Monday, March 20, 2006

The First Party In Our New Apartment

On St. Patrick's Day, we invited several of our best friends to come over and have corned beef and cabbage with us. One reason for the party was so we could get our asses in gear and really unpack and finish our awesome new pad (which we did - hooray!) The main reason, though, is that we wanted to entertain, and be with our people, and christen our apartment properly.

Eight wonderful people showed up, bursting with good cheer and itching to celebrate. It's been a stressful winter for all of us and for the last few months we've all been sort of hibernating. It was an amazing and exhilarating experience to celebrate St. Patrick, good food and drink, our new place and our engagement, music, laughter, and especially the incredible, deep, sustaining friendships which bless our lives so much.

The indomitable and peerless Kitty drove all the way from Boston to attend, and our beloved, peripatetic Kiwi Paul took a Greyhound from Pennsylvania where he is fortuitously working for the month (the only good thing about Allentown being, it is only 90 minutes from NYC!)

We all ate and drank and laughed and whooped it up till the wee hours. The next morning, many of the guests regrouped in my kitchen while I did the Mount Everest of dishes, arriving with a box of coffee and delicious breakfast sandwiches from our favorite deli. Paul fixed my clock, the overhead light above my stove, and the broken handle on my cupboard, and took my son to the park. Brian washed the silverware, which he knows I hate to do. Rebecca carefully cleaned up broken glass (don't ask) so that my bare feet would be safe. Everyone laughed and chatted and told stories and made it a wonderful morning. It was a complete delight from beginning to end.

I am so grateful for the amazing friends in my life. There is no substitute for the warmth, acceptance, joy and comfort that they provide. It's a true privilege to be part of this big community of loving, interesting, intelligent, funny, kind human beings. To the people I love who are reading this (you know who you are): thank you. You have made my life wonderful.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Kind-Hearted Bosses

An incident today at work made me reflect on how fortunate I have been in my life in the boss department (with a few GLARING exceptions!!)

I've been in my new position for three short weeks, supporting two top executives at a national news magazine. It's a great job and I know I am going to love it, but I'm still sort of tiptoeing around figuring out who's who, how do these guys tick, what's the proper protocol, you know the drill. New job jitters.

I was surprised to discover today that one of my best friends in New York had a phone interview for a great job at one of my new company's sister companies early this morning. She hadn't realized that the two companies were related (and neither did I until I started my new job a few weeks ago).

I approached my senior boss sort of casually, told him about the funny coincidence, and asked what, if anything, I might do to put in a good word for my friend. He took me very seriously, asked several questions, and then got up from his desk and rousted my OTHER very busy boss out of his office. The two of them discussed it at some length around my desk, trying to discover for whom my friend would be working, and in the end they both encouraged me to find out the name of the executive in charge of the division. My boss said, and I quote, "I'd be happy to make a personal phone call to that executive to put in a good word for her, if you can get me a name." Then he gave me a big, kind smile over his glasses and shut his office door.

WOW! I was totally astonished and dazzled. This is a man who knows how to inspire loyalty! I literally felt my jaw drop open and had to focus on deliberately and gently closing my mouth.

It may not magically help get my friend the second interview and/or the job , but you never know, it just might. In any event, it was an act of genuine helpfulness on his part with no immediate payback, offered to someone he doesn't know terribly well, apparently just to be nice. Another thing: the whole thing was handled so matter-of-factly, with so little ado, that it was clear that this is just the way he is. It's not unusual at all for him to be generous with his time, energy and influence.

I'm so grateful to be working with and for people like this.

Meanwhile we are frantically googling like mad to find out the executive's name! Please send good ju-ju!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

It's Contagious!

My son Connor has been very interested in, and impressed by, the fact that I started this site. "My mom has a whole WEBSITE about good deeds," he proudly told a fellow passenger on our plane to Cancun. I had volunteered to change our seats so that the guy's family could all sit together.

Yesterday, two good deeds happened that relate to my son.

First of all, my dear friend and co-blogger Andrea comes into Manhattan every single Monday to pick up my son after school and take him to his "talking doctor" appointment. Connor loves going to see Peter, his doctor, and he especially loves spending a little time with Andrea, who is one of the world's most delightful, charming, wise, kindhearted, intelligent, and funny people. The two of them send each other hilarious text messages about stinky farts. They love each other and enjoy each other's company tremendously.

Anyway every Monday, without fail, my darling friend Andrea makes sure Connor reaches his doctor's office, saving me an incredible weekly hassle; and she does it with such joy and enthusiasm that it's impossible for me to feel bad about it.

So that is good deed number one - my favorite kind - not really dramatic, just an ordinary, week in, week out, reliably kind act that is very meaningful to me and my little boy. It might seem small, but it isn't. Thank you, my friend!

Yesterday, Andrea picked Connor up at school as usual and they bought a snack at a hot dog vendor. Suddenly they noticed a pair of gloves on the sidewalk. Connor pointed them out and a woman sitting nearby said, "That man dropped them!" - pointing at a man who was pulling out from the curb in his car. Connor ran to the car shouting "Sir! Sir!" The man stopped and Connor handed his gloves to him through the car window.

"That's GREAT!" I exclaimed when he told me about it. "Yes!" he said smugly. "And then Andrea and I had a High Five!"

Then he looked up at me with his winsome little grin and said "Will you put me on your web site, Mom?"

Thursday, March 02, 2006

I Fell Off A Galloping Horse On A Mexican Beach And...

  • Fernando said the best moment of the day was seeing me get up and climb back on. He was terrified that I had been seriously hurt or killed. He also had a shot of tequila waiting for me at the bar after I gimped back from the stables; that was hilarious and much appreciated;
  • All the staff members and fellow guests at our hotel offered me medicine and sympathy, and enjoyed hearing the story, properly expressing thrilled shock and admiration, which was almost better than the medicine and sympathy;
  • Since I bruised my tailbone area pretty badly, I'm still gimping around like the hunchback of Notre Dame (actually, it's more of a waddle than a gimp) and people on the rush hour subway are literally leaping to their feet to let me sit down when they see me coming (instead of pointing and laughing);
  • And best of all, I have experienced the unfailing kindness, solicitous care, shouldering of burdens, massages, handholding, and refusal to hate me when I'm whiny, of my wonderful best friend and life partner in the last week.