Archive for July, 2011

The Ugly Duckling

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

I was born with one lung not working and was promptly whisked away to an incubator. Age two, I got scarlet fever and my parents worried I might not survive. Age three I was fully cross-eyed. But I did not (as yet) have an inferiority complex. I was very happy-go-lucky. Chatting it up all the time with my imaginary friends and all.

Oprah tells this story about herself, a lot. A random woman walked up to her in church one day and commented on her bee-stung lips. She had paid her a compliment on her beauty that was long overdue. Until then, no one had noticed any beauty in Oprah and it meant so much to her that she found the woman, this white woman, many years later and thanked her.

During my cross-eyed period, when I was old enough to be cognizant, people, random people on the street, would turn their heads to look at my brother Alan. He was adorable. They might even comment on his fetching looks, then look back at me and not say a word. Not a word. It would kill me; my fragile little ego, so wounded by a random stranger. And I would wait until I got home to cry from the sting of not being noticed as beautiful.

My mother would look me in the eyes, those crossed eyes with their hideous glasses, and say, “By the time you are 16,” yes, she nailed the number down — not 15, not 18, but at 16 “you will be prettier than them all.” Uh huh. I thought that the crystal ball she was looking into was on crack (and there wasn’t even crack yet). Or perhaps, it was gazing into the far distant future and seeing my drop-dead, gorgeous daughter Augie.

my gorgeous daughter Augie!!!!


Cheerleading Team

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

“We’re from Beverly, we couldn’t be prouder… if you can’t hear us now, we’ll yell a little louder!” Louder. “We’re from Beverly, we couldn’t be prouder… if you can’t hear us now we’ll yell a little louder!!!” Even louder. “WE’RE FROM BEVERLY, WE COULDN’T BE PROUDER, IF YOU CAN’T HEAR US NOW, WE’LL YELL A LITTLE LOUDER.!!!!!!!“

That was our cheer when I was in the drill team at away games. We were letting them know we were there!

Today, we girls from Beverly who are chummy on Facebook, met for lunch at the new Italian restaurant, Villetta, in Chez Mimi’s spot on 26th in Brentwood. We chose it because I really wanted to try it and because of it’s proximity to Janet’s office, a few doors away.

From the moment we sat down in that oh so magical patio area, we were treated like VIP’S. I almost said we were treated like the princesses we are, but I would only be speaking for myself. They “had me” at the great service, which was really over-the-top spectacular. If the food turned out to be as good, it could be the start of a serious relationship. (more…)

You’re all Invited….I Swear!!!!

Friday, July 15th, 2011

When I have a party, I try to invite everyone. I really do. And if my best friend has another best friend, I invite the other best friend. I include the world. If I happen to run in to you (random person reading this) a week before said party, I will invite you even if we’re not the best of friends. I even like it when people crash my parties or when someone calls me and says boldly “Do you mind? I hear you’re having a party and I’d really like to go.” What I LOVE about that is that the person who makes that kind of call, does know me. They know, I’m so happy to include everyone.

I believe I got this from my mother who would say, “You have to invite the whole class, not just some.” Or my dad, who carried his entourage around with him, leaving no one out. Both my parents never let anyone’s feelings get hurt.

One day, in maybe the 5th or 6th grade, a girl named Debby had a party and it seemed like she invited just about everyone. Except me. And maybe the worst part was that she included my best friend Susie. It felt like a real slight. On that particular weekend of Debby’s party, I remember feeling very alone on Saturday night. Susie and I were pretty inseparable. (more…)

Bread and Chocolate

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

There is an edible experience I had as a child that remains unsurpassed. The year was 1963, I was ten. I still think about it and have tried many times to recreate it. I need to ask my brother if he remembers the moment as vividly as I do.

We were at our friends’ farm in the country, just outside of Paris. By day, I ran around chasing wild cats and at night, recited (for a very small audience) “Cinderella,” in French. Given as an assignment by my teacher at home, Monsieur Willmaker, I knew it by heart. Other than “Cinderella,” and announcing “Je m’appele Frederique,” I could not understand or speak a word of the language. I rocked the accent though, and I was extra proud of it, which is why I was the biggest show-off with my nightly act.

Right now, year 2011, travelling by train from Paris to St. Tropez, I realize I am mixing Spanish, English and the little French I know. Let’s call it Franglish. And now, I’m thinking, uh-oh, maybe my Spanglish has always been infused with the few French words I know. (more…)