Ask Me Anything – The Answers (Part 2)

I am a little late with my Reader Request Friday responses to the questions put forth by my treasured readers, two days late in fact, but I was assured by my dearest Heather over at https://www.hopelesslyheather.com that my readers would understand me not meeting my deadline, after all, it is Thanksgiving weekend.

Reader Request Friday was created by fellow blogger, the fascinating and intriguing https://www.bottomlesscoffee.007.com, who invited me to interact with my readers by encouraging them to ask me anything. I was happily overwhelmed with a lot of questions, which in the interest of brevity, I elected to answer in two parts, in case you missed part one of my answers you can find it at Ask Me Anything – The Answers (Part One)

Without further adieu, let’s get on with part two (Hey; that rhymed…Ha!).

The illustrious author, James, over at https://www.myplace3187.com asked the following:

Q 43. Do you have Netflix? Yep. Doesn’t everyone these days?

Q 44. Do you eat beef liver or pork liver? Beef liver, yes, and I quite enjoy it too.

Q 45. Do you ice skate?

About a decade ago I decided I wanted to learn how to ice skate so I actually paid for a round of ice skating lessons.

I paid for a half a dozen lessons and was in the middle of lesson #2 when I fell down so hard on the ice I couldn’t get back up. It took 3 instructors to help me back up. The pain across my lower back after that fall was so intense that I couldn’t even finish lesson # 2. It took me at least 2 weeks to properly heal and feel like myself again. The pain was so severe every time I walked I felt the fall all over again. That was it for me…I never went back to the lessons and I never got my money back either.

I quickly deleted “learning how to ice skate” off of my bucket list. Not everything is for everyone and I painfully learned that ice-skating wasn’t for this island girl. 😒

Q 46. What is the best icing for cakes?

There are so many but if I could only pick one I would say chocolate fudge icing. Yummy!

Q 47. What is the best place to get a pizza you like?

So many places especially here in NYC, which is known for having some of the best pizzas. My husband and I like to head over to Harry’s, in Battery Park, for their brick oven pizza.

Q 48. Would you love to have a vegetable garden on the roof of your building? Nope.

Q 49. What is your favorite car to drive around to show off?

I’m not much of a show-off. However, if I had to choose to drive around in a car to show off in it would be a flashy, red, 2 door sports car; something like a Ferrari, although I have never driven one myself. I would opt for one that looked like this

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My girl, River Girl, over at https://www.riversworld.live, a one of a kind travel blog I discovered here at WordPress had me thinking really hard about this one –

Q 50. You seem like a woman who has it all together. Strong, smart, independent. So what’s your deepest, darkest, irrational fear?

Firstly, River, thank you for such compliments – strong, smart and independent. I’d like to think I’m all that but we all have insecurities and unwarranted fears.

My biggest fear is that I won’t live much longer. This irrational fear surrounds dying before my son becomes an adult before I can live to see what he makes of himself before he gets married and has his own children. I would love to see the kind of woman he would choose to partner with for the rest of his life, I’d also like to see what kind of parent he would be but I’m not sure I’ll be around for it.

I am afraid of dying.

My friend (in real life), wedding photographer extraordinaire, Carmen at http://www.carmenrubiophotography.com, who I am surprised didn’t ask me something about the movies since we both share a love for the movies asked the following…

Q 51. Who (living or dead) would you like to meet and have a conversation with? And why?

I’d like to break bread with Oprah Winfrey and share some laugh out loud girl talk.

Everyone knows Oprah’s story, she came from nothing, born in poverty, she was dirt poor growing up. Talk about a self-made woman, she was fired from one of her first gigs in broadcasting and demoted yet she was able to come back from that to build a multi-million dollar production company and has been named Forbes first black multi-billionaire. Yes! Multi-billionaire, that is a billionaire (not millionaire) several times over.

It doesn’t matter how you feel about Ms. Winfrey one has to put that respect at the end of her name. She is one of the most influential people in the World. I don’t have enough words to express the sheer joy and excitement I would feel meeting and having an actual conversation with her. I bet I would leave a lasting impression too.😉

Q 52. What is your dream car?

