Wednesday, December 23, 2009

All I want for Christmas is Professor Bhaer

Had my annual holiday lunch with my friend, Mindy. We've known each other 30 years (I met her at the same company where I met John and Cathy) and while our lives have both changed tremendously over the decades, she has remained fundamentally the same: Sweet, guileless and romantic in her world view.

One of the first things we bonded over back in those long ago days was books. So it wasn't unusual that before we exchanged gifts we happened upon two of our favorite characters -- Agatha Christie's Poirot and Jo from Little Women. I reminded Mindy that she is the only girl I know who related to Beth, the middle sister who dies, as she read the Little Women. She laughed and said the dying part does make Beth kind of a bummer role model, but says as a girl she was just as shy and dreamy as her favorite March sister. There's still a lot of young Beth in grown up Mindy. We agreed that I remain ineffably Jo: independent and impatient.*

When I opened my gift, I was happy to find a key and lock necklace (not unlike this one) and matching earrings! We both expressed the hope that I will find my own Professor Bhaer, Jo's supportive and accepting lover, who proposes to her as they stand together in the rain, sharing an umbrella. Since it was raining today, we figured it would be easy for me to find my professor today because so many men had umbrellas. It's an umbrella that would really be the key to unlocking my heart.

It's a sweet fantasy and a generous wish for the New Year. Which makes it very Mindy.

* We can both name women we know were Megs as girls. Jo is one of the first heroines I ever related to. And, of course, Mindy saw herself in Beth. But do any girls see themselves as Amy (spoiled and superficial)?

Done for the decade

Most of my coworkers and many of my clients took today off, so I got into work very late this morning. I cleared up a few loose ends, organized my messy files, and literally filled a dumpster with boxes and manilla folders and bags and files from spring 2004. (I think if no one has asked for them in five years, it's safe to part with them.) I also took down all my holiday directions and tucked them away till next year.

Then I left he office at about 2:00, not to return until 1/4/2010.

It hasn't been a terrific decade for my career or for my industry. Here's hoping that 2010 ushers in both a new decade and new leaf.


After a little over 5 hours, I am down to four gifts left to wrap. But I just can't go on. I still have to go to work tomorrow. (OOPS! Make that today!)

I've got bags and bags and bags littering my livingroom. Old Navy, Borders, FYE, Kohl's ... If it wasn't for my love of the planet, and my fear of Al Gore, I would just toss them. But no, I will shmush all the littler ones inside a big one and hopefully find a place to recycle them.