Monday, March 30, 2009

a moment of realization

Yesterday, as we were walking uptown to a ski sale, Jon commented on how well put together I was (vintage cream raincoat with brown stitching/big purple and white cotton scarf). I said how it's easy to pull it off—a good coat/good scarf and I'm all set, that warmer weather is hard for me as I shed layers and reveal more. He noticed that it's all about being covered up and this lightbulb of realization went off. My need to be covered up, in these crazy coats and psychedelic dresses started when I stopped being outrageously thin. 3 years ago. Somehow being thin was different enough and I didn't need to do anything else but revel in that skirting-on-the-edge of looking ill. But now that I look like everyone else, now that my clothes don't fall off and smalls don't swim on me, I am compelled to draw attention away from my ordinary, getting older body. It's not to get attention just for me, it's to draw attention away from the fact that I'm not super thin anymore.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

extended family

It's amazing how people I'm not related to can take up so much of my psychic time and energy.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patrick's Day

I remember, when I was in high school, wishing that I was Irish. At least I wished it for one day a year. I was so jealous of Carolyn O'Rourke, with her green plastic bowler hat, green sparkle nail polish and green plaid shirt. I remember the green milkshakes at McDonald's. Green cupcakes with shamrocks at the bakery. Everyone scouring their closets to wear that awful shade of kelly green to help celebrate the day (the closest I ever got was my rainbow suspenders with a Kermit the Frog pin). I also remember how much I wanted to celebrate Ash Wednesday—I thought the black smudges on people's foreheads, when they got to school late, was the coolest. But that's another yearning.

When I moved to the city, my flirting fascination with this particular Irish celebration died a quick death. The upper east side was the big city's parade end point and man, who knew so many roaring drunk, throwing up in the street people could find their way there. Second Avenue was turned into a huge parking lot for all the luxury coaches that ferried people to the city so they could drink green beer until they nearly passed out, before shuttling them back to suburbia. Bars hung up temporary banners, renaming themselves with Irish pub-esque names. Crushed plastic cups lined the streets. 2, 3, 4 in the morning there would still be guys screaming in the streets—so drunk you couldn't really understand what they were saying.

Friday, March 6, 2009

california dreaming

I'm sitting at the airport, listening to a computerized voice describing boarding rules. The new Jet Blue terminal at JFK is stunning. Huge. White and open. I think I'll only ever fly on Jet Blue from now on (although I think it's been quite awhile since I've flown on anything else . . . )

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

the opposite of zen

I used to practice yoga in the mornings, taking classes that lasted and hour and a half plus. By the time I left my house—half an hour early so I could get a good spot—practiced, and got home, I was killing almost 3 ours and half my day. I don't do that anymore. But, today I had some time and went to an extended 10:00 class, one I used to be a regular at.

J was there. I'll call her J, not that there's any chance she'll ever read this. She comes to the city from New Jersey 5 days a week, traveling almost 2 hours each way, just to take these classes. She's good. But not happy. Newly divorced, or at least divorcing. A lawyer who's been a stay-at-home mom for years. In spite of the practice, she exudes bitterness and negativity. Having said that, we were friends for a long time. She's funny, biting, sarcastic, witty, which was often a breath of fresh air amidst the incense. We were friends until one day, while she was recuperating from a broken bone in her hand, she mentioned that the way I practice (avoiding handstands at all costs) was "loser yoga." She was more bitter then than usual. Her only activity was sidelined. But still, it was a nasty thing to say. We stopped hanging out after that.

Today she came over and asked what I was doing there. Sort of friendly. Well, maybe I just wanted to think so. We talked for a minute, she set her mat up next to mine and then went to put her stuff away, saying she'd be right back so we could catch up. Then she talked to someone across the room for 10 minutes until class started. I was aware of her the entire class, wondering if she noticed how much I improved. Watching her to see if her hand was better, if she could still do crazy headstands in the middle of the room. After class she walked quickly away, as if she had no idea who I was.

I had been looking forward to this class all week, and spent most of it preoccupied and distracted. I'm grateful for my new classes, the goddesses I practice with, and that you can't go back.