Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Club Scene

I am fortunate to have known my husband during the
"club-hopping" days of our youth.
Though we often traveled in different circles before dating, we both enjoyed (for a short time, at least) the electric atmosphere offered by a few Long Island hot spots in the eighties.
My favorite was a haunt called "Chevy's." It offered fifties music and memorabilia, oddly but successfully coupled with contemporary dance music. It housed several dance floors, and for those with more muscle than hustle, there were sports cages for pick-up games (pun intended) and televised major league events.
I left Chevy's at the same time as the closing crew on more occasions than I care to admit. Nonetheless, it remains a fond memory today, as well as a painful reminder that I have only myself to blame, for severing a once firm relationship between my bottom and a jeans size in the single digits.
I have always loved dancing and it remains one of the few physical exercises I don't despise.
If only there were dance clubs today, for forty-somethings who still respect big hair.
Sadly, Chevy's was leveled to make room for an expanding
auto mall.
Undoubtedly, amidst all that rubble and neon, went my waistline, hubby's rhythm, and my last can of Stiff Stuff hair spray.

Now, twenty-something years later, hubby and I will venture into a new club scene of sorts.
We will join the ranks of countless other Americans struggling to choose between Sam's, Costco, or BJ's Wholesale Club, where membership has its privileges.
We will utilize each of our one-day passes to carefully decide which membership best suits our needs, though "clubbing," as we called it, will require a few modifications;

Parachute pants and Capezio shoes will be left behind, in favor of lightweight fleece and comfortable sneakers.

Our focus will have shifted from available singles, to single snack packs at competitive volume pricing.

No longer amused by strobe lights or smoke machines, we will instead be dazed and confused as we venture past the high-def bigger/better/faster version of our (now seemingly insignificant) TV.

For a few hundred dollars, we might purchase all that is necessary to forego the communal appreciation (boom box style) of new tunes, and alternatively, purchase individual songs, imbed rubber buds into our ears, keeping our own playlists close to the vest for independent listening (and I'm guessing there won't be any dancing).

For those of us struggling to read microscopic playlists, preferring the larger formatted text of the jukebox, we might visit the Club Optical Center and drop a Ben Franklin or two for a BOGO sale
on bifocals.

And since it's unlikely that current club hopping will be followed by a pre-dawn diner visit, we might pick up a box or two of
Bubba Burgers (at 800 calories a pop, with no pre-burger workout on the dance floor) to throw on our new, pre-assembled,
self-igniting Weber grill, strategically placed near a ginormous display of Hanes Unisex Comfort Elastic Waist Sweat Pants.

After comparison shopping all of our staple items, we might head over to the Gourmet department to pick up a tube of Polenta and a box of Merlot.

If there's still room in the cart, we can pick up the newest self-help books from Dr. Oz and Bob Greene, taking care not to crush the Break-n-Bake Otis Spunkmeyer Cookies, or the
Cheesecake Factory Baby Cakes Assortment.

Thankfully, there should be extra room under the cart for the Roomba Robotic Vacuum and a case of Vitamin Water.

I might try to convince hubby to splurge on the Wii system complete with the Wii Fit Bundle; though our budget doesn't allow for much in the way of entertainment, and the 2 for $10 DVDs are so much more economical (plus, they come with free Movie Theater Extra Butter Popcorn).

Before we venture to checkout, I will grab my pen and notepad and do some comparison pricing for specific items as requested by my neighborhood friends.
These include, in no particular order;
Marlboro Cigarettes (carton), Crest White Strips, Hot Tools Ionic Hair Straightener, Sebastian Hair Repair Conditioner,
Jergen's Self-Tanning Lotion, Olay Anti-Wrinkle Serum, Slim-Fast Cappuccino Meal-Replacement Shakes, Immodium AD,
Red Bull 6-Pack, Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Tea,
DiGiorno Pepperoni Pizza, Pepcid AC, Hefty Lawn & Leaf Bags, and Scott's All Purpose Mulch- 25lb. bag.

Perhaps our club shopping adventure won't offer as much excitement as our club hopping days of yesteryear. But alas,
age and wisdom allow us to appreciate small, momentary pleasures in lieu of more grandiose events.

Thankfully however, some things never change;
I will have my I.D. at the ready for the cashier
because they always seem to ask for it.

They must think I'm not old enough to buy that box of wine.

This is my truth;


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Gettin' Our Merry On...

