She'd tell you she was 4'11", but she was including her four-inch bouffant. She'd tell me I was a maniac when I jumped up and down on the bed, shouting, "Jodi, stop it, Jodi" in her Russian accent. She'd ask why the dogs hovered at her chair, as she fed them blueberries under the table. She'd shoulder-dance in the backseat of the car to The Beatles, smiling at me in the rear-view mirror. She'd wave three bony fingers to me from her nursing home bed, their nails still painted pink. I miss you, Bubby. Today makes it 24 years. Already?
Marlena sucks in her breath, crosses her legs, and moves her elbows from where they'd rested by her sides to her lap. Folds her hands. She thinks "small thoughts" in an attempt to minimize the space she inhabits. One-third of her seat is now available to her left, should the rotund woman who just entered the subway want to sit. She does, and wedges herself in, sighing with relief. Marlena lets out her breath slowly, expanding, she thinks, to fill the imperceptible space between herself and the woman. This is the closest thing to a hug she'll have all day.
Back in the day, or the heyday, before Facebook, when I used to write on my "blog" every day, I would delight my audience/readership/fans (!) with photos of my lunches. Back then I was a sort of lady who lunched, or a dame who dined, or a girl who gobbled, or something like that, but it was never anything that I had created. I spent a great deal of time and a fair amount of money, although not nearly as much of either as most REAL "ladies who lunch", but now that my situation is different, I create the food myself here in my cute little kitchen, and I must say, I am shocked at how happy I am to do it.
The image shown here is vegan hamentaschen with a poppy seed/prune/chocolate filling. It just so happened that the weekend I made it was the Jewish holiday of Purim, which I know next to nothing about, much like everything else associated with Judaism. Still, I felt like I was Yentl or someone from "Fiddler" or my own grandfather, in the kitchen, no doubt with a smear of flour on my cheek like in a TV show, and took such delight in making these with a new rolling pin, one of my new cookie cutters, while wearing a vintage 1950s apron. Oddly, I felt quite at home. And it was sweet.
A portly, grizzled, older Jewish guy, belly straining against a striped white button-down shirt, standard drab gray and black coat/pants/and so on, faces a prematurely gray mocha-latte-skinned dancer-boy-bodied Trader Joe's cashier with gorgeous smile. Both gaze at a large glass jar of sliced pickles on the counter between them without saying a word. Then:
Jewish Guy, with NYC/Eastern European accent: "She likes pickles."
Cashier: "Your wife likes pickles."
Jewish Guy: "She loves pickles. Always pickles."
Cashier: "When you go shopping, you can't come home unless you bring the pickles, right?"
Jewish Guy: "The shopping could be ALL pickles."
Dear Hello Types,
I have been gone from this "blog" for way too long, neglecting something that has brought me such joy over the years, for a number of reasons, none of which seem too valid or even noteworthy, and some of which are probably fancy ways of saying, "Hi, I'm feeling lazy!" I joined Facebook six years ago, after I'd already stopped posting regularly here on my "blog" (yes, I will forever put that word between quotation marks), so I can't blame it entirely, but I will point a finger at it (and back at myself, natch), for making it easy to just sign in there and drop a few hilaaaaarious gems and then go about my merry way.
Facebook has been a wonderful way for me to meet people I probably would never have met otherwise. I became involved in helping to save dogs and cats, and that means more to me than I can even articulate. But it also took me away from writing longer stuff, even if the stuff that I write is just me ranting about idiots at the gym. One thing that makes me laugh is that now, on Facebook, everyone is posting photos of his or her lunch, and I was doing that a decade ago, like the trendsetting maverick I am.
One note: The photo sections of this "blog" ("It Lasts Longer" and "Jodeats (A Smorgasbord)") are not available to view. I do not know how to update the software/service that holds them for me (or however it's described), so if anyone cares to help me out, I would be ever so grateful. I'd like to get this place up and running on all so-called cylinders. Or silly-inders. Or something. Whatever. I don't know. I just "work" here.
Stay tuned for more excitement in the days to come.
It's good to be back.