computer “catfish”

English: Photo of Notre Dame linebacker Manti ...

English: Photo of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o taken in 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Media coverage of the Manti Te’o brouhaha continues to dominate the news. It’s up there with President Obama’s cabinet appointments, the resurgence of the Egyptian uprising against the government, and Apple’s tumble from atop Wall Street’s pyramid.

I cringe whenever the pundits recycle the Notre Dame star football player’s romance with a fictitious, Internet girlfriend.

Being from another time, another generation, it’s difficult to comprehend a serious, romantic relationship where the parties have never met in person, let alone embrace one another.

Call me old-fashioned.

The Dating Game

The Dating Game (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just as I’d prefer to try something on for size before buying it, I’d like to spend some time with a guy before taking him home to meet the folks.

My husband and I dated for 3 years before we got engaged. Early on in our relationship, I broke off with him. For a week I vacillated between committing or quitting. I’m sure I drove him crazy, calling every day to explain my dilemma. Even as my best friend, he couldn’t counsel me as to what I should do.

Obviously, I stayed. Four decades later we’re still in love…and still best friends.

Computer dating can work. My daughter’s friend is a prime example. She struck gold on the first try. Her eharmony match is now her husband.

On the flip side, there’s catfishing. 

A malicious by product of the Internet, catfishing draws an unwary user into an intricately created web of deception. A mountain of lies ensures the victim’s entrapment. But like a house built of cards, the inevitable happens…it all comes tumbling down.

English: Native Hawaiian schoolchildren around...

English: Native Hawaiian schoolchildren around 1900. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Being a native Hawaiian, I can’t help but wonder if native folks are more susceptible to being bushwhacked? Are we so gullible as to let others usurp our land…our hearts?

…manti te’o…in love with a computerized woman…daft? or dumb?

………hugmamma.

Advertisements

front and center…a golden nugget

English: Some gold nuggets from Alaska.

English: Some gold nuggets from Alaska. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the great lessons of older age is pausing  to reflect upon life while it continues to unfold. In our hurry to do it all and have it all before our mortality is eclipsed, we often let slip through our fingers small nuggets of gold. Worse yet when we set aside the biggest nugget of all, in the hopes of finding one even more humongous.

Living with someone is a compilation of habits, both good and not so good, accumulated through the days, weeks, months, and years we’re together. Romance and sexual palpitations give way to affection and sweet gestures, if we’re lucky. However butterflies in our stomach, whether thousands or simply a handful, are more often displaced by nibbling moths as we go about our daily grind.

It’s so easy to speak unkind words, raise an eyebrow in disdain, or lower the iron curtain of silence. In youth we pride ourselves upon our self importance, our independence, our ability to move on…alone, if necessary. Not so quick are we to dwell upon these things in older age.

Our significant other becomes like one with ourselves. No longer are the lines of demarcation so absolute. They’re fuzzier now. The distinctions almost a blur.

The same blood doesn’t course through our veins, having been born of different parents. But in a relationship that has weathered the tsunamis of life with steadfast resolve…water is thicker than blood.

While still requiring practice and firm resolution, acknowledging the value of those who have stood by our sides is imperative as life’s embers start to dim. As our insatiable appetite for things and glory wanes, what’s left are small golden nuggets. Always present, but often overlooked.

Bite your tongue when your loved one leaves a dish in the sink, rather than placing it in the diswasher. Give your loved one  that leftover, pulled-chicken sandwich you were hoping to devour for lunch. Allow your loved one to complete tasks when inclined, especially when relaxation is a luxury.

A less than sparkling home, an opportunity to lose weight, and keeping one’s blood pressure in check are a good tradeoff for keeping our loved ones happy and still over-the-moon with their choice for life-long mates.

…one golden nugget…is all i need…

………hugmamma.   🙂

memories…are made of these…

Truth With Doris reminded me of yesteryear’s songbirds. I’d forgotten the beautiful music they made…that would have me daydreaming…and romanticizing. Where, oh where, have those days gone? Listening to song after song on youtube had me daydreaming of younger days…when I’d twirl about the dance floor in a pretty dress…when I’d flirt with Mr. Wonderful from beneath dark lashes…when I’d sigh heavily wishing and hoping for him to ask me out…when he first touched his lips to mine…when we walked down the aisle…as Mr. and Mrs.?

