My mom wants everyone to know, and asked me to please spread the word, that I am not the obnoxious, braggy person I appear to be when I talk about a day spent in Soho getting pampered for no apparent reason or when I talk about a night spent at a black tie charity event, eating jumbo shrimp, following my friend L around as she networked, stars in my eyes at the opulence around me.
I have to admit that I was annoyed when my mom wrote me an email that she didn’t like how I was presenting myself. I said, Mom, this is not all that I write about. This is me writing about what I did on specific days. I asked her if she would please rewrite the Saturday Night blog for me in a way that made me seem less braggy and less impressed with the whole affluent social scene. She never did. But on a phone call she suggested that perhaps I might have brought some cynicism to my post, perhaps some social criticism. The trouble is that I didn’t feel cynical or critical of what I saw that night. I told it like it was.
Nevertheless, I was happy to spend a day today doing things that are quite unlike what I did last Friday (when I got my hair cut and styled at Devachan, ate Frisee aux Lardons at Balthazar and then pranced around to the sample sales with E) because now I get to write about them here and make my mama proud.
This morning, I woke up, put on a pair of yoga pants and a tank top, covered up with an old long-sleeved T-shirt and a Lands End vest and walked my kids to school, after which I took Lewis out for a nice long walk and then put together a playlist for my lunchtime class at Yoga Sutra. At 11:30, I walked over to the 6 (the subway line that is nearest to me), descended the long staircase, stood online to purchase a new MetroCard and boarded a smelly, crowded subway car. A woman in tattered clothing who smelled like she hadn’t bathed in, well, ever, walked through the car selling batteries and other strange items I can’t imagine needing or wanting while riding the subway. I gave her no money because I firmly believe that panhandling should be discouraged in closed quarters, and I silently fumed at the people who rewarded her intrusion into our space. Ooops. I should delete that last sentence. But, I can’t! I just can’t.
The subway stopped somewhere between 59th Street and 51st Street. Usually when the train stops, there is absolutely no explanation as to why, or else, there is some completely incoherent explanation (think: Charlie Brown’s teacher). Today was no different. Why should it be? Finally, the train got moving, and I barely made it to Yoga Sutra in time to teach my class. Still, class was nice. Most of the time, it’s purely improv for me, and today was a nice smooth flow. I used to plan all of my classes, from the first to the last breath. I used to chart them out and draw little stick figures and then I would memorize it all. It got a bit tedious. I will probably plan the Yoga-lates class I am teaching next week at a gym. But that’s only because I’ve never taught a Yoga-lates class before. And if anyone has any suggestions, please, please send them my way.
After teaching, I decided against practicing because I am planning on practicing tomorrow, and it’s only been two weeks since I started practicing regularly, and I don’t want to push it. Instead, I decided to grab some lunch. And this is the most delightful part for me because it stands in such sharp contrast to my lunch last week.
Instead of Balthazar at the bar, I wandered into Pret a Manger, a ready-made sandwich chain, picked up a delicious veggie sandwich (sprouts, avocado and shaved parmesan cheese on seven grain bread) and a Diet Coke, and sat at the counter across from the Ladies’ Room. In all honesty, the sandwich was way better than the salad I had last week.
Took the subway home, went food shopping in Harlem at the gigantic and awesome Fairway Supermarket and then took Lewis out for an even longer walk, up the East River and across the bridge to Ward’s Island, home of the kiddie baseball league and an institution for the criminally insane, and then to Randall’s Island, occasional home of Cirque de Soleil, and permanent home of the Icahn track and field stadium as well as the Randall’s Island Golf Center, which is really just a Mini-Golf course, a Driving range and a couple of batting cages.
The walk home was excruciating. I should have thought of that before I walked so far from home.
Picked the kids up from school, put on an apron, grated three cups of russett potatoes and half an onion and made some potatoe latkes (you can call them “latkees” if you want to sound like you’re from the shtetl), roasted a chicken, and together with my kids and the Husband, lit the Hanukah candles, said the three “First Night” blessings over the candles and contemplated the miracle of the lights.
We told our kids to contemplate miracles in general. But I don’t think that they see miracles the same way we do. They think in terms of the miracle of the Game Boy DS and the miracle of the Topps 2006 Major League Baseball Collection. I didn’t think to enlighten them about the miracle of the food on the table, the miracle of the roof over our heads or the miracle of health care when you need it. I think in time they will pick that stuff up on their own. And until then, I consider their innocence its own miracle.