Archive for July, 2013

It pleases the average woman that Kate Middleton just gave birth and is wearing clothes which shows her ‘baby bump.’ She’s young and the weight will come off in time, it’s not like she’s a Hollywood celebrity. Hollywood celebrities lose the thirty pounds they gained while pregnant, plus ten, name their baby something ridiculous like Apple and are on the cover of Vogue within forty- eight hours of giving birth. In the “Wow, How does she do it all” article the celebrity praises her baby, personal trainer, nanny, housekeeper and the guy who airbrushed her. There’s no baby bump to be seen. The average woman hates her. Working woman who don’t have money for trainers, nannies and personal chefs love Kate Middleton because she represents the average woman. She gives all women who have had a baby the power to ignore the pressure to lose or cover the bump.

Why, I’m still trying to lose my bump from my third and last child, 20 years ago. A woman thinks when she gives birth and gains a baby she will lose the weight. Hah! You look at your baby and realize… it weighs seven pounds; you gained 40… something’s horribly wrong. You ate for two. Yet it looks like your bundle of joy didn’t eat his amount of spaghetti. It seems your bundle didn’t partake of the double thick, double chocolate shakes consumed on a daily basis to meet your calcium quota. You feel betrayed by your baby because their birth made you look in the mirror and question the second helping you took of well, everything. When your baby was born they were supposed to weigh more and (in your mind) you should weigh much, much less. They didn’t do their part.

You get upset that your maternity clothes stay front and center in your closet and you’re upset with the violent person you’ve become, punching people in the face because they ask, “So, when are you due?”

The average woman secretly hopes Kate will keep her bump till the next royal baby is born. The average woman will rally with support if she decks the clod who asks, “When are you due?” and their cries will be heard throughout the land.

USA Today had a piece about a new online hotel room sharing program. As stated – Easynest, started up in May and capitalizes on the fact most hotel rates are based on double occupancy, even if there’s just one person. It’s like having a roommate to split the rent.

Here’s how it works. You create a profile with Easynest, listing the places you’d like to visit along with dates and wait for a “host” (the hotel room booker) to contact you. Hotel and “guest’ then confirm dates, cost and other details and the guest pays the host directly. Currently the service is free, but there will be a fee in the future.

Unless there’s a thorough background search done on all “guests” this can be a crazy and dangerous idea. Who knows what kind of loon you’ll get as a roommate. Will you have to fill out a survey listing your likes and dislikes so the host can find you the perfect roommate? Do you prefer a quiet person who’ll let you sleep or a talkative person who’ll keep you up all night? You should be informed if your roommate has a criminal record so you can bring valuables to the bathroom when you shower; it’s too easy to break the code on the room safe.

Wanting to shower at the same time can be a problem, unless your roommate is of the opposite sex and you’re attracted to each other… but, that’s a whole different story. Problems can arise if your roommate snores, takes up extra closet space and stinks up the room with cheap perfume. A big problem is if your roommate ate the goodies from the minibar and skipped out, leaving you with the bill. I realize the same problems exist for married couples (minus the stealing) sharing a room, but at least the marriage license gives you free reign to openly and easily voice your grievances. Would you be so open and honest with a stranger? I don’t know if I would. I do know I’d be uneasy sleeping in the same room with someone I just met, unless it’s George Clooney. In that case I’d request one single bed. It wouldn’t be a problem at all.

Checkout.  Last day. We go to Trump Plaza. The Plaza restrooms are the nicest, cleanest bathrooms on earth. It seemed everything had a golden glow – and I do mean everything.

We make the trip to the airport which is the exact opposite of Trump plaza – it’s a dump. It’s the dirtiest, most noisy airport I’ve ever been in. We had to wait three hours as out flight was delayed three times.

We board the plane and fly to our local airport. When we landed the flight attendant announced we were waiting for gate confirmation. Awhile later she thanked us for our patience and assured us our wait was almost over. Next time she gets on the microphone she expresses her frustration by letting out a heavy, loud sigh (never heard a stewardess sigh before) and confesses, “They’re not answering our calls. I don’t know why they can’t figure out where to put us.”

