Girl Talk, Life Lessons

Don’t Bug Me

Sunday morning, I wake up with the spins.  Instead of going to church, I kneel on the cold bathroom floor praying to the porcelain goddess.  Hazy and dizzy, I crawl back to bed.  This is some bug I’ve got.

On Monday, I swear I’ll never eat again.  But, fearing dehydration, I force myself to drink watered-down juice.  I sleep a lot, awaken drenched with sweat.  The relentlessly-ringing phone saves me from delirium.  Robo-calls alternately congratulate me – I’ve won a 5-day stay at a Florida resort – or warn me there’s a warrant out for my arrest.  And my mother, keeping a long-distance vigil over my weak, limp body, wants an hourly update on my fever – which has climbed from 101.5 to 102.7.

It’s Tuesday and I haven’t showered for two days so I look and feel disgusting.  After a long, hot shower, I still look and feel disgusting but at least I’m clean when I go to the doctor.

She shakes her head.  “You’ve got the flu, all right.  You’ve got it good.”

“But I got a flu shot,” I whine.

She hands me a prescription for Tamiflu.  “Take it with food,” she warns. “It’ll mess with your stomach.”

Wednesday, toast and Jell-O are my only friends.  I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.  The silver lining?  Surely I’ve lost a couple of pounds.  Unable to sleep, I binge watch several TV shows I’m too embarrassed to name.

By Thursday, the medication’s done a number on my stomach.  I must be down four or five pounds.  I drink flat Pepsi and eat graham crackers.  Just not at the same time.  Bored with television, I answer work email.

Come Friday, I’m out of clean sheets, towels, and PJ’s so I muster the energy to go down the basement and do some laundry.  It’s enough to wipe me out; I take to the love seat, wrapped in a fleece blanket, and moan, in between sips of soup.

Sometime over the weekend, I manage scrambled eggs for breakfast, and broiled chicken with soupy mashed potatoes for dinner.  The worst is finally over.

Monday morning, it’s time to rejoin the world, go back to work.  I step on the scale, anticipating my dramatic weight loss.  No!  It can’t be!  The scale has not budged.

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Girl Talk

Putting Your Best Foot Forward

spring-slidesLast week’s “February thaw” had me checking out the spring forecast – the spring fashion forecast, that is.  Seems THE shoe for spring is a peep toe slide with a block heel.  After living in boots for the past five months, I can hardly wait to slip into a pair of these babies.  But first I’ll need to get my feet back into shape.

Whether you schedule regular pedis at the salon, or are more of a DIY girl, you probably don’t pay the same attention to your feet in winter that you do during beach season.  While I generally polish my toe nails during the winter, how good can they look when I’m forced to keep them clipped uber-short because of the aforementioned boots?  And even though I smother my tootsies in lotion, then wrap them in spa socks in an attempt to ward off alligator skin, my feet are not suitable for public viewing at the moment.

Gotta get to work – heel and toes, heels and toes – my own version of spring training.  So I’ve stopped cutting my toe nails.  In a few weeks I’ll begin shaping them with an emery board, and by Easter they’ll be the perfect length for peep toes and strappy sandals.  There are plenty of gadgets for getting rid of unsightly calluses, and most of them work pretty well.  And finally two words: Epsom Salt.  Dissolve a half-cup of this magnesium-rich stuff in a basin of hot water, and a ten minute soak a few times a week will do wonders for your feet.

Now it’s time to go shoe shopping!red poppy

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Girl Talk, Life Lessons, Mothers and Daughers

A Red Swing Coat

She stepped out of the taxi, so vibrant, so cute, in her hot pink woolen swing coat.  Her lipstick was a perfect match.  She opened her vintage black patent leather kiss lock purse to pay the driver.  Then she was on the move.  She clearly had places to go.   It was many years ago, but I still remember that older lady in the bubblegum pink swing coat, and how I thought: I want to be her someday.

Now let me preface this by saying that my mom has not yet reached the age of that older lady in the pink swing coat.  She has a way to go yet.  But during one of our recent shopping expeditions, the topic of dressing one’s age came up.

Me, I’m of the belief that looking fashionable has no age limit.  My mother, however, was concerned that the pair of dress pants she was trying on were not exactly age appropriate for her.  “Are they too trendy?” she wanted to know.

Forget that we were shopping in a store that caters to women of a certain age.

“No,” I asserted.  “They fit you like a glove – and you look great.”

She shrugged, “I don’t know…”

vintage-red-swing-coatJust then, the older lady in the pink swing coat came to mind.

“Do you like these pants?”  I asked, “Will you enjoy wearing them?” and before she could answer, I added, “Then who cares what anybody else thinks.”

I shouldn’t have had to convince her to buy the pants.  It’s a shame that we, as women, are always questioning ourselves, especially about our appearance.

As for me, I’m still planning to wear a lively swing coat someday.  But I’m not a pink girl.  So mine will be red.  And with it, I’ll wear lipstick that’s a perfect match.

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Pop Culture

Movie Magic

old-movie-theatre

“You should have fandangoed,” I was told, when I got to the movie theater and found the show had already sold out.  Are you kidding me?  It was 11:00 on a Saturday morning.

Fandangoed!  Where’s the spontaneity in that?  Call me old school, but if I have to plan that far ahead, pick a particular date, and specific time to go see a performance, it better well be a Broadway play or a rock concert.