Let’s go with the flashy, red Ferrari above. See Q & A 49.

Another real-life friend, Alicia, a couples’ therapist and published author, Alicia’s book, No More Fighting: The Relationship Book for Couples: 20 Minutes a Week to a Stronger Relationship, will be released on December 4th and can be pre-ordered on Amazon right now. You can also find more of Alicia’s words of wisdom and valuable tips for re-igniting the passion in your marriage at http://www.aliciamunoz.com.

Alicia asked the following question…

Q 53. How do you think writing your bestselling book is going to change the important relationships in your life, including your relationship with yourself?

Damn, Alicia! Could you think of a harder question…Hahaha.

Alicia, my darling, I am honored that you think I will one day write a bestseller. I love the way you believe in me, love the way you always encourage me. Let me see if I can do some justice to your question.

My relationship with myself probably won’t change much. Yes, I’d be more confident in my writing. I’d be encouraged to write more, tell more stories and I’d certainly feel more accomplished but I honestly feel like my humility and authenticity would remain the same. I like who I am and I am pretty sure I’ll remain the same. I would never be the self-acclaimed pompous author, I can’t stand those.

My relationship with my husband – I can only imagine how much greater this would be. Writing a bestseller means more disposable income for our family; which translates into more money to do whatever we want; more vacations, more adventures, even more, grand memories; our marriage would swell and expand with more happiness. It is said that money doesn’t buy happiness, but Greg and I would certainly like the chance to disprove this theory.

My relationship with my son – Like he needs another thing to live up to. Having a Mom, who is an attorney already puts a tremendous amount of pressure on him. Since the generation that follows is expected to outperform the current generation, my expectation of him would be even more than it already is. I am pretty sure me writing a bestseller would result in more tension between me and my teenager since my expectations of him would be even higher than they already are, especially regarding his academic performance.

My Mom, yes you read that correctly, my Mom who reads my blog weekly, asked the all-important question…

Q 54. If you could go back to your childhood and change anything, what would you change and why?

This has to be a trick question, right?! My childhood was perfect and I wouldn’t change anything.😁

Seriously though, my honest answer to that would be that your husband (my Dad) was way too strict, like seriously, there was no need for all that. I would make my Dad more lenient and a lot less rigid in his rearing and discipline. I am 100% sure we would have still turned out alright despite all the rules.

Q 55. My favorite Avon Lady, Heather, over at https://hopelesslyheather.com asked me what’s my favorite joke/funny story to tell.

Believe or not, I love lawyer jokes. One of my favorites goes something like this –

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Q 56. Laurie over at https://www.meditationsinmotion.com wanted to know what my favorite quote is…

Feel the fear and do it anyway!

While DM, the master of thought-provoking questions, at https://pointlessoverthinking.com asked the following –

Q 57. If you could sell years from your life with ten thousand dollars each, how many years would you sell and why?

Ha! Good one! I prefer living over money, I’m not inclined to sell any years off of my life. I figured once I’m alive and healthy I have the potential to make money.

Kimberley, my real life friend, asked the following –

Q 58. How did you find the courage and enthusiasm to continue dating as you moved closer to 40?

I met my current husband when I was 39 and I was a 42-year-old bride but it was so worth all the years of dating to finally come across my ideal and to have my feelings reciprocated; see My Guy.

Kimmie, I’m not sure if I’d call it “courage and enthusiasm”, I’m a relationship type of girl, I like being a part of a committed, monogamous relationship, more than I like being by myself so I was willing to do and give what it takes until I found someone I was compatible with. I knew deep down that “he” was out there and I never gave up on the hope of finding “him”.

The seemingly kind and sweet Charlie, our import from across the pond, over at https://charliecountryboy.com asked

Q 59. If your house was on fire what is the one item you would save?

Since you said item and not person, I guess I would grab my laptop, the very one I’m typing on right now.

