Tuesday, March 28, 2017

day with a friend

We used to feign interest in going to a museum. But it's Monday, and most museums are closed. And besides, this time M is forthcoming, "I don't want to go to a museum."

M is only here until tomorrow morning, and just arrived last night from Boston. Still, she comes with a large rolling suitcase (in case it rains, it's cold, it's hot, it's sleeting, or she unexpectedly needs to stay for a week) and two rolls of toilet paper (that I can't explain).  So today is the only day we'll have. What's great about having a close friend visit is that no plans are needed to have fun.

M has a meeting in the morning, and I ask her to look at some dining chairs I desperately need. She calls me around 11:30 from Home Nature, an amazing store in Chelsea. "Paul's helping me; he's great; get in a Via and come down."

I do and she's right. 

Paul. with his seductive English accent and great sense of style, is fantastic.

And so are the affordable and comfortable chairs M finds, after I've been looking for months. We select a grey wood base in a durable faux leather in a sand color  (not shown in picture of chair below).

I  recently heard a real estate agent on the show Open House actually pronounce faux as fox. 

I wish I could redo my whole apartment with the furniture from this store.

We come back to my apartment where M helps me make decisions regarding where to hang what; along with what should go and what should stay.  A friend's objective eye is always helpful when it comes to purging.

Dinner is at Ethos, one of our favorite Greek restaurants in midtown East. We both get the langoustines.  I've had them before at this restaurant and I would have them again. Succulent, easy to eat, and relatively healthy,

I love when M visits. We always squeeze so much in it feels longer than a day or two. I so wish it were.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

downtown dinner with M and Sam

I no longer know the trendy new restaurants. So when M visits, we rely on her son Sam to tell us. 

Our reservation is at 8, as I work until 7:15 on Sundays.

This morning I get up early. I take my time getting ready as I don't need to be at work until 12:30. I go out, buy some breakfast food, and plan to have a leisurely breakfast. I watch Chuck Todd on Meet The Press. I do some emails. Update my calendar. And then, around 10:20, right before I sit down for a bagel-lox-and-cream cheese open sandwich, I see that today I'm actually scheduled for the Early Shift. Early Shift means being at work by 10:30. (I still can't believe I have a job that entails using the word shift). 

I skip breakfast. Race out the door. And make it in by 11, just as the store opens. It's an awful day. I earn about $72, much less than what I once got paid hourly. It's thoroughly demoralizing to work hard and make less than the cost of a nice tee shirt. Even if I make it up the next day, it still makes me sad to go home having earned next to nothing, and sometimes, even nothing — despite having helped customers, opened cash registers, replenished supplies, processed returns, carried lots and lots of garments out of dressing rooms to the restock area, and re-hung clothes. I'm required to do a lot besides sell, yet I only get paid when I sell. Retail is a tough business.

But it does offer a few perks. I get my makeup done before leaving.

I meet M and Sam downtown at the restaurant Sam has chosen.

Sam just got engaged to Josie; they've been together since college and are a great couple. I adore Sam, having known him from his first few days on this planet. He and Josie make a gorgeous couple, and complement each other beautifully.

This small, busy restaurant is excellent. The manager comes by our table often, but not intrusively. The staff is friendly and attentive. And the food, especially the house burgers, are top of my list for best burgers in the city.  Pig Bleecker even makes its own pickles, and the butter (really, who ever even notices butter) is whipped on the premises and is outstanding.

We ask the waiter for a picture, and though the blinding flash embarrasses Sam, the other diners don't seem to mind. 

My friend M is the one in red on the right ... she prefers her photo cropped.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

leslie and linda

Leslie is the name she was almost given when she was born. So that's what I'll call her. She's more private than I am.

Leslie is a very close friend whom I rarely see, though I speak to often. She lives in the city, but our schedules frequently don't align. But tonight she is taking me to dinner before we  see the play Linda at Manhattan Theater Club. I suppose it's worth noting, in the spirit of name reveals, that Linda is the name my parents chose for me after a popular movie star of the time named Linda Darnell. And it was also the name I went by until I left for college. My mom and some friends from home still call me that.

I meet Leslie at a restaurant she's chosen near the theater. Neither one of us has ever been. It's called Molyvos, and the menu is described as rustic Greek cuisine. This 20-year old restaurant is not new, but feels it. It's sophisticated without being pretentious. 

The waiter is accommodating and attentive; the decor is warm and Mediterranean; and the food — every single thing we order — is outstanding. Of particular note are the multi-colored roasted beet salad with whipped mizithra (a type of goat cheese),  the citrus seafood souvlaki, and the sundae dessert with baklava ice cream.

Leslie and I have been friends for over twenty years. She's a constant in my life. Someone I can always count on. Someone who will always give me honest, unbiased advice. She knows so much about so many topics. And is the only woman I know who is adept at sewing and carpentry, and is the handyman I wish I knew how to be (or that I wish Alexander knew how to be). She astonishes me with her knowledge of both the arcane and mundane, and catches me off guard with her thoughtfulness. 

Needless to say, dinner is perfect.

And I love Linda too — a play about an older woman who is a successful marketing executive, married with two kids, and presumably has it all. But she's 55, and aren't these woman invisible to the world? Not listened to as much as before? Not looked at as much?  Not taken as seriously? Are all their best years behind them?

Is Linda like the playbill design?  Unadorned? Uninteresting? A just-there kind of person?

I leave dinner feeling great; I leave the play wishing I weren't an older woman named Linda.

fun at the dentist's, really

In 2006 I had a very bad experience.

