The bridge and causeway that connect Fort Myers and the mainland to the islands and the 10 miles of Sanibel and Captiva offer a spectacular vista of water and land and invites a look of more than 180 degrees.
After paying the six buck toll (much less with the pass), the driver first ascends the bridge until the picture comes into view. The strip of landscape with the world's ugliest lighthouse on the extreme left bisects a typically blue sky with deeper blue, near purple water. I have not driven those few miles without seeing families of dolphins race and leap over the surface.
Because the water is protected by land and it is the back side of the near waveless Gulf it's also the site of recreational activities beyond the sunning tourists and fishermen who get comfy on the causeway. It's a favorite spot for wind and kite surfing with a decent breeze and currents running north to south. That effect also brings in shells galore. SanCap, as the two adjoining islands are called, is known as the shell capital of North America.
It's a wind-surfing tournament in early June on the leeward side of the bridge (hope I got that right) that had my attention and the source of my first argument with my fiance. We have never had an argument of note beyond a few sentences of disagreement. Nothing at the shores of anything close to a battle. We have similar personalities, like to methodically figure through challenges like disagreements, and, at least for now, use measured words and emotions that are not hurtful.
At least for now.
We get married in June and he is coming home for four days from the second half of a final assignment that has him living in London for six months. That assignment wraps up in early July when we will spend time on our honeymoon. I have been planning our wedding while he has been away bringing to him the edited details. And that's just perfect for the two of us. When he steps off the airliner less than two days before D-Day, we head straight to the tailor for a final fitting on his suit, if he needs it. I have a great eye for size and can eyeball if a guy needs a 40 regular or a 42 long with great accuracy but obviously perfection is necessary.
Thing is, lotta pressure and we're cutting it close.
He wants to spend time with the wind surfers the next day, "Just a morning, Hon" he said with a puppy dog's earnestness.
While not being married and still without great close relationship experience that comes with years, victories and defeats, yet having already solved great problems like the toilet seat not being raised and hosting his sloppy buddies on Superbowl afternoon, I think I diffused and handled with great aplomb after a few sentences that each began with a cross "I!"
We'll spend a few hours watching grown men and some women race about in the water holding on to sail and balancing on board. I could use the short break and down time along with the calming sun and salt water.
Another life's problem with potential for fire tossed to the side with insignificance and from this point on, forgotten.
Stopped off this morning for wonderful coffee and a heavenly maple-bacon doughnut (sweet and salty thing) at "Bennet's" in Fort Myers to kill a half hour before signing in for jury duty.
I sat at the counter, thumbed through "Florida Weekly", checked my nails and smiled as the baby (toddler? not sure of the age changeover.) sitting with mummy and grandpa at a nearby table shouted melodiously. Not a cry. Not a shrill "I want something." A happy go lucky burst 'cause-I-haven't-yet-figgered-this-talking-thing'.
In the past I would have (thoroughly disguised) rolled my eyes upwards and thought sharp thoughts: "Lady, this is a coffee place and folks don't need to hear your screaming brat at seven in the morning."
Now, the gurgles, cooing and bursts of curiosity from bright little eyes and pink (I imagine), powerful lungs touches deeply, an awakened maternal instinct.
I want one just like her. And three more. Four girls but not all at once, who, along with me form a veritable basketball team, a mob to gang up on my future husband.
How sweet the sound. How pure, unabashed and without pretense and hidden meaning. "Here I am," she blubbers, and nothing more.
Not so in the jury waiting room where 187 souls, including me, wait to perform our civic duty. Jury of our peers. A sign at the entrance says "No guns allowed in federal buildings." No shit. We are told not too politely to "Wait!" by a brusk, overweight and bored guard. "The lawyers for both sides are attempting to settle on both cases." So the group of 187 prospective jurors for 22 jurists will wait to perform their civic duties while lawyers, true patriots, decide how much granny will get, or not get, because she tripped on a one-eight of an inch sidewalk deviation at the local school. Not quickly, of course, mindful of a packed house. At $275/hour or whatever speed is not a care.
Oh, and Granny's grandson is her lawyer.
