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Diary Rings

Gift from Hil Part 2 - 2014-12-30
A Gift from Hil - 2014-12-28
There was A LOT of turkey. - 2014-12-04
Can we just jump to January please? - 2014-11-14
A (don't kick the) Bucket List - 2014-10-28

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6:27 p.m. - 2013-12-07
A crowded Friday

It's a snippet kind of day.


We're putting up the tree tomorrow. Wolf and I are dorking out about this. Sometimes it's easy to forget how much he's like me. Mostly because he's so like his father physically. Wolf's got my pretty eyes and my lousy lusterless hair, but otherwise he's pure Mike. Long and lanky with terrible posture, even though they get where they're going fast enough it always seems like they're slouching along in slow motion. Like if you crossed a ninja with Shaggy from Scooby-doo. But this is just his outside. Inside my son is sentimental, kind, romantic, and tends to get discouraged too easily. Just like his old mom. Last year we never even put up the big tree. Instead I set up a make-do display in the empty TV armoire in the living room. I hung the inside of the cabinet with mini-lights and set up the replica of Charlie Brown's Christmas tree. The reason for this was so we could shut the doors and keep Anna Cat (who was in her terror kitten stage) from wrecking things. But I also think nobody was really feeling all that Christmassy last year. Money was tight, the weather sucked, and Mick's folks were both in bad health. This year, however, we're going large. The big tree is coming out of the attic and I've already begun festooning the house with every bit of glitter and twinkle in my holiday arsenal. My son is delighted. All smiles because we're making a fuss and to-do over Christmas this year. Wolf is excited, too, because he found our other family favorite movie to play on the TV while we decorate the tree. We have two 'decorating the tree' movies. 'A Christmas Story' and 'Die Hard'. What? 'Die Hard' is so a Christmas movie! This year while we string lights and hang baubles we'll be rooting for John McClane to kick major ass at Nakatomi tower. Yippee-ki-yay, Santa Claus.


The class ring rep was at Wolf's school on Friday but since Wolf had already left for culinary school he missed the ring fitting and sales pitch. I'd bought Alex a class ring which he promptly lost and I had it replaced (thank you, ring insurance!) but I know not if he still has it. Wolf's never said anything about wanting one, but he wouldn't even if he was willing to sell a kidney to have one. This is another way my younger son is like me. One I'm not thrilled about. It's not in us to ask or demand. For anything. Passive to our detriment. It's almost impossible for us to speak up and say we want something.

During 4th grade I briefly lived with my Da and his second wife (and her FIVE kids). From December 1973- April 1974 my little sister and I were crammed into my Da's already crowded house and stayed there while our mom did an extended tour at the county crazy farm. She'd had what was then known as a 'nervous breakdown' and the court said either he take us or we'd go into foster care. He took us. The winter months are slow ones for the construction trades and my Da the stone mason had a lot of off time. Weirdly enough my Da agreed to be one of the parent chaperones on my class's field trip to the Museum of Natural History in the city. As all museum trips do our last stop was the gift shop. Even though my Da was there it never occurred to me to ask for anything. Who am I to ask for stuff? While the other kids bought giant souvenir pencils and dinosaur model kits and miniature replicas of the Maori war canoe I stood off to the side eyes glued on a set of Kokeshi dolls in the showcase. Little bamboo treasures. So cunning. So beautiful. So out of my reach. I'd never actually have them. Or so I believed. Later that night I couldn't help but cry over not having those beautiful dolls. When my Da came in to say good night and found me sobbing he was concerned. When I told him about how much I longed for those dolls he asked why I hadn't said so at the museum, he'd have gotten them for me, no prob. I was shocked. And ashamed. And so regretful. But that's how I'm built. Asking for anything seems like such an outrageously presumptuous thing. An outrage. An upset of the natural order.

