Share full page

Memorable First Date

Life Story Club Contributor

So I was working in a legal service office in East Harlem. I was about 25, and I had a gone out with a couple of guys before that, but they were young. I didn’t speak any Spanish. There was a guy in the office who did apartment inspections and he did translating and processing, he did all those things. So sometimes he’d have to translate between my clients and me. I had kind of a crush on him. And he was like a real man, he was about 37. He was separated from his wife, he had 2 children. I didn’t know anybody who had children at all!

And one day, he had a party, he lived in East Harlem, and he had a party. It was like a ground floor apartment. It was summer and he was roasting a pig in the backyard, the house was full of people. I went with one of my co-workers. And she got blasted, she got so drunk. I can’t go home. She lived in Brooklyn. She had a husband, a baby. Now she’s been sober for 40 years, but at the time she was a pretty heavy, active alcoholic. Anyway, she couldn’t go home. And I was living with my parents still in New Jersey. And she said, “Would you stay over with me?” So he let us sleep in his bed. He had a big bedroom and a little living room. He must have slept in the chair or the loveseat, I don’t know where he slept.

And then we got up in the morning. He was making up breakfast, and then she and I are getting ready to leave. And she must have stepped into the bathroom, and he came over to me and said, “Why don’t you stay?”

Now I know that to the younger generation, that’s very tame, but I don’t know, to this day, that’s like the sexiest, most romantic thing I ever heard. That was also our first date, I was a cheap date. Then we were together for I don’t know how many years. We didn’t get married until two months before he died because I was an old hippie. But, I just remember him hearing him say that, and I had just never been out with a guy who was a grown man. To me that’s still the sexiest, sweetest thing that any man has ever said to me. And the rest was history.

Most Memorable Day at Work

Life Story Club Contributor

When I think about an extraordinary day at work, I guess it would be 9/11. I remember being on the bus, going to work, and kind of hearing people talking about a plane going into the World Trade Center and I just assumed it was a little private plane, that the pilot was stupid and wasn’t following the correct flight path.

When I got to work, I don’t remember at what point they realized it was a commercial airplane. I remember I kept trying to do work because I really had a lot of work to do. We just kept looking at the internet and the news. People started emailing me about the second building and you really couldn’t get any work done that day. And then the next day, the whole city had shut down. And what I remember about it–and it always comes back to me in September when it’s a beautiful day—9/11 was a beautiful day, and the day after it was another gorgeous fall day. I guess that will be the most historic day I’ll ever live through because I’m retired now so I haven’t had to live through this pandemic while working.

And then on a personal level, when I got laid off from a job I had been at for ten years, it was really traumatic. It kind of felt like a divorce. I just remember that. I was working as a paralegal at a law firm. Things got slow and one of us had to get laid off. There were two of us and I was the one who got laid off. It was really difficult. It was a shock.


There’s a movie with George Clooney. His job was basically to fly around the country and basically lay people off. When they make a list of the ten most traumatic things that can happen to people, losing your job is right up there with divorce and all kinds of other traumatic things.

In the movie, they had all these 20, 30 seconds of people being told that they were losing their jobs. I had to keep reminding myself that they were actors because they were so good. It just looked like they were real people. I kept saying, “No, they would not have done that. They would not have gone into an office and watched real people getting laid off.” It was so realistic. It was very sad. Very sad.

↓ View Full Story ↓ 查看完整故事 ↓ Ver Historia Completa
0:00
/

Greatest Spectacle

Life Story Club Contributor

Although I can be grateful for what I have, everybody’s struggle is their own struggle so we should try not to compare them or judge them.

I have seen some ugly spectacles in my life. I think I’ll talk about something that was pretty wonderful. About twelve years ago, my cousin was dying from lung cancer. We knew he would be dying as soon as he was diagnosed. The one thing that he really wanted to do was take my son and I to Puerto Rico. We went to El Yunque, the rainforest, and on the way up there we went to a restaurant and they had an outdoor area overlooking a river.

Once a week, in the afternoon, they were going to have Latin Jazz, which is not so easy to find anywhere. I wouldn’t say it was the most popular Puerto Rican music, but it was what my husband loved the most so we stopped there. There were not so many people in the restaurant and the food was delicious. The restaurant is not there anymore, but they have opened up another restaurant in another area. But it was his birthday and it was just a small group of people but they made such a fuss over him.

