Monthly Archives: December 2008

Lonely Jew on Christmas

Some times I wish I celebrated Christmas. I don’t know if I always felt that way, or if I do just tonight. Though I get fed up with all the consumerism and often wonder how a perfectly Christian holiday turned into Santa Claus, decorated pine tress, and malls staying open 24 hours, I think of how nice it would be to be somewhere on Christmas Eve celebrating with a dysfunctional family that is not of my own.

Tonight I wish I was in old house with the fire place roaring, surrounded by new people-his family. I’d be with his mom, sisters or sisters-in-law in the kitchen drinking wine, hearing stories about his childhood-the embarrassing stuff you always want to reveal to the new person who shares the siblings bed to get back at them for doing the same thing to you. They’d be laughing and teasing me about what a pathetic baker I was. He’d come in and check on me, grabbing me from behind at the waist and I’d call him the nickname he had in 2nd grade and then kiss his check as an apology. I would observe everyone, taking mental note of their idiosyncrasies. We would share a bed under his parents roof and that would make me feel naughty, maybe I’d even pull out a red sexy nighty and Santa hat just for extra kicks. In the morning there would be a brunch of a feast and presents being pulled out from under the tree. His family would include me in their rituals and each have neatly wrapped generic gifts for me like bath and body sets or a basket of gourmet olive oils. They would be incredibly gracious and in return I’d feel utterly grateful. 

Though tonight I’m lonely. I lost myself for a few hours in a chick-lit book making uneven comparisons to the heroine who in a weird way I always end up briefly missing when the book is over, no matter how annoying she is. Now I’m watching an independent film that I’m sorta bored by but don’t feel like turning off. I bought some pre-made nestle chocolate chip that I put in the oven mainly because I wanted the apartment to smell like freshly baked cookies. I over cooked them a bit so instead of golden brown, they are more the color of a grocery store paper bag. I wrote a long list of things I could do over the next few days. Things I put off like playing with my embroidery kit, cleaning under my dresser, scanning torn out recipes and decorating ideas from magazines, and having a beauty day (which for me includes shaving my legs, using a mud mask and giving myself a manicure and pedicure). I have that South Park song going through my head, “I’m just a Jew, a lonely Jew on Christmas.” At least I think that’s how it goes. Anyway, that’s where I’m at, where I’m often at, at a place where I think the greener side of the grass, or in this midwestern weather, the other side of the snow bank.

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Snowy Wishes

It’s nights like this–when its cold and there are inches of snow on the ground–that I wish we were  a real couple. 

Walking home from the train tonight I looked into the window of the Trattoria down the street. I saw us sitting in the window munching on pizza and sipping red wine while watching the snow fall and feeling sorry for those trudging towards their destination. Inside we would feel warm and cozy, talking about our days and gazing in each other’s eyes. I’d feel happy just sitting with you talking. 

It’s not worth another talk, they are all the same. It’s not worth whoulda, coulda, shoulda. I know that all already. 

I just sometimes wish things were different.

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Free Friday Anxiety

The nonprofit that I work at has decided to not to operate on Fridays. The building will be closed. However, that means we have to cram a full week of work into 4 days. Yes, our salary’s stay the same, though we are currently in pay freeze and our employers no longer contribute to our 401k, and the word “bonus” is a joke in the nonprofit industry. Our institution has been going though lots of changes, and for the most part I’ve accepted them. I feel like “free Fridays” should make me happy but it doesn’t. I worry about the longer hours, the pressure of work not getting done, where this closing one day a week will eventually lead. I worry my staff won’t make the next round of budget cuts, I may not either. I worry about having an extra day to the weekend. Though it helps having a weekday when it comes to making doctor’s appointments, picking up dry cleaning, calling tech help lines, or hopefully job interviews.

I guess I’m worried about the extra day because I’ve been feeling so bored lately. I’ve been thinking about taking a class, finding volunteer work, and looking for a new job after the new year. I’m just worried I’ll spend Fridays staying in bed all day watching Netflix or daytime TV court shows. I do spend time on the weekends with friends or family, but there are plenty of nights when I hang out alone when my friends are out with their spouses or significant others. I’m wondering if I could get a part time job. Maybe make some extra money–I curse myself that I never learned how to waitress. I’d love to find a freelance editing or writing job or maybe take a web design class. Maybe I’ve been looking at this glass half empty, maybe this is just what I need to begin something new.

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Sizing Up

I check out other women on the train in the morning. I like see what they are wearing, if they’ve done their makeup and how, if their feet are covered in snow appropriate shoes. I also observe what they are reading, did they grab a Red Eye, have a book, or are they staring out the window in thought?

I’m most interested in the makeup though. I find women whose makeup if flawless fascinating. What time do they get up in the morning? I’m lucky if I get on tinted moisturizer and maybe a touch of rouge on my cheeks. I apply Blistex as soon as I get on the platform. I wear ugly but warm boots. My coats have seen better days. Same for my clothes.

The thing is though, I don’t feel overly bad about myself, I’m semi-comfortable with myself and all my flaws. I’m the least competitive person I know. Yet I find myself sizing up these women. Judging them. Wondering about their lives. I check for wedding rings and imagine what their lives are like. I often wonder how other people live. I’m fascinated by it. Maybe that’s why I like to read memoirs.  I often wonder lately what sort of woman am I? But that’s probably a post for another day. For now, I’m just asking the questions.

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What I’m Into This Week

Damages. Glenn Close plays such an evil, manipulative character, yet so awesome to watch I want her on screen the whole time. Though it’s wonderful she’s not because then we wouldn’t see Ted Danson’s egocentric billionaire try to swarm his out of a pending litigation. Or fresh attorney Ellen Parsons played by the beautiful Rose Byrne who is vulnerable, brilliant, naive, and strong all at the same time. This show is so addicting, I’m almost done with season one, so if anyone bother to read this blog, don’t tell me anything. 

Kabul Beauty School.  Author Deborah Rodriguez’s touching memoir of starting a beauty training school in Afghanistan is both a historical and cultural lesson about Afghan women. At times the book is amusing in the way that travel memoirs often speak about cross-cultural differences, surprises and misunderstandings. Then Rodiguez reiterates a conversations or story we hear from one of the Afghan students about life, about marriage, about being a woman and truth and heartbreak insue. Books like this remind me of all that I have to be thankful for and that though women in the U.S. may make .75 to every $1 a man makes, at least we have the freedom to dress, be educated, marry, and be who we want. It makes me want to be brave and do something important with my life to help improve someone elses. 

Roku Netflix player. I don’t have cable, I have netflix. I bought myself the little pre-holiday gift of the Roku so I could watch the “Watch Instantly” selections on Netflix. I’ve only had it hooked up for a couple days, but I’m already addicted. I’ve been watching episodes of 30 Rock, Dead Like Me, and classics, dramas, comedies, fitness videos, and documentaries in the que. Some may complain the Watch Instantly collection isn’t that great, but I like vast collection of documentaries, foreign films, and classics so I’m happy. 

Root Vegetables. Parsnip fries. Butternut Squash. A huge pan of assorted veggies roasted in olive oil and fresh rosemary in the oven. Great for salads or goat cheese pizza. I love to cook in the winter and root vegetables are comfort food.  

What are you into this week?

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