Without going into all the tedious details, a simple replacement filling (not really needed), caused me prolonged, debilitating  pain. And no doctor of any kind could identify its source. I lost weight. I had a horrid sore throat and was convinced I had throat cancer. Food lost all its flavor. I was dizzy. Thought maybe I had a brain tumor. I couldn't sleep. I didn't feel like me. I was anxious. My hands tingled. I almost had a nervous breakdown.  I had a root canal, then later a crown. And eventually an implant six years later — all on the same tooth. It was hell.

Ever since, I have dreaded going to the dentist. Even for a cleaning, for fear it'd lead to something much worse, as it did in 2006.

But my teeth need to be cleaned. And x-rayed. And checked. So today I go to a new dentist, Dr. James Koretz. His office is near my apartment, which makes getting there easy.

The hygienist is Maureen. I immediately like her friendly, open and empathetic style. I describe my history. And I ask for nitrous oxide from beginning to end. Maureen complies, wanting my experience to be a good one.

And it is.

The hour and a quarter feels like five minutes. I am not exaggerating. I feel nothing. Not the full mouth x-rays. And not the vigorous use of what-look-like torture-weapons in my mouth. Were in not for my watch, I'd think nothing was actually done.

But my teeth are cleaner. The dentist  tells me the x-rays are fine, and that my gums look good. 

I make my next appointment before leaving. Almost wishing I was told me to come back in four months, not six.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

and I see him for a second

I get home from work around 6:30 on Saturday.

Alexander is just finishing up my birthday card. It's mostly all I want from him; just that, and a little bit of time.  

After throwing around some ideas for dinner, we settle on our favorite sandwich from Agata (prosciutto, mozzarella, arugula and avocado) and fries from Burger-Fi (I have no idea about their burgers but their fries are amazing and their orders huge). 

Then we engage in a favorite pastime, watching Law & Order SVU over dinner. It may sound like a passive activity but it's not. The show always raises some kind of issue and we typically end up in a spirited discussion about it. The 60-minute run time usually takes us twice that to get through.  

Alexander meets up with some friends later on in the night.  When he gets in, I awake briefly to ask,"Breakfast tomorrow?"  "Definitely," my son responds.

I'm up early this morning. I go out and buy lox, cream cheese and bagels. Around 10 Alexander gets up. But he's not ready for breakfast. He has to shower, go out and buy a razor, and blah blah blah. I eat without him. Kiss him good-bye, and leave for work.

My time with my son is minimal, but I'll take whatever I can get.

Friday, March 17, 2017

alexander visits home

"I'm coming home this weekend." Alexander tells me a week ago.

Even though my son says these words, I'm not totally sure I'll see him until he walks through the door. He's young. Has friends. And lots of things can get in the way of his promise to come home.  

Around Wednesday, Alexander asks, "Do you want to have dinner together Friday and Saturday, or just one night?" 

I know it'd be selfish to suggest both nights.

But then he says, "We can have dinner on Friday and I'll go out after, but on Saturday I just want to do something with you."

I know that hanging with me is never his first preference, but I appreciate the offer.

Today I get a call at work.

"Hi. Listen, I'm taking a late bus and won't be home until 9, and then I'm going straight to D's house. I'll be home late."

I'm not really surprised. Not even disappointed. I want him to see his friends. And all night Saturday is just fine with me.

I fall asleep early. Somewhere in the wee hours I hear, "I'm home."

Maybe tomorrow I'll even get to see him.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

my birthday

I wake up early to go to a BAFTA Board meeting.

I put on my Nike Fuel Band and it flashes the words, "Happy birthday."

As the meeting is closing, the charming and wonderful chairman says, "And in case you didn't know, today is Lyn's birthday." We're Facebook Friends so he was probably alerted. So sweet that he made the announcement.

I come home to texts, phone messages and emails. You expect family and friends to remember but it's still nice when they do.

I get a couple of cards in the mail, and a couple of electronic cards.

I go on Facebook and like a little kid opening presents, I smile widely as I read the many birthday messages I've been sent. Some from people I haven't seen or spoken to in decades. It's heartwarming to know that even for a few seconds, so many have stopped what they were doing to wish me a happy birthday. It is the absolute best thing about Facebook.

I hear from people in cities where I once lived; from jobs where I once worked; schools that I once attended; schools that my son once attended (including the principal of one); classmates from the town where I grew up; people I've never met but who know me through my blog; an actor I met while he was performing in a play I attended; friends I've met through my sisters; children of friends of my sisters; my mom's friends; people in television I met through industry events or job interviews; weight-watcher buddies from years ago; my best friend growing up; current friends; family; Cape Cod friends; past lovers, including my first; BAFTA colleagues; and more.

I see a voicemail on my phone from the Bahamas. I don't bother listening until hours later, assuming it's some telemarketer trying to induce me to buy a condo there. But no. It's from an old boyfriend who's buying a boat there, and took out time to call and wish me a happy birthday.

All the good wishes and kind messages make me feel immensely lucky.

I have no plans for today and that is just fine.  I celebrated last night, and have dinner plans with friends for the 30th.

I buy a cooked duck breast for dinner at Butterfields — to go with a can't-put-down book called The Marriage Lie (by Kimberly Belle). I am healthy and feel much younger than the calendar says I am. I have friends I couldn't live without. A family I'm proud to be part of. I live in the best city in the world. And my son says he's coming home this weekend.

Yup, it's a very nice birthday.