Home Furnishings

I spent 15 minutes watching a robin build it’s nest in front of my late friend Jackie’s old building, fascinated by the bird’s skill and perseverance.  He’d fly straight up to install whatever item he found appealing, then swoop back down to look for another  like he was comparison shopping at Bloomingdales.

“So, how much for that twig, the one by the hedge?  I’m designing a deck outside our bedroom.  It’s the exact size I’ve been looking for. How much…what?  Why, the price of twigs have certainly gone up.”

At first I thought it was a female feathering her nest until suddenly a part of the paper was retrieved from a trash can. It’s was the sports page, then dropped as if it clashed with the wallpaper.

I thought of Jackie and how much she loved decorating.  Though she had plenty of money to hire someone, she always did it herself, gathering whatever caught her eye, like her Japanese mahogany window box she’d load with geraniums, and rather than a window, display in the living room.

Maybe it was Jacks coming back as a bird, so beautiful and industrious…happy to be tending her house humming a little birdsong.

I looked up to her old windows remembering all the afternoons spent in her peach and beige living room drinking champagne giggling over Hilton, her deaf Cocker Spaniel, or some movie we saw.  Imagine Diane Keaton’s face and personality in a Chanel suit and prim pumps, strands of pearls draped around her neck.

When the robin landed right in front of me after one of it’s installations, we stared at one another in fleeting recognition.

I walked toward home thinking…I think I’ll clean out my drawers and change the sheets, laughing to myself, a bird could inspire such domesticity.

But maybe it was Jackie who did the inspiring coming back as one.  Get hold of yourself Susannah.

Suddenly out of nowhere a band of birds flew overhead singing what sounded like the prelude to the Sound of Music, one of her favorite films.

When I went home, it hit me…today was her birthday…maybe she came back for a little champagne.

You just never know what nature has up her sleeve, now do you?     

SB

 

Posted in friendship, Home, humor, Love, New York City, shopping, women | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

Tobacco Road

“Got ana change?”

“No, sorry.”

“How bout a cigarette?

“I don’t smoke.”

I’ve counted seventeen people panhandling in a twelve block radius, in all colors, shapes and sizes.

There’s the heavyset black girl with a huge sign reading: PLEASE HELP…HAVEN’T EAT’IN  IN A WEEK…kind of hard to believe when you consider her size.

A few feet from her sits a young Latino teen, his head in his hands, clasping a cup wrapped in rosary beads.

We then have the guy with his own portable easy chair he moves from corner to corner, a popcorn bucket at his feet like he was home watching the game.

A mother and three kids perch on the ground at 86th and Lexington, the eldest eight, youngest two.  Their collective woe inspires me to ask…did you eat today? Mom says, no…the four year-old, forgetting his role says…twice, his mother squeezing his arm in disapproval.  Hey he’s four, he hasn’t honed the skill of begging as yet.

It’s hard to know when you’re being hustled..hard to sort the true needy from the scammers.

I’ve been told many of them have sponsors who park them near the subway, collecting them and their profits at sundown in exchange for a cot and a lousy meal.

But the ones who I never question are those with pets, who loyally sit beside their masters happy, to just not to have been left behind.

Some insist it’s a ruse to get a softie like me, others say it’s admirable, as low as they’ve dropped they didn’t abandon their animals, me going with the latter.

I’ve bought dog food and leashes, cat treats and collars, litter, meds and blankets.

The ASPCA said, homeless people take better care of their pets than many who have maximum means.

When I saw a young man holding a pit mix in his arms like a baby, kissing his head, I couldn’t help myself.

“Did you two eat today?”

“Yes ma’am, we did.  But thank you, appreciate you asking.”

See, there’s dignity, even on a street corner wrapped in a bath towel, a tattoo of Mary gracing an arm, with holes in their hearts, sweaters and shoes.

SB

 

Posted in animals, Faith, food, grace, humanity, money, New York City | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

A Word From The Heart

 When journalist, Bill O’Reilly, was let go from the Fox Network after twenty-one years on the air, his comment was, “I’m disheartened.”

That word has stayed with me since.

A verb that means, to lose faith and confidence.  To be discouraged, dispirited and disappointed…demoralized, depressed and dismayed.

To dash one’s hopes.

It seemed to describe my own feelings of late since I too feel disheartened over quite a few things.

A word that says so much in three simple syllables.