Last night I said "Goodbye" to an EP friend that I've been close to for the past year and a half. No, that's not true. I told the fucker off in an unaccustomed burst of temper. Even though he's 37 years older than me and have used the words "Renaissance Man" describing his diverse experiences and talents, I called him immature. No correlation between intelligence, decency, years lived on the planet and maturity. He's a fool (well, for five fatal online minutes that ignited my blast furnace).
Or am I?
Was planning a story for EP and shared an idea and plot with my friend. "It will be a fine story," she said. Then I completely changed the story line to please another. My friend, who would never use a word in anger with me, was, shall we say, 'annoyed'?!
"Fools rush in where angels fear to tread." Words from Alexander Pope from more than 300 years ago that today ring true for me.
But not as loudly, effectively or as meaningful as the sweet musical shouts of that baby in Bennet's.
Or was she a toddler?
As has been the ritual for three decades, mom and dad exchanged Valentine's Day gifts, cute cards with sly and/or erotic notes (Karla and I surreptitiously found the stash as young teens), and had dinner at a nice place while enjoying each other's company. If it had been the weekend the pair would have spent a night or two at nearby Glencairn Inn even though they have been empty-nesters for several years.
I provided the gift for dad, an art class necklace made from several stands with dark and silvery glass beads and embellishments. Mom's gift to dad was boxed and wrapped with attention, he was told that it was "special" and reminded him that this was the 30th Valentine's Day since he asked her to marry him.
He immediately guessed correctly. "It's a chocolate cream cheese brownie isn't it?"
Thirty years ago on that date my mom drove more than an hour and waited in line at Geiger's Bakery and Orchards in Westfield, N.J., a popular location around the holidays and a significant user of butter. She then drove more than an hour home and waited in a darkened university parking lot where my dad, an untenured teacher, was leading an evening class. She parked right by his car and he was thrilled by the unexpected visit and the delicious morsel.
There are hints that the dessert was something more but my sister and I have never pried loose that information.
Geiger's has long closed and it's unclear if the exact treat was ever duplicated with my parents or discussed but dad instantly knew. I simply write off the unexplained phenomena as a conjoining orbit of electrons, synapse spillover or something only a wizard could explain.
In what may be a very loose connection, I was sorting books in a box in the garage this morning and came across Carl Sagan's "Pale Blue Dot." In the book cover photo the namesake is unextraordinary. The blue dot hardly stands out in the picture taken by the space probe "Voyager" as it hurdled past Jupiter on its way years later out of the solar system.
The blue dot is of course earth and the point is not only how insignificant and of little consequence our planet is even in the tiniest part of our galaxy let alone the Cosmos but how much promise and potential is "out there."
I realized just today that Dr. Sagan is wrong. Certainly in the perspective of the Cosmos earth isn't even a speck of sand on the galaxy's beaches.
In my universe, though, where my mind can leap between thoughts and memories faster than Voyager, the simple love shared by my parents crosses all boundaries and borders, the dynamic laws of physics, is of enormous importance to me and who I am and is fundamental and the fundamental difference of all humanity compared to everything else.
Among the many things I've picked up on EP, particularly from some of the folks who've been around the block a few times and have learned to deflect stones aimed in their direction, is humility and that others have an opinion at least as worthy as my own. I found that out by eating a few of those sharp-edged stones after they bounced off my head. Wise asses and pervs are equal in our online hometown.
I also believe from the experience in an axiom that there's a direct correlation between days lived on this earth and self-confidence and, hence, self-esteem. You don't learn that in the classroom or, rather, you learn it better by getting through the day and paying your dues. Discovery, sometimes slow and sometimes sudden, is a major component to the process of building self-confidence, self-esteem and erecting a strong backbone.
I certainly can be a bit cocky but I know that's because of the small successes of a middle class background and an existence where problems and pain were few.
Which brings me to the point of this self-aggrandizng spew. A year ago, mostly on a lark, I won a piece of business which overnight turned me from a wage earner to a business owner. Is there a term smaller than 'business owner' because it's a mere single client? There were four other real companies pitching the business including one of the biggies in the industry. That group preceded me in the sales pitch and when they finished, exited the conference room double doors and marched past me sizing me up my thoughts were "they want me to bring them coffee, don't they?"