Looking around the runway I saw one other plane. All the other gates were empty. We could have just picked one and drove up to it.

Impatience sets in and the pilot decides to lower the steps for us to get off. (A no nonsense type of guy.) The stewardess makes one last announcement assuring us this was safe, but to be careful to avoid hitting our heads on the plane’s wing once on the runway. (I never heard that before either.) On the runway we wait for someone to open the luggage compartment of the plane. We watched as he then tossed the bags onto the luggage cart. We retrieved our bags. Since there was no AirTran to get into the airport, we had to walk up a flight of steps, walk through the airport and out the front doors to our car in the lot. The only way this flight could have been 100% self-service is if we had flown the plane ourselves.

As I watched my husband lug the suitcase up the flight of steps I thought it was a good thing the soap dish I earned and swiped from the hotel was light. I had to have some souvenir for New York.

Never was soliciting as bold and brazen as in Chinatown. On day four we decided to take a sightseeing tour bus which allows riders to get off wherever they want to explore. We got off at several places, but the one that’ll be forever etched into memory is Chinatown. Once we stepped foot in Chinatown we accosted by people trying to sell watches. I’d walk by a store and they’d shout, “Watches, you want watches.” I’d walk with eyes down to avoid contact, yet they’d approach me and whisper in my ear, “Watch, you need watch?”  I’d get people motioning me into their store loudly proclaiming, “Watches, you get watch here.” What is it with watches? Don’t they have something else to sell? Don’t they have fortune cookies?

When we crossed over into Little Italy I figured we were safe as we left the land of watches. The first store we went in was run by Chinese people and a large display of watches sat on the front counter. I ran… all the way to an Italian bakery where we stopped for dessert. As we ate, a fashion photo shoot took place outside. Thanks to our window seat we were able to see the whole thing.

Watching it I thought how nice to be a model. If the wind blew one hair on her head, someone combed it. If she talked and smudged her lipstick, someone fixed her pucker. When she turned and got a wedgie, someone pulled it out for her. I don’t know if I’d want the job of ‘official wedgie remover.’ How much can the job pay? Not enough.

That night, watching our last Broadway play, Jersey Boys, when I looked at my watch, I thought back to Chinatown and thought no amount of watches could have stopped time and the play from ending to soon. It was my favorite play and seemed to have flown by.

Our entire trip seemed to go by in the blink of an eye; except for the time we were stuck in LaGuardia airport. I’ll tell you tomorrow.

Everybody working the front desk is busy helping a guest, so we decide to speak to someone about the soap dish when we get back.

We head toward Central Park for part two. The part of the park we walk through today is less filled with tourist and more quiet. We see the conservatory gardens, the pool and the tucked away waterfall. A waterfall in the heart of Manhattan is mind boggling.

Walking through the park we notice boy scouts. It seemed they have joined the throngs of millions in New York for some kind of retreat. A mob of them were gathered around some benches eating pizza. It smelled great and got me in the mood for pizza. On our hike back to the hotel we stopped off at Ray’s Pizza and indulged. It was delicious – thin and crispy, just the way I like it.

Back in the hotel lobby there’s no line at the desk so I approach the desk clerk and explain the soap dish saga. She apologies and assures me someone from housekeeping will be up momentarily with the dish.

In our room there’s a knock at the door. My husband answers the door and a man places soap in his hands and says, “Here’s your soap.”  My husband looks at the soap in disbelief and replies,” We don’t need more soap. We need a dish.” The man obviously confused, questions in broken English, “What? What is a… er… how you say…dish?” My husband looks like he’s playing a game of charades trying to describe it. The man looks as confused by my husband’s gestures as we are by his broken English. My husband goes to my girlfriend’s room and shows him her soap dish; the man smiles. I’m blinded by the light bulb that goes on in his head. Oh, yes…er…I know what you want. I’ll be right back.” A few minutes late he returns with a soap dish. Hooray. We arrived at the hotel Monday. We get a soap dish late Wednesday afternoon. We leave Friday. Not too bad.

