Sunday, May 14, 2006

Strangers in the Park & the Bar Mitzvah

Yesterday I went to Central Park with some people I'd met on the internet. I'm sure if I say it that way to someone like my grandmother (and it's Mother's Day, so I'll be talking to her later so it's likely) it sounds a bit shady. But, no, it was bright sunshine (after a dim cloudy morning) and thousands of women at the Self Magazine Workout in the Park, where I met three women from the online fitness forum we all frequent. It was strange, as much as meeting anyone in person you've only know from an online communication usually is, but also fun. The event itself was rich with goodies, freebies from the magazine's advertisers, and some fun workouts, including a Bollywood hip-hop and cardio striptease.

But am I too paranoid? Two of the women took pictures, which was fun, and they emailed them to me and the other woman who was there. The others on our fitness forum, all non-NYCers who were envious of our ability to get together and do this, can see the ones that each of us attaches to our own postings. But many of the others are now asking to have the whole set emailed to them. I don't know why it bothers me that someone who wasn't there is interested in having copies of the photos that she can see on the message board (albeit in a smaller version), but it does. I just think it's weird to have photos of me emailed to someone who I've never met and never will. Can't she just see them on the message board? Is it just me?


Two young women at checkout registers today asked me if I were a "Mom" so they could wish me a "Happy Mothers Day." I'm not, and neither were either of them (because I felt it my duty to ask.) It didn't bother me, although the second time I walked out feeling a little sad. Not because I'm not a mom, but because they were being kind. It's not often that you get kindness from retail workers these days, and I was reminded of how much I like living in my neighborhood-y neighborhood, where real people work and live.

I think it's PMS, too. I got really weepy during "Keeping Up With the Steins" today. (That's a tough title - I keep thinking of "Kissing Jessica Stein.") It was an okay movie, a little dull, but with a very realistic and human tone. A competitive father wants to throw his son a bigger and better bar mitzvah party than his business rival. It sounds like it could be a really bad slapstick comedy, but it's thankfully not - more of a small, family-centered comedy, with some truly nice moments. (A split second of frontal nudity and several long seconds of backside nudity of Garry Marshall not included.) (The film is directed by his son Scott.) (I'm not sure why I thought that important to mention at that moment.)

Anyway, I'm not Jewish, nor have I ever been to a bar mitzvah, so I have no sentimental associations to blame, but I found myself getting choked up when the boy was reading during the ceremony. I guess it's fitting that my hormones make me sensitive to a kid who's about to grapple big time with his own.


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