Wednesday, December 18, 2019

The season, the season

My girl and I went Christmas shopping last night, mostly to figure out gifts for the five people in her department at work. Then we went to dinner and figured out the menu for our time in Jamaica. We travel in nine days. Last time we stayed at the villas where we'll be, I sat down with the housekeeper on the first day and came up with a menu with her, but this time my niece, whose wedding it is, wants all our menus beforehand, and she's the boss. Planning a wedding, especially from overseas, is a lot.

It's been busy over here. Choir concerts, a cello concert, a tree trimming party, putting up our own tree, and trying to figure out Christmas gifts. I've spent way too much, but that train has left the station. When boxes arrive at your home and you don't immediately know what's in them, that's a sure sign you are over-consuming. Guilty as charged. I didn't meet with the personal shopper on Monday after all. I decided to wear something already in my closet to the wedding. At some point, you've got to stop spending.

What would it be like, I wonder, to be a svelte, graceful human, athletic and strong, walking serenely through the world, at ease in the body you inhabit, showing up everywhere without angst? Speaking of angst, the book is going much too slowly. I'm having a hard time concentrating. Also, if you can't find the exact right adjective, use no adjective at all. I think I'll spend the morning wrapping gifts, get that out the way. I'm feeling so scattered.

Here's a New York story my daughter told me. She was on the subway after work, it was already jam packed with commuters when the doors opened at Times Square. A woman stood on the platform outside and shouted, "Everybody make way. I just got divorced and I can't spend another moment in that man's company!" A woman's hand reached out of the crowd inside the train, grabbed the other woman's hand and pulled her in just as the train doors slid closed. The two women, one black one white, stood crunched against the door, almost nose to nose, talking in audible tones about their divorces and cheering each other on. Everyone in the train car hung on their every word. It was quintessential New York, my daughter said, and oddly uplifting.


  1. Just read this to my son and I cried at the end. Good morning darling. Thank your amazing daughter for me because she is a rare animal.

  2. I love reading this post. Your life is so full of love, the grandest riches in the world. It overflows. The subway story is beautiful, that hand reaching out to the other...yes.

  3. That's an awesome subway story. There is no city like New York. I don't think London tube commuters would ever be that self-revealing. Happy travels!

  4. how can you possibly be able to concentrate on writing at this time of year?! and what a great story. us women need to stick together.

  5. I wrote a long post but it seems to have disappeared. Have a wonderful trip and enjoy the time with your family.

  6. The other comment said that you are a beautiful, smart woman, not because of your face or your body or your clothes but because of your soul. The people that really matter, they see our souls.

  7. "What would it be like, I wonder, to be a svelte, graceful human, athletic and strong, walking serenely through the world, at ease in the body you inhabit, showing up everywhere without angst?"
    I can't tell you how many times I wonder this. At least daily. I used to know! But can I remember? No. I don't think I was EVER happy with how my body looked or felt even when it was such a fine body. I think I always felt as if I was one cookie away from being obese.
    Eating disorder? Body dysmorphia?
    Sure. All of the above.

    I agree with Ellen- how can you possibly write with so much going on? You'll get back to it. And I think about your advice on adjectives all the time now.
    Which is not to say I remember it when I should!

    Love, love, love the subway story. Yes. Women are the best and what an excellent illustration of what that can look like.

  8. I love this almost-stream-of-consciousness post. Yes, if I were your niece I would want to have a handle on what people were planning, too. At the same time, I understand it's hard to do that from so far away. Give and take, give and take. You clearly understand that.

    And you are so smart to just go for what's in your closet and say that will do. I did the same for a much lesser occasion recently, but it made me happy not to spend any more money; I had a great time and nobody said to me "what in the world are your wearing that for" so I guess it was okay :D

    Love the subway story. Mostly what I hear about New York is that nobody smiles at anybody, which I take with a grain of salt because I know that YOU live there, and would probably smile at me if I smiled at you, or even smile first, but this story really balances out the others I've heard!

  9. The holiday season pulls us in many different directions...then there is just plain life on top. I've decided to take it all in stride and do my best to enjoy the holiday. Spending and all. Looks like you and your daughter had a lovely lunch and shopping. Holiday prep and quality time. That's the best. Susan