I Love You, Maura B. Jacobson
In 1990, I had this grandiose idea that I would move to Manhattan. New York, not Kansas.
See, I'd always sorta had a secret crush on NYC. I have no explanation for it. I was born on the east coast, but waaaay south of New York. I didn't know anyone at that time that lived in New York. But I did watch a lot of movies, and goddammit if that didn't look like the place where *everything happens*.
Now, as luck would have it, my friend Cathy was from New Jersey...Parsippany, to be exact. And she invited me to join her for a long weekend out there. SO, after I peeled myself from the ceiling, I packed a bag and we flew out, to the loving arms of her incredible mom and the mom's equally incredible boyfriend (who looked a lot like W.C. Fields).
We spent a bit of time in New Jersey. Doing what...?...I really can't recall. I just remember that everywhere we went, we had to take a highway. What, no local roads? Nope, the highway. Curious, that. I think we went to a beach? One day?
But the Friday we were there, the mom and boyfriend took us to The City. Oh. My. God! It was sososo everything I thought, so much grander, and by that I mean bigger, loud and hectic. The subway was cleaner than I thought. (Of course it was daytime and the biggest threat we encountered were clumps of stockbrokers crowding the platform...don't push ME, Armpitstain!) Cans of soda came with straws? Oh! They're sanitary! Well aren't you all so bloody clever!
You know when you go someplace and you just feel like you're home, even though you've never been there? I felt like that there. Like the burner in me got turned to low simmer and the blood in my veins was bubbling those little bubble dances. I had a hard time eating at the fancy-schmancy restaurant because I was too damn excited and wanted to see it all. We walked down Wall Street and grinned at the businessfolk chain-smoking and yammering at each other. We stood in line for an hour to go to the top of the World Trade Center, and we stayed there in the whipping breezes for a long time. I took pictures. I'm sad and crushed sitting here, typing, realizing I can never take my kids up there, realizing how innocent that was. That night, we drove back to New Jersey, and I just wanted to yell at my hosts, "On second thought, you can just pull over right here and let me out...I'm staying!"
Why didn't I move?
Coupla reasons. First, I doubted my ability to make a living there. Second, there was this guy. (STUPID GIRL!) Yeah, this guy I met there and things happened when I got back from vacation, and then things didn't happen, and then I got fed up, and then I got a raise at my job, then I started doing local theatre, and things just got away from me.
But that does NOT mean that I still don't love the place.
Soon after returning, I subscribed to New York Magazine. Have ever since. Not that I'm trying to get y'all to buy it, but you really should, it's just exactly what a midwestern girl needs to keep the fire stoked. Living vicariously through periodicals, I know, how pathetic is that?!?!
As much as I love the articles, and the gossip, and the endless reviews of "Spamalot" and NY music and how to make a lovely dish of fiddleheads, what makes me grab the magazine like a starving dog grabs a bone, is located on the very last page.
Maura B. Jacobson, I love you. I don't know how you do it. You always make me feel smart, and by that I mean pop-culture and useless trivia smart and paid-attention-in-school smart. Each week there's a different theme, and it thrills my geeky heart to no end to get the first one and go...A-HA!!! THAT'S what she's doing! I work like manic on that thing, whenever I get a spare minute or two. (I relish the Saturdays when I can sit down and do the entire puzzle at once! Oh, sweet hey-soos!) I can generally complete the thing, and when I can't, when I don't know the, like, supreme ruler of outer Mongolia, I just fudge it. I mean, it's not a test, fer cryin'!
Today I'm home with a sick boy-child, who, unfortunately, threw up at school 20 minutes after I left him this morning. He's fine, he's itching to play computer games and Playstation (and the Mean Mom just repeats, in her get-well mantra, "No! You must rest! Your last soccer game is tomorrow morning! Want some Vernors? A banana? Go to sleep!"). ((Vernors, BTW, is our local ginger ale, and I can't drink any other kind.))
I was gonna blog about something totally else, which can so wait, and was just about to stick the Title up above, when the mailman dropped his load (no, not SHOT his load, ya pervs), through the mail slot. The cat went crazy, of course, cause she was sleeping under there, and I scooped up the carnage to find, dated May 23, 2005:
Sohn on the Straight Girl Crush.
Andersen on Salvaging Ground Zero.
Robert Kolker on a Mafia Family Reunion
Worrying About a Real-Estate Crash.
Neighborhoods Ranked by Risk.
Is Your Apt. Like a Dot-Com Stock?
And I, of course, tore back the back page to find...ah...my sweet sweet Maura. "Tennis, Anyone?" Yeah, baby, you're so sweet to think of me. Later, when the Mean Mom is locked in the cellar, and the Nice Mom lets sick-boy play on the computer (okay I'll cave much, much later in the day), I'll have a lovely time with Maura and my favorite blue Bic.
Life. Is. Good!