I’ll Have The Salad..With A Tape Worm On The Side

I knew it was time when my ears perked up over a discussion last week regarding the use of Tape Worms as a weight loss option. Wait! Before you, my comrades in Desperation Nation start googling Tape Worms, I will tell you it is illegal in America, but like everything else, the internet can fulfill any dream. Mmmmm..Tape Worm today..skinny jeans tomorrow.  Sign me up. I mean, so what if the larvae can disseminate out through the intestinal wall and end up growing worms in your brain?  It is a treatable condition, rarely fatal they tell me. I’ll be laughing all the way to the bikini shop after the surgeon extracts the worms from my  head.  A minor neurological defict?  Not worried, I’m a little goofy anyway, and who will notice?  They’ll be too busy staring at my amazing shrinking ass! 

Sigh. It’s time.  I reached my goal weight ahead of schedule this year, I am proud to report. The madness begins at Halloween with bags and bags of chocolate, selected by me, no cheap stuff..( My friends warn me every year to buy candy I don’t like- yeah right. ) and ends around Easter.  This year, I waddled early to the finish line at Valentine’s Day, yay me!  I didn’t need a scale to tell me of my achievement either, as leaving the house with my pants unbuttoned and my underwear cutting off my circulation was award recognition enough. Pulling on my much abused stretch pants, I ran (jogged slowly) to the nearest diet center for a reality check.

Apparently, being excused from weighing in at the center is not negotiable..I tried.  I  bargained, promising to weigh in next week after a week of deprivation gave me the confidence . Nope, I was forced to haul myself up and on the scale, and despite removing most of my clothing, my watch, my earrings, contact lenses..the number was so shocking that I nearly lost consciousness.  I flatly refused to have my “before” photo taken- much to the skinny counselor’s dismay.  I explained I was rapidly cycling through the five stages of death, adapted to weight shock,  Denial and bargaining already complete..I would let her know when I got to acceptance and if my hair looked good next week, I might consider the humiliating photo- but don’t hold your breath.  I accepted the odd stare that seems to pop up most places I go these days and sat down with my new fit and fabulous coach to discuss all the food I can’t eat anymore.Image

After two days of severe calorie deprivation, and  guzzling gallons of water, I am resigning myself to weeks of torture. I got myself into this mess, I’ll get myself out.  The next birthday is the 5-0, and I would really like to put the spare tire back in the trunk of the car before then. I am going to do this…one way, or another.. I bet if I mixed the Tape Worm into some ice cream it would taste like Gummi Bears…

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My Valentine At 29

My 29th Valentine’s Day with Joe has come and gone, and I’ve got the pretty little “Lovebirds” bracelet dangling from my wrist to prove it.  I have to tell you, dear readers, that it is not for a lack of love and affection that has caused me to start, stop and erase this entry on my beloved at least ten times, but, rather a flood of emotions and memories that make the task nearly impossible.  2014 is our 30th year of “us” and our 25th year of marriage..I think , just maybe, this union will stick..in spite of ourselves.

How I would love to tell my children and grandchildren that we met at a church social, our eyes locking over a giant box of canned goods we were packing for an over-seas orphanage, or something like that.  Instead, we were brought together by a delightfully slutty roommate who had a crush on the one member of the rugby team she had not thrown herself at, i.e., Joe. He was different she said, a nice guy who treated girls with respect. “Lolita” came to me with her dilemma and requested help on becoming a “good girl”..and what ensued was a bit of a twisted version of “My Fair Lady”..She raided my closet for clothes that were not tight jeans and black t-shirts, and I helped her tone down the make-up and fix her hair.  She managed to lure him to her room one day, where she introduced him to me…and so as the universe would have it, our 30 years of devotion began..(more or less, you can’t count Spring Break..don’t judge).

So I married  smart and sweet Joe who always made me laugh.  A quiet man with physical strength like no one else I knew..excuse him, while he picks up your sofa or refrigerator, and tosses into the back of your moving van,  no sweat. What I couldn’t see then was the man who would become a father and hog the diaper changing and bottle feedings…I remember more than one tug-of-war with the baby between us.  I also couldn’t see then the foundation of honesty he would build his life on, a man of character who truly cannot tell a lie..not to save his life.  A good man.