While my new buddy and incredible long-distance runner PK Adams, who blogs over at https://www.eatthesky.com asked the following…

Q 60. How did you choose your career?

It’s more like my career chose me…All my life I was told that I argued like a lawyer, ever since I was a little girl. I guess I was contentious; I’m not anymore though 😉.

Wow…I’m up to question 60 and I’m still not done with all my questions yet. I guess there’ll be a part 3 to this Reader Request Fridays because this blog post is already way too long. I appreciate all the questions though and I promise to answer all of them, someday.

I’ll leave you with the colored version of my current WordPress profile picture, a photo I took last month while attending the Bruno Mars concert, which was one of the best concerts I have ever experienced. How come no one asked me to describe the best musician I have ever seen in concert? I would love to have answered that one. 😊

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Mothering from the Sidelines

The phone rang while I was driving and because of the capabilities of Bluetooth I was able to answer. It was Blake, my fourteen-year-old son, and he sounded excited.

“Guess what?” he said.

“What?” I asked.

“Two girls asked for my number today.” My son had just started summer school a few days ago so I could only imagine that these two girls were from the summer program.

“No way? You serious? Did you give it to them?” I was excited too.

“Yup”, he quipped cheerily.

The rest of the conversation, which in totality lasted less than 2 minutes, only gave a tad bit more insight into the situation. As I presumed, the girls were part of his Algebra summer class, and he had only just met them the day before. When I tried to probe a bit further he abruptly ended the conversation by asking me to bring him something to eat when I was on my way home.

As I drove I was flooded with bittersweet feelings. My baby, my only baby, was growing up. He was now excited about girls; well to tell you the truth he had been excited about them since he was a toddler, but they were now finally being responsive. A part of me, the Cool Mom part wanted to high-five him as soon as I walked through the front door, then another part of me, the Mama Bear part, was terrified of him getting his hopes up and getting hurt. Then there was the other part of me, the serious, no-nonsense Mother part, that was thinking he is totally not ready for this yet, he is only 14 years old. He is still too young for all the emotional stuff that liking teenage girls come with. I remember thinking, “Holy shit! Is Blake about to go out on his first real date?” I sighed to myself, how was I going to handle this one.

My thoughts went back to his past crushes – they both crushed him. The first was when he was in Nursery School, yes you read right, Nursery School, he wasn’t more than three years old, maybe even two years old; when he came home and announced that he had a girlfriend and her name was Grace. I asked him exactly what he meant by girlfriend and he explained that she was pretty, and he really liked her. Well, that crush lasted for years, Grace’s mother and I would constantly joke about it. I remember when he got invited to Grace’s 5th birthday party and insisted that he wanted to bring her flowers for her birthday. At the time my son was only a mere 4 years old and I couldn’t understand how he knew that buying a girl flowers was a romantic gesture. I suggested we buy her a doll as a birthday gift instead and even though he agreed with the doll suggestion he still insisted on bringing her flowers, as well. I remember trying to purchase a little fake potted plant arrangement for Grace and Blake wasn’t having it. He insisted that I buy real flowers. “Girls like real flowers, Mom, you know that.” I was amazed and pleased; I seemed to be raising a gentleman.

A little after her 5th birthday Grace got tired of Blake and started crushing on another boy, Eric, from their Pre-K class. She proceeded to tell Blake that her father said she wasn’t old enough to have a boyfriend and then promptly ran off into the sunset with Eric. Needless to say, my kid’s heart was broken. He handled it well though and pretended for years that he was never in love (I’m using this term tongue in cheek, of course) with Grace and forgot girls even existed until he landed in the 2nd grade and met Emma.

Emma was physically different from Grace. She was tiny, while Grace was tall, closer to Blake’s height. During their three years at Nursery School, Grace was always the tallest girl in the class and Blake was always the tallest boy. Grace was dark with an exotic type of look to her while Emma, on the other hand, was a pale, simple beauty. Clearly, my son did not have a type, which is good. When I asked him why he liked Emma he matter-of-factly stated that she laughs at his jokes. Of course! That made me smile.

