Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Jersey Shawh

It's not spelled incorrectly. That is how it is referred to here, The Jersey Shawh, not shore - shawh We drop our Rs here in Jersey (or as they say, Jeasey). So it is the first weekend of summer and a considerable number of the population is down the shawh, uh shore. Each of the Jersey shore towns are distinct to different age groups. Its a shoreline that almost follows the generations in order. Starting with the most southern tip you have Cape May known for its Victorian B&Bs and good restaurants which attract childless couples, seniors and families with children between 10 and 16 years of age. Just north is Wildwood and Wildwood Crest where families with very young kids go. Then there is LBI (Long Beach Island) for families with teenagers. Then comes the towns furthest north of Cape May, Belmar and Point Pleasant. Belmar and Point Pleasant cater to the college age and above crowd. Now it starts to get rowdy with Tiki Bars and clubs. Finally, there is Seaside - the party town for high school seniors and juniors particularly after-prom or on Memorial Day weekend. In recalling the first time I got together with a group of girls to go to Seaside on Memorial Day weekend I was excited for a week before. It was like getting your first pair of high heels and finding a place worthy of wearing them. We rented some junky motel room which was fashionable decorated in a orange and brown shag rug. We had a plan to go to thee hot club on the boardwalk - with fake ID of course. Mine was so terribly fake, I didn't get in. But the night wasn't a total loss. I stood outside the club with all the other under 21s who didn't get in and found consolation on the beach - with a bottle of some horrible, cheap wine. Of course, I got so drunk, my night ended with me staring at the ceiling of my hotel room bed, hoping the room would stop spinning. Typical ending. Even now, writing about it makes my head hurt. So here it is 30 years later, and all the shore towns are the same as they were then. I wonder how that happens. Seaside has not lost its draw. It is still the place to be as a teen and on Memorial Day weekend. That crummy hotel is probably still there (and probably with the same shag rug) and booked to capacity with kids drinking their cheap wine or maybe now, expensive Cuervo but still getting sick off the balcony. This Memorial Day, I am sitting home. For those of you who didn't know, my poor husband came down with phenomena last week and after 4 days in the hospital and, oh the worse, missing his son's Fordham graduation, he is home recuperating. Luckily, he is practically as good as new. Also luckily, my kids are not down the shore. The older ones have been there, done that. Thomas, well next year he will be a senior and there will be after-prom. Let's hope he keeps his head from spinning.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


Motherhood is not what I expected. Some of the most insulting thoughts and words ever bestowed on me have been by the very people I spent countless hours in labor giving birth to. At some point of their lives, well after the age of reason (whenever that was), my children have called me a psycho, looser and a nut job. This along with loosing my dignity in efforts to entertain them and their friends at sleep over birthday parties where I dressed as a witch and flew around the yard waving my arms with a plastic pitchfork trying to scare them (unsuccessfully), supervising the painting of pumpkins which led to one of the kids spilling half the paint on her pretty $40 dress that I then felt obligated to pay for, and sleeping on the deck, under the stars in the camp-out sleepover where the only ones who slept were those not at my house did I realize how hard this job actually was. I should have just taken them to Chuckie Cheese. Today is Mother's Day. In the past, I have gotten some very special gifts that my children have made me. From Anthony a rock covered with stamps. The topiary from Christine that is still in my bedroom. And the fake ruby ring from Thomas that I carry around for good luck. Motherhood is an adventure. I have my moments, some bad, some good. There are gifts I have gotten from my children that they don't know they gave me. Thomas has given me the opportunity to be part of the Armenian community by being involved with the youth group. I am somebody to a lot of people because I am a youth group leader. My daughter Christine has taught me the latest fashion trends. It was because of her I wear skinny jeans and shop at Urban Outfitter and people at work look at me as if I am cool. And Anthony. This week, Anthony, my oldest, is graduating Fordham University. He is the first person in my family to graduate college. Although it is great for him, it is also his gift to me. Awesome. Today, my kids gave me a Mother's Day present - an IPhone. It was great. I felt like a kid at Christmas. What impressed me the most was that they knew that I wanted this. Thank you my loves.