Sunday, October 17, 2021

Sunday Stealing


1. What's something you've recently accomplished solo? Um ... I guess the blog posts I was assigned to our automotive client. Though before the public can read them, they are checked by the legal department and then someone has to convert them to code to post them. I don't think I ever accomplish very much completely solo.

2.  What's one product you use that never ever fails? I'm very brand-loyal to paper towels. I try to stick with Viva (Bounty, if Viva isn't available). They are sturdier and easier to use.

3. Have you found your place in the world? Where is it? Wrigley Field. I've been going there since I was a little girl, and I don't think I've ever had a bad time. I'm mad at Cubs management right now for decimating the roster, but I'll get over it. I'll be back. I'm third-generation Cub fan (both sides of the family!). I even have the Cubs jersey my favorite grandma wore to the park.

4.  Worst movie you ever saw? I find something to appreciate in most movies I see. But one that I recommend you avoid at all costs is Frankie and Johnny, starring Elvis Presley and Donna Douglas (Ellie Mae from the Beverly Hillbillies). It is awful, even grading on the curve I use for Elvis movies.

5. What's the last fun thing you did? Last night I watched Bringing Up Baby for my movie group. I love that movie. I don't believe anyone is as funny talking too fast as Katharine Hepburn.

Yes, Kate has a leopard named Baby. Of course she does.

6. What's your favorite Italian dish? Pizza, though I don't mean to throw shade at manicotti or lasagna.

7. Have you ever been to France? Any desire to visit there, and if so what would site or city would you most want to see? I went right after high school. I loved the Champs-Elysees. I bought a bottle of cologne, just to say I had real French perfume.

8. Have you ever been to Disney, any of the parks at all? Are you a Disney superfan or something less than that? They're open right now so tell us, would you go if you had the time/money/a free trip? I like Disney movies, but I'm not a superfan. Yes, I've been to both Disneyland and Disney World. I'd go back tomorrow if it was free. FWIW, I prefer Disneyland.

9. Your favorite place to go when you want to be quiet as a church mouse? Would those who know you well describe you as more church mouse or perhaps more like mighty mouse? The only thing that comes to mind is the quiet car on the train. I seldom seek out silent places. I am quiet and behave myself in church or during movies/plays. But those are not intrinsically quiet spaces.

10. Do you bake your own bread? Last time you had hot out-of-the-oven homemade bread? What's your favorite kind of bread? I don't bake. But my favorite grandmother made the most terrific dinner rolls. My favorite part of dinner at her house.

11. What's something you might say is 'the greatest thing since sliced bread?' Air conditioning. I recently learned that Chicago's Merchandise Mart was the first major office building to be air conditioned in the late 1930s, when it was owned by Joseph P. Kennedy. I can't imagine office workers were very productive during humid Chicago summers before that.

12.  Share with us five little things you're grateful for today. Small blessings. One catch-they all must start with the letter T. I'm sorry, but I don't feel like doing this right now.

13. Tell us where you were and something about what life was like when you were 20- 21. I was living in a small 3-room apartment. I was a secretary (we weren't administrative assistants yet) and I spent all my disposable income on vinyl records.

14. What's on the menu at your house this week? I foresee eating a lot of chicken this coming week. Because that's what's defrosting.

15.Something you recently purchased where a coupon was involved? Do you regularly shop with coupons?
I used a buy-one-get-one coupon Saturday at Boston Market.


I'm not a well woman

I no longer know how to make friends. Up until covid, it's always been my thing. My dad's favorite Gal story* was about me at, age 4, on my first-ever day of Sunday School Kindergarten. My parents had been worried about me because I'd never attended before, and my older sister was in the First Grade class. I was solo for, probably, 30 minutes. They were afraid I'd be overwhelmed or frightened. Anyway, after Sunday School, my sister was waiting obediently on the corner where my dad was going to pull the car over and we could hop in. I was nowhere to be seen. The drivers behind my dad were getting impatient and so he circled the block. I was spotted on the lawn beside the church with my new classmates, laughing and running around rather pointlessly, burning off energy in my Sunday Best. "We were worried about her but she already had a half dozen new friends!"

And so it's been. While I am an introvert who needs alone time, I've always had an easy time with new people. I can talk comfortably with strangers. Then covid happened, and I believe that, slowly, over the course of 19 months, I've gotten squirrely.

I find that while I miss my friends -- especially my oldest friend, now in California, and John, with whom I used to have casual drinks after work when we were both in The Loop every day -- and I sometimes get lonely (a new feeling for me), I have a hard time letting new people close.

Take movie group. We were discussing I Married a Witch via Zoom. Elaine and Bob were both IMing in the side chat. Elaine wanted to update me on her cat's recent trip to the vet (he gets feline acupuncture). Bob wanted to discuss John Lennon's recent birthday (October 9), asking me if I observed it in any way. Elaine has also been regularly sending me long emails, sharing what's going on in her life, and she's been sweet about Reynaldo. Bob felt bad that it took me so long to keystroke in my reply about John. "I'm sorry to bother you," he said. I didn't mean to hurt his feelings. I was just trying to carry on three conversations at once.

But I was also like, STOP! STOP IT, YOU TWO! Elaine has invited me to a homemade dinner in her apartment to meet her dog and cat. Bob wants to talk about Klaus Voormann "someday" over beers (once our group is back to meeting in person again). 

This is how people make friends, I get that. And the whole point of  movie group is to meet people with a common interest! It's how I met Joanna, and she's turned out to be a good friend. 

So why am I so uncomfortable with Elaine and Bob? Why am I rejecting emotional intimacy? I should be more open, more grateful. They want to be friends with me. What a gift that is! 

This right here is why I'm in therapy.

*I don't know if I remember this moment, or if I overheard the story so many times.

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