My Name Is Nobody

When my sister and I still lived at home, many years ago, we would look at each other sadly and randomly say: “Nobody cares.” It is in fact, true on some level. People don’t seem to care the same way anymore or maybe they are just too busy. Too busy to show that they care? Yes. Sorry.

Life

Life (Photo credit: bitzcelt)

I used to be Somebody but not anymore, I don’t feel like Anything or Anyone anymore. I just Exist.

A very long time ago I was a little girl who played dolls, went to school year after year and I was a Student. I was known for always Smiling by my teachers but I seemed invisible to my classmates.

When I was in college I became a Young Woman, an excellent student, also able to cut a class for an outdoor concert with good friends, under the sun. My camera draped around my neck like jewelry, it did not get better than that. Of course I didn’t appreciate it then, does anyone? No, there is no frame of reference until you look back. Those WERE the BEST years of my life.

I always worked, every summer during high school,  I started working right after college but my world was still centered around Me. That wondrous place in time, the narrow window of fun, between college and the real world, now in today’s world fraught with unemployment. I had my apartment, I learned from good experiences and bad; mice running over my arm and leg at night or crawling in the walls and utter fear to getting frozen at knife point by a gang and the guardian angel who saved me. I learned that sometimes it is easier to say no, than it is to say yes. Eventually, I moved.

English: Portrait of old woman sitting by a wi...

English: Portrait of old woman sitting by a window. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I used to travel for barely nothing, to visit a friend, to fly across the ocean, to visit different countries. I was lucky, Dad worked for the airlines. Then, I was a Traveler, a Tourist. I learned to eat new food in Greece, jumbo shrimp staring at me with watchful eyes, lemon-egg soup, and everything tepid, I loved that. Food was not served burning hot. I walked up winding white and blue steps in Greece on a tiny island, where there were no cars, just donkeys. My family traveled to Portugal and I refused to eat sardines that the fishermen just caught. But, our family drank wine together outside in a beautiful garden, near a forest.

I learned to trust MY instincts, not my sister’s, the daredevil, with no common sense. We ended up on a canoe, going to on an island with two fishermen.  I had never been so scared in my life. No big deal, she shrugs it off, grinning. Yeah. Right.

Then, I was a Working Wife and Mother, I had a title again, a meaning for my Life,  the most special one. Being a Mother did not feel like a job but it fulfilled every one of my dreams, it was all I wanted to do my whole life. I wanted to have two babies, a boy and a girl and bring them up to be good, conscious, wonderful people. In that, I know I succeeded; I did my job well, I am proud.

My life has no meaning anymore. You can’t argue with something that is true. My kids are adults, they don’t need me anymore, my husband and I are very best friends, he could manage. My friends, the real ones who care, are sincere but have their own lives.

I need a new Life. I am so sick of the old one. I want to peel off my skin like I peel bananas for the banana bread I bake. I need to do something new with the second half or even quarter of my life. The end of my life, where did the first half go?

It left like whispers in the air, silent passages of time, I blinked.

 

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Plinky Prompt: Traveling

The final TWA logo

The final TWA logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Tell us about the farthest you’ve ever traveled from home. Down Under.
    • Up, Up And Away….
    • Being the daughter of an airline employee we flew often and for free. We were young and of course, we didn’t appreciate flying to other countries. We went to see Oma and Opa in Vienna, Austria or our (wicked) step-grandmother in Israel. Didn’t everybody visit their grandparents during Spring break?
      Airline employees lived a different life, we flew stand-by, so we never knew if we would get on a flight until the very last moment. My father would cross his arms into a triangle and we knew that was the meaning for “a cliff hanger” or a very close call, a “a very flight.” We had been thrown off planes or “bumped” before.
      My father worked for TWA and his best friend for Pan Am, and the rivalry was fun and real. We flew to France, Israel, the former Yugoslavia, Switzerland, Germany, Rome, Italy, an island off of Greece, a fishing village in Portugal.
      Years later, when I met my husband, we traveled too, some on frequent flyer miles to Hawaii and to Australia, and later on to France for our miserable, cold and rainy honeymoon.
      We were so lucky, as children, to have had those experiences in the days when flying was actually fun.
      Now, flying is a brutal experience, if we have to fly, we go. But, it is not like the old days where you would get excited to fly and look forward to the trip. In the old days, my sister and I HAD to wear matching sweater and skirt sets. I remember the buttons on them were like ceramic balls. The suits were identical, except for the color. We were NEVER allowed to wear anything less fancy, it just wasn’t done. Back then, you also got dressed up to go to the theater.
      We appreciated the traveling we did back when we were children and teenagers, because once we were 21 and the free tickets abruptly stopped, we missed them even more.

