Friday, November 20, 2009

Open Apology

Dear Cousin,

For years I've lived with the guilt of my misdoing.  I realize we were young, but there is no excuse for my behavior on that dreadful day, so many years ago.

Mom and dad took their annual excursion to Mexico but decided to leave me in your parents care.  Perhaps I was angry for being left behind and not included in the two day trek.  Maybe I was concerned that they would forget to bring my supply of cajeta and I'd have to resort to munching on wood chips with caramel to feed my addiction.  I honestly do not recall what triggered my ill temper, however, I do know an apology is long overdue.

I'm certain you recall the day; we woke early and quickly drank down our ponche, followed by a soft boiled egg.  We played in your bedroom for a while; Barbies, I'm sure.  We laid on the floor and drew, or rather you drew while I watched your skillful hand fill request after request for yet another of your sketches which  I later took to school to show off.

Before we knew it, it was lunch time.  Sandwiches were on the menu that day, followed by scrumptious homemade greasy donuts. Thinking back, I don't doubt the effect those donuts must have had on me.  Being the glutton I was...okay, still am....I recall eating more than my share until Auntie cut me off putting the donuts beyond my reach and sent us outside to play. 

We hit the backyard with purpose; both headed for the tricycle without regard for who might go down in the process.  One trike, two bodies, someone was gonna cry.  I still blame the effect of the donuts for slowing me down, doesn't matter now won.  The tricycle was yours; for the time being anyway.

I tried to entertain myself by running around after you as you skillfully took every turn in that 12 x 12 foot patio.  A speedway it wasn't but man you could maneuver that trike, Mario Andretti had nothing on you.  I'd forgotten how long it had been since my last visit but it was obvious you'd  been practicing.

Initially my chasing you around was fun enough but after about the 10th round, it was starting to get old...I wanted my turn and I wanted it now.  You refused.  I whinningly expressed my frustration and concern that you had had a fair amount of time but you just weren't ready to give up the trike.  I pleaded, begged and attempted sweet offers but you weren't biting.  Finally, I lost it. I called you something I'd regret for the rest of my life; "Stupid".  Even I had a hard time believing I'd said it, but I had "Stupid, stupid, stupid!".  I still recall the look that washed over your face.  I went from being your loving cousin to pond scum within seconds.  Crusty old gum at the bottom of a chair had more worth than I at that very moment.  I can hear your voice as you called out to me repeatedly to stop.  It was too late, I'd gone too far, I'd lost respect not only for you, dear God, but for myself.  My voice rang out again "Stooo-ooo-ooo-pid!".  I was out of control but the pain I was causing you gave me a sense of power until....I the doorway stood, your mom, my auntie, listening in disbelief.  I didn't know which way to turn.  Not only had I used foul, filthy, disgusting language, I'd been caught.

Regret immediately swallowed me up followed by shame for having used such language.  When had the "S" word had crept into my vocabulary?  How could I have stooped so low, I'll never know.  I tried playing the victim to your mom but she wasn't buying.  I, crusty old gum that I was, angered your mom so much I doubt she was ever the same.   I know she limited my donut intake from that day forward.  Could I blame her?

Now, so many years later, I find it necessary to free myself of the guilt by asking your forgiveness.  I'm not sure that I'm deserving, but it's a chance I have to take.  I know the distance has made it impossible for us to share as much as we'd like but just so you know I've tattooed a tear drop below my right eye in your honor.

Just as dry, crusty gum cannot bubble, until I hear you have forgiven me I will find no joy.  I apologize from the depths of my heart.

Unable to bubble in L.A.,

Elizabeth    well....Marie Elizabeth...Leonard    well...Marie Elizabeth Boza

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Not long ago a friend and I got on the topic of the how and when we "became young ladies".  Funny how for us woman this is something we have no problem sharing with friends.  Funnier yet might be how, when and where it did happened.  So, since it crossed my mind, and only God knows why, I may as well tell you my experience.

In the Summer of 1967 and at the ripe young age of 12, I became a "young lady".  Seconds before that, according to my mother, I was just a young girl.  I'd attended the 6th grade assembly at my elementary, only because mom had signed a paper in agreement. Heck! you don't think she wanted to explain the birds and the bees to me, do you?

From my recollection there were both girls and boys in the cafeteria that day and oh, how embarrassing it was.  I don't recall a whole lot except that when the lights went down there were giggles and snickering from both genders.  We sat and watched a little film with little drawings because we were little kids on our way to becoming young ladies and gentlemen.  Afterward, we walked out making every effort not to look each other in the eye which was not too difficult considering we walked back to class in single file.

As Summer rolled right up to my doorstep, so did my first period.  I recall entering the bathroom a child, yet, the hush in my mother's voice explained what had happened and with what I needed to do, I realized I was now a young lady.

