Tuesday, January 29, 2008

What I Really Really Want

We were visiting Wonderful Mother-in-Law (really) this past weekend. She started her 4th different regiment of chemotherapy Monday--this time it's a daily chemo pill. We're all hopeful this one will do the trick.

As we sat and chatted about everything but her stage four lung cancer, we somehow stumbled on the topic of "things we always wanted that we never got". Daughter #2 always coveted sparkly ruby-red shoes from Stride-Rite when she was little. But alas, we couldn't afford the pricey shoes then ($40) especially since (a) she was outgrowing shoes every 6 months, and (b) they weren't exactly practical. Still, it didn't stop her from talking about them for the next 15 years. When Daughter #2 was turning 21, I heard about grown-up sized "Dorothy-Wizard of Oz" ruby-red shoes and asked her if she still wanted them because I could now afford them. . .she smiled and gave me a hug but said "no thanks, I'm ok about it now".

When I was growing up, my father was in consumer electronics, so instead of playing with dolls, I played with the latest in electronics. We always had the first microwave, the first 8-track player, the first tabletop sized TV, etc. So, dolls were, well, dull. (That explains the reference in my profile.) But that didn't stop me from always wanting a true doll house with all the miniature accompaniments that were so fascinating. Look, a teeny little book. Oh, and in the tiny kitchen, exact replicas of pots and pans and even cooking utensils! Maybe it had something to do with the fact that I was then, and now, small in stature. Maybe I related to the smallness of everything? Whatever the reason, I always wanted one, but never got one. Still fascinated, though. When the girls were young, I used to drag both daughters to the local Art Museum to see the Thorne Miniature Room display
just to gaze in wonder at the tiny displays.


I asked Wonderful Mother-in-Law (really) if there was something she always wanted and never got; expecting that she would recall something from her childhood. Instead, she immediately answered, yes, there was something when she and Wonderful Father-in-Law (really) were young and struggling with 5 young children to feed and clothe. What was it?, I asked. She said that Wonderful Father-in-Law (really) insisted that they never incur debt, and so, they never charged anything and only paid with cash or check. Of the 5 children, only one was a girl, and Wonderful Mother-in-Law (really) desperately wanted to buy her a Raggedy Ann doll, but never could.

I think I'm going to buy one for Wonderful Sister-in-Law (really) for her birthday this June.

What did you always want, but never got?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Super Bowl Fever

It’s here, it’s big, it’s crazy. Super Bowl XVII (42 for the Roman Numeral Challenged) is coming to Arizona.

All of a sudden, everyone is on a first name basis with “Eli”, “Tom”, and “Paris”. If I took out a second mortgage, I could attend any one of a dozen exclusive pre- or post-Super Bowl parties featuring the celebrity flavors of the month. With the stadium located out in the hinterlands, it’s pretty easy to assume that you might just run into a well-known face or two just by frequenting the usual high end Scottsdale shopping center and restaurants.

Friends and relatives are coming out of the woodwork asking if we can get them Super Bowl tickets at face value. Ha, Ha, Ha. We do have tickets. Six of them. But that’s another story.

Husband spent the better part of two nights trying to book flights home for Daughter #2 and Serious Boyfriend (who is a rabid Patriots’ fan). They’ll be flying a “quality” route that begins in Boston, with an hour’s drive to New Hampshire to catch a flight to Baltimore, to catch a flight to Las Vegas, to catch a flight to Phoenix. The morning after the Super Bowl, they’ll reverse this itinerary substituting San Diego for the Las Vegas segment. So, even though in one weekend, they’ll be hauling themselves cross-country for a one day event, they are besides themselves with excitement. Neither of them have been to a Super Bowl, and OH-MY-GOSH-MOM-IT’S-THE-PATRIOTS! Daughter #2 sent me Serious Boyfriend’s voice mail after she invited him to the Super Bowl–it’s pretty funny.

More later. . .

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Boys Are Different

Last week, we were talking to Husband's bookend, his youngest brother. They call each other that because they are the first and the last kids in the family, and although they're 10 years apart, they are the most like each other, are very close, and probably talk to each other once or twice a day.

Husband's brother told us we needed to ask our nephew what the doctor told him at his checkup that day because it was exciting news. So, Nephew got on the phone, and over the speaker phone, we all asked him what the big news was. Newly turned eleven-year-old Nephew excitedly exclaimed, "I'm in stage two of puberty!" There was dead silence on our end as we tried to absorb that monumental bit of information. In an effort to make conversation, I responded, "Wow, pretty soon you'll be able to shave!". And then Nephew responded, "Well, that's not where the hair is. . . ."

The girls and I couldn't talk because our jaws were hanging open, and Husband was busting a gut laughing. I can't wait until he hits whatever stage three is.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Hardest Thing To Write About

When you haven’t written anything for a long time, it’s hard to start again. Instead of your pen hovering over a blank piece of paper, your hands pause on the keyboard in front of a computer generated piece of paper. Same writer’s block, newer technology.

You fear you’ve lost your witty touch, your delicate balance of metaphors and realism, or your sense of the absurb. You sit down thinking today is the day you will write it all out. Ready, set, type.

Oops, no words.

So you let some more time pass and try again. How much time does it take until you can write about the hole in your heart? How much time does it take to describe the void that was created in your family’s life? How long?

When someone has loved you unconditionally, embraced you as one of their own, and touched your life as few people have, it’s hard to find the right words that adequately describe. It’s so hard that it’s taken over 2 months to write about Wonderful Father-in-Law’s sudden passing.

But now I’ve done it, and it was the hardest thing to write about.