Where would we be without expression? How could we cope without that communion of intimacy?

Whether it be slang, lingo or casual cant, words are our true representatives…our lawyers of language.

I liked that Bill O’Reilly used disheartened, since it came draped in humility, a trait not normally associated with him, proving hearts, across the board are affected the same despite their packaging.

To have one’s heart crash, crushed, squeezed till it aches, is a mighty powerful image to behold, doesn’t matter who you are.

SB

 

Posted in humanity, media, New York City, words, writing | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

Things I don’t Understand

 Donald Trump’s hair.  Why can’t something be done?  We can land a man on the moon, but a new strain of mousse cannot be developed.

How my neighbor’s cat ends up in the hall.  It’s not that I mind Patrick visiting, since he’s a whole lot friendlier than his owner, but wonder…is he drunk when I bring him back and he says, “how the hell did that little shit get out again?”

When bad books get published.  I’m a bibliophile of the first rank, smelling bad writing in a book’s first three pages.  I know so many gifted writers who can’t get to first base publishing wise…WTF…it has to be someone who owed someone a favor proving, literary integrity flies fleetingly in our present society.

My lack of sexual verve when once upon a time, ‘you ain’t nothin but a hound-ette,’ was my theme song, having more sex than JFK.  Now? I’d rather tip-toe through the tulips than play ball, so to speak, unless of course there’s a net involved.  Even in my twilight years, Connecticut has the last say, badminton, still my game.

Cheapskates.  I HATE CHEAP PEOPLE.  You know who I mean, the ones who stall before breaking out their wallets waiting to hear…I got this.  That guy you like who still has his bar mitzvah money, at 70. The last Fred Mertz I dated was history after asking, “Do you really need that appetizer?” “Yes Fred, I do.”

My knees, that suddenly need a good press.  Why are they winking like they’ve had too much to drink?  See, I don’t quite get the concept of gravity.  I have excellent posture, so why don’t my knees…those patellas of grandeur that used to get whistled at in a short, short skirt?

How yesterday I was in shorts, and today, a pair of fleece snow pants? So now when the Wildlife Fund asks if I’ll sponsor a polar bear, I kind want to say, yes, he can spend the summer with me, if he doesn’t mind the couch. 

Flatulence when you least expect it.  I don’t remember tootin on the subway pretending it wasn’t me, and to be hilariously hormonal on the number 6, holds little appeal.  I can just see myself on a wanted posted in Connecticut that reads…IF SEEN…RUN.

The coalition of alleged homeless people.  Not the real homeless, but those who beg in homeless clothing.  I hear they might become unionized, but are disputing paying dues along with taxes.  “GOT ANA SPARE CHANGE?. CASH ONLY.”

Suicide captured online.  Boy, if there was ever an ad to not go on Instagram, it’s this latest sick craze cruising the net.  I don’t know about you, but when I put my head in the oven, I’d prefer it to be more private.

Those that won’t leave you alone.  You’ve done everything but take a contract out on them, but there they are, determined to win you back.  LIFE IS SHORT…FIND OTHER INTERESTS.

Men who think they decide whether we fuck them or not.  This might be my favorite, and how collectively, they should all will their egos to science for a serious study in narrcisistic stupidity.  Unless it’s rape, women have the last say, and here’s a tip.  Don’t talk about previous conquests with bigger tits because, we’ll make skid marks, leaving you with a  woody they’ll talk about at parties. 

SB

 

 

 

Posted in Books, Connecticut, humor, media, New York City, sex, words | Tagged , , , | 23 Comments

Best Line Of The Week

 It’s pouring.

A white lab is tied up in front of a Starbucks soaked.

I stop to give it a little pet shielding him beneath my umbrella.

Another girl stops, looks at me and says,”He’s still here? I went by 15 minutes ago and he was there.”

Suddenly, the door swings open and an older, blonde WASPY woman in mauve sweats and a black Prada rain jacket pops out with her coffee.

“How sweet is that,” she coos, “holding your umbrella over Rex that way.”

Before I could smack her, the other girl says, “It’s pouring.  Look at him lady, he’s drenched.”

“Oh don’t you know, labradors love getting wet…it’s what they live for.”

Here it comes.

“Hey, Mark Spitz loves to swim, but that doesn’t mean he’s in the water all the time.”

I never saw a smile disappear so fast.

