Back in February, I shared several of my favorite days, culminating of course with the best day of my life – so far, anyway - February 9, 1964.
This week I remembered one very special morning.
First, a little background. I spent much of my career at that bastion of testosterone, ESPN. If you are a competitive person, boy, have I got a job for you. But some gentle souls worked there too. (Thank God.)
Mark was in Program Finance. That’s where financial analysts formulate budgets for shows. If you’re an accountant, that’s as close as you get to fun.
Mark had six young children. Back in the olden days (like when I was growing up), lots of families had six kids. But by the 90s, it was pretty rare. But Mark and his wife both came from very big families, so it was normal for them. I remember their oldest daughter telling me that when they went to their grandmother’s house for Christmas, they needed five high-chairs just for the baby cousins.
A small three-bedroom house was home to Mark. He and his wife in one bedroom, the girls in another, and the boys in the third. That could have turned out pretty unfair if there was one boy and five girls, but luckily, there were three girls and three boys. Even-steven, as my mother would say. Mark told me that they had considered buying a bigger house, but he said that he grew up that way and he had a very happy childhood. “Kids don’t need privacy,’ he said. “They need each other.”
Mark’s kids were really nice. I would take all his six over the boss’s two anytime. (Even over one.) His kids were sweet and funny and pretty well-behaved. For kids. One year, Mark even took the whole family to Florida on vacation – and DROVE there.
“How in the world can you manage six kids in the car from Connecticut to Florida?” I asked.
“The big kids help with the little kids,” Mark said proudly. Then he added, “But I admit that I have a lot more to threaten them with on the way down than on the way back.”
Everyone at ESPN works a shitload of hours. Nights, weekends. Every day is a sports emergency.
But one Sunday, when Mark went to the office to finish up a project, he found he was the only one in our little Finance building. He was relieved, since his wife was away and he had had no choice that day but to bring along the kids.
So he gave the kids a project of their own. He sent them around the office to collect the phone numbers of every phone in every cube – more than thirty, as I recall. Then, while he worked on his hockey budgets, he had them call every number and leave a message.
We all reluctantly dragged ourselves in to start another week. And every accountant and finance geek had a message.
We had a joke.
A little kid had left a joke on each person’s voice mail.
“What did the pen say to the pencil? You’re looking sharp!”
“Did you hear the joke about the roof? It’s over your head!”
“What did one elevator say to the other elevator? I think I’m coming down with something!”
“What did the hamburger name his daughter? Patty!”
“What has four wheels and flies?” A garbage truck!”
And all of us over-educated over-worked over-achievers spent the first hour of the day going from cube to cube to listen to little children’s voices telling the world’s corniest jokes.
Best Monday Morning Ever!
I was commenting about work on a friend’s blog, when it occurred to me that I have been working for forty years. (And it would have been even longer except that I stretched out college for absolutely as long as my parents could stand.)
Well, forty years of work life has provided me with some insights.
And although most of the readers of this blog are as old as I am – which is why they want to read about wrinkle cream and bunions after all – I will share my vast accumulation of job advice.
So this post is for all my young readers – all three of you.
1. If you are like the vast majority of human beings on this earth, you will always have a boss. This boss might be dumber than you and less competent than you and sooner or later will even be younger than you. I have a chance to have one more President of the United States older than me (if Hillary runs and wins) – but that will be my last time. I am now used to people in authority being younger than me.
But here’s the thing about bosses. No one likes to be told what to do. But unless he or she is a real prick (pardon my language, but it is the right word here), it is up to YOU to get along with your boss. If your boss asks you do something that is even remotely connected to your actual job description, you say “Sure.” And you do it. Try to make your boss’s life easier. The last thing you want is for your boss to think that one of his problems is YOU.
2. When you are new at a job, you will not like it. Look at it this way: You just left a job where you knew what you were supposed to do (to the point of boredom…that’s probably why you left) and now not only are you unsure of what you are supposed to do, but you don’t even have any friends, or know where the mailboxes are or when to have lunch. OF COURSE you hate it. But you did not necessarily make a mistake taking the job. Give it six months. You might eventually make a friend and be able to transfer a call and even find the copier toner.