In my romantic revery I came across this video of Jack Jones. How could I ever have forgotten him? He with the gorgeous face and the voice that probably broke many a baby-boomer‘s heart, back in the day. Seeing him now reminded me of my hubby’s heart-breaking, good looks…when first we met.

i hope jack jones is as happily married as me……….hugmamma.

…thanks for taking me down memory lane, doris!!!

elvis…before hollywood

Cover of

Cover of Elvis in the Twilight of Memory

I seemed to speed read right through Elvis-in the twilight of memory by teenage girlfriend June Juanico. I wholeheartedly agree with Publishers Weekly’s assertion that

“(A)fter sordid memoirs almost too numerous to count, comes this refreshingly sweet story of a young, innocent, talented, and devastatingly handsome Elvis and his first girlfriend, Juanico.”

No amount of wishing and hoping on the part of Elvis fans can turn back the hand of time, but it was nice to saunter down memory lane with someone who knew the young Elvis. Through June Juanico’s eyes I caught a glimpse of a normal teenage boy, and all that he had in common with others his age. His natural talent for singing made him special, but otherwise he could pass for one of the guys, albeit a hunk of a specimen. His southern manners made him immensely likeable to young and old, rich and poor, parents and their daughters. But like boys his age, Elvis had a healthy appetite for pretty, young girls, June being one of them.

A full summer of dating, between singing gigs which had him touring the south quite a bit, Elvis and June behaved like any other star-crossed lovers.

A cropped photograph depicts singer Elvis Pres...

Image via Wikipedia

During the summer of 1957, like millions of other girls, June Juanico of Biloxi, Mississippi, fell in love with Elvis Presley. The difference was that Elvis Presley also fell in love with her. Now, forty years after her romance with Elvis, June–once called the “luckiest girl in the world”–takes us back to that magical summer, a last oasis of innocence and fun for the man who would become an American icon. Elvis and June spent the summer fishing, skinny-dipping, going to amusement parks, horseback riding, waterskiing, riding motorcycles–in short, being young and in love. Things got serious enough that Elvis proposed marriage. June accepted, though she knew that his life was moving beyond anyone’s control and that where he was going, no one could follow. In the end, June let Elvis go and went home to Biloxi.

Clear-eyed, courageous, intimate, wise, and most of all loving, June Juanico’s memoir is a treasure not just for fans of Elvis Presley but for anyone who remembers first love, and first heartbreak.

First love and first heartbreak, something with which all of us can identify. And I think it’s true what they say about first love…you never forget it. That relationship, whether realized or not, is stored in our memories seemingly devoid of faults. First love is the one by which all others are measured. As the years pass, we are wont to remember only the good times. The pain and the ache fade into the background, as we wonder “what if?”

elvis prsly

Juanico, though obviously still very much in love with the Elvis she had once known, never expressed her disappointment in marrying someone else. She speaks well of her husband, a handsome, steady man, and lovingly of her children. The product of a broken home, June grew into a self-confident, independent-thinking, respectful young woman, wise beyond her years. With Elvis she spoke her mind, never clung to him, understood the demands of his blossoming career, did not allow jealousy to rule her heart, traded witticisms with Elvis without hesitation. June Juanico was Elvis Presley’s match in every way.

