"Put it on,"  he said as he handed me a small bottle.  "Bernadette wears it.  It's fabulous!"
I was suspiciously curious.  The bottle was stained dark midnight blue with a gold cap that sat half way down it's length. There was a relief of two entwined snakes on it.

"I don't understand"  I said, "Why are you giving me a perfume that Bernadette wears?"

"Because I just can't get enough of it, and I certainly can't wear it!"  Bernadette was wearing it this last time in New York and every time I got in the limo, I would have to get right up next to her and smell her. It's just such a haunting, sensual scent and I wanted you to wear it too."

OK, I thought. Interesting. I love perfume.  I sprayed.  It was at once complex and light.  There was jasmine, rose, amber and musk.  I was just as he'd described - haunting and sensuous.

"I love it!" I mused as I leaned in and hugged him.  "Thank you!"

Bernadette says a woman should never tell another man the name of the scent she's wearing lest the man buy it for another lover.  Or worse yet, for his wife."  He laughed.

Niki St de Phalle.  It was her name. It was the parfume. It  became my only scent.

It was magical.  Men would stand near me in the elevator at work and ask me what the name of my perfume was.  "I can never tell,"  I would say with a wink as I slipped through the opened doors.

The weeks turned to years and my friend and I were as close to inseparable as two can be. We laughed, argued, he sang, I made music and we whiled away the hours sharing escapades and conspiring to be rich and possibly even famous in our own right.  We    thought that our lives should offer more but didn't actually try to figure out what.  At least I didn't try to figure it out.

One day he announced he was leaving and then he was gone.  Just out of my grasp he flew.  We stayed in touch for awhile and then life got in the way as it tends to do.  He busied himself with music and empire building, I  busied myself building a future failed marriage and a child.

I wore the perfume every day because it reminded me of him, then it just made me miss him and our past that was so carefree.  Then it made me sad that he was gone and I'd been forced to become a real adult. Then it just depressed me because, in my eyes, I was failing.

So I stopped.  I tucked the parfume in a basket under the sink and made believe I'd forgotten it.

Years passed and the universe granted me an audience.  "I wish I could see my friend, the one from long ago that made me laugh and allowed me to welcome the unexpected into my life.

So it did.

Last night as I waited in the lobby of his hotel I was nervous, giddy with excitement.  It had been 13 years maybe more since we'd seen each other.  He walked off the elevator and there he was, just as he'd left.  We smiled. We hugged.  We laughed.  We are both older now but time has been quite favorable to us both.

We went to a nearby restaurant and began to reminisce.  How is this one and that one? Do you still keep in touch with him or her?  What is she doing now?  Oh, he was always strange.  You didn't know he was gay?  Who's minding your dog?  Do you have pictures?

We laughed. It felt good. It felt just like it used to.

It was time to part again.  He was going on his way, I had to return to my life.  We hugged.  "I love you" he said.  "I love you too."  "You haven't changed."  I laughed.  "There's just more of me,"  I said.  The valet chuckled.

I drove home and went straight to the basket under my sink.  There it was. The cobalt blue bottle with the gold cap and the relief of two intertwined snakes.  I sprayed.  The scent had not changed.

The memories came flooding back.   It made me happy.  It reminded me that no matter what may be happening in my life and no matter how far away I may be from the real friends I hold dear, the love that we have in our hearts for each other just does not fade.

Thank you universe! Thank you for bringing such a happy part of my life back to me.  Thank you for reminding me forever and a day that my heart will hold a place for him that will not fade.  And through one scent, both complex and simple, not unlike our relationship -  I can bring his presence into mine and will know that even though he's just just out of my grasp he is never out of my heart.


Happy Thoughts

I was thinking today of all the things that make me smile and thought best to write them down so I don't forget them while I navigate this crazy life I live...

polka dots
pinkberry with raspberries
bright colored reading glasses
homemade pizza truffle and roasted garlic pizza
a smile from a stranger
my son's good days
bubble baths
Kathryn Hepburn/Spencer Tracy movies
a new baby
puppy breath
tucking my son into bed at night

and all the other things I'm able to do when I have time.  I often think, "gee, nothing takes a lot of time to do, if you have a lot of time."

Makes perfect sense to me.

Like many people, I don't have a lot of time anymore. The older I've gotten the farther away from the things that make me happy I get.   I find that I have to actually take the time to reflect on them - well, after I remember to reflect.   That's what age does.  It seems to push many of us away from the small things in life that make us most happy. Oh, I know family makes some of us happy, kids make some of us happy, just waking up in the morning makes some of us happy...and some not!  But that's life.

Yesterday my son and I had such a  fabulous day.  In fact, I pondered a couple of times over the course of the day how easy it must be  to be a mom when your child is making all the right choices without having to negotiate or bribe.  It was probably the closest to what I imagine heaven to be like.  It was more fabulous than polka dots, Spencer Tracey, bubbles or yes, even puppy breath.  I wished that time would stand still and our day could last forever.

