Miscelleanous Mishegoss

Today is Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving.  We usually do our weekly grocery shopping on Thursday and while the grocery store will be open tomorrow we’ll be skipping that experience. We thought about going today but we really don’t need anything in particular  – so no grocery shopping this week. Feels odd.

Yesterday I had to go to the hospital to get a lung CT scan. I would usually use an Uber but due to a little phone glitch, totally my fault, and too long to go into and not all that interesting, I had to use Lyft. What fun that was. Really.

Car came much quicker than Uber usually does (even tho most people who do this are signed up at both Uber and Lyft) and the driver was friendly (most are). We had a lovely and lively chat on what was a 15 minute drive. As we were pulling up to the hospital entrance the driver said “I wish the ride was longer, I could talk to you all day. You’ve made my day” Well, now, I swear that brought tears to my eyes.  Anyone says anything nice to me and I get blubbery.

The ride home was also pleasant. Now here’s a thing. We always tip our drivers. I mean, how do you not? Minimum tip is $3.00, more for longer rides and more if the driver helps load and unload our groceries. After each ride yesterday I added the customary $3.00 tip. When I got home and checked email, along with my receipts, was an email from Lyft telling me I now had a “Top Tipper” badge.

We tip everyone who provides any kind of service for us. It is just what we do. We do have kinda set amounts for each service and it seems we are somewhat generous – at least that’s what we have been told.  I don’t know how people who can afford to pay for personal services don’t also tip the people providing it. Most of the time the providers of the service are not the highest paid people. No one is getting rich driving for Uber or Lyft. Or for delivering pizza.

It seems I’ve been doing some back patting here.  I don’t approve of back patting. I am uncomfortable with saying nice things about myself but I was struck by both those little incidents yesterday.

Also too – we had a light lunch yesterday (lunch is our “dinner”) so when I got home from the hospital I was a little hungry and there are no snacks of any kind in the house – not even a cookie. I mentioned that to my husband and that since we wouldn’t be grocery shopping there wouldn’t be any for a week plus no pumpkin pie. I could have bought it last week (Mrs. Callender’s pumpkin pie – to die for!) but I really didn’t have room in the freezer for it.

I thought of all the things I could bake, and they are limited. Lemon bars are out of the question because 1) They are sugar heavy and my husband has Type 2 diabetes so I have to go easy on the sugary stuff. 2) I don’t have any applesauce so I can’t make cocoa spice snacking cake 3) I can’t make any kind of pie because I have nothing to put INTO the pie.

What I CAN make though is chocolate cookies – deceptively delicious chocolate cookies. I made these for a self-proclaimed chocolate expert. He ate one, said “Not bad, not really sweet, just okay” and then he ate another one and another one. I think he downed 3 or 4 cookies in a matter of minutes. I said “They’re just okay? You just ate 4 cookies without stopping” He laughed and said “They just sneak up on you”.

So here’s the easy-peasy delicious cookies. Personally I do NOT add chocolate chips because I dislike chocolate chips and/or chunks of chocolate in my food. I do add nuts if I have any – you can find the recipe here – Double Chocolate Cookies

A little self-serving perhaps?

Something I read this morning – about do you know who you are and what makes you, you. I think it was Rory, and then I came across another reference to being yourself and THEN when I searched for a Thursday song I found this –

Is the Universe trying to tell me something? If so what, because if ever there was a person who is totally themselves, it’s me. It seems I have a very strong sense of self. Despite –

~ A  few years in my early 20’s when I tried on different personalities/personas. I didn’t seem to have any control over it. It was odd, and expensive because each persona needed a different wardrobe. Just odd.

~ My ability to become another person – like the time I was going to a party with my brother and his girlfriend and she and I were discussing who I should be that night – I think I decided on Bette Davis – not that I would present myself as Bette Davis but rather the stereotypical Bette Davis character, like Margo Channing.

I always could ‘become’ an established character very easily, which is why I was great at cold readings in acting class. I had usually seen the play or movie we doing in class so for a first reading I simply replicated that performance. Like, “Butterflies are Free” starred Goldie Hawn. I was given one of her character’s monologues and I just did Goldie Hawn doing Jill Tanner. I could also do a good cold reading of something that was new to me but I was sensational if it was something I had seen performed.