Portrait of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans

Image by mharrsch via Flickr

     Singing our songs, we were like Roy Rogers and Dale Evans in the Wild West. I was on top of the world when Elvis told me he didn’t have to leave again for two whole weeks.
     “I reckon you’ll be putting up with me for the next few weeks, Dale. We gotta lotta hard work ahead, gettin’ these here cattle to market and fightin’ off them there cattle rustlers,” Elvis said, sounding more like Gabby than Roy.
     “Don’t fret none, Roy. Me and Trigger’ll be right here by your side ever’ step of the way,” I said, sounding absolutely nothing like Dale Evans.
     Singing and walking through the woods, we stretched the forty-five-minute ride to ninety minutes. Thinking we were lost, one of the guides came to look for us… “That’s enough action for today, gang. Let’s go home and relax,” Elvis said, thanking the horse with a pat on the neck. When he had time to call his own, Elvis was content to sit around and do nothing for days at a stretch.
     In the beginning he had been excited about his upcoming Florida tour. …”I’m gonna miss you, baby. I hate to think about being away from you for so long,” he said, holding me close. …His tour of Florida was due to last ten days, and after that he had to report to Hollywood to begin work on his first movie. Florida didn’t seem all that far, but California was on the other side of the world as far as I was concerned.
     “I’ll miss you too, Elvis. I don’t know what I’ll do without you.” I was close to tears.”
     “If I could only figure out a way to hide you from Colonel Parker, you could go with me. Let me see what I can work out. Do you think your mother would let you go?” he asked, apparently thinking out loud.
     “Me? Go to Florida with you? I’d love to, but I doubt if my mother would let me.”
     “I’m not worried about your mother, baby. I’m sure I could convince her. It’s the Colonel–he’s already told me about seeing too much of you. He’ll shit a brick if he sees you in Florida. I’ll think of something. I’ll figure out a way,” he said, assuring me with a kiss.

Low-resolution reproduction of poster for the ...

Image via Wikipedia

Fortunately, or unfortunately, Colonel Tom Parker and Hollywood came calling….and Elvis’s fame skyrocketed him from the back woods of Memphis, like a reluctant bat out of h–l. It seems he left the real person behind, becoming a shadow of his former self. But did he really have a choice?

The pink and green typography of Elvis Presley...

Image via Wikipedia

Sometimes turning the page in one’s life story means you can never go back…to the way things were. It seems June Juanico understood that…and accepted elvis presley’s new life…as fact. But it didn’t stop her from hanging onto her memories. And perhaps Elvis continued to hang onto his. A relative, Junior Smith, said of June ” ‘she was the kind that wouldn’t take no shit! He’s still looking for another one like her, but it ain’t gonna happen.’ “ And best girlfriend Pat, who’d known Elvis well because she’d been a part of his courtship escapades with June, tried to convince her to go to Memphis to help Elvis. ” ‘I know he’s surrounded by people, June, but do they understand Elvis the way you do? Do they really care enough? You know how Elvis can be when someone tells him something he doesn’t want to hear. But he’ll listen to you, June. He always did.’ “

“If in the twilight of memory
we should meet once more,
we shall speak again together
and you shall sing to me a deeper song.”
                                            The Prophet
                                             Kahlil Gibran

The '68 Comeback Special produced

Image via Wikipedia

…a book given to elvis by june…which he called his “unwinder”…never traveling without it…calling it his favorite read…hugmamma.

like flies buzzing around…inside my brain

A proud mother watches from afar as Prince Wil...

Image by mharrsch via Flickr

One more thought before I finally end all discussion about Sarah Bradford’s Diana – Finally, The Complete Story. It centers upon her devotion to her sons, William and Harry. Not that there ever were any doubts. But first-hand testimony of a heretofore, unheard from source, only strengthens the universally held belief that the Princess of Wales excelled at mothering. 

According to Meredith Etherington-Smith, then marketing director of Christie’s Worldwide, who from September 1996 to July 1997 helped Diana prepare for the sale of her gowns to aid her favorite charities:

Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother

Image via Wikipedia

The British Royal Family in 1880.

