Saturday, May 28, 2005

Today Is

Today is my birthday. Today is the day before my wedding.

I am feeling overwhelmed and disconnected from my body at the moment. We had a big family dinner at The Delhi Palace. There were seventeen of us around a long table on the second floor. Nick, Genny and I sat at the head of the table.

I felt like I was hovering above the table, floating atop everyone’s heads and gently waving hello to all below me. The constant feeding of Genny of bread and chicken and cucumber slices is like a fly buzzing about your face, so close, so there, so far.

And the crushing down responsibility of knowing we need to take her home and put her to bed and then feed her again tomorrow and the next day. We must consider her in everything. Consider her before we consider ourselves.

Nick got me a beautiful chocolate cake with cannoli filling. Everyone sang Happy Birthday to me. I could hear the applause from downstairs as well. So nice. So about me. Maybe that’s part of the overwhelming feeling, knowing people love me and think about me in the way I feel about Genny.

I’ve never dealt well with receiving things. I tried to give myself over to it tonight and just allow myself to sink back and savor the generosity of those who love me.

I feel so tired now. Tomorrow I will be married.

Crazy Days

The crazy three days has begun. Today was all about getting things done for the wedding and trying not to chip my nails. I think almost everything is just about ready—the keywords being “almost” and “just about”.

I am feeling a strange and breezy excited buzz. I remind myself every once in a while that I’m getting married in a day and then I feel tingles in my cheekbones. It’s a rush, rush, cool kind of sensation.

My friends and I had a dinner tonight in the city at The Sanctuary on 1st and 1st. My sweetheart friend, Wendy, organized it. The restaurant was out of cold beverages and only had a buffet—all you can eat for five dollars! The man in the saffron robes told us they might be closing because the running of the restaurant is cutting into their spiritual practice.

Yup, so I was baby free in the city. Nobody knew I was a mother (except for everyone who knew me). I actually was able to just allow myself to be out and not feel bad about leaving Genny. It’s okay to allow myself to have some free time without baby when I have the opportunity.

And I had Starbucks twice today. I may not fit into my wedding dress. And my face may break out. But when faced with the opportunity to have two Starbucks in one day, one must dive fully into the experience.

I must say adieu now. It is way past my bedtime. The baby will not allow me to sleep in tomorrow morning.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Now I know my ABC's

Why am I always looking for controversy in life? I was just saying to Nick, I don’t know what to blog about tonight. If there isn’t something big and exciting, or profound and sweet, but just ho-hum, I feel like I’m not supplying good material worthy of being read.

I guess I’m a bit of an attention-monger. I certainly was the center of attention when I stood naked on stage in a room full of men. How much more desperate can someone be for some “look at me” time. I’m used to there being certain expectations set up for me when I present myself in any way. When I was a stripper, in exchange for the attention and the money, I had to be dolled up and, oh yes, naked. A pretty straightforward exchange.

As a writer, I need to be able to provide a window into experience or feeling. If I have no interesting stories to share on a given night, do I blog just the same? Can I allow myself to be boring and uninspiring, but write anyway? Can I reveal no secrets, but only chitchat on the screen?

Well, I appear to be doing the boring thing pretty well at the moment, but I must admit that the back of my mind is desperately searching for some cute way to tie things up and make you go, “Aha!” or “Really? Isn’t that delightful and intriguing.”

Speaking of being the center of attention, Genevieve said the letter “A” today. It was quite distinct and right after a Leap Frog toy began singing the alphabet. She said it about half a dozen times. “A. A. A. A. A. A.” I believe it was the capital “A” she was hinting at and not the little “a”, although I have no proof of that.

You know, I myself must have said the letter “A” one hundred times today, but I don’t pat myself on the back. I don’t get all excited. I don’t hush everyone in the room to pipe down so I can hear myself pronounce the first letter of the alphabet. Maybe I’m making too big a deal out of Genny’s little accomplishments. I don’t want her to grow up thinking she needs to be praised for every little thing she does. And I certainly don’t want her to wind up feeling the need to shed her clothes to get the attention our culture so readily supplies to naked females.

Hmm, just the right amount of attention, so she is neither starved for it or living for it. Now, if I can only figure out the perfect quantity and quality of attention a baby needs to grow up with a healthy self-image—it should be a small undertaking for a woman who can so clearly pronounce the entire contents of the alphabet forward and back.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

My American Idol

It’s embarrassing to admit, but I just watched the American Idol finale. My whole life I have avoided liking anything that is popular among the masses, or at least liking these things publicly.

I’m not sure how I got hooked on Idol. The cheesily bad auditions drew me in and then the weekly anticipation of the singing and more importantly, the excruciatingly drawn out results shows, kept me finagling with the cable to get reception. Not that Idol is an original show; I am carried back to my childhood—sitting on the scratchy couch in the den watching The Gong Show. I always admired the folks who ignored the gong, or who honestly didn’t seem to hear it, even when it was being pounded upon by some has-been celebrity judge.

