Author - Amy Sherman

1
Signs You’re at a Neil Diamond Concert in 2017
2
Coffee, Tea or Disappointment?
3
Will You Still Love Me?
4
5
DC and Me
6
7
8
Start Counting the Days
9
Insomniac
10
Dying From Exposure

Signs You’re at a Neil Diamond Concert in 2017

Courtesy golf carts in the parking lot to give people rides to the stadium from their cars.

Warning announcement about the lights dropping abruptly as the concert will be starting shortly.

No need for earplugs.

Concert-goer wheeled out on a gurney. And not at an emergency pace. (Golf cart ride looks better and better.)

Calm, well-behaved crowd. More singing than dancing.

His backup singers are no Spring chickens.

He’s still super hot, channeling a silver-haired, silver-bearded Sean Connery.

He clearly took good care of his vocal chords. (He’s 76.)

He makes an aging fan base feel young again.

Coffee, Tea or Disappointment?

Rrrrrrrrring!

“Amy?”
“Hey Terry, what’s up?”
“I’m not gonna make it to work today. I’m so sick. Been throwing up all morning. There’s no way. Just wanted you to know.”
“Ugh. I’m sorry to hear that. I’ll miss ya, but feel better.”

I would miss Terry. She and I buddy-bid to work the same trips as flight attendants. She never missed a trip. As it turned out, Terry had food poisoning. We had eaten at a fondue restaurant the night before the trip. Lucky for her, it hit early enough to stay home. Mine kicked in mid-flight, on a long leg to Palm Springs from Chicago. For the first, and only time of my 13-year-career, I was lying across three seats in the back of a 727-200, curled up under a blanket, wanting to die. The crew had to cover for me. People stared at me as they waited for the lavatories to open up.

A crewmember had a nice doctor from First Class came back to check on me.

“How you doing?”

“I’ve been better. The constant vomiting is a little annoying. Pretty sure it’s food poisoning because my flying buddy called in sick this morning and we both ate at a fondue restaurant last night.”

“You don’t look too good.”

“I feel pretty bad I can’t work. And these air-sickness bags could be bigger.”

“I can write you a script if that’s okay. It will help.”

“Dear god, please. That would be wonderful. Can you throw in some Valium for good measure?”

“You’ve got a great attitude.”

“Anything for a prescription.”

That night in the hotel, that prescription changed my world. The next week I called the doctor to let him know.

“Hello?”
“Dr. Feelgood? It’s Amy. The flight attendant you checked on last week?”
“Of course. I’ve been thinking about you. How are you?”
“Great. I wanted to thank you for helping me out. I was able to work the next day. You are a life-saver. That medicine stopped everything.”
“That’s wonderful. I was happy to help. Since you’re feeling much better, would you like to have dinner with me?”
“Dinner? Tonight?”
“Or when you’re back in town again.”
“That’s so sweet, but uhhh, I’m going to say no. You’ve been wonderful and I really appreciate your help. Thank you for the offer and thanks again for saving me.”
“That’s fine. It was a pleasure. Have a nice trip.”

He was well-dressed, and nice looking enough. A total gentleman. A caring man. He was also about 80. I was 24. It was a nice offer. Thoughts of how rich this prominent doctor in Palm Springs was, flitted through my mind. A street had been named after him. But no. Not my thing. I was both flattered and uncomfortable. For a brief moment, I entertained the idea of being worshipped by someone who would be effing GRATEFUL. That’s pretty heady stuff.

It would be refreshing to work a dance in front of a guy and skip my usual inner dialogue…“Just keep going. He doesn’t care about the butt dimples, knee fat, and small boobs. Think about something else, for God’s sake.” Fact: guys like naked dancing. Hell, I’ll watch a hot dance. But being the erotic dancer? The mental baggage and insecurities I have about my body are pretty much always up front and center. I feel awkward, self-conscious, and a little mortified.

Making the leap from a dinner invitation to me dancing naked for the man may seem premature, but an age gap like that brings a person’s thoughts to getting naked at an alarming rate. Nevermind that I could be seeing an unclad Octogenarian’s body, wishing I had some anti-nausea pills left over…if it ever came to this daring display, he would think I was a goddess. In that one moment, I would be the hottest thing in the room.