Image via Wikipedia

One thing she did take seriously was her role first as mother to the boys and second, as Meredith put it, as the Queen Mother of the twenty-first century. ‘Her relationship with the boys was patently a wonderful one…She was a very good mother. I expected them to be more protective of her than they were, and they weren’t, they weren’t mewling and puking and clustering round her. They didn’t have a neurotic relationship. It seemed to me to be perfectly healthy and normal and nice and a great tribute of all to Diana and secondly to Charles.’ ‘Constitutional plans–well, she felt her long-distance role was to be the Queen Mother of the twenty-first century, that the influence the Queen Mother had had on her grandchildren in a way, she felt that was the kind of role which in a curious way she had been chosen for and one did feel that there was a bit of divine right entering into this, a little bit of fate. And she felt that William should be a democratic King, that the boys needed to have friends, that they needed to know their generation, they needed to know politicians, not just Tory ones, that they needed to know the Blair children. They needed to be part of contemporary English life, not an English life that was really out of date by the end of the war–and I’m paraphrasing some quite long conversations about this. And her job was to make sure they were released from the glass cage, and that when he did come to the throne, a lot of people would know him, and he wouldn’t be a mystery, wouldn’t be a royal freak, that he would be a person. I think that she very much thought she would be a power behind the throne…Diana emphasized her desire that William should be a ‘very English King‘: she felt that her Spencer blood had a lot to contribute. ‘She felt that because of the spider’s web of marital alliances and blood they (the Royal Family) weren’t English. “I come from an English family,” she had said proudly, and “we (the Spencers) are a lot older than they are.” She was very proud of the Duke of Marlborough, for instance.

The Prince Willam Cup. The trophy that is cont...

Image via Wikipedia

Who is hotter? Prince Harry or Prince William?

Image by feastoffun.com via Flickr

Diana was very anxious that her boys should not become isolated as the previous royal generation had been, as indeed their father had been. That was why she had wanted the boys, and William in particular, to go to Eton because they would have proper friends there and not sycophants, ‘Diana said, “There’s no messing around at Eton about someone being the heir to the throne. If you’re not popular, charming, intelligent, or good at games, you’re not going to rate, are you?” And so William knows a lot of people. And the interesting thing about that she said, “I think they’ll be protection, those friends too. They’ve grown up together and they’ll be protective.” And they are. You don’t see grab shots of William that often, and why? Because his friends don’t utter. She’d thought all this through. That’s what I mean by being smart.’ ‘They had money which they carried and spent and they went shopping. In other words she was trying to provide as normal a life as possible–they could come out from behind the glass window, and that was her great legacy.’

Princess Diana dancing with John Travolta in t...

Image via Wikipedia

Princess Diana

 Why would Princess Diana be so forthcoming with Etherington-Smith, you ask? Probably because she was older, very much like her other confidantes, Lady Annabel Goldsmith and Margueritte Littman. “Meredith surmised that Diana was very comfortable in the company of older women. ‘I think possibly, without being too psychotherapeutic about it, because of the lack of a mother…most of her confidantes apart from Rosa Monckton, were actually older women…and I think she felt very comfortable, they weren’t competition, they were fun and she could become slightly girly with them without the baggage of “I’m the most beautiful person in the world”…’ “

Another random, final, or maybe not so final, thought occurred as I lay awake last night, reading I Love You, Ronnie. President Reagan had a very human, extremely sentimental side. Apart from his family and a few close friends of the couple, I’m sure no one suspected what a great romantic he was, and how he could wax so poetic. At the same time, however, his vulnerability as a human being comes through. To know that the man who could dial up a third world war lay bare his soul in love letters to his wife, is hugely touching. I find myself remembering Ronald Reagan as President, but trying to imagine this newly revealed man behind the strong facade. What I picture is someone like my husband, my father-in-law, friends in high corporate positions. Not only them, but husbands and fathers the world over who, to the best of their abilities, care for their families.

Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan aboard an Ameri...

Image via Wikipedia

The following letter was from a man to his wife, his best friend. It’s a letter any man could’ve written, in fact. This one just happened to be from a President to his First Lady, although at the time he was a working stiff, and she was a housewife.

Ronald Reagan
Pacific Palisades
Thurs. (May 24, 1963)

My darling
     Last night we had our double telephone call and all day (I didn’t work) I’ve been re-writing the story of my life as done by Richard Hubler. Tomorrow I’ll do my last day of location and then I’ll call you and I’ll tell you I love you and I’ll mean it but somehow because of the inhibitions we all have I won’t feel that I’ve expressed all that you really mean to me.
     Whether Mike helps buy his first car or spends the money on sports coats isn’t really important. We both want to get him started on a road that will lead to his being able to provide for himself. In x number of years we’ll face the same problem with The Skipper and somehow we’ll probably find right answers. (Patti is another kind of problem and we’ll do all we can to make that one right, too.) But what is really important is that having fulfilled our responsibilities to our offspring we haven’t been careless with the treasure that is ours–namely what we are to each other.
     Do you know that when you sleep you curl your fists up under your chin and many mornings when it is barely dawn I lie facing you and looking at you until finally I have to touch you ever so lightly so you won’t wake up–but touch you I must or I’ll burst?

