Tag Archives: new orleans

You Deserve The Wave Today

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I like The Wave.  I want The Wave.  I want to kick the person’s butt who denies me The Wave.  Do you know of what I speak?   I am not talking about that thing in the sports stadiums that makes you get off your behind, flail your arms like a Muppet on crack, and spill stuff.  I am talking about that little acknowledgement you get from a fellow driver on the road.  The simple hand gesture that can say “please”, “thank you” or just “I acknowledge you exist”.  The Wave.

Never gave it much thought?  Well, neither did I.  That is, until The Wave was gone. (Feel free to hum a few bars of “Don’t know what ya got, ‘til its gone”, I did)…

Even during my 10 years in LA, where driving is sometimes like something out of a Mad Max movie (only without Tina Turner riding shotgun), you can still get The Wave – and I don’t mean the one where the middle finger is prominent (although, that one is generously given as well). I am talking about a true and significant appreciation Wave, enough, at least, to feel satisfied.

But then, I moved to New Orleans.  Now (disclaimer coming), New Orleans is a great city, with many wonderful attributes and people – boy, do they know how to throw a party. However, when it comes to The Wave, they are a big, fat void.  In my 5 years living there, no matter how hard I tried, begged, frantically waved, offered beads and occasionally even a boob flash (ok, not that one) I could never illicit a return or acknowledgement Wave in any way, shape or form.  And, I missed The Wave, desperately.

However, our next big move was to the Mid-West.  And, much to my pleasant surprise, Mid-Westians (Mid-Westers?) really know how to work The Wave.  You know how the Eskimos have 100+ words to express “snow” related things?  Well, that is how prolific Mid-Westians are with The Wave.  I kid you not (‘cause that would be so unlike me).  Here are just a few that come to mind:

The “Thank You” Wave.

The “No problem” Wave.

The “Go ahead, I’m in no hurry” Wave.

The “Sorry I did not see you there” Wave.

The “That’s Ok” Wave

The “Thanks for not honking at me even though I deserve it” Wave.

The “Sorry to make you wait while I cleaned up the juice my kid just spilled” Wave. (followed by…)

The “I can see that you are stressed and I won’t make it worse by honking at you” Wave.

The “We are just two cars passing on a country road” Wave.

The “I’m cool” Head-Wave.

The “I’m even cooler” Chin-Lift Wave.

The “I don’t want to take my hands off the wheel but want to greet you” Finger-Lift Wave.

The “You are welcome to pass my slow farm vehicle” Wave.

The “I’m sorry I was just a dork for cutting you off/getting in your way” Wave.

I possibly overuse this wave and therefore often receive back…

The “Never mind, it is ok that you are a dork” Wave.

The “Hello fellow truck owner” Wave (hubbys favorite)

The “I won’t smile at you but will still acknowledge you exist” Wave (my visiting Mom’s Fave).

And the truly unique, from my elderly pedestrian neighbor…

The “I am too involved in what I am doing to look up at you but here is my hand” Wave.

To which I always respond with…

The “I know you can’t see it but I will reciprocate anyway” Wave.

I love them all. Who knew such a small thing could speak volumes when silenced.  There are many things in life I can definitely live without – coffee  a 2nd cup of coffee,  an ab six-pack, shoulder pads, another social network, Journey to the Center of the Earth Part 3. 

But The Wave?  No, I know now, I need The Wave.

In fact, I deserve The Wave.

And so do you.

So, if you are ever out Mid-West way, look for me.  I’ll be the one giving you

The “Nice to see you ‘round these parts” Wave.

True Love By Way of a Kitty Dance and a Bucking Horse

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Over the years I have been encouraged to tell the serendipitous story of how my husband, Jim, and I found each other. Valentine’s Day seemed like a good time.  Honestly, I tried to keep it short, but it just isn’t that kind of tale.