Mom was always quiet and shy and this day proved to be no different.  When I called, she walked into the hallway and up to the bathroom.  I told her of my findings as quietly as humanly possible; she nearly fainted.  I wasn't afraid in the least bit for what was happening to me but mom on the other hand, must have been sitting in fear since the day she signed that dreadful note sent home suggesting I see the "little film".  I watched her as she walked to her room holding on to the wall so as not to fall.  When she returned she came prepared with the necessary supplies and either she took the time to apply the whitest foundation I've ever seen or the woman was near to passing out.  She was shaking so much she had a difficult time showing me how to wear that awful belt we wore in those days so she left me in the bathroom to tend to the awful deed of  figuring it out on my own.  I opened the bathroom door slowly and looked both ways down the hall.  Once sure there was no one around, I made a bee line to my room and stayed in there until the next morning.

As the days went by and the reality of womanhood set in I realized why everything was said in hush hush tones.  This was merely a quick training in how you must express yourself when you felt as if the A train itself was passing through your ovaries.  We mustn't scream.  We mustn't let anyone know we're no longer naive little girls, we're "young ladies" and young ladies go through cramps and mood swings and cravings and break outs and pure hell.   Sometimes we want to kill someone just because they look at us, but it's ok, it's part of being a young lady.  So, I came to terms with what life had dealt me, knowing soon enough all the other girls in my neighborhood would become equally insane during their time of month too. 

I remember wanting to lock myself in the house some days and it was during one of those that mom asked me to take the trash out.  Hesitantly I loaded up the bags and headed for the back gate.  My biggest fear was that I might run into one of my neighbor girlfriends and of course they'd know with one look that I was no longer a child.

Sure enough, I open the back gate to the alley where my best friend Sheron, who could smell me out across miles of desert, comes running over to ask me to go swimming.  Our conversation went something like this:
Sheron: Hey whatcha doin'?
Marie:  Taking out the trash
Sheron: Wanna come over and go swimming
Marie:  My mom won't let me
Sheron: Why not?
Marie: She just won't
Sheron: But Why?
Marie: Because
Sheron: Ask her
Marie: She won't let me
Sheron:  I'll ask her
Marie:  No
Sheron: Why?
Marie: Because she wont' let me
Sheron: What if I help you do chores
Marie: She won't let me

And on and on it went.  Sheron was a determined child.  I, wasn't smart enough to say "I don't want to, now leave me alone".  But, even if I had, Sheron did not like losing.  She was an only child and used to getting her way.

Of course, I was dying to go swimming but 1.) My mom had told me you can't swim when you're on your period and 2.) I didn't have the guts to tell Sheron I'd started my period.  I didn't want anyone to know.  It was possibly the most embarrassing thing that had every happened to me and telling Sheron was like telling everyone. Besides wasn't it obvious enough?  Couldn't she just tell by looking at me?  I was a young lady now; not a child.

I remember my mom asking me to go with her to the store one day.  We drive into the Thrifty parking lot and she says "here's some money, go in and buy some Kotex".  WHAT!? I felt like she was asking me to kill the president right then and there.  My jaw dropped and I cried "Mom, I can't".  She said "yes you can, what's so hard about that?"  I was thinking I'm too young, I have no experience at this, people will be staring at me, they'll know!  I fought and fought to not have to go into the store that day but she was convinced it was time for me to learn.   OMG!  From the time I walked in until I got back in the car, it felt as if I was under a spotlight.  All eyes were on me buying feminine products.  They knew! Everyone knew and I'm sure they went home and talked about it at the dinner table.  What was my mother trying to do to me?

Eventually I told Sheron and she was understandable mad at me for not telling her that day.  She was actually envious of me....poor girl, what did she know.  At that age we were in such a hurry to grow up and Sheron couldn't wait for her turn.  I wonder....does she feel the same way now?

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Nicknames.  They're a strange thing, arent' they.  Take mine for instance; Bedgie.  Not one I would ask for but there it is, Bedgie.  You may or may not care to know how it came about so if you care, read on.  If not, catch ya on the fly.

So I'm, what, maybe 8, 9 years old.  My oldest brother, Rusty, little sister Michele and I are in my mom and dad's room.  She's on the bed and brother is trying to teach her to say my name.   Agh....that's another story because....deep to shorten it.  Ok, just read middle name is Elizabeth (Marie Elizabeth, very regal, I know) first name Marie.  Dad wanted to name me Elizabeth and mom won out, naming me after my grandmother....argh....well, kind of; Marie is not exactly Maria de Los Angeles, thank you Jesus, but I'm trying to get to my point here.

