Tuesday, March 16, 2010

And so it continues..........

It's November- China Doll and Freckle Boy have been spending free time together playing board games or taking advantage of a sunny afternoon in the park. There are play dates scheduled: roller blading, ice skating, movies and Game Boy playoffs.
There are even scheduled "times" for the single Dad and this Mommy: doggy runs at the park and dinner out with the kids. Who would have guessed that this single Dad was so nice- and fun to be with. Funny thing is- I knew his cousins from high school and his aunt and uncle. I knew a little about single Dads family business- well, they had good ice cream- but that isn't what made this man genuine- so likable. Having this new single Dad as my friend wasn't so bad after all. I would talk about my move of course- just so he remembered I was not about to stay living at 79 Royal forever.
We talked about our past, our goals, our kids, our families and just life. He was a tad intimidating because he is so intelligent! He's all business. He's handsome. He's great at this job called "single parenting". And then there is me: I'm monkey business- I'm torn jeans and flip flops- I'm silly- I'm an animal activist- I'm in love with life.
He eats veal. His NFL future came to a halt. He takes life seriously. His political views are serious. His family is very important to him. Me: my family is very important as well (common interest)- politicians give me headaches- I don't cook- I have gay friends- I work with homelessness - I eat way too much chocolate- I'm still in love with life. He accepts my sense of humor. He's a well dressed businessman.
He likes my passion to help those in need. He likes the fact I can bounce back from a soured situation. He is starting to smile more. {great!} And he begins to walk my dog without me! What?
Yes....this all started one afternoon when China Doll and I were heading out. I didn't have time to take Heidi to the park for her daily run with her new BFF Sam. The Dad comes and takes my dog- yes my dog to run and get her exercise. But- this didn't stop at just one cold afternoon. Rainy days I didn't feel like going out- the single Dad came and took my dog-yes my dog out for her run or a nice leisurely walk.
My neighbor who was also single, asked if she could "rent" my friend the single Dad.

My coworkers were beginning to tag this friendship. They were just wrong....so wrong! I would warn them- and repeat- he's a friend- that's it. I'm moving. I'm moving- remember- I'm moving!!
China Doll did have friends from school, and she met some very nice girls her age to play with in our community- however, she really enjoyed playing with Freckle Boy.
She also liked Freckle Boys dad. Which was a good thing- after all we spent a lot of time together. So to me that was important.
Once again my coworkers who played the Dr. Phil role so well were telling me the reason for China Dolls "acceptance" of the single Dad is because she would like her mommy and the single Dad to "hook up". It was time for them all to just shush up!
I let them know there would be no more talk about my daughter, my dog, my friend and my love life or what ever they felt the need to analyze about me.
One coworker (after dropping to the floor in laughter) felt the need to harass me about the single dad who takes my dog for walks without me. She would ask who would bother to do such a thing....and pick up the dogs poop!
My coworkers never even owned gold fish - so why would they understand that it was a rule in our community- you gotta pick up the poop! So enough.

Thanksgiving comes and passes. Always way too quickly for me. I enjoy Thanksgiving. We are preparing for Christmas. My all time favorite holiday. I dislike very much that we have made Christmas so commercialized. Plastic Christmases- midnight shopping- mall hours extended. If you can not go out and purchase your gifts two weeks before the holiday then something is wrong. {snarl} However....I do love to spread this holiday out as long as I can.
China Doll and I would begin decorating Black Friday. We had traditions. We would make cocoa and bake cookies or make popcorn. We watched favorites like- White Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street, Grinch and plenty of other holiday shows. We invited friends over for dinner parties. Tree trimming and caroling.
This particular year my family decided to rent the community center for our dinner.
We had extended family visiting from Florida. It was going to be a very busy and fun Christmas season!

My job search in NYC is slow-but I am receiving some calls back from agencies I had applied with. I was truly hoping to hear from Homes for the Homeless- but no such luck. I'm trying not to get discouraged- so I decided to extend my job search to other boroughs of NYC. My plan is to live in Long Island- and commute like most people....and as for China Doll she was going to attend private school. (Catholic)
China Doll attended Catholic preschool - as a matter of fact the same school that I attended. As I sit here typing today- shaking my head- I wonder what was going through my mind at that time. Did I have a tiny small thread of Christianity sewn into my inner lining? Did I fully push God to the side? Regardless of what I was thinking about with China Dolls school options- I had every intension of making it "right".