Cropped screenshot of Ann Blyth from the trail...

Image via Wikipedia

     Just think: I’ve discovered I can be fond of Ann Blyth because she and her Dr. seem to have something of what we have. Of course it can’t really be as wonderful for them because she isn’t you but still it helps to know there are others who might just possibly know a little about what it’s like to love someone so much that it seems as if I have my hand stretched clear across the mountains and desert until it’s holding your hand there in our room in front of the fireplace.
     Probably this letter will reach you only a few hours before I arrive myself, but not really because right now as I try to say what is in my heart I think my thoughts must be reaching you without waiting for paper and ink and stamps and such. If I ache, it’s because we are apart and yet that can’t be because you are inside and a part of me, so we aren’t really apart at all. Yet I ache but wouldn’t be without the ache, because that would mean being without you and that I can’t be because I love you.

Your Husband

Queen Mother Rose

Image by OctogenEm via Flickr

…would that all men could, and would, …..bare their souls
…..without flinching ….. at the thought ….. hugmamma.

getting my mojo back…with love letters

It doesn’t take long to settle into the rut that is my life. I say that with my usual tongue-in-cheek humor. But after the last few weeks of unexpected twists and turns, I’m glad to be doing the same old, same old. There’s comfort and bountiful pleasure in just being able to muddle along…contentedly. Small things mean a lot at this stage of my life.

Cover of

Cover of Elvis in the Twilight of Memory

Half-Price Books at Crossroads Mall is where my eyeballs become the size of saucers. You know, cups and saucers. The biography section being my favorite. It’s always inevitable that a title or two or three will beckon me to buy, and I usually do. Books about celebs from the Golden Age of Hollywood, or singers whose songs got my foot tapping or my heart beating, or historical figures who let their guard down, always get my attention. Skimming the jacket covers I decide if, in fact, they’re worth my time and money. The titles I brought home tonight? Herbert G. Goldman’s Fanny Brice – The Original Funny Girl, Paul Alexander’s Boulevard of Broken Dreams – The Life, Times, and legend of James Dean, Elvis – in the twilight of memory by teenage girlfriend June Juanico, The Bluebird Cafe Scrapbook – Music & Memories from Nashville’s Legendary Singer-Songwriter Showcase edited by Amy Kurland, Mark Benner & Neil Fagan, and I Love You, Ronnie – The Letters of Ronald Reagan to Nancy Reagan.

Cover of

Cover via Amazon

If you’re a regular to hugmamma’s mind, body and soul, you already know you’ll probably be reading a review of one or more of the above-mentioned books. But the one that most impressed me tonight was the slim paperback containing Reagan’s love letters to his wife, Nancy.

Unlike most of America it seems, I was more enthralled with Ronald Reagan the actor than Ronald Reagan the president. Not that I didn’t think he was fine, but after all he was a Republican, not necessarily my brand of politician, although I might’ve voted for him. Neither was I a huge fan of Nancy Davis, preferring Jane Wyman, the first Mrs. Reagan. But all this is ancient history, as they say. What was obvious then, and now, is how devoted the Reagans were to one another. That’s why I was intrigued by the book of letters. Following are 3 of the many contained therein.

July 13 (1954)…a.m.

