2001-12-07 10:46 p.m.
Mark brought the tree in today and vacuumed its needles so I got busy and got it decorated. There wasn't as much joy in decorating the tree this year, even with the whiskey in the eggnog. I only put the very best ornaments, the ones I really like, and a few filler balls and others. I may thin out the whole ornament collection this year. I haven't put many decorations up in the house yet either. I think it will be a much smaller scale Christmas this year.
B and I had a fun talk last night (you can still have fun talks between tears with old friends) about things that make us feel old, or things that have gone away that people don't remember any more. It began when I told her about my friend Kitty's earrings made from the old keys of a typewriter. (BTW, if you want some they are for sale at Blackmail on south Congress and they are very cool) B always punctuates her first name with an exclamation mark after it so she said she would want to have the 1 with the ! above it if she had earrings like that. I pointed out to her that old typewriters didn't have that key. Who but us old farts remember that typewriters had an economy of keys and if you wanted to make the number 1 you used the lower case l instead. For an exclamation (and B remembered this before I did) you used an apostrophe and then backspaced and put a period under it. Old typewriters had the period as both the lower case and upper case key (same key) so even if you were typing in all caps it would give you the period symbol. Same with the comma. I sometimes still use those keys wrong. I still space twice after a period when I'm typing on the computer and B said that that isn't being "done" anymore and she is an editor so she must know what she talks about there.
Another experience of "old" happened at work the other day. The female on our morning team had dropped a full bottle of shampoo on her foot and hurt it. The "old" man of the team (he's 51) said "Was it glass?" and the other three were laughing and berating him and saying, Heavens, it was a shampoo bottle, they aren't glass! I remember when Prell came in glass bottles. Mom always made us pour a capful at the bathroom sink and take it to the bathtub instead of having that glass bottle in there above porcelain in wet hands. Sort of like Bag O' Glass--just not a good idea.
Some of our conversation about age began with the discussion of the death of George Harrison. We were both mourning his passing. I'm in the age group of people that all grew up on the Beatles but some really KNEW the Beatles and others just sort of heard them on the radio. I was definitely of the former.
I had a cousin that was about 14 when the Beatles came on the scene. I was just under 5. And my sister was 7. Obviously, the 14-year-old was tuned into all the latest music (we loved going to her house) and she was the first to know of the Beatles. Her influence made my sister love them. I remember Judy babysitting us one night. My dad was there too. I guess that was the days before dads were entrusted with their children's care. Judy held up a Life magazine with the pictures of the four Beatles spread across those two huge pages and she was exclaiming how cute they were. My dad said, "Those gotta be wigs, boys hair don't grow that long." My sister and I vividly remember that scene. I was the loyal-to-daddy daughter and I sided with him that they weren't "cute" while my sister and cousin were gushing.
I don't remember when the transformation came. The magazine had to have been out in January 1964 and the Beatles were on Ed Sullivan on February 9, 1964. Between the magazine and their being on television, I had become a total convert. Again, I vividly remember sitting in front of the TV on the floor screaming along with the girls and thinking that they were the greatest things ever. I still get that feeling when I hear the beginning of All My Loving or She Love You Yeah, Yeah, Yeah.
John was my Beatle. I suppose I might have been a Paul girl but my older sister got first pick, of course, and she took Paul. I wish I could say I picked John because of his humor and cheekiness but I don't know why he was mine. I do know that he and were married in my pretend TV shows that we hosted together and played his records.
As I've grown up I've appreciated George Harrison for his search for truth and beauty and his spiritual awareness. And, sure, I bought Traveling Wilbury records, too. His death saddens me because it is one more link to my happy childhood that exsists only in memory. I was truly devastated by John Lennon's murder and even broke up with my boyfriend of the time because he wasn't of like mind. George is a softer sad. We knew he was sick, we knew it was coming, we were just relieved he wasn't killed in the stabbing at his home two years ago.
I once put a personal ad in the Dallas Observer and it had the line "must like the Beatles." It really drew some interesting responses. I really liked one guy that was truly obsessed with the Beatles with an entire closet (a long big closet) in his aparment filled with shelves filled with Beatles videos and CDs and records and photos and more. We had a lot of fun watching and listening to the Beatles.
Mark may not be quite the fan I am. Hell, I'm no longer the fan that I was. But, still, there is a standup cutout of the Beatles atop the bookcase alongside Paul and John dolls. I have Beatles Christmas ornaments but I never use them because they don't look like they looked. And Mark does have a little Ringo doll on the piano in the drum room and a picture of Ringo alongside his other drumming heroes. There is more Bob Wills and B.B. King on the walls of our house but the Beatles presence is here.
This has been stream-of-consciousness and after three hours of sleep last night there is barely any consciousness here.