He Said He Loved Me…

He said that he loved meHe said he loved me. In a text. And I cried.

I was sitting in the backseat of a taxi, on my way to the airport, when I received the text. I had texted him an hour earlier, “Happy birthday!!!! I hope you have a great day and a terrific birthday. Love you. Xo”

It’s funny, sometimes I’m able to write, ‘I love you’, with a firm, and confident, ‘I’, other times, the ‘I’ feels heavy handed, like a big dramatical declaration. To simply write, ‘love you’, takes some of the pressure off of the recipient to respond in kind. Or so I think. Who the f’ knows? It’s a friggin’ text.

Many years ago, I told a former boyfriend that I loved him over the phone. We had been dating for several months and I was bursting at the seams. I couldn’t wait until the next time that we were together to share my feelings, so I did it over the phone.

I prefaced my impending admission with a, “I’m not asking you to respond. You don’t have to say a word, it’s just that I’m going to explode if I don’t tell you.”

I thought it was romantic. I’m not sure what he thought. The beauty was that it didn’t matter. I wasn’t expecting a response, nor did I need one. I took responsibility for my feelings, and that meant sharing my happiness. His response wasn’t going to influence me either way. And it didn’t.

It was important to me then, as it is today, to say things when you have the chance, even if it opens yourself up to heart break and ache.

This, ‘love you’ came from that former boyfriend’s son.

It was the first time reading those words from him, and it pierced my heart. There’s much that I don’t know about him, (what’s going on in that head) as I’m sure is normal with any 16-year old boy, and there’s much that I miss out on, so everything that he says or does comes as a surprise to me.

It’s still painful not being in his life the way that I used to be. Therefore, what I receive from him and his sister, carries more weight, packs a punch, and has a profound impact on me because of our arrangement.

Such was his beautiful text.

I had text, ‘love you’ many times in the past, without a mirrored response; never expecting, never needing one. So it was reading this text, in the back seat of a taxi, on my way to the airport, that my heart swelled, my eyes pooled with tears, and I smiled.

He said he loved me.

My Segregated Apartment Lobby Redux

The holiday decorations are up once again. I didn’t think it was possible, but the powers that be have stuck it to the Latke bunch once again.

December 2013

My Segregated Apartment Lobby Redux

 

 

 

 

December 2014

My Segregated Apartment lobby

 

 

 

 

 

Therefore last year’s post still applies. Unfortunately.

I walked into the lobby of my apartment building, and was visually assaulted by the following display. The separation couldn’t have been clearer or louder.

I almost laughed. Almost. I wanted to scream, “You’re kidding, right?” Doesn’t anyone else find this offensive? Does anyone else see the crude metaphor?

Clearly Mr. Silverstein, of Silverstein Properties, doesn’t partake in the decorating plans for his building. Most likely he’s too busy buying up more of New York. I wonder what he would say to this gross example of Jews v. Christians.

Separation. Why? Isn’t this what’s wrong in the world? Where is the inclusion and togetherness? Instead, I see, ‘You’re people in that corner, and youse people in the other.’

Jewish props on the right, everyone else on the left. Perhaps I’m being oversensitive, but what the hell. Unless I’m standing in line, at will-call, outside a theater, and there’s another line for ticket purchases, I don’t want to be directed to one side of anything.

Would it have been so difficult to combine the two religious and cultural paraphernalia? Can we not show the wide range of tenant beliefs in an apartment lobby? Why not put that ginormous Menorah alongside the ginormous plastic tree; the flames aren’t real, so no chance of a burning bush happening.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we promoted acceptance and tolerance with Christmas trees and Dreidels, living side by side in peace and harmony.

This is New York City, the largest melting pot this side of the Mississsippi. Why encourage divisiveness? To add insult to injury, there’s a carpet runner that extends from the front desk to the front door, acting as a low pile dividing line.

Since Channukah came butt early this year, why couldn’t the Festival of Lights have some solo stage time and then bring in the tinsel and glass ball part of the show.

I give up. I’m only one person. Even if I threw myself on the low pile carpet runner in protest, I doubt that it would do any good. Instead, I think I’ll use the backdoor.

Nicely done Silverstein.

