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Some years ago, while sharing a cab ride home with [livejournal.com profile] epilady and [livejournal.com profile] chestertodd the subject of teeth came up. I explained my phobias about dentistry and they said not to worry! Then they told me about Dr. B, the Best Dentist in New York. A few months later, I gave him a call and have never regretted it. Turns out these friends, who have often spoken of being in search of 'gay experiences', also pointed me to the Gayest Dentist in New York City, but more importantly, the Nicest.

Some random observations and recollections...

The business cards (green and cream stripes) match the 'architectural' wall in the waiting room. (The other wall is purple.)

I was scared to death for my first visit, and they gave me a stuffed animal to squeeze while they did their thing. The next time, I asked for it, and the assistant told me she'd have to go get out of the closet because, "The decorator was here and we had to hide it -- he gets upset if he sees them out!"

My husband started seeing Dr. B. Dr. B constantly exclaim over how sweet my husband was. One day, he was giving my husband dental hygiene directions and Hubby said, "Is there anything else I should do?" Dr. B said, "Yes," then spread his arms and said, "Give me a big hug!"

When Baby was born, he sent us gorgeous sterling silver presents for her: a switch plate and a night light with Noah's Ark theme.

The first time I was ever in his office, he was busy passing around a photograph of an art deco pin he'd bought for his mother at an antique store on his way back from Fire Island. He'd just finished having the clasp fixed and wanted to surprise her with it.

Today, Dad was at the office with me, minding the baby. Dr. B wandered out to the lobby to see her saying, "Where's the most beautiful person in the world?" and Dad answered, "Here I am!" to which Dr B replied, "Don't make me spank you!" God they were funny together...

Dr B is also incredibly patient with my phobias and need to have everything explained twice (once by the techs and then once in English). He's gentle, and careful, and never cross-contaminates, and very knowledgable.

So, [livejournal.com profile] epilady and [livejournal.com profile] chestertodd, allow me to kiss your four feet and thank you for the Nicest, Gayest, Most Trustworthy Dentist in New York.
creidylad: (Default)
The narration in my head a year ago was worse than anything that came to pass. I am grateful now that I can maybe write some of it down and chase the demons away:

.... and it was not until later in the afternoon that the true scope of the terrorists' plans were revealed. After they had knocked out the communications and transportation hub, scrambled the rescue services, and sent the city into turmoil, the real attacks began with suicide bombers on nearly every subway....

... and the nation watched in horror as the sickening prelude of the collapse of the World Trade Center gave way to the full symphony of disaster...

... it seemed the city had just breathed a collective sigh of relief when, a few weeks later, the children and elderly started to get sick from contamination in the water supply. Of course, they were just the first to go...

... I remember New York City. It was a beautiful, glittering jewel of a city. I wonder what it would be like if it were still here today...

I am grateful for all the horrors that have not come to pass, for all the time from that day to this one, for everything life has brought me this year. Maybe it's just a good anniversary on which to say thank you.
creidylad: (Default)
Last year I woke up and Chris called me to tell me he was okay. Ten minutes later there were shouts from upstairs as my neighbors saw the second plane hit. I watched in edgy worry, feeling the baby in my belly, until the towers collapsed. Then I knew I couldn't be alone. My neighbors invited me upstairs, so I went, and spent the day with them. Like other New Yorkers, we were busy trying to locate our loved ones, finding people in downtown places to go for the night, breathing a sigh of relief at every friend and acquaintance who checked in to say they were OK.

In the weeks that followed, after the ash had settled and most of the smell had dissipated, the candles still stayed on the street corner, lit every night, renewed, with flags and peace symbols. The neighborhood still took food and donations to the local fire station (which had been one of the first on the scene).

We were a community. We looked into each others' eyes and felt our bonds through our grief. There was so much grief...

I miss them, miss Park Slope, miss my neighbors, miss the familiar faces on the street, miss the shopkeepers who had become part of my daily routine.

And missing them helps me not to think about American Express and my time there, and all the people I knew for a day or a week or a year while I was temping all over the WTC and WFC, all the people who could have been caught in the collapse or the flying debris or trapped above where the plane hit, people whose faces I saw plastered on 'Missing' ads for months every time I went to the doctor for a checkup during the pregnancy. Helps me not to think about all the tears I'd shed every time I had to use the payphone across the street from NYU, where the missing posters were plastered in an overlapping papier mache in sight of the place where the forensic teams were sorting dead body parts.

I can't make sense of any of this today. Working in those buildings, we always knew this was coming, every since the first attempt. Knew it either as a passing joke or a sick dread or a pit in our stomachs. I would think every day, "I can't keep working here; I must leave this place," and I did. I fled, leaving behind not just my fear but the disgust I felt at the swarms of faceless, grey-clad drones marching toward the subway every day. There was an old woman who stood at the exit from the overpass every day, where everyone leaving the WFC and heading into the WTC passed by. She could have been mine or anyone else's grandmother, and her incessant cry was, "Please help me, I'm so hungry." I would often stop at a fast food joint and bring her back something to eat, and she always looked dumbfounded and grateful. Not once did I see anyone else stop.

So there it all is, mixed in, unresolved, milling about in my mind and my heart and here I am, sure that it's not over, that hate isn't dead in the world, that New York is still a target. And I'm thinking, I need to get my daughter out.
creidylad: (Default)
Fussy baby problem solved. Put on some flashy music, dance around with exagerrated arm gestures, and the baby is cooing happily, even after I sit down to type, she's gotten interested in her toys again. All she wanted was a Mommy Show. I keep wondering, when she's older, will we dance around the living room together? We've got like this giant wall of tacky bevelled mirrors we're not able to get rid of without damaging the walls, so although not large, this space will be most excellent for a creative little girl to really get her groove on.