    11fp - Trans World Airlines Boeing 727-231; N8...

    11fp – Trans World Airlines Boeing 727-231; N84357@FLL;30.01.1998 (Photo credit: Aero Icarus)

     

Truth Or Consequences- The MeMe Tastic Blog

Peanuts

Image via Wikipedia

Here we go:

1) Everybody who knows me knows I love FOOD! Went out to dinner once with hubby after reading a review of this restaurant in the newspaper. It got such a rave review that when we called for reservations they only had a 5:00 seating. Knowing how much we love going out to dinner we decided it must be worth it. We arrived at our “early” time and were surprised to see people eating there already. We were starving. The layout of the restaurant was tight, as if we were in a big city restaurant not a suburban eatery. The menu had some nice things on it and they even had a couple of specials. The specials sounded amazing and I ordered the steak and shrimp special. You know a restaurant is good when that buttery feeling just slides down your throat in degrees of happiness. My husband ordered a glass of wine and I ordered my usual, a Diet Coke. In the beginning of the dinner after we finished our roll, the waiters came to clear the bread plates away. I was surprised, what if I wanted another roll? When we finished eating, looked at the dessert offerings but decided (unfortunately) we were too full. The prices were fairly steep, ranging from 20 dollars to 42 dollars but was worth every penny.

SOME OF IT TRUE, BUT I WOULD NOT SPEND 42 DOLLARS FOR AN ENTREE, RIDICULOUS AND ALSO, WOULD I GO BACK TO A RESTAURANT IF I DIDN’T LIKE THEIR DESSERTS. NO WAY. FALSE.

2) Growing up we lived in a lower/middle class neighborhood.  My mother used to work at night at the local hospital in the ER and there was a Doctor who kept literally chasing her around the desk. My dad made her quit but she wasn’t happy about it. She ended up working for a BMW dealer whose owner would take her for rides and they once picked me up from school on a street corner, when I was sick, in the newest, flashy BMW. Later my parents bought a black jaguar with leather interiors and real wooden trays from this same man. We used to ride to all different neighborhoods and into NYC, waving to people as if we were in a parade and we were royalty. People all around us would wave back and stare into the car trying to place “who we were”as if we were actors and actresses or royalty from another country. We used to go to various restaurants or museums and the entire family, starting with my father, would write in a guest book signing Prince Robert Charles and we would follow suit with our own impromptu titles. Once we were stopped by the police and he asked us for the Drivers license and our permission permit to ride in a parade. Oops, our bad! We were caught and escorted out!! (That was NOT fun)

SOME OF IT TRUE, MY DAD WOULD DO FUNNY THINGS LIKE THAT AND ONCE WE DID END UP IN A PARADE, WAVING. BUT THERE WAS NO POLICE AND WE WERE NOT ESCORTED OUT.

3) I was once in (what was then) the beautiful country of Yugoslavia with my mom, on tour, for two weeks. Once there we heard men whisper all around me, everywhere the words “kicki ricki.”  We were convinced since we kept hearing the same thing that this was some type of creepy dark, underground drug sale. Wherever we went, in open spaces people, on street corners, people kept saying the same things over and over again in hushed tones. My mom decided she would find out what they were talking about and entered a vastly crowded type of beer hall where they all stared at us and continued to say those odd words until I was practically surrounded by the men and their weird sayings. I was scared to pieces but finally, my mom, went straight into one of those small little enclaves, walked up to one of the men and said in a loud voice “what does kicki ricki mean?”  They stared her down and as I was about to run and grab my mother they too ran away quickly. What were they selling? What on earth were they doing? It couldn’t have been good because it all felt weird, and, we felt like we were being followed. It turns out that they were not selling drugs or beer or alcohol or hashish, what they were selling were “peanuts.” Peanuts?

TRICKED YOU ALL!  100 PERCENT, COMPLETELY TRUE!!!!!!!!!!!

