Site Meter Elsie's Space: March 2007

Elsie's Space

Location: New England, United States

Not much to tell.

Monday, March 26, 2007

She's Baaaack

I used to lovingly think of her as "the bitch." That seemed too harsh since it seems she can't help herself, so I've started thinking of her as "the witch." Normally, she's a kind-hearted, warm, caring, thoughtful woman whom I like a lot, but when the witch flies in on her wicked broom, watch out!!! And boy, she flew in this past weekend.

I was there when she flew off the handle. Her husband made the mistake of pushing a piece of crude pottery across the wooden table. It wouldn't have bothered her normally (she's got kids and pets and has gotten somewhat used to things like that). He had no idea what was coming. In her witchiest tone of voice, "What are you doing?!!!"

Husband: "Moving this so I can put my drink down."

Witch: "Well, do you think you could bother to pick it up and move it? Pushing it across the table is only going to scratch the wood! And, you were going to put the drink down on the wood without using a coaster, weren't you?!! Don't I have enough work to do around this place without having to get scratches and water marks out of the furniture?!!!"

Husband (having a serious lapse in judgment): "I'm sorry you're not feeling well."

Witch: "Don't you dare go making this about me!!!! It's always my problem. It's never you, is it? It couldn't be about your scratching the furniture, could it? And tell me why it is that I can't have even one nice thing!!! The kids do enough stuff around here. I shouldn't have to worry about you too!!!!!"

Husband gives wife a tentative little smile.

Witch: "Don't think that your charming smiling will change anything. When are you going to start respecting me? Don't you see how much I do for you and this family? Why do you have to add to the load? Isn't it enough?"

I can't believe what's going on. I want to reason with the witch, but when she starts cackling like this, there is no reason.

Husband: "Is there anything I can do that might make you feel better?"

Witch: "Yeah. Drop the condescending passive-aggressive BS. Start there, why dontcha?"

Husband: (trying to diffuse the situation quickly) "I'm going for a run."

He kisses the witch (is he crazy?) and off he goes, leaving me alone with her. The only problem with that is that the witch is me. And I'm stuck, unable to get away from myself.

I start to cry. I can't stand myself when I'm feeling this way. Oh yes, it's PMS to be sure, but that's absolutely no excuse. It sure is hard to understand though. Most days I'm a reasonably rational, warm, kind person. And it's disconcerting to feel as though some evil, wicked stranger has invaded my body and turned me into a meanie. I swear that I barely recognize myself.

I never used to feel this way, never. But since having child number two things have changed. I feel so bad about it that I spoke to Mr. M.D. at length. He had a few suggestions that seem to help minimally. When I questioned him about why this has only begun happening over the past few years, he said it's probably because I used birth control pills for most of my adult life which would minimize most symptoms. Unfortunately, that solution is no longer an option for me. I must make due with diet and exercise (and when I've got PMS it all seems like a crock to me).

Husband returns from his run. He hesitates as he approaches. I hate that, but I understand completely. He knows I've been crying. He gives me a huge sweaty-but-sweet hug and says, "Feeling better now?" I want to smack him, but fortunately my PMSing has never progressed beyond some sharp words. Even sharp words seem too much to me. I manage to wiggle away without saying anything, and he wisely lets me go off to be by myself. I congratulate myself on my self control, having left without saying another mean word.

Later that night, husband offers to rub my feet. I've got a thing, a big thing, for the foot rub. I know it's his way of saying that he loves me even when I am a bitch for no reason other than that I'm a bitch. After a day, I feel a lot better.

Tonight husband will come home to his favorite dinner and his real, everyday, somewhat sane wife. Ding dong the witch is dead -- for a month anyway.

(My apologies to the men for this post).

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Last weekend a friend called to ask if I'd be interested in buying a couple of tickets to a concert to the tune of $150 each. Unfortunately, through no fault of her own (or so she says), she'd been stuck with six, yes six, extra tickets. Being a fairly good friend and feeling very bad for her and her predicament, I considered for a moment, but then had to go with my gut reaction. No. I could hear the disappointment in her voice. But I stuck with my no. Geeze. Husband and I going to a concert to see someone I really could take or leave for $300? Oh no, wait, I forgot about the sitter -- make it $350. Oh, and the parking, $365. And maybe we'd want to have something to eat or drink -- $415. Am I the only one, or does this seem exorbitant? For one concert?!!!