3. Speaking of competence, we all make mistakes. When you make a mistake, own up to it. Apologize, accept responsibility, and move on. If you don’t dwell on the mistake, your chances are better that no one else will either. But here’s an interesting caveat. I made a pretty big mistake early in my career. I felt horrible. When I told the boss about my error, I also said that I was really, really sorry and very disappointed in myself. And he said, “I should be really mad at you myself, but I haven’t got the heart to yell at you. You already feel bad enough.” Hmmm, I thought. This could be a pretty good strategy for fucking up.
4. Take your vacation time. Take all of it. I offer this advice as someone who never did. And now I see that the company and the world will not fall apart if you schedule some deserved relaxation. You need a break. Take one.
On the other hand, be careful about sick time. Learn to work sick. I’m not saying you should drag yourself in and infect everyone else with Ebola. I’m saying that as much as good sense indicates: Suck It Up. Taking planned, expected time off makes you look reasonable and responsible. Unplanned, unexpected, and inconvenient absences make you look unreliable.
5. Don’t complain about your job. (except to your spouse or your best friend – with them, you have permission to bitch a little). No one likes his job every single minute. You are always going to have good days and bad days. Don’t complain constantly – especially at work, but also in restaurants, on Facebook, at the gym… you could be overheard. And when someone asks you about your job: If overall you like it well enough, you say, “It’s pretty good.” And if it is terrible, say, “I’m learning a lot” – and keep quietly looking for a better one.
6. Try, whenever possible, not to go to HR with your issues. I’m not dissing HR folk – after all, they hire us, they make sure we have medical benefits and training and shit – but if you go to them with a problem, they have no choice but to make it a big deal. And you may be very sorry later when things get blown out of proportion. I do not mean that you should submit to workplace abuse or sexual harrassment or that you should turn a blind eye to unethical conduct. But if you have complaints about a coworker or you think your boss is unfair or you think that you should have gotten that stupid promotion – try to take it directly to the person you have the issue with. And leave HR out of it. Address the problem yourself. Face people. You will have better results.
Let me reiterate that I am not talking about illegal behavior. But sometimes the direct approach can even nip that in the bud. Many years ago I had a co-worker that was a little too “hand-sy”, if you know what I mean. He couldn’t seem to talk to me without giving me a back-rub too. I was worried that eventually it would be a front-rub. One day I said, “Charlie, I don’t think you realize that it makes me uncomfortable when you rub my back. You are a nice guy, and I am sure that now that I have told you how I feel, you won’t want me to be uncomfortable with you any more.” And it never happened again. We even went on a business trip together and he was respectful and businesslike – and nice to be with.
7. Last, but not least – (until I think of more, anyway) – learn the value of coffee or tea. And perhaps a good piece of chocolate in the afternoon. As an accountant, I speak from authority when I say that staring at numbers plus a nice little lunch equals a very sleepy interval about 2:00 PM. And I am also speaking from experience when I say that once you fall asleep at work, it is very hard to live it down. Especially if it happens more than once. In the same week.
Over my 63 years, men have said some memorable things to me.
So I present to you my
Best Pick-Up Line:
I go all the way back to 1969 for this one, I was hanging around at the end of my summer job shift with some other teenagers, and I was wearing my coolest Mod Squad outfit. It was a mini-jumpsuit. A short-short kind of onesie with long sleeves, a big collar and a hip-hugger belt.
And one of the guys remarked on my outfit. He said, “I like your get-up.What do you call it?”
And another guy that I didn’t even realize might like me said, “Mine.”
Now after forty-five years, I may not be as keen on a man declaring me as his possession, but at the time, I thought, “wow.”
(This was not spoken to me, but reported to me)
My husband and his brother were invited to some man-thing for the weekend. My brother-in-law did not think his then-wife would be happy about it.
My husband said, “Just tell her you want to go. She wants you to have fun – she’ll understand.”
And my brother-in-law answered, “That’s easy for you to say. You’re married to Nancy.”
This is definitely the prize for most offensive Man-Words.
