And Her Journey Ends.

by meg on April 1, 2014

Meg is feeling a little down today; she got news that her aunt passed away early today.

Last year she wrote about Mary, and told you a little of her story.

Actually, I always called her Mare, just like Rhoda Morgenstern called Mary Richards “Mare”. It was a term of endearment, and it was the name that truly fit her best. Mary was not a whole lot older than me, just a mere 12 years. I never prefaced her name with Aunt, she was way too hip and cool for that; we were always Mare and Marg. She was the person that got her long hair ironed on an ironing board, drove a blue Mustang, and took me to my first professional sporting event. After a wild hockey game at the Boston Garden, she let me hang out and meet the players, while she and her boyfriend hung back and drank long neck beers out of brown paper bags.

Mare dry cleaned her jeans, and was the first person I knew that decorated their apartment with hanging ferns and stick on mirrors. She had a stereo stashed in an antique ice chest, and it played “Bette Davis Eyes“. She was the queen of thrift stores and shopping, never missing a bargain or snagging a classic piece of jewelry.

She lived in an apartment where I could swim in the pool with Bryant Gumbel’s best friend, have cocktails on the patio, and end the day with cheeseburgers on the grill.

She was the person that left New England, to live her dream in California. She lived on the beach, rode her bike, traveled and collected treasures to decorate her cute little seaside abode. I was always amazed and astounded that she decamped from Boston to California, being on her own, living the life she always wanted.

Things became sad at one point; we had become estranged; my mom and Mare, and things were not right for a very long time. Years later we got a call from a girl, and that girl turned out to be Mare’s daughter, my cousin. Somehow her discovery and appearance managed to bring people back together. At that point we realized Mare had a illness very similar to ALS, and the progression of her illness took a long and slow turn, where she lost all of her ability to function. But even until these last few weeks, she wanted to wear great perfume, put on a snazzy silver bangle, and read the headlines of PEOPLE magazine.

Because that was Mary, vintage Mare, and she wasn’t going to die if she didn’t look good, or smell good.

And I look around my house and see all the things that influenced me. Cool pieces of wrought iron hanging on a wall, lumber salvaged from someone’s trash to make a quirky sign. A pair of earrings that scream the 1950′s. Shoes that were found at TJ Maxx that say Prada. That was all her doing.

Meg stills practices that slouch from 1972 where she learned the correct way to hide illegal beverages in the Boston Garden lobby when she was 12, and Meg knows she wouldn’t have half the snazz appeal if weren’t for Mare.

So, here’s to you Mare. I toast you with a cold beer in a brown paper bag, and it never looked classier all because of you. Tonight you are a twinkle in the sky, or maybe a neon beer sign in the heavens, and I will never forget you.

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The Scent of a Bracket

by meg on March 25, 2014

It’s March Madness, and you know what that means, kids!

You spend inordinate amounts of office time filling out NCAA brackets for the office pool, only to have it blown to smithereens by Mercer or Harvard on the very first day.

Or you do like Meg does, and come up with a much more creative set of brackets to ponder and bet on. The other day Meg was watching Mo Rocca of CBS News doing a segment on perfume, and how it’s created. One of the more unique things companies in that field were being asked is to devise a special scent for a University. In this case, the fragrance being featured was called “Eau de Syracuse“.

Meg pondered that and thought: newly fallen snow and Orangemen basketball. She immediately got a whiff of a citrusy tangerine snow cone, with a hint of rubber sneaker sole. So that smell would be reminiscent of Syracuse campus? Meg is thinking more 7-11 slurpee on that one.

I’m sure you all have had a favorite perfume over the years. Meg remembers always having a little something to spray on, starting in junior high. As she segued through college, (70′s and 80′s) there were many iconic scents she and her classmates and colleagues wore.

Meg started out with this classic fragrance as freshman:

There was something about that pink bottle. It was a hugely potent smell, with lots of bergamot, patchouli, and topnotes of library lady. Classic.

A year or so later the craze was to smell fresh and innocent, like this:

Meg totally bought into this, and realized when her natural skin oils mixed with Love’s Baby Soft, she smelled like a skunk, and not like a newborn baby. Which makes Meg wonder why she and her friends wanted to smell like a freshly diapered infant? Distinctly not sexy.

As the late 70′s progressed, more and more designers came out with signature fragrances, giving birth to the department store spritzer gal, ever ready at the mall entrance to douse you with a pricey spray of something of other. Meg took a little trip back in time and came up with a perfume bracket of sorts, summing of some of the best and worst of the 70′s and 80′s:

Meg knows she didn’t fill her bracket out to the fullest, but it gives you the general idea of how the things were rolling back then. She pretty much tried all of these perfumes; some choices were driven by designer labels, some by celebrity. Meg cannot imagine why she was influenced by Daryl Hannah hawking Sun, Moon and Stars, but it was featured in her rotating tray of bottles.

Ultimately, Meg always went to her go to, Halston, which she wore for quite awhile. If there was one signature scent from those days, that was it. It was disco, an old boyfriend, a special birthday, a college graduation, and a lot of other events all wrapped up into one. Every morning she walked through the fine mist, prepared to to face the day.

If Meg had a bottle today, she guarantees it would transport her back a few decades, which she is sure something no alma mater perfume could ever do. And somehow, she does not think “Eau de Framingham State University” would really have the same romantic cachet as “Halston”.

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Texas Potpourri for $1000

March 12, 2014

Meg is full of Texasisms today, which is why she has raised the stakes of fake Jeopardy to $1000. So far Meg has not gone down the path of saying “y’all”. She reserves her four letter words for people she knows are from other parts of the country and are sobbing like herself; she is [...]

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I Can’t Help Myself Friday. Politics, Pistols and Pizza.

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Meg finds herself in the midst of her first political season in Texas. Let’s just say her observations have proven interesting, where interesting equals watching commercials with her mouth ajar. Meg will give you her quick take on the most important subjects in TEXAS. She feels the need to capitalize TEXAS because the candidates EGOS [...]

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Hot and Holy.

February 11, 2014

Holy, s**t, that is. Meg attended a lecture the other day, and the topic was Hot and Holy Sex. For Christian couples. Attended by hundreds of confused women, and zero couples. Now that we have the topic guidelines straight, let Meg see if she can begin to describe the hot mess this lecture consisted of. [...]

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I Can’t Help Myself Friday. The Bawa Wawa Edition.

February 7, 2014

Meg has never really watched The View, except when she wanted to see Joy Behar get a good zinger in. Now that Joy is gone, there is NEVER a reason to watch this wretched show, except to see the collapse of the the great and powerful Oz. Oops, Meg means Barbara Walters. I’m so glad [...]

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