I like to believe I fairly won the business on merit and describing a year-long plan with measurable goals, a strategy that resonated with the five owners and managers and unique tactics to fulfill that strategy and meet those goals. Or, as my sister, friends, colleagues and fiance like to kid, it was the short dress and heels or a very unequal blend of short dress and heels and decisive business plan.
You laugh, I know you do, but this has been driving me nuts for the better part of the year. I've endured schoolboy jokes and pranks from them and it took me months to gain the trust of this all-male, 50-something group of successful entrepreneurs. Yes, I'm cocky but with a teaspoon of self-confidence and self-esteem and the backbone of a slug.
Over Thanksgiving to an assembled crowd of trusted family, many loosened by an afternoon of drinks . . . parents, sister, fiance, future in-laws . . . far more learned and waaay more confident than I . . . I posed the question. After withstanding a barrage ("You know what they're thinking K, when you turn your back to them," future dad in law smirked), my dad, who's been around that same block as my more experienced EP Buds, said simply, "Why don't you post that same question to those same bosses who hired you and sign your monthly check?"
Why do dads make perfect sense, say the right thing and how come they're typically so right an amazing amount of the time?
Fast forward through the weekend to Monday morning and on-site with my five bosses. Year-end planning session in the windowless conference room. The five bosses and me. The extended weekend of merriment seems to be carrying over. Laughing and guffawing over coffee and bagels. My moment. I seized it.
"So tell me," I nonchalantly mention at a higher level of sound than the five-person buzz. "Truth now. Do I have this job because you unanimously felt I could do it better and the results would be better than the others who competed for the position or was it because of a short skirt."
Silence. They look at me. Their leader, the CEO, speaks up straight forward with seeming seriousness. Nothing could be good about this outcome. My weakness mocked? My false self-confidence found out and plundered? Countless mistakes listed and no longer tolerated? Feeling sorry for the girl-gimp?
"Why K, we believed and have been proven correct in our unanimous belief that your fresh perspective and enthusiasm would pay huge dividends." A second of heads nodding and some positive, deep-throat noises.
"And the short dress and long legs didn't hurt."
You know me well, my brain and my body, what makes me tick, what makes me laugh, what excites me and what makes me cry. I know what you're thinking Rich, what you think of me, the effect of a single fingernail creating a trail on your cheek, how your day goes from the very early morning until you call it quits and the lights turned out at a very reasonable hour.
Yet in a thousand conversations we have never treaded on the subject of politics. You know my uncompromising position here online which I bitterly defend and, many times, regret my harshness the next day. I believe I know how you will vote but will never ask. I'm afraid it would lead to an escalating argument and a divide that would not be forgotten.
I watched "60 Minutes" last night, channel surfing from my Sunday night hotel room bed. The ancient historical author David McCullough was interviewed by the equally ancient Morey Safir and he recalled times (from his 12 x 12 writing cottage complete with typewriter on Martha's Vineyard) when the opposing parties disagreed but compromised and pounded out divergent thinking into great laws.
McCullough and Safir visited Independence Hall where a disliked and soft-spoken Thomas Jefferson led vehement, table-pounding vitriol and with a quill pen to paper wrote the Declaration of Independence, a convergence of many into a single document that kick-started our nation.
Safir interviewed Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell, the dem and repub senatorial leaders, respectively. They've been at each other for 30 years on the Senate floor. They remain friends and rivals, unlike, it seems, the current crop of Congress who would deploy one of the handguns that wrongly proliferate our nation if it could get past the metal detector at the front entrance to the Senate chambers.
My EP friend JoeyFoxx takes an opposing political view, calmly backs his argument with facts which can be interpreted many ways and diffuses my heated responses by remaining as cool as the proverbial cucumber. This morning Goliath Tree parried my attempt to steer his claim that non-union line crews were turned away by New Jersey into darker political waters by answering then quickly asking how my family was coping with the hurricane aftermath. Dontcha know when a girl wants to claw, scratch and bite?
Enough of the political ads ad nauseum, all things political and the divisiveness politics has created. We know a much better way.
@Panera's this very moment with hot coffee and blueberry muffin at a comfy table. WiFi is powered up without even a sign-in necessary.
