True stories with a twist!

 

They are the butt of jokes, the dread of women and the disgust of men. They are a scourge of aging and a mark of ugliness. They make it impossible to feel comfortable in skirts , dresses, and bathing suits. The saving grace on the fashion scene is the popularity of pants and long skirts.

Even though varicose veins are associated with aging women, my problem began when I was a teen-ager. By the age of seventeen I was self-conscious about those ugly bulges and discolorations along my legs. I was so self-conscious about them that when I became a counsellor in summer camp I wrapped the leg in an ace bandage stretching from my ankle to my knee. I told anyone who asked that I had a torn ligament. (Isn’t it interesting that a torn ligament is socially acceptable but Varicose veins are not?)

Many women dislike wearing panty hose but not me; I appreciate the extra coverage it offers in the endless attempt to cover and conceal ugly veins.

At eighteen I underwent surgery to remove the veins: a drastic measure for a desperate cause. Unfortunately it was also for an un-winnable cause, because what was removed from one spot popped out in another.

Then I went through series of injections of the veins hoping to be finally free of them.

After having three babies I endured another surgery to once and for all relieve the world of having to look at those ugly veins forever. That’s when I learned that forever is an iffy time, impossible to attain or promise.

The battle was won but not by me. There was no such thing, it seemed, to erase the transit ugly lines throughout my legs. I had to admit that that I am cursed with varicose veins. The money I have spent, the pain I have endured and the shame I have felt were all a waste of time and energy.

What has helped the most is a makeup, Dermablend, designed specifically for covering body discolorations.

It could be worse; there are many conditions that are far more serious and dangerous. Many would happily exchange my problem for theirs.

And so I have become philosophical about accepting and dealing with issues I cannot change. Will people avoid me because I have Varicose Veins, or “VV” as a TV commercial might call it? Will I be blacklisted from society? Will I ruin my chances at becoming the first woman president because of discolored legs?

So I have choices; I can ignore mid-thigh skirts and think twice about wearing shorts in summer and not flaunt my legs. Or if I don’t care, and choose to show these gams to the world I am free to do so. These “VVs” are part of my reality but they will no longer cause me to hide in embarrassment.

Is it true that people no longer write letters? images-2

And schools no longer teach penmanship?images-1

Although I’ve always loved writing letters, I’ve had the same question that I’ve always had at the end of each correspondence: how do you end the letter? What word do you use before you sign?images-1

“Sincerely” is formal and business like.

“Yours truly” is old fashioned.

“Love” is too personal.

“Fondly” conveys a positive but non-promisory feeling.

“Best” is general and can mean just about anything.

“Warm wishes.” is cozy.

I propose some new sign-off words. They should be specific to the tone of the letter. If I wrote a note complaining about the political tone in this country I could sign it, “Rebelliously, Ronnie.”

If I resented the abundance of commercials of commercial television channels I might sign my comments with “For Blocking ads, Ronnie”

If I were writing a note about the history of our town I might sign my letter with “Antiquely yours, Ronnie.”

Have you any ideas about this quandary?

TRAVEL PLANS

The Sunday papers; always full of extra features, extra advertising and extra hype.  One of my favorite sections every weekend is the travel section. There I may fulfill my fantasies of trips I wish I could take.

A curious part of these articles is the descriptions used by travel writers They have a wonderful talent of making every city, countryside and hamlet sound like a magical destination not to be missed in this lifetime.

So I wondered how I could describe my town, Morristown. Could I be so persuasive about the wonders of Morristown that after reading this article you will unquestionably want to book your flight immediately? As seen by an imaginative writer, this town is so spectacular, so perfect, so rare, that only a hardened, plebeian soul could resist a visit. The article and review might look something like this:

A MORRISTOWN MUST!

As we drive across the charming Route 78 images-1.jpgon the way from busy Newark airport to the sleepy town of Morristown, New Jersey, our senses are reawakened. The approach to the town is purposely slowed by the huge number of cars, busses and eight wheel semis. images-3.jpg They’re all competing with each other for the pleasure of enjoying the views of the delightful cities passed on the way to Morristown. There is something for everyone on this trip: places from the “Dark side,” such as the unrepentant city of Newark. Murder and drug rates are thriving and rising in Newark. Do you care to experience crime as TV programs chronicle every night? Then come and see first hand how the reality of poverty, addiction and crime look in real life.

