Friday, December 31, 2010

My New Year's Resolution.

At this late date I’m through with empty promises to myself that I’m going to be responsible, act my age, turn over a new leaf, stop with the French fries, and go to the gym at least 3 times a week. All of those resolutions have worn a hole in my pocket having carried them from year to year to this New Year’s Eve. The truth of the matter is that none of them are going to happen unless and until they do. Best-laid plans are only that, plans. Actions are where the good stuff happens. This revelation came to me just a few days ago while digging out a car run aground in a three foot snowdrift on the Van Wyck Expressway at 1 a.m. Maybe some of you know what I’m talking about.

It all started harmlessly enough with a planned trip to Vienna last Sunday night. A snowstorm was predicted though I knew it to be just another make believe weather event designed to give me a touch of anxiety. As we all have come to know first hand, it did exactly that and more. Getting to the airport was tricky in a car driven by a man who seemed to be experiencing snow and ice for the first time. He played classical music the whole way, which soothed me and drowned out the audible sound of his gnashing teeth. We arrived at JFK without incident and I checked in. From that moment on the situation took a turn for the worse and we went down hill in what was a complete free fall. Hours were passed on a plane sitting on a runway jammed with many other planes, snowplows and mounting snowdrifts. Long story short, our freshly de-iced plane that was second in line for take-off crawled dejectedly back to the gate due to the airport’s closing. So much for plans.

Not wanting to stay the night on the floor of the terminal sharing a rug with thousands of stranded passengers, I decided to find my way home to my cozy bed. With no taxis, buses or trains working it was an ambitious plan to say the least. A Good Samaritan with a beat up Cherokee with a nice big crack across the windshield, one driver’s side windshield wiper, no rearview mirror and no shovel offered 4 others and me a ride back to civilization. The road out of the airport was impassable with a foot of snow covering it and stuck or abandoned cars tossed like stones on a beach blocking our path. Saba, the driver, was undeterred and slalomed in and out of the obstacles like an Olympic skier. Once we found our selves at the entrance to the Van Wyck we attempted to skirt another marooned truck and ran aground. Thinking that we all would get out and dig or push the car to freedom, I jumped out into a maelstrom of stinging snow, ice and wind. Without a shovel and only the 2 sun visors, Saba and I fell to the ground and started digging as fast as we could. Not until I stood to catch my breath ten minutes later did I see that he and I were the only ones digging. In fact, we were the only ones outside of the car. The other 4 passengers were sitting inside complaining that they wanted to be driven back the 2 miles to the terminal. My clothes were soaked and frozen stiff against my body that was numb from my neck to my feet. My traveling outfit was a cashmere jacket, jeans and suede Oxfords; not gear for summiting the south face of Mount JFK. At that moment it was crystal clear that if I didn’t help Saba with all the strength and determination I had, we just might not make it back to the city. We might not get beyond that on ramp and be stuck in a drift in a car that was also 3 gallons away from EMPTY. Digging with my hands and the sun visor was the only plan and our only chance so I dug.

Even longer story short, we made it back to civilization though the city was as much a wasteland as the Van Wyck. Many more travails littered our path finding our way home but we managed several hours later. I resolved that it was officially time to stop whining about life and unpleasant circumstances. The time had come to get off the couch and face the music no matter how grating the melody. It’s time to slide over from the passenger seat and take the wheel. Every single minute was a frightening drag filled with doubt and a mounting panic but the best part was knowing that by digging my way out I helped get us all home.

Perhaps I’ll start going to the gym and cut down on the fries and perhaps not. One thing is sure; you’ll never catch me sitting in the back leaving the hard work to others.

19 comments:

Edwina said...

Here here and BRAVO!

little augury said...

sometimes our trips take and unexpected turn and we find ourselves doing what we do best-to thine own self be true-and resist the temptation to abandon the dolts to a snowy embankment. happy new year to you-where ever you embark.

Mei Lin said...

This is so inspiring. Wish everyone could read this. Thanks for a great year!

Anonymous said...

sometimes adversity makes it clear who we are...you are not one to wither and die and you are an inspiration

Lev said...

Wow! You really hit the nail on the head.

Anonymous said...

Inspiring indeed, I am so happy you made it home OK.
Heard many stories like yours from friends stranded all over the States. You took charge ! I would have kisses my doorstep upon arrival home. Congrats on the resolution, I have a strange feeling , reading your blog for a while now,that this year you will try to be healthier and even stronger.
I have a feeling also that soon enough we will not have any other choice than to take care of ourselves, not expecting much help from Big Brother !

Anonymous said...