Six feet away a seven-year old . . . she's a shrimp . . . is keyboarding furiously on a laptop. No Barbie doll in sight. Could she be the mysterious online Mistress X? Mobile phone chatter fills the air. . . "Got the Yanmer outboard out in the water" . . . "No, here 'cause the Internet is still down. Hell if I know why." . . . . "Yeah, the sharks were in six feet of water off Pine Island."
(mental note: stay the fuck away from Pine Island)
Others may despise with rancor the generic noise of one side of the conversation; my curiosity perks. Clues.
So, my first online stop is to a site with bawdy stories and poetry. I have a silly, potty-mouth limerick I made up to tweak my sister, who recently invaded my space. More like infested. No, we're actually two peas in a pod and outside of the friendly, piercing jabbing we're very close. "There once was a bitchy sister from NY . . . "
I got the message (below) which says pretty much, "Stay away for your own good." In fact, they are defining my "Own good." That would obviously include the reading and use of curse words and, more to the point, my personal feelings, If my heart skips a beat, my erotic thermometer leap a tenth of a degree, or a bead of sweat forms in my very lower back it is wrong.
In a state which proudly boasts of the best (most lenient!) gun ownership laws, allows Freaky Freddy . . . standing online for his coffee this moment . . . to own and conceal on his person a handgun . . . has steadfast rules that allow all psychos to "stand their ground" and use deadly force in a heated argument . . . and disallows any conversation and advice from a medical professional to a patient regarding the health hazards of owning a gun (um, it kills you) . . . all forms of lust and even lusty thoughts . . . are forbidden in public.
Sorry, but www.lustylibrary.com is blocked on this network.
This site was categorized in: Adult Themes, Nudity, Pornography
This was originally going to be a run-down of my eight days in Nicaragua, an altruistic endeavor (or do we do charitable work to appease ourselves?), allow you to lick my now-dry salty tears, share in the pain I perceived wi helping the rural poor than ask you to break into your PayPal piggy banks for a contribution.
Nope. This is no television commercial. This is EP so I'll weave in some non-sequitur spice in the few paragraphs. Just a tad.
As some of my EP buddies know, I tagged along with my doc fiance, who's been helping out an organization which provides healthcare to the neediest parts of the world where, at least in the rural areas, is almost non-exsistent, for years. He did so as an 18-year old tagging along with his dad. A two-hour or so flight from Miami to Managua, surprisingly somewhat modern if not cosmopolitan . . could have been a mid-sized airport in the western U.S. . . no livestock or donkeys, as I expected, to be seen anywhere. . . than a bumpy three-hour van ride north to near the Honduran border, somewhere near the town of Ocotal. The final miles were dirt road.
My fiance was the needed talent. He's a surgical resident in the states (resident = paid less per hour than a pimply faced Home Depot high school employee) and for him it would be seven days in the operating room of the makeshift clinic tending mostly to the ailing valves and hearts of children. Morning to night. He was in his element and would be awash in the pleasure. Sad thing here is that a diagnosis and simple and cheap treatment of a regimen of antibiotics at infancy would have prevented most of this and many other deaths.
Me? Grunt for a week. In the mornings I schlepped boxes, sacks, containers and parcels of all sorts of items from foodstuffs to medicines, dumped from a daily truck run (Ya think they would pull the truck up closer to the storage facility? Stupid and lazy knows no borders.), stack, store and catalog it. In the afternoons, I would assist a stern and dark Cuban nurse, two years younger than me and more than a head shorter. I administered meds, swabbed the quivering arms of nervous kids standing 50 deep in disarrayed lines waiting for inoculations, did her paperwork and, by far the highest importance, doled out cool drinks and snacks.
It is the global axioms of youth: A child will shed a tear in expectation of a needle, and will yank on the pony tail of the bewildered 'gringa' who speaks just 10 words of Spanish.
