Wild River Review
Wild River Review
Connecting People, Places, and Ideas: Story by Story
May 2010
Open Borders
 

Here are a few random thoughts to hold you until next week when I come off a super tight deadline and get the chance to write again.

 

First: So my stepdaughter came for a visit last weekend and, I must say, it feels like the winds of crisis have blown over, at least for the moment. She seemed to have returned to her old quasi-lovable self and that was a good thing. Although, I would still rather drive naked through Harlem at 3 a.m. then take her out for another stepmother/stepdaughter experience. Eat a shoe. Lick the concrete that paves my street. Be the ingénue in movie about deadly alligators. I mean, nobody has to tell me what time of day it is–twice.

 

But then again, maybe I’m being a little heavy handed here–a little overly sensitive. After all, the little bugger is at that age – with menses just around the corner and puberty knocking ever louder on her cute blonde-headed can’t-seem-to-brush-her-teeth-without-getting-toothpaste-all-over-my-friggin-bathroom door.

 

Aw, who am I kidding? I’m not taking any chances. I’m tired and giving my central nervous system a break. In fact, when C was here this past weekend, Dan had planned an entire day for us in Center City. We took the train downtown to eat lunch at the phenomenal Reading Terminal Market (thank you Mr. Whoever for creating Falafel, by the way) and then attend the “Go Green” show at the convention center.

 

I knew it was an important event for my husband, who’s going for his Sustainable Building Advisor and LEED building certifications and trying to meet and greet as many movers and shakers in this area as possible.

 

And so, in the spirit of being a good, loving, and generous wife, I told him I’d make sure C was okay while he took care of business–knowing he was somewhere in the same room the whole time, and only a stone’s throw away from hearing the ambulance (if necessary).

 

I figured what could be the harm in her and I walking around and enjoying some of the intriguing vendors, hawking things like organically grown coffee and chocolate, dead sea scrubs, makeup that’s good for the earth, fashion made of natural fabrics, and even a palm reader–with whom, by the way, I’d have given my wisdom teeth for just five quality minutes.

 

But no, after we sat in a Mercedes Smart Car (very roomy, I must say) for 12 seconds, precious got “tired” – it’s rough to be 11 these days. And, so I agreed to sit down at a table at the then-closed café on the show floor while, as it turned out, she not only “rested” but spent the better of the next two hours texting her boyfriend. (Yes, she has a boyfriend. Don’t ask.)

 

And did I raise a fuss? Nope. No way. Again, you don’t have to hit me over the head with a dog that’s foaming at the mouth for me to know it’s rabid. I just sat there, repressing my boredom and rage, and read some of the literature I’d snagged from a booth on “The Grid”–a new rag about life as a greenie that I suspect will be defunct in just short of six months.

 

Now before you think me weak and pathetic, consider that I’m not about to let a hormonal 11-year-old dictate my behavior. Shoot, I’ve got my own hormonal alter-ego to do that. But I am going to pick and choose my battles in the spirit of being self-protective and avoiding another pounding. And really, I didn’t want to raise a fuss for the sake of my husband–cute as he is and trying so hard to get ahead.

 

So I bit the organic chocolate if you will. And before you go judging me, I suspect you’d have done the same.

 

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Second: Upon further contemplation, I have to ask what’s to become of this pre-teen and teenage population when they come to be my age? I wonder, when I see C and my teenage nieces and my friend’s kids spend most of their lives looking down at some piece of electronics instead of relating with the things around them.

 

All I could think of, that day at “Go Green” as I watched C sit and text amidst a showroom floor full of interesting and intriguing products and people, was that she was missing it all. For what? To write “hey” and “no” and “sure” and “okay” and “LOL” and “J” and “:))” and “:((” and “whatever” to somebody on the other end of cell phone?

 

Seems to me the kids of this generation (I know, I sound old) aren’t living. They’re too busy with gadgets, preoccupied by technology, to be fully present to their environment. And that’s just weird. I wonder what effect will this have on their social skills, ability to connect with others on a deeper level, or the way our species even progresses?

 

What will their mid-life crises look like?

 

I know, I’m getting a bit esoteric here and I don’t mean to be. Heck, I’ll be long gone before the entire human population turns completely robotic. Still, I don’t get it. I mean, I’d rather get my palm read than text any day of the week.

 

Seriously.

 

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Third: Now on to more important matters–Death.

 

I am slightly freaked out about Natasha Richardson. I mean, she was only 45 years old and so lovely and, frankly, if she lived close by or we went to college together or even took a shared course on acting, I suspect we could’ve been friends.

 

I liked Natasha. She was a good actress. And she seemed like a real person. Genuine, if you will.

 

I don’t want to analyze what happened all too much–especially since I’m just seeing and reading it 400th hand. And I know that life is short, anything can happen at any time, we’re all going to die, that’s why we have to live for the moment, love our peeps, dance like no one’s looking (or what’s the corny song?), blah, blah, blah…

 

And yet, when death happens to someone so young and vital–with so much to live for–and so suddenly and so tragically, well, none of that matters at all. Really, it just plain old sucks.

 

And so, for what it’s worth, my heart goes out to her family. I know they are celebrities and I am just a shrinking, middle-aged, over-thoughtful Jewish girl writing on a Costco-bought Gateway from her home office in the suburbs, but I send my condolences just the same.

 

Until next time.

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