Sunday, March 21, 2010

over a cup of coffee.....

So, I met my dear friend Mindy for Coffee last Friday. We do this every month or so to get caught up on life, and laugh. We have known each other for about 16 years and I consider her one of the greatest people I have ever known. You couldn't meet someone more honest and open (at least to me) about who they are. I only wish she saw herself the way I do. Our friendship started at an ice cream shop (laughing at customers and eating free samples much like Jay and Silent Bob at the variety store only LOUD and in color) and it grew from there. We ended up working together at two other places including a Lawrence youth summer camp. If not for our boss who was a total ass (and so "ungodly" if you ask me, not that I'm one to talk) we would have stayed through the entire summer for the kids. Min & I were convinced he was a closet drug addict who only took "this damn job" to feed his crack habit. We resented and loathed him so much, we ended up at "Friendlies" in Salem with his boss - THE PASTOR. Who can actually say they've shared a "Jim Dandy" with someone of the cloth? We worked on him for about an hour trying to get the guy fired but in the end our efforts didn't pay off. So, on the next really hot day - we jumped into my jeep during our lunch break and peeled out of the church parking lot after saying goodbye to the children (the only job I've ever quit without a notice!) and spent the rest of the afternoon swimming in Mindy's pool. Every time we see each other now, we go through the timeline of past events: In January of 1994 - we met. That spring, Kurt Cobain died. That summer we saw Green Day and I was sick in the parking lot. That winter - parties at Plymouth and a random conversation with an Italian soccer player. 1995 - obsessed with Tom and Jeff almost to the "stalker" level. Summer of 1996, i move to Atlanta. Mindy moves in with Torin. 1998 - I moved back to NH. 2001 Mindy married a wonderful man (not Torin). 2003 - my son Cooper was born. 2004 - I got married (yes, in that order). Then of course as with all friendships, the bicycle build for two turns into a baby carriage, early nights and carefully planned, sporadic cups of coffee in between sick babies and work deadlines. But really, these days that's all I need. Some good conversation over a cup of coffee with a true friend. Sure, I think often times its the wonderful memories we have with people that keep us together. And even though we're not drunk, throwing lobsters around at a frat party or staying up until 3 am just because we can - we are creating new memories now. "Remember all those Friday nights, when we used to meet for coffee?"

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Please, wash your hands.... with soap.

So, I've got a thing about germs.  Not as bad as Howard Hughes opting to sit in a dark room alone with a "pee jar" or Howie Mandel fist-bumping his blood relatives instead of offering a hug, but I have to admit - I'm getting close.  As far as I'm concerned, life is one large germ following me and my children into a mildew corner of a wet basement.  I have my dear father to thank for this (and his sister who wears latex gloves to go food shopping). He's a germ-a-phobe like I've never seen.  He would bathe in antibacterial gel if it wouldn't cause dry skin or those silly 3rd degree burns.  Disney as a kid was interesting - getting padded down after each ride with antibacterial wipes like a inmate getting frisked - but now that I have kids of my own he makes perfect sense.  Let's face it - people are gross.  I'm sure at times I've been gross too.  Maybe forgetting as a kid to wash before dinner - or after riding on the school bus, but I am proud to say I have never (at least as long as I can remember) walked out of bathroom (public or not) without washing my hands.  My boys think I'm crazy for the frequency in which I REQUIRE them to wash their hands.  If NASA sold a anti-bacterial jumpsuit with matching face mask to the public in size small (and if it was socially acceptable) you had better believe I'd order them for the boys.  Bathrooms, amusement park rides, buffet areas, vending machines, public computer stations, grocery store check out areas, ATM's, not to mention airplane tray tables, subway turn-styles, and the deposit-rocket things at the bank drive-up window are breeding grounds for god knows what.  But whatever it is - I don't want to think about it.  I can only keep washing my hands, wait for someone to open the public bathroom door so I can walk out without touching anything - and maybe get some therapy.

Monday, March 1, 2010


I never really knew how much my mother loved me, until I had children of my own.  My mother and I had a pretty good relationship growing up.  Sure, it had its ups and downs (downs during the awful teenage years) but for the most part my mother and I were good.  Different, but good.  I think back now to all the sacrifices she made to and while she raised my sister and I.  Sewing the Brownie badges, organizing the car pools, staying up with us while we were sick, making special snacks for school parties - my mom did it all.  I didn't see it then - I think I just assumed "this is her job, she's the mom".  All her efforts really went unappreciated.  I always said "thank you" but looking back it doesn't seem like those two words were enough.  Now that I'm a mom of two very active little boys, and see the work, time, patience, organization and money it requires - I have a new appreciation for her.  I asked her once, when I was in my 20's if she could go back and do anything different - would she.  She just smiled and said "I wouldn't change a thing" but after much prying - admitted she would have liked to have gone to college and worked with animals.  Often times, women give up or at least set-aside their own dreams to raise children.  Until my sister and I were about  8 and 10, my mom stayed home with us.  Once we were old enough to get on the bus, and hang out for an hour or so after school - my mom rejoined the working class. Got a job at bottle-making factory - a job she hated but kept for exactly one year.  She worked the nightshift and had to drop my sister and me off at my nana's so we could catch the bus early the next day.  Those were tough days, and we missed our mother (and our own beds).  The following year she took a job at an electronics factory and has been there ever since. Day after day. I'm sure wondering at times what her life would have been like - if she worked at an animal clinic, doing something she loved. Some of my best memories I have of my mother were not about things she did FOR me, but with me.  Like the time she took a train (too afraid to fly) down to Atlanta, Georgia to help me move into my college apartment after she found out the "friend" helping me move bailed out on me in South Carolina. Or the time she rushed to my side when I was in labor with my first son Cooper.  She stayed with me all night, running her fingers through my hair, telling me stories about giving birth to me while I sat soaking in a jet tub - filled with fear and excitement to meet my first child.  These are the moments I think about when I think about my mother.  I can only hope one day, my sons will understand my complete and unwaivering love I have for them.  My wish in life is for them to be happy - which is what my own mother has always wanted for me.