Terrible start for me. In the first hour of Day One, the disfigurements, the children stricken with fever (one of the biggest killers of the nation's youth until recently was Chagas Disease. Ever hear of it? Not me. It's roots are from the infestation of insects which of course could be controlled by pesticides that costs nickels. Unimportant, it seems as always, to the wealthy nations with long-developed myopic views of pain and suffering.), the long lines of the terribly poor and needy got to me and I teared up. The Cuban taskmaster nurse I was assisting told me (in perfect English; the world speaks perfect English) to "go to your room until you stop crying and feeling sorry for yourself. The children don't need to see this." Funny how meaningful words, no matter how direct and, perhaps, harsh, can provide a quick cure.
The fiance and I didn't see each other much except on breaks. We ate lunch at different times and with different groups of aid workers. It will be a while before I again eat chicken or rice and beans, tasty the first day, and how many ways can you prepare bananas or plantains? Actually, it was plenty tasty.
On the Saturday we arrived, a scorcher like every other day, the humidity was intense and too tough to bear in our little room with the broken fan. We grabbed our mattresses, sheets and pillow and walked over to the mess hall kitchen. Air conditioned. Pitch black. Oh so cool and heavenly, especially stripped of all clothes. We touched, fumbled and kissed in the dark (those knowing and strong hands that probe tiny hearts are truly expert in carefully coaxing favorable results). . . delightfully calming after our day's journey into unknown and unexpected circumstance. Hard floors. Now me on top. And then fiance totally interrupts the flow and motion with an idea. A hare-brained one at that it seemed.
He fumbled into his shaving kit . . . I kid him that's it's his "man-purse" because of all the seemingly girly toiletries . . . and pulls out two pair of ear plugs. Ear plugs! Remember, it's pitch black and the tip of my nose (and his from point blank range) is invisible to me.
"K, I think it would be exciting to make love without any sound or sight. Kinky."
"No, R, I think it's totally weird. Not sure I'd be comfy with it."
"Oh C'mon. Let's give it a try."
I relented. Plugged the ears. And carefully remounted my steed who, not surprising 'cause I know his ins and outs better than anyone, was now titanium hard at the new wrinkle to the story. Always up for an adventure that randy Mr. Prick. Blind and now deaf and somewhat narrow I worked myself slowly onto and into the saddle. You know the ones with the seven-inch thingy standing straight up? Hell, my saddle accepted the challenge and quickly oiled up for the adventure. She's a trooper and always up for a bite of mischief. A fucking bucking bronco . . . bring on that Texas mechanical bull. First time I ever came on top. And the second and third. I might of moaned spectacularly . . . I'm a screaming-mimi-banshee-in-heat sometimes, and R may have egged me on with "dirty slut" talk but . . . I didn't hear a single word.
Epilogue: I settled into the week and bathed in self-satisfaction in my very, very limited role. My fiance revealed little about his day and his scrubs were freshly changed and smelled of . . .nothing except antiseptic clean. His white sneakers ominously sported a splash of blood one night. It was the sign of repair and healing. The rural poor it seemed to me had a sense of dignity and purpose, certainly more so than I ever had that had been handed a middle class life of ease. They received their meds or bravely weathered serious operations and were bussed back to their villages and, I assume, their small fields with few complaints.
Fast forward until last week. I'm hitching along with R as he attends a two-day medical symposium with his department chairman in Jacksonville. I do some work from the hotel room, shop and hit the pool. First night . . . I don't get to spend a ton of quality or lovey dovey time with him. I'm in the room and he comes up, the foreign ob
"What time is dinner with your boss," I ask.
"Seven o'clock," he says. "Wanna hit the gym or pool. Wanna take a walk down to the River Front?"
"Nope," I say as I unbutton his shirt.
"Wanna take a shower."
"Not just yet, Hon," and i give attention to his pants clasp and belt.
There were no more dumb questions. In two minutes all of our clothes were tossed to either the left or right side of the bed and we were embracing with me working south from his face to his neck to his chest with kisses, licks and ouchie bites.
Another verbal interruption!
"Babes, I got an idea," he said bringing my head back up north to go face to face.
"What? An idea? A patent? Cure for the world's sick? Huh?"
"This time" he says, "Let's make love without using our mouths. No talking, kissing, licking. Totally mute."
You know what? it worked just fine. Difficult but more than fine. A little jab to the regular routine.
Perhaps next time we'll both tie each other's hands for a mutual "no touch" scenario but that might be difficult.