I was the business manager of a cable system. I had come from the health care industry, so although I was a good accountant and budgeter, I was still learning some of the technical aspects. So the regional engineer comes in for a meeting, and uses some term I did not quite understand. So – wanting to gain as much knowledge as possible, I said:
“Can you explain that, please?”
And big-shot engineer said:
“It’s complicated, honey.”
Biggest Generation-Gappiest Line:
At my next job, I was budgeting for that humongous sports network (you know the one). But in 1990, not everyone was computer savvy – especially some of the old-guard salesmen. And there was one guy – probably the oldest guy at this very young company – who was a sales manager to cable affiliates. I kept sending him his budgets to update, and I never got them back. So I gave him a call.
“Al, where are your budgets? I sent them to you weeks ago.”
“I got your emails, but I didn’t see any budgets.”
“They were attached. At the bottom of the email. Do you see the attachments?”
“I see a bunch of little pirate ships,” Al said.
If you remember the old version of excel… email attachments looked like this:
Funniest Line of All Time:
I don’t think anything for the rest of my life will top this:
Back to 1981: I was thirty and still single, and I was seriously considering having a baby. I really wanted to be a mother and I didn’t want to wait any longer. I was looking into adoption, and word got around the office.
One of my co-workers sat down opposite me at the lunch table one day.
He said, “I heard that you want to have a baby. And I wanted to let you know that if you want, I would do it for you.”
“Joe,” I said, “I wouldn’t let you within ten feet of me.”
Without missing a beat, Joe said, “I could do it from there.”
I had a beach day yesterday.
I love the beach, but my joy of the beach has always been mingled with overwhelming worry. Worry about my body.
I’ve written many times about my self-consciousness on the beach.
When I was a teenager, I worried about how skinny I was. I cannot think now of anything more moronic. But such is adolescence. Girls with breasts and hips hate them. Girls without desire them.
And my adult years – I’ll admit to more than forty of them – have been filled with every other kind of worry. On top of worrying that my breasts were too small, now my stomach was too big, my thighs were too dimpled, my hair too flat, my shoulders too sloped, my ankles too thick.
And I can go on and on. I felt every one of my flaws was on display in the bright sunshine. And I had thousands of flaws – in my mind.
What did I like about myself? My brain. But it was in a very imperfect casing – in my mind.
Over the last two years, my husband and I have put in a lot of effort into getting healthy.
And looking better has helped me like my body a little. For the first time in years, I didn’t feel horrible in my bathing suit.
But something else extraordinary happened at the beach yesterday.
Way more extraordinary than liking my body.
I liked everyone’s body!
Not being obsessed with my own flaws caused me to notice how great all our bodies all. ALL OF THEM.
The big ones, the little ones, the dark ones, the pale ones, the hairy ones, the bald ones, the skinny ones, the fat ones, the tall ones, the short ones, the young ones, the old ones.
All those bodies were amazing, doing amazing things.
Our remote ancestors probably crawled along that same beach eons ago, but evolution did a fantastic job. The human body is perfect.
Those bodies could swim, and splash, and run through the sand, and stroll along the water’s edge, and eat sandwiches, and throw frisbees, and build sandcastles, and read books, and holler at their kids, and kiss, and collect seashells, and carry huge coolers, and feed seagulls, and sleep.
I even saw one old lady having a happy squirt-gun fight with a kid probably seventy years younger. And they both could pull the trigger, and they both could duck, and they both could laugh.
How much does shape matter, when you can do all that?
This weekend I attended a party where I did not know anyone other than my husband and the hosts.
This is not my kind of party. I am self-conscious and uncharacteristically shy around strangers. People have told me that my shyness often comes off as conceit.
It’s because…well …because… honestly…
Because I AM conceited.
And when I am uncomfortable, it seems to be the only attribute that willingly pops out.
But I didn’t have any reason to be nervous. Everyone was so nice and so interesting. And there were a lot of folks there who were ballroom dance aficionados, which means even more eccentric than me. So I fit right in.
One person in attendance especially fascinated me. She makes regular appearances on a local morning talk show. I guess you could call her a minor celebrity. Except in her own mind. Where she appears to be a major celebrity.
I thought I was conceited. But she humbled me. I need a hell of a lot more practice in being self-important to even sit at the same table.
But I did sit at the same table. So I learned a lot.