The crush on Emma started in the 2nd grade and continued until the second semester of the 4th grade. During that time, Emma would always get a Valentine from Blake. He always reminded me the day before Valentine’s Day to take him to the store, so he could purchase a Valentine balloon along with a Valentine sticker for Emma. I thought the entire thing was cute and I encouraged it. He never got a Valentine from Emma though, but she would still laugh at his jokes and play with him during recess. Not sure where my eight-year-old wanted this crush to go but one morning in the 4th grade, after a two and half-year attempt at courtship, my son finally sent Emma a note with the following words:

“Dear Emma. I like you. Do you like me? Check the right box”. Underneath those words were 3 boxes and each box had a word next to it. Next to the first box was the word “Yes”, next to the second box was the word “No” and next to the third was the word “Maybe”. Well, Emma, as smart a girl as she was, did not check any of the boxes but instead wrote back at the bottom of note – “I have a boyfriend. His name is Liam”.

I found that note while cleaning out his book bag, not entirely sure how long after it was written that I found it, but I had a habit of cleaning out the junk from his book bag every 2 weeks. He looked so melancholy when I asked if he wanted to talk about it. Aw man, my baby was going through another heartbreak. How does one protect our children from that? Now I knew how my own Mom felt when I was going through my Divorce. I’m a bit dramatic with that comparison, aren’t I? Needless, to say I wanted to pick up the phone and call 9-year-old Emma and give her a piece of my mind but luckily the adult part of my brain prevailed, and I just held my 8-year-old son while he cried in my arms.

My boy is a 9th grader now about to become a 10th grader in the Fall, and in all that time since Emma broke his heart in the 4th grade, there was no more talk about crushes or girls or anything of the sort until now. I even remember asking him a month before his Middle School Dance, last year, if he planned on taking anyone to the Dance and he looked at me like I was crazy. Fast forward to last week and I can’t help but wonder if my baby is in for another heartbreak.

I arrived home with ice-cream ready to have a bonding session with my boy and get all the details on these 2 girls. Were they nice girls? Were they pretty? Had they called or texted yet? Did he ask for their numbers in return? Which one did he like more? I was also ready to offer unsolicited advice on teenage crushing, because after all this was way bigger than Nursery School and Elementary School crushing, now my boy was playing in the big leagues. I guess Blake must have sensed this because I got nothing. Zero! Zilch! When I announced I had ice-cream and asked if he wanted to hang out and watch Netflix. I was told he was about to start a pre-planned game on his PS 4. I asked about the girls and I was basically shunned; suddenly he did not want to talk about it.

“Wait! What? I thought you wanted to share this with me.”

“Forget I said anything, Mom. Teenage boys don’t talk to their Moms about this kind of stuff.”

“Who told you that? YouTube?” I pleaded.

“Mom, just leave it alone. Put the ice-cream in the fridge. I’ll have it later.” He turned towards his gaming console and that was that.

To say I was disappointed and maybe even hurt is an understatement. What had happened in the few hours it took me to get home? I’ll admit that I begged and pleaded for a bit of conversation regarding these mystery girls, but Blake wasn’t having it. I figured after he was done playing his game he would want to share so I deliberately stayed up past my bedtime and lurked by his bedroom door in the hope that we could have a chat but again I got nothing.

It’s been a week now and despite my friendly cool mom attempts to approach the subject of girls or specifically to find out what’s up with the two mystery summer school girls I still get nothing. These days when I bring it up, my queries are met with an annoying look followed by an eye roll.

On the positive side, I do notice that he now takes special care in dressing himself when he is leaving in the mornings. Within the past week his attire has been well-coordinated, this from the guy who thought nothing of wearing plaid and stripes together; and just this past weekend he announced he needed money for a haircut and went to the barber all by himself. I am not exaggerating when I say that I usually have to beg my son to get a haircut, like seriously beg. Obviously, these changes have done nothing but piqued my interest even more, but my husband has warned me to stay out of “Blake’s business” so that’s what I am doing, or at least, I am trying. 🙂