A perfect life.  Oh, please, get frigging real. We have grown up together, and I am half Italian, with a flair for the dramatic.  We have had our battles..fortunately for him I stopped throwing my hairbrush years ago. The Lovebirds bracelet did throw me for a second..never really thought of us as such..in 30 years I can’t think of a single time we were referred to as such.  So, I did a little ornithological research this Valentine’s Day, and it turns out that the Lovebirds, while affectionate, are also intelligent and playful.  They also must have adequate space to explore, climb and fly- or they may develop a desire to kill each other.

Happy Valentine’s Joe, my Lovebird. love birds

Who Will Love These Things?

Sometimes I lift the lid to the old jewelry box when I hurry past

Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini tinkles through the dusty sunbeam

And touch the odd collection

My grandmother’s hundred year old amethyst

A bubble gum ring given by a sticky little boy

My wedding pearls

A smiley face necklace

All resting in their special place

And I wonder, years from now

Who will love these things?

jewerly box

On Becoming Gladys

When did I become Gladys Kravitz?  Those of you over 50 will remember Gladys as the snooping, often bewildered neighbor on the old sitcom “Bewitched”..the rest of you kids can check Wikipedia, or scoot along now..I don’t have time to explain everything to you , I have to get back to peering out my curtains and screeching “ABBBBBBBNER” to my husband, who is actually named “Joe”, but responds readily to “Abner”, because he knows those kids next door are at it again.

A while back I wrote about my life on Locust Drive, a post WWII development of tiny, flat- front colonials, lined up on a pretty little street with sidewalks, old shade trees and mature flowering shrubs everywhere. Just add an American Flag, and it is a Norman Rockwell painting where ever you look.  When Joe and I moved here 18 years ago, (our 5 year starter home-mind you) we were the young couple with no children and surrounded by original owners. Over the years, our neighbors moved from 70-somethings to 90-somethings and then, onward and upward to the Pearly Gates. Gone are the old gals chatting on each other’s porch steps, and the few old men , waving from their walkers on their way to mail a letter. Oh, how I loved to imagine them all young again, circa 1946, moving into their proud little homes and bringing home their babies..I cherished their memories and made them part of my own. In the Spring when we exchanged the storm glass for screens in the old windows, and I saw “baby’s room” etched in the metal on the screen, I cried. While I respected and admired these people who raised large families in our little homes..seven people and ONE bathroom.. I couldn’t emulate. I cracked when our kids were 2 and 4 , and we added on, enlarging our square footage. The addition was met with some comments from my “original” neighbors..stories of “five kids to a room..no one complained..we made due”.. Yes, I thought, but your 1950’s Doctors gave out Valium like candy to the “nervous” housewives back in the day.

So, now the torch on Locust Drive has been passed, and the little homes have been passed on to young couples who call Joe and I “Sir” and “Mam”, and I often shock myself when my inner Gladys Kravitz surfaces.  One day I awoke to a chainsaw and saw the Holly tree being slaughtered by the infants who purchased Mary’s home.  I was unable to stop myself from running across the front lawn and shouting over the roar of the saw..”WHAT ARE YOU DOING?”…(it was fairly obvious).  “We’re cutting this down”.  “WHY?”..(truly none of my business)…”because it’s overgrown”.  I felt foolish, a middle-aged busy body. I sheepishly muttered something about always liking it and using the holly to decorate at Christmas, and did they know there were gorgeous purple Hydrangea in the backyard..they did. Heavy sigh and exit, stage left, Gladys.

A few months later, a young, single woman bought Jean’s home, an original who passed away recently. I have been peering through the blinds for a couple of months watching Jean’s life get tossed into a junk pile in the backyard, calling “ABBBBNER!” occasionally to my perch to help me decipher what the latest project was.  Recently, I introduced myself, and she didn’t seem interested in a conversation..she was busily tearing out Jean’s old shrubs.  I remarked that she should spare the shrub in the front yard -it made for some gorgeous bouquets in the summer.  I walked away feeling sad , glancing back at the stoop that I was so comfortable on such a short time ago, Jean and I having a crazy conversation while her old dog, Teddy snoozed with his head in my lap.  I missed my confused, sweet neighbor who beamed when I handed her a blooming bunch of her own Hydrangea, and talked about finding some new boyfriends (yes, plural) since her old boyfriend ran off and was rumored to be shacked up with a younger woman (he died).

I suppose it’s time to accept my place in the circle of life on Locust Drive. Time to step up and welcome the new kids to the block the way the originals welcomed us, time to put a fork in Gladys and her tsk-tsking. Time to….HEY!  What the heck ?…that’s our parking spot..like for the past 18 years!  “ABBBBBBNER!!”

gladys kravitch