I learned that you should mention your fame at least once every half-hour. (I can translate this to at least one blog a week touting my novel.)
I learned that you should gush about the talents of your co-workers while at the same time making it clear how much you help them.
And I learned that you should make a wardrobe change midway through any event. When the sun goes down, why would you just add a sweater over what you are already wearing when you can instead put on an entirely new outfit, and get another round of compliments?
But the best thing I learned, I learned from my husband’s interaction with Celebrity-Lite.
He asked her where she lived, and she not only said the name of her affluent suburb, but then she added, “Have you heard of that town?” (Because of course, even though Connecticut is a very small state, we might be morons.)
But instead of getting offended (which I did), my husband said, “Sure, I used to have a snow-plowing route there.”
And on the way home, I asked him why he mentioned the snow-plowing, when it was so long ago and doesn’t do him justice, given his long and successful business career.
And he said, “I like to play it low-key. If people are nice to me even if I am a nobody, then they are nice people. And with someone like that, they are immediately uninterested in me and they go away. I can’t lose.”
Summer re-run: Here’s a reprise from when I first started blogging. But I wasn’t doing illustrations back then, so at least the drawing is new.
I have a theory for everything. Some of my theories are what my family calls “out there”, but I have one theory that has abundant evidence supporting it.
I believe that when a boy reaches a certain age, (probably when he discovers his best friend/body part), his father sits him down for a serious and confidential discussion.
It goes like this:
Pretty soon girls will come into your life. And eventually you will marry.
When you get married, your wife’s expectations will be very high. So you need to know the secret of lowering her expectations- a secret passed down from father to son for generations.
When your wife asks you to do something, you don’t argue. You say ‘Sure, Honey’. But then you screw it up so badly she will never ask you again.
Here are some examples:
Laundry: Red shirt in with the whites.
Vacuuming: Suck up the cat toys.
Cooking: Two words – smoke detector.
Cleaning the Toilet: gritty cleanser on the seat.
Changing diapers – you don’t need any hints on this. You will mess this up. Don’t show any improvement.
If you are okay with looking completely incompetent, you can even go all the way to loading the dishwasher and watering the plants.
Son, just lower the expectations. Screw it up and you are off the hook. For ever.
There are a few chores that do not apply:
Taking out the garbage. This is a man’s job. Folklore has it that in the nineteenth century a man tried to get out of this duty by dropping the garbage. But it was a horrible mess, and his wife made him pick it up. So just do it. However, I don’t mean, ‘just do it’ – like literally – let your wife ask you at least three times.
Mowing the lawn. This is a man’s job. It entails equipment, and that’s fun.
Barbecue – this entails fire and lighter fluid, and that’s fun.
Car maintenance – you get to buy tools.
That’s it, son. Follow this advice and you will get through marriage relatively painlessly.
Oh, one more thing – NEVER EVER say, ‘What did you do to your hair?‘
I’ve been feeling guilty all week.
Because I wrote so lovingly about ice cream several days ago.
And neglected the other love of my life:
I’m sorry, Chocolate. I love you too.
So here is a history of my romance with Chocolate.
The first chocolate I remember is a Hershey bar. My grandmother (Babci in Polish) used to buy Hershey bars to give us every Sunday when we visited. (and Juicy Fruit gum and little bags of State Line potato chips) A Hershey bar is pretty mediocre in my mind today, but I have fabulous memories of Hershey bars salted by potato chip fingers.
Across the street from my house was a little store. We called it Paul’s, but it was officially Lavoie’s Market. Paul Lavoie was a butcher and mostly sold very good meat at his hole-in-the-wall tiny shop. But he had a nice supply of candy bars for us kids, and almost every candy bar from my childhood was first tried at Paul’s. My favorite for a long time was a Sky Bar – because you got four different little bars.
I loved the idea of having an assortment in one candy bar. There was one slight drawback, however, I hated the white stuff that they called Vanilla. It was a kind of marshmallow nougat that I didn’t like. You’d think I would just stop buying a candy bar that I didn’t like 25% of. But no. My solution at age eight was logical to me. I ate the disliked piece first, so it wouldn’t be the lasting taste in my mouth. But how, you might wonder, would I know which of the center pieces was the bad one? That’s where the finger poke in the bottom was the solution – just like you probably poke your Whitman’s Sampler today.
