I won't get into the religious and political issues of this woman because the romantic in me wishes that we all could just get along. I hope we can discuss her style and self-expression for the its genuine nature and celebrate the differences that keep this human family so interesting.
Reading together is a surprisingly intimate act. Have you ever noticed how two people can be lost in their books, sitting together in the same room; the hours can go by without a word spoken, but if one person gets up to leave the room, the other immediately says, "But where are you going?" as though they were leaving mid-sentence. And they are. It is just a sentence unspoken, but understood, and all the more moving in its silence.
I have noticed it. And it's what I love best about Sunday mornings.
Blue Kid went camping for the weekend with three of his friends. They are going to be more than an hour and a half away for the next three days. When they were in the driveway this morning getting ready to leave, our neighbor, Joe, started regaling them with stories from his youth. Like all the times (every weekend) he drove from Philadelphia to New Jersey with his friends because in New Jersey, they could drink all the beer they wanted! While Joe was entertaining us all with his lively stories, The Skimmer was pounding on the side of the camper, loudly wanting to know if all the girls they had inside were all okay.
Obviously, those two were drowning out my pleas.
"Please text us."
"Watch for bears."
"Are you gonna make s'mores? I can get you marshmallows. S'mores are good."
WHICH OF COURSE MADE ME THINK OF FIRE.
"Are you going to make a fire?! Be careful if you make a fire."
"Text us, okay?"
"Please be careful."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, okay, okay, okay," they said, and off they went.
The three of us stood in the driveway talking about Blue Kid's upcoming high school graduation. Only 10 days away. And in a few minutes, Blue Kid and his friends were back. As they rounded the corner, Joe said, "Must've forgot the bong."
Which brings me to the video up top. (Courtesy of one of my favorite bloggers ever -- Patti Digh.) Please go read Patti's whole post. She ends it this way:
This simple action Saturday is so simple, and not: love yourself. love your life.
Okay. Let's go.
I CAN DO ANYTHING GREAT! LIKE NOT IMAGINING BEARS! OR BEERS! OR GIRLS! LET'S THINK OF S'MORES! LIKE, I LOVE MY WHOLE FAMILY! NONE OF THEM WOULD EVER DO ANYTHING ROTTEN! AND NOTHING ROTTEN WOULD EVER HAPPEN TO THEM! ESPECIALLY WHILE CAMPING! NO BEARS! NO BEERS! NO GIRLS! LET'S THINK OF S'MORES! I CAN DO ANYTHING GREAT! LIKE LIVE IN DENIAL! I CAN DO THAT BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE! I LOVE MY LIFE!
What is the best and/or worst birthday present you've ever gotten?
Until last week, I would have said the very best birthday present I ever got was a gift certificate to a recording studio.
I was at a party many years ago. Late into the night, after most everyone had left and there were just a few of us sitting in the dark living room drinking wine, and someone put this album on and I started to sing. After a minute I said, "I'd love to record this song."
Five months later, I turned 23. And my good friend who had been sitting on the couch facing me as I was sitting on the carpet in front of the coffee table singing that Aretha Franklin song gave me a gift certificate to a recording studio in Cleveland with a note that read, "Oh, baby, what you've done to me. You made me feel so good inside. Please do it again."
I didn't use the gift certificate. I didn't have to. It was too much. That Cindy had heard me that night, heard what I most wanted to do -- because really, I would have loved to record that song -- and remembered months later, was the only thing that mattered. The only thing that mattered.
I returned the gift certificate and her money. And have thought of her gift as my very favorite birthday gift. Until this year, 23 years later.
Last week I turned 46. And I had a wonderful birthday. Got lots of love from everyone I love. But, I got extra love from my BFF. An email worth its weight in gold. The subject line read: Birthday Tribute of our Lives Intertwined.
She wrote, "I wanted to give you something special for your birthday and I realized that the memories we have are what we treasure most. I've tried to remember them all, but I bet you'll be able to add some of your own. I love you very much."
As I read through the memories she had written down, a girl I work with walked by my office and asked, "Why are you crying?"
"Oh my God, I can't explain it." And I continued to laugh and sob. My BFF had listed every memory she could remember that meant something to her that related to me. Here are a few.
Lip-Synching to Pat Benetar with your band
Watching you Chug Milk
Dancing on the tables at the Bucket Shop - FUN!!
Partying with our cute guy neighbors!
The Lionel Richie concert you made me go to - and I'm so glad you did!
Going out to dinner with your mom and my mom - how sweet!
Coming to your baby shower - wearing a MINK COAT -- I would not wear it now -- fear of getting blood thrown on me by Peta!
My 40th birthday in Georgetown together
Drinking Champagne like it was WATER!
Our seedy minds convinced that the staff at the hotel thought we were *American Lesbians!*
You scavenging for candy - Thank God
Eating in sexy restaurants
*Mike, put on Boston!!*
You leaving a trail of something wherever you go
Listening to music and drinking wine in your bedroom
Us laughing and our foreheads touching
Discovering our mutual love for Gladys Knight
Laughing hysterically over the song *Short People*
Your handwriting and how happy it makes me to see it - very comforting
Laughing, laughing, laughing
Laughing, laughing, laughing. And sobbing. For the twenty minutes that I read them. And for the 30-odd years that I've lived them. The memories I have are what I treasure most.
Oh, baby, what you've done to me...
You made me feel so good inside.
Thank you, BFF. It was the very best birthday present a girl could ever ask for.