I’ve been sick. Not fever, achy, “I have to stay in bed” sick, but coughing sick. I feel fine. I feel normal, healthy, like I can run a mile. Just, I can’t. I’m coughing. I can’t stop coughing. I double over coughing. I’ve been living on hot tea and toast for two weeks. So I’ve been confined to my bedroom even though I feel normal, minus the coughing. The simple act of walking to the kitchen to heat tea, maybe fifty steps, was broken into a five minute walk since most of the time I’d be doubled over coughing and halting my progress. Miserable. Absolutely awful. I hate coughing.
Today, I had a job interview in Santa Monica first thing in the morning and I’d arranged to meet up with my dear friend, Ana Lydia Monaco afterwards. I had figured the coughing would have calmed down by now, and it has noticeably, but still, it’s very present. Me, being me, I thought I could do it. So I awoke early, and started hacking away. Lovely, yes? No. I heated tea and got myself feeling human again. A hot, steamy shower helped even more, but I was still coughing here and there. I filled my handbag with cough drops and got ready to get out the door. Hair, makeup, suit, everything perfect…and, started coughing so badly I missed my bus. I called the interview and re-scheduled for later.
Another hot cup of tea later and I was out the door. I WAS going to go to Santa Monica if it killed me (it probably will). I made it to Santa Monica without too many coughing fits on the bus and managed to get to where I needed to be on time. Then, I met up with my friend at Barnes & Noble and we went walking the Third Street Promenade. We hit Sephora and L’Occitane en Provence (one of my favorite stores) to window shop, before heading to The Market and The Curious Palate for lunch. In typical Gina’s a klutz fashion, my coughing fit chose the exact second of my first bite to start up. Thank goodness it wasn’t the lunch hour yet. Still, I was mortified and kind of pissed off because I hadn’t had solid food in two weeks and was really wanting that cold-smoked salmon in the salad and those white truffled french fries. Seriously Mr. Cough, didja have to delay me getting my salad AND make me sound like an old man with emphysema in a public place? Really?
The lunch, when I eventually calmed down with the coughing enough to eat it, was delicious. The cold smoked salmon, feta, olives and red peppers combined with mixed greens was just what I needed. The french fries were decadent, divine and oh so tasty. The perfect comfort food for two foodies on a sometimes rainy, blustery with sudden and unexpected bursts of sunshine day. Later we walked around a bit and Ana Lydia got ice cream. I longed for it, truly I did. The hazelnut cream or the elder flowers sorbet would have been my choice, but nothing cold, no dairy with this nagging cough. I blew it a kiss though. On the way out, I saw maiden hair fern at a flower shop and it made me feel reminiscent about my grandmother, who loved that fern and always grew it.
After that, we walked to the beach and just hung out feeling the wind, the sea air and day dreaming before walking back to her office to get some things done. I’m here now, typing this post as she’s on a conference call. Eventually, I will saddle up and head back to the East side, probably fighting with my cough the whole way home. I feel better though.
It’s amazing what sea air, a breeze and a wonderful day with a friend will do to chase the sickness away.
We couldn’t take it anymore.
We just couldn’t.
So we broke down. Anabel, my grandchildren’s other grandma suggested it first.
We went to the Glendale Galleria to escape the heat. Yeah, the friggin mall and apparently EVERYONE from Pasadena to Hollywood had the same idea because it was PACKED. We couldn’t find a table at the food court so we had to stand over people while they were eating just to pounce on their table as soon as they were done. It wasn’t even that cool there because of the tons of *body heat, but we made do.
Walking was hard because there were so many people or should I say sheep? It was like slogging through a lumbering crowd of cattle. I think. What the heck do I know about cattle or sheep for that matter? All I know is, if you’re gonna walk then for God’s sake WALK! Don’t lumber, don’t drag. MOVE IT! I got claustrophobic so we ducked into heaven – the Nordstrom’s shoe department and not (Thank God!) Build-A-Bear (more like Rape-a-Wallet). Those damned expensive bears fall apart at the seams right quick and guess who ends up stitching it back up? Yeah, that would be me. Anyway, we went to Nordstrom’s and it was intoxicating. The smell of espresso and shoe leather is heavenly. Especially when the shoe leather you’re smelling is Blahnik. I fell in love with at least six pair but today was just a window shopping jaunt, not one of those lovlies came home with me except in my dreams. How can I cash in this newfound royal ancestry into shoes? Anyone? Bueller?
After Nordstrom’s we finally quit the mall in search of something less crowded. Pasadena beckoned and the lovely, organized shelves of Vroman’s Books, one of my favorite bookstores. It was Anabel’s first trip there, but not the grandkids’. They immediately began begging to be let upstairs to the children’s section. Jasmine is reading chapter books now and ran from one to another saying, “Oooooh Grammy look at this one! Ooh Grammy Mercy Watson! Oooh Grammy look!” I was thrilled to see her gravitate to some of the favorites of my girlhood, Little Women, Pippi Longstocking and Anne of Green Gables. Being an artist, she ended up finally making a choice of a doodle book of fashion plates with a promise of a present from me of Green Gables. Aiden is just as entranced with books and spent a good two hours before he finally settled in with his choice of Clone Wars – illustrated. I’m so glad he decided against Pokemon.
I bought a new set of bookends. I’m an avid collector of both books and bookends and these were Mr. Toad. I just had to have them. I love a little bookish whimsy and my favorite color is green. Even my favorite poem is green. Look up Romance Sonambula by Garcia Lorca. The first line begins, “Verde, te quiero verde.” or “green how I want you green.”
We’re home now – rather I am at their home because we are having a sleepover and I am about to give baths and tuck them in. We will have story time after they are squared away and sometime in the midst of the story, they will fall asleep as they usually do, Jasmine before Aiden and wander off in the Land of Nod.
*Note: Just because it’s hot as hell is NO excuse to forsake deodorant, people! Organic-type folk: please, that crystal alum blessed by the goddess stick DOES NOT work and for Pete’s sake spend half the money and get some chemical-based stuff that works like Secret. The rest of you OMG PLEASE BATHE BEFORE LEAVING THE HOUSE!!!