2006-02-28 - 10:30 p.m.
I am relaxing tonight staying up (although I would prefer to sleep!) as I have to be sure to get the girls up a few times to go potty in an effort to train them to stay dry at night!
They ALL HAVE STILL been wearing diapers at night! I admit in a large part due to our lack of effort! I have tried this a FEW times, but then I have fallen asleep and not woken MYSELF up to rouse them! So tonight I am just staying up a bit later and killing time. If I do this CONSISTENTLY for a while I am sure I can get SOMEONE trained! Ironically it is the three year old who seems MOST READY! (AS she is more often waking up dry than her two older sisters without my assistance in waking her!)
The first show interests me because my best friend in college who happened to be a model won the ELITE LOOK OF THE YEAR CONTEST and went to NYC for a photo shoot and the whole shing dig where she was offered a contract. Honestly she was homesick and in culture shock facing the NYC Model scene, and just emotionally strong enough to realize it was not the life she was strong enough to enter! She had enough self awareness to recognize that she wouldn't be able to hack the culture of being encouraged to live on chocolate, vodka, and laxatives... and be able to NOT take a big esteem hit with every "You need to lose this" comment that the industry flings at girls who are already unhealtily thin. My best friend was grateful to have my family to visit and offer support. It was really funny when my DAD was nervous about where she was going and drove her to the hotel. He worried the address was in a bad section of town and we all worried about her naivity and wondered if it was a shady deal... but he came back from driving her to the hotel laughing at our worry as it was indeed totally posh uptown (he worried it was SO UPTOWN that it was near the bad section of Harlem...) and his lack of knowledge of NYC was evident! He laughed telling us how they wouldn't even LET HIM the old guy in to help carry bags and how the moment they got there she was taken under the wing of the lady in charge and it was clear NO MEN WERE ALLOWED ON THE PREMISES where the models were.
In any case, my friend came back from the two weeks there just appalled at the poverty and told of the homeless guy she smuggled oranges to daily after her breakfast. She was really moved by seeing him sleep in the gutter and being this empathatic, loving, sensitive person was shaken by that more than anything else about NYC.
She also told me of how there was a very sad 15 year old professional model who clearly never saw her parents. She said this girl was horribly mean and clearly angry and scared and mocked my friend for having brought her Bible and for reading it daily. ANd it brought my friend to tears.
The funniest memory I have is of when my friend arrived at our house on LI where my brothers and Dad were all struggling with some car ailment. My blonde Barbie look alike friend rolled under the car and popped the hood and in about 15 minutes flat had the problem fixed. They were all awed and I am sure at least one of them was in love in that moment! (At least the oldest brother who tried to convince her to share a house with him and his friend who just bought his first home a few years later when she was still considering trying the modeling career in NY once older and wiser and thought maybe she was more ready to face the harsh realitys of NYC)
My best friend however decided to make a go of it in California instead, being the blond barbie type. She thought she would be most marketable there.
She moved to Nevada, close enough to communte to CA, and with the support of her boyfriend at the time (SEEMING SUPPORT) Hindsight is always 20/20 isn't it?
But he instead threw her a punch.
But first she had NURSED HIS DYING BROTHER through the grief as he was an AIDS victim. She tried to support her boyfried and his brother during those final days. But apparently her boyfriend soon was overcome with alcoholism as it was too tragic for him to face.
ANd then the blow to her face (MAYBE literally.. I don't really know... but surely figuratively. )
And I guess the final blow of all which hurt even more to her than when she moved out and was still hoping that they could work thorough it all... when she did go to visit one last time she discovered evidence that he had moved on to another relationship. And that was when she went to see the new house that was finally finished. OSTENSIBLY FOR HER
SOME Birthday present!
I thought at the time "THANK GOD!" as she was freed of the relationship which seemed to not be good for her!
But then the LAST I HEARD of her was that she ended up moving in with some co-workers who ended up being COKE HEADS and she ended up having it out with them and moving on bad terms. Mail was not being forwarded to her.