Today I was actually thinking of catching up on some of my reflections on visiting my husband's family down in Mississippi early in August. That all happened before I got my livejournal, but I'm still processing it all.

For one thing, let me start with the last part: our 14 year old niece came to visit from Pennsylvania after we got back. When she was last here, she stayed for two weeks and had a psychotic episode. It became obvious she'd been sexually abused at some point in her history. We wanted to keep her, but my father made it clear to us we would not be able to get her help, and that what she really needed was immediate admittance to a hospital-- but that no hospital in NY would take her as she wasn't yet a state resident, and wasn't on our insurance. It was heartbreaking, but we took her back to her mother with promises, from her mother, she'd get help right away.

Well. I'll make a long, painful story short. She didn't get help right away. She did finally have some, but whenever things got stable for her, she was ripped out of the environment. She got bounced a bit between her parents, became sexually active, started smoking...

And here she was coming to visit. She showed up in heavy makeup and teenager's typical failed attempt at fashionable attire, and... she was delightful. She'd become Wicca in recent months, and was interested in reading and learning as much as she could about it. She's already read a great deal. She told me in a world-weary tone she's tired of 'older men' and likes her current boyfriend, who is her own age and 'sweet.' It's hard to put my finger on what's changed... she strikes me now as someone who is comfortable with herself, and happy just to be in the world.

My husband took her and our other niece, the honors student, to see Les Miserables. The other niece (12) unfortunately didn't "get" it. The Wicca niece leaned over and whispered to her, "I think it's about redemption." Turns out she'd been reading Les Mis... in French! I think she got a lot out of the experience of seeing it on Broadway.

And why should Wicca make me so happy as a choice for her? I guess in part because it's a goddess-oriented religion so I'm happy she's breaking into a paradigm where women are valued. But its more than that. Part of me is just rudely pleased to stick it to her bible-thumping father (an at least temporarily reformed drinker/gambler). Partly I think I'm glad she's found a religion that will bring her into an alternate mindset, break her out of the small-town-hicksville outlook a little, have her searching in books and in her soul for meaning instead of in a church. It will challenge her.

It was a pleasure to take her around the city. We in fact took her to a store called Enchantments, which is (I gather) sort of the Wiccan mecca of New York City. Her eyes lit up. I bought her a book and some herbs there, and at Barnes and Nobles we got her a tarot deck with explanatory book. She really got a kick out of the Village, I think, and was articulate about what she was seeing and thinking and why she found it so interesting. I found myself sorry the visit was so short, and looking forward to the next one.
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I created this journal in the hopes that it would get me actually putting my internal monologues into words instead of just running them through in my head over and over again. So far, it's not really working. Let me back up then, and talk about my visit to the Met on Friday.

First of all, I hadn't thought I was going to go. The Costume Institute was running an exhibit on Adrian, a 1930s Hollywood film costumer and 40s-50s haute couture designer, but I'd given up on seeing it as it was closing today (Sunday). I mentioned it in passing to my mother on Thursday, and she suggested that perhaps my father could take me. He expressed reluctance. I said it was no big deal and not to worry about it.

Then comes Friday morning. The phone rings, and it is my father, telling me he is going to pick me up at 10 am and we are going to the museum. Telling, not offering. I try to demur. He gets belligerent. So here I am, off to the city with my father in one of his moods.

All of this is fine, except I should mention my father sort of has hypoglycemia, and when he hasn't eaten or drunk enough, gets cranky as all hell. By the time we hit the city, he was cranky beyond belief, but knew he was hungry, so we stopped to eat (treat on me... ugh that museum restaurant is expensive, but it was yummy). Baby was a total angel through all of this, and Dad was charming at the multitude of waiters who stopped by to ooh and ah over her.

(Let me note as an aside that everyone who coos at your baby wants to tell you about their own baby. Even if their baby is 33 years old right now and a professional teamster, the parents still want to tell you about their first gurgle and how cute their toes were. They never stop being babies.)

Then we saw Adrian. It was fascinating, or at least his stuff for the movies was. His private collections were OK. A friendly queen was ogling the gown made for Greta Garbo in "Queen Christina" with me and we had one of those little New York moments when we're both sharing details and tidbits we both know perfectly well but can't help clucking over in wonder and excitement. ("It was too heavy for her to 'float' in, she could barely move with all those sequins." "Did you know that was $2,000 of sequins in depression-era dollars?" "That's a lot of sparkle!") Then the friendly queen and I made eye contact, and it was all over. Whoops! We both thought, I'm talking to stranger in New York. Better look like I have somewhere important to be and move on.

So I did, I turned around and there's my father, hovering near the exit. I was wearing Gwen in her pouch on my chest, and he's looking irate and unhappy until I tell him I'm done and we can leave.

A brief stopover in Gauguin, then he was sugar-crashing again, so I took him to the cafe and asked for a blondie, realized I didn't need the calories, and asked for a banana instead. So of course he bought me the banana and the blondie, and looked hurt when I didn't want to eat the blondie. He then proceeded to binge on sweets. *Sigh*. That just means the next crash is harder and sooner.

Then we drove home, through a rain storm so thick that at 2pm we couldn't see a thing around us except a few headlights and the misty outlines of the Hudson River beyond the edge of the highway. I suggested perhaps waiting out the storm somewhere where there wasn't three inches of water on the highway, but he was having none of it.

On the whole, it was a pleasant day, despite the moods and nerve-wracking drive.

A note about Adrian's movie creations -- they were brilliant works not just of design but of iconography. Tracy Lord, Kate Hepburn's character from Philadelphia Story, was supposed to have a "brass heart," so her white gown is detailed with brass accents in an amazonian pattern. Subtle. Fashionable. But totally appropriate. Now I want to design movie costumes...

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August 2010

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