Friday morning update: It feels insane to be so psyched about moving when I have lost so much (prefer to think of it as temporary but I don’t really expect these funds to come back. I didn’t sell when I knew I should and so have only me to blame. My “Pia’s battered portfolio” will be replenished. I thought I was moving so I could live really well and save more.
Now I’m excited about making my first real home, living near libraries that you can take home the best books and older ones probably don’t feel as if they spread disease. My kitchen will be large enough to actually cook in. How novel. I will join America. Hope America joins me. Please forgive me owning a washer/dryer for the first time in these green days and a dishwasher. I have done without all my adult life and I promise to use the washer as a hamper and not be crazy washing all the time. Though the thought is so scintillating.
I have no idea what today will bring but I feel great.
I still listen to CD’s when home. I listened to Billy Joel “The Stranger,” Brian Wilson “That Lucky Old Sun,” and John Hiatt “Live from Austin T_ ” while writing this. It’s a too true first draft that’s disjointed, and needs much much editing. However I’m stuck between needing to do errands and being paralyzed as I can’t believe the things happening in this country–I am talking politics and the truly sick rumors about Obama that I would hate were I a Republican. And then there is the economy, or isn’t. I should be so happy right now….
It was a beautiful summer day. We left your apartment for The World Financial Center and beyond; not knowing the world would change that day.
Wow, why was the DJ from ‘PLJ playing “Money for Nothing” over and over again? What were those “gold bricks” doing there? We began dancing and the DJ began handing us presents. Mouse pads, tee shirts, towels and more all saying “Windows 95.” We had no idea what Windows 95 was. But the carriage filled up with presents.
Nor did I know the DJ. I listen to your much hated, now, alt rock radio station ‘FUV. You would know the DJ…..
Everybody was smiling at us. You made it so easy. Smiling and waving at ten, eleven months you knocked the socks off people. It was the summer between my first and second years of grad school. I volunteered at the nursing home I did my field placement in for the summer. The Newt cuts had just begun kicking in and I was needed. But we didn’t care about that. OK it was an ego trip that many of the old people, some not even truly demented, mistook me for their 20something granddaughter.
I held you and we twirled until I was dizzy and you couldn’t stop smiling. There were Brinks trucks with gold bricks everywhere. Security guards (out of work actors) smiled and flirted with us. For once I wasn’t river obsessed.
You were enchanted by everything. The same song being played over and over again was hypnotic. “Dire Strait,” I said into your ear, “a seminal 80’s band.”
“Cool baby!” People were constantly saying that. I knew I was supposed to count the times it was said and remember everything about the person who said it. Skin color, hair, face, type of clothes. It really only counted when very funky people said that.
A motorcade of Brinks trucks followed by a gold Rolls with Richard Lewis in it followed. He waved at you. Looks like your daddy so you smiled and laughed even more as we waved back. You made me so ennobled. I would say and do things I wouldn’t normally. People saw the real me not the street face me. Every Manhattanite, maybe every person has one. I wouldn’t know. Manhattan has been the center of my life all my life.
We went to your apartment in Battery Park City and told your mother, my sister, all about the day as I stared at the Statue of Liberty and your mother was amazed and delighted by all the presents. We must have been given at least two of all Windows 95 promotional products.
Windows is coming, I kept thinking. Sort of like the signs all over lower Manhattan in the summer of 67, “The Blues Project is coming.”
Did we even know who Bill Gates was then? I think so as I used the Internet in grad school. Word the word processing program was so much better than Word star which I had begun on twelve years earlier.
The world changed the day we heard “Money for Nothing” repeated over and over again and we didn’t even know it. Though it would be the biggest overt symbolic change in our lifetimes.
Your grandfather told me over and over again the year before he died in 91 that computers and communications were going to mean everything. His time was over and mine was just beginning said he.
I didn’t really understand what he meant. That you and I were together the day Windows 95 was announced to the world, how amazing. That we were at the official announcement, wow. It wasn’t Silicon Alley they made this announcement in; it was the Promenade, the closest river walk to The World Trade Center and Wall Street. FiDi, it’s called now.
We were what people called “comfortable.” It’s an old fashioned term used by people who felt comfortable with their financial status and didn’t need to blast from the roofs “new money.” Not that we were 80’s e_cessive or 90’s rich.
Did we know then that we were going to see the greatest increase in personal consumption? That many people borrowed money to achieve their lifestyle?
Honestly we were going to care, not you but your Mom and me that people seemed to become instant millionaires regularly when we felt investing was hard and tortuous work. Our father had made lost and made several small fortunes. I have always known second acts can happen in your 50’s as I knew my father.
The times between 95 and now were great. My life was changed by computers and communications. I discovered blogging; blogging discovered me. It was a happy though warring marriage for a couple of years.