'Twas the Night Before Christmas
~ Frati Style~

'Twas the night before Christmas
When all through our home
The only creature not stirring,
Was likely a gnome

The stockings were sitting
On top of a crate
'Cause the kids were too busy
To help decorate

The TV was on,
With X-Box engaged
Now bedtime far off,
A new war had been waged

Dear daughter was texting
While reading a play
Neither hubby nor I
Saw an end to this day

When out in the street
There arose such a clatter
I jumped from the sofa
To see what was the matter

Away to the window
I hustled with speed
While Yogi kept barking
And eventually peed

The moon on the breast
Of our lawn--with no snow
Gave lustre to the fact
That our son did not mow

Then what to my wondering
Eyes did appear
But our good neighbor, Chris
With some tools, and a beer

Beside him there stood
A chubby, old man
With a fluffy, red hat
And a plug in his hand

It appeared he had one
Of those new, hybrid sleighs
That stalled, it would seem
As he reached The Fairways

An emergency landing
Was his only choice
And I heard him exclaim
In his jolly, loud voice

"Good golly, dear sir
Christmas is ruined, I fear-
I knew I should have taken
Those trusty reindeer !"

There was no time for recharging
Santa's sleigh was quite stuck
And good children-- now sleeping
Were sugar-plum-out of luck

"Don't worry, dear Santa,"
Said Chris, with a smile,
"I'll build a new engine
In just a short while;

I just need to gather
Some additional parts,"
As he set off to find
His son's scooters, and karts

I pulled on my wellies,
Handed hubby his coat
And we set out to help them
(though our chances, remote)

Our kids, now quite curious
Ran out with bare feet
And trailing behind them-
Yogi peed in the street

A crowd soon did gather
And in all the commotion
No one noticed that Santa
Slipped Yogi some potion

As Chris tinkered with tools
Neighbors looked on in fear
Then our dear son exclaimed,
"I have an idea !"

He ran back to the house,
Though no one knew why
And seemed to return
In the blink of an eye

He gave Chris a carton
With his X-Box inside
Then said, with a smile
"Go ahead, pimp his ride."

Chris nodded and laughed,
While the neighbors all cheered
Some even shared cocoa,
And cookies, -- and beer

Their spirits were light
Like the down of a thistle
To know Santa's sleigh would
Have new bells and whistles

Chris spoke not a word
But went straight to his work
And added new features
Then turned with a jerk;

He exclaimed, "Santa's sleigh
Is really quite groovy,
He has lasers, and sound,
And can even watch movies !"

Dear hubby and daughter
Held spotlights for Chris
As he made last adjustments
So nothing was missed

He started the engine
And revved it quite loud,
Though louder still
Were cheers from the crowd

Santa cheered right along
With his hands on his belly,
That shook when he laughed
Like a bowl full of jelly

We all loaded his gifts
Back on to his sleigh-
In no time at all,
He'd be well on his way

Quite suddenly Chris
Slapped his hand to his head
And the look on his face
Was one full of dread

Said Santa, "What's wrong?
I can't even guess !"
Then Chris did reply,
"I'm afraid there's no GPS !"

"Good gracious !" Said Santa
"Tis a problem, I fear-
There was no need for maps
When I had my reindeer- "

"But for journeys worldwide
A course I must chart..."
Then dear daughter approached him
And spoke from the heart-

"No worries, Santa Baby,
I've got your back !"
Then she slipped her new cell phone
Into his red, velvet sack

"Just call my home phone
If you need help with the maps,
There's like a million-
Listed under Map Apps"

He hugged her, and thanked her
Then motioned to me-
I leaned in to listen
As he whispered his plea

I agreed to a favor
Though the pleasure- all mine
Then he looked at his watch
And said "Well folks, it's time !"

He sprang to his sleigh,
To our dog, gave a clap
And faster than fast
Yogi jumped onto his lap

He attached some fake antlers
To Yogi's small head
And we knew it was magic
When his nose glowed bright red!

Both daughter and son
Stared with wide eyes
And Santa assured them
"I'll have him back by sunrise."

To the neighbors, he waved
And with Chris, he shook hands
As he set off with toys
For far away lands;

And we heard him exclaim
As he drove out of sight-

"Merry Christmas to all,
And to all, a good night !"

This is my truth;


Wishing you a happy, healthy, holiday season
And many blessings in the new year-
Merry Christmas!!!