Tonight, the gong rang for Bo and Carrie was crowned Miss American Idol. She helped her mom up onstage and bear hugged her. Mrs. Mom Idol patted her daughter on the back, just like I pat Genny, and just like Genny pats her Baby Doll.

From one mom to the next and already we are passing the baton down to our daughters, even when they are still in diapers. Genny is already maternally caring for Baby Doll. True, she does lose her patience with the doll every now and then and toss her onto the sidewalk where she is then run over by the stroller, but other than that—true love and caring.

Perhaps one day my baby will be helping my aging body up on stage to be congratulated for her accomplishments—American Idol, Academy Award winner or Spelling Bee Champion. I will certainly be clasping her body to mine, jumping up and down, hooting and hollering and proclaiming wildly, “That’s my little girl!”

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Squishy faces

Genevieve makes the cutest little scrunchy face when she’s happy. She wrinkles up her nose, opens her mouth in a half moon smile and chuckles. I squish up my face when I’m happy, too.

I am so much happier nowadays than when I was taking off my clothes for a living. My life and my choices have steadily improved throughout time. I’ve managed to extricate myself out of unwise career decisions, unhealthy romantic relationships and dangerous lifestyle habits. I’m sure we all have escaped specters of death, but when I think of all the events in my life that could have turned out differently, I feel grateful for having survived.

I am a survivor. Depression, regret and guilt may tug me down to the ground sometimes, but I know now that I will always be able to pull myself up again. I will learn from Genevieve as she becomes skilled at physically hoisting her trembling body onto her standing feet.

Genny and I both know that she will be able to get herself up soon. Even though right now she needs lots of assistance to stand, there will be no stopping her. She will stand on her own.

And I will continue to move forward in life, just as I always have; only now I am not alone. I have Nick’s hand and Genny’s hand wrapped in mine.

There are many squishy faces to come in life.

Monday, May 23, 2005

The Price We Pay

Yes, the rumors are true; my baby has fat feet. I bought Genny a pair of wedding shoes, which should have fit her, but her puffy feet squeegee out the tops. She may just have to wear white plastic grocery bags tied with ribbon around her feet.

Speaking of things squeezing out of their holders, I bought my seamless, strapless push-up bra for the wedding at David’s Bridal. When I reacted to the $69 price tag the saleslady was quick to point out that the exact same bra sells for $89 at Victoria’s Secret. Ever the bargain seeker, I bought the floor model and received 20% off.

I even sought good deals on clothing when I was a stripper. Flimsy little nothings cost a lot of dollar bill tips and paying for lingerie in singles is always a dead giveaway that one is an exotic dancer. To save on spending all my hard-earned cash on costumes I even handmade many of my bikini sets. I still have a large blue bin stuffed with fading colored thongs, plastic bras and lacey what-nots.

Unfortunately, I do not have any rolls of dollar bills stashed away anywhere. People often ask me where all my stripping money went. The answer is, the same place anybody’s money goes. The cash flow potential of stripping is overrated unless you’re willing to perform extracurricular activities outside the clubs. The most I ever made on a shift was like $600, but the average daily rate was about two or three hundred dollars. Not bad money for dancing around in your skivvies, but not great by any means.

Well, at least I kept most of my morals intact, although “morals” is a funny concept. Who’s to say what’s right or wrong when one isn’t harming anyone else, except perhaps for oneself and possibly the dignity of womankind. I’d rather not speak for all women though, seeing as I change my own mind about stripping around twenty times a day.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Pee and Planes

I felt like a bad mom today. We were busy all day, from going to brunch, to attending Nick’s mom’s memorial, to shopping at WalMart. I picked Genny up out of her stroller in Wally World only to find her flower-skirted bottom soaking wet, then it took me only another moment to realize that I hadn’t changed her diaper in like eight hours.

I had done smell checks a few times, but there had been no offensive odors, so I kept thinking, I’ll just wait a little longer. I guess I just pretty much plain forgot to take care of my daughter’s bathroom needs today. So she rode home wrapped in a blanket. She survived.

I’m surviving the final week before the wedding so far, but there are still a lot of last-minute details to attend to. It is amazing how all the little this and thats add up to create a frenzied state of pre-wedding stressamopolous.

The apartment is a mess. Genny still needs white wedding shoes because the ones I bought her at the flea market don’t fit. I’m not happy with how my wedding bra fits (it’s an old one and has seen better days). We still need to do work on the ceremony and figure out how all the people go and what we want here and what goes there and so on.

I hear a plane overhead. Our apartment building is directly in the path of one landing route for LaGuardia Airport. Planes only seem to fly over us on weekends when there is a certain wind pattern, but when they do, you need to be ready to duck because these bad boys could singe the hair off the back of your neck.

The underbellies of jets are really quite lovely—round and white just like my once pregnant belly. But my plane landed over a year ago now. She touched down just fine.