bah numb bug

ImageThanksgiving and Christmas are always hard for me. I lost my mom and aunt during the holidays and am still mourning my dad, even after he has been gone for 20 years…he left too soon. The grief really never goes away.  Anyone who has lost a loved one is familiar with the sadness….the emptiness…the always being on the verge of tears..the vulnerability…the feeling that something huge is missing from your heart. Tomorrow night I burn a memorial candle to remember and honor my mom. In the Jewish faith, we light these candles for 24 hours, a month before their passing. So, the candle will be lit…the tears will flow and life will go on with happy memories.

 

 

The Hallmark Holidays

Holidays are highly overrated. I mean, most of them are to celebrate every relative known to man, or woman. Celebrate your mom, your sister, your dad, your grandparents….oh, and while you’re at it, celebrate their anniversaries, their birthdays, their graduations, their everythings. Then, we have Valentines Day ( ever hear someone say Valentimes Day…kills me). But, I think Flag Day takes the cake. Come on everybody…let’s have a party….it’s Flag Day.  Most of the holidays are manufactured. They are a clever way of forcing people to buy cards, gifts they can’t afford, charge those babies on your credit cards.. come on..let’s get in more debt than we already are. Then we have the biggies. Thanksgiving and Christmas. I get it, I really do. But, they have become so commercial. Let’s eat until our guts explode. Let’s spend the entire day in the kitchen, mostly washing dishes. Let’s decorate our homes to the point of being tacky.  More money, more debt, more headaches. And, in the blink of an eye, after all the preparations and all the money spent………the holiday is over….until next year.

Why so cynical??? Maybe, when you have lost most of your family, from either death, relocations or divorces, the holidays just aren’t the same anymore. They become a burden. They become reminders of what was and will never be, again. They become sad occasions. Take this Thanksgiving for example. This time last year, my aunt passed away. Next month will be the anniversary of my mom’s passing. And, my cousins, who always had holiday dinners, are getting a divorce, after 25 yrs of marriage. A family split of what was left of a family.

Most of my friends love the holidays and I don’t judge them. To them, they are happy occasions. More power to them. For me, I would rather just put them on the back burner of my emotional mind and just do this——————————-

Image

The friendship of two brains….one foggy…..one cluttered

It started with a  business email

that morphed into

a friendship in the twilight zone

drawing me into a cluttered brain of random thoughts

that exploded into a ticker tape parade

five hour calls that seemed like five seconds

tales from the dark side, from the asylum of the mind

disappearing and reappearing

sin city to Kinkos

my bizarro friend from the planet Mongo

Creature from  the black lagoon of clowntown

Next stop———————————————–

 

 

 

It’s a Harryfest

Have you ever met someone and just connected, immediately. …as if you had known that person forever? It’s happened to me several times, with both men and women. It’s a kind of recognition, a knowing look in the eyes, an instant trust and affection. If you believe in reincarnation, maybe we have known these people in previous lives. Or, maybe, it’s just  a plain old connection, with no explanations.

When I first met my best friend, Harry, I felt that instant connection. I was at work in this ungodly city job, in a large office with no windows. There was nothing about the place that I liked. When someone was newly hired, they would be paraded into the office by our supervisor, like an animal on display in a zoo.  So, when Harry entered the office, I  saw this  slightly nervous 6 feet tall guy with  dark floppy “Hugh Grant”  hair and dark eyes and that classic chiseled face. I could tell that Harry was uncomfortable. He was being stared at by at least 25 people  who were surveying the goods and coming to their own first impressions and conclusions. When our eyes met (romance novel alert) we just smiled at eachother and, without even thinking, made physical contact with a sweet hug. That was it. We were inseparable from then on. Fifteen years have passed and we love and respect eachother more than ever. Was there a sexual attraction? Of course there was. But, it went beyond that. It was something deeper….something, almost spiritual about the whole thing. Soul mates??? Lovers in a previous life?  Or, just that connection.

Harry is a beautiful person inside and out. He played football in college, was a model, is a successful lawyer, and a devoted family man. He lost his mom when he was very young. Because his dad was somewhat of a  party guy, Harry was sent to live with his grandmother, who raised him, and to this day, he still lives in the same house which has been completely renovated. His brother stayed with their dad until their dad passed away suddenly.  Here is what is so special about Harry. His younger brother has schizophrenia and Harry has effortlessly taken over the role of mother to his sweet brother.  Harry is also the  father of two adorable girls. He is always reminding me that he is surrounded by “hormones”.   And what about his wife?  Well,  I actually introduced them. Harry was always hooking up with  “trophy” girls, the fortune hunting airheaded glamazons, and I needed to save him. Thus, the fix up of the girl next door. . It wasn’t until about 2 years ago that his wife finally began to trust me. She was confused and maybe even envious of our platonic friendship. She just didn’t quite get it. Now, she is totally cool with it and even thankful that Harry has someone else he can confide in and relax with. No matter how busy he is with his family or job, he always manages to contact me via text, email or phone, And, then sometimes, I may not hear from him for weeks…but that’s ok…we both get it.