When husband came home, I mentioned the call. He said, "Do you want to go?" "Are you crazy?" was my swift reply. Then I told him my reasoning and said, "I think I've just become too cheap." He laughed, "We've just become too old." "Huh?" "You'd spend that money in a minute if it was for something you really wanted or needed. You'd have spent it when we didn't have kids even if you really didn't want to go. Now we're old and responsible, and you see things differently, that's all. We're gettin' old."

I've thought about his comments for the past couple of days. Am I old or am I cheap? Neither characteristic is particularly complimentary, though one cannot control one's age. So I think I'll go with husband on this one -- I'm just getting old.

As I thought some more, I thought about how many concerts I've attended. They've become far less frequent over the years. The first concert, if you consider it that, that I ever saw was Bobby Sherman (crap, I AM old!!) when I was nine or ten. It was a big thrill for me, but that's about all I remember about it.

When I was a bit older, perhaps about 13, I went to see Three Dog Night. I suppose that was my first real concert experience. I could smell the weed, see people doing all kinds of weird things, but I hadn't a clue. It was fun, and I went back for more as I got older.

I've seen too many concerts to list them. I doubt I could even remember them all, but I'm not sure if that's due to being OLD or that I was most likely pretty high for most of them. Here's a few that were memorable for one thing or another.

Best concert experience -- Paul McCartney. I always appreciated The Beatles but, for me, that never really carried over to their solo careers. That was until friends convinced me to go see Paul in person. There was something almost magical about the atmosphere. I've never been in such a friendly crowd. All you need is love, I guess. It was the BEST time.

Worst concert ever (musically) -- Ted Nugent. Brother begged me to go with him 'cause the folks said he couldn't go without me. I'd never even heard of the guy back then. The show opened with Ted jumping down off what must have been a 20 ft. speaker, and the music was deafening. I spent most of the night sitting outside on the steps of the civic center. The worst ever.

Worst concert experience -- The Kinks. During outing number one, someone I didn't know threw up on my feet. Absolutely disgusting! Music was good. During outing number two, laughing friend commented, "Who's higher, them or us? They forgot the words to Lola!" I couldn't have replied, not having any idea what the correct answer was. Then, again, someone threw up at my feet. I swore off The Kinks after that.

Most embarrassing moment at a concert (please bear in mind that I was 15 with my 19-year-old boyfriend and cut me some slack). Boyfriend took me to see "Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead." Concert was pretty good. After intermission I hear, for the second time, the announcer say, "The Grateful Dead." I ask boyfriend, "When is Jerry Garcia going to play?" Enough said.

A few others that deserve mention because they were pretty darned great: B.B. King, Frank Zappa (surprisingly so), Billy Joel (good showman), Buddy Rich (who knew a drummer could carry an entire concert?), Billy Joel with Elton John (overall fine entertainment), Harry Chapin.
Peter Gabriel.

Concerts I could have done without: Yes. Seals and Crofts. Aerosmith. Peter Frampton.

There were dozens of others that fell somewhere in between. The one great thing about all of them is that I was always with people I loved, and isn't that the point of almost everything?

We're at the stage where we try to make it to one concert per year. We didn't make it to any last year, so I'm itching to go now. The problem is that I'm not interested in being with 70,000 screaming people any more. I prefer a much smaller venue. So, until someone I'm really interested in comes around, I'll pass. I'm not cheap, I'm just old. But imagine how many CDs I could buy for four hundred bucks.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Recent posts by two of my favorite bloggers got me to thinkin' (and we know how dangerous that can be). Young love. Joy. Pain. Anticipation. The feelings I could never describe as beautifully as those bloggers. Hopefully, we all have our own stories of young love. They're all unique. They're all the same. I look back, I remember, and I wonder. What's he doing now? Is he happy? Is he healthy? I know all the answers for some. But there are others I think about from time to time and wonder...

