Sam In The City

Thursday, March 23, 2006

My momma always said, if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all!

It's been two weeks to the day since my last post. My last few entries have been kinda downers, so I decided that I was not going to write anything new until I had something uplifting to share. I feel like a lot has been going on lately, and the majority of it hasn't been too peachy. So, to the faithful few who've continued to check my blog, thanks for sticking around! I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog and share your thoughts with me. ;)

As far as pleasantries are concerned, I've been pretty wrapped in the planning of Frema and Luke's upcoming wedding shower. From party favors to centerpieces, my apartment wreaks of wedding bliss! I've never been a matron, or maid of honor, and I want everything to be just perfect for Frema and Luke. I'm so honored to have such an important responsibility during the pre-nuptial events. My big sister is getting married in less than two months my friends!! Whaaa-whooooooo!!!!

In other news, Sunday evening Dan and I got some Chinese food and received some very insightful fortunes in our fortune cookies. Dan's was, "Find some release from your cares, have a good time". Pretty good advice coming from a cookie, huh? My fortune was even more earth shattering, "Within the coming 5 months you will find 3 missing socks". Can you believe it?! I'm gonna find 3 missing socks by August! Seriously, that would be amazing, considering the fact that everytime I do laundry a sock miraculously disappears. I immediately thought of Lost a Sock when I read my fortune. ;) All this talking about socks reminded me that I have to go switch my laundry! Until the next time friends...over and out! ;)

Thursday, March 09, 2006

One Sweet Day

Sunday afternoon Dan and I were driving to his parents house when the song "One Sweet Day", by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men came on the radio. Fully knowing that listening to this song always makes my eyes glossy and my heart sad, I turned the radio up. When I hear this song, it instantly makes me think about my dear grandmother, my Nana, who passed away in December of 2001. The song is meant to be somewhat comforting with the lyrics, "And I know you're shining down on me from heaven. Like so many friends we've lost along the way. And I know eventually we'll be together, one sweet day, and I'll wait, patiently to see you in heaven". But the lines that really make me choke up and get the lump in my throat are, "Sorry I never told you, all I wanted to say, and now it's too late to hold you, cause you've flown away, so far away...darlin', I never showed you, assumed you'd always be there, and I took your presence for granted, but I always cared and I miss the love we shared". So as I'm driving I'm getting all weepy eyed and trying to hold it together. It's not that I felt I had to hide these feelings from Dan, but the fact of the matter is Nana is gone and no tears or sadness will bring her back. Some tears stem from feelings of regret about where my relationship was with my grandmother before she died.
Nana lived downstairs from my immediate family in the two flat apartment building my parents own. My siblings and I were all extremely close to Nana because we had the luxury of seeing her everyday. It was not unusual to find my siblings and I playing Scrabble, Phase 10, Skipbo, or watching The Golden Girls with our very cool grandma.

When I went away for my first year of college, I didn't see or talk to Nana as much as I had before. I wrote the occasional letter and saw her when I was in on weekends or holidays, but I still didn't spend as much time as I did with her before. I still feel guilty about that. Nana and I, along with my siblings would indulge in countless hours of the Nintendo, and I'm talking the original NES. Her favorite games were The Legend of Zelda, Tetris and Dr. Mario. When we were playing Nintendo with Nana, it was serious business I tell you! ;) Besides Nintendo, the Ma'Ayteh children (my siblings and I) could often be found downstairs with Nana at her kitchen table pigging out on strawberry shortcake and pineapple upside down cake. Actually, Nana made the pineapple upside down cake especially for me, and it was always very soggy and undercooked, but I always ate it with a smile and told her how delicious it was. Of course this explains why she would always make it for me. She was always so excited after making it for me and I loved the feeling that Nana did something special just for her Samantha. God, what I would do for a piece of that cake now.

One Saturday morning my father called me while I was away at college to tell me that Nana passed away. I was half asleep when he have me the awful news and I just remember being totally shocked. The night before my younger sister
Ryan had called to tell me that Nana was brought to the hospital for something, and that she would keep me posted on her condition. My grandmother was always in and out of the hospital for a number of serious health concerns, but she always came home. One might say it was routine for Nana to be in the hospital, and then come home a few days later. So when Ryan called me, I was worried, but did not think that Nana would be in heaven the next day.