Younger men have told me I could look good if I worked out, had better posture, longer hair, bigger boobs, etc. A favorite encounter happened in my sister’s dorm at UCLA as she introduced me to a few floormates, pointing out I was visiting because I was a flight attendant and had a layover in L.A. One young man, wearing only a towel around his waist, snidely remarked: “You don’t look like a flight attendant.”

“I hate to break it to you, but this is what a flight attendant looks like.” He looked me over, clearly disappointed his 1960’s fantasy image of a beautiful, buxom, blonde ‘stewardess’ wasn’t standing before him, ready to spread her ‘wings,’ and walked away.

I did not enjoy our brief exchange. Chalk his rude remark up to immaturity, but I was all of 3 years older than this snot-faced college-boy. Forty years later, I would be better equipped to respond. “Of course I don’t look like a flight attendant to you. You’re too short to really see their faces.” (Another fantasy that never came to life.)

So when I say it was awkward that a gentlemanly 80-year-old offered to take me to dinner, what I mean is, awkwardly sweet. He saw me folded up in the last row of coach looking green, and still wanted to get to know me better. He actually chuckled at things I said. That raised his attractability exponentially. So thank you Dr. Feelgood, for that boost. And thank you, Melting Pot, for making me puke my guts out, so I could experience feeling, if only for a mythical moment, like I was the fantasy stewardess cliché real flight attendants have fought so hard to overcome.

Some baggage deserves to get lost.

Will You Still Love Me?

So. Turned 62. Funny thing is, I’ve been telling people I am 62 for the past 9 months or more. Not sure if I was rounding up or what, but only a month or so ago, Bradley finally corrected me on it.

Brad: You know you’re only 61, right?

Me: What? That can’t be. Lemme see…1955, 2017…holy shit! I just gained a year! Or lost it. How did I screw that up? Am I going senile?

Brad: I thought it was weird. But at one point I figured you did it intentionally.

Me: You figured? And you never once thought you might MENTION this in passing?

Brad: I’m mentioning it now?

Me: This is so crazy. I seriously convinced myself I was 62. Now it’s like I’m not really going to have a birthday at all.

Color me gobstruck.

My actual 62nd birthday turned out to be one of my favorites. Very pleasant. Top to bottom. This one truly felt like a get-out-of-fail-free card. I was feeling love all over the place. Phone calls. Text messages. Facebook salutations. Old photographs. Music videos. Poems…

There once was a lady named ame
Humor was her claim to fame
She wrote from her home
None as good as my poem
But still such a funny old dame
~Elicia M Viola

Looking at my life and the friends who have made it livable and glorious, I realized in the most peaceful way…it’s been a life well-lived. The best part being, I look forward to keeping that standard going until it’s over.

(Friends who don’t know me at all. In Italy. Mr.Unibrow is the real MVP.)

I can’t predict how long this sense of satisfaction, dare I say, “pride” may last, but what a relief today was from never being enough. That daily internal dialogue saying I failed at reaching some impossible standard put upon myself like a weighted diving suit.

Today, I rose to the surface, buoyed by loved ones, and gasped with awe at where I had come from and where there is yet to go. Full blown gratitude.

You can’t get a better gift than that. Thank you everyone who has touched my life in positive, unconditional ways. And thank you for your kind and funny posts on my wall. [The only wall I am in favor of, btw.]

Christ I hate mushy sentimentality. Is it time to go towards the light?

Not a fucking chance. Unless that light is neon and blinking, “Food.”

So thanks for the feels everybody. I’ll leave you with this question: Will you still love me, will you please tell me, when I’m 63? Seriously, tell me.

Checking for a pulse?

Inspiration found at a TJMaxx…
…I don’t pay for shitty clichés, btw.

That’s all folks!

DC and Me

Yes. I marched in DC the day after the Inauguration. It was an event that will be forever in my heart. But what struck me most about the day, was the ripples around it. Waiting to board the flight at O’Hare, I was aware of all the women who were flying to Washington to participate. One young woman and I shared a few words and she started to tear up. She is a grad student.

“I’m sorry.” She wipes away a tear.

