Friday, December 30, 2005


In a former life, I competed internationally in latin ballroom dance. My partner and I spent nearly all our time (and a most regrettable sum of money) on lessons, choreography, costumes, travel, etc. And it was worth it. We didn't always win, but I learned a lot and had so much fun, and our biggest competition took us to England and France, places I had wanted to visit for a long time.

My passion for dancing never waned, but after several years, it was getting too expensive and too time-consuming, and I wanted to pursue other interests. So I retired at the young age of 25.

Troy and I stayed in touch at first, but it wasn't long until I stopped hearing from him. When I started singing with a swing band, I invited him to my gigs so we could dance again, even if only for a few songs, but he never showed. As time passed, we were more like strangers than friends who spent so many years together.

And then I got an unexpected call a few months ago. He told me that there would be a producer calling me later that day to set up a time to dance for some footage for a documentary they were filming about him. So after a four-year hiatus, I put on my dancing shoes again that night. It's funny how when you love something, you don't realize how strenuous it is. We used to spend two hours a night, four days a week practicing. And with all that exercise, I could eat anything I wanted. But that night, we were both completely out of breath in the first five minutes. And my body moved differently with a few extra years and pounds. But it was still a blast to dance again. (Even though I was sore for a week in places I had forgotten about!)

After we danced, they did an interview with Troy. Initially, I was asked to wait outside the room so he could be candid, but then he asked me to stay. I was saddened and horrified at the things I heard. He is a crystal meth addict. And homeless. And unemployed. And so many other things are wrong in his life. I spoke with him after we were done shooting, wondering how I could help him. But there was nothing I could do. As I learned with my brother, you cannot convince an addict to get help. They must decide on their own that it is time to quit. I didn't know what this was all for, but I sensed and hoped that somehow the experience was cathartic for him.

I got another call today. Troy is coming home. He was shipped off to rehab the morning after I saw him, where he has been for the last two months. He sounds happy, healthy, and optimistic, and I couldn't be more relieved. I learned that this was all for a show called "Intervention" on A&E, airing Sunday, January 8 at 10 pm ET. And since I could never do his story justice, I encourage you all to watch. I'd be curious to hear what you think.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Little Blue Box

I have purchased many things from the store with the signature blue box over the years. In fact, nearly every man in my life has, at some point, received a gift wrapped in a little blue box with white satin ribbon tied in a perfect bow. And yet, I have never received a gift in the coveted blue box. Got a ring once, and even that didn't come in the blue box.

It's not even a status thing. I promise. It's just that the jewelry and other items that they sell are superior in quality. And don't I deserve the very best?

My boyfriend and I celebrated Christmas last Sunday, because we would both be spending the holidays with our families on opposite coasts. And while I still longed for a gift in the little blue box, this was our first Christmas together and I did not expect that this would be the year I would finally get it.

The first gift I opened: a wireless router. Not on my wish list. But it was meant as a joke, and I get it. He always complains that he can't use his laptop at my house. (Yes, I still have a desktop.)

The second: lingerie. Even though it was from
my favorite lingerie store, so far, both gifts were more for him than for me. He is usually so romantic and thoughtful, but I was beginning to question how well he really knows me.

Moving on to my third gift - the one in the Victoria's Secret bag. I was sure it would be pretty, but not exactly what I wanted for Christmas. But inside the shiny pink bag lay the most beautiful turquoise blue box my eyes ever did see, complete with perfectly-tied satin ribbon. That would have been enough, but then inside the long-awaited little blue box was a beautiful pearl necklace. I never used to think I was a pearl girl, but when I put on the necklace, I became a believer. They are so smooth and radiant and heavy on my skin. And I feel so elegant and grown-up when I wear them. (And a little like Bree Van De Kamp.)

And so my years of waiting for the little blue box ends. Here are some simple (if also slightly cliche) truths that I now believe whole-heartedly:

  1. Good things do, in fact, come in small (preferrably blue) packages.
  2. All good things are worth waiting for.
  3. Do not judge a book by its cover (or, in this case, a package by its wrapping).

Merry Christmas! I hope Santa is good to those of you who have been nice, and even better to those of you who have been a little naughty this year.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Giving Thanks

I apologize to those of you who are still reading my blog (despite the lack of any recent posting activity) for my long, unexplained absence, and I hope that you all had a lovely Thanksgiving. In the spirit of the holiday season, I felt like publishing a list of some of the blessings for which I am thankful this year. Here they are, in no particular order:

I am thankful that everyone in my family is healthy. That there is no active cancer in anyone at this moment.
I am thankful that my parents celebrated 31 years together this year.
I am thankful that I still have two grandparents, although I miss the other two very much.
I am thankful for my niece, and for her sex-to-be-determined-but-much-to-my-chagrin-not-disclosed sibling that is on the way.
I am thankful for a wonderful boyfriend who loves me no matter what -- no matter how hormonal, how stressed, or how sick I am at any given moment.
I am thankful for my future in-laws for welcoming me into their home over Thanksgiving weekend.
I am thankful for a healthy voice, and many opportunities to share my love of music.
I am thankful for a job, albeit one that I do not always love.
I am thankful for my work girls, who make it bearable.
I am thankful for a home, albeit one that lately feels too small.
I am thankful for my girlfriends for their love, support, and for all the memories.
I am thankful for my puppy who can make me smile and laugh at the end of the day, no matter what else happened that day.
I am thankful for my anonymous friends in blogland, for the humor they provide and the thought they provoke.
I am thankful for forgiveness, and for my salvation.
I am thankful that I can breathe and see and hear and speak and walk.
I am thankful for the occasional moments of peace amid all the holiday dashing, during which I can reflect on how fortunate I have been this year and throughout my life.

May you all have a blessed and spectacular holiday!