At day's end, I tucked him into bed and looked him right in the eyes and told him how wonderful it was to have been able to spend the day with him getting along, teasing, laughing, having meaningful conversation. It made me so happy to see him happy.  He gave me a hug and said, 'have you seen the cat?"

Sigh.  One of those memorable moment shot to hell.

Oh well,  here's to pink polka dots, Spencer Tracey, my son's good days and that damn cat.

Keep smiling.



May all your dreams come true in 2010!




I Could Be A Contender

Yeah, that's right...a contender...of the homemaking kind.

I realized today - after being off work for the past week and finally having the time to clean the fridge, polish the floor and organize a couple a closets that I'd be  quite an acceptable homemaker if only I didn't have to work for a living!

What a revelation.  Now what to do with it?

Some say that useless information is well, useless and other will argue that no matter how random, some day all useless information comes in handy.   Does  MacGyver ring a bell? I mean he had to know that a zipper pull connected to a toothpick dipped in lemon juice found in the imported bricks that made up the igloo he was trapped in at the South Pole would stop an atomic bomb from detonating in Peoria.  Now admit it...that would seem to be useless info if you're sitting around sipping a jazmopolitan at a pool party in LA, but for Richard Dean it was a life saver!

My point?  Well, knowing what a great homemaker and stay-at-home mom I'd be when I have no choice but to work is right up there with useless info.  I mean, I can give myself a pat on the back cuz I can clean out the fridge better than my last six housekeepers put together, but that's not going to put me on easy street with a fast track to the sofa and  a box of bonbons...(well I have to have something to do in my nice tidy, organized home while the kids' in school, don't I?)

Although I suppose I can daydream  about this wouldbecouldbeshouldbe lifestyle after I'm back on the commute train throwing a pity party for myself this time next week when the gild, as they say, is off the lily.

Oh the impending doom...speak now or forever hold your peace.


Maybe I'll take what appears to be useless info and use it to uplift my spirit.  Know that if 'only things were different' they wouldn't  be what they are.    So that next week when I totter back to work and by Tuesday am resorting to take out for dinner while the wash stacks up, calling my 13 year old son, 'sweety pea'  -  because I'm too tired to remember his real name,  slide by the dining table which has ceased to offer a place to sit and enjoy a meal because it's piled high with the mail left unopened, jump into the the never ending unmade bed and glimpse the garden as I pull out of the driveway at 6am that is begging to be watered...that aside from all of that..I'm an awesome homemaker and some day willing stay-at-home mom.

Oh, I'm smiling already!


New Year Resolution - Wha?

I'm not going to make a New Year resolution this year. Nope. Not me.  Why?  Because within the first 48 hours I will have to crown myself a loser and that doesn't seem like a good way to start the next 12 months.

I mean, inevitably I would resolve to do something like lose weight, take better care of myself, cut back at least one martini a day, write letters rather than email, take more pictures of my kid as he's growing up, quit giving in to take-out, exercise more - ok - exercise,  learn more about gardening, finish all the projects I've started this year (that was last year's resolution...start a project. So I have lots of little projects sitting around unfinished - like the plant in the corner still waiting for a pot..... I guess I honored my resolution to 'do' something...just didn't resolve to finish was I started so there you go..finish what I start.  hmmmm.  Guess that means I have to finish this blog today.

Be nicer, more thoughtful, work longer, harder, pay more attention, laugh more, take a class, read a book, make less mistakes, laugh more, tend the garden, join a club, introduce myself to the neighbor - well, it's been six years you think I would have had some time to do that already - shop less, spend less, get green, stay green, travel, clean out the closets, enjoy staying home, take singing lessons, play an instrument, make pancakes for my son at least one Sunday a month,  actually visit  my friends who live in the same town instead of catching up via Facebook, create less garbage, compost, invest my money, hire a housekeeper, buy a house, take a class on investing, stop subscribing to magazines cuz they're cheap, eat less chocolate, chicken, beef, eat more vegetables from the garden perhaps?  Keep the blog updated, take down the tree before April.   Whew!  I'm already exhausted.


I could so go on.  But what's the point.  I've lost before I've started.   Or have I?

Maybe I should choose something as a resolution that I already do. Try tricking the universe and my soul into believing that all is not lost on me. I can be redeemed at least for the next 12 months.