And Wolf seems smited with this same self-abnegating, masochistic mindset. I hate it. But I understand it too. So. A class ring. Today's mail had a postcard from Jostens informing me my kid had missed his chance at buying a class ring. At least from the live rep at the school. But...huzzah! I could still order one up on the website. So I punched in the link code and followed all the steps and designed my kid a class ring. Haven't ordered it yet. It's a bit pricy (heh, A LOT pricy) and has to wait until we get our tax refund, but a ring he shall have. Wolf's worked so hard to be where he is. Reintegrated back into public school. A regular guy. A member in good standing of the Podunkville High class of 2015. I want him to have this silly thing. A ring that'll rot in a dresser drawer after he graduates. Who the hell wears their high school ring as an adult? But as a marker and a milestone it's beyond price. I want Wolf to have everything the regular kids get. And I want him to know how proud I am. When he puts that ring on his finger we won't sing this but I'll be thinking it.


Something so disgusting happened last night I'm still trying to wrap my mind around it. Mick and I went out for our usual Friday night dinner and grocery shopping date. (Yeah, we're just a couple of cwazy kids.) It was Shoprite's turn but I needed to stop at Sam's and pick up my med refills before we went to dinner. It was raining like a monsoon but not terribly cold so I was wearing a blazer and jeans with a pashmina over my shoulders and head tucked up hijab-style HERE. It's as weather-worthy as a hat and raincoat but far more stylish and (bonus!) doesn't give me hat hair. Mick waited in the car while I ran inside. The service desk at Sam's is right next to the front door and there was a long line of folks waiting to make exchanges and such. Wanting to cut through to get to the pharmacy I approached the line and excused myself indicating with my hands I was just passing through. Instead of stepping back the woman I'd excused myself to gave me a filthy look, stepped forward to block my way and turned her (very broad) back to me. Then she muttered, "Go around the right way, you Muslim bitch."

Stunned and horrified I couldn't even reply. I wriggled through another gap in the line and staggered off to the pharmacy. Seriously, I was so shocked I couldn't even be angry (yet). It was like out of nowhere I'd been slapped or spat on by a total stranger. Which in a way I had been. A verbal punch in my face. I collected my meds and my wits and then looked around for the woman who'd verbally assaulted me. She was nowhere to be found. So I left. Got back in the car and told Mick what happened. He was furious. What a shitty hateful ugly thing that woman did! No fan of the public at large, Mick still loathes ignorance and prejudice. All I could think about was what would my life be like if I were a Muslim and chose to wear hijab on a daily basis? Does evil shit like that happen often? Would I start to be afraid? Be angry? Would I be tempted sometimes to doff this symbol of my faith and run below the bigots' radar? All I wanted last night was to keep my hair dry- I wasn't making a political/religious statement, but what if I were? And what of that terrible woman? Was she actually a Muslim-hater or was she just a jerk? What if I'd come in wearing a nun's habit or brown skin or had a thick Latino accent? Would she have been just as nasty and insulted me with a sneer at my wimple or told me to go back home to Africa or Mexico? Honestly? I hope it's the latter. I truly hope that woman is simply an all-around asshole. An equal opportunity creep. That anyone in her path would have gotten a blast from her hateful pie-hole and she'd homed in on my headgear simply because it was easy and obvious.

I am also trying to believe she is an aberration. A butt pimple. This is New York! Flagship of the Liberal elite! True, we have a rep for being rude, but our 'rudeness' is really just us minding our own business. New Yorkers don't (usually) get in anyone's face about their stuff, we have own stuff and don't want any interference from you, thankyouverymuch. New Yorkers can't be bothered to waste energy and time on the nitpicky oppressive demands of conformity and the nosiness of the less Liberal states. Your average New Yorker truly doesn't care about your God, your hairstyle, your sexual orientation, or your dietary choices. New York's official state motto is 'Excelsior', but our unofficial and truer state motto is "Do what does ya, big guy, ain't no skin off my ass." So that woman's hatefulness at Sam's last night was disturbing in all kinds of ways. She might believe herself to be gatekeeper of some kind of whack-job cultural 'norm', but I saw her true. A hateful, frightened fool who'd somehow gotten the message wrong. This isn't Branson or Kabul or Biloxi, girlfriend, this is New York. Your knee-jerk bigotry has no welcome or home here. What I wear on my head has ZERO to do with how you live your life. Respect that or get gone.

Checking in from my Liberal elitist fashionista ivory tower, ~LA

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