Where am I going with this blog, other than making this a HarryFest. I guess, what I’m trying to say is that men and woman can be friends….best friends….with no strings attached. Honestly, most of my close friends are guys. I just feel more comfortable interacting with them. People have asked me if we would ever hook up  and I always respond with the proverbial answer…why ruin a perfect friendship. .Not everyone is able to have this kind of platonic relationship with the opposite sex. But, it does happen and it’s happened several times in my life. All I can say is that I am grateful to have a Harry in my life.

My Life is a Lifetime Movie

 

I’ve always known that I was adopted. When I was researching a show on adoption, for a local talk show,  I found a childrens  book in my closet, shoved away for who knows how many years, called “The Chosen Child”. I guess my mom read this book to me when I was quite young. What was so funny was that I must have taken a pencil to the pictures, because I saw lots of heavy pencil scribblings…………almost too heavy. (wonder if it was from deep seeded anger or just a kid playing) . My parents adopted me when they were middle aged, so, they always seemed old to me. I have a picture of me and my dad sitting on the sofa and I swear, he looks like my grandfather. I really don’t think they knew what to do with me. Not just because they were older, but because my mom lost her mother at an early age and my dad grew up in an orphanage. So, parenting must have seemed so foreign to them…but they did the best they could and I will always be grateful.  I always felt like an outsider when it came to family. I was a loner, an only child who spent most of my time playing by myself in my room.  I was told bits and pieces about my adoption as I got older and, after my dad died, I began searching for my past, sporadically. And, so my journey into my unknown past, begins.

This is what I know from information that my mom and my aunt have told me over the years. Sometimes the information would change, slightly, which always confused me. So, I was born in a small hospital outside of Boston.  I was born on a Friday by C-Section.  The nurses cared for me for a week until my parents arrived from Phila. It was a private adoption that was well orchestrated by my uncle, who was a Judge and had alot of friends and connections in Boston. I was told that my birth mother was well educated, had a good job and beautiful with dark hair and dark eyes. The father was always an unknown, although my  mom had told me that she thought he was of Italian, Slavic  or Irish descent. That’s alot of territory, but the information kept changing.  That is all I know about him or will ever know.  I was also told my birth mother’s name and her approximate location . That was enough information for me to find a phone number when I was in my twenties. I remember calling the number. I was in a cold sweat and shaking uncontrollably. I had just lost my dad and was completely needy and vulnerable. An older woman with a thick accent answered the phone. I told her my name, where I was from and who I was looking for. All she said was “Oh my God”.  I assured her that all I wanted was some information, especially, medical. She was about to tell me, when I heard another female voice in the background, telling her to hang up. The next thing I heard was the younger voice telling me to leave them alone. I was devastated, feeling rejected and incredibly hurt. And, I stopped searching for a few years.

After my mom passed away,  the strong urge to find my past, returned. A friend of mine was visiting from the UK and was computer savvy. She took all the information and attacked Google. She found an obituary that mentioned my birth mother as a “late” relative. Tears started flowing as I now knew she had died and I would never get to contact her. But, other names were listed and I wrote them down. I was too upset to go any further with the search. A couple of years later, I found the list of names and began looking on google, and on Facebook. I just kept typing in names and, suddenly, I saw a picture of a young girl, who looked like me. I have never experienced this before…too see myself in someone elses face.  I started shaking again and checked her friends list, where I found her father’s Facebook page. Should I contact him?? Sure, why not…what do I have to lose. I messaged him and he got right back to me. He knew who I was….from that ONE call that I made years ago…..it started a family feud…a real lifetime drama. He was anxious to talk to me and that night we were on the phone for hours. He was so excited and his Boston accent was in overdrive. My Philly accent was also in overdrive. He confirmed that my birth mother was, indeed, deceased. He also told me that, the elderly woman who had answered the phone so many years ago, was my grandmother. She was from Russia. She wanted to talk to me but one of her daughters (not my mother) wanted no part of me. I was a secret, I was an embarrassment, I was poison. But, apparently, the other side of the family, thought otherwise. And, thus the feud began.  Sadly, I had forgotten to give my phone number or address when I had called, but my existence was known, for years.

