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Love Letters: I Almost Forgot About You

postmanWay past the hour when I should have been asleep, I rummaged through my bedside table looking for a grey and red package that only I know exists.

It belongs to me and no one else. It’s a part of my past that I reflect back upon now and then, and one that I treasure when I feel listless and alone.

Reading, ” I Almost Forgot About You” by Terry McMillan, reminded me of a few people in my past that I have not almost forgotten about, but had completely forgotten about. Thank gawd.

As I rummaged through old love letters and cards, I found myself deliberately searching for that grey and red package. The one that I found a few years ago and read again. Every time I go through it, I cry. These are bittersweet tears.

Decades ago I threw away all of the love letters that my high school sweetie penned. We were grand letter writers back then, and they were special. Alas, they long ago became part of the ecosystem, and hopefully are helping to sprout wildflowers somewhere for a young lover to pick for his beloved.

I still believe in the art of letter writing despite the instant and efficient technology we favour today. I believe in the value of quiet reflection while taking in the written word. It’s a lost art, but I try to tend to it faithfully.

As we stumble through life learning about ourselves, falling in and out of what we often mistake for love, once in a while we catch ourselves caught up right in the middle of it. Once in a while we reflect upon where we are, and we realize then, and only then, the little things that make us feel loved.

This is how I felt snuggled under my fluffy, white duvet. In the stillness of the night, I found the grey and red package and  reread the letters contained within it. Somehow they bring clarity to my life. They put my needs in perspective and remind me not to settle for someone who makes me feel less than…Love can be fleeting if you do not tend it. Like a garden it either grows roots or it withers like tender blossoms after the summer sun tucks itself away for another season.

Love letters can be grand reminders of what you really have to offer in relationship and what you really need. If you have nothing left after a relationship, no letters to remind you of what it felt like to be adored and cherished, I have to wonder if it was really love at all.

A wise woman once told me to pay attention to how a relationship started. If it did not start with affection, romance, and caring, it was bound to end with even less.

Love letters remind us what we love about the person we’re writing to. They remind the recipient that you think of them when they are not there, that they are cherished, and that love, despite distance, remains a true and trustworthy bond.

My little grey and red package reminds me that it’s out there somewhere.

 

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Travelling Light: My Very First Travel Companion

mapTravelling companions can make or break a travel experience. Or so they say.

I wouldn’t know. I’ve only ever travelled alone, but for one wild weekend in the Bahamas with my BFF, and we shall never speak of that again.

Pretty soon I’m off on an adventure with my sweetie-bear, my puddin’ pie, my hunk’a-hunk’a burning man love…you get what I’m talking about don’t you ladies?

Basically what I’m saying is that having passed the age of 40, I’m travelling for the first time with a man.

There are only two words for it; Yu Ikes.

Seriously.

Just the thought of it makes me giddy. Because giddy is my inappropriate nervous reaction.

Sweet Jesus. As I look around my hotel room, I see a sight that only a busy, single parent of an active teenager could smile at. My bra is hanging over the corner of the television screen. The large garbage can that is meant for the main living area is full of ice and wine. A French version of a popular food and drink magazine is drying out beside the sink (it got soaked by a half open bottle of coconut water while I was struggling to carry everything in from the underground parking garage), and deep purple remnents of said magazine are stuck to the towel that is hanging from a hook meant to hang up jackets in the entrance. There is a wet creamer package sticking half out of a coffee bag, and my shoes are scattered on the floor. Don’t even attempt to try and picture what the bathroom looks like afer a full-on gal-sprawl of cosmetics, towels, panties and hair accoutrements.  It’s pretty only in a way that that Parisian artists of the golden age could appreciate…while on opiods.

So this travelling without a companion has been a wonderful freedom that very few of my gal-pals have been able to enjoy. I totally get loving this freedom to not give a crap about anyone else’s space or comfort. After all, when you travel alone, your ‘stuff’ is all in one place and nobody bothers the organized chaos. There is also no cleaning up after anyone else either, which is a heavenly bonus. As is the fact that there is no one else’s schedule, priorities or aversions to be considerate of.

There is also no one to share it all with either. Not the messy bathroom and bra and the television set stuff – the good stuff. Well, not unless you go out and find someone to enjoy it with, but I digress.

Simply put, I need some valium and a good whack of booze to get me over my nervousness. But maybe a hug from my sweetie will do. I’ll let you know how it all pans out, hair accoutrements and all.

 

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Afraid of Being Happy: No, Just Tired of Explaining

vintage-love1I’m in a hotel room sipping vino, sitting in, what I must admit is the most comfortable office chair I’ve felt on my tushie in a very, very long time.

Tonight it was brought to my attention that I have mentioned a ‘someone special’ in these posts, but not enough to call him to your attention as a character in my book.

Ah yes, I confess, there is a man on the scene.

I don’t write about him because first of all, I think he reads these posts from time to time, and secondly, I’m kind of tired of explaining the ups and downs of my love life. Correction: what some people consider to be my love life.

Frankly, I’m tired of explaining darlings. T.I.R.E.D. Your idea of a love life and my idea of a love life are likely worlds apart. Men have, for the most part, been recreation for me. Curiosities of a sort to be examined, and put back without having damaged anything. Fascinating and lovely in their own unique way, there are few that I wished to have taken home. Kinda like lamps. Because really, who needs a bunch of funky lamps in the house? I would not call this my ‘love life’.

Anyway, I do have a lovely man in my life, and I mostly don’t write about him because I like him. I don’t want to jinx anything, and I don’t want anything about his being to be trivialized. I save the juicy bits for face-to-face-girl-talk. Mostly though, I don’t want to jinx anything and then have to explain why he’s an asshole. It’s just not a pretty thing to have to do.