4) My family traveled a lot and once we went on a vacation to Portugal. Once there, in a little fishing village called Cais Cais, my older sister wanted to explore. She dragged me down the village to where local fishermen were grilling sardines and offered us some. No way did I want to eat them but my sister grabbed the sardines from the fire and starting eating them with her hands. There was a man and his friend who offered my sister to show us around a private island. We had to go in a very small fishing boat, a row boat. As soon as we stepped on this island where there were no people, no stores, no houses, no nothing, the men decided to separate my sister and myself and wouldn’t let us see each other. I was frantic, calling for my sister and not hearing a word from her, all the while having a guy following me. He almost caught up to me when I thought I would die there alone and never see my family again. Finally, a few horrific hours later I was reunited with my sister and the four of us went back to the village where the fisherman gathered all around us, someone found an old camera and they took pictures of the two of us. Months later, a local friend of ours, sent us the little paper the village had and it featured an article about the “Two American Sisters” that had joined in the local ceremonies! I was so mortified, my sister was so proud!

MOSTLY TRUE, EXCEPT THE END. I WAS SCARED TO DEATH, IT DID HAPPEN BUT WE WERE NOT FEATURED IN ANY NEWSPAPER ALTHOUGH IF WE HAD, MY SISTER WOULD HAVE BEEN SO PROUD. I WAS SCARED FOR MY LIFE AND HER LIFE TOO!

5)My mom’s best friend lived in Florida first and then San Francisco.She was married for a long time and then got divorced. Her husband’s name was George. We all loved this woman like an aunt. She was the slowest eater I had ever seen, we would be finishing up our meal and she would just be starting to pick up her fork but she was wonderful and kind and sweet. She was a lovely woman and once I spent a week with her when she was living in San Francisco. I spent a lot of time walking around San Francisco, going shopping and seeing the sights. She had to work so she couldn’t come with me but I loved exploring different places on my own. I was taking black and white photographs and spent a lot of time outdoors photographing people. When my “aunt” came home for dinner we would eat, slowly, in her house. After dinner, she had a tradition, she would make me come with her and circle the streets where a man lived that she had a crush on. My aunt was 50 years old at the time and we had to keep going around the block for at least half an hour to see if his light was on, if he was home, etc. She was also in love with the opera singer Placido Domingo and knew that when he was singing on stage, that he was singing directly to her. She was convinced that eventually he would notice her. Years later, after the slow disappointment of the first two, the other man she was in love with was a contestant on Jeapordy, she watched the show when he was on and knew that they were meant to be together. She actually wrote a letter to the network, found out his name and wrote him letters. She couldn’t believe when he answered her letters and they ended up going on a real date!!! A year later they were engaged and I was the bridesmaid at the wedding!!!

ONCE AGAIN, ALL THINGS TRUE EXCEPT THE END. POOR AUNTIE, THEY DID NOT ENGAGED OR EVEN HAVE A SECOND DATE AND I WAS NOT THE BRIDESEMAID FOR HER OR ANYONE ELSE.

The MeMeTastic Award (which one is totally TRUE?)

The other day I received the MeMetastic blog award from my cyberfriend  Rosemary Lee of Seeking Equilibrium. Come play with us and try to discern which of my 5 posts is completely TRUE. Many have bits of truth in them but others are not totally  true. Can you tell which one it is? Post your comments and thoughts and I will reveal the answer very soon

There are a few rules that go along with the privilege/honor:

1. Proudly display the award in a post.

2. Post 5 tales about yourself; 4 must be made-up and one true. Now, there can be elements of truth in all the stories. Adding to the fun of creating these self-tales, is that readers can guess (and post in comments) which of the 5 they think is ALL true.

3. Pass the award along to 3 other deserving bloggers. I pick Selena of “My Aches and Pains” and Tammy of “Spicyt’s  blog” and Wendy Burnett’s ” GracefulAgony.” (it’s really 5 deserving bloggers but I didn’t want anyone to have to do it twice!!!)