Downtown Fort Myers, City of Palms, Cinco de Mayo spirit in the air, brick-paved and palm-lined streets. A bit of a breeze coming off of the Carloosahatchie River to cut into the humidity. It's 6:30 and music is already humming from the town square free concert.
My fiance and I have other plans and scoot over to "Yanos", a 'we-are-cool' restaurant tucked away in one of the art deco buildings that were built with a flourish 90 years ago, fell into disfavor, given a lift and cosmetics post-war, fell into disfavor again and reemerged sunny once again in the ongoing renewal of the past five or so years. After two glasses of a chilly chardonnay (one more than my wussy limit), I pecked at a slab of swordfish and finished half; none was wasted after the vacuum cleaner that sat opposite me gave it his attention.
Plenty of time before our show and we explored the Franklin Shops on First Street . . . two floors of local artists and clever vendors . . . with all sorts of cute stuff. On the way out and just past the ornate shop front the fiance puts a coral blue and silver beaded bracelet on to my wrist. The $8 price tag still attached. He gets a kiss and a hug but really enjoys the game and my little surprise. How the hell did he . . . ?
A short block walk to the arcade theatre where, as a sign quietly explains, Tom Edison, Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone caroused, drank and thought. Ford and Edison, close chums a hundred years ago, shared nearby winter homes that were attached by a walkway. They also, as the guide will say, shared innovative ideas, innovations such as a heated swimming pool, "air conditioning," an electric-powered sauna . . . and their wives.
We saw a rib-splitting funny farce of a play, "The Mystery of Irma Vep," where two actors played eight roles. Lightning quick costume changes, a story line that included werewolves, vampires, killers, a mummy, a trip to the Egyptian desert, cross dressing galore and lust oozing every minute made it hysterical.
Oh yeah, you know your little black dress is too short when the eight-year old holding the hands of both parents right behind you on the street says plenty loud, "Mommy, I can see that girl's tushy."
I think I'm getting the hang of this blog thing. It means different things to each author, and to me it means I get a chance to give my friends on EP, and possible future friends, a different view and a peek at who I am. It’s also a wonderful, self-fulfilling writing task. Hopefully I write it with a bit of interest or humor.
- Author’s note: EP is of course a family-oriented, PG13 social network, and I've purposely excluded a fat paragraph about the weekend I'm about to highlight because it would surely garner an extreme "slutsville" rating. Actually it has only indirectly to do with the in-laws, the subject of the blog, and more to do with ‘just 'cause it's Saturday night.’ Catch your interest? Ask me if you dare and I'll send it to you. You get to play voyeur. I don't mean to offend the easily offended.-
I picked up my future in-laws at the airport Thursday . . . a 30-minute ride from my home. Changed cars with Robert, my fiance, 'cause there's room enough for a puppy in my Miata and little else, and his Jeep SUV was better for the task of hauling humans and their cargo.
Besides what I hoped would be a pleasant not-even four-day trip with folks that would be around a long time in our lives, this would be a personal experiment; I would be especially aware of the slightest beginnings of their interference, if at all.
In-law interference. A scientific experiment if you will. I have been aware of the age-old in-law interference and “thing” from stories on EP and other sources plus witnessed this first hand. I wonder deep down if dad, a bright, happy college professor and ample provider has ever been truly good enough for mom in gram's unflinching and always-critical eye.
Is it a built-in affliction of the gender . . . women being cured in figurative briny and sour salt and vinegar as they age . . . or is it all an imagined stereotype? My eye would be wide in observance especially since this affected me now and deep into the future.
The loose plan was dinner tonight after Robert woke up (don't ask; he comes home from a work shift that gets off late morning-noon); they would spend the night at our home in the purple room, the garish-colored guest bedroom/X-Box/Computer/I-don't-like-your-tv-movie-selection-backup room; I would join my in-laws for a round of golf with their already retired friends in nearby Naples; and the four us would play tennis on Saturday. Nothing else planned so we all will wing it for dinner and whatever else strikes our fancy. The in-laws are active, perky, successful and enjoy life and are kinda fun.
