Sunday, September 28, 2014

Fair Enough

Talk about an eye-opening experience, in a middle-aged woman kind of way.

It was time to renew my passport - not that I have a trip planned - but with just a month left to go before expiration, why procrastinate?  I had been sick for a couple days but was eager to get back into the real world, so the first morning I felt up to it, I decided to jump out of bed, shower, and head off to the Camden County Store in Voorhees.  I was determined to knock this chore off my ever-growing to-do list before I missed the deadline.

I was happy to see no line when I got there.   "Bob" took my picture, and my eyes were closed, as usual. In a stern but friendly manner, he said, "Let's try it again - this time, keep your eyes open," as if I intentionally closed them before.  I tried really hard to keep them open and look natural at the same time.  He took the picture, showed it to me and said "Good, your eyes are open.  OK?"

I looked at it, horrified.  I said, "How about we take another one?"  He said, "What's wrong with it?"  

Yikes.  If he didn't know by looking at it, he'd never get it.

"I don't like the way I look. I think I look terrible.  Don't you?"

He said, in not so friendly a tone anymore, "Well, that IS how you look."   

Someone needs to teach Bob some manners. 

"Fair enough," I said. 

I did not leave the County Store a happy camper.

This is the time of the Jewish New Year, a time of deep reflection and focus on being a better person, so I felt somewhat foolish to let my vanity fill my head with obsessive thoughts about my looks.  

But the High Holy Days didn't stop me from feeling that way.  I was too focused on the fact that I was going to have this picture for 10 years. 

My daughter Allison, who accompanied me for this outing, suggested that perhaps I could trade the passport picture with another one of myself (not allowed).  Then she said I don't look like that (sweet, but probably untrue).  Then she said everyone looks bad in these pictures (how would she know)? Then she said how terrible she looked in her last license picture (NOT).    

But then I realized that when I get my next passport picture, I'll be 10 years older, and suddenly I felt better. 

Because at that time, I may not think this picture is so bad.  Perhaps I will actually long to keep my newest picture, as I did this time around with my picture taken at 44.

Or, I may go back one day when I think the outcome may be a bit more pleasing and redo the picture, but that seems a bit over the top since the cost of this was $127.

But I'm not ruling it out.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Hop and Shop

So here it is Sunday morning around 9:30, right after breakfast, time to work on my blog, still no subject yet.  

I walk into my office at home, turn on the computer, and see I have a few emails to tend to but oh cool, what catches my eye first is the sale at  As I'm looking through the new fall catalog, I decide enough wasting time shopping, let me get back to my blog...but first I better check Facebook since I'm waiting to hear from a friend, and that's when I saw that the Philadelphia Archbishop made a statement about the gay bashing in Philly without using the word "gay" or showing any support whatsoever to the victims. Ridiculous, I say to myself, and then to change my mood from sour to upbeat, I clicked on the King of Queens video that popped up on my Facebook timeline which never fails to make me laugh.  

Suddenly I found myself faced with a page of celebrity options, from surprising couples to siblings to my personal favorite...stars who are unrecognizable without makeup.  Then because that is overtly wasteful of my time, I decided to get back to my emails since I tuned them all out in favor of the it's 12 pm, and all I've done is internet hop and shop...

What was I doing on here in the first place?  No clue, but I spent 2 1/2 hours doing it...oh yea, my blog!  Well, I've run out of time...Hope you've enjoyed this week's post!  

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Zero Tolerance

I wanted to write a fun blog about the beauty of the fall season and how excited I am to break away from an ordinary black handbag to a deep red one, but Ray Rice got in the way. 

As you all may know, Rice punched his then-fiance, Janay Palmer, in a casino.   She fell to the floor unconscious, and he dragged her limp body out of the elevator.  Initially, he was suspended for 2 games; once the video of the event went viral, he was cut from the Baltimore Ravens in addition to being handed an indefinite suspension from the NFL.     
This morning, I saw a segment on CNN with Dewan Williams, the wife of former NFL player Wally Williams, who was a domestic abusive victim herself.  At one time she left her husband, moved back home with her family and enrolled in a master's degree program.  She is now an Advanced Practical Nurse, specializing in psychiatry.

The interviewer asked Dewan how she felt about Rice's indefinite suspension on the NFL.  I expected she would say this action is long overdue.

Instead, she said just the opposite.  She said that Rice is unfairly paying the price for a far-reaching issue involving those football players who have abused their wives as common practice without penalty, for years.

