Friday, November 26, 2010

Marry You?

Last Saturday, my on-again off-again boyfriend asked me to marry him. I wish I could tell you the moment was filled with candle light, romantic music and preceded by a great meal in some fancy restaurant. Instead, it was at 4:30 in the morning after this guy persistently rang my door bell and woke me up out of sound sleep.

I reluctantly let him inside and he proceeded to help himself to a drink and flopped down into a chair in my living room.

"I've been thinking about getting married," he announced. "I really need some stability in my life."

I nodded silently, thinking that if this was his way of proposing, so far I wasn't impressed.

"So who were you thinking of marrying? I asked.

"Well, I have a couple people in mind," he replied.

Before I could ask who these people might be, he said that he had gone to some court deposition that had to do with money he owed. For reasons I didn't want to know, his ex-wife was at the court house and so was this girl he had dated before me that has since had a child from some drug dealer in Bridgeport.

"My ex-wife really looked hot--you know I married her twice. And Stephi's kid came running toward me. That kid needs a father," he said.

"So you were deciding if you should marry your ex-wife Joanie, or your ex-girlfriend, Stephi, is that it?" I asked.

"Well not exactly. My first choice would be you."

At that moment, I felt like this man was at a car dealership where he knew he wanted a certain car model. The question was, what color to choose? I was his first color choice, but just in case that color wasn't in stock, he could just as well buy his second color choice--the blue one, his ex-wife, or the black one--his other ex-girlfriend with the toddler on her hip. It was as if he was going eeney, meeney, miney, moe.

To add insult to injury, he had brought some food over that I assumed was a gift, and asked me to write a check for the boxes of steaks and crab cakes he stuffed in my freezer. At that point, I just wanted him out of my house, so I scribbled out a check for $109.00. As I handed the money over to him, he said: "Marcy, will you marry me?"

"Tell me, if I married you, what would I get out of the deal? You're homeless, you're broke, and you're a hopeless drunk. Where's the fun in marrying someone like that? I think I'll pass." That was my answer.

He dropped his head. "Okay, so I'll marry Stephi then. I can offer her something. Her kid needs a father," he shot back.

"I'm sorry, but I don't see you as the kind of guy that likes to change diapers," I said.

"Damn right. I'm not changing any diapers, but I can do other things, like play catch with the kid," he answered.

"Whatever." I said.

"So I'm going to marry that girl, and you have to step up to the plate and support me on this, because you're my friend," he insisted.

"I don't have to do shit. Now get out of here."

He sulked out the door and walked back to his truck in the gray mist of dawn.

Leave it up to this guy to make a marriage proposal feel more like a slap in the face. Well, at least I can say I'm still marketable marriage material. I was getting worried about that. It's something I can put on my bucket list and cross off: 7. Get a marriage proposal. Check.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I Love New York

Last Sunday I spent the day in a place I used to call home--New York City. I went to see the Edward Hopper exhibition at the Whitney Museum. As soon as I stepped into that exhibit, I was overwhelmed by stunning paintings of a gifted artist. That's what NYC does. It bowls you over with all the
pent-up talent that it so lovingly nurtures. The obvious places to find that talent are on Broadway, in Greenwich jazz clubs or museums. But look closer. That buzz is also on street corners, in all the parks and in the subway. In NYC, the drive for creative expression is everywhere.

As soon as I arrive in my beloved NYC I do a private ceremony--I look for a brick building, a light post or even an iron-gate railing. I kiss it, and silently whisper: I missed you my love.

Since I was a child, I dreamed of living in New York City. And for seven wonderful years that's exactly what I did. I was in my 20s, it was during the '80s and I will never forget how exhilarating it was to step out of my apartment into a world that was vibrating with energy 24/7. Every time I go back to the city I get a flood of nostalgia for those years. In fact, during one visit I started scheming how I would sell my place in Connecticut to move back to New York City. After I got back to bucolic New England, my fantasies about going back to Manhattan faded out into the mundanities of everyday life.

I grew up in Minnesota, spent three years in Florida, and have been to many places in this country. I believe if you were to impress a foreigner, take them to San Fransico--it's the crown jewel in this nation because of its sheer, natural beauty. But NYC is the very heart of our country. Its energy makes you feel more alive as soon you step on that small, over-crowded island called Manhattan. It's not always pretty, but it's got personality, culture and style that's unparalleled. The music, the arts, the fashion, the shopping and the exqusite food puts you on sensory overload. Mohegan Sun casino puts me on sensory overload too, but not in a good way.

One of the reasons I stay in Connecticut is because I can't bear the thought of being too far from the city that got me where I am today. I love Connecticut too--but that's a whole other story. It's comforting to know the city so close to my heart is but an hour away.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Transparency

One of the newest buzz words these days is the term, transparency.

Throughout the past three months leading up to yesterday's election, politicians kept yelling: we need TRANSPARENCY in this current administration!!! It seemed like they wanted to stick the word on a badge and pin it to their lapel. By doing so, that would let voters know instantly this guy was trustworthy. And that alone is good reason to route for his team.

In the dictionary transparency means: Lack of hidden agendas and conditions, accompanied by the availability of full information required for collaboration, cooperation, and collective decision making. In short, full disclosure--regardless of good or bad consequences that disclosure may reveal.

Sounds good to me. I recently met with someone and decided to be transparent regarding my breast cancer. Up until then my feeling about my double mastectomy has been: what someone doesn't know won't hurt them. But now I'm finding that you gain power by being transparent.

How's that? When you tell someone what the real deal is--good or bad--their reaction is like a litmus test that reveals their true character. If they are taken aback and push away--now you know that person isn't worth your time--you can walk away BEFORE you invest too much energy on the situation.

By the same token, if they react in a way that you consider positive--you may find a person that's really worth getting to know. After all, you can't always judge a book by its cover. To my delight, that's what happened to me. Someone from my past that I had overlooked about 10 years ago, has reappeared--thanks to finding me through this very blog.

When we reconnected, I discovered this person has grown personally, professionally and emotionally. His comment about me being a breast cancer survivor was: "I always knew you were an amazing women, but now you're so much more amazing for how you handled what you've gone through." For me, that was the deal clincher. I knew right then and there this was someone I REALLY want to get re-aquainted with.

So you see, those politicians knew what they were talking about. Transparency is a good thing. It can bring some unexpected gifts into your life.