Here we go:

1) Everybody who knows me knows I love FOOD! Went out to dinner once with hubby after reading a review of this restaurant in the newspaper. It got such a rave review that when we called for reservations they only had a 5:00 seating. Knowing how much we love going out to dinner we decided it must be worth it. We arrived at our “early” time and were surprised to see people eating there already. We were starving. The layout of the restaurant was tight, as if we were in a big city restaurant not a suburban eatery. The menu had some nice things on it and they even had a couple of specials. The specials sounded amazing and I ordered the steak and shrimp special. You know a restaurant is good when that buttery feeling just slides down your throat in degrees of happiness. My husband ordered a glass of wine and I ordered my usual, a Diet Coke. In the beginning of the dinner after we finished our roll, the waiters came to clear the bread plates away. I was surprised, what if I wanted another roll? When we finished eating, looked at the dessert offerings but decided (unfortunately) we were too full. The prices were fairly steep, ranging from 20 dollars to 42 dollars but was worth every penny.

2) Growing up we lived in a lower/middle class neighborhood.  My mother used to work at night at the local hospital in the ER and there was a Doctor who kept literally chasing her around the desk. My dad made her quit but she wasn’t happy about it. She ended up working for a BMW dealer whose owner would take her for rides and they once picked me up from school on a street corner, when I was sick, in the newest, flashy BMW. Later my parents bought a black jaguar with leather interiors and real wooden trays from this same man. We used to ride to all different neighborhoods and into NYC, waving to people as if we were in a parade and we were royalty. People all around us would wave back and stare into the car trying to place “who we were”as if we were actors and actresses or royalty from another country. We used to go to various restaurants or museums and the entire family, starting with my father, would write in a guest book signing Prince Robert Charles and we would follow suit with our own impromptu titles. Once we were stopped by the police and he asked us for the Drivers license and our permission permit to ride in a parade. Oops, our bad! We were caught and escorted out!! (That was NOT fun)

3) I was once in (what was then) the beautiful country of Yugoslavia with my mom, on tour, for two weeks. Once there we heard men whisper all around me, everywhere the words “kicki ricki.”  We were convinced since we kept hearing the same thing that this was some type of creepy dark, underground drug sale. Wherever we went, in open spaces people, on street corners, people kept saying the same things over and over again in hushed tones. My mom decided she would find out what they were talking about and entered a vastly crowded type of beer hall where they all stared at us and continued to say those odd words until I was practically surrounded by the men and their weird sayings. I was scared to pieces but finally, my mom, went straight into one of those small little enclaves, walked up to one of the men and said in a loud voice “what does kicki ricki mean?”  They stared her down and as I was about to run and grab my mother they too ran away quickly. What were they selling? What on earth were they doing? It couldn’t have been good because it all felt weird, and, we felt like we were being followed. It turns out that they were not selling drugs or beer or alcohol or hashish, what they were selling were “peanuts.” Peanuts?

4) My family traveled a lot and once we went on a vacation to Portugal. Once there, in a little fishing village called Cais Cais, my older sister wanted to explore. She dragged me down the village to where local fishermen were grilling sardines and offered us some. No way did I want to eat them but my sister grabbed the sardines from the fire and starting eating them with her hands. There was a man and his friend who offered my sister to show us around a private island. We had to go in a very small fishing boat, a row boat. As soon as we stepped on this island where there were no people, no stores, no houses, no nothing, the men decided to separate my sister and myself and wouldn’t let us see each other. I was frantic, calling for my sister and not hearing a word from her, all the while having a guy following me. He almost caught up to me when I thought I would die there alone and never see my family again. Finally, a few horrific hours later I was reunited with my sister and the four of us went back to the village where the fisherman gathered all around us, someone found an old camera and they took pictures of the two of us. Months later, a local friend of ours, sent us the little paper the village had and it featured an article about the “Two American Sisters” that had joined in the local ceremonies! I was so mortified, my sister was so proud!