I was 23, touring as a performer in the National IV tour of CATS.  He was 25, working at his family owned hotel in New Orleans, LA –  which is where the story begins.  The tour stopped in New Orleans for  2 weeks of performances and some of us ‘Kitty’s’ were thrilled to find and stay at his quaint, historic hotel.  Our first meeting occurred over a broken stove. I called the front desk to have someone come repair the stove in my room (this was when cooking actually seemed fun) and he showed up at my door. Over that hot and steamy repair job (kidding!) the attraction was immediate. We spent those 2 weeks together, getting to know each other.

After those two weeks, though, on I went with the tour to the next city.

Over the next several months we stayed in contact by letters (you know the handwritten thing that goes on paper).  We kept in touch while I finished the tour and went back to Los Angeles to continue my performance career and he cruised around South America starting an export business (the legal type – Alpaca sweaters) and around the US on the PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association) circuit as a Bull and Bronc rider (all true, I swear).

Finally, an agreement was made; he would come to LA to visit me.  However, not long after his arrival in LA, I informed him “I do not see this relationship going anywhere”.  In truth, I do not recall saying it in just this way (as he relayed to me some time later), but my Mom ratted me out by saying it sounded “exactly like something I used to say in those days”. (There went her Christmas present that year!).

Anyway, off he went, back to New Orleans. That was the last time we spoke.

7 years went by (yep, 7 years!).

In that time he continued with his export business, riding the Pro-rodeo PRCA circuit, and attending to the hotel.  I kicked around LA doing commercials & videos, singing in bands, marketing music artists, and doing what all aspiring performers do in LA –bartend, waitress and do odd jobs.

But, the pertinent part is, during that time, I had the pleasure occasion to kiss a lot of frogs. Cute some may have been, but none of which turned into a handsome prince (although, a few morphed into evil wizards with bad complexions).

Then, it happened.  One day, on the heels of the crown jewels of bad relationships, I was teaching Line Dancing at the trendy Denim & Diamonds Country Music Nightclub in Santa Monica (one of those odd jobs).  I happened to look up at the TV screen with the ever running assortment of ‘all things western’ and there he was; on the screen, in all his Pro-rodeo glory, riding a bucking horse (well, getting bucked off a bucking horse if you must know), in a PRCA rodeo in Texas. Thus began the obsessive thought process that would plague me for days on end:  “He was a really good guy”…”What was I thinking back then (as in, what an idiot I was)”…”man, I really blew that”…”I wonder what he is doing now…married???”

I spent days thinking and thinking about it; until I could not take the cosmic hammering anymore and decided to take action.

At the time, I was performing in a trio that was preparing to open up for Carlene Carter.  As the group was addressing promotional postcards with our picture on it (this is what one did before “social networking”), I addressed one to him at his hotel in New Orleans, which consequently his family still owned, with a small note (and, duh, my phone number) included. (oh, home-wrecker I’m not – one call to chatty desk clerk at hotel confirmed bachelorhood).

Since our final parting 7 years prior had been, ummm, not the best in his memory, he was prepared to possibly discard the greeting.  That is until his English friend (I knew I liked that bloke), in his never beat around the bush way, pointed out that due to the “positive physical attributes” displayed in the picture, perhaps at least a return phone call was in order (praise be the wisdom of guy-logic).

He did call.  Then he called again, many times.  And then we arranged to get together. Gullible Forgiving guy that he is, he, again, came out to see me in LA.  This time, I did not send him home with some stupid edict, but rather with the promise of a reciprocal visit to New Orleans and more.

And despite the fact that I bristled ever so slightly at the statement made by him some months later that if “anyone had ever told me I had already met the girl I was going to marry, I would never have thought of you” and he, annoyed by the fact that I had to slobber all over a bunch of frogs before finally getting it right…

We married a 1 ½ years later.

Well, 7 years and 1 ½ years later.

This year we will celebrate our 16th anniversary. I am thinking all those frogs and bucking livestock were well worth the trouble – which only goes to show that it is a good thing, life is what happens while you are busy making plans!

As author Saul Bellow so eloquently put it:  

“Unexpected intrusions of Beauty.  That’s what life is.”

Happy Valentines Day