 

m4s0n501

Lessons Learned While Sitting in a Cop Car

Lessons learned in the back of a cop car

PhotoCredit:aa1car.com

Who among us has played the game, see how long you can drive before you stop for gas, even though the digital gas gauge screams zero, and the needle vibrates violently in the red?

You consciously choose to dismiss the eight gas stations along the highway, thumbing your nose at them, because you’re sure that there’ll be another one just a little further up.

There wasn’t another gas station at the next exit and I ran out of gas. It was humiliating. I purposely, actively and literally, chose to ignore the signs. Why? Lazy? Did I think that I had more gas than that pesky little gauge was showing me; as if my Mini Cooper was puling a fast one?

What, like I had to prove something to Mini? What did Mini ever do to warrant being left high and dry?

I used to play this adorable game when I was younger, which makes it more humiliating because I did not just get my license and I do not have a curfew to make, thus forgoing the time it would take to fill up.

There’s something that happens, psychologically, when it comes to fueling up. It must be the same synapses that fire when I have to go food shopping. Until I see a slightly brown onion, a half empty Hummus container and a shriveled lemon, I will not budge.

I pulled over, to what I thought was a safe spot, and called Mini roadside assistance. It took 20 minutes for the dispatcher to find my location, notify someone in the area who could bring me gas, and to tell me that it would take over an hour.

I was livid. I wasn’t going to wait on the side of a strange road for over an hour. And then I remembered that I brought this upon myself. Still, I didn’t want to wait.

I searched for local gas stations on my phone, which was especially difficult since I didn’t know where I was, let alone the friggin’ zip code. If I managed to find a station within walking distance, I’d be golden. But I didn’t have to walk, because he pulled up. Mr. Suffolk County Policeman. Mystery solved. I was in Suffolk County!

I looked up, saw the flashing lights and rolled down my window. “Is everything okay, Ma’am?” First of all, Ponch, please don’t call me Ma’am. I am a child. For only a child would let herself run out of gaseous Clay.

“I’m okay.” I proceeded to regale him with my faux pas. It sounded more pathetic hearing it out loud.

After a brief radio dispatch, he offered to drive me to the nearest gas station, which I had already located on my phone. He said that I’d have to buy a gas can, as if he were sorry because it was going to be an expensive purchase.

I thought for a moment. How much could a gas can be? My follow up thought was one of reproach. I hope that it’s several bills. That’ll teach me.

He added that he’d feel better driving me because he didn’t think that where I parked was safe. I think it was my freshly applied mascara, and lip gloss. And it was probably a slow day in Suffolk County.

I stepped out of my car, locked it and stood by his passenger side, unsure where to sit; in the front with him, or in the back, like when I was arrested in high school. Memories, like the corners of my mind.

I got in the back. Again, he told me that it was easier and safer to take me to the gas station. Okay, Ponch, I get it, you like me. I wasn’t interested but would it have been so hard to send me a hot cop?

We pulled into the gas station (less than a mile away) and the humiliation ratched up a few notches. I pulled the door handle to get out and remembered that you can’t get out of a cop car from the inside, or else there’d be bad guys flying out of cop cars left and right.

Ponch opened my door, telling me why I couldn’t open it myself, to which I replied, “Yeah, I remember, brings me back to high school.” Really? Now who’s flirting? Why must everything be a ‘bit’.

I walked into the gas station, where three burly men were hanging out. Like I said, slow day in Suffolk County. They asked me why I was escorted to the gas station. I told them. I bought a gas can and a gas attendant filled it up.

One of the men showed me how to maneuver the nozzle, but finding it too difficult to explain, he suggested that I have Ponch do it.

I told him that I didn’t need help pumping gas, that I was perfectly capable. Hello? Ms. Defensive, party of one, your table is ready. Sure, because now was an ideal time to discourse on the lightly charged topics of feminism and law enforcement. Do I not know when to be quiet.

Burly #1 offered, “Well, that’s what you pay taxes for.” I nodded demurely.

I thanked the men and climbed back into the police car. As we drove the six long minutes, I sincerely entertained the thought of asking him what he thought about the Ferguson incident. Wow, what a short memory I had.

I realized then that I did not have to engage everyone that I meet in conversation. Being friendly, respectful, and kind, is one thing, but needing to start politically or socially charged discussions is a whole other story; a story that I don’t have to tell on a six minute car ride.

