Saturday, June 26, 2010

M'Nell, where ya been?

June 26, 2010

Dear M'Nell,

It's been seventeen years since you left us all. Seventeen years ago today, you did the right thing and let go and moved on to whatever comes next. In the long run, it was probably the best thing for you to do, but to be honest, I wasn't thrilled with it and still aren't.

But I get it.

Sort of.

You've missed a lot since you left, my brother and I got married (not to each other) babies have been born, jobs won and lost, good and bad days, new diseases acquired and other wonderful health challenges.

A couple of weeks ago, your phone number when you lived with Grandpa Mitton in Camarillo came into my head. Just popped in there. It was very odd and I wasn't sure why it did. Did you have anything to do with that?

I still miss you - even seventeen years later. I miss you a lot. I miss your smile, your hugs and your love for me. I'm pretty sure you're still with me somewhere because I smell your Charles of the Ritz powder once in a while; even when no one is around.

I'm not sure what else to say other than, I'm wearing your tic tac toe charm and your square earrings today, thinking about you and wishing you were around still.

I love you and hope you're happy wherever you are.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I just saw Tom Cruise at Starbucks!

O.K. that's not exactly true. To be totally honest, it's not even a teeny weeny bit true. I mean it's not even the six degrees of Kevin Bacon (uh oh, did it again) true. I didn't see anyone, who knows anyone, who knows anyone, who knows anyone, who knows anyone, who knows Tom Cruise.

What I did see, however, was what people think we ALL look like here in lovely star-studded-stars-wait-for-you-on-the-street Los Angeles.

Please harken back with me to 1985 (were all of your born by then? If not, please do not let the rest of us know) when I spent nine fun filled weeks in Israel. What a fabulous trip for a teenager like me. I met some of the most special people in my life on that trip (you know who you are if you're reading this blog) and I do believe that it changed the course of my life, not from a religious point of view, but the road my life was on. If I hadn't gone on that trip, I wouldn't have met a very wonderful person that I became very good friends with and whom I dated and then ultimately stopped dating only to lead me to Aha - the most fabulous husband on the face of the earth. I also met some women that have remained in my life and I couldn't imagine going one day without. So, there you have it, sometimes your Mother is right, you should go on the trip.

At any rate, when we'd walk around all the towns we visited I guess it became very apparent that we didn't hail from the Holy Land. Pretty much every conversation went something like this:

Stranger: Where are you from?
Me and my friends: The US
S: Really? Where?
M: California
S: Where in California?
M: Los Angeles
S: Oh, I have family/friends/an old boss/a former pet owner there. I wonder if you know him/her?
M: Um, well,'s...
S: His/her name is {Insert very generic names here that end in -witz, -stein, -berg etc.}

Now, a quick break in the action. Please to imagine the look on my face when I heard that (I have always been more snarky [in a good way] off the cuff than my friends). Knowing me, you are thinking to yourself, "Self, I know exactly what she said." Right!!!

M: YES!!! I do!!!! There are only about 1,000 people with that name in my town ALONE! I'm sure yours is one of them.

S: (not exactly getting the joke and wondering if I do know their person says): How far from Hollywood do you live?
M: About miles - 10 minutes with no traffic.

Now Israeli people know their traffic. It's one of the few places that I found they really knew what that meant.

S: Wow!!!! Do you see a lot of stars?
M: Not really.
S: Really??? Don't they all live there?

Here is where we get to what I saw today. I saw two young women (and I use both of those terms very loosely) who think they're someone to be seen.

About 5'7" - 5'10" with their 3" cork healed shoes on, 110 pounds (soaking wet), long hair "gathered" into a hairstyle that is supposed to look "thrown together" but probably took them over an hour, short shorts.

Now let's examine the short shorts - remember in the shoe post where I was shown the denim skirt that barely covered my under-the-neath parts? O.K. their shorts weren't much longer. These shorts, if they were any shorter, would have made the brunette and I much better friends than we are now (which is not at all).

Ladies - your mother was right about this also - if you have to pull it down (or up) because you think it's exposing you - IT IS!!!! Therefore, you shouldn't wear it. Suffice it to say, I almost asked for their mother's phone numbers so I could call an discuss this display.

But I digress and it gets better.

One of them looked a lot like Alyssa Milano in her "My Cousin Vinny" days. (NB: I am aware that I screwed up the actresses - Alyssa Milano was not in My Cousin Vinny - but Marisa Tomei was and for the rest of this blog - that is who I'm referring to) Not as the character, but what she looked like when she won the Oscar for it. Pretty - but um....

So, they are sitting at Starbucks in front of me with their teensy weensy itty bitty (think Rosanne Rosannadanna voice) shorts and either sleeveless or off one shoulder shirts; BIG jewelry; big silver hoops in their ears along with big sparkly watches. The Alyssa Milano one had a necklace that said "Kitson" on it. For those of you out of the area, and who don't make People Magazine one of your primary sources of news, Kitson is a very expensive place to shop. I won't pass any judgements (very overdone) on the type of clothes there (exposed) but let's just say that those "It" girls (Lindsey Lohan, Paris Hilton) tend to be seen wearing their wears (too flashy for me).

They seemed to be debating their next move - tenuously eating their 1,000 calorie sandwiches with their teeny tiny itsy bitsy fingers and teeny tiny itsy bitsy bites.

Now during all this time, all the patrons of the Starbucks are looking at them, thinking, "I wonder if they're someone?". Just like my friendly Israeli peeps who thought that every day I was at home, I had the great fortune to high five Michael Jackson, share a bus ride with Barbra Streisand, eat McDonald's with Julie Andrews (if you don't know who Julie Andrews is - SHAME ON YOU and go directly to your DVD player and watch Mary Poppins) and see Seth Green in the local market (o.k. that one actually happened Sunday).

But they weren't and while I really don't begrudge anyone their day in the sun - who knows, maybe they dressed up to go out just for today and they're really from Kansas (sooooo doubtful, but one can hope), they give us all a bad name. Seriously, they appeared to be dingy, interested in their jewelry and their looks only. I hope I'm wrong and one of them is really a Fulbright Scholar. Why do they ruin it for us? Because I go somewhere out of LA and when people hear I live there, they think of twinke dee and twinkle dum and wonder how I am allowed to live there (in my Revlon Run/Walk baseball hat, MS Walk sweatshirt, hardly any make up and cotton pants with not so very clean Keds); I just know it.

But the thing that burns my hide more than anything? More than the jewelry, more than the fancy (albeit teeny tiny) clothes, the shopping bags from expensive stores in the mall next to where I am loaded with more expensive stuff (that I don't want anyway)?

They left their trash on the table at the Starbucks.

So please, don't lump me in with that group of peeps. I clean up my trash.

Not living, but recreating the dream