Here’s the thing. This person and his sister were hiding something from me. They were very secretive . It was like pulling teeth to get information from them. Sure, they gave me superficial details….mostly about how horrible the family was in handling the “situation”. My birth mother had 4 sisters. So why, they told me, didn’t one of the sisters keep me. Oh the secrets…the secrets.  I wanted to scream….JUST TELL ME THE SECRET…I CAN HANDLE IT.  After a couple of months, I received an email with the sad details of my birth mother’s life. They were tragic and will not go into details, here, out of respect.   I weeped for her. I felt great sadness and love for her. Then, I started thinking…..why was I told that she was a successful woman. Did my uncle know the real details?? Did he tell my parents??? I will never know. But, it’s ok. The initial shock is over and I have accepted the fact that…………. my life is like a Lifetime Movie.

Oh………………shut up!

Did I ever mention that I used to date a mime????

imagesCAYMNNOW

Dear Internet, I love you I hate you

 

I’m a late bloomer. I always have been.  It was my choice.  I did things  when I was ready and not a second before. When I was a child, my mom, with that proud  yet frustrated sound in her voice,  would always say to everyone, “ My Janie didn’t start walking until she could walk across the room.” “My Janie didn’t start talking until she could  speak in  a complete sentence.”  She was right, of course.  I didn’t wear makeup until one of my sorority sisters pinned me down in a chair and attacked  my face with blush, foundation and mascara. My godmother, who was my Auntie Mame, was the first person to go after  my eyebrows with a tweezer “ Janie, you are 18, no more unibrow… I am going for it and you won’t regret it”  My first kiss was in college with a guy named George, which was totally unforgettable…so how come I remember his name.  The only thing that happened on time was my period. (awkward pause)  Actually,  it happened on the day of my cousin’s  Bar Mitzvah…exactly one month after my 13th birthday..BINGO.  So, what am I getting at here.  Oh, right…the internet.  I bought my first computer about 10 yrs ago. I just had no interest in the internet or anything associated with it. Call it peer pressure, I guess. I gave in and purchased a Gateway  laptop. And, so my bizarre journey  began.

I tread lightly, at first. I avoided contact with anyone, mainly because I had no idea what the hell I was doing. I finally made  contact  in a CNN chatroom. It was fun. It was moderated by professionals and we interacted with eachother, the shows and their hosts. I was addicted. Abruptly,  my addiction ended when CNN decided, without warning, to shut it down.  I was devastated.  Now  what. How do I feed my new found addiction. Somehow, I discovered the Project Greenlight messageboard.  It was a community of creative, funny and slightly insane people. The site was run by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, who used to make random appearances, usually in the middle of the night. I was addicted.  And, then, it shutdown.  Now what.  A group of orphaned PGL members wandered off to  a messageboard  run by Wil Wheaton, best known for his role in Stand By Me. We had a blast and called ourselves Monkeys.  Wil was Head Monkey In Charge. And, guess what…it was shutdown.  So, I started blogging  via LiveJournal  where friends from previous messageboards would comment.  I joined Myspace,  which I absolutely loved, until it morphed into some weird  NotMySpace.   I followed the crowd and ended up on Facebook and, lastly, Twitter.  I have to say that, I was never super interactive in any of the chatrooms or messageboards. I was a semi-lurker.  The  internet was still new to me and I am super shy. But, I did meet some fantastic people and was able to exercise my creative juices.  And, here is where my love/hate relationship with the internet was sealed

I totally trust people, maybe, a little too much. Who are these people. They are invisible entities hiding behind a screen. They could be anyone or anything. Sure, I have met or spoken to some. So, they DO exist. (snicker ).   I have met some wonderful people. I have seen relationships begin and end, have lost some friends  who I really cared about, due to illness or untimely accidents. I have helped support people who were going through emotional issues, and received support when I  lost my mom.  I have even had a couple of stalkers.  But, what I went through this past year takes the cake. And,  this is why I hate the internet.

Because I trust people, I began talking to someone who seemed sweet, caring and kind. Little did I know that they were bound and determined to smear my name and ruin a good friendship. This was based  upon delusions and unfounded jealousies.  They were very crafty and knew exactly what they were doing. The ultimate puppetmaster.  And, after the damage was done, they disappeared, although I do feel like they are always watching .  My point  is that, yes, the internet can be a wonderful place with incredible people. But, if you let  your guard down, it can be a very scary and dangerous place. I have learned to listen to my gut instincts.  That trust I  had, now, has a slight chip in it. I have learned valuable lessons from this sad situation. I wish no harm to this person. I feel sorry for them. I hope they seek the help they need and, also, hope they are not doing the same to others. So, tread lightly. Now, go enjoy the internet and go play……………with caution.

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