Speaking of Whitman’s Samplers, my Aunt Lil often had a box of those at her house. I did not like soft centers (I still don’t). But I had perfected my poke skill on the Sky Bar, so I was all set.
And on the topic of centers, I was in a love-hate relationship with Chunky.
I liked the consistency of the chocolate and I liked the thick bar. But I don’t like raisins and chocolate together. Does that mean that I never bought a Chunky at Paul’s? Of course I did. I bought EVERY kind of candy bar, even ones I didn’t like. Just not as often.
But somewhere around the mid-sixties, the Pecan Chunky was introduced. No raisins. Problem solved.
And of course I loved Three Musketeers (big and fluffy) and Milky Ways, Snickers, and Mars. What’s not to like?
And Almond Joy and Mounds bars. But why can’t dark chocolate have almonds too? Life is so unfair.
I did not like gritty candy bars – that means no rice or crispy stuff – Nestle’s Crunch, I’m talking to you.
But I loved Reese’s peanut butter cups. I do not consider peanut butter gritty. i consider peanut butter heavenly. The only drawback in the 50’s was that they were only sold in singles.
And there was a small chocolate bite that I still see once in a while in convenience stores called the Ice Cube.
It was penny candy back when I was a kid, and it’s still pretty cheap, I think. And it is an ultra creamy bit of hazlenut-flavored chocolate. And they freeze really well.
Which brings me to the subject of frozen chocolate bars. Sticking a Milky Way in the freezer was a great treat. And you could slap a frozen Charlston Chew on the table and it would shatter into very satisfying little shards.
But the best frozen candy bar was a bar I could only get at the town swimming pool. The concession stand at Page Park carried a candy bar called the Milk Shake. And they kept them in the freezer. After an afternoon of swimming, I’d spend thirty cents (a fortune in those days) for a frozen Milk Shake. I can’t even remember now what they tasted like, but they smelled like chlorine.
Now, of course, my taste is more sophisticated (except for Ice Cubes and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, of course.)
For mass-produced chocolate, I like Lindt truffles and Dove chocolates. And Dove gives you the double pleasure of the sweet treat and a sweet affirmation on the inside of the wrapper.
And then there is the BEST chocolate. I think if you are going to eat that many calories, they might as well be the best calories available.
And I have two choices for best chocolate:
About 15 years ago, I was in New York on business. It was February 13 and I was returning to Connecticut the next day – Valentine’s Day. So I went out that evening looking for someplace better than a drug store to buy my husband something better than a Hershey Bar. And on Madison Avenue, I came upon a long line of folks waiting in the freezing weather just to get in the door of a tiny shop. This must be the place, I thought. And it was. It was Leonidas, which sells Belgian truffles at $40.00 a pound. I can afford that about once every five Valentine’s Days.
And best of all – there is an amazing source of chocolate right here in Litchfield County. At Thorncrest Dairy Farm, they make chocolates every day from that day’s milk. And the chocolatier, Kimberly, knows by the smell of the milk which cow it came from. And different cows have different sweetnesses and different boiling points to their milk – and so are suited for certain chocolates over others. (per Kim, anyway, who may be a little crazy on the subject). But she certainly knows how to make good chocolate. So I believe her. And so I always ask for something from Princess.
My husband had to go pick up a part for his show car tonight. It’s an hour’s drive to the special store. (There’s a better name for this parts place, but I don’t know what the technical term is – “Expensive Shit Emporium”, maybe.)
Anyway, Hubby didn’t want to make the two-hour round trip by himself. So he asked me nicely to come along.
I asked him nicely for a bribe.
And he came up with a good one: Frozen Yogurt.
So I daydreamed while we rode in the convertible through the sunset in Hartford. It was hazy and smoggy and pretty and I didn’t even have to hold a conversation, because the convertible on the highway is very noisy.
And while he discussed wires or knobs or what-the-hell with the guy at Ripoff City, I played Yahtzee on my cell phone – losing six games in a row to the “Bill”, my computerized opponent, who I think is sleeping with the computer who rolls the dice.
