Dan once said that until he began blogging he could never keep a journal. Dan generally says things that resonate with me. If I said all the things that I like about Dan I would spend the entire night writing, and I would embarrass him. I will just say two more things, Dan’s all over the blogosphere. He fits in everywhere except I would assume at a radical of any ilk blog. Though he could out argue anybody if he so desired. He doesn’t, and has become a kind of role model, and good friend.
I try to keep a journal but I can’t. It has to be my blog. People can analyze that if they care to. I don’t. While I have been taking pictures of my trip, I like the pictures that I took last summer more. But I have only just begun.
Usually when I go on vacation I read a lot. It’s always been a family and friend joke. When I was a child we would go to Florida every three years. The night flight was much cheaper and we would spend the first night at my aunt and uncle’s house. My cousin was allowed to read True Confessions type magazines. She would save them for me.
Then planes became much cheaper and we became richer, but we would still spend the first night in Southwest Miami, fifteen minutes from the airport. I miss the house at 7945 Southwest 17th Street, it always felt like home. I miss the feeling of security I had with my Florida family. It was a kind of comfort that I felt nowhere else. By the time I was twelve we would go every year.
The house is still there, I assume, but nobody in my family lives in it. After the first night we would go to a hotel and when I
wasn’t swimming I would be reading. I would spend all day in the water doing handstands and beating my father at laps. He
never let me win. It was just one thing that I did better than anybody else in my immediate family.
But the every three year vacations were special. We would all get into my parents bed and read the brochures. There was something so alluring about the brochures that is missing from the Internet. Even if they do have 360 degree videos. A family can’t cuddle and read them with everybody arguing about what hotel looked better, and oohing and ahhing over the best one. My parents never found a hotel that they really liked until the Doral was built. I didn’t like it because it didn’t have terraces though I understood that it had the understated elegance my parents liked.
I had always assumed that I would end up in Miami Beach, and not when I was a senior citizen. But it’s become so trendy. I know Santa Monica is also, but it’s a different kind of trendy. One that I feel more comfortable in. Yet Miami has a built in safety network of family and old close friends. But it has hurricanes, and Santa Monica is more navigable. Miami Beach is easy to get around in, but it feels too something.
I’m confused because tonight I saw somebody that I used to know, and he confused me with my image. This image, the one made with smoke and mirrors and raw honesty. He didn’t get that part, just the glamour part. I understand how confusing that second sentence is. I used to be more like the pin-up. Now I’m jeans and tees and jeans jackets, though I have way too many clothes.
I brought four black tee shirts with me, but they range from cotton/spandex to just cotton; eight tees that range in color from light pink to orange, again some in spandex and some just cotton, two lime green tees, two yellow ones, green cargo pants, khaki cropped pants, black jeans, blue jeans, I forgot the white ones but did bring white pants, a white puffy shirt, a white jacket, a denim jacket, a brown twirly skirt, a brown blue, yellow orange striped skirt, a long black skirt that can be worn anywhere, a black & white handkerchief skirt, a brown sort of peasant shirt but fitted with a gold round button that looks like it belongs on a pair of sandals, a shirt that looks like a Diane Von Furstenberg dress, a summer wrap dress and way too many shoes. Sorry if this is boring but writing lists calms me.
It would have been helpful to have written the list before leaving and to have weeded out unnecessary clothes. I was sicker that week than I have ever remembered being sick. Actually I don’t remember much of the week other than having muscle spasms that made me want to die. I clenched my teeth so hard, I thought that two years of dental work were going to be for naught. I tried to answer a comment on my blog. Couldn’t sit, couldn’t stand, couldn’t type and definitely couldn’t think. Dan rescued me. It was then I knew that if I survived my blog wasn’t going to be combative. I had never intended to have a blog where people felt free to debate meaningless subjects. I felt used, but not by any of the people involved in that thread.
Clothes remind me of my family. We weren’t a showy family but we did own stores. If you were a girl in certain parts of Long Island and Queens during the 60’s to the 80’s you probably knew our stores. They were some of the first to cater to the inner Middle Schooler in all girls. Elka and I hated the stores. They weren’t classy enough for us. But they did pay for college, trips, and much else. And we can still do great imitations of our Mother trying to give us more and more clothes.
Each time we came home, we would have to go:
“No, stop, I hate bell bottoms. Please no more. I can’t take all these clothes.” Though the tees were nice and sometimes even the pants were to my liking.
I realized tonight that I could move anywhere I want; do anything I want. There’s nobody to say:
“stay here, we need you.”
Well, my sister and niece, but as much as I love them and my brother-in-law, and my friends that’s not the security that I crave. Yet I run from possibilities of love.
