I had a great lady, Carol Weinberg, who I featured in my shop section because, well, she brought spray tanning into my home. Literally into my home. She showed up with her blow up tent, we went downstairs, and in 10 minutes it looked like I time warped and went from Saddle River to Ibiza. I love having a year round “glow.” For one thing, tanning makes your legs look thinner, which I’ll take any time of year, and the tan thigh and your thigh high boots don’t look like chicken cutlet against licorice. Covering a few varicosities didn’t hurt either.
But, Carol’s schedule got so hectic it became tough to keep up with regular bronzing sessions. I don’t want to look like that mom who 'over tanned' ... and although we share the same state, we don’t share the same thoughts on parenting or when tan looks like the side of a FRYE boot. So, in order to kick it up a step from natural winter, I found a new friend, JERGENS NATURAL GLOW MOISTURIZER (JNGM).
Now, nothing comes between me and my True Blue Moisturizer, except three or four days of JNGM. I look evenly tan without looking like a Cheeto. One thing I will tell you is to buy up a shade. I’m white girl and I purchase MEDIUM TO TAN skin tones, rather TAN to FAIR skin tones.
I am happy to say, my “sunny” disposition and white body still crave my summer sun, but we don’t look like we are.
So, a Gold Star to this Jergens Gem … give it an even rub on your need-a glow body, and I promise you will be in love with a new in-between moisturizer.
They say you never forget your first love. My only problem is that I knew my first love totally existed, but there is no way in hell he knew I existed. Like really, no way. He was seventeen years my senior and when I fell in love with him, I was ten and he was twenty-seven. But, I was determined to make it work. I had many long term family goals with him, and it would all come to fruition, even if only in my own mind.
I was dreamy-eyed, not even a teeny-bopper, yet, but I will never, ever forget how I felt every time I saw him, and made up stories in my head about how he would fall in love with me, even at such a young age. We would break all May-December age barriers and he could care less if I didn’t even have my twelve year molars or a drivers’ license. He would just fall madly in love with me and wait until we could get married when I turned eighteen. Then we would just stay starry-eyed and have lots of babies, and I would be the envy of every teen girl turned soccer mom. That’s how it would work. My only problem lie in the logistics of making this all happen: how could I meet David Cassidy and make him fall in love with me? In my pre-pubescent mind, we had a house, a family, I was a big deal on the Hollywood wives circuit, and he adored me and nobody else. Nice try…
Well, here I am forty years later, and guess what, it never happened. And even worse, he’s gone. Just gone. hocking to find out that David Cassidy was just that, a mere mortal. He had organs that succumbed to years of torture and abuse? He was not built like Steve Austin? He was whatttttt? A human, created from other humans with chromosomes and pitfalls? This was impossible! A teenage nightmare! Yet, at 67 years of age, the fantasmagoric, pretend, fantasy boyfriend of every girl in my age group, and possibly even twenty years older, left none of us with a chance at fulfilling the same celebrity-commoner relationship enjoyed by Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise, and today, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. David left this world on November 21, 2017, only to return in a Partridge Family rerun or a downloaded album on I-Tunes. It actually left me with a void and a heartbreak I wasn’t prepared for, or maybe a scar that my childhood died along with him, or the cockamamie fantasy of ever being Mrs. Cassidy was really a goner.
I guess the fact that I am married with eight children really wouldn’t have been an obstacle. I would have somehow worked around it, even if David and I just became friends. (Wink wink). We would love him and bring him into our family, since I think that’s what he may have needed most, and the lack of it drove him to a life of sloppy and fearless debauchery long after Keith Partridge cut his hair and hung up his hip huggers.
My husband obviously had no fear that David and I would become star crossed lovers. He’s the one who bought me tickets to David’s concert here in NJ a few years ago at the NJPAC. I was the youngest female in the room, and I swore the women in the audience were going to start taking off their bras and panties when David began to croon “I Think I Love You.” Of course he would spot me in the audience and it would be all over for the rest of them…but that didn’t happen. My husband felt the need to assuage my desire for David by taking me to hear him sing after he found a love letter I had written him that he needed oxygen to recover from after reading because he could not control his laughter. I didn’t find it very funny. I thought the letter, professing my undying love and desire for him written in crayon on that triple spaced penmanship paper they give you in Catholic school was rather tempting and seductive.