Hubby finally came out from Bend-Over Boutique, and off we went – finally winding up at Kiwi Spoon – the frozen yogurt bar we like. The fro-yo is refreshing, the fruit toppings are real, the store is spotless, and we can sit and have a wonderful view of the traffic whipping past. (But atmosphere is overrated.)
And it got me to thinking about how much I’ve loved ice cream over the years.
And yes, I wrote about ice cream just last week, but I didn’t do it justice.
When I was a kid, we would wait for the ice cream man. We’d play hide-and-seek in the waning light and listen for those magical bells. I liked Good Humor better than Mister Softee – but whichever came first was what we’d take. None of the parents in the neighborhood could afford ice cream every night, but they seemed to coordinate it so that all the kids got ice cream the same night, and none on the same night. No jealousy allowed.
On special nights we’d walk over to Litchfield Farm Shoppe and have a cone. They had terrific maple walnut.
And on extra-extra special nights, my dad would say to my mother, “Get your purse. We are all going out for ice cream.” We’d pile into the station wagon and drive to Roberge Dairy. Oh, their coffee ice cream was wondrous. And Dad would have one too – that was a big treat for me – to see him splurge on an ice cream cone for himself too.
I hated having sticky fingers and I learned to eat my ice cream really fast. No drips allowed. (Not to mention the danger of someone bigger than me – I won’t mention any names but they had the same Mom and Dad as me – always offering to “neaten it up” and losing quite a bit of my ice cream in the process. I still finish my fro-yo while my husband’s cup is still full.
Those dairies disappeared as I grew up, but there was always Guida’s in New Britain. And Baskin-Robbins came around right about the time I had to start watching my calories. But from my tiny first apartment, it was a little over a mile round-trip, and so I’d splurge as long as I walked there and back.
And now, there’s great fro-yo bars everywhere. So I can have my treat without feeling too guilty.
And when I am not worried about guilt – like last week after I finished my photo session – I go to Arethusa Dairy near my home. Arethusa Dairy is owned by the proprietors of Manolo Blahnik shoes. They have more money than they know what to do with, and so what they decided to do with it was build a dairy farm. They have some of the finest dairy cows in the country. They have a big fancy barn, with a sign over the door:
“Every cow in our barn is a lady, please treat her as such.”
And they do.
Arethusa’s cows have mattresses, massages, and special shampoo depending on hair color. They are very happy ladies. (Wouldn’t you be?) And they give amazing milk. I choose coffee ice cream still. It has little grains of ground coffee right in the ice cream. It is rich and flavorful, and I am transported back to Roberge dairy watching my dad enjoy his chocolate cone.
The other day I was getting ready for work, and my hair and makeup came out especially nice – very rare indeed. And I loved what I was wearing, which was just a black v-neck long-sleeved tee (but that’s my favorite thing to wear with jeans).
So after I made the bed, I documented my satisfactory appearance with a quick selfie. Okay, about 20 selfies, but this one was pretty nice:
I need a photo for my book jacket, and I thought this might be a contender. I look happy and I would just need a little photoshop for the undereye wrinkles.
So I uploaded the photo to my Facebook site, to get some opinions.
And I did! Most people thought I looked pretty nice – and young – and you can’t get much better than that.
But book-jacket material. No way.
“Too grainy” (that’s atmosphere)
“Too dark” (that’s atmosphere)
“This is in your bedroom, for God’s Sake!” (okay, that may be too much atmosphere)
“This is your novel. You first novel. Maybe your only novel. Your precious baby. Have a professional photo done.”
And so I scouted around the internet for someone nearby who could do it right away.
And whose pictures made ordinary people look pretty. (and young) I found a great photographer who can take me tomorrow.
And now I am stressing.
Because according the photographer, I need:
* Two outfits. I figured I would just wear my beloved black v-neck. Do you think my grey v-neck would constitute two outfits?
* Nice jewelry. That’s an easy one. With my black v-neck, I like the small gold seahorse necklace my husband bought for me on a business trip he took without me to Las Vegas. (Yea for guilt.)