I was talking about ‘sense of self’ with a friend, who like me, had a troubled and traumatic childhood (her way more than me, in my opinion). She still struggles with who she is (I know vague but let’s not get too personal here) and I couldn’t quite understand it and she remarked that I had such a strong sense of self, which was amazing given my background.

I think a lot of it has been acquired over time. One of the perks of getting old, you DO just stop caring what people think of you. Time is running out, you don’t have the luxury of playing mind games with people who don’t matter. Or even people who do matter (for that matter).

I once wrote about ageing and reverting to our essential selves.

I am Grace. Have I changed over and through the years. Oh yes, of course. I think back about who I was a various times, and I laugh. How did people put up with my young self, so positive about what was right and wrong. Oh my! Idealism run amok. So tedious.  So many things I was and then outgrew, or, just got older and wiser.

When the girls used to go out on the town, they always used a different name to fluff off guys. I could never think of another name for myself – I am, was, will always be, Grace.

I am still inventing other personas but they don’t stick. Because they aren’t me. They are aspects of me but I am only comfortable being ALL of who I am.

I know my good points, my bad ones. What I like, and don’t. I know when I’m acting badly, and sometimes I don’t care. When I do, I apologize. I know what I’m good at and I won’t hesitate to share that. I know what I’m not good at, and I just don’t do those things because why waste my time? I don’t like it, I don’t do it. I’m not here to please you.

That the life I am living right now is not the life I would prefer, I know. That it is in service to the well-being of another person, yes. Could I walk away? Yes. I have walked away from people and never looked back but not this time. this time I stick. Not sure why but that’s who I am. I don’t care what other people would think of me, I care what I would think of me. I do the right thing. And yes, sometimes knowing what the right thing is, isn’t hard to figure out.

I honestly believe that I am a person worth knowing, worth having in your life. You disagree? Fine, really fine. No one likes everyone but I also honestly believe the loss is yours. That’s not ego, that just knowing I am a good and worthy person.

I like me. I admire me. I have nothing but respect for me. I earned it. Big time. I am happy to be me!

I am Grace.

 

Saturday blah blah blah

It is the most glorious day out there. Temperatures been holding steady at 74 for hours now (it’s now 2pm) with the humidity in the low 50’s. There is a brisk breeze and the sun is shining to beat the band. Conversation with my husband this morning:
               Me: Gorgeous day to be outside
               Husband: So go outside.
               Me: There’s nowhere to go outside.
               Husband: That’s true.
               Me: There’s nowhere to go anywhere here. Nowhere to go and no way to get there.
               Husband: That’s also true.
               Me: It sucks living here.
               Husband: —

Tomorrow will also be a lovely day then Monday starts 4 days of ugly, as in, heat and humidity. Thursday was kinda nice, except for a honking big thunder storm in the afternoon and then a small tornado Thursday night. We lost power for about 4 hours and I didn’t get to sleep until Friday night – so that was 36+ hours with no sleeping.

It seems I can talk about food without having any real interest in it – as in – eating it. My husband passed a comment the other day that we hadn’t had an omelet in a long time. I said “That’s because I don’t want one.” So today I made him an omelet. It was picture perfect, as always. I make picture perfect omelets. I ate it. I suppose it tasted good, don’t care, didn’t want it. Actually I didn’t want any food at all but I know I have to put something in my stomach on a regular basis or I’ll wind up in the hospital again. This whole eating thing is stupid. Which won’t stop me from periodically writing about food, ya know, in that nostalgic way I have.

Later this afternoon I will be cleaning the shower on my hands and knees with a grout brush. I hate grout! I need to live in a grout free environment. I’m too old to be doing this cleaning with a toothbrush crap.

OTOH – Thursday I cleaned out my dresser, threw out a garbage bag full of stuff – socks, old t-shirts and other miscellaneous nonsense I had been saving. I had bought organizer trays and now all my socks and scarves and gloves and earmuffs are all neatly rolled and contained. Opening my dresser drawers give me a warm feeling of happiness and contentment (Marie Kondo ain’t got nothing on me.)