So Michele is on the bed with Rusty and he says "say Elizabeth", come on bro, she can hardly say "mama", so she says "Bedgie".  Can you blame her?  She's on the spot.  She's being asked to perform in front of a crowd of one.  She panics and out comes Bedgie.  Of course I laughed, are you nuts?  I was young too.  Insensitive to how much damage I could do to a mere toddler.  I laughed, he laughed....I thought we were over it and moving on but NOoooo.  Rusty insists on calling me Bedgie.  Did he consider the life long effect it would have on my very being?  Did he consider we'd have to come up with the proper spelling?  Did he consider giving my sister a second chance at the pronounciation and the possibility of her blurbing out something a little cuter?  Of course not.  Why would he do that when Bedgie sounds utterly rediculous.  Way to go brother!

Aaaaah, how could I have overlooked that he has a nickname as well. His name is not Rusty.  It's Daniel A. Leonard V.  Apparently our parents thought we'd be royalty some day and gave us names that would be acceptable within the court.   My brother being a red head, blue eyed, first born and suspect to being the Helms man's son (OK, dont' take that anywhere, it's a family joke) gets a nickname that's a little more acceptable.  Rusty.  I'm sure he's not the first Rusty you've head of.

My brother Greg, royalty as well, is Gregory James Leonard.  And consolation prize, as my dad called her, Michele Camille Leonard.  I'm not sure it's got a royal ring but it does sound upper middle class at the very least.  These two for some odd reason are left to short cut nicknames only.  Gregory being Greg, like who wouldn't figure that out and Michele being Shell.  I wonder if they didn't feel cheated and maybe we should think something more engaging up for them.  After all, when people hear my name for the first time, it's always followed by conversation.

I suppose I just wanted to bring to your attention the fact that I enjoy nicknames.  I saw a picture of a friend of mine recently and his.....dare I say it?  His....nipple was showing.  Nothing meant to be portrayed as risqué, but there it was...his nipple.  I suggested we nickname him Nipples but got no response.  Why?  What's wrong with Nipples as a nickname.  People just don't take me serious.

My husband Juan Carlos Boza is called a number of things.  Some I can actually print are Juanca, JC or Juanchin.  It's obvious to me by our names, he and I were meant for bigger things.  And we're still waiting, mind you.

My friend Bunny.  Her's is not totally unusal either, except for the fact that it was originally Bumpy because she bumped into everything as a child.  How and when it changed to Bunny, I don't recall but I've known her since kindergarten and she's always been Bunny to me.

My friend Marsha. We call her Marsh.....that came out of pure laziness.  Adding the "a" to the end of Marsh was just too much to ask.

I'm sure we all know someone with a nick name.  Are there any as rediculous as mine?  Just a one?

Kreativ Blogger Award

My good friend Bunny from I'm Just Say'n passed this award on to me.

Thanks Bun, for thinking enough of me to do so and Congratulations on being a recipient!  

I've been blogging for just a short time now and find that it allows me an opportunity to express myself and share with others just what I'm feeling; good or otherwise.  Of course you never know who'll be reading what you write.  Some will agree, others disagree with what you have to say and that's all part of the fun.

The other part is that there truly is an amazing amount of creatively interesting people in this world.  So to those of you if fit into that category, my hat is off to you for allowing yourself to be vulnerable to the rest of the world.  Continue to use your talent in which ever way you see fit whether it be designing, storytelling, encouraging, writing, performing or blogging, for in the words of William Shakespeare:
All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts...

One of our parts seems to be that of the blogger, no?

As a recipient of this gracious award I am required to follow certain steps in order to keep hold and not have my award withdrawn.  Darn, nothing in this life is free!  But, in this case, I find it a joy to be able to share my friends and their talents with you so here are the rules.  Read carefully for if you received an award from me,  you too will need to follow through.

1. Thank the person who gave this to you
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog
3. Link back to the person who nominated you
4. Name 7 things about yourself that no one would really know....
5. Nominate seven 'Kreativ Bloggers'
6. Post links to the seven blogs you nominate
7. Leave a comment on each blog letting them know you nominated them...

Seven Things about myself no one really knows..................
1.  I'm afraid I've lost my ability to sing.  Since having laryngitis earlier this year, I feel like I never recovered completely. 
2.  I had two surgeries in one week.  One planned, the other a total surprise.
3.  I'm totally, absurdly allergic to calcium in any form.  Yes, really.  
4.  I always wanted four children and even though I have four, only one is my natural child.  God does answer prayers even if it isn't in the way we expect! 
5.  I miss acting and dancing something terrible (like all the time).  I'm sad that, for the most part, my time has passed. 
6.  My first car was a Volkswagen bug.  Because it's so small, I was always afraid I would get in an accident and break my legs, leaving me unable to dance.
7.  I often dream of moving to Spain.  I think I'm just not over Flamenco and wish I could still be dancing. Hey!  I can dream.

Here are 6 bloggers I would like to pass this award on to...(sorry, I know it should be 7 but some of those I follow are not blogging these days..hmmmm...)

