Saturday, January 9, 2010

"where's your girl?"

it was on this night, in 1992, that biff and i actually spoke to each other for the first time.  we had been ice skating at christopher morley park for a few skating seasons.  we always noticed each other while skating....yet, were both there to skate, not date.

actually, i was there to skate because i just wanted to do something i loved, since i was a little girl.  i have sweet memories of my dad taking me to christopher morley skating rink to skate.  i had never skated at a public rink before.  i had only skated on polliwog pond, in manhasset, nearby.

polliwog was a neighborhood pond.....always filled with the neighborhood kids. we'd walk down to polliwog, sit on the most comfortable log we could find, lace very cold weather, with freezing hands and feet.....before we even started to skate.   no fire to warm up, no little hut, nothing.....but lots of kids playing pick up hockey games and  others swirling and twirling parents to hover over us, check our mittens, hats and coats or parents to observe proper  rules.....only the kids' unspoken rules....that took care of themselves.  as far back as i can remember, we all had some generic skates or hand me high tech special northface.  just winter stuff!  til we were so frozen, we could barely unlace our skates.....or we just walked home, with the skates on.

the only fancy pants  accessory that i remember having were my bright pink, poofy pom poms on my skates.   i remember my dad driving my best friend and i downtown to phil's sportshop, a local store with the owner in the store, selling local stuff like football, baseball jerseys of the local teams, he sold sneakers, socks, skates and the stuff of smalltown, mom n pop shops.  we don't have many of those small time stores local sports stores selling to the local community, knowing the names of the parents, the kids and the coaches.  in fact, before the credit card days of today, phil let everyone buy on credit, if necessary.

so, it was during the winter of 1990 that i decided to get myself back on the ice....i had moved back to my hometown....i was "boyfriend free" at times.  even the boyfriends that i dated at the time, never really wanted to skate with me.  oh sure, there were a couple that i dragged out to the ice, as a romantic date, but there really wasn't that skater spark with those dates.  that was o.k. because i had decided to just enjoy dating...just sampling a little of this and a little of that, like the bakery.

since i had such fond memories of ice skating, i decided to take my little niece skating.  she was about 6 or so.  we skated each winter and she was really a quick study...we had lots of fun...skating round and round and round....we were skating buddies.  she was great company....mostly, better than some of my dates in those days....probably a better skater too!

thursday nights were our favorite nights to skate.  i'd get home from the city after work, get changed, pick up my niece and lace up. we loved the music, the lights, the families and friends.  we skated almost every thursday night, sometimes saturdays and sundays.

every thursday night, i noticed another skater.  he was cute.  he had hockey skates, nicely worn jeans, colorful windbreaker, baseball hat, horned rim glasses and a bushy mustache.  i loved watching him zip by....every week.  i really wasn't there to meet guys, so i would see him....and make up my own story about him...probably worked down the road at brooks brothers....gets out of work and stops by the rink.
he skated alone. i skated with my sweet niece.

to make a long story long, i'll wrap it up with the best part.  i was clueless.  our timing was perfect.  on this night, 18 years ago, i was skating alone.  my niece had a cold.  i skated round and round.  endorphins, the reason that kept me coming back, and the exercise that kept me in great shape.  i skated til the end of the session, as usual.  the brooks brothers guy was there, he skated til the end of the session, as usual.

i unlaced my skates. what a great feeling.  skating gave me a natural high.  i took my skates off, walked over to the towel, wiped off the blades, tossed them over my shoulder, and walked up the ramp toward the parking lot.  and just at the top of the ramp, i looked up ahead, and my "brooks brothers" guy was there.....when he made eye contact he said, "where's your girl?"

our story has gotten exaggerated over the years. now, my "brooks brothers" guy, biff, says that i answered something to the effect of......."MY girl...that's NOT MY girl...that's my niece....i haven't had a date in ages"......not quite, maybe?

the best part of the story comes from turns out, he was trying to talk to me since the last season...not session....season!  he says that i was always busy talking to may niece.....he said, he was never sure if she was my daughter cuz we looked alike.  he said i always wore gloves, so he couldn't see if i was wearing a wedding ring.  we were engaged a year later....on the ice at rockefeller center!

he later said that he tied his sneakers our timing would be the same.  so, our timing was great.  i still thank my niece for staying home with her cold.  it was the start of a fun skating and dating life....that still continues today.  

we laugh, because it all started just because of biff's three words....."where's your girl?"

it's dunkin donuts time!

it's husband and i are's a morning with no plans, no place to hurry off to.......we're all cozy in bed, with comforters layered and poofy.  on this bright, sunshiny, very cold morning, we are lounging and laying low.  we have been talking and reading and just staying put.....if only someone would bring us coffee!  we haven't just stayed put like this for......years?   maybe that's an exaggeration.....well, maybe it's not!

we love to get up and out.  if the coffee could be served and maybe a croissant, on a tray, we could pretend that we're in a hotel room in paris.  oh...wait...i just mean for the room service....nothing risque'...because, even if we had the room service and the coffee and the croissant and the butter and jam and shiny hotel silver and some rustic french accordian music playing, we'd still hear a knock on the door.  it would be our kids....."do they have internet here?"

