THE GAL HERSELF
Norman Maine referred to “little jabs of pleasure, like when a swordfish takes the hook.” I believe our lives are filled with those little jabs of pleasure … moments of joy that touch your heart a bit on even the saddest days. Here are 14 of mine (I included an honorable mention), listed in the order they occurred to me.
1. Chicago’s lakefront. The vastness of our great Great Lake never fails to take my breath away.
2. Oldies. Singing tunelessly along when a truly cheesy 70s song always gives me the giggles. I may not be able to remember where I left my checkbook, but I do know all the lyrics to “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia.”
3. Talking to my mom. We blab on the phone for about an hour every weekend. Every now and again it washes over me that we aren’t exclusively mother and daughter anymore; we’re also two women who like one another. I think that’s quite cool
4. My best friend’s name and number. I love coming around my desk to see the message light on alongside his number. Or opening my email to see his name there. Doesn’t matter what he has to say. I’m just glad he’s out there somewhere.
5. Pat and Ron. How to describe the Cubs radio team? As utterly charming, that’s how. I’d always rather listen to a game than watch because of them. Ron is Ron Santo, Cubs All-Star third baseman and one of the most idiosyncratic, and least objective, baseball broadcasters you’ll ever hear. More than once I’ve known a call hasn’t gone our way because I’ve heard Ronnie literally groan in my ear. He’s also one of the bravest, most positive characters around. He’s had so many health problems, and yet he always manages to sound upbeat (unless an outfielder loses one in the vines). Pat is Pat Hughes, the play-by-play man and the professional broadcaster in the booth. His pipes are spell binding and his wry sense of humor helps even the most broken-hearted Cub fan find something positive about any given game.
6. Paul McCartney. And I love him. Have since I was 6 years old. He’s provided the soundtrack of my life. From “All My Loving” to “Fine Line,” his familiar voice can always make me smile.
7. The sky. I love just looking out at the sky. From a cloudless light blue to a stormy gray to a starry black night. There’s a beauty and personality to its every form.
8. Chocolate. Dark chocolate. Hot chocolate. Hershey’s chocolate. Ghirardelli’s chocolate. Hostess cupcakes chocolate. It’s all good.
9. Going through my mail. There is always the possibility that I’ll find something exciting in there. Found money … a letter from my cousin … a magazine with McDreamy on the cover …
10. Really bad movies. Glen or Glenda. Valley of the Dolls. Change of Habit. Give me an unspeakably bad movie, a big glass of milk and a box of Nilla Vanilla Wafers and just watch my mood improve.
11. Really good movies. Casablanca. Citizen Kane. Gone with the Wind. It’s a cliché, but the classics really don’t ever go out of style, or even appear dated.
12. Going to the movies. I’m not talking about what I’m watching; I’m referring to the actual act of going to the show. You know, grabbing your popcorn or your Sno Caps and settling into your seat in a darkened theater. Beginning with the coming attractions, there’s a romance to it that I love.
13. Saving money. Rebate checks, coupons, airline miles, interest paid … The amount doesn’t matter. It’s the adventure of saving the money. It always leaves me feeling I’ve accomplished something.
Am I allowed an honorable mention? That would go to watching my cat Joey sleep. Not only does he look like he’s smiling, he moves a lot when in the throes of serious napping. My favorite nap position is kinda-sorta on his back, with his right rear leg sticking up. He manages to look positively ridiculous and completely adorable at the same time.