And I moved
And I never heard from her again. (Except the horrible story of the waitresses she lived with! The Nevada Club scene not being any more pure than the NYC Modeling scene she ran from!)
I ran into one of her oldest friend from growing up in her neighborhood, a really sweet guy I LIKED and actually shared a wonderful kiss with once... but he was our beloved local bartender who had the day job of an assistant at the local pharmacy and talked of going to school to become a pharmacist but never actually made the effort to do so! (HE was REALLY doing the job as the old guy he worked with could hardley see anymore! SCARY ACTUALLY!!)
Anyway... but he was SO CLEARLY AN ALCOHOLIC, that no matter HOW FOND OF EACH OTHER WE WERE... it was ONE KISS and I was sure to leave it at that and also be sure to not let it happen again! (Although he and I did have fun flirting occassionally)
So I ran into sweet bartender, fitness guru, alcoholic pharmacist AS I WAS PACKING TO MOVE to VA and he gave me her latest update. He jotted my # ON THE NEWPAPER he had just picked up and said she still called him from CA at least monthly. So he said he's pass on my contact info.
ANd I NEVER HEARD FROM HER AGAIN.
I EVEN LEFT A NOTE AT HER MOTHER'S HOME WHEN I FIRST CAME BACK TO BUFFALO THIS YEAR. BUT STILL NEVER HEARD FROM HER.
I can't help but wonder why.
And it bugs me.
Anyway, I remember when she was in NYC that she said there was only one other girl who she REALLY liked. Her name was TYRA.
I just did a search and CAN'T FIND IT NOW- but one day, actually after I was SEARCHING on line for my lost college friend who was my MAID OF HONOR when I was married the first time, and there on the TV was this show about becoming a top model. I recognized the host from having heard about her years ago-- her first name was the same and she fit the description. I recalled my friend saying "Remember her name. You'll see lots of her in the future. I AM SURE SHE WILL MAKE IT" and she said she was sure because "NOT ONLY IS SHE BEAUTIFUL,and talented-- SHE IS REAL! She's confident and knows who she is-- not like the other girls"
She was described as NICE and DOWN TO EARTH and exceptionally beautiful and talented and someone who couldn't helped being liked by people.
So my friend certainly made the right prediction.
I think my friend came in 2nd that year in the LOOK OF THE YEAR CONTEST. She was in fact offered a contract and turned it down. I believed her when she told me that (although she didn't say what her placement was. But that would be like her-- to be humble. It wouldn't have been like her to NOT TELL ME if she was cut from the contest. )
It was 1989 if I am not mistaken. Tyra Banks came in first in the competition and she accepted their offer.
So after watching American IDOL I came on line (as I am not one for making phone calls but would have voted on line if I could have! YOU CAN'T -- basically a marketing ploy by CINGULAR wireless who are hoping to get business by being one means of voting easily and the other being a land line!)
I like the song, but it evokes mixed emotions as it did when I came across the show tonight of America's next top model.
It makes me miss my friend. I actually FINALLY FOUND HER as there was an article in the paper about the opening of a hospital in Buffalo and although I couldn't SEE The photo accompanying it, my computer pulled up it's caption and there was her name! So I KNOW WHERE SHE WORKS! I LOOKED UP THE HOSPIAL AND FOUND HER LISTED IN HER DEPT. I EXCITEDLY CALLED AND LEFT A MESSAGE ON THE MACHINE
and then never got a call back!
Maybe she didn't get it?
I hope she is not out of touch out of feeling like here she is years later working in a hospital as a secretary, never having finished her degree and feeling insecure LIKE THAT WOULD REALLY MATTER AT ALL! I mean I fear she heard these things like "M went to law school and I heard she was at Georgetown" etc... and you know she could be ASSUMING I am SO ACCOMPLISHED and feeling like some people do at class reunions-- like they haven't much to boast of.
