Skip to main content

a slice of life: winter in massachusetts


Last blog post was a nostalgic look at high school and today while grocery shopping I used my Super Stop & Shop bag and got all nostalgic for winters in Massachusetts of all things.  Here's a little blurb I wrote the last time this happened to me.  And let me just say it is easy to romanticize Massachusetts winters when you haven't experienced one for a while.  You'll see....


“on the way to work”

The car heater is whirring and I’m wishing I had purchased the heated seat option like Kristi has in her minivan.  I’ve got the radio cranked up and tuned into the local pop station where Bruno Mars is singing “Grenade”, his current block-busting hit about unrequited love.  As always I panic as I pass over the iron drawbridge, terrified of getting caught vertically on the ledge, or even worse falling into the water.  But all is well and I continue on through the industrial part of town that is my short cut to work.  To prevent skidding I try to follow the other cars’ tracks that cut through the ice and snow, and believe me it takes some serious concentration to do so.  I probably drive a lot slower than the average New Englander but I will never get used to driving in inclement weather.

Almost a half hour later I pull into the rear entrance of the mall’s parking garage.  Today is a good day because the entrance is open.  On an icy day, when most cars would be unable to safely climb up the steep ramp, security blocks it off.  I park as close to the giant glass door entrance as I can, slipping in between two other employees cars that are encrusted with the typical winter road debris of salt and sand.
Even though the sliding doors are mere yards away, I bundle up as if going on an arctic exploration:  parka zipped to the chin, wool scarf wrapped over my mouth, and fleece gloves firmly secured.   I grab my pink pleather lunch bag and give a shiver of apprehension.

Outside the icy air stings my cheeks and bites at my ankles that only have a thin layer of sock to protect them.  My muscles immediately tense against the cold and I waddle with stiff arms and legs towards the door. The going is slow because I have to keep a sharp eye on the ground to avoid any patches of ice that I could slip on.  Then finally - Whoosh!  I sail through the entryway and am immediately cacooned in the warmth of industrial strength heaters.  

It is shorts and T-shirt weather inside the mall, and the empty hallways smell of everything shiny and new.   Whenever I pass by the Forever 21 store and see all the funky, youthful outfits on the manikins, I vow to be more creative in my dress.  Is 44 too old to shop at Forever 21 I wonder.  I start undoing all my outerwear but arrive at the entrance to Sephora before I am completely unwrapped.  I knock on the glass front door and Tammy pops her head above the streamlined shelving units inside.  I wave and she comes over to let me in. 


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

soulmate

I was watching Stranger Things the other night, witnessing the bond of love between Junior high schoolers Mike and 11, and was feeling skeptical that kids that young could feel such real romantic love when suddenly I remembered my soulmate.I mean my real soulmate:  my totally-perfect, meant-to-be, no-doubt-about-it soulmate.I was eight, and it was only for a couple hours but I just knew.And I still know.I have never had a connection like that since.
I met my soulmate Chris on a Maine vacation island. He had shaggy blond hair and was a year older than me.Our two families were staying on a webwork of little islands all connected by bridges to a central island where the dining hall was.His family was on an island on one side of the center and my family on an island on the opposite side.I don’t remember how we met, most likely it was at the communal dining hall, but our families became friends.One day they all went off to do a hike or other activity together and somehow Chris and I staye…

hindsight is 20/20

I realized something the other day:  my parents were scared.  When I was going through my teenage rebellion/budding alcoholism they did their "tough love" thing (very popular in the 80s) because they didn't know what else to do and so latched on to something that promised to help them.  All these years I just thought they were mad at me and didn't like my personality and individuality but now I believe they were terrified and only wanted me to be safe.  Perhaps they felt they were hanging on by the skin of their teeth.  Maybe they weren't actually rigid autocrats out to spite me and flex their power like I thought they were.  Maybe they felt out of control and unable to protect me.

Because I was a handful.  Not that I regret any (or much) of my trying to assert my independence because it is probably what saved my life.  Their (at the time) East Coast, preppy, WASPy point of view felt so hypocritical to me but I now know that if I had a teenager who was drinking …

inner beauty, outer beauty, and defending Carrie Fisher

Next to mental health and personal growth stuff, beauty is my favorite thing to talk about.  And since my last couple posts have been pretty heavy-duty, today let's talk about beauty.

I have worked in the beauty industry off and on since the mid-eighties, with a serious concentration in it the last twenty years.  Now I follow a lot of beauty influencers on YouTube and blogs and will watch and rewatch my favorite ones as a way of self-soothing.  I rarely watch TV, and I rarely do much on my computer except for write or watch my lovely YouTubers.  When beauty journalist Sali Hughes goes through another influencer's stash of skincare products to discuss them it is like porn to me.  Or sometimes she does makeup porn, which is my second favorite (see Sali in action here).   Still, it's not good to get too obsessed because obviously there are more important things in life.  If we are not careful the world of beauty can lead to a lot of criticism, judgementalness, and perfectioni…