Listen, Do You Want to Know a Secret?

Jan 16


When I was younger, so much younger than today . . . yes, I listened to the Beatles, just like everyone else. But I also had a fantasy that I think is somewhat unique.

When I’m 64, I thought to myself, I would become a kind of geriatric Eloise living at the Plaza Hotel. Imagine that!

If you remember your children’s literature, Eloise was an irrepressible and charming six-year-old, the unofficial mascot of that grand hotel back in its heyday. Well, the hotel has gone through several changes since then, as have I (and you have too, let’s face it), and so my fantasy, alas, can never come true.

In this now impossible dream, I planned to sell everything I had and rent a room at the Plaza, endear myself to the staff (although not to the management), dress up all the time, and become the new older and perhaps wiser version of Eloise at the Plaza.

A Day in the Life of this new me . . .

. . . would be packed with adventure Here, There and Every Where, mostly within the confines of the Plaza, of course, but definitely including some strolls in Central Park, where I’d be at Strawberry Fields Forever. Well, no, not forever, because I’d be invited to tea in the Palm Court by princes and rock stars and other royal entities, where I’d engage in a bit of matchmaking (I’d be far too ancient for any canoodling of my own (thought I, with the cruelty of youth), and it would all be very Ob-La Di, Ob-La-Dah.

Well, life has a way of changing the best-laid plans of mice and me, and let’s face it, this scheme was kind of fuzzy around the edges to begin with. I mean, even back then, when I first had this fantasy, how much would it have cost me to rent even their teeniest room? Maybe they had a place in the attic—or monthly rates for the regulars. But that would have been exorbitant too. Perhaps I could have gone to the owners and said, We Can Work It Out. After all, I wouldn’t be a Day Tripper. . .

The New And (In My Opinion Not Improved) Plaza Hotel

Anyway, this is all a moot point because the Plaza of Yesterday is not the Plaza of Today, and now it’s mostly condominiums that sell for multi-millions— and I don’t even want to think about the maintenance fees.

Sigh. Add this to the list of Fantasies Unfulfilled, and please ignore the initials.

But on the other hand, I’m doing okay In My Life. My building is not the Plaza, but it ain’t bad, and I have managed to raise a few eyebrows with my behavior, if only for bringing a bottle of champagne down to the lobby for one of the doormen to open. Hey, a girl’s grip does slip a bit as time goes by.

I may not have the Plaza, but I still have a sense of fun, a very nice apartment, and a few adventures up my sleeve, or any other place you’d care to name.

In the immortal words of that great philosopher, Mick Jagger:

You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometime you find
You get what you need.

Oh, yes, Mick, I do so agree. Even a Beatles fan such as I can see the wisdom of your words.

OTOH, he also said:

Oh come on, Mick, can’t a girl change her mind?


Note: For my long-term readers, yes, this is from I Can’t Believe I’m Not Bitter, but it was so perfect for the new blog that I couldn’t resist. In fact, I plan to do this every other post or so, until I run out of fun posts for the over 50 (or whatever) generation.


  1. The day we celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. is a good time to note the importance of “having a dream.”

    As Mr. Hammerstein wrote in South Pacific –
    You’ve got to have a dream
    If you don’t have a dream
    How you gonna make a dream come true

    • Love that song, and that show.
      And since we’re talking musicals, it occurs to me that it’s harder to have a dream when you reach a certain age, but doable, so what you wish for need not be The Impossible Dream.

  2. For me I just want to

    Get back, get back
    Back to where you once belonged
    Get back, get back
    Back to where you once belonged

    yeah right—

    • If only.
      And to think (We still can do that, right?) that we didn’t really appreciate being “where we once belonged,” when we were there!

  3. Michelle /

    Great one Pat!!
    Needed a smile this am & you gave it to me.

  4. When I was littler, I wanted to be Kay Thompson!!! (After seeing her in “Funny Face.”) Quite a gal…Born Catherine Louise Fink, btw!!

  5. Ruth Lapin /

    I’m with Diana.

  6. Such a fictive post. (I like to try out new vocabulary when I can)
    Song titles are fun to string together.

    Maybe I’m Amazed
    Dancing in the Dark

    • I had to look up “fictive,” which means “created by the imagination,” or “not real,” or “feigned,” depending on where you find the definition. My first thought was , “But ALL my blogs are fictive since I make them up.” Then I realized what you meant: that I had created an imaginary world where I would be the geriatric Eloise. Now that’s fictive! Wow, thanks, Lisleman. Great comment.

  7. What a cool piece! I have lasting memories of listening to “When I’m 64” for the 1st time. In those days I had to listen to the record in secret so as not to get in trouble with Emma, my mom/your aunt. 64 sounded like a distant, unseeable future back then. Ha. Now at 72 I find myself reminiscing on the swellness of being me at that age. My dear cousin~time flies! And BTW you’re a durn good writer.

  8. Thanks for the compliment. Wondering why did your mother object to the that song? It was so tame compared to other music of the time. Although it did have a “message.”
    Well, you showed her (and the world) but becoming a blues singer. And a durn good one too, if I can coin a phrase.

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