I see life through rose.., p.2

I See Life Through Rosé-Colored Glasses, page 2


I See Life Through Rosé-Colored Glasses

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  Which would leave her with no mobility.

  The vet warned me about this a year ago, and I said to myself, if that happens, I might have to make a tough decision.

  But that was then, and this is now.

  Because now, I don’t see any problem at all.

  She’s otherwise happy and healthy and smarter than ever.

  And I’m starting to Google carts for quadriplegic dogs.

  Or I can just push her in her cart.

  Or carry her from room to room.

  Because the thing about a dog is, they never give up on you.

  If I had to be carried from room to room, Ruby would carry me.

  Rosie would have too.

  If you have a dog, you know that is exactly true.

  And so Ruby has taught me one final trick.

  What are the limits on love?

  There aren’t any.

  It’s a trick question.

  Do Me a Favor


  I was leaving a friend’s birthday party when I realized I’d left my scarf at the bar. I was going to ask the cabbie to turn around, but we were almost at the Brooklyn Bridge, it would cost time and money to circle back, and I was tired and eager to get home. I don’t normally ask for favors, but I thought this one would be easy enough, so I called the birthday boy and asked him to look out for it.

  The next morning, he texted me, Hello, hello, I have your scarf.

  I was relieved. But it was December 20, and I was about to head out of town for the holiday, so we agreed I would pick it up after Christmas.

  January 2, I emailed him with the subject line: “Are you and my scarf free to hang?” It read:

  Since you gallantly rescued my scarf, I’ll come to your neighb in Brooklyn so you can just roll outta bed and not be inconvenienced.

  And we made plans. But when our Sunday brunch date rolled around, a massive snowstorm had delayed the trains, and what should’ve been a forty-minute subway ride took an hour and a half with two transfers. I didn’t want to be late and make my friend wait, after all, he was doing me a favor, so I got my cardio workout trudge-jogging through the snowy streets.

  I finally landed at the restaurant, simultaneously sweaty and cold, with foggy glasses and bleeding heel blisters from my rubber boots—and somehow I still beat him there. But it was fine, I needed the time to defrost. When my friend arrived, we chatted pleasantly over the menus. He didn’t mention the scarf.

  I didn’t want to seem overeager, but when there was a brief lull in the conversation after ordering, I lifted my eyebrows and smiled:

  “Do you have my scarf?”

  “Oh, yeah, thanks for reminding me,” he said, tapping his forehead. I eased back into the booth before he added, “I totally couldn’t find it.”

  “You mean at the bar?”

  “No, in my apartment. I know I took it from the bar, but I looked all over this morning, and it’s nowhere to be found. I think my cleaning lady must have moved it, I’ll have to ask her next time she comes.”

  “Oh. Okay, thanks, yeah, let me know.”

  Two weeks later, I hadn’t heard from him, so I emailed him again:

  Don’t mean to be a pest, I just find the longer something is lost, the more likely it is to stay lost.

  He said he still hadn’t found it, the cleaning lady knew nothing, and offered to buy me a new one. Which was so nice, too nice. I insisted he not do that—I didn’t elaborate that it was a lovely tissue cashmere scarf my mother gave me, of greater sentimental and retail value than I could expect him to replace—so I asked only that he keep an eye out for it.

  I cursed myself for not simply turning that cab around.

  A week later, he texted me a picture of himself holding the scarf! It was hidden in a tote bag, he said.

  YAY!!! Thank you, I never doubted you!

  We’ll coordinate a drop-off next week.

  I didn’t hear from him again for a month. But again, I couldn’t complain, he was doing me a favor! Anyway, a month later, he texted me that he’d be in my area and would drop off my scarf. I wasn’t home at the time, but I thanked him and said he could leave it with the front desk.

  When I got back to my apartment building, I asked my doorman if a guy had dropped anything off for me. He said yes and retrieved something from the lobby closet and handed me a balled-up piece of fabric.

  I shook it out to reveal a wrinkled, leopard-print negligee.

  “This isn’t mine.” I blushed so hard I practically broke into hives. I don’t even like when my doormen see me bring a boyfriend home. I’m not in the habit of having them hold my worn lingerie. “This must be for someone else. My friend dropped off a navy blue scarf.”

  My doorman shrugged. “This was what the gentleman left for you.”

  “Okay, this is a mistake, I’m gonna clear this up. Thanks.” I wadded it up into a tight ball. “And he really is just a friend.”

  My doorman smirked.

  I hurried into my apartment, bewildered. Then I texted him.

  Bro. This is not my scarf. This is a Victoria’s Secret robe, I know you had it, it’s in the pic you sent me before!

  I added a screenshot of his earlier text with the proof-of-scarf-life photo.

  Hahaha omg oops!

  He said he grabbed the wrong thing, then added:

  Feel free to hang on to the robe—it’s an ex’s.

  Men, amirite?

  What woman doesn’t want the dirty lingerie of an old girlfriend?

  I told him if he didn’t want it back, I was going to throw it out.

  He didn’t like that idea.

  Ehh, ok I’ll take it back when I swing by later.