Jim. We went to the same high school, but we never met until we were seniors. We sat side by side in "Personal Typing" class. The first day, he greeted me with a warm smile and said, "So you're my partner. I'm Jim." I was nearly stunned into silence but managed to squeak out, "I'm Elsie. Hi." No one knew how much I'd been appreciating Jim's appearance for the past three years. He couldn't help but stand out. He was extraordinarily handsome. As it turned out, he was extraordinarily funny as well, and after a few days I knew I found a new friend.

We started spending time together outside of school. I'd recently broken up with my high school sweetheart and wished, with all my might, that Jim would show some romantic interest. He was a natural flirt, but I never felt he was interested in anything more than friendship. Then, he asked me to the prom. Oh, man, this is great. I can't believe it. I raced home to tell my mom. After dinner that night my parents sat me down to tell me I could not go to the prom with Jim.

"What? Why?" "People will think you are not a nice girl, so we have to say no." "What do you mean?" "We know you, but other people don't. They'll think you're not a nice girl if you date a black boy."

"Are you kidding me? This is 1979, not 1959! You always say everyone is equal. No discrimination. I can't believe this. You two are bigots!!! You can say all you want but when it gets right down to it, you're just like everybody else!!" Hit 'em where it hurts. I never expected their reaction. I'd honestly never thought about it at all given how I'd been raised. I was shocked and appalled. And I was more angry than I think I'd ever been. I was more disappointed in my parents than I'd ever been, too.

I tried again. "If we don't change things, things will never change. How can you say one thing and then do another?" "We don't think it's right. But you are our daughter. We are responsible for you. Your reputation, your future is what matters to us. You are not going with Jim." The argument seemed to last for hours. After exhausting every possible angle, I was forced to admit defeat. I thought about trying to sneak out to the prom with him, but my parents were no fools. There would be no sneaking, certainly not on prom night. I had to face Jim and tell him that I couldn't go. He was very understanding, but it was awkward. We never spoke about it again. I ended up at the prom with a friend. Jim went with a beautiful girl.

A couple of years later (when I was legally an adult), I ran into Jim. We started dating. Mom and Dad couldn't tell me what to do anymore. Dating him was much harder than I ever expected it would be. Every time we went out in public together there were stares. A few times people even made rude comments, once directly to us. It ended up being more difficult than either of us had bargained for. We had lots of fun, but we eventually drifted apart.

I've thought about him over the past 25 years. I wonder how he's doing. I wonder if not being white in this too white community is still an issue for him. I hope he's happy and healthy. And I think about how his kindness towards me and his willingness to try to be with me has made me a better person all these years later.

So here's to my friend, Jim, wherever he might be. I hope that God smiles on him as much as Jim smiled at me.

Me, Jim, and my first hot rod.

Friday, March 09, 2007


After sending this photo to my sister
to show her the "cool fish hooks" we picked up in California, I thought, hmmm, maybe I could post something about this and how it's taken me six long years to finally change the ugly hooks in the pool house. Then, after reading what I had written, I thought, nope, "pool house" sounds too snotty, too grand, not like me at all, not like my home at all. But after six long years, that's just where I'm going to put them, in the bathroom at the pool. So how to express my procrastinating ways without sounding like a snob? I know. A picture is worth a thousand words? I'll show some photos of how it really is. I ran out into the freezing cold, and this is what I saw.

Not so glorious, eh? But it sure is convenient and great for keeping little (and big) wet bottoms from dripping water all over the house.

Behind Door Number One: Bath with pink sink and blue toilet.

See how lovely this wall looks? Seems husband must have been out here last weekend taking down the ugliest hooks you could ever imagine. He must have hated them, too, but he never complains about anything. Lucky me. I'm hoping that after a good spring cleaning, a fresh coat of paint, and the fish hooks, this teeny tiny bath might be less dreary this summer.

Behind Door Number Two: all the junk that makes the pool run.

Behind Door Number Three: Storage for pool toys.

