Friday, November 26, 2010

The Kid's Table

One of my favorite things about the holidays is getting to see all the delightful little kids I'm lucky enough to be related to. This Thanksgiving was no disappointment and highlighted a big part of why I wanted to come back to live in the US. There was just general cuteness all around, but some of the things that stood out to me were the following:

- 13 month old Kendal is without a doubt the most adorable baby girl on the scene today. Before dinner was even served, she decided she was done with the festivities and looked around at everyone, waved and said "Buh bye" over and over. She also did this when we tried to feed her butternut squash soup. She waved a hand in front of her face like a celeb who didn't want to be photographed and said buh bye to the bowl of thick orange soup in front of her.

- Three year old Collin put on a show for us, standing in front of the fireplace, rocking out and head banging while playing a ukulele. My favorite part was that after every "song," he would come over to me to ask if I'd liked that one. I gave him tips like, play more than one string and hold the instrument with two hands but he decided to go in his own creative direction, and that was fine with me.

- Almost four year old Gabe has a new favorite word and has become adept at incorporating it into every facet of his life. The latest was during his nightly prayers where he recited, "Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my poopy to keep..."

I can't wait for all the holiday gatherings to come and even more for the new babies that are going to increase the fun and cuteness quotient of these gatherings immensely.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Princess and the Guido

Clearly there can often be disparities between how we see ourselves and how others see us. However, I was recently confronted with one of the starkest contrasts I've experienced yet about how people see me- and it was two of the people closest to me. Jackie and Andrew told me this weekend about this sort of dainty fairy princess alter ego they've created for me as their own little joke. This stems from a few different events and has (in my opinion) been blown totally out of proportion.

Once in college, as a birthday present, my parents got a car service to take my friend and I into the city for a comedy show. The next time I was home, my mom asked me how the limousine was. "Well, it wasn't actually a limo, it was a town car," I explained. "But it was great, thanks." This of course was turned into a tale of me not being satisfied with anything short of a limo when in fact I was just clarifying the situation.

Then, after I visited Jackie in Florence, my parents didn't want to make the late night drive to JFK to pick me up so they got me a car service. In this case I was fully expecting a town car when up pulled a white stretch limo with my name on a sign in the windshield.

Aside from that, there have been a couple times when I've been out in New York and once in Sea Isle when for one reason or another I've ended up being driven to my destination in a limo.

They have also come to the conclusion that I have the softest hands either of them have ever felt, which they say indicates that I've never done a hard day's work in my life.

So now whenever they see a limousine one of them will remark, "Oh, I didn't know Ali was in town." Or when Andrew saw a stretch navigator with undercarriage lighting and a fog machine getting worked on he concluded that I was getting a tune up.
Or when they drove across the bridge into Sea Isle and saw a fireworks show and said "Oh, Ali beat us here, they already started her standard welcome."

This has spiraled into elaborate pictures they paint of my wedding in which I'll ride side saddle into the reception on a white stallion with ringlets in its mane and golden ribbons woven into its tail giving a Miss America wave to the guests.

I may not agree with this assessment of me, but I've decided to make the most of it, like letting Andrew open my car door or taking Jackie up on it when she asks if I need a cushion my chair when we sit down to brunch.

The once consolation is that Jackie has an alter ego too. Due to her dedication to staying tan year round, whether through beds or lotions, the regular shaving of her forearms and her tendency to flex her bicep any time someone touches her arm, Andrew has concluded that she is a secret Guido. I'll take fairy princess any day.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Work it Out

Two work out-related things are stuck in my head so I thought I'd share them...

1) I was at the gym last night and at the weight machine next to me were two ladies of a certain age. They weren't ladies of a certain age in the classy, polished, "ladies who do lunch" way. It was more in the rumpled, can-of-frosting-eating, "ladies who have every-day sweats and dress sweats" way.

Anyway, they were taking turns on this one machine when one of the members of the fitness staff came over to them and started chatting. Obviously they'd encountered each other before and talked about his mother's health and his car. This guy is maybe 27 years old, not super good-looking but clean cut, in good shape and friendly. After talking with the ladies for a few minutes he made his way back to his desk. As he walked away I heard the one who was on the machine suck in her breath and say "Oooo, I'd like to take. Him. Home!" To which the other replied with a cackling "Girl, I bet you would!"
"He is just so cute," the first one continued. "I just wanna put'eem in my car and take'eem home. I don't know how I'd explain why he was there though!"

I couldn't figure out if she meant she'd have to explain it to her husband, or to the young guy, who would be thinking she needed help cleaning her gutters or opening a jar of pickles, only to have her seductively remove her dress sweats while he stood shaking in her dark wood paneled kitchen.

2) Looking around at some of the men working out, I had a childhood flashback. Due to the "before and after" pictures in Bowflex commercials, I spent a significant part of my youth thinking that when a man started to lift weights, his muscles got so big that they made all the hair on his chest pop off.