I decided a long time ago that both of David’s wives were not pretty enough and undeserving. First Kay Lenz and then Sue Shifrin whom he was married to for 25 years just until 2016. I guess maybe they weren’t really ugly, it’s just that he was so beautiful I couldn’t figure out the attraction. It was all out of jealousy, really. He never met me. Lol
I didn’t realize until the last few years, what an unfortunate train wreck David had become. I’m not sure his life of addiction was born from something in his unfulfilled home life, or genetic. I remember seeing his mugshot from a DUI he was nailed for in Saratoga, NY, and I was horrified, yet mesmerized at the same time. What happened to Keith? Where was his hair, that perfect smile, that perfect skin? Keith was long, long gone, and it seemed David could not adjust, many years later to the not-so-teenage idol any more, and just crumbled into the private sector. I was sad. Very sad. I still loved him, but the image was daunting.
As stories poured in after his death at an untimely 67, even the posthumous accounts of his shattered life could not dissuade me from the fantasy I carried for forty years. As a matter of fact, it made him even more human and I felt he really yearned for “normal,” for “real,” for a home-cooked meal or a meatball on Sunday. Something he probably never had.
I read a piece about him where he was pulled over for a DUI and the cop who stopped him was named “Tom Jones.” Well, guess what an open door that was. Apparently David looked up at him and said “What’s new pussy cat?” Shows some bravado and a sense of humor. The timeliness of the one liner may not have been the most judicious, but I am still laughing about what a great line it was.
So, as I look back on the unrequited love I shared with David, I know that one of the reasons I loved music so much and broke into singing was because I couldn’t get enough of him. He wasn’t a great singer, a great actor or a great dancer, but there was enough of something that launched him into superstardom and into the fantasy of every teenage, drooling, swooning girl in the 70s. Even though so many years passed and David pretty much wrote his own destiny, there is a piece of my heart he will always have that will never belong to anybody else. I joked with my friend who was my rival for David’s fantasy wife, that had he met me now, I could have fixed him. And, now, 50 to a 67-year-old guy would be “hot.” LOL
Farewell to my first true love. May you now find what you were lacking in your life, and thank you for giving a little kid a dream that would never materialize, but one so beautiful, it would last a lifetime.
Please read my coming soon interview with Ann Moses, who I am so excited to connect with. For those of you who remember Tiger Beat (I do!), Ann was an editor there and had exclusive coverage of David and the Partridges. We will be giving away a copy of her book, “MEOW, MY GROOVY LIFE WITH TIGER BEAT’s TEEN IDOLS.” Don’t touch that dial.
I guess somewhere in in the early 80s, to the best of my recollection, I was attracted to baseball. Looking back, I’m not sure if the attraction was to the sport or the guys who played it. In reality there were some really ugly ballplayers, but as soon as they put on a uniform and grabbed a glove, they were instantaneous hunks, ready for battle, similar to Vikings who put on those masculine Malmström, Doeplers and titanium chest protectors, butt ugly but so ready for battle they made the shield-women drool.
I think the Bronx pinstripes did me in, and after watching one game on PIX 11, it was all over. I dragged my friends into the Yankee milky way with me, and the X chromosome section of Yankee Stadium was born. My friend Annette and I used to drag her very, very patient and unaware father to all these games, and we ran around the stadium eating, drinking Pepsi, (no soda allowed in my house), and learning the sport we thought would land us baseball husbands. Needless to say neither of us scored a star athlete, and as the years went by, although my love for the Bronx Bombers has never wavered, I got a more adult glimpse into what it’s probably like to be married to a professional athlete, and well, I think I’m waaaaay better off.
Somewhere between say, 1984 and 2017 I had the privilege of working with the Yankees in a few capacities and made a few connections along the way. Some, I was honored to meet like the Scooter, Phil Rizzutto, and my baseball sweetie and Montclair, NJ heartthrob, Yogi Berra, and some were just such stuffed shirts they probably wear the same suit to bed and cut deals in their dreams. But, God always has a plan, and in the mix, somehow, I had the privilege of meeting the classiest guy in baseball, (next to Yogi), former Yankees manager, Joe Girardi.
Joe and his wife, Kim unbeknownst to me took a Perillo tour in 1995, before they became parents. When I met Joe for the first time in Toronto about ten years ago, the first thing he said to me was that he took a trip with us. I was so impressed that he humbled himself as Yankee skipper at that moment to approach me. Since then, I have done a few vacations for Joe and Kim, making arrangements for the Girardi family with simple, demand-free plans. Joe and Kim are easier to work with than the every day no celebrity client.
Whether we were in the throes of planning a trip or not, I would text Joe here and there to say “great game, way to go, etc…,” and he always responded, even to little old me. I was impressed with each and every response, because it was just that, a response. I have nothing to offer from a sports perspective, a gazillion dollar contract laced with endorsements, or a huge, money making appearance. He responded because I reached out to him, and as important, unimportant, impressive or unimpressive my text was at that moment, he took the 20 seconds to acknowledge it. (And, of course, we are paesani). This speaks volumes of a man who cares about those around him, and who acknowledges the “little people,” the same as if his agent were calling.