Gracie (LeeAnn) and I never really talked about spirituality. I'm not sure why -now and then. Maybe we were just so comfortable in our friendship- it didn't really matter to us who was worshiping whom or what. Missing her terribly- I tried to keep her in my life loop as much as possible. She was very busy with 4 boys and a husband who was settling in at a new law firm. Our monthly meetings in Towson or Gettysburg were not happening as often- as a matter of fact- they kind of took a back seat for a long time. Big mistake- never do that with a friend!
Sharon and I would have chats on the phone- or send fun mail (via stamp&mailbox)
to one another. Love fun mail!
Sharon has a sister- Patty. Aunt Patty and I became close over the years. Patty lives in Florida. If she would get the chance to visit- we would always enjoy catching up at a local tea room or sandwich shop. China Doll and I visited Patty right after our move to 79 Royal. This is when China Doll decided to become a "vetranan" and attend "University of Busch Gardens". A friend of mine recently reminded me that China Doll wanted to be Siegfried & Roys personal vet. She certainly would have her work cut out for her....but the benefit of choosing her own white tiger would be awesome. {laughing}
It was important for me to stay connected to these wonderful friends- they supported and loved {us}. I cared and loved them just as much. Something else to be so thankful for.
The single Dad lost his brother to cancer in October. His grandmother died shortly after. I felt bad that I wasn't a better friend to him then when we first met.
Our conversations continue while walking the dogs....or taking the kids for dinner....or skating. He talks about his family. His parents. His brothers and their wives. I like him. He's got this enchanting quality about him-like no other guy I have been friends with. Most of my male friends would be there for me no matter what. But this single Dad has something about him I just can't put my finger on. I never hear him swear...he rarely raises his voice to Freckle Boy......he's patient....he's hiding something- he's faking it- he's gotta be faking this.

Don't ask me why I shared this (once again) with the Dr. Phil crew. They already had us pegged as the next Brady Bunch. It takes a lot for my Italian temper to blow- but once it does- it ain't pretty. But on this occasion I'm finding this to be quite entertaining. I wouldn't share any of this with the single Dad. The only thing he knew about shelter life was my schedule and there was a lot more homelessness in PA.
My family knew about the single Dad. How nice they thought. But now their granddaughter/niece was about to act as a reporter for the National Enquire. My sister/Aunt Debbie would frequently ask China Doll about the single Dad and Freckle Boy. China Doll would give an update without editing. We are ALWAYS together.....he calls mommy and she calls him back.....the Dad comes to walk Heidi for us............and we are going to Hershey Park next Saturday..........!!
If I didn't know any better- I would place a bet that my sister was contacting the Dr. Phil crew and they were all somehow getting the little National Enquire informer to hand over the goods.
This is getting out of hand. Why is it so hard to just have a friend who happens to be divorced, with a child, with a dog, who is also charming, handsome, gentle, kind, handsome, has family values, morals, educated, hard working- did I mention.......handsome?

Hershey Park Christmas Winter Wonderland- it is very cold out. China Doll and Freckle Boy are getting on rides - the only available rides for this cold December night. There we were the 4 of us looking like a ready made family. Brady Bunch- no...I look nothing like Carol and well...the single Dad looks nothing like Mike.
China Doll certainly does not have hair of gold like her mother. {why do I bother to type this} Well, you get the picture.
And then this happens- China Doll takes the hand of this single Dad....hey girlie- your momma is over here! We were heading over to a food court to purchase cocoa and french fries. The freezing cold temperature was probably a good thing- my head began to spin. I drank my hot cocoa down like it was in a shot glass. What was happening? I told myself to ignore this....that China Doll only grabbed his hand because I lectured over and over how important it is to hold my hand or another adults hand that is with us....so, he was with us...she just held his hand instead of mine. But did he have to keep smiling at me all night?

I know once we arrived back to 79 Royal- I jumped out of the car quickly.
Like any long car ride- China Doll fell asleep. I grabbed her before the single Dad could get out of his car to assist.....I yelled thanks for driving- it was fun and unlocked my apartment door. I hoped not to run into him while taking Heidi out for her night time potty break- so I walked around the corner of my building next to the beautiful green dumpster.

Life Lesson: My 7 eggs are safe- need to collect 5 more.



  1. Interesting to watch you run when single Dad was getting too close . . . LOVE your storytelling Lisa. I'm on tiptoes waiting for the next installment.

  2. I loved reading the differences between you and single Dad. And I agree about Christmas. I think it's ridiculous that the mall starts it's Christmas decorating in AUGUST! And the traffic is horrendous for months - puts me out of the Christmas spirit that's for sure!