ANNIE WITHOUT LULU
Instead of children I’ve always had dogs, sometimes three at a time. They’re my family. Annie and Lulu were eight weeks old when I adopted them from the animal shelter almost two years ago. From the beginning the “experts” told me someday I’d have to make a choice and give one of my darling girls away, but I didn’t believe them. “Litter Mate Syndrome,” they called it. I’d never heard of litter mate syndrome and never had problems with any of my dogs. What do the experts know anyway?
In this case… Everything!
If you’re on Instagram you may have seen women over 50, 60 and 70, putting their best selves in front of the camera on a daily basis. Many are professional models while others are fashion bloggers, hoping you’ll like what they’re wearing and will purchase it through them, plus they’re hoping brands will collaborate with them. I think most of the women I see on Instagram feel great about themselves, and they’re old enough to have accumulated a sense of self-esteem. It’s the teenage girls there who concern me. So many of them look alike. Let me rephrase that…
So many of them want to look alike, but they have yet to learn what makes them special and unique.
We’ve all gotten songs stuck in our heads that play over and over until we want to go screaming into the night. That’s how I’ve felt this past week. I’ve been singing Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s 1963, Wives and Lovers. I have no clue where it came from, but I can’t get rid of it.
In 2013, HuffPost said Wives and Lovers “could be one of the most offensive songs, ever.”
Actress, Loretta Young
This week I caught up with a friend I hadn’t seen in ages. Our oddball conversation ran the gamut from museums in London to jockstraps for the chin and the increase in gallbladder removals. It was an unusual conversation, to be sure, and no… Alcohol was not involved.
I’m guessing you want me to start with jockstraps for the chin?
Amy Gutierrez was 18-years-old when she started writing for my first website, BreastCancerSisterhood.com. I always knew I wanted a young person to write from their perspective about their mother’s cancer diagnosis, but I never dreamed I’d meet someone as wise and compassionate as Amy. Children and teens have a difficult time when a parent is diagnosed with a serious illness, but often they don’t have an outlet to address their feelings. By reading Amy’s blog kids could relate to a young woman who helped care for her mother while living her own life. Amy is now 28-years-old, a graduate of Emerson College. She’s working in the publishing industry and is engaged to be married.
Amy Gutierrez is even more committed, now, to the things she believes in. I want you to meet Amy.
Remember Rene Russo’s Italian Riviera colored smoothie in the Thomas Crown Affair? The enticing blue-green concoction that made many of us decide—then and there—that we wanted whatever she’s having? While I began drinking green smoothies, I must have used the wrong recipe.
Instead of having a man on my arm like Pierce Brosnan, I wound up with kidney stones.
Sometimes I’ll rewatch a film I’ve matured into like Alan J. Pakula’s 1971, dark thriller, Klute. It’s not that it was beyond my comprehension when I saw it the first time in the theater. But having seen it again, recently, I better understand the motivation of prostitute, Bree Daniels, and Jane Fonda’s Academy Award-winning portrayal of her.
Bree was light years ahead of me when it came to understanding men.
BRENDA COFFEE, AGE 23, AT THE OCEAN CLUB, PARADISE ISLAND, BAHAMAS. Photograph by Philip Ray.
Poetry has never been my strong suit, but today I found a poem I wrote decades ago. I was old enough to have experienced deep loss and overwhelming fear, and yet, I had an inner strength and resilience. If nothing else, I’ve always been resilient. Since then I’ve discovered the answers to most of the questions I posed in my poem. Some of my assumptions were wrong, particularly the one about God, plus now I know dessert is always worth the calories, and when in doubt… overdress.
Wishing each one of you a happy and healthy New Year filled with love, forgiveness and optimism.
FAVORⓇ SMOKELESS CIGARETTES, Photograph by Brenda Coffee, ©1010ParkPlace, 2018
This week Good Morning America (GMA) reported the Surgeon General declared “vaping” to be an epidemic among teenagers, and there are few treatment options. What GMA and the Surgeon General failed to say is cigarettes, vaping and the current e-cigarettes are more addicting than heroin. How do I know this? For 20 years nicotine and smokeless cigarettes were my business. I coined the terms “vape” and “vaping.”
This is the story of the sinister plot between the Federal government and the “Big Six” tobacco companies to put the first smokeless cigarette out of business because it wasn’t in their best interest.
Pixnio Free Images
The day after Christmas it will be eight years since James went for a walk and died, unexpectedly, of cardiac arrest. He was the glue that held our family together, and his death was devastating for all who loved him. A few weeks before he died his son dropped out of law school and was hoping Dad would “fix things.” Instead of healing and fixing, there were “instances of regret” that Christmas. In an attempt to make sure he’d never run the risk of hearing what Dad thought of him, I believe his son cut me out of his life.
I haven’t heard from him since.