Her biggest flaw ALWAYS WAS a poor self esteem! She COULD HAVE been a TYRA BANKS--- but she didn't REALLY BELIEVE IN HERSELF ENOUGH. That's the truth-- she had more charisma and engery and beauty than she herself realized! IT was only diminished by her insecurity in herself. So that's one of the reasons the song and the success of someone who was her peer makes me sad for her. I think it makes her sad too... as she KNOWS it could have been her. But she knows too that the lifestyle could have been horrible for her. She said she thought she would be broken by it as she wasn't strong enough internally to live through that constant criticism. Maybe the lifestyle in CA and NEVADA did take it's toll on her. I just worry that she feels ASHAMED or EMBARASSED in some way and that's why she won't call. And I wonder WHY?
I am proud of her. I am proud of what I know to be her WISE CHOICES. Although she wasn't ready when she had the offer in NY SHE KEPT WORKING AND TRYING FOR HER DREAM when she went to CA.
SHE DIDN'T GIVE UP.
And I think just how tragic that would be if for some reason she feels she wouldn't be respected because her life didn't end up AS SHE HOPED.
She gave it her all and sometimes the talents we end up cultivating are those WE ARE MEANT TO CULTIVATE and not necessarilly the ones WE HOPE TO.
I remember her saying one day "If I don't make it as a model I want to be a nurse"
To me that is not a SECOND FIDDLE job.
I KNOW that she could have made it as a model. I KNOW her reasons for not doing so. I KNOW she didn't want to leave her mother, as she felt like she was the only one THERE FOR HER at that time. I ALSO KNOW her insecurities. But I didn't become her friend knowing any of those things initially. I became her friend as she was THIS WONDERFUL PERSON Who reached out to me when I had nowhere to sit in the cafeteria and was the quirky girl trying desperately to memorize lines for a play.
I KNOW I COULD NEVER HAVE PULLED THAT PART OFF if it were not FOR HER PATIENT HELP in going over my lines! I KNOW I COULD NEVER HAVE PLAYED THE ROLE I WAS CAST IN if it were not for having met her and her mother! (It was the play "A COUPLE OF WHITE CHICKS SITTIN AROUND TALKIN" which was WONDERFUL and the one character WAS SO MUCH LIKE ME-- a SUBURBANITE...so I was SHOCKED when I Was CAST AS THE CRUDE, ROUGH AROUND THE EDGES BETTE MIDLER TYPE WHICH WAS SO FOREIGN TO ME!!!)
Heck I couldn't have even READ some of my lines SILENTLY without blushing at the time had I not MET HER and her MOM! We went out dancing a few times with her mom who cured me of being shocked at women who are HONEST ALL THE TIME!
And with my memory issues, and the fact I LOST ROLES IN PLAYS BEFORE as I couldn't memorize the lines, I don't know if she ever really realized just how much her help meant to me! It meant for me that I SUCCEEDED in a goal I HAD PERSUED AND HAD PREVIOUSLY FAILED AT! I not only DID IT-- but DID IT VERY WELL with really nice compliments!
I KNOW my friend's great qualities and her weaknesses. I loved her for who she was and hope that she would have that belief in our friendship that she wouldn't WORRY about being in touch after so long!
But I also know SHE WORRIES about a lot!
OH well... We had so many fun times together in college. We had a Thursday night ritual of going to dinner around 5pm, then studying until 10pm, and then heading out to the bar our friend tended where he kept our steady supply of Cranberry juice and seltzer flowing !(ReaLLY! WE were the non alcoholic drinkin bar regualars!) It was like CHEERS: the same regular crew there-- the High School English teacher, the accountant, the few other locals she grew up with- the bartender's brother and cousin. A few Buffalo West Side Italian's. Her older sister sometimes. A bunch of guys we played pool with an relaxed with on Thu nights. It was laid back and comfortable and a fun break from studying hard. ANd the English teacher sometimes had interesting conversations with whomever was interested about literature.
My friend also had hung out with my roommate and I that first year of college so she shared in the grieving when she had died. We supported each other through that when no one else could even bear to make eye contact with me on campus as I was too much of a painful reminder of my roomate who tragically died. I felt like I myself was a ghost except when she pulled me out of the fog.
