June 24, 2011

This Space for Rent

by Veronica

How terrible that this little blog has been left on its own for so long...this is why I buy fake plants.

Nothing specific to report so I'll give some updates.

Veronica, Jr. is settled in NYC and, despite her one-week-old iPhone 4 being stolen while she was at a free concert, hiking subway stairs in heels, and spending six to eight hours every day doing mindless intern office work, she's living the dream! One thing I like about Veronica, Jr. is she's never quite satisfied. You know the type? They want one thing - and they get it, only to discover it isn't exactly what they wanted and now they're planning for the next step up. That's my kid. Me? I think being one of seven kids (in the middle) made me a "go along, get along" kind of person. I order Diet Coke - no Diet? Okay - whatever you have is fine. Veronica, Jr. wants what she wants and if they don't have her selection then she'll take nothing, thank you very much. And, I'll take the Walmart version of anything (almost). Her? She knows every name brand out there and can spot it at 20 paces facing into the sun.

Mr. Veronica took me to Guam while he was on business. Hong Kong, approximately 35 square miles, has a population of 8 million. Guam is approximately 212 square miles - 178,000 people. I felt like I was in a ghost town when walking down the street, I missed the people! Which is sort of funny, considering how frustrating it can be walking down a street at mid-day in Hong Kong. We arrived early Wednesday morning and left late Sunday night. I managed to work in just over 20 hours of pool/beach time. Not too shabby, eh? The beaches are beautiful - some of the sand is pink and the water is always that ridiculously clear blue color that you see in travel brochures. And! I found a small piece of coral in the shape of a heart.

We traveled with another couple, Sue and Bill, Sue works with Mr. Veronica, so Bill and I had some time together. I have met Bill a handful of times, always at dinner at our house or their house, with other coworkers. He's very intelligent - one of those guys that knows a lot about economics and can tell you why we shouldn't print more money to combat the recession in monosyllabic words; he has a fun sense of humor - just saying "Three Stooges" makes him giggle. Bill and I hung out at the pool, played some tennis, shared a club sandwich and fries. Its an interesting dynamic, getting to know someone of the opposite sex in a strictly platonic situation, and sort of involuntarily. Its awkward at first, trying to find common ground - what do we have to say to each other? We are only together because of our spouses, who aren't actually present. But, over the three days we had together, we found quite a bit to talk about - especially economics and religion. We talked about how we met our spouses and why we fell in love with them. We all returned to HK and within a day or two, Sue was back on the road, leaving Bill alone in HK. He emailed Mr. Veronica about playing tennis (they battled it out this morning and are already planning the next skirmish) and has come to dinner (he brought the salad). And that is how friendships start and, hopefully, last.

Two of my favorite shows are starting their summer seasons, with another starting up soon. Currently playing: Drop Dead Diva and Men of a Certain Age; in the wings: The Closer.

And now, I've watered this little corner of the earth, with whispered promises of more loving attention in the near future.

June 3, 2011

Good News

by Veronica

Veronica, Jr. got an internship in New York City. Yay! She's wrapping up her last week of classes with finals next week. She'll get a few days in Cleveland then her dad will drive her back to NYC. And I will be the proud parent of a woman following her dreams - how lucky am I?!

Growing up, I was one of seven kids - five boys, two girls. My mother told me (and my sister) that she wished she had all boys, she didn't like girls. I know. That's harsh. She was also very close, best friends, in fact, with her mother. She and I just sort of co-existed. When my grandmother died, my mother said, "I hope you and I can be good friends like my mother and I were." I was seventeen at the time and had resigned myself to the fact that there really wasn't any way for us to be "friends." We had some very bumpy times, my mother and I. But you know, I went to therapy, dealt with the crap and moved on. By the end of her days, we had a genuine love for and appreciation of each other.

(When she died I had this amazing dream. I don't know if you're like this, but after someone close to me dies, I always dream about them coming back - not like resurrecting from the dead, but coming back to see me and talk to me. I've lost two brothers along the way and in both cases the dreams have been just social. For example, Terry showed up in a park and we hugged and hugged and then sat on a bench and talked and talked. Such a beautiful dream. So, I wondered what it would be like when my mother came back to me. I've never dreamed anything like this: I'm standing by an open window and a steady breeze blows into the room and it turns into a strong current that begins to solidify and wrap itself around me from head to toe; it undulates around me and courses through me. I'm completely taken over by the force of this wind - I can feel my hair blowing around my head, my breath is caught up and taken away, I am enveloped. This wind, this energy, this is my mother. She is surrounding me, filling me, giving me her energy and life force. In the human world she had multiple sclerosis and was physically incapacitated for the last twenty years of her life. But mentally, she was rock solid. She had so much energy and life, she had so much left that she passed it on to me.)

When Veronica, Jr. came along I was thrilled. I would have the chance to create the relationship with her that I had wanted with my mother. And we are very close. Its a wonderful, trusting relationship that we have worked to develop. We've had our fights, our breakups and makeups. Mostly, though, we've had our laughs. No one makes me laugh like my kid. Here is a prime example of one of our conversations:

Mom: Wow, I can't believe you're going to be 24!
Junior: I know! Me, either! Wait, how old are you going to be?
Mom: 48. Let's not talk about it.
Junior: Oh - wait, is every kid half the age of their parents?
Mom: (thoughtful pause, actually, really considering this question).  I don't know. Wait. What? Well, I don't think so - I mean in a year I'll be 49 and 25 isn't half of 49. Right? I mean, when you were 5 I wasn't 10.
Junior: Oh. Right. Ha! Obviously that doesn't work.

Yes - that's a real conversation between the two of us. And we've had so many ridiculous conversations that I truly believe we'd be a hit on Sirius Radio if we'd ever remember to record these things.

The good news is, I won't miss her when she goes to New York. We've learned to live apart from each other and that makes this moment all the sweeter. Our world has grown to encompass the entire planet (thank you Skype and FB!). We are together no matter where we are and for that I am so thankful.

Way to go, Pookie!