Speaking of Marie Kondo, at the height of the Kondoization of the world I wrote this little ditty:

Curmudgeons & Grouches

Cuddle your cut-offs
Snuggle your slippers
If they don’t bring joy
It’s time to ditch ‘em.

Bypass the donuts
Say no to all bread
Glutens verboten
Inhale kale instead.

Look on the bright side
Exist in the now
Always be grateful,
They’ll all tell you how.

But…

Where are the grouches
Where the curmudgeons
People like me who
Live in high dudgeon.

We like our messes,
Our stomachs are fine.
So shove your good cheer
Where the sun doesn’t shine.

© Grace St. Clair 2019

Enjoy your weekend…

Tessie

This post falls into the tl;dr category especially since the intro is rather lengthy. Anyway –  The other day I answered a (new) comment on an (old) post with “If you think Italian weddings are a hoot in hell, they got nothing on Italian funerals! ”  which made me think of my Aunt Tess and the essay I wrote about her. I searched through my ‘documents’ and couldn’t find it. I knew I had a hard copy in my files and when I pulled it out I realized it had been typed on a typewriter and not on a computer.  These essays were written back in the mid 1980’s. I’ve spent the afternoon typing Tessie’s story into my computer and I present it to you now, exactly as originally written (and typed) with no editing. Tho it is not far off from the way I write now, it could use a tune-up.

Let me  introduce you to my Aunt Tess –

Tessie

My godmother’s name is Tessie. She is my father’s older sister. She is in her late 70’s and has blue hair. Actually Tess is rather regal looking. She took after the Torre side of the family – large. Not fat, mind, just large. Actually if you put the family together they look like the back line of the Rams.

Tessie was married to a mafia lawyer, who for the entire length of their marriage maintained another household with another woman.

Jim had a son with this other woman (no kids with Tessie) and Skip and I were waiting for Jim to die so we could go to his funeral and witness the scene when Jim’s son showed up. Tessie knew about the woman but not the son. Well, Jim’s funeral has come and gone and Skip and I missed it. It must have been grand. Actually all Torre funerals are grand affairs, especially with Tessie in attendance. Ah, the sobbing, the breast beating, the flinging of the grief stricken into the coffin – it’s wonderful!

Tessie has a history of funeral performance. The tale is told that when she was a little girl (when funerals were in the home) she would get all dressed up and slip out of the house and wander the neighborhood looking for doors with black wreaths on them. She would go in, tiptoe up to the coffin and begin to cry and weep and wail. Everyone would say “Oh poor child look how upset she is” then they would say “Who is she?” then she would get thrown out.

We often asked her why she went to funerals. She never really answered us, just laughed.

Tessie lives up in Westchester, actually Yonkers, which is still the Bronx, near the race track. Tessie plays the horses – and wins. She has a very scientific method – license plate numbers, birthdays, the color the jockey is wearing, really logical choices but, she wins. She opened a special bank account for her winnings so her husband wouldn’t find out. One day she hit the daily double or the triple or whatever, and won big, I’m talking big! When the tax form came in Jim opened it in error and Tessie nearly had a heart attack. She fluffed it all off and since Jim didn’t really care what Tessie did her private income was safe.

Now my Uncle Al (who is another story altogether) also had a weakness for the track. But he did it logically, condition of the track, past performance of the horse, stuff like that – and lost, all the time. He lost so often that he was in the process of being fitted for cement shoes, if you know what I mean. The only time Tessie lost was when Al went to the track with her and bet on the same horses. Needless to say Tessie did not encourage Al’s company.

After my father died Tessie felt it was her duty to visit my mother every other Saturday or so. Tess would trek down from Yonkers to Long Island and spend the afternoon dragging my mother back and forth to the OTB parlor. In between trips she would listen to the races on the radio. My mother was thrilled to pieces about the whole thing. It kind of blew my mother’s Saturdays.

My mother saw more of Tessie after my father died than in all the 35 years preceding. And of course, you understand, my mother never liked Tessie and Tessie never liked my mother. But family is family and my father was Tessie’s little brother and my mother was his widow…so.

They spent many an afternoon glaring and arguing and rehashing 35 years of insults and slights and coming up with quite a few new ones. I really think Tessie was relieved when my mother moved to Phoenix.