Was I caught off guard when the Yanks and Joe parted ways? I can’t say I was shocked because the Yankees didn’t win, and Joe’s contract was petering out. The Yanks need to win, even when they aren’t winning, and I guess this didn’t sit well with the higher ups. I always felt a manager really was about morale, and not a babysitter for MLB players who get paid a million dollars an at bat to produce. But whatever, I’m not on the innards of a billion dollar team. I’m just a thirty five year boy crazy observer.
Maybe Joe was finished with the Yankees. Maybe the Yankees were finished with Joe. Maybe we just won’t know. But what I do know is that underneath the shroud of “celebrity,” which can effect those who have been laureled with this dubious distinction in sometimes the most egotistical way, there is Joe Girardi, the guy who has embodied all a Yankee should be, or all they perceive to be, or, rather, all they want you think they are: clean shaven, handsome, classy, suit donned winners. Joe, wherever you go, you are a winner. Thanks for always being, well, a nice guy. And in the end, that’s what gets you to heaven.
We hadn’t cruised in a long time. I’m thinking this might have something to do with the last two cruises we took: the one to Bermuda where everyone got seasick and Valentina ate a hot dog from her vomit and I had my one and only chemical pregnancy (different from a miscarriage). Or, the *(&^%$ cruise where Eva, age two, got some kind of bug and was in the cabin on borderline IV fluids, gray and motionless. Good times.
We have also had a few good ones to remember which continuously evokes the romantic feeling of that big ship, the all-inclusive, no brainer type of travel. So, since I changed venues for my big 50th, we decided to venture again. Al and I looked at each other and took a big breath, and said ok, let’s give it a shot.
I put my trust and my money in the hands of Melissa Zagans at NCL, and she did not disappoint. We took a Western Caribbean cruise with ports: Miami, Roatan, Belize, Cozumel and Costa Maya. A few caveats I will report later, but all in all, I was completely impressed.
The Norwegian Escape is a mega ship, but that’s what made it so great. It was literally a floating hotel. It was one of the widest, quietest vessels I had been on in my life, and I have to say, I have a tendency for sea legs, but not while I was on board. Sometimes I didn’t even feel the motion at all. (It wasn’t until I got home I had pretty bad rocking for a good three days...ugh).
The food was excellent. The Garden Café was by far; the best cruise buffet I have ever experienced. The selections were always fresh, and incredibly endless, all day, every day. It was creative, non repetitive and the kids just ate and ate. I had my first turkey and ricotta sandwich…wow!! No gaps either from breakfast to lunch to dinner, snacks. They get an A+ here.
Al and I treated ourselves to a HAVEN suite for my big b-day, with a connecting cabin for the little ones and a family cabin for the older kids. Both of the kids’ cabins seemed tiny, until we discovered the top bunk in the ceiling, which was fun for the kids, and added to the sleeping space. Our suite was nothing I had ever experienced on the high seas…spacious and hotel like…large bathroom, the most comfortable bed, ever… (I’m not the only one who thinks so…https://blissbedcollection.com/) the HAVEN amenities were also out of the park with a separate restaurant, pool, sundeck, bar and lounge all reminiscent of a 5-star hotel. Well worth the extra bucks for fun and comfort.
The casino was a ding-ding winner as far as beauty and space, although my wallet didn’t seem to think so, but my luck is nobody’s problem but mine. Lol But, it was so big and roomy you didn’t feel like you were on a ship. Gone I guess are the days of the six slot machines and three tables. Plenty here to sustain your gambling habit.
The kids enjoyed the pools, although, and this is very typical of any ship because of space constraints, they were crowded, but they had two super slides, one of which goes over the water, and the sports deck on the top of the ship was awesome. There was tight-roping, zip lining, mini golf, basketball and other stuff to keep everyone occupied on days at sea. FYI the zip lining and tight-roping is only good if you can channel your inner Evil Kenevil or Arthur Fonzarelli…some moralistic support from Kris Angel might be good, too.
Now, as for the caveats, which, as I found out, seems to be congruent with many luxury liners these days. These did not really put a damper on a great a great vacation, but equivalent to that fly that keeps landing on your food at a barbecue. It’s stuff to be aware of before booking. Always read the fine print.
1. DINING: NCL offers Free Style Cruising, which means free style dining as well, which I love. Gone are the stuffy cruising days of two seating dinners, same waiters, be on time and get dressed, formal evenings. We kind of just said, let’s shoot for whatever time, and even as a group of eleven, we showed up at a restaurant and we ate!