It was a really hard time for the whole family when Nana passed away. Prior to her death there were some unresolved family issues that caused some major tension. But I'll never forget when my mom had to tell my youngest sister Dee, who was about seven years old at the time, that Nana had passed away. Nana and Dee were best friends in the truest meaning of those words. Dee and Nana ate goldfish crackers with chives and onion cream cheese together, watched "Golden Girls", had endless conversations and ate about 50% of their meals together. Poor Dee was heart broken, just as we all we to lose our Nana.

I had about Nana on Sunday night, the same day I heard the song "One Sweet Day". In my dream, I saw my Auntie Mo, who is Nana's older sister. I tried avoiding eye contact with her because she reminded me too much Nana, but I ended up saying hi to her and giving her a hug. While I was hugging her, she turned into my Nana, and it felt soooo incredibly real! I have never, ever had a dream that felt so real and good in my life. While I was hugging Nana in the dream, I was squeezing her so hard and did not want to let go. I woke up a little sad, but moreso happy because I felt like I had been reunited with my missed grandmother, if only in a short, wonderful dream. Yesterday I was talking to Dan about my dream and I started crying and then sobbing. Even though the tears won't bring her back, sometimes it just feels good to let it all out, and that's just what I did.
Nana, me, Frema and Grandpa Corky

Years have passed since her death and it's hard not having her around. I wish she could have seen me and
Frema get married, or be around for her future grandchildren. The best consolation for myself is knowing that although she's not physically here, she's watching from another place. I love you Nana.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Knock, Knock...

As I sit here typing, Dan and I can hear our neighbors SCREAMING at each other through the walls. This is not something new, as the unhappily married couple next door often has shouting matches at one another.

This past Saturday, Dan and I invited two friends to come over and play cards. I like having people over, but we always have to be very aware of the noise level because the walls are so thin you could hear someone farad. We were all having a great time playing cards, listening to some tunes and drinking a few beers. In the middle of our game, we heard very hard and loud obnoxious banging on our kitchen wall. The banging was so bad that the clock on our wall shook. Honestly, I am always the one on music patrol and always make sure that the level is kept low, in consideration of our neighbors. The speakers are not even on the floor or against a wall to avoid any annoying bass vibrations to those who live underneath and to the sides of us. After the crazes banged on our wall twice, I banged back once out of anger and then turned the music down to a ridiculously low level.

After the banging match ended, we continued to play cards without any further interruptions...Until our door buzzer sounded about twenty minutes later. We never buzz anyone into our building unless we are expecting them because you never know what nut case is on the loose. If it's someone we know, they call to let us know they're waiting to be let in. Anyway, I ran to the door to see if anyone was coming and heard footsteps coming up to our floor. I hurriedly moved the dart board to look through our peep hole, to see two Chicago police officers standing outside our door knocking. As I opened the apartment door, I was mentally cursing the crazy neighbors out for calling the cops on us. I asked the policemen if they'd like to come in and they said no, and asked if we were having a party. I told the seemingly friendly policemen that we were just playing cards with a few friends when we heard a neighbor banging obnoxiously on our wall. They kindly said to make sure we kept the music low due to a complaint that was called in.

After the police left I was really bummed. Even though nothing bad happened to us, I felt very angry and embarrassed that the cops were called on us. I know some of you may be thinking that our music was probably too loud or that I shouldn't have banged back...But you had to be here to truly understand. The music was low and the insane banging was unnecessary.

We also had a little scare yesterday evening when Dan found that our storage space lock had been cut off! In my paranoid mind I thought that someone was out to get us, especially after the police incident. It turns out that our landlord forgot that he told us to use that specific storage space, rather than the one labeled with our apartment number, because that one was occupied when we moved in. I called our landlord to let the company know how upset we were that our belongings were exposed this weekend because our lock had been cut. A rep from the realty company apologized and said we would be reimbursed for the new lock we purchased.

This weekend has not been our first ill encounter with the people who live around us and I'm sure it will not be the last. This past December a neighbor hit Danes parked car and cracked his tail light. When it happened, Dan heard the noise and went to our balcony and saw the neighbor's van pulling away. The next morning when Dan approached the neighbor about it, he said that he didn't do it. A few minutes later that same neighbor came to our door apologizing, saying that his wife hit the car and she was scared to tell her husband she did it. Yea, real nice that the poor woman is scared of her husband.

What it all comes down to is that Dan and I would like to buy a house. However, until we save more cajole, this is not an option. Although we could move into another apartment, this one is great...Despite some neighborly issues. The rent is very reasonable, we don't have to pay gas and it's pretty big for a one bedroom apartment. It can just be frustrating to want to advance, but not be able to because of money. In the meantime, we'll be fine, because we have each other and that's enough.