She supported me when I was a mess after realizing I was totally in love with the guy I had been seeing off and on for years and also just figured out (From the shocked expression and jaw locked in place in a gaping open mouthed position from the one known pot dealing gal on campus "Your dating one of the ___________ BROTHERS????"
She was there when I moved to Buffalo after gradutation to let that relationship NATURALLY END without having to let on that I heard my beloved's DAD talk on the phone about "THE BOSS" etc... or that I figured out what was REALLY the family business.
I was there for her when her heart was broken over the love of her life at the time-- and likely the love of her life PERIOD... as I am sure all the others could never be so intense as that first love of hers from high school and almost All through college until it ended and she was devastated. I helped her pick up the pieces as she did for me when I needed it.
ANd she was there for me offering support and encouragement when I ventured on to other relationships with their ups and downs.
(AND ALTHOUGH that didn't last... I still think it was a wonderful relationship when it was good! And fortunately the fact it was inter-racial was not one of our myrid problems! Had it not been for our relationship we wouldn't have these wonderful children of Katerina and Soren. And honestly I wouldn't have had those years of great happiness before the years of great trials-- MY EX A SCORPIO as well with their typical extremes....)
SHe was there dancing with me at gay bars along with my roommate and his lover in the middle of Buffalo snow storms! (How we loved to venture out those stormy nights! The places were NOT CROWDED and we could FINALLY GO OUT without ANYONE HITTING ON HER! WHO else would go dancing with her only when it storms and the clubs are guaranteed empty? Her photo was up in a swimsuit tastefully displayed at one popular club, taken by a prominent arts photographer, and another of her butt in jeans hung at another bar which really made it difficult for her to go out comfortably (even if no one else knew that was her butt! It weighed on her....)
Oh, and before we were both OF AGE, she was there on the right hand side with her older sister's ID, DISTRACTING to the doorman who saw only her-- as I quielty walked right by ON HER LEFT AND NEVER ONCE GOT ASKED TO SHOW MY ID!! (I HAD NONE!)They would ALWAYS STOP HER... and I just waltzed in. (OK I ALSO ADMIT TO ACTING NAIVE ABOUT COVER CHARGES... WHICH I ALSO RARELY PAID OR WAS ASKED TO PAY... but it was the benefit of being virtually invisible next to her! HA HA!! : )
She was there by my side when I was pregnant and when Katerina was born was a marvelous friend.
And she stood up for me when I was married.
I had made a promise that one day I would go with her to visit some family she hadn't seen in a long time in TEXAS. I always envisioned holding to that promise someday.
I would like to have the opportunity to be there for her again and to have her in my life at SOME LEVEL again some day.
OH well-- that may never be. So I have come to terms with that as well. In a way though it calls for a period of grieving. There are those old friends who I lose touch with, but then I know that when we get back in touch it never seems to matter how long it's been! I can see them every few years and we catch up and somehow we are able to maintain our connections. I make the point of making calls at least once or twice a year and we talk for hours and it is really nice-- AND it's ENOUGH. Occassional e-mails, and letters, and very infrequent visits- and yet we maintain that closeness.
So it's sad when I have been UNABLE to connect with the girl who was for years my very best friend.
Maybe indeed she needs to be nurtured in order to have a friendship. If so I can't blame her in the least-- that is in fact a REASONABLE expectation! I am in fact darn lucky to have the low maintenance friends that I do have! (AS I AM ADMITTEDLY PRETTY SELF ABSORBED BY MY OWN FAMILY AND NOT ONE WHO IS GREAT AT NURTURING MY MORE DESERVING FRIENDS!)
Oh well-- off to bring girls to the potty and then to bed for me.
So much for relaxing by watching a little bit of TV!
Lately it seems the past has been invading my sense of PEACE! I had a strange experience at work of being next to a few co-workers who were having a conversation. One said something I found HORRIBLE along the lines of "I am not close to my brother. He is seven years younger than me and I wish he weren't born. My sister and I get along and things were great and THEN HE CAME ALONG AND MESSED IT ALL UP"
I was shocked to hear what I thought was SO SELFISH... and then after being asked something about him the girl said "HE's into drugs and weird music" and then the other guy said
ANd I laughed.