* My nails looking good. This confuses me. I want a head shot. I don’t think it will be one where I am playing peek-a-boo. But I will do my nails right after I finish typing.
* My makeup with me. I guess a small suitcase would work.
And according to the internet (just google ‘tips for looking great in photos’), I need:
* Makeup without sunscreen. It appears that sunscreen can get white-looking under flash photography. So of course I have six different foundations. They all have sunscreen. That’s what you are supposed to wear. So I went out and bought makeup made especially for photography. The internet says that you can use a good book jacket photo for about seven years. I hope that new foundation has a long expiration date.
* Contour. I haven’t used contour since 1987. But I need to use contour around my hairline and down the sides of my nose, or my face will look very flat. I figured I could just use a swipe of my bronzer, until I read that it has to be matte. No shimmer. All bronzer has shimmer – that’s how you get bronze. But I found a matte cream to powder foundation in brown. I might get to use it again if I get really really tan.
* Ditto for matte eye shadow. I recently bought a 14 color palette. One shade is matte. But I wanted a choice, so I bought some more.
* Ditto for matte blush. I have 8 blushes in my bathroom. One is matte. Luckily, it is one I like.
*Powder. You need to set all this makeup. I have some loose powder. I bought it in 1987. So now I have another new powder – pressed not loose – which reminds me of what my mother used in 1957. This one should last me until 2027.
* Teeth whitening. In my mouth right this minute. I am multitasking.
* White eyeliner to line the inside edge of my eyes to make my eyes look bigger and whiter. I have one of these. It came in a sample box of makeup. I didn’t know what to do with it. But now I do.
* Murine. To get the red out.
* Lip liner. I refuse. It is NOT 1987. But I have a nice lipstick I love that is quite matte and makes a clean line. And gloss for just the center of my lip. I have Chapstick. Close enough.
* False eyelashes. I have some. They are a bit droopy after a few wears. So I bought new. Self-adhesive they claim. I hope so – or they might fall off at an inopportune moment.
* Eyebrow pencil. I have fallen in love with eyebrow pencil lately so I’m all set.
*Great hair. Shiny but not too shiny. Full but not too full. Sprayed but not sprayed. Framing my face but not hiding my face. It will never happen.
And I have an evening appointment, so I also need to remove all the makeup I’ve worn during the day and start fresh. With primer of course, which happily I have.
I am going to have to leave work early.
I can’t believe I thought I looked good enough in the selfie.
I love small pleasures. The little things in life charm me more than the big once-in-a-lifetime surprises.
Mostly because once-in-a-lifetime is too seldom.
But I can experience small joys every day.
Like the ivy that grows on the building I work in.
I love blueberries. And I have blueberries for breakfast every morning. I can be happy every morning!
But once in while a simple pleasure can actually be a double pleasure.
Joy with a kicker.
For instance, I love getting into my car after it’s been baking in the sun all day. I love that dry heat that goes right into your bones. (I have very cold bones). And here’s the kicker: just when I think, “Okay, now I’m getting too hot” – the air conditioning jumps up and that feels great too. A two-phase pleasure.
And speaking of cars… yesterday when I was driving home, the sunlight just hit my diamond ring in that perfect way that makes hundreds of little prisms all over the car. It made me very happy. And then – AND THEN – Johnny Mathis came on the radio, singing, “Wonderful Wonderful.”
And peonies! A few days ago, I cut the last of our peonies and set them on the table. So pretty. And my husband walked into the room… he of the stuffiest, least-functioning nose on the planet – and he said, “It smells so nice in here!” Oh, so nice to have beauty AND fragrance.
Here’s a rare double pleasure:
I realized last night that the shoes I was wearing were really comfortable. I had worn them all day, and it was well into the evening and my feet didn’t hurt. My toes didn’t hurt, my heels didn’t hurt, my instep didn’t hurt, my bunion didn’t hurt. My feet felt great. And the bonus bit of happiness: those shoes are really cute!
And the beach! There are so many pleasures at the beach. I love the sun, the seagulls, the sound of the waves, the joy of little kids running on the hot sand in that tiptoeing sweet way. The beach is a multitude of delights.
And just when you think it can’t get any better – you stop for ice cream on the way home.