Friend Dating

You ever notice how old friends take more work than new friends? Often, old friends have accumulated baggage that we must contend with because now, we are in too deep. Or you made them when you were so young or needy you couldn’t screen them as sharply as you do newer friends.

It’s like the difference between dating my 20s and dating in my 30s.  In my 20s I put up with all kinds of nonsense. In my 30s at the first sign on annoyance, I was, “Get your crap and get out of here.”

Here is a thought on my present state of friendships.

Developmental Milestones

Can handle a spoon, check. Rolls over onto tummy, check. Likes his teething biscuits, check. Smiles and reaches out to mommy when she comes in the room, check.

Sleeps through the night, no check, no check at all, not even a pencil scratch, and stop asking if he does…

I’m most profane at 4:56 am.

But so yummy! (Rex, not me)

Imaginary Friends

Since we are social creatures, I think it’s in parents’ best interest to support their child’s friendships. When we had to move, I rarely looked at a house that wasn’t in “Avery striking distance” as I called it. That is Viv’s best neighborhood buddy, who we use to be a stone’s throw from.  We are a long walk or a short drive now, and happily Avery’s mom and I are making that friendship work.

Of course 8 to 10 years from now, Vivien will much prefer to spend as much time away from me and with her friends as possible. That will be hard, but I am bracing for it. But what if her friends aren’t real?

Check out this article about imaginary play in the New York Times.

Festival of Leftovers

As the wife of a chef I often have people say to me, “Wow, you must eat great!”

“Why are you eating that slice of cheese on a grocery store roll; you are married to a chef.”

Etc.

Well, I do eat well, IF I go into his restaurant. But 5 to 6 days of the week we are on our own. And when dinner is Mark’s job, he is kind of pooped so his fare is simple–but good– grilled steaks, sauteed vegetables.

One thing he is good at doing is making something out of nothing.

When we were dating he would drive over to my apartment when he was done. Seems crazy to remember that he could show up at midnight, and I was awake and happy to see him. As opposed to now when I fall asleep at 10:30 and growl if he wakes me up at midnight. Poor guy, bait and switch.

So, one night I said, “Please bring me something to eat.” I waited in my little pad thinking of all the yummy food he would be bringing me. But he had spaced.

He brought nothing.

I said, “But I have NOTHING TO EAT, and I’m hungry. I’ve been waiting for your fine food.”

He said, “I will fix something.”

“No, no there is nothing Mark, nothing!”

Well, like in some reality show challenge, he made me a great tomato salad and something else good I can’t remember.

In our current life when we are both too pooped to shop and cook, Mark has birthed FESTIVAL OF LEFTOVERS. In this picture, he made a nice salad with cold steak and other ingredients. It was what we had on hand, and it did taste good, but his presentation really sells it.

When he isn’t home we often eat practically standing up. With Mark, it must all be Plated.

And please note Rex’s onesie. My dear friend Heather made this for him. She is a crafty little child-free friend.

Sewing

I would be a lousy scrapbooker. I have pretty poor spatial arrangement skills, so I’m lousy at model making, and my handwriting is like a serial killer’s. But as a mom I think I need one craft up my sleeve, right? Also, all those scrapbooking things are expensive, and I haven’t developed a picture since Vivien was 2 and half, so that can’t be my craft.

I’m thinking sewing. I’m not talking skilled like sewing mom. But I could at least make the kind of stuff my mom used to… I think.

Does a mom need to have a craft?

The 4th Birthday Party

Why did I worry? That’s what my friends were saying as Vivien’s party was in full swing. There was room. Plenty of room. I think I have big house syndrome. I have a skewed perception of space from my year of living large.

The bouncy fit fine straddling ours and our neighbor’s yards. The kiddie table and chairs in front of the garage. Enough seats around for adults to perch, and the kids were happy with playset. When Cinderella arrived she did her parachute games/face painting thing on the grass. I think she was the Rolls Royce of Cinderellas. I hate when you hire a princess or fairy, and they show up with ill fitting wig and tats. When some of the girls said, “Did Cinderella leave?”

I said, “Yes.”

“Awwww…”

“She had to go meet Prince Charming,” I said. “They have a cute loft downtown.” The girls were listening.

And my sister Carole quickly added, “But she is going to finish college.”

The only misfire was that Mark didn’t buy enough water bottles for the hot day, and our guests were wilting. Next time one of those tubs with spigot for water.