I stand beside my new hero as we watch Rex finally go home, hoping there’s a great big bath towel in his future.

WOOF

SB

Posted in animals, humor, New York City, Starbucks | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

Pithier Posts

I’ve been practicing brevity lately in terms of blogging, realizing, posts shouldn’t be the length of War and Peace.

I have 1,571 posts in my archives, and if you read the earlier ones, boy…did I need an editor.

“In writing, you must kill all your darlings,” said William Faulkner, as hard as it may be.

Hemingway’s version of that and I’ll paraphrase…if there’s a line or phrase you can’t live without, that’s when you know, it has to go.

Humility on the page, has it’s honorable place.

Readers want to be entertained and inspired quickly without too much of an investment, and I’m no exception.

I like reading a sharp, spare piece that produces a sigh and swift smile.

It’s also a good exercise to keep a post under 500 words…weeding out your imagination.

Writing is such an art, organic and godlike in its arrival, but I feel we need to carry less luggage on the page, for ourselves as well as our faithful followers.

A Thingirl’s two cents.

SB

Posted in humanity, readng, words, writing | Tagged , , , , , | 17 Comments

A Bad Receiver

Why is receiving so hard for some?

Why can’t one just muster a gracious thank you and move on?

A person’s discomfort after I send a gift or note, brings up such a wound for me.

The first time I ever made money, I went to Tiffany to buy my mother something special.  I was enthralled with the film, Breakfast at Tiffany’s starring my idol, Audrey Hepburn, so to actually go there was a rite of passage in itself.

When I gave my mother her silver, monogramed hand mirror I had dated with my initials on the back, she said, “Your aunt brought me a mirror from Vegas I much prefer,” putting it back in the box never to be seen again. (Vegas?)

Very painful for a 22 year-old who merely wanted to honor her mom, sharing her first monetary success.

I give naturally, like a tic I can’t control.  I don’t preen in that generosity, but do flinch when it’s criticized.

It’s also a way to heal when I’m hurting since it takes you out of yourself.

My old neighbor, Mimi, who’s already gone a year, scolded me for sending cards.  I felt terrible since, it’s how I keep in touch.  “You’re frivolous,” she told me with iron in her voice. “Don’t waste money like that.”

On friendship, I’m wasting money?

I left something for my other neighbor who’s also older and alone, just with two cats I always address whenever I leave anything…to be funny.

So when I left Patrick a little wind-up baby chick who tap danced on Easter, I truly thought it would please his master.  Well, I was told how silly it was, and don’t I have anything better to do?

Whenever I get my hair done, I bring Chagall a snack since he’s all alone in his shop….kind of like a one man hair band…pun intended, but rather than a thank you, I was told the man who makes Chobani Yogurt funds terrorism and what the hell’s the matter with me buying it. (this was news to me by the way, and shame on you Mr. Chobani.)

And those hits just keep on com’in.

What happened to grace? When did she jump ship, and was it a kidnapping, or suicide?

It’s formal definition is, courteous goodwill, poise…decency, a polite manner of behaving.

We are all born with it, a gift from above, but somehow it gets pushed to the back of the closet in favor of arrogance, judgment and narrow sleeves rolled with rudeness.

I think it’s time, we all clean out our closets.

SB

 

 

Posted in Faith, Gratitude, humanity, Love, parents, religion | Tagged , , , | 24 Comments

A Three Dollar Bill

Starbucks  5 A.M.

Believe it or not, there’s a line that luckily, is behind me.

In walks Mr. Brooks Brothers, who I’ve written about (https://athingirl.com/2017/03/01/) perfectly pressed, in his usual hurry.

He looks perplexed, with six customers ahead of him, as if he still might be in his pajamas instead of his navy pinstriped suit.

I spin into neighborly action buying his coffee so he doesn’t have to wait.

While I’m at the milk bar, he nervously comes over waving three dollars in my face like a Confederate flag.  I say, “No, it’s fine, it was my pleasure.”

Appearing to panic, he places the money on my usual table, then zooms out.

Before I can sit there, a man has already occupied it, obviously pocketing the three bucks.

“Excuse me,” I say nicely, “did you happen to see three dollars by any chance?”

“Nope, didn’t see no three dollas.”

“I say nothing more, sitting behind him.

Who goes rushing by the window with his briefcase and L.L.Bean gym bag, but Mr. Brooks Brothers, who as he passes, gives me the high sign.

