Sunday, December 07, 2014

Richard and Gary and Old Navy

Every year, the tree at Whole Foods is decorated with little hearts from the kids at the village children's home. Some kids live at the home 24/7, waiting for appropriate foster homes or for their parents to get it together and take them back. Others are there because their parents are taking advantage of the sliding scale daycare. Anyway, each heart has a kids' name, age, sizes and Wish List items. Since the children's home is, literally, next door, I always participate by taking an ornament and fulfilling a Christmas wish.

This year I grabbed Gary's. He's 14 and I think that must be a tough age to be at the children's home Christmas party. He doesn't believe in Santa anymore, and he just might be pretty angry about not having a family -- not with his real parents and not in a foster home. And what if no one chooses his heart? Everyone wants to shop for a little one. But what if none of my neighbors want to pitch in for a teenager? So I went to Old Navy and got him a sweater and sweats (all on sale). I also tossed in a $5 giftcard to a local hamburger place. You know, just in case my taste in teen boy clothes isn't all that he'd like it to be.

When I dropped his present off at Whole Foods (the damn gift bag cost $3!), I had to pass the tree again. It occurred to me that maybe I want to buy for a cute little kid, too.

So then I grabbed Richard's. He's 6. He asked Santa for a sweater and jeans. Doesn't that break your heart? He wants clothes, not toys. So back to Old Navy. I got him a sweater but all the jeans are too expensive, so I got him a long-sleeved t-shirt decorated with a football, a soccer ball, a basketball and a baseball. Unless he's exclusively a hockey fan, I've got him covered. And then, since he's only 6 and should get a toy, I tossed in a 99¢ bus. I like thinking of him pushing it around on the floor at the holiday party.

I've kinda had the blues. I'm just not very happy with my life. Nothing is bad -- the cats are healthy, my friends are great, I'm feeling strong. But both my home and my finances have gotten away from me and I can't seem to get it together in either arena.

But I was able to help Richard and Gary. And that's something I was able to accomplish.

Sunday Stealing

The Are You Meme
1) Are you psychic in any way? Sometimes I think I may be.

2) Are you a good dancer? No.

3) Are you a good singer? I sing even worse than I dance.

4) Are you a good cook? I don't know. I do it so very seldom.

5) Are you a good artist? Nope. (This meme is starting to make me feel bad about myself.)

6) Are you a good listener? I can be.

7) Are you a good public speaker? Yes. (Hallelujah! I finally got one!)

8) Are you a good babysitter? Yes. (Two in a row! I'm on a roll.)

9) Are you a good mechanic? No.

10) Are you a good diplomat? I try, though not always successfully.

11) Are you a good employee? Yes.

12) Are you a good dresser? When I put effort into it.
13) Are you a good swimmer? Yes.

14) Are you a good skier? No.

15) Are you a good gift giver? Yes.

16) Are you a good musician? No.

17) Are you a good comedian? I can be funny.

18) Are you a good cleaner? I clean even worse than I sing.

19) Are you a good actor? Yes, I think I am.

20) Are you a good writer? Yes.

"The girl with the cute haircut"

Last night was the movie meetup holiday party. We saw Remember the Night, a rather obscure Christmas movie starring Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray.* I can see why it's not as popular as Christmas in Connecticut (last year's movie). It does not have a conventional Christmas feel-good ending. But still I enjoyed it.

Even more, I enjoyed the Meet Up. My usual girls weren't there -- Joanna's flight from New Orleans was delayed; Martha remains incommunicado for the third month in a row -- so I was forced to talk more to other people than I normally would. And, after all, that is the point of these Meet Ups.

These two other ladies and I somehow got on the subject of Barbra Streisand. Funny Girl and "My Man," specifically. I joked that I loved that number because falling for the wrong fella is specialty of mine. One of the ladies recommended or, and I said that with my luck I'd end up with the new millennium Ted Bundy. The ladies laughed and one said, "I can just hear us asking each other, 'What happened to the girl with the cute haircut? I hope we didn't lose her to computer dating.'"

That made me happy because (1) I made them laugh and (2) they liked my new haircut and (3) they referred to me as "a girl" and I know I'm well within 10 years of them. This last birthday -- when I hit 57 -- made me feel very old and any reassurance I get that I don't look like I'm knocking on 60 makes me feel better.

*I grew up on MacMurray on My Three Sons, as boring a dad as TV ever produced. His long movie career reveals there was much more to him than that -- humor, cynicism and even a little sex appeal. Who knew?