I accidentally posted something I’m still working on or wasn’t planning to put in until Monday! Mea Culpa–hope you like this one!
I’m listening to the wind howl and thinking about how I can get out of a lunch date. It’s not that I don’t want to not go——it’s more indifference.
This morning I worked myself into a tizzy because I realized that I don’t fit into any blogging crowds. I used to. We were bizarre. We were fun. We didn’t blog about normal things but uh rewrote Ambrose Bierce’s dictionary (Doug); dissected the world and sometimes talked about twin set cashmere sweaters (Cooper) and so on.
Only Bone who writes the most incredible stories is still going….There were many more people. We reveled in our ability to fit and yet be so wonderfully eccentric. We were early to the blogging game when you didn’t have to have pictures in every posts or write a certain way or….I was older and people liked that!
And I didn’t even have to write about how I used to work with Marc B before he was Marc, doorman at Studio 54. I just had a facility for knowing club owners, managers, bouncers etc which is funny because I can’t dance, get paid not to sing and am not a big drinker. Though I have been known to . hoist three or five too many. Now I have more than two once every half decade. People used to buy me drinks, send bottles of champagne over––and being fussy I would only accept the good stuff.
I don’t miss those days. I do miss people congregating at my apartment as we spent the entire night deciding what to do. It was a time when friends were paramount and we didn’t need TV shows to tell us how to have friendships in Manhattan.
I have a feeling those days are starting once again——from the “I love and miss you. When can we have a roadtrip?” emails. We do need The Golden Girls to show us how to enter this era of life.
I’m sure not learning about how to begin and enjoy the third stage of life from blogs. Frankly I find most baby boomer blogs smug and morally superior. We didn’t invent good times after 55. No we sure didn’t.
In 1974 when I was 23 so my father was 59 and my mother was uh younger they went to the former Soviet Union. This led to trips everywhere Americans were allowed. One “exotic” trip a year combined with Europe or California/Hawaii depending on where they were going. One trip to Europe. One trip “down there” usually known as Florida to see family and friends and many weekends to The Berkshires and places like that.
My father never retired. He was a CPA who worked for himself and had a client list consisting of what now would be called boldfaced names and people who refused to be. While he had always had “interesting” clients many of his biggest clients came to him after he was 60.
We’re New Yorkers and perhaps New Yorkers are different than the rest of America but I don’t remember my parents being alone in their travels. I remember some of their friends taking college courses, mentoring young minority workers, and generally being involved in the world.
So what’s new about baby boomers being interested in the world around us or traveling to exotic places or even exploring their own cities? My father’s Manhattan tour for relatives included Christopher Street for tea dance and Harlem because it was an important part of New York. This was in the 1970’s and ’80’s when Manhattan was “bad” to the bone.
I have a great respect for the generation that came before me. My parents friends found me cool for caring about issues and stopping wars. Even if they didn’t agree with me.
I know living in small spaces is trendy now. Try doing it in the 1970’s when one wooden folding table was made. One! And most apartments in New York didn’t have either dishwashers or washer/dryers. Which could be horrible if you didn’t live walking distance to a laundromat and weren’t able to afford the services that washed and folded your clothes. Most apartments weren’t renovated with bad closets so it was a constant battle to keep everything clean——especially when you lacked the clean gene.
I somehow made my 450 square feet apartment into five rooms——at least in my head. I even had a full bed you couldn’t really see because of the palm tree room divider. My last apartment had 600 square feet and a real bedroom. But the monthly costs went from $595 to $1300 in eight years. That came on top of the purchase price as it was a coop! And I still lacked space for a dishwasher and washer/dryers——things that became immensely important to me.
My father never saw that apartment sadly but I know he would have loved it. It was on Riverside Drive but faced West End Ave and the side streets. When we had been apartment hunting he would always ask the same question: Why do you want to look at New Jersey?
The river, daddy, the river. Plus the new New Jersey skyline is incredible.
My father and I got together every Monday or Thursday night. Depending on when his poker game was playing. He also took courses at The New School. Once he asked me to take a course with Elizabeth Kubler Ross on death and dying with him. I was 25 and had other interests. I so regret it now as I did go to grad school, years later, where I focused on dementia and death and dying. Oh the ironies that make life interesting!
I miss the “Greatest Generation.” They had mastered the lost art of conversation and when you talk your way through life it’s never boring. Being a good listener helps too!
It’s a bit early but Happy Father’s Day daddy. I love and miss you. And so hope there is an “up there” where you and mommy are arguing and laughing your way through life!