My Darling
     The first day of shooting and like all first days I can’t tell you good bad or indifferent. Everything is hectic and upset what with the truck caravan arriving from L.A. in the dark last night. Most of the morning was spent getting the trucks unloaded and the equipment straightened out. Ben. B. is on hand so things can really get buggered up. I think Alan D. is trying to get some of the story holes plugged and this morning changed one scene “a la” a suggestion from “guess who.” However, our opposition is B.B. himself so I only whisper in an off-ear and let them fight it out. So far “Lady S.” is no help–taking the attitude of “who cares in these kinds of pictures.”
     However there is one golden glow warming my soul in this first sunset–I’m twenty-four hours closer to you. Last night was another one of those nights–just too beautiful to stand. So tonight I’ll probably be looking at the Moon which means I’ll be looking at you–literally and figuratively because it lays far to the South of this mountain top and that’s where you are. That takes care of the “literal” part–the “figurative” part requires no direction, I just see you in all the beauty there is because in you I’ve found all the beauty in my life.
     Please be careful and don’t get too good at covering your own shoulder at night–I’d miss doing it. Be careful in every other way too–nothing would have meaning without you.
     Now if two “Muffins” I know will exchange a kiss for me–my good night will have been said.

I love you
Ronnie

Newlyweds Ronald and Nancy Reagan, March 4, 1952

Image via Wikipedia

Feb. 14 (1960)

Darling Mommie Poo
     Feb. 14 may be the date they observe and call Valentine’s Day but that is for people of only ordinary luck.
     I happen to have a “Valentine Life” which started on March 4 1952 and will continue as long as I have you.
     Therefore realizing the importance of this to me, will you be my Valentine from now on and for ever and ever? You see my choice is limited, a Valentine Life or no life because I love you very much.

Poppa

According to Nancy Reagan “The assassination attempt made us realize how very precious our lives were. It made us all the more devoted to each other. I think this comes through very strongly in Ronnie’s Christmas letter of 1981, written nine months after the shooting.”

The White House
Washington

Dec. 25 1981

Nancy Reagan says her last goodbyes to the pre...

Image via Wikipedia

Mrs. Reagan 2

Image via Wikipedia

Dear Mrs. R.
     I still don’t feel right about your opening an envelope instead of a gift package.
     There are several much beloved women in my life and on Christmas I should be giving them gold, precious stones, perfume, furs and lace. I know that even the best of these would still fall far short of expressing how much these several women mean to me and how empty my life would be without them.
     There is of course my “First Lady.” She brings so much grace and charm to whatever she does that even stuffy, formal functions sparkle and turn into fun times. Everything is done with class. All I have to do is wash up and show up.
     There is another woman in my life who does things I don’t always get to see but I hear about them and sometimes see photos of her doing them. She takes an abandoned child in her arms on a hospital visit. The look on her face only the Madonna could match. The look on the child’s face is one of adoration. I know because I adore her too.
     She bends over a wheelchair or bed to touch an elderly invalid with tenderness and compassion just as she fills my life with warmth and love.
     There is another gal I love who is a nest builder. If she were stuck three days in a hotel room she’d manage to make it home sweet home. She moves things around–looks at it–straightens this and that and you wonder why it wasn’t that way in the first place.
     I’m also crazy about the girl who goes to the ranch with me. If we’re tidying up the woods she’s a peewee power house at pushing over dead trees. She’s a wonderful person to sit by the fire with, or to ride with or just to be with when the sun goes down or the stars come out. If she ever stopped going to the ranch I’d stop too because I’d see her in every beauty spot there is and I couldn’t stand that.
     Then there is a sentimental lady I love whose eyes fill up so easily. On the other hand she loves to laugh and her laugh is like tinkling bells. I hear those bells and feel good all over even if I tell a joke she’s heard before.
     Fortunately all these women in my life are you–fortunately for me that is, for there could be no life for me without you. Browning asked; “How do I love thee–let me count the ways?” For me there is no way to count. I love the whole gang of you–Mommie, first lady, the sentimental you, the fun you and the peewee power house you.
     And oh yes, one other very special you–the little girl who takes a “nana” to bed in case she gets hungry in the night. I couldn’t & don’t sleep well if she isn’t there–so please always be there.

     Merry Christmas you all–with all my love.

Lucky me.

Cover of

Cover via Amazon

 I Love You, Ronnie should be required reading for men and boys everywhere. Maybe then both sexes would be from the same planet…Venus. Now I “get” the passion between Nancy and her Ronnie. Perhaps if this book had been published at the time he was president, onlookers wouldn’t have been so disparaging of her. But then again the naysayers would have probably faulted her for self-promotion had she made the letters known back then. Or worse, the couple might’ve been ridiculed for being more absorbed with one another than they were already viewed as being. Whatever the case may be, I’m glad Nancy Reagan gave us a peek inside her love affair with Ronald Reagan.