“No. I get it. I’ve had some really dark days. It’s been tough.
But here we are! Are you going alone?”

“My husband is flying in later tonight.”

“Outstanding.”

Surrounded by energized women, many in pink pussy hats, it is a feeling of great pride and hope. We fill the aircraft to capacity. As a former flight attendant, I have never seen a flight with this percentage of women. There is a smattering of men. Some along for the march, others just quietly wishing to get to their destination.

Everyone is upbeat. People are bonding with strangers. My seatmate and I share stories. She is a working mother. She has a daughter. And SHE is loving being alone for the first time since her daughter was born, give or take. She has the power to get up early, proceed to the stage and get premium access without worrying about or accommodating friends who backed out. I get that.

Upon landing, the flight attendant makes a P.A.
“Thanks to all the Nasty Women who flew American today.”

Big cheers.

On the way to the March with my friends, following the river of pink knit hats, with one million plus women making their way to the rally, my young grad student sees me with delight.

“OMG! Guys! This is the grad student I was telling you about!”

“You told them about me?”

“Of course!”

We hug. She introduces me to her husband.

“What are the ODDS of running into each other again?”

All smiles. We say goodbye. I’m afraid of getting separated from my friends.
Walking towards the rally there are metro buses and rally buses along the way. Honks and screams fill the air. It is joyous.

We walk until we can walk no farther. That’s how it works. You just keep going until space is filled up.

We passed some pro-lifers with signs. They are kept behind a chain link fence.

“There they are.” We look and move on. No acknowledgement. They mean nothing. They cannot rain on this moment.

We stop to take pictures with a sign a woman is holding up. It has a cut out for your face with the words, “The Face of Feminism.” Lots of people are taking advantage of it.

“I feel like I should pay you.” As I’m sticking my head in the hole.

“Your smile is all I need.”



THAT. THAT is what this march is about. Everyone participating is in it together. Everyone is in it for each other. Everyone wants every man, woman and child to succeed. In America. And around the world.

The day is long. The crowds are tight. We were unable to hear the speakers but we all patiently wait the hours it takes for them to finish. Then word comes through the crowd via a Washington Post tweet…the march is cancelled. We filled the entire route. Holy wow.

With a mix of pride and disappointment people start moving. Then it happens. The March. Organically because people had to leave the rally.

Chants keep repeating…

“Tell me what democracy looks like?”
“THIS is what democracy looks like!”

And many more. You don’t even need to shout. Enough voices respond to make it clear what the message is.

Reading all the signs is a highlight of the day. We marvel at the meaning and creativity that oppression brings out.

For me, it’s easy. I’m retired. I can afford to be here. What slays me are all the working women, young mothers, families, men and children who make the supreme effort to be here. They are my heroes. I march for them.

One story told, is a woman in a car near the march yells, “You wouldn’t be here if you all worked. Get a job!”

One woman walks past her open window…”Bitch. It’s Saturday.”

Love.

Someone chants behind us…”Gays hate Trump!”

I respond, “We ALL hate Trump!”

Laughter.

And those are the ugliest stories I have to share.

At the end of the day, we put our tired feet up and watch the news. We were in our bubble during the march. We had no idea of how widespread the turnout was. To see other countries stepping up is stunning. Our room alone has a Californian, Washington State citizen, an Illinoisan, and a young man from New York City. We couldn’t get enough of reports on all the cities huge turnouts. I relish knowing my sister marched in Los Angeles. Watching world news and we are a part of the story. All those marches. Millions of people. All pulled off without a hitch. It. Is. Magnificent.

At the end of the night, I make it a point to lay my sign amongst all the others being displayed by a local monument. I did it with a solemn pride that makes me tear up as I write this.

DC is quiet. Anyone out walking is there for the same reason. Many still sport their pink hats. We all smile at each other. We all feel it. Nothing but blind love, coupled with “We did it.” Knowing full well, it is just the beginning.

Glory be to Women.

Not a LOSER meme xx

Start Counting the Days

Half Staff MEME xxx

Insomniac

Olympic MIND MEME xx

Dying From Exposure

Sewn Lips xxx

Copyright © 2014 Amy Sherman

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