Drink more, work less, spend more time on Facebook, Twitter, email, Linked In, pay less attention, make more mistakes - someone will catch them anyway before they get to the client, indulge in more take out...less dishwashing, take my son out to IHOP, accept that I am a renaissance women, enjoy the half finished, sweater, scarf, quilt, napkins, silver chain, wax mold, pair of earrings, drip irrigation system, greenhouse, potting shed, garden, painted room,  forget getting to know  the neighbor - unless they have a Facebook account I won't visit a second time, the investment class, or travel.   In fact, I'll be saving money by not doing any of those things and that can be counted as an investment!  Live life through the cheap magazines - home improvement, landscaping, fashion, etc.   Keep my current exercise regime - let's face it, from the couch to the refrigerator 10 times an evening is better than nothing.  Stuff one more sale item into the already over-burdened closet. I'm sure when I need it I'll be able to remember where I put it before I go out and buy another!  

Hey!  I'm feeling better already!

So here's my New Year resolution -- I'm going to accept that I am human and no matter how resolute I am I will can count on one thing and one thing only...and that is that I will not keep my resolution.

Woo hoo!  Happy New Year to me!!!!!!!

What is your New Year Resolution?


Savor the Moments

Face it, life can be tough sometimes.   And anyone that disagrees with me isn’t living.   It goes by too fast.  It’s overwhelming at times.  It can be frustrating.  It’s expensive, sometimes unfriendly and, unless you’re living in a closet, it’s an obstacle course of emotion.  Day-in and day-out.   Boring?    Sometimes.  Magical?  Always. 

Stop.  Look around you. Listen.  Accept.  It’s there.  Happiness.  Moments that you must learn to recognize. These are the moments in life that make up the memories that can  carry you through when the going gets tough…for the rest of your life.   Savor them.  Taste them. Take them into your soul. 

Have you ever heard a sound, caught a scent from your childhood, heard a phrase that brought someone from long ago into your thoughts, eaten something that tasted familiar?  These are all ‘memories’ that reside in your body, your heart, your soul.  When they visit, welcome them.  Savor them.  Feel the security, happiness, silliness, comfort that they bring to you.

Look to yourself for moments to savor.  There are plenty of self-made moments.  Maybe you’ve accomplished something in your own life that is worthy of a bit of self-congratulations, a pat on the back, a moment to breath in. Maybe it’s a new love or a particularly fetching glimpse of yourself in the morning mirror as you head out the door to face a cranky world.

Good news from friends warms me.  I savor these moments and let someone else’s joy sink in.  I shut my eyes, smile and let it start at my toes, up to the top of my head.  I smile. It’s filling.  It’s good. 

Over the past several weeks I’ve heard much good news from near and far and I have to say that I have savored each and every one of them. 

One friend called to say that after months of trying she and her husband are pregnant.  The bundle of joy is due to arrive in November.  Their lives will change forever in a way that no one can explain and they can’t begin to imagine.  I feel joy for them.  When I heard the news, I shut my eyes, thanked the universe for their blessing and savored that moment.

Another friend of mine who I’ve known for years called a couple of days later to say that she’d landed a terrific position teaching at a college here in So. Cal.  When she told me she was being considered for this position, I knew she had to get it - there just wasn’t any other outcome.  And yes, I shut my eyes and smiled when she told me it was hers.  She’s going to do an amazing job teaching and I think each and every one of the students in her class are blessed to be taught by her.  They just don’t know how lucky they are – yet.

This past week I learned that a co-worker of mine had been promoted to a terrific job that will take him from Phoenix to Atlanta, Georgia.  His voice on the phone was filled with excitement as he explained that he and his wife were sitting in the car, in Atlanta, outside the 20th house they’d looked at that weekend. All was happening so quickly.  He was giddy with excitement at the turn his life’s journey has taken him.  His wife and three boys are right along with him in his excitement.  I savored that moment.  He’s deserving of this good fortune.

Photos emailed to me of another friend’s new baby girl came at just the right moment.  All the frustration I was feeling toward a project I was working on melted away. I took the joy in that she must have felt when this cutie arrived. It changed the whole course of my day.

One of my dearest friends – after a long period of lack in her life – has blossomed in her work.  It makes my heart sing when I hear her voice, full of happiness, on the other end of the phone, telling me that she’s ‘so busy!.”   It just doesn’t get any better than this. 

And while my friends’ good fortune can conjure up the warmest of feelings, my son brings me moments that I’m sure all parents savor with their own kids in their own ways…

My son told me last night that I “absolutely MUST come” to his international dance show this morning at school.  His earnestness and excitement, along with the promise that he would ‘actually dance this time,’ made me smile.  Big.   Then I laughed. And then I told him that there is nowhere else in the world that I’d rather be than at his dance festival in the morning.  He won’t dance.  I know that.  But I will savor the moment that he asked me to be there, and I will savor the moment when he runs up to me, after the dance, and asks, “didn’t I do just great, mom!?“  Even though he just stood like a statue and stared at the crowd, I will say, ‘you did great.’

I will savor that moment for the rest of my life.