…always room for one more pair of star-crossed lovers…another Romeo and his Juliet…hugmamma.

365 photo challenge: buy

What can money buy that we don’t need and don’t require?

i think my daughter would beg to differ………………………………….hugmamma.

“lemon tree,” a folk song

While puttering around, I listened to folk songs on the PBS station on TV.  Wow! Did that bring back some great memories. Had me humming along in some cases. Here’s one song that got me reminiscing. You don’t have to hum though, I’ve added the lyrics below the video. “Lemon tree very pretty, and the lemon flower is sweet, but the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.” La, la, la, la la la la…

When I was just a lad of ten, my father said to me,
“Come here and take a lesson from the lovely lemon tree.”
“Don’t put your faith in love, my boy”, my father said to me,
“I fear you’ll find that love is like the lovely lemon tree.”

Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet
But the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.
Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet
But the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.

One day beneath the lemon tree, my love and I did lie
A girl so sweet that when she smiled the stars rose in the sky.
We passed that summer lost in love beneath the lemon tree
The music of her laughter hid my father’s words from me:

Lemon tree flower in Vietnam

Image via Wikipedia

Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet
But the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.
Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet
But the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.

One day she left without a word. She took away the sun.
And in the dark she left behind, I knew what she had done.
She’d left me for another, it’s a common tale but true.
A sadder man but wiser now I sing these words to you:

Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet
But the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.
Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet
But the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.

did you sing along?…hugmamma.

not for real people, not really… “the bachelor”

 

One reality show that I’ve watched, more or less, since its inception has been “The Bachelor.” Pure entertainment, my daughter and I agree that no one we know would dare bare their hearts, and everything else, in front of millions of people. But I guess it’s easy enough to forget about the “peeping toms” when the guy and his gal are physically in the company of only a dozen or so crew members. It’s probably even easier to forget the television audience when the bachelor is surrounded by a bevy of beauties, all vying for his attention.

How do the families of these TV men and women feel, I wonder, when they, along with the rest of the world, finally get to see their children romping around, telling all. And don’t they just wanna kick the guy’s butt when he breaks their little girl’s heart, the camera never cutting away as she sobs and sighs, over what might have been? I just couldn’t imagine my daughter subjecting herself to such humiliation. I think she’d opt to register with eharmony.com first. At least that’s all done in the privacy of one’s own home, with rejection on either side, being done quietly and without fanfare.

But as I said “The Bachelor” is sheer fun…for those of us watching, that is. So I wish the 3 women well in their venture to get Brad to the altar. And who am I rooting for? Widow Emily, the beautiful, sweet mother of a darling 5-year-old daughter. They both deserve a happily ever after…

from my mouth to the bachelor’s ears…hugmamma.  😉

valentine sentiments, a lifelong romance

After nearly 41 years of marriage, what can my husband do that still “makes my heart sing?” The quick answer is “give me a musical greeting card that plays ‘WILD THING, you make my heart sing, you make everything…groovy!’ “ Normally conservative, he’s a man of few words. As college valedictorian my husband’s speech consisted of 3 words, “Silence is golden.” As you can see, my husband has a “funny bone.” His humor can be sweet as well. Oh he can tease me endlessly, after all he’s the eldest of 12 and I’m the youngest of 9. But in unexpected moments, he surprises me with the smallest gesture that melts my heart and makes me giggle, like the young woman I was when we first met 44 years ago.

A lifetime of shared memories, of valleys and peaks, of maturing from 17-year-olds with “butterflies in our stomachs,” to seniors purchasing discount tickets and munching popcorn from a shared bag at Regal Cinema. How did we continue holding tight to one another’s hands, so certain we were a good match? I don’t think we knew for sure. Who does? 

It’s always amazed me how complete strangers, foreign to each other in every way, including the blood coursing through their veins, can cleave to one another as is expected when they are pronounced man and wife. That has got to be the one overriding “APT,” or “automatic positive thought” they must fight to keep for the rest of their lives. I can only imagine the civil wars that are waged within marriages between that one “APT” and the overwhelming army of  “ANTS” or “automatic negative thoughts” that bombard married persons every day.