I approach future events in a methodical fashion, thinking through possible outcomes, but my future mom in-law gently tossed me a hand grenade five minutes after walking through the front door. She petted the heads of our two frisky doggies, mentioned with little fanfare "the place looks nice," and “hmmm, a purple couch?” even though she was here once before, and invited me out to the backyard to share an iced tea. "Just K and me dear," she said with a telling nod to her husband that was more than implicit.
We got comfy at the round table on the deck, pool pleasantly gurgling in the background. The backyard is an enclosed lanai. I think that's a Florida or warm climate-specific word meaning everything is screen-enclosed to keep the insects and other varmints away from making leisure time miserable. It's private and quiet. Just what she wanted.
"You know K," she started slowly. "You'll be marrying my son before you know it and I think you should allow your mother in-law to take on a more significant role in planning your wedding." This was not totally unexpected although the "day" is 14 months away which means I'll think about it for 10 seconds in six to eight months. But she does everything with a flourish.
My "Out" card . . . I made it clear that my younger sister, who has been planning my marriage since she was six when I read Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty to her . . .had zero value. I named sis director of wedding planning operations when I got engaged in December. That title also had less than zero value to her.
I listened without a word as Jewish guilt was la
I started to bring up sister’s event status but was quickly hushed. “I know dear and I love the way you and you and your sister are so close. What is she 21, 22? I just believe I would bring great value, experience and a mature eye to the entire process. I know this is fine with you. I won’t interfere. Tell her I’ll call sometime next week. And thank you.”
I did what any strong-willed, intelligent, 26-year old woman would do. I put it off. I nodded and smiled and made a note to text Karla and put it all in her hands.
I took mom for a scoot around main street and then off island to the outlets on Macgregor in Fort Myers. Stops at the Sunglass Hut and tennis sneakers at Nike. She talked my ear off pleasantly and, as I like to say, carried on without a comma. Questions about her son’s nutrition and his laundry found their way in (like he fu@king cares if his underwear is folded). All pleasant with the possibly exception of me mouthing “m-o-m” the first few times. Oh yeah, there was obligatory questions and conversation about the first few months of my budding business. Clearly it was unimportant. I believe that despite being well educated she is at that borderline age and time where men are thought of as the main bread winners. Yes, still.
I planned to rendevous with my fiance at the hospital (where he’s employed) that night . . . a once-a-month role-playing game we both enjoy that involves me “overdressing” and parading past his colleagues. Use your imagination. Part of the thrill for R and clearly the reason he picked this day of the month for our play was that I would have to explain to his parents “where are you going and why do you look like that.” All was put on hold, and I don’t write this lightly, when “mom” (and “dad”) consumed a few too many blender drinks and “mom” slipped and fell with a crash to the tiled floor. A bump and too pickled for any serious damage.
Friday was a golf day with the in-laws and his “dad’s” friends and business associate while R slept through the afternoon. “Mom” was quite charming and I found that wedding planning and questions and concerns regarding her son’s heatlh and well being (he is a frigging 28-year old grown man for Chris’s sake) kind of amusing and than somewhat touching. I showed respect. That morning when Little P snatched up a Gecko intruder (yup, one of those little lizards) and “Mom” suggested behavior modification to save the backyard lizard population, I countered with a snide, “Little P never met a lizard he didn’t like.”
Dinner at our fave restaurant was a starting point for their drinking (blood orange maragitas with jalapeno), and than a drink at the outdoor, upper floor Indigo merely fanned the fire and was a chance for R’s dad to dance with me. Dad like to dance. Son doesn’t. Jive/Swing at the Indigo.
Tennis, shopping, hanging out together, more friendly and relaxed dinners the next day.
I was actually enjoying the attention and yes the love once I figured out the process. They were giving their son to me and this was merely their way . . . mostly mom’s . . . a ritual and a celebration.
It was me that needed to realize it and that they . . . she . . . could be a supporter and an ally.
And if it doesn’t work out we could always move to China.
Epilogue: Mom and dad (no quotes now necessary) left to return to New York Sunday night. They came over for brunch way too early on the only day we get to sleep together and sleep together late.
I put on R’s tee shirt for modesty’s sake to answer the door, sleep and weariness still in my eyes. After Sunday morning pleasantries I started to make them coffee in the adjoining kitchen when I heard mom’s voice ring out: “K dear, very nice tush. I’m sure R’s dad appreciates it even more.”