A few miles down the road is the lovely town of Summit, a high end community featuring charming, established homes. quite a contrast to Newark, although they are so geographically close.

Morristown is coming up soon in a few more exits. The Main Street, South Street, used to be called “Millionaires’ Row.” It featured mansion after mansion. images-5.jpgThose magnificent homes have been converted into corporate headquarters, professional offices and banks. They are cared for in the manner that staffs of servants kept them in the past.

The center of Morristown features “The Green,” images-4.jpga park-like arrangement smack dab in the middle of South Street, the main artery through town. In the heart of Morristown, On South Street near the Green, are festivities for everyone to enjoy. The fall festival, featuring foods from local restaurants is a popular event, as is the book festival each summer. There are fireworks on the Fourth of July, and parades on appropriate holidays.

The Farmer’s Market opens every summer and focuses on providing fresh produce from farms in the area. The market also includes cheeses, fresh fish and baked goods. “The Green” houses Santa Claus and staff in the winter in a park setting with Christmas and Hanukkah lights highlighting the festive atmosphere.

Along South Street are restaurants, a high rise luxury condominium, and small shops. Morristown is a good good walking town.search.jpg

Morristown Medical Center is a major teaching hospital in the New York Metropolitan area, right off the highway. A hospital is a necessity, and Morristown has a wonderful one!

New Year’s Eve is celebrated with “First Night,” an alcohol-free celebration featuring performers entertaining all through town in locations such as churches, the library and school auditoriums. The Mayo Performing Arts Center prides itself in sponsoring performances by singers, orchestras, and dance companies.

Morristown is a historic area. 59C0D48C-1DD8-B71B-0BEB338D6DE59916.jpgGeorge Washington’s headquarters is located in town, and Jockey Hollow Park contains actual battle spots of the American Revolution along with huts that housed American soldiers.

 

 

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Patriot’s Path is a paved trail that covers areas from Morristown to Mendham, a town about five miles away. Hikers and bicycle riders appreciate the private trail, uncompromised by vehicular traffic. There are lakes for summer recreation too.

This charming city, a short hour by train or by car, is a wonderful place to visit.

Recommended: 5 stars!

 

 

 

 

When I was a junior in high school I thought the most exciting and rewarding career in the world was one of an Airline Stewardess. Airline Stewardesses, in my eyes, were pretty, poised and polished. They always knew the right thing to say to passengers and could comfort frightened, nervous people anxious about flying. They could soothe restless young children and intervene in arguments between unruly flyers.

Everyone looked up to them. At least my fantasy about the life of Airline Hostesses told me so.

So I did my due diligence and researched ways of getting hired by an airline company. I discovered a telephone number in newspaper ad as representing a top Airline. It advertised jobs for Stewardesses and offered interviews with representatives of the company. I reached a woman, who told me to be in Manhattan at 11 o’clock Tuesday morning at the Marriott Motel, suite 204.

I prepared for my big day by dressing in my best suit; the most sophisticated one I owned, brushed my long hair back in a mature bun and carefully applied some lipstick. I was transformed into at least an eighteen year old, I thought.

As I prepared to leave the house to catch a train into the city my father asked, “Where are you going?”

“To a job interview in New York.”

“What job interview?”

“For an Airline Hostess job. I’m meeting Mr. Lombardi at the Marriott at 11 O’Clock.”

“You know how I feel about Airline Stewardesses,” said Dad. “Not only that but you think nothing of meeting a strange man in a motel room? Where’s your head? What kind of sense does that show?”

“If you go into the city for that interview don’t bother coming back home!”

Dad never spoke to me that way before. What should I do?

I never went for the interview.  I do notice that modern Airline Hostesses are older,

heavier, and frequently married women, something that was unheard of when I longed for

the job.

AirlineHostesses are not as awesome as they were in the 50’s.

 

 

In this holiday season filled with good thoughts, happy music and busy shopping I wistfully remember taking our first grandchild shopping.

He loved going to the toy store in town and gazing in wonderment at the colorful displays of toys set out for young children. We meandered through aisles filled with children’s books, stuffed animals and pull toys. He marveled at the mechanical toys and loved pushing the small wooden trains along the wooden railroad tracks.

When the time came to go back home he was content to leave the store with us. No begging to take a toy home, no crying tantrums for being forced to abandon a favorite object. He simply came willingly and unquestioningly  with us.