5)My mom’s best friend lived in Florida first and then San Francisco.She was married for a long time and then got divorced. Her husband’s name was George. We all loved this woman like an aunt. She was the slowest eater I had ever seen, we would be finishing up our meal and she would just be starting to pick up her fork but she was wonderful and kind and sweet. She was a lovely woman and once I spent a week with her when she was living in San Francisco. I spent a lot of time walking around San Francisco, going shopping and seeing the sights. She had to work so she couldn’t come with me but I loved exploring different places on my own. I was taking black and white photographs and spent a lot of time outdoors photographing people. When my “aunt” came home for dinner we would eat, slowly, in her house. After dinner, she had a tradition, she would make me come with her and circle the streets where a man lived that she had a crush on. My aunt was 50 years old at the time and we had to keep going around the block for at least half an hour to see if his light was on, if he was home, etc. She was also in love with the opera singer Placido Domingo and knew that when he was singing on stage, that he was singing directly to her. She was convinced that eventually he would notice her. Years later, after the slow disappointment of the first two, the other man she was in love with was a contestant on Jeapordy, she watched the show when he was on and knew that they were meant to be together. She actually wrote a letter to the network, found out his name and wrote him letters. She couldn’t believe when he answered her letters and they ended up going on a real date!!! A year later they were engaged and I was the bridesmaid at the wedding!!!

Happy Birthday Daddy

Wiener Schnitzel

Image via Wikipedia

November 13th is my dad’s birthday, he would have been 88. He passed away almost 9 years ago but the pain on holidays, birthdays, Father’s Day, is the same raw pain as the day he died.  It’s a pain that is hard to describe for people who have never lost a parent. Believe me, I know.

Instead of wallowing in depression this year I am going to try to remember and honor the man I loved so dearly. His blue-gray eyes, child-like qualities, generosity, pep-talks and his warmth. I miss the soft yet sturdy hugs as if a limb of my own had been amputated. I miss the familiar smell of his after-shave cologne that he sprayed with enthusiasm. My dad and I were very similar; he and I had an amazing connection and a strong emotional bond. We thought alike and we completely understood each other. The day he died, my heart was gauged with intense pain, my heart missing an essential beat.

My dad and I had so much fun together when I was younger. We traveled to  Vienna, Austria, where my grandparents lived. We ate sugary-sweet meringues that were shaped like delicate white swans and sipped hot chocolate with “schlag”  (whipped cream). We ate exploding red-berry sweet and sour tarts in Viennese cafes. My grandmother would fry up her famous wiener schnitzel,  served with plump lemon wedges every single night.

I was in first grade when my mom couldn’t come to open school day but my dad came. I think he was the only father in the class and I was so proud, so happy that he was there. I remember sharing my milk and cookies with him and I felt so important. At a shared birthday party with a friend he surprised me by coming home from work early, sneaking into the party like a secret surprise. It was a joy so innocent and so intense that I remember the feeling to this day. I was shocked and delighted as I wrapped my arms around his tall legs like a clinging, furry animal. Back then dads’ weren’t as involved in their children’s’ lives as they are today but he always had time for me; his little one, his mouse, his baby.

We had adventures, the two of us. My mother worked a great deal, she traveled the world being a tour director and translator. One night my father and I went out to a Spanish restaurant and sipped sangria, with glistening, beaming chunks of bright oranges and green apples bobbing in the rich, red wine. We toasted people we knew with every sip we took. The more we sipped the stranger the toasts were. I remember we toasted a wall -paper hanger guy that never showed up to our house, people we barely knew and random people from the past.

We went to the bagel store together, early on a Sunday morning and the store was closed. However, the fresh, warm, doughy bagels had already been delivered to the store in huge paper sacks. My dad happily took some and we left, an experience a teenager doesn’t forget! We would go grocery shopping at a huge Pathmark store with my mom and he and I would find the biggest size jars of silly things: three-pound troughs of peanut butter and dill pickles, tubs of mandarin oranges and hide them in the cart as a joke. My mother would roll her eyes and shake her head, clearly not amused, but my dad and I would laugh hysterically. Often, there would be open boxes of cookies or candy and we would help ourselves to free samples. Back then, we weren’t worried about poison or germs or anthrax.

My father spent his entire life working for TWA,  getting free airline tickets for our family.  My father, mother, older sister and I flew to: France, Greece, Portugal, Israel, Switzerland and Germany. First class seats were a mere eight dollars extra but that was a lot of money years ago and a very special treat.

This Saturday on my dad’s birthday my husband and I are going to visit my mom and take her out for lunch, we don’t want her to be alone. I know that spending the day with my mom would make my dad very happy.  He loved my mom more than anyone else in the world. Later, that night, my kids and I will remember him with his own, signature and messy concoction, “Papa’s game”: a “mixture” containing  little bits of everything that is leftover on our plates and in our glasses, swirled together with a spoon and a smile. This year, I will toast to his memory.