I can only answer for myself that 41 years together has made my husband and me believers in the same faith, if you will. Yes, we are both Catholics, but our faith in each other is more profound than religion. I’ve heard it said, where I don’t remember, those whom we love most and who favor us with the same, affirm who we are. They are the passports for our earthly existence, and we for theirs. In an episode of  “I Love Lucy,” the Ricardos and the Mertzes satisfied the Passport Bureau requirement when they all acknowledged knowing one another, thus enabling them to travel abroad. If not for those who testify to our existence in their lives, we might only be murky shadows, in others’ collective memories. Vague memories which might include “Oh yeah, I remember her. Wasn’t she in our graduating class?” or “He was such a loner. Did he ever date? Did he marry?”

Looking into my husband’s eyes all these years, I’ve seen a “diamond in the rough” looking back at me. His love and unwavering commitment has helped me slowly evolve into the brilliant gem I am today. Light may not bounce off gray hairs, as it once did when it shimmered against dark locks, long ago. But the heart that beats within, remains the same. It still skips a beat when my husband walks through the door, after a long day’s work. Just as it did when I saw the boyfriend who resembled a young Elvis, stride through the front doors of my college residence, coming to collect me for a date.

Maybe my husband heard my beating heart when we were young. These days I might have to amplify the sound slightly. We’re both growing older, together. A funny card and a box of old-fashion candy hearts inscribed with sayings, reminds me that our romance is ageless. While the inscriptions are not as endearing as they once were, I selected a few which held special meaning…”call me, hold hands, soul mate,” representative of our good “young” days. “Shake it, boogie, oxox” are my hope for our lives going forward. One very special candy heart is inscribed “angel.” Our daughter was a gift after 16 childless years. I’m sure God sent us one of his own… to complete our marriage.

treasuring reminders… of priceless sentiments…hugmamma.         

“getting to happy”

One of Oprah’s guests today was author Terry McMillan who had written the book “Waiting to Exhale.” I remember having seen the movie it spawned, enjoying the 4 black actresses who portrayed the story’s main characters. I can’t recite what it was about, only that it dealt with the all too familiar romantic difficulties between men and women. McMillan’s newest book, “Getting to Happy,” brings the 4 women full circle. Maybe I’ll read this, her second book, or wait until the movie is made. I’m not overly fond of reading fiction, preferring non-fiction instead.

While I missed most of the interview, I was present when McMillan’s ex-husband was speaking of the hellish 5 years following their divorce. Feeling betrayed when he cheated on her with a gay partner, McMillan sought revenge by suing her husband and his attorney for $40 million. To his relief, she eventually dropped the suit. In her explanation to Oprah, the author explained that while she harboured resentment against her husband, she continued to suffer, because she’d hung onto the hurt. Once she released the pain and rescinded the lawsuit, McMillan was on her way, “getting to happy.” Sitting side by side, she and her ex teased and laughed, sharing the friendship they’d once had.

Interjecting an anecdote of her own life experience, Oprah told of a long-held grudge against someone she happened to observe one day at a distance, walking into Tiffany’s, laughing.  The woman looked like she’d carried on with her life, while Oprah had dwelt upon the rift between them. How could that woman not continue to be as agitated as Oprah over the incident? This was the question she asked the audience in total disbelief. I understood the look on her face.

When I lived in New York, I had worked for a black manager who involved me in his ongoing battle with his boss, the department’s director and her close friend, the vice president, both white females. I would return home each evening, upset and crying to my husband about the grief I was experiencing. Something he said finally sank in, shutting me up once and for all. “While you’re spending all your nights bemoaning something Tony’s done or said, he’s probably enjoying himself with friends, and a glass of wine.” Picturing him relaxed and laughing, angered me. I decided not to let my boss have one more minute of my day. “Out of sight, out of mind,” has become my motto when dealing with aggravating people. That’s not to say I always succeed, but I never stop trying.

of course Oprah learned the same lesson, long ago…hugmamma.