Summer. I pretty much missed it last year with that horrid back thing. This year the word alone makes me smile. Maybe that's why the new hooks feel so important to me. They're like a fresh start. And that all four of us were together having a great time when we got them makes it all the more sweet.
Maybe there's a time when procrastinating is a good thing. It feels pretty good to me.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Beat Goes On

What a crazy week. Dad's getting a pacemaker this afternoon. If you're reading this, please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.

More later.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

No Place Like Home

First, I have to say that my husband is surely one of the world's best. Ever. Period. But that's another story for a different day.

Our trip started out with a delay at the airport. The flight turned out to be uneventful, but a mad dash was required to make our connection. It was tight, and we barely made it (with two kids in tow it seemed almost miraculous). We knew our luggage most likely would not make the flight but were pleasantly surprised to find it circling round the baggage carousel. The trip was off to a nice start!

Waking very early the next day (still on east coast time), we started our vacation adventure with a visit to Legoland. At the ticket booth we got another pleasant surprise. Paying with Amex, kids are FREE. A substantial savings. Then another 15 percent off at the Lego store (I just love a bargain). The park was nice, nothing to write home about, but our son was thrilled to have his life-long dream come true. That made the entire trip worth it. We all got a little sunburn (not realizing how strong the sun would be at 70 degrees), had a lot of fun, and enjoyed our time together.

The next day we went to American Girl Place in Los Angeles. Talk about traffic!! A nice place to visit, but.... We saw many older men, but mostly younger women. Hmmm. Daughter noticed "lots of big boobs." I haven't been to L.A. in many years, and I was surprised to see that, wherever we went, there were lots of overweight people. I thought everyone there was fit and trim. Another distortion from the press? Anyway, daughter and I spent a long time wandering around The Place. We looked at every doll so she could make the big decision as to whom to bring home. She finally decided upon Kaya and Addie, along with several outfits and accessories and a gift for one of her friends. She was one happy girl. The best part of the day, for me, was meeting up with a friend I hadn't seen in years. She just started a new job in production for a t.v. pilot for FOX. If it's picked up, it'll be on next season. I sure hope this one works out for her. Her last job was short lived as the show she was involved with, Smith, was cancelled after only three episodes. It's a strange way to live to me. Never knowing when you'll be working or for how long. Very daring. She was as wonderful and as beautiful as ever. The kids adored her, daughter commenting on how "hip" (can't believe kids are using that word) she was, especially for a friend of mine. Sigh. Mom's are never cool.

We spent one very long day at Disney. It was fun, and I'm glad we went. But, husband and I realized that our family is just not one of those "must go do things" type of family. Amusements and excitement aren't really for us. We're more the "take a picnic to the beach" type. To quote our son, "California's nice, but it's not Bermuda. It's not Westport either." We also spent a day traveling to (traffic, traffic) the beach where sandcastles were made. It was the kids' favorite day, according to them. We also went to the Aquarium of the Pacific. It's small but filled with all sorts of beautiful, exotic sea creatures. We all enjoyed ourselves there.

We spent some time hanging around the hotel, too. The food there was surprisingly good. And we all enjoyed some time around the pool and in the hot tub.

The trip home was the worst. We specifically planned our itinerary to not travel through the north. After all, who wants to get stuck in Chicago in the middle of winter? Not us. Guess who got stuck in Chicago in the middle of winter? But only for eight hours. One good thing about husband's traveling so much is that when our connecting flight was cancelled, we received a call from the airline saying they had booked us on a different flight later that night. There were others trying to make it to Providence who were told they'd have to wait until Tuesday (this was on Saturday). We ended up on a flight that was delayed for two and a half hours on the runway. We were finally de-iced and flew out of there at the start of a blizzard. It was the creepiest take-off I've ever experienced, and I've traveled a lot. As we blasted down the runway I wondered if I was crazy, allowing my entire family to fly in this mess, but we made it home safely. Our luggage took a side trip for three days to Charlotte. We then got two suitcases back on Tuesday. The rest was delivered yesterday. Air travel sure ain't what it used to be.

Now we're all happily back at home. I've always looked forward to returning home whenever I've been away. This trip was no exception. Happy sigh.

Be it ever so humble.