You know how everybody always says:
“If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing?” What else can you say? Some decisions are irreversible. I would have still had the abortion, if I had been with Zachary. But maybe I should have dated one of the nice but unexciting boys who were always asking me out, or looking like they wanted to, if I gave them the slightest encouragement.
I was so shy but it showed as snobbiness and maybe it was that also. Maybe I needed one boy to continue to try as friends, and then to say something to me that would have made me think he could be the one. Maybe somebody or somebodies did, but I was so busy putting on the layers I couldn’t hear or wouldn’t hear.
I wish that I hadn’t been so needy for excitement. I wish that modern psychotropics had been around in the 70’s. They would have slowed me down enough to appreciate the boys who were all around me, only they just weren’t exciting enough.
By the time I found Xanax in 86 I was still young enough, but all the good ones were taken, and while I knew that I was young, 36 was considered old then. And I watched all the girls I knew who had never been married or had been divorced running to find somebody so that they could have a baby, and that just wasn’t me.
I was still into fantasy land when everyone else was into reality. I still craved the bad boys because I knew that there wouldn’t be a future, and somehow my future seemed endless. I liked being a fantasy because I didn’t know how to be a real person. Gay men encouraged me to stay one. It wasn’t that they weren’t looking out for my best interests but I was fun to go out with, and seemed to always find straight men trouble.
How many women can say that three men stalked them? And one on the phone? How many woman would want to? Don’t worry, I was never proud of my stalkablity ratio. I was enigmatic; I was trouble. I was confused and confusing. It wasn’t that I lacked boyfriends or proposals. Perhaps I could have tamed wild beasts if I had been better at leashing. But I didn’t believe in tight leashes. I began to realize that most boys/men craved them. I just wasn’t great at that type of training.
And now I crave security, but I have learned that I can only find inner security. Maybe that’s a great lesson. Maybe many women who are married wish that they could be secure in themselves. And I am, most of the time. But tonight felt like the 80’s. I just needed a friend to laugh with. Not a recently separated man who confused me with the girl I was in the 80’s and the Courting pin-up, not the woman I am now.
Feel closer to so many of you. It’s strange this blogging thing. Can’t wait to see the dawg, who I have met before, and I know I can be me with.
And damn I’m going to read and walk and not think about images or who I should be. Or how each time I write a post like this, I probably make myself less sellable because the all important beginning, middle and end keeps getting more convoluted.
Life’s messy. Maybe through blogging we are paving the way for a new genre of memoir. The I’m confused, you’re confused, we’re all confused together.
When I was a child, a teenager and even an adult when I would read a book, and the ending would be happy, as in the heroine finding true love, having babies, whatever the scenario, I would wonder what would happen afterward. Even when I read Cinderella, I would ask myself, but what happened after the wedding? Was the ending really happy? What stories were left out?
How old could I have been? Four or five? How strange to ask such questions so young. My parents were very much in love so I had great role models, but there was something in me that was born to question everything.
Maybe I was born to break the mold. Two years ago who was I? Many things, but for the purpose of this post, unknown. Perhaps my security comes from constantly reinventing myself. Perhaps I constantly need to push myself to soar past limits I thought were unreachable.
I have written many sequels to Cinderella and she always used her royal power to help others. But she remained secure in the Prince’s love because I am a romantic. A romantic realist who is going to use this portion of my life to achieve the dreams two years I believed to be impossible. Why I almost feel secure in saying that.
If this makes sense please let me know. It’s very late. Had to write off a bad date. I make horrible puns when punchy tired.
Was just reading G’s blog who blogged on the polar opposite of my post. I did encourage her to begin one, because she read the Long Island Press article on me, and contacted me. I couldn’t help but feel flattered, and then grew to really really like her. She takes me back to that secure place called home, which is, I suppose anywhere friends are.
The Wombat has been to two family reunions this summer. His are exciting. Mine take place in deli’s and homes on Long Island, shouldn’t complain, at least we have had one
Keep thinking that I should do something special for somebody, anybody, because so many bloggers have been so great to me, but can’t think of anything. I am working on the blogging class post, in my head. It keeps becoming more confusing because the blogs that I like are all unique. Just tried commenting on MizB’s post, and couldn’t even find the comments.
I know that I owe many comments and emails but I am officially on vacation, and only blogging because I must. Writing has become an obsession. If I’m not writing I’m thinking about writing, and sometimes that’s good. But I won’t let myself work on my book except in my journal, and keep forgetting to bring the pen to the beach or wherever I am at the moment.
Thank you Jason for that amazing comment