Friday, July 23, 2010

Lessons in Details and Gratitude

Brought to you by a McDonald's large, not medium, Diet Coke.

It's Friday and the end of a very, ultra busy event week.  I have sore everything and things are throbbing that shouldn't throb.  On top of that, on a morning where I should bask in the glory of my amazingness, which is what I do the mornings after events, I had a press conference to stage.

*cursing under my breath and out of my bed which I did not want to get out of*

It's post press conference.  I park underground, come inside my apartment, kick off my heels and instantly feel grateful.  I mean grateful in the hugest way someone can feel grateful.  Grateful like empire state building or egyptian pyramid big grateful.  That grateful.  But it's for the little things.  The detail things.

Here's a couple I thought I'd share.

Feet free from four inch heels.  Large diet cokes when you normally get medium diet cokes - especially hot days with air conditionless cars.  Service managers that say, "I know others don't see but I see you - you have your eye on everything, Cole.  I see."  Sunglasses that shade harsh sun and brief frustrations.  Showing grace when I only want to show 'strangle'.  Home air conditioning set low and then lower again.  Mixing up all The Godfather movies to make my own synopsis.  Assistants that finish my sentences and understand my different head nods.  Men that remember.  Summers.  Being called a sexy, smart damsel in distress.  Working until my team stops working. Necklaces that turn into bracelets that turn into sometime belts. Tears that last three minutes instead of three days.  Sweaters.  Messy beachy hair.  Almost biting my nail but then not because things really are okay.  Little boys with summer tans that scrunch their noses when they answer you.  Girls that proclaim their favorite color is pink until their favorite color is green.  Oh, and nicknames.  I love a good nickname.

I like details.  I love the little things.  I'm enjoying this summer, this Can't Decide If I'm Going To Be Hot Or Cold Summer.  It's fickle.  I understand it.  It's sort of like a woman that way.  I get that.

Much love to you as you pay attention to the little details of your very big every days,

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Lessons in Wills

Brought to you by the year 2003.    I wondered a bit on Twitter yesterday if Will would phone me from the airport as he headed out to Cairo.  You see, he always does that and normally the calls are full of him out of breath as he races for the check-in or sits down in his seat.  He generally runs late, Will does but he always, always phones me to say he's on the plane and to say goodbye and we have our chat about us.  That's just what we do, Will and I.

Things are changing though.  This trip to Cairo Will is getting married and not to me.  And you may wonder how my soul is resting with that.  I'll have to let you know Monday.  He's sending me the feed so I can watch him take his vows live.  A little twisted watching the former, first love of my life get married to someone else?  No, not at all.  When you love someone from the gut and know they aren't for you and that they are for someone else, you even want to be there for the big moments even if the big moments aren't for you

So my phone rings and it's Will and it's the last call he's going to make to me as "us".  You know...I'm not going to be first or even second probably not third on his phone anymore.  I'm sure I haven't been for sometime.  Still, he makes the call and it goes something like this:

Cole:  Are you on the plane?
Will: Seat 29. (Will is a nano engineer and likes to get to the point)
Cole: Really? You called.  You did.
Will:  Seat 29.  I told you.
Cole: What if I told you I loved you.  Would you change your mind?
Will:  Come on.  First of all, you're not in love with me.  Second, you're still a lion and the only benefit to marrying you is having white babies.  Maybe I should marry you.  (Will is Egyptian and desperately wants white babies)
Cole: What time is the ceremony?
Will: I'll send you the link.  You can watch it live.  I'll even wave goodbye to you.  (brutal, he is)
Cole: I love you. I love you.  I love you.  You gave me the best of everything.
Will:  Stop it.  I'm not dying.  Not til I marry this one anyway.  Then you two can fight over who speaks at my funeral.  No, Habibti, you gave me the best, first six years in America I could imagine.  I love you.  I'm going to bring The Wife (that's what we call her) to California and she's going to like you.  I'm going to make her like you.

I walked back inside my office and Miss Chloe, my assistant asked if I was okay.  With tears in my eyes, the only thought I can muster is I feel sentimental.  Not sad, not depressed, not regretful...full of memories and adoration for a man that helped raise me into a full pre middle age woman. 

I do less stomping of my feet because of you, Habibi.  I am calmer because of you.  I've been to places I never would have seen and met people I never would have met.  And learned a language that some see as so harsh but I hear such beauty in.  You opened my heart to another world and gave me a million memories that I'll paper someday. 

For now my heart is grateful, so grateful, for an airplane call.


Monday, July 5, 2010

Lessons in Crowds

Brought to you by sparklers and the joy of writing your name with one.

Sunday night and I had two fairly enticing options: go to Pacific Symphony's Firework event at Verizon Wireless Ampitheater or grab a bottle of wine, some very bbq-ish food, sit on the hood of my car and watch fireworks old school.

I did a little of both.  I'm sorta like that.

I like days that don't have much in the way of structure to them.  Come when you want and go when you want and have dinner when you want and eat macaroni and cheese with bacon when you want.  Those sort of days.  Today was one of them.  I finished with a perfectly greasy meal and, it being still light out, figured heading over to the ampitheater might be worth while.

It was. 

So, there was this perfectly lovely event and as it ended there were sudden mad dashes for the exit.  Rather than join the crowd, I sat back and...watched.

There are interesting things to see when you watch the crowd.

The Hand Gesturer.
He's standing in the midst of the crowd and melting down.  Though I do think he's talking to himself as a coping mechanism and I can completely appreciate that.  It's the hand gestures that make me wonder if he's going to pull a machete anytime soon and take out half of Orange County.  Keep thinking of happy, soft places, sir. You're almost out of the crowd.

Look at Me Guy.
He speaks loud enough for half of the crowd to hear him, "I'm SO glad we got the good seats and not the ones 30 rows back.  Aren't YOU?"  He sees me roll my eyes at him and quiets down a bit.  I'm not fond of The Loud having been one in my past life.

The Comedian.
Okay, my favorite.  Mid to late fifties, walking down the stairs and getting in the crowds, always looking for the laugh sort of guy.  He says, "I lost my wife, but that's okay.  If you find her you can have her."  His wife is right behind him rolling HER eyes. 

Sequined Hat Woman.
She's around 84 and is wearing a sequined top hat that has been sat on at least 37 times.  If you saw the way she wore it though you'd smile like I did.  She walks by me and I mention my admiration.  Her response, "It's old but I'm never going to stop wearing it."  When you're 84, the style rules no longer apply to you. 

(Please, please shoot me in the back of the head if I turn into a sequined top hat wearing old woman.  Please.)

No, this wasn't the same crowd as the Sting concert and there weren't waitresses coming by for my drink order and the line for the disabled shuttle was longer than the VIP drink line.  Still, I think the stories this crowd could tell would be richer any day.  At the end of the event, the conductor of the symphony honored the members of the armed forces by playing each of the marches.  As they played you saw young and old stand and reach across aisles to salute and nod at each other.  Nods full of layers.  Nods full of life.  Nods full of sacrifice and struggle and decisions. 

You get to wear a freakin' sequined top hat when you've sacrificed for your country.  And you get to talk to yourself in crowded lines that make you nervous when you've given years in service for our freedom.  And you get to make silly cracks at your wife's expense when you have to leave your country and work overseas.  And you get to talk overly loud.....well, don't get to do that, sir.  You're still too loud. 

A big, sequined, sparkler written thank you.
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