It was just kind of magical that we stumbled upon this restaurant and they had Latin Jazz and the pianist was unbelievable wonderful. We were singing, we were dancing. It was a really magical birthday for him and I’m so appreciative of the people in the restaurant that helped to create it for us. It was a magical couple of hours.

↓ View Full Story ↓ 查看完整故事 ↓ Ver Historia Completa
0:00
/

What Makes Us Different

Life Story Club Contributor

I’m pretty different than my parents were. They were big readers. They probably read 4-5 hours a night. And I always say I like to read, but truth is I don’t read that much. And especially now, I’ll get caught up on things on the internet. They were also relatively quiet, although my father had a good sense of humor. They were pretty organized. And I’m pretty impulsive and have difficulties staying organized. I don’t read that much. I was louder than they were. I was too much.

It was something that I had to come to terms with. I still struggle with a lot of those things and feel pretty bad about them, but the similarities are basically they were pretty ethical, kind people. They weren’t active in civil rights but they imbued me a certain feeling of responsibility and looking at the inequities in life.

They were great travelers and my father was such a researcher. He would research a trip for nine months. And now I struggle to do any traveling because whenever I think about it, I get overwhelmed at the thought of the amount of research I should do, even if intellectually I know that I don’t have to do it, it’s hard to break away from what part of my brain feels is the “right way” to do it.

↓ View Full Story ↓ 查看完整故事 ↓ Ver Historia Completa
0:00
/

Family Tradition

Life Story Club Contributor

I was an only child and we didn’t really have any relatives that lives nearby. We didn’t have a lot of traditions. One of the only traditions we had was on every Thanksgiving. We would spend it with another family that did not live nearby. I think one of the things I loved about Thanksgiving was that it’s very relaxed. The other holidays, Easter or Christmas there’s the Easter egg hunt or you open up the presents and then it’s kind over. But there’s something about Thanksgiving where you get there early and it’s just a very relaxed day.

And maybe because we had so few traditions, I really looked forward to it. And as we—the children–got older and people started to move away and the hosts moved away, that died out. Then I started to live with a man who was Puerto Rican and he came from a really big extended family. I remember one day he said, “Oh we should go visit my sisters.” This was like 8:00 at night. I said, “When do you want to go visit them?” And I walked over to the calendar. He said, “Oh no, we should go there tonight.” I said, “Well, maybe they’re getting ready for bed.” He said, “Oh no, they’re not getting ready for bed.” I thought, well if we show up and they’re in their pajamas, I’m off the hook because I already said I don’t think we should go. So we get on the train and get there at 9:30, 10:00 at night. We get there and there’s music and like 30 people inside. It’s a party and it’s not even a holiday. It’s just a regular Saturday night.


Everyone was really welcoming. Then one of his sister’s says, “Come on, you have to come eat.” And believe me, I never turn down a chance to eat. And the food starts to come out from the kitchen and people are dancing. And then me and the little kids would go—there’s one bedroom in between the kitchen and the living room and there we would be, me and two two-year-olds, knocked out on the bed napping because I just couldn’t stay up that late.


But the warmth of that family. That went on for many years. And then families kind of go in stages. The kids grew up and moved away. The man who later became my husband’s siblings began to die. There was never a fight or anything but people started to move away. I don’t know if I’ll ever have that again in my life but it was fabulous. I loved his family and they were so welcoming to me. I can’t stop smiling when I think about it.

↓ View Full Story ↓ 查看完整故事 ↓ Ver Historia Completa
0:00
/

My Son

Life Story Club Contributor

April 7, 2020

Well, I guess the someone special is my adult son. He’s 30 years old, and we got through his teenage years without killing each other. You know, he was a teenager, and he wasn’t even a bad teenager. But he was just a teenager, and I became a toddler. But over the years he grew up. I grew up. He has his own life. So, I always smile when I see him. Now I would like to spend more time with him, but he has his own life. So, when I do get a chance to see him, it really makes me smile.

And the other one was someone special. So, I would say, my memories, when I get nostalgic, it’s for the first 12 or 15 years I spent with my husband. We became unhappy after that, and we ended up separating. But the first 12 or 15 years were really very special. So, I don’t really remember the unhappiness because it wasn’t terrible. It was just there was nothing specific going on. There was no physical violence or emotional violence, but I do get nostalgic for those first 12 years. That always makes me smile. So, that’s my story.

SMS
Email
Copy
SMS Email
Copy

Download the Free Story Prompt Cards

Enter your information below for instant download

Newsletter Signup

Sign up for our monthly email newsletter to stay up to date with our work and upcoming events!