Later that night I was just as Happy watching Nathan Lane (who I love) in the play The Nance as I was picturing our soap in the dish back in our hotel room.

 

 

We leave a note for the maid requesting a soap dish. We head out for the day, confident in the thought a soap dish will be in our room upon our return. First we go to breakfast. When I ask the waitress where the bathrooms are she hands me a key and whips out a map. (Since space in New York is tight more than one business may have to share space.) The public restroom was shared between the diner and connecting hotel. She pointed on the map the road I needed to travel. I was told to go down a flight of steps, make a left, cross a bridge (with toll), walk through the hotel lobby and turn right. She provided me with a sandwich for the trip and requested I call when I reached my destination so she’d know I arrived safely. I should have brought my GPS.

After breakfast we walked to Central Park. At all entrances we were accosted by people trying to sell us a bicycle ride or horse drawn carriage ride. We declined as we wanted to see Central Park on foot. Walking through the park and looking at the apartments across the street we agreed the people living there must be grateful they’re afforded such glorious views of the park. We walked for hours and saw some of the attractions and beauty the park has to offer.

We had to cut our time short to go back to the room in order to shower and change before dinner. I opened the bathroom door expecting to see a soap dish. I didn’t see a dish; rather I saw extra bars of soap, up to the ceiling. Extra soap? Really? I needed a soap dish, not extra soap! 

We head out for dinner and a Broadway play. Broadway is an attack on all of one’s senses. If you want to wake up a comatose person, Broadway will jolt them awake. Our first play is Cinderella. Going to the theater I see a line of people on the sidewalk. Puzzled as to why there’s a line and annoyed people are blocking my path, I go into New York mode and bob and weave around all of them. Turns out all those people were in line For Cinderella. So, I bob and weave back to the end of the line, this time with my head down. This play is a visual and musical treat.

Getting ready for bed we decide to speak to someone at the front desk on our way out tomorrow morning and request a soap dish. Will it work? Meet me back here tomorrow and I’ll let you know.

We store our bags in the overhead compartment. We secure our seatbelts and turn off electronic devices. We ascend to flying altitude and are told we are free to ‘move about the cabin.’ The words ‘move about the cabin’ are said in jest as the plane we’re flying is equivalent to a tin can with wings. Even if we wanted to moving about the cabin was impossible as the flight attendant was going down the aisle with the beverage cart. There wasn’t additional even room for a small roach. The maximum requirement for ‘moving about’ was one person.

We arrive in New York, go to our hotel, unpack and go to my girlfriend’s room down the hall. We checkout her room and find she has a soap dish and since we don’t, call housekeeping and request one. We’re assured one would be provided. I’m sure one would be in our room upon our return.

The three of us head out to explore. Movement in New York is much like movement on the plane – cramped. We went from the roar of the jet engines to honking horns which is background music in New York. The no honking signs that are posted are ignored as motorists have no time to read them cause they’re too busy blowing their horn.

Waiting to cross a street is like preparing for a marathon. Once the traffic light gives the visual cue to walk, you better walk… and fast. No dawdling. Should you hesitate you will be swept along by the people around you who think fast, talk fast and move fast. New Yorkers have distracted walking down to a science. They’re so busy on their phones that they don’t know or care if a cab comes within two inches of ending their life.

If you think of stopping to tie your shoe – think again. Nobody would have sympathy if you got run over. If you think of picking up the dollar you dropped – think again. Nobody would defend a moron in court. It was only a dollar.

At the end of the night we walk back to our room. We prepare for bed, washing our face with the soap that has no dish. We decide tomorrow morning to leave a note for the maid requesting a soap dish.

Meet me back here tomorrow and I’ll let you know.