2. Norma @ Blogeritaville
6. Ruben @  Rattus Scribus

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Deep down inside, we're still the same

Earlier this year I started a group on Facebook called "Rio Hondo College 1976 - 1982 Theater Group".  If you're not familiar with FB (as all the cool people call it), it's a connecting site.  Lots of fun but if you don't watch it, time consuming.

My reason for starting the page was to reconnect with some wonderful people I met years ago while learning the art of acting.  Rehearsals leading up to performance take a great amount of time so whilst your sitting around waiting for your turn on stage, you really get to know the other actors.

The first few months, after starting the page, were a little disapointing.  I invited friends but only had three become members.  Three.  Not four, not even five; 3.  As happy I was to have those three on board...muah, muah, I love all three of you....(just in case they're reading), I was hoping for so much more.  So much for connecting.

Finally I asked the 3 members to invite anyone they'd kept in touch with, since I alone was not able to get results.  Either they lied to me about having invited others or the four of us were much less popular than I'd imagined possible. I wondered, have I been reminiscing about my past and making the whole thing up in my mind or did it actually happen.  Am I as immature as my daughter says I am and no real adults really join this FB thing; can't be half my church is on there.  Okay, maybe my entire church is made up of immature adults.  What's going on that we cant' attract any new members?  

Then one day I get an invitation (on Facebook) to join a small gathering to see a friend (also on Facebook) who's visiting from out of state and would like me to be in attendance.  Yippie!  Of course I go and there at that little gathering, a dear friend sits claiming he doesn't have time to join FB or anything of the like.  Aha!  Bet me!  Some how I talk him into checking it out, send him an invitation to be a "friend" and after much deliberation, he joins.

Well, long story short, to date we have 25 members.  Now that isn't a huge number but considering we had a sloooooow start, I'm excited.  I'm thrilled.  I bowled over.  The really amazing part is, after all these years (approximately 28 or so), I'm finding that we just don't change.  We may change in shape, we may change in financial status, we may even change in religious beliefs but deep down inside, we're still the same.  We're loving, we're funny and we're creative. Some have continued on in the arts. Others, like myself, moved on to do other things making the artistic part secondary while still holding on to some of  the dream.   

It's been a joy "hooking up" with these long time friends.  It's as if time stopped and we're still the same young whipper snappers we once were.  Or maybe they're all just as immature as my daughter insists I am.  Either way, I'm so pleased that we've reconnected.  Can't wait until our reunion next Saturday night and the next one to come at the end of January. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

When did I age and how did I not see it coming?

So I suppose I'll have to admit here and now; age has crept in.  Like an unwanted weed it seems to keep showing up in the most unlikely places.

I get out of bed; age shows up.
I bend down; age shows up.
Eat the wrong food......who invited you?
Stay up too late, Leave me alone!.

I consider myself blessed in that most people are surprised by my age.  I know this because they frequently comment "Wow!  I never would have known".  Is that supposed to make me feel good?  And I tell those who ask what my secret is; "immaturity will keep you young and admit your age to everyone but yourself".

Of course those who are older will always say, "tisk, tisk, your still young".  For the most part, I agree...I must be younger than someone.  But when the majority of your co-workers could be your children, well, let's not fool ourselves; we're getting up there.

One of the things that makes me more aware of my age is looking at old pictures and just recently a friend posted a picture of me when I had no waist.  I don't mean because it was so grown out, I mean because it was so darn small I could have wrapped the tape measure around myself multiple times. Why didn't I appreciate it when I didn't have it?

This picture really discourages me from taking full bodied pictures so I try to focus on the face, if only I could find the right angle to take a picture. If my head is lowered the little pockets (ok, BAGS), under my eyes look as though I'm over packed for a 3 week trip to Europe. If the lighting isn't right it looks like they've mapped the United States all over my face; who needs a GPS?    

Although I'm still quite agile there are positions that are better not attempted.  I was helping my daughters choreograph a dance for church and removed my heeled shoes so as not to fall.  I attempted to turn my foot, stuck on the wood flooring and pulled a muscle that had me limping for a week.   No, I'm not kidding.

Today someone at work asked me what I used on my face "so I can use the same thing when I get old".  Talk about a back handed compliment.  Good thing I don't like him, it saves me the trouble of getting mad at him. It's lucky for him my memory is going too; by tomorrow I'll probably forget the whole thing and like him all over again. 

I've decided I must do whatever it takes to make myself look younger.  For that reason I am accepting friendship applications.  For those interested in applying you must meet at least three of the following criteria:

A full head of gray hair
Arthritis in at least one limb
A notarized birth certificate from 1945 or earlier
Nylons that bag at the ankles
Facial hair growing from unusual places
Veins that protrude from your hands and feet
Thick, curled toenails

 For those seriously interested, please include your weight.  Anyone weighing less than I, will not be considered.  Sorry.