Tomorrow ends my second week of unemployment and I must say I have been lonely! In the past I have enjoyed “Me Time.” I have gone out to restaurants, movies, the theater…even walks around the city on the other side of the river on my own. Being lonely is another story! My sister and my husband check up on me fairly regularly during the day but there are no other people in the vicinity to interact with. The sound of a television or radio doesn’t cut the mustard. Yes, a person can be lonely in a crowd and even within their own relationships but loneliness due to unemployment is difficult. I truly believe we humans are pack animals and, with the exception of the oddball hermit, we thrive within groups. This is my soapbox philosophy for the day.
Coins in the cushions? No. The sound after inhalation but before exhalation? No. Buttercream in the cake? Hopefully there’s a lot but that’s still not it! What, exactly, is the in-between? Our lives are made up of experiences and memories, both good and bad. Births, marriages, vacations… End of friendships, dissolution of marriages, deaths of loved ones… The in-betweens are the moments we tuck away but, unfortunately, do not give as much credence to as the major milestones. The toddler ignoring the parent’s warning about NOT jumping on the sofa. A slip and fall and five stitches later, home asleep in bed. The younger sibling, who shared the bedroom, chattering the night away! The Mother preparing the meal for a family holiday that ended too quickly. The yeasty smell of the house when the Father baked bread. The teenager in charge of cooking family dinner for the first time but totally destroys the meal! The first kiss marred by the younger sibling singing, “Dick and Jane, sitting in the tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G…” The puppy’s choice of his/her human and always sitting in this individual’s lap! The sight of the rainbow spanning the river. A bitterly cold winter when ice formed and cracked on the same river. The cracking sounded like a gunshot! The wedding announcement in the local paper for the former best friend. The first night the fiancé slept over only to cuddle. The night before the wedding, sitting on the floor of the pantry closet, talking to the Mother who related her jitters before her wedding. Several years later holding the Mother’s hand twenty-four hours before she passed away in the hospital she was born at. These are all in-between moments that comprise our lives and form our personalities. Life isn’t simply a series of peaks and lows; subtler periods burnish our personae. All together these instances create US!
I work part-time in a small store at one of the local malls. Tonight I watched four tweens interact as they perused the items on the shelves and tables. Two of the girls stood out. Anyone could tell they were Best Friends! They reached for the same items at the same time… they liked the same products in the store…they paid for each other…they finished each other’s sentences! Pensive I am and wistful I became. I spent the Summer between elementary school and junior high at sleep-away camp. When I returned, both my Mother and Grandfather stated I would be starting at a new school in a few weeks and making an entirely new set of friends. They did mention one girl in particular as her Mother had worked for my Grandfather as his nurse until she made her debut on this planet. Lo and behold, the first day of school and this girl and I have every class together! I remember one of her first questions she asked me. She knew I was Jewish but she wanted to know if I left the lights on on Friday nights and if I pre-ripped my toilet paper before sunset on Fridays. I must have looked so lost that she stated, “I know you went to a Jewish camp so I thought you did this every week!” Such a disarming statement: I adored her immediately! I smiled and let her know those who practice Orthodoxy do this; I am Reformed. From then on we were inseparable! Wherever she went, I wasn’t far behind. If I was in the local ice cream parlor, she would arrive soon after. At lunch we always shared an order of French fries…even in eighth grade when both of us were feeling under the weather. I came down with Scarlet Fever; she was home sick as well but luckily not the same illness. She was more of an extrovert to my introvert. She was tall, blonde and stunning! Her Grandfather christened us “Double Trouble.” My Grandfather called us “Mutt and Jeff!” We would bike to the local mall (the same one I work at) for pizza and the candy store! Swedish Fish! No trip was complete without Swedish Fish! When we learned to drive, we would venture further from home base but the children in us never left! We always found a way to a candy store! In high school we would spend time at her family’s house down the shore! I don’t remember eating but I do recollect the joy of our camaraderie. When we entered college our relationship remained strong but it was sorely tested when I lost my Grandfather. I had never experienced such loss and a devastation to my soul. I had been diagnosed with “growing pains” as a teenager. With my Grandfather’s passing, the diagnosis was given a more accurate title – depression. I wanted to take a leave of absence from school and clear my head. Certain family members and my BFF told me to stick it out. During this span , silence grew between us. We went for extended periods of time without talking or writing. When I last saw her, she said she couldn’t handle a friendship with me because I was too depressing. I watched her walk away, out of my life. Dear Lord! I have missed this person for many, many moons! About a year ago, I found her on social media. I reached out and she positively responded but I think I messed up a potentially budding friendship. She was never overly loquacious but her messages were brief and very much to the point. I asked her if I made her nervous. She intimated yes but she also said she took complete responsibility for the end of our friendship. I have been trying to find out why but I think I might have driven her away. I hope she reads this! We may not be Best Friends but there is no reason to not be amigas! Swedish Fish may be off the menu but hopefully chocolate mousse could be an olive branch?!?