I wondered about that; I couldn’t understand why he left the store so easily without a single protest about buying something.

Then it suddenlyimages-2.jpg dawned on me. I understood. He had no concept of buying. It never occurred to him that going to a store filled with toys of every kind could mean bringing some of them home. This innocent child enjoyed playing with the toys in the store. There was no connection yet of seeing something you like translating into having to own it.

I often think, my heart full of love, of the innocence of a small boy happy and content to play with no need to own.

When did it all end?

I HAVE A DREAM

It probably was the unveiling of the Martin Luther King Jr. monument in Washington, D.C. Hearing his name causes most people to remember his famous speech, “I have a Dream.”  

imagesIf that’s not the reason for people suddenly telling me their dreams and hopes for the future it must have been sheer coincidence. It was so strange; it all happened in the space of a single week. Everywhere I went, everyone I spoke to, the conversation centered around their dreams. In fact, it seems to encourage people to express their dreams and discuss their ideas.

There I was, minding my own business, ordering new checks at our bank in Morristown. I’m trying to put the film in my mind on “reverse” as I ask myself, “How did this subject get started?

A young bank officer, sitting across from me at his desk in his small cubicle suddenly came up with: “I’ve been thinking about professions to consider for myself. I have a good idea about starting a new business. It’s on the same order of the Zagat Guides, but instead of restaurant reviews I would write about night life for people my age. There are lots of social places we can get together to talk, dance, have a few drinks and meet new friends. What do you think of that?”

In situations like these, where I haven’t had time to study the facts I came up with my usual safe  answer, “That’s an interesting idea.”  images-1

He must have thought that my answer didn’t sound too enthusiastic, because he was prepared to float another idea by me: “How about a laundromat?”

He might have kept on tossing ideas my way if I didn’t excuse myself to get to “another appointment.”

So, on to my hairdresser’s appointment, where out of the blue, Joanne said, “I don’t want to stand in back of a chair for the rest of my life.” I’ve got too many ideas: creative ideas.” Then she described her dream: “I want to own my own party planning service. I can hire out the work to people like hairdressers, makeup experts and fashion consultants. Imagine planning a wedding and having one stop for all your needs.”People have dreams; people have ideas. I encourage people to keep an open mind; keep them coming.

As the comedian Stephen Wright says, “If at first you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.”

AIRLINE FOOD

What’s the first association that comes to mind when you hear the words, “Airline food?”

How does the thought of eating airplane meals make you feel? Here are some considerations about airline food feelings:

  1. Bursting with Enthusiasm
  2. Pre-gastric Apprehension
  3. Reason to Prepare your weight loss program NOW.

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If good health, good intentions and good feelings are what we expect and hope for in pilots, what do we feed them before we put our lives in their hands? We want them to be well nourished, free from nausea, stomach cramps or the need for frequent runs to the lavatory.

As I ponder this question I wonder, “What DO Airline pilots eat during a flight? Do they chow down on the universally criticized Airlines food? Do they succumb to the Airlines food and insult the taste buds of their well-travelled tongues?

I have noticed the official appearances of pilots trekking through airports with their pull-luggage rolling obediently and silently behind. What contraband is concealed in there? Since their their roll-on luggage must pass through security, the contents of their bags must appear innocent to the X-Ray machines. Are Meals on Wheels tenderly and lovingly arranged? Are home packed brown bag lunches concealed under shaving kits? Are pilots sneaking in some of grandma’s home made soup to replace chemical-filled concoctions being offered (for a fee) in coach class?

Do the pilots secretly snicker at the sight of the prepared food truck parked aside the airplane as they smuggle in their edible meals?

The airline personnel awaits its cargo of eight inch rectangular microwavable dinners of a slab of this, a scoop of that and ample gooey gray gravy blanketing, effectively concealing what lies underneath.

Or do pilots revert to the comfort foods of their childhoods? Do they lock cockpit doors so nobody will see them gulping down large bowls of Fruit Loops with cold milk? Do they gauge their airborne sweet tooths (sweet teeth?) with boxes of chocolate covered, marshmallow filled Mallow Mars? 

Think of them; the heroes of the sky, eating mysterious dinners behind closed cockpit doors and silently wish them luck in their next airline flights and medical exams.

 

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