She is correct that this is a huge problem, but let's not forget that Rice did, in fact, inflict significant harm on Janay, and we witnessed it, compliments of the Revel Casino's security camera footage.  Rice has earned the honor of leading his former team to adopt a Zero Tolerance Policy and, the way I see it, such a ruling is a most beneficial outcome to a very bad situation.

It just so happens that in this day and age of electronic recordings, we can all see with our own eyes just how brutal people can be and, in this case, the outcome of the Rice video represents the collective wrongdoing of superstars who think they can do no wrong.  

Rice's suspension is the best news I've heard in a long time.  I'm sorry for Janay that her victimization became a public embarrassment on top of personal humiliation (or the other way around), but I'm more sorry for her that she married him, even after this happened, which most likely wasn't the first time.  Luckily at 26 years old she is still a young woman; I'm hopeful that one day soon she will reverse the course of her current decision to stand by Rice.  Comments she posted on Instagram today reflect what some would call Battered Women Syndrome.

I think we all have to assume going forward that whatever we do can be revealed to the entire world instantaneously, and maybe for some of us, that will make a difference.  You just never know if there's a camera or a phone recording our actions.  That's even made me think twice in a public elevator when I've had a wedgie to contend with.

But more to the point, why on earth do people feel it is OK to physically abuse their loved ones?  Dewan said these players are accustomed to enforcing their will on the field and see it as their right to continue with this behavior at home.  She explained it like it was a bona fide excuse. There is no doubt that this mentality and what appears to be an acceptable culture needs to addressed.

In the meantime, I salute the formation of the Zero Tolerance Policy, for whatever the reason, to try to right some wrongs, thereby opening the door for widespread change to replace widespread ignorance and complacency.   

Sunday, September 7, 2014

No More Plates!

David and I went to a Japanese restaurant for dinner a couple of nights ago.  Our appetizer was presented on a rectangular plate that looked like it had been sponge painted at Color Me Mine. 

For those of you who aren't familiar with Color Me Mine, it's a place you go to paint ceramics, to experiment with color, artistry and self-expression; in short, to have a blast.  There are about 100 pieces to choose from including animals, plates, bowls, mugs, pitchers, paperweights, frames, planters, holiday-themed items and much, much more.  

Over the years, I had spent a small fortune there, primarily when my kids were younger, but I also went with friends who enjoyed it as I did.  We would conjure up excuses to go like it's raining or it's too hot to be outside, and I was always excited when my daughters wanted their birthday parties there because that meant I could play too.  I even had my own 50th (?) birthday celebration at Color Me Mine as a bonding experience for my mom, sister and daughters (and Mike tagged along since we were having pizza first).

In addition to the fun of painting an item like a plate, for example (my personal favorite) - we have about 20 of them at home - each piece provides so much more than the utilitarian purpose for which it is generally intended; it becomes a sentimental representation of the artist, the memory of the day and the most meaningful part of all:  the relationship.     
Back to dinner.  When we finished our appetizer, I told David that the reminder of Color Me Mine was making me long to go back.  I was caught off guard when he responded in an exasperated tone, "No more plates!"

W H A T ? ? ?  OUCH.

"What difference does it make to you? " I asked. "They don't get in your way."

"They sit in the kitchen cabinet and we never use them." 

Hold on a second.  "We use them all the time."    

What I should have said was Are you kidding me?  You have your stuff everywhere, and I would never tell you NO MORE of something that you liked...and believe me, I have plenty of opportunities!   

Defensively - but to "clarify" - he responded:  "I didn't say you can't make them; I said just don't bring any more home."

Oh, OK, that makes me feel SO much better. 

My lovely husband has no clue what it's like to live among his obsessions, including his love for the Grateful Dead.  I cringe when he shows interest in something new because I know that Interest = Purchase Number One which eventually becomes infinite purchases in that category. 

Take for example his appreciation of jazz.  Listening to jazz is compromised of many individual hobbies, each one receiving the royal treatment:  1 - searching for new/used albums to buy online, at record outlets and house sales; 2 - communicating on forums online with others who share this interest; 3 - collecting used/new "tubes" (which look like Christmas lights), placed in various pieces of equipment to enhance/manipulate the sound; 4 - buying/selling headphones, turntables, speakers, receivers, subwoofers, etc.; 5 - traveling to audio shows across the country; 6 - selling what he's lost interest in or has duplicates of; and finally 7 - actually listening to the music.

Now am I bothered by any of this?

I hadn't been.

But I will be if he utters one sound the next time I come home with my newest creation from Color Me Mine.