I poured the gas in my tank but not for nothing, Ponch never offered to help, although I think he was standing guard making sure that I didn’t get side swiped.

I thanked him for his help and got into my car, relieved that this stupid ass ordeal was over. But it wasn’t over because I couldn’t find my car keys.

I have never, ever, been mistaken for, nor called, a dumb blond, but as I frantically tore through my bag, and searched my car floors, while Ponch waited for me to pull away, I felt like (and most definitely looked like) the dumbest fake blond in all of Suffolk County.

I got out of the car and searched the ground. Perhaps in all of my excitement to have gas, I dropped them. No, in all of my excitement, I put them on the roof of my car.

I got back in my car, again, and burned rubber out of my unsafe place, having learned many lessons in a short amount of time, the least of which was to never, ever play this particular game again.

Sitting Is Bad For Your Health: Pilates Part IV

Sittinginsbadforhealth

PhotoCredit:marcellarousseau.wordress.com

Most of you know that we, as a nation, spend far too much of our precious time sitting on our asses. You’re sitting in front of your computer, posting your umpteenth picture of your animal doing something so ‘awesome’ that you can’t wait another minute to get it out to your 60,231 Facebook friends. Or you’re kickin’ it (yes, I wrote kickin’ it and I’m not sure it was in an ironical way) old school, doing your best impersonation of a couch potato.

Our bodies were built to move (and for speed) and this sedentary lifestyle is slowly killing us. Now that may have been a bit dramatical but sometimes that’s what’s required for a message to be heard and action to be taken.

It is estimated that, given the time that we are laying down; sleeping, eating, as well as the examples outlined above, we spend about a third of our time on your asses, and or laying prostrate.

This sedentary lifestyle does not come without side effects. It can lead to obesity, it’s pure punishment on the spine, it affects blood flow to our limbs, tightens our calves, glutes, hamstrings and hip muscles, which in turn can affect our lower backs, among other body parts.

Don’t get me started on the rounded shoulders, forward head, and hemorrhoid epidemic that’s sweeping the nation.

Look at the young people around you, and tell me that you don’t see their upper backs hunched, and their heads down, as if they’re looking for spare change on the ground. It’s as if man (and woman) is walking in reverse on the evolutionary scale. Will future generations be walking on their hands? At least they’d be closer to the loose change on the ground.

I’m not pointing fingers because I, too, even as a Pilates instructor, sit on my ass more than I’d like to. And although it’s a tight Pilates ass, with a lifted THUT, I have to work hard to remind myself to stand up, and walk around. Sometimes I’ll eat and work standing up. Simple, not easy, and not always attractive.

I’ve found a few easy ways to offset some of the negative effects of inactivity that everyone can do. Of course stepping away from, or putting down, the friggin’ electronic devices for half a New York minute might also help, but I’m only one person. There’s only so much I can do.

The first step is to arm yourself with some tools to make these behavioral changes possible and easy. I want you to walk away feeling successful. See what I did there? Walking. Moving.

Invest two to three dollars (or less) in a Theraband, also known as an exercise band, or exercise tubing. You can find these online or in a local sporting goods store. Different colors correspond to various levels of resistance.

The bands are portable and can be carried in a purse (for women or men) or kept in a desk drawer, glove compartment or locker. What the hell, I don’t know where you work. The point is, you can take it anywhere.

Standing, grab the band at either end and lift your arms overhead. Keeping light tension on the band, side bend over to your right, keeping the space between your arms the same throughout, and your head directly in the middle of your arms. Use your core to stabilize, and try not to pop your ribcage out. Hold for 30 seconds, and switch sides.

Stretching the hip flexors is very important because these muscles get short and tight when we sit for long periods of time and will eventually start to ache if you don’t lengthen them.

Stand with your right leg in front of you, left leg extended behind you. Start to bend your right knee, as you press your hips forward. Gently squeeze your left glute (ass cheek) and tuck your pelvis underneath you, pushing your left hip forward and up, until you feel a stretch in the front of your left hip. Scoop your navel back to your spine. Hold for 30 seconds and switch legs.

If you must sit, set a timer to remind you to get up every 30-60 minutes and stretch. Take a walk around the room. The bands will hopefully make it more interesting and fun. Of course if you can get yourself into a Pilates class, that would make my heart soar like eagle.

I wrote this entire piece while hiking up a mountain.