NOW… NCL as well as some other lines offer restaurants above and beyond your cruise price, which are yummy, (Al and I dined away from the kids one night ... guilt!) but, there are more of them than “complementary dining”.
You can certainly add on the ULTIMATE DINING PACKAGE which will cost you more, but allow you much more variety: Japanese, Italian, Brazilian (Churrascaria) and even Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville (which is completely a la carte). There was a decadent bakery, Gelateria and even Starbucks, but of course, all out of pocket.
Complementary dining was all good and we rotated for seven nights. As a basic diner, you could eat in the specialty restaurants but for 15-25.00 per person additional. That would have been a few nights in the casino for one night at dinner for us. If you are traveling as a couple or a smaller family, the upcharges may be ok and worth it.
2.SERVICE CHARGES: Tipping was included…or so I thought…hmmm...but each passenger gets charged approx. 14.00 (yes, per person) per day for service charges, which even when I approached guest services were nebulous. I found out from a friend who sailed on another line recently, she was charged the same. The upside to this is, I did not tip anybody else when I left. So, the good with the bad, I guess.
3. BELIZE: NCL cultivated an island off mainland Belize. There is not even a glimmer of the mainland unless you took an optional tour, but we were fine with the relaxation of the beach and pool. I thought I would have the same privileges as Disney’s Castaway Cay, where everything was on my room charge, and I would be able to eat and drink to my tropical delight. The island was beautifully landscaped, a huge, deliciously inviting pool and the beach was pristine, adequate chairs, (not a lot of shade…lots of searching for umbrellas if you got off the ship too late), gorgeous surroundings. But, surprise, surprise…nothing was included...not even my room charge, and my poor AMEX felt left out and orphaned because they didn’t accept her anywhere. :( Food, drink …all extra. We hung out for a while and got back on the ship, along with most of the passengers in search of food and sustenance they had already paid for.
NCL did a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious-ly job of keeping the kids and me entertained. What a jolly, well organized entertainment staff!!! My girls fell in love with Tyler Gray and Jackie Tang who were the most enthusiastic, effervescent hosts I had ever had the honor of playing Bingo with! There was always some fun show or game going on somewhere on the ship that appealed to everyone! And, as my husband can attest to, superlative karaoke!
Cruising, in general, is one of the best bangs for your buck (usually) for family travel. It keeps everyone in one spot, while simultaneously allowing for some frolicking, freedom and fun for parents and kids. Your kids can pretty much roam free but can’t get very far.
Hip Mom Hint: Read ALL the fine print and be an educated traveler.
HIP MOM HINT:
When applying eye shadow around the corner or under your lid, and ALWAYS on your lid before shadow, make sure you use a creaseless primer like Eye Shadow Primer Potion from Sephora.
Sephora loves me. So does Ulta, Blue Mercury, and anybody else who sells make-up. I have tried a lot of &*^%....but in trying a lot of ^&*%, sometimes you find a winner, and a lot of losers. If I can’t look like Christie Brinkley looks at 63, why bother.
Foundation has been a big problem for me. I had teen acne and coupled with sensitive skin, left me with pock marks and redness. I don’t think they are horribly apparent, but I know they are there, and unless you catch me at 8:00 at night, or 5:00 in the morning, YOU should not know they are there. I have bounced around foundations like a loose chick looking for her sugar daddy. When I was done, I was done, but here is one with some staying power: Urban Decay All-Nighter (love the name).
With the help of a beauty blender and foundation brush, this foundation goes on effortlessly, and the best part, impeccable coverage. Now, I use a lot of magic to keep my look intact from sun up to sun down: primers, powders, spray, etc, but even with the that, your foundation should be able to withstand breakfast, the supermarket, Starbucks, pick up, play practice, spit up, potty training, basketball, dinner and everything else you come across in eight mom hours. This does.
With a review and praise, also comes compromise and honesty. This foundation is great, but it oxidizes after about an hour, and looks unblended and about three shades darker than your face….SHREK!!!! I thought I had it looking groovy till I went home and thought I had been to a tanning bed and forgot…The trick here is to go down, literally about 3 shades than you normally would pick your foundation color. It should be well-blended and photo-ready if you pay attention.
And, like it’s name says, the ALL NIGHTER can be on as long as you want it to, so get a good make up wipe, or maybe two, and take it all off so you can pull your all-nighter with your pillow…and not an ALL DAYER with your washer.
All in all, a great find, and a GOLD STAR recommendation ...caveat and all.