Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother Goose

I went for a run yesterday along the Hudson River, (Jersey side), for the first time since I ran the marathon. Well, that's not completely true, I've run since, but no more than 2 or 3 miles. For some reason mother nature got the best of me yesterday and demanded I go. I'm so glad I did because I had, what Author Alison Pace likes to call, A Glimmer.

As I was running feverishly past the ferry station, by the docks, "Life is a Highway" blaring in my pink headphones, I had to stop as I was running out of breathe. The contents of my water bottle were empty and my heart rate probably experiencing old peaks it hadn't reached in months. As I stopped to walk, I came across 2 adult geese and five little baby yellow ducklings. I'm sure there's a real term for baby yellow geese,but I don't know what it is and ducklings sounds better for the purposes of the story, but I digress.

All along Port Imperial, which is area of land in front of the Hudson, (Jersey side), once populated by mobsters and shipping companies, now a beautiful development of houses and communities where children, families and dogs all live. To some, it may seem slightly "Pleasantville-ish" but on the days when I'm when I'm feeling particularly down I like to go and write around there. I completely understand the appeal. Beautiful homes with perfectly manicured lawns and porches, on the water...even us cynical New Yorkers inward silently sigh.

Back to the ducklings. I noticed, as I was staring out into the city, surrounded by perfectly manicured lawns, this family of duck-geese. The little ones had veered out onto the little piece of shore, mostly consisting of sand and rocks. The mother and whom i presume to be the father (though maybe he/she is just a nice friend of the family. Who knows geese culture), were further out in the water. They were still keeping an eye on the ducklings, but giving them their space to explore. I fell in love with one baby duck right away. I named him Moe. I know, classic me right? Feel first, think later. He was the smallest of the bunch and the one that fell the most. The other ducklings seemed to have tired of his clumsy antics because none of them were really helping. When the mother figured the ducklings had had enough of the excursion she simply started swimming away. The ducklings frantically dove back in the water, except for my little Moe who had fallen behind a rock and couldn't jump high enough to go back. I frantically considered my options. I couldn't just let the little guy stay there. What would he eat? How would his family find him? How would he get along with my chihuahua Walter? What do geese eat anyway, could he learn to love dog food or chicken? How do you raise a goose?I started trying to find a way into the water. I wondered how much it could really hurt to jump the railing and potentially fall onto the rocks.

As I was ridiculously nurturing this new found hero complex i seem to have developed, something worthy of hallmark happened. One of the ducklings swam back and went to help her brother. She bowed her head under his feet so he could hop on top of her and back onto the rock which lead him to the water. She then jumped back and squawked at him profusely until he got in the water and swam behind him. My foot at this point was literally over the railing.

I was so taken by the duckling that I failed to notice that the geese, though they appeared to be facing back towards Manhattan, had not actually moved. They were waiting there the entire time. No one was leaving little Moe behind, but they were also going to let him try to figure it out on his own first, before they sent in re enforcements.

As they swam away I smiled at Moe who I swear looked over at me. Of course he was probably thinking "whose the crazy human lady staring at me" and I was thinking "way to go little Moe". Tomatoe, Tomato. Of course, leave it to Moe, as the rest of the family fell in line, I saw him leave the group and go swim next to his dad (our "aunt" or you know...whatever, friend of moms). None of the ducklings followed. They probably figure Moe swims to the beat of his own drum. I hope Moe has many more adventures and doesn't get run over by a NYC cruise line. He seems like a really cool duck. My first experience with his kind actually. They aren't so bad. I'm open minded about future encounters.

I had a permanent smile on my face as the next song kicked in, 4 minutes, Madonna/JT- until i realized I had 5 more miles to go and then I kicked it into gear with Kanye's "stronger". Don't know what happened to Moe, but I ran 7 miles yesterday. About time.

Friday, May 8, 2009

What is the deal with Stilletos?

True story.

I dated a boy a lifetime ago, (lets call him Shoe Guy), who was obsessed with shoes...not feet, but shoes. Now, I know whatyou're thinking, "It clearly didn't work out because he was gay," but I swear to you that was not the case. He certainly had plenty of ladies around, reason we broke up, but anytime I wore flats, he'd make an annoyed face.

Now ladies, I know you can relate to me here. Shoes are amazing. They make your legs look leaner, you look taller, you look slender and they're just pretty. There is nothing like an amazing pair of shoes, whether they are Jimmy Choo or Steve Madden, that can make you feel fabulous. In addition to putting together your outfit and giving you that glow, there is also something powerful about the Stilletto. Whenever I have a big meeting or event, the kind of conversation I expect to have, does govern my shoe choice. If its a movie premiere I'm just attending and will be mostly socializing, my shoes are chunkier, more comfortable and plain. If I'm having a meeting at this event or need to seal some sort of idea, then I may opt for a more powerful stilletto and matching pedicure.

Believe it or not, men and women alike, respond differently to a stilletto. It wont secure a booking for you in anyway, but it does give you a leg up, so to speak. You get people's attention and towering over someone when you're talking about an opportunity, certainly helps.

So I did a little experiment. I wore the same outfit all day- half the day with flat cute sandals and half the day with big purple stilletos. When I wore the sandals, my day was pretty normal. Paid my cab fare, bought a bagel, had a very short conversation on the subway. When I wore my stilletos, the freaks came out to play. I had the cabdriver actually get out of the car and open my car door (has never happend to me before), the woman at the deli threw in a larabar, mentioning that i'd need the extra protein as I stomped around manhattan, i had the door held for me walking into work, and two guys got up to give me their seat on the subway which NEVER happens on the Chivalry-less Island.

My unscientific experiment has led me to the conclusion that although the STILLETO gives you a certain mystic, I prefer my several seasons ago Tory Burch flats and Banana Republic gladiator sandals for the day. I still love admiring and even wearing Stilletto's but I dont see Shoe Guy or anyone like him in my future, workwise or other. The Stilletto will still always be special, but for running around Manhattan, they may be living in my bag more than they'll be living on my feet.