Recently, I tried out this new high-tech multiplex where I was required to choose my seat by viewing a touch screen.  Then I was handed a tablet with a pre-loaded menu that ranged from burgers to steak, and bottled water to designer martinis.  All I really wanted was popcorn.  Or a box of snow caps.

Whatever happened to the movie magic?  The kind I felt every time I stepped into a movie house with an art deco lobby, velvet curtains, and a balcony.  They had names like The Paris, The Cheri, The Paramount.  Maybe the bar was set too high for me, because the first time I ever went to the movies I saw Mary Poppins at Radio City Music Hall.  I was three-years-old.  And everything about it was magic.

When I mentioned all this to my mom she not only agreed with me, she reminisced about her teenage hangout.  “We called our neighborhood movie The Itch,” she smiled nostalgically.  The Granada – fondly nicknamed The Itch – was rundown, with dirty, sticky floors from all the soda the kids spilled, and it was not uncommon to see a critter skittle by every so often.  The place sounded like it just oozed movie magic, and I’d take it over some soulless cookie cutter multiplex any day.

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Life Lessons, Writers and Writing

New Year, New Plan

writing_2017As I watched the ball drop in Times Square, I thought about New Year’s resolutions.  Ordinarily, I’m not a fan of absolutes.  Like giving up carbs.  Who cuts out a whole food group, cold turkey?  Or vowing to work out five days a week.  Does walking to the bus stop count?

Still, as confetti fell all over 44th and Broadway, I got the same start-over-fresh feeling I had every September when the new school year began.  New notebooks, new pencils… only now I use a keyboard.

It’s been one year since I started my blog, Dolce Zitella.  And as the New Year begins, it’s the perfect time to thank everyone who’s read the weekly blog posts, responded with comments, and recommended the blog to friends.  I truly appreciate your support.

For me, Dolce Zitella has been fun – like having a marathon conversation with the girls.  In contrast, the non-fiction book I’ve been working on for the past several years has been a solitary labor of love.  The subject matter is deeply personal to me, and I’m pretty damn passionate about it.

But here’s the rub – like many of you, my work life is demanding and working late has become the norm.  Every night I work late is a night I don’t get to write.  Between getting home late, keeping up with the blog, and attending to the myriad of things that make up the everyday, carving out enough time to work on the book has been challenging.

Finishing the book in 2017 is not a New Year’s resolution.  It’s my goal.  And with any goal, you need a plan.  So here goes: moving forward, I’ll be writing a new blog post every other week, rather than weekly, so I can devote more time to the book.  Dolce Zitella will still be posted on Thursdays.  I know I can count on all of you to stick with me on this.

And what’s the book about, you may wonder?  Well, that’s another story for another day.

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Girl Talk

In Praise of Loungewear

red-silk-pjsForget comfort food.  I’m all about comfort clothing, better known as loungewear.  Which any fashionista can tell you is just a fancy name for pajamas.  Pima cotton, microfiber, silk, flannel – the season often dictates the fabric – but every gal has her favorite.

An old t-shirt and jeans may be the correct attire if you’re puttering around the house on a typical Saturday, re-potting a plant or rearranging your bookshelves.  But to truly luxuriate, and sleep late enough some Saturday morning to call your first meal of the day brunch, after which you sit on your sofa reading a magazine, you best be wearing your favorite striped, paisley, or polka dot PJ’s and matching spa socks.

Me, I can’t wait for the weekend to wrap myself in my comfiest, coziest fashions.  Seriously – I literally cannot wait.  As soon as I get home at night, I slip into my loungewear.  And when I dream of working from home, it’s not because of the commute.  It’s because I’d be wearing my loungewear all the time.

So for the vast majority of us who spend our days in constricting garments and high heels, I encourage you to be kind to yourself.  Loungewear is an affordable luxury.  Put on your fancy pants and matching top and pamper yourself.  You deserve it, girl.

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Best of Boston, Girl Talk, Life Lessons

Taking Tea

Last Sunday was the scene of a Boston Tea Party, of sorts.  Okay, it wasn’t exactly a party since there were only three of us.  And technically, we were southwest of Boston.  But there was tea involved.

With Christmas only a week away, we were exhausted, what with all the shopping, the cooking, the cards… and we needed to take a break.  Which meant taking tea.

fancy_thatWe met up in Walpole, Massachusetts, at a hidden gem called “Fancy That.” This unique tea room offers a wide variety of tea, delicious scones, tea sandwiches, and sweets, in an atmosphere that makes you want to trade in your tunic sweater, leggings, and boots for a costume straight out of Downton Abbey.  We truly felt as if we’d been transported to another time and place.

For two luxurious hours, the three of us harried gals sat sipping tea, (I chose a jasmine earl grey called “Buckingham Palace Garden Party Tea”) nibbling on lady-like sandwiches with the crusts cut off, and delicate confections.  We chatted and laughed and recharged our batteries.

My usual remedy for being overbooked, overworked, and overwhelmed is to drink more coffee which only speeds my heart rate as I rush around trying to do just about everything faster.  Who knew I could find such serenity at the bottom of a tea cup?

The next time you’re feeling the pressure, take a few minutes, and take tea!

http://www.afternoontea.com

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