Saturday, November 17, 2012


I don't know where my mojo went. I just haven't felt like blogging. Well, it was a busy time at the magazine, with several huge fact dense stories closing all at once, thanks to the week we lost to Hurricane Sandy. There were many late nights hunched over copy, trying to ignore the screeching from the extreme political right about the election outcome. I didn't want to add to the noise, so I refrained from responding to it all, but I confess to being flummoxed by the tone of it all, the bile, the vitriol. Enough said about that.

A story I edited won a big award this week, which meant I had to find an outfit that was passably black tie to attend the award gala. My coworkers pull this off without effort. Our editor in chief is a straight up fashionista, tall and lean and able to master any look she pleases, especially her signature polished Boho. The writer of the winning piece, who I work with a lot, she's actually my favorite writer to work with and we have won a lot of awards together, is a petite athletic woman who wore a red satin dress that hugged everything tight, with heels up to here, and a fluffy scalloped clutch that said, "I attend a lot of black tie events and I am always prepared." I would always be prepared too if I had her figure. I'd just go into any store I wanted and buy the cutest dress on the rack, and the flyest heels, and I'd be set. The other editor  in our group is a big girl like me. But she manages better than I do. She wore a sophisticated black dress with a cropped jacket, and accessorized with fire-engine red lipstick, a red clutch, and towering red heels that I would never have been able to walk in.

Me? Well, that morning I found in my closet a black jacket with sequins and silver and gold stitching on it, and crystal dots. I had ordered from a catalog some months ago, but when it arrived, I was mildly horrified at how shiny it was, and I shoved it in the closet and left it there, forgotten. Finding it again and desperate for a black tie option, I decided it at least had the virtue of never having been seen by my coworkers. And the color black always works in publishing circles, so I put it on over black pants and black silk blouse, added some big jewelry and black suede boots and off I went to get our big award.

I wish I liked the public schmoozing more. I used to think it was my size that made me reticent, but one of the other editors is my size, and she pulls off the whole schmooze fest with sophisticated ease. Truth is, once I'm there I do perfectly well. I just take a deep breath and dive into the whole scene, chatting with folk, smiling and conversing and mixing and mingling for as long as it takes before I can escape back to the sanctuary of my home. I appear to be appropriately socialized, able to hold my own. But I don't love it, and I am always so happy when I've discharged my obligation and can say my goodbyes.

On the other hand, I love getting together with good friends, as my husband and I did last night at an Italian restaurant in the neighborhood, to celebrate our friend Isabella's birthday. There was wine and there were stories and laughs, and socially that sort of thing is just my speed.

Now, it's Saturday again, and my love is watching Premier League Soccer on TV and settling in for his day of rest. As I made coffee a few moments ago, he said, "You know how I love Thanksgiving and always look forward to it, but somehow, this year, I am looking forward to the kids being home more than ever. I'm counting the days till our boy comes home tomorrow and our girl on Tuesday. I can hardly wait to see them."

"Well, they've never both been gone before," I said. "You miss them."

"I suppose that's it," he said. "And I'm also marveling that my son just turned 21, and how did that little baby we brought home not so long ago get to be a grown man? When did our daydreaming girl get to be a college freshman?"

We just looked at each other and smiled ruefully and shook our heads. I remembered my friend saying last night that when you're divorced, you always have to share your children and that it sucked, because she wants all her daughter's time when she gets home from college next week. And I felt so fortunate to be with the only person in the whole world who shares the depths of what I feel about these two endlessly fascinating-to-me humans, our boy and our girl.

Ages 5 and 8


  1. You have my greatest admiration for putting on that jacket and going out. I am in awe. I swear, I am.

    And you are exactly right about the joy of being able to share your love and pride in your children with their father. There is no one who can know what those grown-up babies mean to you like he can. That is one of the rewards of long-time marriage.

  2. I am happy for you on all accounts -- the mustering of energy to go out, dressed up in NYC where everyone is apparently effortlessly chic, for the journalism award, for your happy Saturday, for your persistent marriage, for your gorgeous children coming home to you.

  3. Congratulations on the award! :) Have a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration with your family, my friend.

  4. Congrats on the award! I'm sure you looked gorgeous and charmed everyone there.

    You and your man are very sweet.


  5. I too am in awe of your flawless social capabilities. I have a closet full of fancy black dresses and jackets (the fate of being a professional classical musician...NO RED DRESSES!) and I used to love to wear them. Even last year. Now all I think about it shoes. How I would die before I wore one of those dresses in my closet with my now smelly sandals (why did I walk the boardwalk on the coast in them why oh why?) or my Uggs.


    It makes me glad to be socially incompetent.

  6. I loved reading this so much. It made me feel less alone in the world. Anyway I think your outfit sounds gorgeous! What's wrong with a sparkly black jacket and awesome boots?

    Your children are gorgeous= were then, and are now.

  7. Congrats as well! Happy that your kids will be with you soon. And I completely understand the clothing issue. Despite having a lot of cocktail dresses, I always feel pretty ugly and fat once I see every other thin girl with perfect ankles next to my cankles. Argh.

  8. Congrats on the award! That's awesome. And it sounds like you pulled off the ceremony quite well. I can completely identify regarding the social pressures. I think everyone feels a certain degree of social angst about going to those sorts of things, even if they hide it well.

    I'm sure having the kids ("kids!") home will be great. My own parents are divorced, so my brother and I always have to do the two-household thing, and it IS a pain.

  9. Still working my way through missed you... missing you.
    I love you.