we live in a world where the outside coming in at all hours is just the norm.  even a year ago, it wasn't as dramatic.  i don't think our home had facebook or x-box then.  i didn't have my little net book and biff didn't have his blackberry, the kids didn't each have their own i touch.  sure, we had internet and cell phones and music in our bedrooms....just not to this degree.

here i am, today, enjoying this beautiful morning with my biff, all layered like a cotton commercial.  he decided to look over his christmas gifts..... books stacked on his night table, since christmas night.... .....finally, having a moment to just sit and review the books, deciding which he'll dive into first.  just a few sit in bed and live simply, with no specific school busses to think family gatherings.....nada nothing zip!

so, this morning, while we lounge here, serene, peaceful and calm....we realize what a joy to have the time again to just daydream or to whisper and laugh....and share some thoughts of the week that we haven't had time for.  we live simply, yet with so much coming into our home via the internet, our lives have changed just months.

sure, we've had the internet, since dial up our children, that's like telling them about the days of telegrams!  as time went on, we had cable which allowed internet access all of the time.  great for those work projects and school projects and some e-mails.....from the folks who used electronic mail and for some of us who used it, sporadically.  it began, simply, just for biff's laptop and the family desktop. then more, more, more.  our kids...this is their's all they've ever known.

as biff reviews his christmas books, i see my little "barbie net book"....i peek inside, turn it on and read some e-mails....and some facebook....and i open up my blog.i call it "barbie" because it's that funny pink....and it matches my phone....and my ipod!  a little matched set!  i love whimsy!

grace comes in, to talk about the day...

biff rolls out slowly...wrestling with layers of crumpled cotton, 400 count.

now, sitting up,   i'm typing on my little netbook.  biff just brought me the cord to keep it i can write my blog.

we hear t.j. call out......"can we go out for breakfast?".....

our early morning, up and atom style was just a bit different for us all this morning.  if only we had a t.v. in our room, we'd all still be cuddled and swaddled in these watch some old cartoons.

we're  ready to go out for some breakfast.....after we get dressed, walk the dogs, feed the dogs,  and just one more thing and another...... it's dunkin donuts time.

when we lived in boston, when grace and t.j. were babies, we were in dunkin donuts headquarters territtory.  there seemed to be those happy pink signs on every block.....and they had just created the drive through dunkin donuts.   like a life preserver, that drive through dunkin donuts appeared at the time in our lives when we were floating.....without much sleep.  with two babies in car seats, the idea of stopping anywhere was sometimes daunting.

to consider pulling into the parking lot, getting out of the car.......taking one baby out of the carseat, trying to keep that baby in one place, while removing the second baby from the carseat, managing to hold onto a wallet and car keys and sometimes a tantrum or crying baby.......with padded snowsuits and boots in freezing temperatures.......or on a hot day with steaming, sticky seats and tired babies, it really wasn't worth the cup of coffee.  i never fed babies dunkin donuts til much, much later......i waited til they were toddlers!   a blueberry muffin or a corn muffin.....

the dunkin donuts drive through changed my life. "one coffee with milk...pleeeeeez", i'd beg....and drive up to pay....collect my hot coffee....and drive for miles, just for the uninterrupted cup.  sometimes, babies would nap.  othertimes babble and talk....we'd drive for miles while i sipped.  ironically, it calmed me...slowly sipping....driving.....with buckled up babies....quietly calming as we rambled round rotaries near boston and enjoyed our time together.

we were not so much the drive-thru family.....except for that dunkin donuts coffee. it was a lifesaver for parents on the go, with our little ones in tow.

it was at that time in our lives, when we realized the timing.  dunkin donut timing.  we were always up and out with our babies.....and hurried home for some naps.  on the days when we were out by eight a.m., all set with a plan, dunkin drive-thru was a line...get right through.  on the days, we moved out slower, we'd pass a dunkin donuts and see a line wrapped around the block.  that's how we could judge our start on the day.  up and out early, we'd spy a dunkin donuts with no cars.  later...we'd know...the lines told all.

it was the slow moving, dunkin donuts crowd that scared us...the 10:30 crowd... we didn't want to be like them.  they looked lethargic, slow moving...just like the line of cars.  it was the up and atom early birds that zipped through to start the day.  we thought it was best to be in the first round, keeping everything on plan!

and so, this morning, as i write a blog from our cozy bed, i realize i'm on dunkin donut time.  the 10:30 drive-thru, slow moving lane.

it's been a treat, just like the coffee in bed.....and now,  i'm off to enjoy the day!

and just at this moment...biff arrives with my morning cup......of starbucks!  and it's dunkin donuts time....and yes, t.j., we will go out for...."breakfast."

all pumped up with "hi test", as biff calls our starbucks stash we have ground at home.

it's dunkin donuts time....not time for dunkin's the 10:30 timing of the later shift in the dunkin donuts world.

it's dunkin donuts time!