Monday, September 08, 2008

Sorry for my absence!

I traveled back east last week to visit friends and family, and decided to make my trip as technology-free as I could. No checking my email, no blogging. I needed a break. I got to see and stay with various friends and family members, traveling from the Hudson Valley to Long Island. I got to see my 7-year-old godson, and take him to the bus stop on his first day of second grade.

GS (godson) is so tall now that the top of his head reaches my shoulder. He says he loves the second grade so much that he's going to have dreams about it. His mom Suzi and I took him to play miniature golf, took him hiking on the Appalachian trail, and played lots of Wii golf and bowling with him. He read books to me before going to bed and says he likes to sweat 'because then I can spike my hair out.' He has Queen and Madonna on his MP3 player, loves showing me tricks on his Razor scooter and cuddling on the couch. I'm enjoying the attention while it lasts; I figure I've got six or seven more good years, tops, before he's a teenager who wants nothing to do with me. Of course I adore him, but running around after a 7-year-old all week, even one as cute as my adorable golden-haired GS, will make anyone contemplate sterilization a few times. Kids are work, people. Props to all you parents out there, and especially to Suzi, who runs a household that includes her son, her husband, her mother-in-law, her husband's nephew and a 12-year-old Siberian Husky named Aida.

I have to say that kids do provide many of life's more entertaining moments. Suzi, her husband and I took GS to the local Dairy Queen one night after dinner. GS is a big fan of DQ's Cotton Candy ice cream (it's blue!). On our way back, Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody was playing on the radio. I sat in the back seat with GS, who kept his left arm wound through my right and leaned his head against my shoulder as he finished his half-eaten cone. Suzi and I were having a conversation as her husband drove, and she turned the music down so I could hear her better.

GS stopped eating and sat up. "Who turned the music down?"

"I did, bud," Suzi said.

GS was indignant. "You don't turn down the music while I'm rocking out!" he exclaimed.

I just about died.

A few days later, apropos of nothing, he got exasperated and asked, "What kind of a world are we living in? I need to move to another one," followed by a big sigh. I repeat, the kid is 7.

Hurricane Hanna hit the northeast on Saturday, and it was insanely humid for the entire previous week. I suffered some very bad hair days, readers. It was like a cross between one of those little Troll dolls and the Bride of Frankenstein. I had a constant slick of oil on my face. We all felt as if we were melting each afternoon. When you're perpetually soaked through to the skin with your own sweat, a costume change is in order, sometimes twice in one day. If humidity were a threat to national security, we would have been at DEFCON 1. I am completely spoiled by the omnipresent central air that Angelenos cannot live without.

All of my hosts, who know very well that I use my own oven for storage, generously fell over themselves to provide me with home cooking, which I of course appreciated; however, I had forgotten how much New Yorkers love their red meat. As wonderful as it was to be waited on like an empress of Rome, grilling steak every day in that humidity, without air conditioning, made makeup, deodorant and even clothing almost pointless. My very determined uncle, who is not happy unless I am eating, had planned to barbecue filet mignon for me, and Hurricaine Hanna did not deter him. He grilled outside in a downpour with a handheld umbrella. Best mignon I ever had. I needed some Crisco and a shoehorn to get into my skinny jeans on Sunday morning.

I know I sound like I'm complaining, but I'm doing it with a wink. Sometimes, when work is overwhelming and I'm dealing with some unimportant drama, I forget that my life is an embarrassment of riches. I get to go home and spend my time with some truly wonderful people. I get to have New York pizza and cheesecake!

Yesterday I called Suzi to jokingly ask what they'd had for dinner that night. It was pizza. I was jealous.

GS grabbed the phone from his mom when he found out that I was on the line. "I love you," he whispered very softly, a secret just between us. It made me ache to hug him again. He handed the phone back to his mom before I could reply and ran back to his Wii.

I won't miss the pounds I'm going to lose now that I'm home. I will miss the people, though.



Blogger keshmeshi said...

That humidity was among the top five reasons why I left New York. My bad skin is bad enough in dry weather.

7:39 PM  
Blogger Ginger said...

I know it! My skin is breaking out like crazy from all the humidity. There's no way to keep your skin clean.

4:45 PM  
Blogger Snark Scribe said...

Your GS sounds like one cool kid.

8:45 AM  
Blogger Ginger said...

He is. Plus, he's gorgeous. Not that I'm biased...

7:14 PM  

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