I have never been quite sure of the exact purpose of a person's blog and approached this with reluctance. I've read many and many have been interesting. In just the past few days I've caught up with Shannon's beautifully written song sung on her vid with her beautifully fragile yet elegant voice (think gossamer and butterfly wings), Allergic's skillfully crafted website, her guitar strummin and her earthy, robust voice, and HLP's trip through Chicago's Art Institute and the artists that reached out and grabbed the hillbilly by the collar and said to him, "You sit here and look."
And then it hit me: A blog is something that is important to a person made important to the reader especially if there is a connection of some sort. It could also be "just for the writer." it could be what the person is good at, likes to do, hates, finds amusing, a point of view or a rant. It could be a secret. It's always personal.
My first blog touches on several of those points, plus an admission: I cry during movies. If there's a scene that can be remotely perceived as sad, my brain runs with it and the tears gush. No, not during the ridiculous, humorous or arcane but all others. Love gone bad, love gone good, boy gets girl or loses girl . . . any turning moment .. . any at all . . . doesn't matter. Turn on the faucet.
My fiance (who's getting amazingly good at calling the exact second of the very first tear and all of them thereafter; Persnickety too, my doggie, has nailed down the moment and bursts on and up off my lap to lick the tears) and I watched three movies over the weekend and I've been left with a sore, red face. What could I do? They were all tear jerkers. Well, to me.
The gorgeous Kate Hudson, a smiling, happy go lucky, creative advertising exec, learns early in the movie "A Little Bit of Heaven" that she is stricken with late stage colon cancer. While the movie doesn't really deal with the morbidity of the disease . . . it's for a wide audience . . . it aptly describes the relationships she has with friends and family including an exquisite turn by Kathy Bates as annoying, loving mom ... as everybody's mom. A bit of corny but she falls for a young doc (the too skinny, too short Gael Garcia Bernal) which makes for several touching and very wet scenes.
Then there was the even more gorgeous (on Katie's beauty/lust-o-meter) Jennifer Love Hewitt in the farcical "If Only" where she plays a music student and teacher, studying in London, falls for the handsome and moral young man (Oooo, the accent!!), gets in an argument and .... BAM . . . she dies in a taxi accident. I wailed. next scene there she is. Handsome young businessman gets a second chance to save her. Romantic scenes. Crying. She jumps into his arms. Crying. She pouts and gets sad at the restaurant. More crying. Same taxi scene. BAM. He dies. Hysterical crying.
The coup de grace came this afternoon with the Tom Hanks movie, "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close." Nixed at the movies 'cause the title was too long and "not another 9/11 movie." But you can't beat free (ripped from the Internet from .... never mind. It was two hours of bawl-haul. Every single moment about the movie was sad: Hanks is an inquisitive and thoughtful dad who teaches his young son those exact traits. With fatal luck, he dies in the upper floors of the World Trade Center attending a meeting he never attends. The precocious son finds a key in a jar in his father's closet and sets out with a single clue, the last name of "Black", to find what that key opens. Thumbs up on this one across the board but bring the tissues.
Previous PostsBlog #11: Venus & Mars in Orbital Alignment, posted April 12th, 2013, 6 comments
Blog #10: Fools Rush In, posted February 28th, 2013, 8 comments
Blog #8. "Is", posted February 15th, 2013, 7 comments
Blog # 7: Of Self-Confidence, Self-Esteem and the Growth Progression of a Backbone, posted November 28th, 2012, 11 comments
Hot Air Released, posted November 5th, 2012, 11 comments
Blog #6: Where Lust is Wrong: The First Amendment Between My Legs, posted July 7th, 2012, 7 comments
Blog #5: See No Evil. Hear No Evil. Speak, Taste, Lick No Evil., posted June 19th, 2012, 8 comments
Blog #4: You Know Your Dress is too Short When . . ., posted May 6th, 2012, 14 comments
Blog #2: Doing that "In-Law" Thing, posted May 1st, 2012, 13 comments
Blog #1: Where do tears come from?, posted April 8th, 2012, 15 comments
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