Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Blush Off The Rose

New York is a lot of things. Gentle, it is not.

I was walking to my yearly GYN appointment (if you must know) which takes me all the way across Central Park South to the East Side. Central Park South is a lovely expanse of ritzy NYC real estate, stretching from the huge new mall at Columbus Circle to the Plaza Hotel on Fifth Avenue. But it also happens to be where all the horse-drawn carriages park while they wait for visitors to drive around Central Park. On a windy March day, Central Park South is eardrum-freezing bitter and yet still stifling with the smell of horse manure. With just a dash of horse urine for luck. A waft of cow manure makes me homesick for Central PA. Horse manure, on the other hand, does not. When I was pregnant and yarfy, this walk along Central Park South was like running the gauntlet. I am proud to say I never once puked on Central Park South.

So I was walking across the bottom of the Park last week. I take it as something of a compliment that the carriage drivers don't proposition me for a ride. Despite the LL Bean jacket, I guess after seventeen years maybe I do look angry enough to be a local. I'm walking by and they're all hanging out, some in grungy top hats. Some in baseball caps. Chatting and waiting. When all of a sudden one of the horses kicks over his feed pail, spilling a decent amount, but certainly not the whole bucket, on the street. And the driver grabs the bucket and yells, "F--- you, you f---ing idiot!" He yells this at the HORSE. And something in the way he yelled it was kind of dark. More like a wife-beater than a business partner. Reflexive and violent. And it just kinda made me wonder...

Oh it's soooo romantic...a carriage ride through Central Park....snuggling under the blanket with your sweetie....snapping pics of the forsythia and daffodils.

Welcome to New York City 2010.

Kinda takes the blush off the rose a bit, doesn't it?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Barf Conundrum

Ok all you experienced moms. And all you people who, on occasion, walk on sidewalks. Here is my question:

What is your obligation to the universe when your kid throws up on a sidewalk?

I guess you could extrapolate this to any public puking, really. But for the purposes of this question, let's take the circumstances as they happened, and go from there.

It was very cold on Wednesday. The Bean has been, as I have stated, coughing so hard that she spits up diluted juice. Well, on Wednesday I was determined to take her to the park (read: leave the apartment before I was compelled to shoot myself), after stopping at Starbucks for the most absurd drink ever invented ever ever (a decaf, tall, soy, skinny, cinnamon dolce latte - Fat Flush compliant for my money). But when we arrived at Starbucks, the line was out the door, so we reluctantly turned around and headed directly toward the park. At which point the Bean started hacking. And hacking. And hacking. And ultimately, regurgitating small amounts of juice. Okay, with a little particulate matter to be totally honest. Several small puddles. And here's the really insidious thing: the puddles were small enough that really, that you could walk down the street and totally not see them--until it was too late. But they were definitely big enough to do damage. No doubt at all about it. As I urged the Bean to breathe deeply and try to stop coughing, I knew that here was just no doubt those puddles were going to be targets. I could see it coming.

But there I was. On the street. No caution tape. No orange cones. No flares. No hose. No mop. No wipes even. Not cold enough that the puddles would freeze. Not hot enough that they would evaporate. And nary a rain cloud in sight.

And for the record, let me say that I clean up my messes. I am courteous to others on the subway. I always wait my turn in line. And I have even been known to pile up all my dishes on the table at a restaurant and pick the crumbs off the floor when our family has made what I consider to be a mess larger than any stranger should have to clean up. So this is not an easy moment for me...this moment coming up.

Did I have a choice?

I wiped the Bean's mouth and sleeve with a tissue and jammed it in my back pocket. And I walked away from those puddles on the street. Knowing for certain that some poor person was inevitably going to step in them and be grossed out beyond belief when she got home. And it would be entirely my fault.

This, my friends, is why everyone in New York City doffs their shoes the moment they walk in the door.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Falling off the Wagon and Hitting a Waffle Truck

If you're in New York City, particularly in the area of the Upper West Side, and you're on some crazy diet...well my friend, you've come to the right place. I fell off the Fat Flush Wagon...I am trying very desperately to climb back on but it's not easy to avoid dairy, wheat and sugar when your kid has her first ear infection and coughs so hard she throws up diluted juice all over the hard wood floors...nonetheless, I confess that I fell off the Fat Flush Wagon. And I hit a Waffle Truck on the way down.

So in the interest of full disclosure here are the ways in which I have fallen off the wagon in the last two weeks.

The Waffle Truck - Good God has anything better ever been invented? A Truck? That sells waffles? It is quite simply divine. I managed not to eat the Bean's waffle too while she was sleeping in a feverish daze. Just barely. That would have been low.

The Mermaid Inn - I wanted the lobster roll. I should have had the broiled salmon. I compromised with the Grilled Shrimp Sandwich which was totally and completely beyond divine.

The Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Scone from Silver Moon Bakery - Very nearly not falling off, right? I mean, it's so whole wheat that the wheat berries (are they like crunch berries) crunch in your teeth. But dang I could go for that right now.

So...considering falling off the diet wagon, yourself? Feeling like I did nothing to help you fight to go to bed hungry?

I remind you...baby girl coughs so hard that she throws up diluted juice all over the hardwood floors. That oughta do it.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I am a Knee Jerk

So this last week or so I've been worried that I go through life saying "no" to the universe. I'm I'm totally honest with myself, my knee jerk reaction to most every suggestion, is really usually "no." No I don't want to go see that play, I just want to stay in and watch TV. No to this job. No to that event. No to this meeting. No to that social invitation.

I have really started to wonder what I'm hiding from...

Is it just that I'm a scaredy cat?

Is it that I'm truly lazy at heart?

Why do I look for the bad, and indeed expect the worst, from new situations or experiences?

Aren't I a little old to be afraid of everything? (And while I'm at it, aren't I a little old to worry so much about who I would eat lunch with?)

I am so adamant to Doc Hubby that we raise the Little Bean to expect the best from the world. To trust people. To be Anne Frank in post 9-11 NYC. I don't want her to get in the habit of making decisions based on fear. I want her to be adventurous.

My friend Sam's dad is an old British actor who has been around the block more than once in this business. One of his mottoes is "Just do the audition." Nike got wind of it and made a lot of money with that idea.

However, I have recently learned that his other motto is "Your career is not defined by the jobs you do. It is defined by the jobs you choose not to do."

So how do I listen to my gut about what not to do when my first impulse always seems to be to do nothing.

My friend Rebecca says that she thinks it's the jobs that make you want to cry that you should take. True. But I think that refers to the challenge of the role or the play itself, not the challenge of trying to arrange babysitting. The thing is, lately, I'm not sure if I can tell the difference.

Lately, I just feel like a Knee Jerk,.