Completely off topic, but I wanted to translate for you an opinion, a commentary, left on blogs.lexpress.fr/cafe on Carine Roitfeld.
the fashion blog "cafe' l'oeil d'une parisienne".by Geraldine Dormoy.
written by Meganne, if you read French.
Here it goes :
I work in media precisely for a competitor of French Vogue,therefore my vision is from the inside and not afantasm/gossip on that "milieu".
Carine was the fashion "pope" but she finally failed,attracted by easy money and the songs of mermaids. Too much consulting which was not compatible with her Editor position at French Vogue.
Vogue had become a large catalogue for the friends and clients of Carinne and Emanuelle Alt. Too much is too much at some point !
I will not speak about the controversy of L'Andam price where her best friend and best friends of Marc& Marcus( photographers)who by the way has 3 companies in Turkey and had extremely wealthy investors.It was said as well, that Carine's assistant worked on that collection.(just to make sure)
Lets not speak also of the Balenciaga controversy, where enormous " faux pas" was made by Carrine and her assistants, which brought Nicolas Guesquiere to forbid her entrance to his runway shows.Daring on his part to forbid a Vogue editor in his house, but understood by all, as everyone knew whar was going on at vogue, but silence was self imposed by all, PR, fashion journalistes all alike. FEAR, i guess.
All the talented people at Vogue who helped her make a name for herself as the high priestess of fashion, like Marie Amelie Sauve' were sent away.
Marie was sent away with fracas for being a muse to Balenciaga, and a war of " consulting" was going on between them, with paid advertising campaigns being the key of the trouble.
Also the departure of Fabien Baron who was the true genius behind Carine and helped her create her legendary style, which in fact was "his".One could recognize in the choice of images and his knowledge of fashion magazine. He learned of his demise by the by the head of Conde Nast France, not by Carine, a classy move !
So yes it is good that French Vogue gets a new breath of fresh air, away from the "intrigues".
But for Vogue to start Fresh, it is the entire staff of Carine Roitfeld that must go !
Emanuelle Alt does not have the shoulder of a fashion editor, she is just a good stylist.She will probably continue her paid consulting jobs and freelance for magazines.One remembers Joan Buck and her fresh approach.
One hope for Virginie Mouzat or Suzy Menkes who is too old perhaps but she is the only one with integrity and could shoulder the work ahead. And she can write. Maybe also finding new photographers to stop the gang who reigns now as a monopoly on fashion magazines.We are tired of seeing the same shoot of Ines and vanhood.As if there was not new young photographers around... Narrow minded editors are always looking for the same name instead of talent.Ego anda lack of culture now reigns !
Vogue must remain an open magazine to all and still remain avant garde. one need a strong personnality a leader and keep nobility in French fashion.
Good stuff, it took me a while to translate , but if you can dig a car out of the snow with a visor , I can sure take the time to pass on the comments on another fashion blog. Sorry for the bad grammar.

Fluff Chance said...

Dear Anonymous,
Thanks for that delicious dish. I'm sure many people will find this interesting and compelling news. I am not surprised by any of these revelations. It seems that sudden and dramatic actions are like ice bergs. We see only the tip. As feral as Anna Wintour is she is more practiced at keeping her cupboards tidy. Have a good start to the New Year and thanks for your generous translation.
Best,
Eric and Fluff

Brown Sugar Babies said...

AMEN!!!...and Sabo is good - cause I'd have told those wimps to get out the dang truck and DIG!!!LOL Life will pass you by if you don't watch out ... and getting in the thick of it is the the only way to live. God Bless and Happy New Year.

Jane K. Schott said...

What a great story to start the year on...many thanks.

Dandy said...

Thank God you are safe. It makes the french fry stuff seem like, well, small fries. We are happy to have you back. Hope the cashmere made it through OK, too. :)

Dandy said...

You will appreciate this little film made during the blizzard.

http://vimeo.com/18268743

Téné said...

Didn't realize that someone I knew really tried to travel on that day!

Anonymous said...

No pampered fashion prince are you! Incredible post. You are awesome and Saba is an angel.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say I read your wonderful thoughts whenever I get the chance. The snow story was great. Sitting here in Indiana - those people in the NYT who were complaining about not having enough food or being able to get where they wanted - HELLO - it was a flipping blizzard!
I am the married mother of three boys in college and I buy my clothes at Goodwill - I know that makes you cringe - you would be surprised what I find there.

I wish you the best and have a wonderful New Year.

Carol

Fluff Chance said...

Dear Carol,
Happy New Year to you, too!!! I'm just back from my vacation to yet another storm but one that fits neatly into a tea cup. Goodwill shopping doesn't make me cringe in the least. That's where some of the best deals and steals hide. Shop on with your sensible self! Thanks for your message.
xo, Eric/Fluff

Anonymous said...

Well the verdict just came in : Emanuelle Alt is the new editor at Vogue. Expect more of the same consulting fees and the magazine will be her best friends catalogue.Nice dreams for a couple of days but harsh reality wins again. The Philistines have won.

Couture Millinery Atelier. said...

Following the Anonimous I came to ask what are your thoughts on the Emmanuelle Alt as Editor-In-Chief of Vogue Paris. I simply refuse to believe it at this point...thought that, as was said above, the fresh start is to be expected...
I also wanted to wish you wonderful 2011.I just celebrated Russian Orthodox Christmas, so the Holiday Season is still on for me. I wantted to wish you everything that you would wish yourself and, of course, fr every dream you have to come true. I love your Blog. I read all of it and I am looking forward to another year full of fantastic posts.Thank you for the beautiful post. :-)

MsGolightly said...

Happy New Year Fluff from Bonnie Scotland.
I feel for you burrowing you're way out of the snow with a visor! I had frozen pipes, but thankuflly nothing burst. But no shower or flushing loo from crimbo eve until the 28th is not an experience I want to relive ever again. I'm over the snow now!
Love, laughter and happiness for 2011
MsGolightly xx