  And so another round of complex schedule negotiations ensued. I was beginning to worry my scarf had been given to the robeless temptress, when one day I came home, and my doorman again said something had been left for me. I felt residual trepidation, but what could be more embarrassing than a negligee? A naked man?

  I mean, I’d take it.

  But at long last, it was my scarf! I clutched it to my face in gratitude. It no longer smelled like my perfume, but at least it didn’t smell like anyone else’s.

  I’ll never know the secrets of what my scarf had seen or how it had gotten lost, found, lost again, mistaken, and then finally found its way home. I only know one thing for certain:

  I should’ve done myself a favor and turned that cab around.

  Christmas with the Flying Scottolines


  It’s time you knew the truth.

  My childhood Christmases were not the norm.

  I’m reluctant to tell you because it makes the family look bad.

  But I’m a fan of the truth, especially if it’s funny.

  Here’s what happened.

  When I was little, The Flying Scottolines were a family of four, living in a tract house in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. But my mother had a very large family and she was the youngest of nineteen children.

  Yes, you read that correctly.


  I had eighteen aunts and uncles. Their age span was so large that some were dying while others were being born.

  Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but not by much.

  What does this tell you about my family?

  I don’t even want to know.

  Let’s just say they were good Catholics.

  Maybe too good.

  What does that tell us about my grandmother?

  That she had more estrogen than the Northern Hemisphere?

  Can you imagine being pregnant nineteen times?

  It’s like a puppy mill, only with babies.

  By the way, my grandmother was married twice. Her first husband died.

  You can guess how.

  His heart wore out.

  Before anything else, evidently.

  I would’ve said, Dude, before bedtime, maybe read a book instead?

  Anyway, when I was growing up, most of the aun
ts and uncles would come to our house for Sunday dinner and on holidays. The house would burst with colorful Italian relatives, like in an Olive Garden commercial but not as well dressed.

  Everybody brought potluck, which meant that we had thirty-seven different kinds of pasta.

  I adored all of my aunts and uncles, but my favorite was Uncle Mikey, the Fun Uncle.

  He drove a convertible Thunderbird, loved to sing and dance, and did God-knows-what for a living. He loved to play with me and my brother, tickle us, and tell us dumb jokes. But best of all, he always brought us presents on Christmas Eve, like Santa, only smoking a cigarette.

  All the other aunts and uncles would give us a Christmas gift by placing them under the tree for us to open on Christmas morning.

  But not Uncle Mikey.

  He would bring his gifts unwrapped, so we could play with them right away.

  Of course, we loved that, as kids.

  Delayed gratification was not in our vocabulary.

  I always noticed some tension between my parents and Uncle Mikey on Christmas Eve, and one year, the presents from Uncle Mikey stopped abruptly.


  I asked my mother why, and that’s when she told me that Uncle Mikey’s presents “fell off a truck.”

  Not that that explained anything.

  I remember thinking that Uncle Mikey was the luckiest guy ever, always driving around behind trucks full of toys, just when things started falling off the back.

  What a guy!

  And he must’ve been the greatest catch, too, because when the toys fell off the truck, he caught them.

  Merry Christmas!

  Some kids believed in Santa, but I believed in Uncle Mikey.

  I didn’t care where the presents came from, only that I got them.

  Evidently, Uncle Mikey felt the same way.

  Then one day, after I had become an adult, I heard the term “fell off a truck” used in a movie. And I learned that it meant the goods were stolen.

  Which is when I realized that Uncle Mikey wasn’t such a good catch, after all.

  No wonder Mother Mary made him stop.

  And no wonder the presents were never wrapped.

  And no wonder they were always the best.

  Because they didn’t cost him anything.

  The Flying Scottolines were receiving stolen goods.

  Luckily we didn’t end up behind bars.

  And so you get the idea.

  That’s who we were.

  Are you impressed yet?

  The truth is never impressive.

  It’s just real.

  And sometimes funny.

  The Ad That Stole Christmas


  I was excited for Christmas until Match.com told me I shouldn’t be.

  The dating website has been running a new TV advertisement entitled, “I Met Someone.” The phrase is repeated by different people in different scenarios, but the camera lingers on a final scene at a holiday dinner, where a young woman leans in to an elderly relative and says, “I met someone,” to much rejoicing.

  Don’t do this, Match.com.

  Don’t turn Christmas into a day to make single people feel bad about being single. Save that for Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Eve, Fridays and Saturdays.

  Let us just have this!

  Christmas is pure. It’s a holiday for celebration of faith, family, and childlike wonder.

  We’re celebrating the birth of Christ, a holy infant, an immaculate conception.

  And you choose now to ask Santa for an online hookup?

  Christmas is a perfect time to be single. You go home to your family, binge on all your favorite foods, watch great, old movies, and spend the whole day in pajamas.

  Come to think of it, I should try to plan my next breakup for December.

  I’ve been in a relationship over the holidays and I’ve been single, and honestly, I prefer it this way.

  Maybe as a child of divorced parents, I’m already exhausted with splitting the holiday. If you want me to cut the day into thirds, I’m gonna need a ring on my finger.

