My Favorite Celebrity


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Oprah? Ellen? BOTH!

Ellen DeGeneres

This one would have been a no-brainer until about a year ago. Oprah was my girl, I love the things she does for people. I love the book groups, love how open she is and the difference she has made in the world. But now, I also love Ellen, pretty much for the same reasons. She’s funny, she makes me feel happy after I watch her show, she’s generous. She doesn’t have a book club, nor has she opened a school in Africa but that’s fine: she makes me laugh and has a huge heart. I have to admit with the economy the way it is (horrible), unemployment and the fear of terrorist attacks, I just want to forget reality, if only for an hour or two per day. I really don’t want more drama, so I turn to Ellen (while I tape Oprah). I want comedy and sunshine and the ability to forget my own troubles and I want so desperately to laugh. Both women have changed the world with their generosity and kindness, with their honesty and with their passion. My favorite celebrity? Let’s just call her: “ELLPRAH.” The best of both wonderful, smart and generous, women. I’m proud to be a fan.

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Right Or Rude?

I was able to go to the grocery store this morning, the first time in about 18 months, and I was THRILLED. Having been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, this was the first day that I thought I could not only handle going but enjoy it. I felt good, not too achy and with just enough energy. YEAH for me, road trip!   I know I have simple pleasures; it doesn’t take a lot to make me happy. The sun was shining, it was over forty degrees and, list in hand, I drove to the store singing loudly along with the radio.

Once there, I was thrilled to walk albeit slowly down the aisles, looking at everything. I don’t just follow a grocery store list, I go through each aisle and look at every product. I know this sounds like pure drudgery for most people but I have always liked supermarkets( and if I am in another country I have to go visit their supermarkets) and I always want to buy the new products.

While on-line for the deli section I saw an old friend or actually someone I was friendly with, I will call her S. I was tickled to see S. and gave her a hug; I’ve learned in my 53 years (finally) that there are many different types of friendships. I asked her how she was and she started telling me “how difficult things have been in her life and how much pressure she has been under.”  I nodded my head sympathetically. She then elaborates and tells me that the PROBLEM is that she is remodeling her house (mini-mansion) and her brand new, ( sparkling -my word, not hers) stove did not get delivered on time!! She continues to talk about the remodeling and then switched topics to college and how she and her husband tried to get financial aid for one of their daughters but they have way too much money to qualify for aid. She and her husband are both professional people (okay, doctors) in the medical field and they do NOT have to worry about money. Apparently.

I stood there for a while and she continued to tell me her “troubles.” Finally, in a very nice, even tone of voice, I said the following: “You know, I’m sorry but I just can’t feel that sorry for you. My husband has been out of work for six months and I have been sick for the last two years with an auto-immune disease.” She then asked what auto immune disease I had and how long my husband had been out of work.” I answered her questions and she proceeded to tell me some local gossip.

I then saw another person that we both knew (let’s call her A) and we wished each other a Happy New Year. I said good-bye to them both and moved on to stand in line and pay. Before that, though, I heard  A. ask how S. was doing. At that point, everything changed.   S. said  “I don’t want to complain anymore after what Laurie just told me, I’m fine.”  I smiled at her and she smiled back. “It’s all a matter of perspective” I said gently and then I left the store.

I kept thinking about our conversation as I unloaded the groceries into the car. I was thinking of this family’s reality and mine. I was thinking of people in Haiti and the true problems they have.  I didn’t mention Haiti to my friend but I sure did think about it.

Was I right to have said what I said or was I rude? Or both?

Unemployment Stinks

My husband was “officially” laid off today. It’s not a new thing but once it’s definite, it hurts more. The road from Full-Time to Part-Time doesn’t nearly affect you as much as going from Part-Time to NO TIME.  No Time. This definitely gives me a stomach ache but I’m TRYING to keep it in perspective. Not easy. We have two kids in High School,  a mortgage, the usual–not more interesting than thousands and thousands of other people. I’ve always felt for all the other people, now I feel with them. Not much to make you smile. My sense of humor is nowhere to be found.

Oh, and my mother wrote me an incredibly NASTY e-mail about how “she didn’t appreciate the tone in my e-mail, all in caps). For those who are new to this: see the Mouse drama.

In all honesty, I think I’ve been a much better daughter to her than she’s been a mother to me. (Am I even allowed to think this?)  It’s true though but at the moment I can’t bear to dig into the past, we’ll leave that for another time.

I’m trying to be encouraging (realistic though) about my husband’s job for his sake. The worst for me was seeing the defeat in his eyes when the news became official this morning. The 50’s- what golden years? Many people I know have cancer or other horrible illnesses, people (me included) are anxious, sad, nervous and afraid. How could we not be?  There are horrible people in this world doing horrendous things. I sat in total disbelief as I watched the tragedy unfold in Teas yesterday. I don’t understand.  I will never understand certain things.

What I do know is Mothering.  I am a good mother to my children, not only do I love them, I ADORE and LIKE THEM too. Goals in life? Mine was always to be a mother. It took me 2 and a half years of painful infertility treatments to become pregnant with my first child, my son. I appreciated every moment I was pregnant, I was joyful, and when my daughter came along I was equally as thrilled.  I am not Pollyanna. Sure, I get frustrated with my two teenagers. Isn’t that part of the teenage doctrine? When I was a teenager I was taking care of my own parents and sister. Now, laid up in bed with my torn ligament, my own mother doesn’t even bring over chicken soup, or an American cheese sandwich, or flowers.  She always taught us not to ask people if they are hungry, but to bring things out and give to them. Apparently, a lesson learned by me but not carried out by her. I have a difficult relationship with my mother; it was my dad who always understood me. It’s been 8 years and not a day goes by that I don’t think about him or grieve for him. Time heals all? No, not really. TIme takes away the intensity. That deep, open, raw wound does get better with time but it never goes away. Never.  I’ll write more later. Hopefully the Halloween candy  is not in the house anymore, because that could be dangerous. Life goes on and we with it, but it’s not always fun, it”s often sad and complicated. I have that feeling in my stomach where I know I could cry easily, sob, maybe. But, I will wait until my husband is on the train. I don’t want to add to his burden. He is such a sweet guy.  As the teenagers say: this bites. They are so right.