If you were to ask most children what their favorite holiday is, I do believe the response would be fairly universal – Christmas or Hanukkah! Who can resist a present?!? The Sister and I, being the odd ducks that we were, eagerly looked forward to the Fourth of July. Why, you may ask? Because every year pre-school/elementary school friends of ours, siblings who had moved out of the area, would return for part of the Summer to visit their grandmother! Our Summer vacation truly started when they arrived and it usually coincided with their reappearance at the Fourth of July parade! We were glued to each other that day…starting with the parade, to the fairgrounds and, if we were lucky that year, the fireworks display! With the music from the calliope fading in our ears, we would race to the park for hamburgers and hotdogs, popcorn and cotton candy. We pocketed enough coins for the rides or games of chance. If it was sweltering, we would stop in the VFW where their Mom would treat us to an ice cold soda. Once we cooled down, we would head back out into the heat! We had a grand time enjoying each other’s company. The fun times, unfortunately, did not last. A year came along where the Sister and I waited on the corner for them in vain. We were growing up and never shared another holiday together. The parade has dulled, the VFW has closed and the fair is a mere spark of what it once was. Fireworks are OTB – they frighten our dogs! We are left with good memories…the nostalgia of a simple time…and a wistfulness to turn back the clock albeit briefly…
I remember being on vacation with my family one Summer. Our Mother and Father decided a stop in Toronto would be a good idea and the Sister and I would benefit from a visit to the Science Center. Well, after a day of planetary explorations, botany and shockingly silent rooms, we found ourselves in the York section of the city, heading for a bite for dinner. As usual I was lagging behind, taking pictures that would languish in a big bag in my bedroom, waiting for the time when I would sort them into photo albums. The Mother and Sister walked ahead with the Father following in their wake. Looking through the camera’s view finder, I saw a disembodied hand reach for the Mother’s backside! The Father reacted quickly and grabbed the unknown would-be assailant’s hand, pushed him away from his Wife and yelled while giving him the Hungarian Handshake – a threatening fist pump perfected by his Hungarian Grandmother-in-law! Our Mother was a beautiful woman but, at that time in her life, she was mildly zaftig! Why would some stranger want to pinch her tush? Fast forward several moons and the female of the species is not happy with her posterior unless she can balance a serving tray upon it! I do not need to mention those in the so-called “entertainment” industry who have perpetuated this fad. They shall remain nameless to prevent blowing up their egos more than they currently are! On the flip side, the men are sporting tinier and more well-constructed cabooses that they are more than happy to encase in the tightest fitting material in the fashion world! When they move, you cannot help but admire the properly-maintained male anatomy! I do believe they get a quirky joy being ogled but I wonder…do they chafe in such terribly tight pants? Is the tush real or assisted by Spanx?
…is deafening. For years chatter, laughter, tears, advice reverberated through the airwaves but now nothing but white noise. I’m lonely… I miss the timbre of their voices. Yes, I did leave messages. I followed up with texts. Dead air… This is my homework for the week. I pray I succeed!
Many, many moons ago the powers that be up above decreed, “Adam, you and your children and your children’s children will domesticate animals. Some will be beasts of burden but others will be snuggle buddies.” He (sorry guys but these powers must be masculine because they didn’t think everything through similar to the way men currently throw away instructions and proceed to assemble an item blindly) opted not to provide voices for the furry children! If they are feeling under the weather, the only way the pet parents know is by their ACTIONS! They have diarrhea, vomit, are lethargic, etc. Between yesterday and today, one of the Sister’s fur babies stopped eating and, even worse, has been unable to walk! All she could do was look at me with HUGE brown eyes and snuffle. The Sister is on a business trip and, with great difficulty, barely reachable. I ran the Floof to the regular vet who referred the pup to a neurologist. At the present moment, the only conclusive issue the doctor has discovered is that she is severely HYPOGLYCEMIC! Not everything meets the eye! I thought she had a stroke! She’s being admitted and the Hubby and I have commenced praying! She’s a tough little rescue puppy! She’s strong and we won’t allow anything bad to happen to her!
This week was the second anniversary of my unemployment status. I was fortunate to land a part-time position in a women’s accessories store; however, the mall has decided to shutter this business and tear the spot out in order to establish a walkway from one side of the building to the other! Go figure! If anyone who is reading this post is in the New York Metropolitan area and knows of any businesses looking for an Executive Assistant or a Senior Administrative Assistant, please notify me! I am open to employment suggestions and am willing to forward my resume to the proper parties! Thank You!