The man who was the benefactor of his three dollars, gives it back.

Well, guess that was apt when you think about it.

Just one more tale in the Naked City.

SB

Posted in Fashion, Gratitude, humanity, humor, men, New York City, Starbucks | Tagged , , , | 21 Comments

Those Who Can’t Teach

I came upon a young mother with a baby girl and a brand new Pit puppy, each ambling alongside her, as she slowly pushed a stroller.

African American, pretty, no more than 25, a Norman Rockwell that jumped off the wall.

Have you ever seen a Pit Bull puppy with their big feet and wobbly legs, gallumping, not quite sure what to make of life just yet?   images

And the baby, with her triple diaper action making her bum stick up like a pogo stick, equally amazed at everything she sees, including her new pet.

As I stop to watch, the mother sweetly smiles, giving patience a whole new face, since they’re walking like snails, every few steps, one of them, plopping down on the pavement.

“You have quite an enterprise goin on,” I say to her.

“She’s afraid of our new dog, so I’m trying to teach her, Hero’s her friend.”

“Hero…what a great name, since that’s who he’ll be to her once she gets over her fear.”

As I say this, Ava is her name, is hiding behind her mom’s ample thigh, only revealing one eye, the rest of her hidden in the folds of her mother’s sweat pants. imagesGoogle Images, but a good Ava lookalike

“Can I try something?”

She nods.

I slowly kneel in front of Hero, opening my palms to let him see, I come in peace, the way one should always approach any animal.  That way, they make the decision to be friendly, or not, so there are no misunderstandings.

“Look Ava, Hero is kissing my hands to let me know, it’s okay to pet him,” which I do, along his hardy backside, he thoroughly enjoys.

She watches suspiciously, but then her mom holds out her palms that Hero sniffs and licks, bunts and basks in all the trust he’s happily collecting.

So finally, the little girl, her diapers in the air, kneels down holding out the tiniest two hands her new pal, on cue, accepts with pure love.

I leave them all on their feet, continuing their journey, happy to have contributed.

Have you ever just moved yourself to tears?

Now standing on the corner weeping, being in an emotional state to start with, when the little Latino peanut vendor…a buck a bag…comes over and says, “That was so bee-oo-ta ful Miss,” handing me one….palms open.

Only in New York.

images-1  Anne Geddes

SB

Posted in animals, Faith, Family, food, humanity, humor, kids, Love, New York City, parents, words | Tagged , , , , , | 22 Comments

The Norma Rae of Hats

This involves my friend Ed who dresses like a matinee idol..impeccably stylish…treating his wardrobe with the deference due a king.

That said.

We were working together in a vast space amid many tables and chairs.

Ed had gotten up to get coffee.

I was stretching my legs, when a guy with a plate filled with eggs, sat in Ed’s chair.

It wasn’t so much that he sat there, even though twenty other seats were available, it was that he moved Ed’s hat.

Now to his credit, Ed is a very calm, collected human being, unlike myself whose fuse is the length of a nose hair, so it was no surprise, he didn’t react, and I did.

“Excuse me, someone is sitting there as you can see, by the hat you just moved.”

This ill-mannered putz with a shaved head like a cue ball, looked right through me as if I were glass.

“Did you hear me?”

“Relax.  I’m eating my breakfast.”

“RELAX DID YOU SAY???”  YOU HAD NO RIGHT TO MOVE SOMEONE’S BELONGINGS THE WAY YOU DID AND YOU KNOW WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH THAT TONE OF VOICE THERE PAL.”

I saw that Mr. Entitled was getting a little nervous after he dropped eggs on his lap.

I looked over at Ed who said nothing, almost pretending he didn’t know me, or his hat (gee, wonder why), quietly stirring his coffee.

I stood over the guy like a traffic cop who finally got up and sat elsewhere.

Norma Rae: Forget it! I’m stayin’ right where I am. It’s gonna take you and the police department and the fire department and the National Guard to get me outta here!”

I then put Ed’s hat back on his chair, where it belonged, resuming my legendary cheerfulness.

 

images-2

Norma, that little dickens, who looks a lot like Susannah, had finally left the building.

Ed, you can come back now.

🙂  SB

 

 

Posted in Cinema, Fashion, food, humanity, humor, media, New York City, Women and men, words | Tagged , , , , | 19 Comments