Monday, July 2, 2012

I Heart NY...Even Its 'Housewives'

As you can see, it's been over a year since I've posted.  No excuse, other than a few little things like planning a wedding, having surgery, and co-leading teacher trainings have pulled me away from writing.  At times, blogging also seemed a bit self-indulgent, so I shied away from it.  I have missed writing, though, and it's funny where those little realizations come from.  Mine came while watching the first episode of this season's Real Housewives of New York.  There, I said it.  I love the show.  (Please don't judge.)  Anyway, Carole Radziwill is my new hero.  It is a mystery how such a smart cookie wound up on a show that often defies intellect, but I am enthralled.  I grew up fascinated by 5 things other than loved ones and dance:  NYC, writing, the news, the Kennedys, and music.  Carole Radziwill is an acclaimed author and ABC News journalist, a New Yorker, and she married into the Kennedy family.  She is currently dating a musician who tours with one of my favorite bands, Aerosmith.  She kills me.  I'm in awe.  So, I decided to read her book, What Remains.  It's wonderful.  Well-written, genuine, and tells a great story.  I feel fortunate to have read several stellar books this year that have reminded me how much I love to read.  What Remains reminded me that I also love to write.  So, I am giving this blogging thing another go.  Which leads me back to...the Real Housewives.

I watch the show each week to my husband's cringing and disappointment.  "Why are you watching this? It's not expansive!  You're killing brain cells!   It's so negative!", he pleads.  My stock response is, "Well, it's not just me!  Anderson Cooper watches it, too, ya know!!!"  I have to admit, though, that I have begun to question how a smart cookie like me wound up loving this absurd show.  The answer hit me one morning, the moment I opened up my Facebook page (my other go-to time-waster.)  A generous portion of my "Facebook friends" are yogis.  I am presented each day with posts offering life lessons, positive affirmations, inspirational quotes, and more x's and o's and uses of the word "beautiful" than you would ever think possible.  And most days, I soak it up and bask in it, this heavy dose of sunshine.  Most days, I am that person.  Sometimes I even borrow one of the quotes and read it to my students in the hopes of making their days brighter.  When it works, I get hugs and thank you's.  I truly believe that the world would be a better place if everyone took deeper breaths and practiced more yoga and meditation.  I love a good quote.  I believe in the law of attraction.  I love hugs.  I make vision boards.  And what could possibly be wrong with that?  Nothing.  And that's the problem.

It occurred to me that morning that, if an alien looked at my Facebook page, he'd surely report back to his ummm...tribe?... that Earthlings drive unicorns and poop rainbows.  The reality is that sometimes life is difficult and messy and painfully imperfect.  Here in shiny, sparkly LA, with it's perfect weather and perfect bodies, I sometimes long for the grit of New York.  I miss the cold winters and sticky summers.  I miss the honking horns and bustling crowds.  I miss seeing women in their 50's with naturally gray hair.  I miss the cranky hot dog stand guy who unabashedly yells obscenities at a rude customer without the slightest fear of appearing (gasp!) "negative".  You see, I love New York because, even with all of this ugliness, it is still one of the most luminous, energetic, abundant, and beautiful places to be.  It is balanced.  It is real.  It is the city that never sleeps and therefore a place where I feel incredibly awake.  Even many of my favorite yoga teachers~Vinnie Marino, Seane Corn, Jesse Schein~ are all from (you guessed it!) the tri-state area.

I harbor no delusions that Real Housewives of New York offers even remotely as much actual reality as the City in which it plays out.  It's so silly, and none of them is even really a housewife--they all work!  However, if my days are full of love and light and positivity, is it so wrong to tune in to a little appalling, train wreck, mean-girl drama every now and again?  I think it's ok.  It makes me feel balanced.  It reminds me that ugly and crazy and shocking are out there, lurking.  And it gives me a peekaboo glimpse of the shops, restaurants, and sights that I miss.  So, this summer, Anderson Cooper and I will continue to bust out the popcorn and watch the bad behavior unfold (sorry, sweetie).  And I will allow myself to have bad days.  And I will not touch up my roots.  And if someone darts out in front of my car, I'm going to honk.  In other words, I am determined to keep things...real.


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