Seven years ago after Mommy Marian died, I decided to leave New York. But there was always one more thing I could only do in New York. Everybody else would be happy to leave New York to have their whole mouth redone. I had to find the priciest and best dentists around. Fortunately they liked my politics and my fighting the radical right and took 20% off. It was really because I paid cash in advance but, honestly I stupidly thought it gauche to negotiate. They were in what your mother and I have always called “the dentists building, that truly ugly Fifth Avenue building, 800.
Last year I ran out of things I absolutely had to do. I’m not percient but I knew two things: Manhattan apartments were going to sell for last money and something bad was beginning to happen to the economy.
The Monday after your too elegant and wonderful Bat Mitzvah I began to lose money. This never happened to me before and I was both very proactive and very paralyzed.
The apartment will close ne_t week. I have a ticket out of here the ne_t day. Don’t worry I will be back in time to celebrate, I so hope, after the election, for ten days at Thanksgiving–doctors, two birthdays, and the holiday, and for about four days at New Years–the holiday doesn’t feel right unless celebrated in Central Park with our own for the city residents fireworks, a race, bands and free warm drinks. First we make a New Years dinner complete with Black Eyed Peas. There are two more birthdays in that four day period.
Think is Jacquelin we were together for the beginning of the very good times. Those Juicy and A&F clothes you wear like the model you might become? We weren’t the designer “name” kind. It comes to you like the counterculture came to me.
I don’t know what’s going to happen now. Two summers ago I was at the class before mine.’s, at the high school you go to and I’m an alumna of, pre-reunion, and they were talking about the coming great depression. I was making more money than i ever had before, too much I realize now, and I thought “football players. What do they know?” That they had been high school football players 40 years earlier didn’t enter my brain but I thought of Rabbit Angstrom from John Updike’s Rabbit books and felt disquieted. Updike killed him off in the 90’s. The former high school basket player couldn’t find or keep work had become too successful. Car dealerships.
Maybe the boys from the football team were right. I’m scared Jacquelin and not sure if it’s leaving my life for a new one I haven’t really made yet, the economy and my personal losses, both or fear that I won’t be able to successfully start over as I’m too old–no refuse to think that one.
The world is changing again and it’s not going to be the easy world you had your first thirteen years in. Your parents will shield you. It’s a parents job to make sure a child knows what’s happening but to feel secure anyway and your parents e_cell at that.
Your mom and my father was a gambler. Not horses like Uncle Simon and the rest of the family who we’re very proud of which never struck me strange. It was a mark of honor to have family members “go away,” until it wasn’t.
Your grandfather gambled at poker and the stock market. I stayed as far away from risk as possible but i became greedy. Never again.
My second act is beginning. Your grandfather did his best during a long recession. He did it with grace and class. I so want to be like him and yet be me.
I have lost but I am blessed. My belief in only borrowing money from me paid off. I think of everything I could have had if I got just a little mortgage and had a million dollar apartment to sell. Every bank offered me one. When “everyone” does something stay as far away as possible. Your grandfather filled my head with that one since I was a small child.
And so Jacquelin, the stock I bought you for your Bat Mitvah–Apple as we’re not the Windows type, has lost much in value. Follow it. I believe Apple makes a superior product and it might not do well for a few years, but people use Ipods instead of stereos with a good docking system and it could be a great not really pricey holiday item. Or am I so out of touch?
I have been back in New York since the last week of August. Too long. When you come for Passover I will introduce you to my North Myrtle, not the Myrtle Beach tourists know. It’s in better economic shape than Southern Florida and while i love the hot Florida sun and we have had family there since the 40’s and many of my best college friends are from Miami and moved back, I think North Myrtle is the more sane choice. I want to live in a place that wasn’t hot, hot and hotter so it could fall cool, colder, coldest.
Jacquelin, life’s been too good for too long. I never borrowed money, have been late with credit card payments maybe once in the past 30 years and pay in full. While I think many people are “innocent victims,” I can’t help but feel that too many people believed that whatever goes up stays up. I do resent having lived like a perpetual grad student though in a “world class” “big deal” building–things it was called during the dot com years.
I don’t know what’s going to happen now. Though I lived like a perpetual grad student in the apartment amenity sense I have lived well. I plan on continuing to….Though the best laid plans…..
This New Years season I wish for sweetness, sanity and a Democratic mandate at the election polls. I’m glad you “hate” Sarah Palin. When you told me that you’re scared “Sarah will win, because most people are stupid,” I could see generations of Jaded Savages in your eyes.
You volunteer for Habit for Humanity and a Darfur group (I can’t believe my old school has these groups) and you wear designer clothes. Oh I so hope you always can…..
Obama is the new Black
L’ Shana Tova