Vivien was very happy. Her best buddy stayed most of the day with her, which was great. I started writing my thank yous as they played. ‘Cause I either right them right away or a year later.

And all those toys and hunks of plastic she got? Love it. I don’t rag on them at all. It was fun for her to open and the ones she didn’t immediately grasp I stashed for a rainy or cranky day down the road.

She really loved Zingo. It’s a kid version of Bingo. Boy was I happy. ‘Cause I love Bingo!

On Momversation: Are Food Allergies Out of Hand?

Oh, I love Giyen and Karen. It’s funny since I have never met them, and they live far away, yet I feel like they are my co-workers/pals. I could see meeting them for a drink after work (if we worked in a real office) and having an appletini while we ragged on that stupid Annie, the receptionist. And what did that creep Elliot think with that crack today? He’s got small hands.

In our virtual coffee klatch today we are talking about allergies. Since none of us are doctors or scientists, none of us can answer the real question: when did this allergy thing become such a big deal?  Was it ushered in with the Clintons?

And then how does it affect your life?

Emmy Party ’09

The only thing better than being on a guest list of a swank Hollywood party is to be someone’s “plus one.” I was lucky enough to be my friend Chris’s plus one to the HBO party. In an age of austerity, this soiree bucked the trend. Honestly, it was refreshing to see something excessive and fun. Moreover, I kept thinking of all the jobs it created. There were at least 4 long buffet tables, three elevated stages, and endless open bars. Some were sponsored by Moet and only poured champagne, which was fine with me.

Many stars were seen, Kevin Bacon (fellow Madoff victim), his wife Kyra Sedgwick looking thin and pretty in pink. Loved Chole Sevingy’s polka dot dress. In the beginning, it was mostly chubby regular folk dressed up who are the workers of the channel, and then later after the show ended, there was an infusion of tiny, thin people. They were the stars.

The day had gotten away from me, and I didn’t get to a salon in time to do my hair. So I thought, my Top Chef Master could do it. There, in the kitchen while he cooked up some mashed potatoes and pork chops, Mark used my flat iron for the first time in his life. And it did help.

I liked my dress but was very excited to wear BORROWED JEWELS. A first for me. On “The Fashion Team,” we were doing a story on a platinum (no, no gold here) jewelery suite. This is a place where stars and stylist for stars can borrow SERIOUS jewels. I sort of couldn’t believe they asked me, a confirmed G-lister, if I wanted to borrow something. I got a Sasha Primak diamond earrings, and a Michael Beaudry diamond bracelet. These were picked out for me by a stylist, Michael O’Connor. He’s a sweet guy who I did a segment with a while back. I held up a roundish pair of earrings at one point, and he said, “No, not with your jaw.” Note, my jaw needs to be slimmed.

When I showed them to my mother she said, “Oh, yeah, the real stuff does sparkle more.” I think they trumped my less-than-stellar ‘do. They are classic and beautiful. I had to return them post haste, but will wear them one more time for my show–when I will look a little cuter– and get a better picture then.

I used to think jewels that cost that much… oh, did I mention they cost… $70,000? Yep. I used to think that was crazy to spend something like that on jewels, but after the Madoff thing I don’t think so anymore. If one has money it might be better to have something tangible if the s– hits the fan. Better than a worthless financial statement and much prettier. I walked a bit taller at the party with them, but also checked them every 4 seconds. Didn’t want them to go the way of so many pairs of sunglasses… or boyfriends. Now where did I put that?

The place was massive; they had taken over the parking lot of the Pacific Design Center. It was all done up in deep reds and black. I’m sure it cost several hundred thousand dollars. And fun to see Jessica Lange sit down at a table a foot from me with her recently acquired Emmy in hand. (Sidebar, think she’s had a tad too much done to the face. But can’t blame a girl for trying!) But my breast were going to explode, and my feet were hurting.

As we waited for our car at valet who glides out but my old pool party buddy Jon Hamm. I could have said, “Hi, remember me? The thick-waisted mom?” but I didn’t have a chance. You see, he didn’t have to wait for a car on a folding chair like I did. His appeared, and he left.

Was praying Rex would go easy on me, and he did. He woke up at 2 and went right back to sleep. Phew. Then he was rarin’ to go at 6am. Not ideal, but I have had worse nights. And after an A-list party I really wasn’t up for some protracted sleep training night.

Oh, by the way, did anyone watch the show? I didn’t, I was eating the free food!