny.
“You did your best.” My husband gently reminds him, as he leaves the audition for school. “Stop talking to me! I know I did my best. You don’t have to tell me that.” Later he apologizes for being so rude.
“Thanks for taking such good care of my fish. Keep it up!” Little does he know I have eyed the chlorine pellets we use for the pool. The last thing I need is another needy creature to take care of.
“Why can’t we eat out?” He asks every night. “Because you don’t eat!” I remind him. “Yes I do!” “Mini hotdogs and ketchup aren’t on the menu at any place but a Bar Mitzvah and I am done with diners!.”
“You need a haircut. Let’s go downstairs and find a place.” “I look fine! My hair is me and I like it.” He runs a hand through the mangled mess. “You look like Greg Brady.” “You’re dating yourself, Mom.”
“Oh, look! That was Jerry Stiller. He’s Ben Stiller’s dad.” “Why didn’t you say something to him?” He asks and I have to remind him that this is New York. People don’t do that here. “Maybe you thought it was him but it really wasn’t. They say the eyes are the first thing to go!”
“The gentleman who runs the program at your school said you might need extra help outside of school.” “That guy needs to cut me some slack. I’ve only been there a short while.”
He’s all yours!” I say, as I pass the reins over to my husband in Penn Station.
The texts start coming in an hour after he has arrived at the apartment about how “pleasant” our 13 year old is and I just laugh. I’m back home in front of the fireplace with the dogs, cat and my other two boys. Aside from the sound of one of the dogs snoring, there is nothing but peace and tranquility. I miss them when I am in the city but I don’t think they miss me. As a matter of fact, I don’t even think they knew I was gone.
“Dad will be home Thursday night.” I remind them. “Oh! I didn’t know he was gone. ” He told me they said the same thing about me the other day. It makes me wonder how much we are actually needed when they don’t even know if we are here or not. I’d like to think I was missed. And I guess I probably was…by my oldest, who constantly needs something from me.
Don’t get me wrong, I love that kid to death, but he is a handful and it takes way more than a village to take care of him. It’s called a personal assistant and I can hardly wait to hire one for him.