compassion · crush · family · forgiveness · generosity · joy · love

circa 1994

So, I have a new crush. Not that the maroon 5 singer wasn’t
delish (see “pulling a carmen” blog), but, I just finished watching “Junebug,” a movie with amy adams and
alessandro nivola – and I dunno folks, but something……. Y-u-m. Lately, I feel
like there’s 15 year old girl inside me who’s been making these choices for me,
as it’s been a while since I’ve had “star” crushes. Although, of course, the
billboards for crazy stupid love (not steve carrell – sorry steve!) and the
new Sherlock Holmes have been lovely head-turners.
When I was home in NJ packing up my room, I found my stash
circa 1993 1994, so I was 13ish at the time. … Johnny, and Keanu. I had pages
and pages of them each taped over my bed. On the wall above my head was Johnny,
and to my right was Keanu. In the mornings before school, I would watch a half-hour of either “Speed” or “CryBaby” – yes, very different movies. And at night, I would
kiss each of the gentlemen on their paper lips. Ha! I was a girl. It was great. The
Johnny pools of deep luscious brown, and Keanu in a crumpled suit in a claw foot
tub in the middle of a field of weeds.
It’s funny what we remember. Like how much our music tastes
are concretized when we’re young. When I was getting ready for the dance party
last night, I threw on the LIVE album, Throwing Copper – also 1994 as it turns
out – and although it wasn’t as uptempo as a party prepping moment and I
changed the cd, I still knew all the lyrics. The things we touch back to. The
nostalgia that becomes a part of our persona. It’s interesting.
At 13, however, I was a frizzy haired gangly girl with acne,
coke bottle glasses and a gap between my front teeth. (Like many middle
schoolers!) And so we cling to idealized images from Bop! magazine, and
the tortured melancholia passion of a rock album.
Hm. It’s sorta nice to look back with compassion for the 13
year old, to hold on to some of the things she liked, to hold them today as
funny stories and taste values.
To undeftly switch gears, but surely related in some
stratosphere, I sent Chanukah presents to both my parents this week. As some of
you have read, I have been working toward some semblance of reconciliation with
my mother after our 6 month incommunicado status. And though we have been
texting, and though she sent me a card on my birthday in October, well, I
finally shipped to her her birthday present – from June. Our final conversation
was around then – I’d already bought these very “mom” presents – an old
fashioned magnifying glass with a beautiful fake mother of pearl handle (it’s
funny cuz she’s old) ;P and a set of red painted coasters with a bunch of
different roosters on them – to match her red couch, a self-identified marked
leap for her into color a few years ago. The presents were perfect. Then we
careened into the minefield of our relationship and I got indignant and
punitive and never sent the gift to her. It’s been in my closet since June.
So after talking with Patsy last Sunday about sitting with
the idea of what it would be like to send her a Chanukah present without
 I took the present out of my
closet. And sat it on my desk. ! Two days later, I picked up an empty box from
work. Two days after that, on Thursday, I brought the box into the city and
shipped it to my mom. In the box, I’d wrapped the gifts in white and blue
tissue paper (Chanukah colors, naturally), and put in the watercolor “giraffe in a scarf”
card I’d painted, with a note on the back that I thought she’d like these
things and I love her, and happy holiday. (btw, there’s a cellist somewhere in
my building or the one next door, and he’s really good – and he’s practicing
right now – it is so gorgeous.)
I wrapped the box, and was conscious of letting all of this
go out across the country to the Upper East Side with love. With the spirit of
giving – which demands no return, which doesn’t even demand she like it – but
just truly to say, these reminded me of you, and I love you. Yeah, it took 6
months to get there, but, I am here now. And she should get them soon.
To my dad, I sent something similarly freeing. As I feel it
now, it’s miraculously powerful to get to give these gifts to my parents – not the
gifts, but the freedom, if only momentarily, from my judgment of them. To my
dad, I sent one of those LL Bean canvas tote bags that literally can hold a
small child. I had it monogrammed: “D & B”. My dad, Drew, and his fiancé,
My dad has recently begun signing every email to me, “Love
Dad and Barbara.” This has pissed me off. That my relationship with him is now
no longer with him, it’s with a pair, with an entity that is “Dad and Barbara.”
But, as I’ve almost always said over their 10 year courtship, I respect her
because she makes my dad happy. And that is true.
So, I sent it with a card, To Dad and Barbara, May you use
this well in Florida, Love Molly. Because guess what, my dad loves her. He
wants to be identified together with her. He wants to be one of a pair, and
it’s none of my f*ing business how he wants to be identified. It’s like a
person adopting a gender pronoun that they prefer to be called. Who cares if
you have a penis, and want to be referred to as “she.” I would call that person
whatever the f they wanted to be called – it’s not my call. And, so, neither is it my call to exclude Barbara,
even in this way, from my life, or from my Dad’s life. So, to D&B. And off
it went. And truly, I
do hope
they use it well in their new home in Florida. I know it’ll mean a lot to her,
and it means a lot to me to see this stubborn, snide child give way to an
inclusive, loving adult. It’s pretty huge.
So, like I said, I don’t know how these topics relate, but
they’re what’s on my mind. A 13 year old girl-like crush, and no-strings-attached
consideration for parents. I can live with all this multi-faceted nonsense,
because it’s human, and whole. And 13, or 30, I still think this man is delish.

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