Jennifer Dulos

Yearning for female friends

With five kids, and despite a move, I have tried somewhat not to miss a beat. Yes, there were a couple of pizza dinners, some later nights, and some mosh pit bed moments of the whole family huddled together on the first nights. Fotis did nearly break a rib during the move and had until today been on Vicodin, which made him kind of see the less pleasant side of things, and thus be pretty less rosy in general. There was a trip to Jump Zone over the long weekend to burn off steam, after having to behave while a new house got unpacked. And there was the unexpected presence of Uncle Mark, who goes by many nicknames, including Uncle Goat.

But, in general, the boys just now did their homework, they had piano today at school and riding afterwards, which I finally got to go to — yey! As Ballet took the week off. Everyone went happily to school today, after a too long, somewhat boring for the kids, weekend. And lame mother that I am, I missed the invite to Sahil’s birthday party that came and could have broken up Saturday for everyone. But, I got it into my hands on Sunday, from some pile that mysteriously slipped around with the move.

Sorry, guys!

It is lovely to unpack, at one’s leisure, to put everything in just the right, exact spot. To pare down even further as you unpack. To keep on weeding, no matter what! Junk in, more junk out. My to-do list grew beyond anything — you should see it now, like some endless sock that someone keeps knitting and knitting and knitting (said in a panicked, Pee Wee Herman voice). I had a dream last night about my childhood friend, Liz Bernbach, whom I have written about in the blog, and me running into her at some dinner out near a beach, as last night Fotis and I spoke about her carriage house in East Hampton that her family used to rent, and even though it was the “carriage” house to the larger structure, it was this massive, right on the water, quite spacious and stunning beach home. In the dream, I knew that she’d Googled herself, and that this blog had come up, and I hoped that she was okay with it. Anyway, after the dream this morning, I woke up kind of missing her.

I remarked to Fotis last night that what I am really enjoying are my new(-ish) female friends here. I moved to the Farmington Valley in 2004. Jeri Garcia, whom I do yoga with and now we are raising girl babies together.

Meg Nisenson, who is married to Fotis’s right hand guy basically, who is also a mom (and runner!) and shares in Music Time with me on Thursdays. Caroline Buckley, (see, here I am adding more names for the search engine of whomever’s choice), who I know through FVAM. And our now (new!) neighbor, Carolyn Tribble, (her daughter goes to Renbrook), who came by on Monday with her two children for a play date, as it was President’s Day and they had to break things up too. That I miss this, and yearn for it even. That when I was friends with Liz, we were this tight-knit group of four really, at the end of senior year of high school, after going though so much together, and I am constantly having memories of just being in her room on Columbia Heights, on her rug, listening to her B&O stereo system — (breathtakingly lovely unit!) Those hours and hours spent in Liz’s room along with Marina and Emily were only that, chill time, all our leisure time really, chosen to be together, in that airy space, overlooking the Promenade and the skyline of lower Manhattan, replete with the Twin Towers we grew up with, overlooking us back, in Brooklyn Heights, something masterful, right out there, an anchor.

Listening to Da Da Da, by Trio, and even that first Madonna album we played over and over in her bedroom, us also owning the black rubber bangles she wore. Liz’s room, so beautiful and cream, right next to her white carrera marble bathroom, and her white, plush towels. Ever since, I have only had white towels in all my bathrooms, as an homage of sorts, to Liz. So, Liz, this morning I woke up missing you. Us. Us then. And then. And a bond of four. We shared a yearbook page all of us, and I did quote Pee Wee Herman, “Excuse me, I’m on the phone!” And you wrote, “We’re all living in a bovine world.” And having crushes on Aiden Quinn and being fascinated by Jennifer Beals in Flashdance. And going to the Olive Tree in the Village together, too young, as they served us sangria, at the age of fifteen. And The Clash and The Cars and Talk Talk. And The Cure.

So very soon after, we disbanded, like The Beatles, but neither the public nor any of us were crying or pulling out hair. Because it had been intense, and long, and a new, clear page awaited each of us to fill in.

I was going to write a blog today called “The Kindness of Neighbors,” but I find myself going to you, Liz. Us posing up on your roof, for our senior page layout, next to the water tower. How chic and cool and all in black and white — You and Marina were the editors, right? I don’t even fully remember if that’s certain. I remember, chiefly, your room.

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