  And a new relationship at Christmas is the worst. The game theory that goes into choosing the perfect gift for a brand-new boyfriend—one that isn’t too serious or too jokey, one that neither disappoints nor upstages his gift for you.

  I need more liquor in this eggnog just thinking about it.

  Single people don’t need a TV ad to be reminded we’re single at Christmas. ’Tis the season for engagement announcements on social media.

  Facebook looks like an emoji-diamond mine right now.

  I don’t begrudge the happy couples on my social media feeds. I give my likes, hearts, and double-taps freely.

  But I resent that television ad for trying to make us feel like not only are we alone, we’re letting our family down.

  You’re a mean one, Mr. Match.

  Also, it’s not true. Our older relatives might ask about our dating status, but they’re just trying to find something to talk to us about.

  Not everyone is caught up on Game of Thrones.

  If you don’t like the line of conversation Great Aunt Bertie is pursuing, look up from your phone and ask her something. Better yet, ask her about her dating life back in the day.

  Old ladies have stories.

  Maybe that was just my grandmother, Mother Mary. She was very chill about my love life.

  One time, I told her I had a boyfriend, and she said, “Why?”

  Her sage advice was generally to date around, not get tied down too soon, and not to settle.

  She was divorced twice, so she knew a thing or two.

  At least two.

  I thought of her watching this ad, because the only scene more manipulative than the holiday dinner was the one where a man is sitting at his grandmother’s hospital bedside to tell her, “I met someone,” and she’s filled with joy and presumably the will to live.

  So, not only are single people guilty of ruining Christmas, we’re also denying Grandma’s final wishes.

  Somewhere Mother Mary is laughing.

  Because when she fell gravely ill two years ago, I had just ended a long-term relationship, but my uncle advised I not say anything to avoid upsetting her. But later, as I was caring for her in hospice, she asked me about my ex, and I had to tell her the truth.

  I told her the whole story, so she’d know that I had tried my very best to make the relationship work. When I was finished, she held up a finger. Speech was difficult for her by then, and when she wanted to make something very clear, she wrote it out on her whiteboard and showed it to me:


  Then she burst out laughing. We both did.

  Mother Mary isn’t with us any longer, but I always feel close to her around the holidays. And in my book, she’ll always get the final word.

  So, sorry, Match.com, you’ve been overruled. Christmas remains a no-date-needed holiday.

  And single or not, if you’re lucky enough to spend the day with your family, make sure they feel your love. There’s plenty to go around.

  A Very Happy New Year


  The holidays are almost over, and you’re probably exhausted from cooking, visiting, and pulling pine needles from your toes.

  I did all that, but I’m not tired.

  You know why?


  Not even kidding.

  And it’s all legal.

  Let me explain.

  We begin three weeks before Christmas, when I start to get a sore throat. Like every woman during the holidays, I ignore it and soldier on, but my throat gets worse and worse. Every day I think I should call the doctor but I tough it out like a Mommy Martyr.

  Yes, mothers make the best martyrs.

  It’s starts with labor.

  Actually, men thought up the name labor, because Torture & Genital Mutilation doesn’t look as good on a hospital door.

  Anyway, I got sick before Christmas, m
y throat on fire, my head in the proverbial vise, and I felt horrible, head to toe. But of course I waited too long to call the doctor and their offices were closed for the weekend, so I went to Patient First.

  A doctor you can see on the spot? Incredible. I have to wait two weeks to get my hair highlighted.

  Scottoline First!

  Anyway at Patient First, I’m diagnosed with strep throat. They give me antibiotics to go home with, and long story short, I checked in at my regular doctor later, and he prescribed something magical:


  As in methylprednisone.

  Which cured me instantly.

  Or more accurately, made my sickness beside the point. I felt no symptoms at all. My throat felt great, my head cleared, and I went from being sick to well, in a blink.

  Holidays, here I come!

  Of course, I’m not really advocating drug use, and you’re smart enough to know that.

  Just say no.

  But I didn’t, and was highly productive.

  I was supposed to take six pills the first day, and by pill two, I had the energy of ten lords a-leaping and nine ladies dancing.

  It was like the twelve days of Christmas, chemically enhanced.

  I was ready to plant a Christmas tree, grow it, saw it myself, decorate it, and take it down.

  I started and finished all my shopping. I signed and sealed all my holiday cards. I wrapped all my gifts. I cleaned the house. I did the laundry. I reorganized my office.

  My garden room wasn’t completely finished being constructed, but I moved furniture into it anyway. I stopped when I realized that four windows were missing.

  I noticed only because the cold blew through my Superwoman cape.

  Turns out that steroids are just what I need during the holidays.

  It was like the magic pill in Limitless.

  It’s all about Bradley Cooper, isn’t it?

  I had no idea if my throat hurt because I’ve never felt so good in my life. It was like a combination of Advil, Robitussin, and crack cocaine.

  Per the instructions, I took two of the pills before bedtime, obviously the prescription of Dr. Satan. You can’t take two steroids before bed and sleep anytime this century.

  I lay wide-awake, but it didn’t matter.

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