The young kid asked "Why are you laughing?"
I said something like "Oh nothing"
But boy was that an understatement. It wasn't really a laugh of thinking it funny HA HA! But more perhaps FUNNY AS IN IRONIC... maybe the NERVOUS laugh....
But to hear it from these pretty young kids recently out of HS that MOE and PHISH ARE KNOWN to be part of this DRUG CULTURE really hit SOME NERVE in me... of nervousness I guess... thinking of KAterina and Soren getting older and soon enough to be in HS. AND thinking of how the drummer of MOE had rehearsed in my attic with the jazz trio he was in which he left to join MOE. Thinkin how I was pretty naive.... and thinking how my little bro was a PHISH fanatic and follwed them around with the other dead heads who became phish heads (and how he is now a BANK MANAGER)
Yet how Phish recently ALSO played SYRACUSE and I read an article of how they are DRUG FREE for the first time in a dozen years or so.
The laugh was "God these kids know that-- its pretty common knowledge and was even in the paper..... HOW NAIVE WAS I???"
But its not really funny.
And it made me recall that around the same time when the drummer went to join MOE (IRONICALLY BECAUSE THEIR FORMER DRUMMER BECAME A NON FUNCTIONAL ALCOHOLIC!) how my EX had his breakdown while everyone with talent LEFT BUFFALO and he wouldn't despite my encouragement THAT HE TOO VENTURE OUT.
I guess it just made me feel pain I hadn't felt in a long time. It brought me back to the past as I stood there at work cutting open boxes of glasses and putting them on the shelves and HEARING Of this drug culture that I was unknowingly SURROUNDED BY!
Later that night the conversation regarding drugs and music continued. The young guy thought that all the great music was created when the musicians were INSPIRED by substances. I entered into a futile debate and was left thinking of that POE class and the exploration of POE of whether an artist can ever really create without destrying him or herself.
Its a troubling question. ONE I WANT TO ANSWER AFFIRMATIVELY! YES!! YES!! Creativity can thrive without taking away a part of ourselves!
But I can't HONESTLY assert that. Even in the creative act of PARENTING-- of having and rearing children, in the most tangible way we have to give up parts of ourselves for the sake of those we bring into this world. There is necessary sacrifice (whether it be of sleep in order to toilet train, or of individual talents in order to be there for family, or of career ambition... etc... IT IS ALWAYS SOMETHING.... even if only that 2nd hot dog I would have enjoyed by gave to Katie when she wanted more)
And in the creativity of persuing any of the arts, I think one MUST at SOME LEVEL be open to sacrificing OTHER ASPECTS of SELF in order to have the energy to be truly creative. Certainly there DOES have to be some "suspension of disbelief" which necessitates blocking reason to allow a sort of FAITH (for lack of a better word coming to mind) to overcome oneself and ones's limitations in order to be truly creative.
BUT MY REASON MAKES ME WANT TO RESIST THAT IDEA!
I want to ARGUE AGAINST any necessity for self destruction in a creative process.
But it saddens me to think from my experience that when I DO SEE those who suffered from self destruction, like my EX, or like a few others I can think of, that they really do have something in common. MY EX is not playing music anymore. HE has in a sense given it up IN ORDER TO SURVIVE because HE AT LEAST, DID NOT KNOW HOW TO BE CREATIVE WITHOUT CONCURRENTLY DESTROYING HIMSELF.
ANd that is the disturbing trend-- that I see these gifted people WHO DON'T KNOW HOW TO CREATE without ALSO DESTROYING a part of themself.
YET THAT DOESN'T MEAN IT CAN NOT BE DONE.
So I went to the library and ordered a few MADELINE L'ENGLE BOOKS. I want to read those, and read the words of Jimmy Carter, and am seeking solace in those who I believe ARE CREATIVE yet BUILD UP NOT ONLY THEIR LIVES BUT THE LIVES OF OTHERS.
They and others like them perhaps are the strongest testament that creativity need not destroy to be productive!