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The Party Dress

Phone call with my friend Sharon last Friday at work:

Sharon: "What are you doing this weekend?"

Me: "Um. Let's see...Tonight I have a Christmas Party. My neighbor and her "original founder of Yahoo" boyfriend are throwing a big holiday event in Cupertino. I'm going to go home and shoehorn myself into my outlet center sparkly party dress that makes my ass look like a bag of hammers, drive down to Cupertino in my 2000 Toyota Sienna, then load up on baked brie en croute while making small talk with 48-year-old women who look like Victoria's Secret models. What are you doing?

Sharon: "Nothing that fun..."

While driving home from work, I prayed. "Help me to be less jealous. More grateful. Less fearful. More accepting. Less judgemental. More loving."

I angsted about that party all week. Perseverated, really. I had vividly imagined two hours of feeling undereducated, underyoga-ed and underdressed in my On Fifth frock. Instead? I had a love…

Obon for Mrs. Edwards

I'm sitting here in my cubicle, watching the cars drive by; watching our IT manager brave the rain in a noble attempt to get some winter exercise.

And I marvel at the ordinariness of their driving and walking. I wonder how, knowing that Elizabeth Edwards died from breast cancer yesterday and that millions of women will die from the same disease, they can drive and walk with what seems like pure oblivion.

I wondered the same thing, when as a mom who had just returned to full-time work two months prior, I listened on the phone at work to my radiologist gently tell me that my ultrasound/biopsy revealed the fact that I had 10 lumps in my right breast. "Infiltrating lobular cancer," she said. Not, "Infiltrating lobular carcinoma." I listened as I stood in the corner of the stairwell by the elevator. I listened as I watched someone drop a pat of butter on the carpeted floor as they walked back to their cubicle with their lunch. I listened as I watched the receptionist…

Mothers and Daughters (and oil and water, and Israel and Palestine, and...)

One day while driving home from work, I called my friend Kyle in tears.

"My daughter hates me."

"If it makes you feel any better," she said, "I have two daughters. Double the hate. In fact, I made [honey] kosher chicken noodle soup last weekend and she gave me shit about it."

"?"

"We're Jewish, but [honey] is orthodox. She only eats kosher. And she has to have her kosher food made in separate pots and pans and served on separate dinnerware. I make [honey] kosher chicken noodle soup every Friday night to make sure she'll have something kosher to eat for the weekend."

"Wow. That's really nice of you."

"Except for the fact that I was chopping the carrots and celery with my bare hands, which made [honey] wretch and gag and proclaim me disgusting."

"You asshole!"

"I know! I feel horrible!"

A couple of days later, I was telling my boyfriend about an incident with my daughter. "You know," I…

What Matters

I know. I take off an entire year, now I just can't stop writing. So much to document. The Walk. The Man. The Kids. Of course, people used to read this blog. Now, it's just me. No worries. I have reached that point in my life where I understand what's truly important. Who'd have ever thought that an angst-ridden, self-conscious chick like me would get to the point where other people's opinions don't matter? Or, truth be told, matter less?

True story: My brother, his wife, me and my kids were in my brother's Honda Pilot last Christmas, going to Stanford to return Christmas presents. My brother and I share a love of Alison Krauss and Shawn Colvin. But lately, my brother's taste in music has devolved, as evidenced by the Glee soundtrack streaming from the Pilot's speakers that day.

Mike: "Uncle Dennis, your music sucks ass."

Uncle Dennis: "You know what's great about being middle-aged, Mike? You don't give a shit what other peopl…

The Man

When I was 10, shopping at Sears Roebuck with my mom, I would wander around the men's section and pretend I was a grown woman, shopping for her man. I would ruffle through the rugged red and black plaid shirts, looking for that rare extra extra large. My man was very big and outdoorsy. A guy's guy, but bighearted and true. I'd find jeans, socks, underwear and undershirts, and maybe a surprise: socket wrenches from the tool department.

Later, while setting the table for dinner, I'd lift the lid on the big pot on the stove and stir, letting the steam from Mom's vegetable soup fill the kitchen. How homey I make my home, our home, for my man. I lay out the Parmesan cheese. Salt and pepper. Saltines. Big blue and white bowls. Big spoons. Glasses for milk. Cloth napkins.

I ladle the soup into the bowls and anticipate my man's appreciation. Hi smiles at me and tells me he loves me. And my soup.

It's been almost 11 months since I met Kevin. When he reads this, I'm…

Avon Toe-Day Walk

You can get blisters between your toes. Bet you didn't know that...

I didn't know that, but I found out last weekend when I did the Avon Two-Day Walk in San Francisco with my friend, Sophie.

Highlights of the event:

1)Sophie. She had me laughing from Mile 1 to Mile 44 (I know they said it was 39 miles, but the GPS said otherwise).

2)Kevin. My last post was in September of 2009. On September 1, 2009, I met Kevin. Since then, I've been showered with love, acceptance, generosity and patience. Kevin got to Sausalito at 8:00, waiting for me and Sophie to walk by and cheer us on. We didn't get there until 10. He had a big smile for us and big kiss for me :)

3)San Jose Cops. They were our mountain bike escorts. Great guys. Ridiculous calves.

4)Rest Station Nurses. Saved my feet, actually. And, later, my knees.

5)Wellness Village dinner. Big, piping hot plate of spaghetti and meatballs. Rivals dinner in Rome, Italy, as my best meal, ever.

6)"Freelance" roadside well-wishers…