However, given that I was asked by a friend ( and follower of Andshelaughs) about this mysterious man o’mine, I shall give you a list of some of the reasons he is a lover, not a curiosity.

  1. He’s cute. Yah, I know, it sounds really shallow, but I do genuinely think he’s adorable. I look into his eyes and my icy heart melts just a tiny bit.
  2. He tries. Mostly he’s emotionally oblivious, but he tries. In his own way, and in his own time, and I respect that. A lot.
  3. He’s passed the curriculum of adequate love making and is being considered for the advanced class.
  4. He does the dishes. Not kidding. This is huge. Any housework gets a bonus smack on the ass or two, and if he keeps going, he’ll be in for a full paddling. Perhaps I should introduce him to the vacuum and dust rag. Now that makes me hot!
  5. He gets me moving. When I feel worn right out, I like his company enough that I make the effort to go for a walk, or do whatever it is he thinks he needs to be doing.
  6. He’s not a romantic (which entirely sucks for a head-in-the-clouds-wish-I-may-wish-I-might kind of gal), but he consistently communicates. I’ll take that any day over an MIA flower sender.
  7. He eats my cooking and doesn’t complain. Ever. Need I say more?
  8. He’s touchy-feely and snuggly. Sometimes he needs some coaching, but he’s coming along quite nicely. Don’t tell his buddies, but I think he may be headed for  national-cuddle champion recognition.
  9. Although he watches CNN, he is capable of a conversation about current events and philosophy without sounding like a Warner Brothers stuttering pig. Politics however, now that’s another story…
  10. He drives all over hell’s-half-urban-acre of traffic to see me all the time…and he hates driving.

So my darlings, there you have a small snapshot of why I may not write about someone who is pretty special to me. You are also likely thinking that he’s one hell of a lucky guy to be keeping the company of a stunning, free-thinking bucket of devoted lust like me.

Simply put; He is.

 

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I’m Sorry I Was An @Hole

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“I’m sorry I was an asshole. I love you and don’t know what I’d do without you.”

That’s what a friend of mine told me he wanted to say to his wife today after being a colossal douche during the weekend. He also spun his wedding ring around on his finger and said that when he got home (late), he noticed that his wife had placed her wedding rings on the counter.

She’d never taken them off before.

“Did you tell her that?” I asked.

“No.”

“You need to dial a florist, send her a beautifully girly bouquet, and write exactly that on the card.”

“That’s so cliché.”

“How the hell is she supposed to know if you don’t communicate to her?” And because I know his wife, I also suggested that if she walked out on his dumb-ass, I wouldn’t blame her.

“True. You mean I should really write that, I’m sorry I was an asshole on the card?”

“Yes, and that you love her and don’t know what you’d do with out her. Because it’s true right?”

“Yah, it is. I do love her. What the hell was I thinking? She’s a great woman, and I don’t want to lose her.”

Off he went to send the flowers, which should have been delivered a few hours ago if all went according to plan, and the florist didn’t misspell asshole. Tomorrow I hope he comes in all smiles and thanks me for kicking his butt into high gear.

This man was not going to send flowers because he thought it was cliché, tacky, and overdone. Let me reassure you gentlemen, romance can never be over-done. Never. No woman will ever not swoon if there are flowers, jewellery, sweet letters of love, or any other grand romantic gestures.

Life is short and precious, and when it comes to truly-madly-deeply-relationships, we can never say, ‘I love you’ or ‘I appreciate you’ or ‘I want to ravish your naked body’ too much.

It’s one thing to be comfortable with one another. It’s another thing completely to take one another for granted or treat one another with anything but respect. You are each other’s rock. Don’t let the rings come off, or the relationship disintegrate into two people lonely together.

A suggestion for you darlings: 10000 Ways to Say I Love You by Gregory P. Godek. If you suffer from Lackofromanceinyourpants Syndrome, you need to buy this and use it.

Send the flowers. Write the note. Leave a trail of rose petals. Buy the lingerie. Hold hands and kiss passionately in public. Be gloriously in love.

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Swing Your Partner ‘Round & ‘Round

square dancingI used to think the term partner was kind of dorky. It was a pretentious term that made me want to gag. Kind of like when someone said, ‘making love’. What the hell?!

Partnership and making love seem to have gotten a lot more sexy as I’ve gotten a lot more mature.

The older we get, the more important it is to connect with someone who understands the values you were raised with and where you come from.

I recently connected with a school chum who has known me since I was a pre-teen. We spent some time talking and  shared a male/female perspective on life, work, and partnership.

Ah, yes. Partnership. The great connection we all seek which satiates the need to have someone witness our lives. Time unravels more quickly as we get closer to the end, and having someone to partner with begins to mean more and more.

Having a partner means having someone to stand as our witness in this world and say,

I see you. I see you for who you are, all you’ve been through and accomplished, and everything you hope to be. I see you.

True partnership is rare. Partnerships involve intertwining two lives to support, uplift and encourage one another. And that comes with the requirement to empathize and love in an active way.  It requires truly caring for someone and putting your kind thoughts and words into action.

You go out the door everyday cheering one another on, and come back together eager to share and plan. If it’s working, both benefit. If it’s not, you feel like you’re not in partnership, but continuing a solo journey through this wild and wonderful blink-of-an-eye that we call life.

True partnership is a dance of communication, support and joyfully participating in not only the exciting, but the mundane aspects of one another’s life.  Ah yes, the mundane. That unsexy, but major part of our time spent here on earth.

Our culture honours the individual and  often people dismiss commitment, thinking that relationship growth will come without effort or deliberate attention. Good luck with that.

Partnerships are living relationships. Nurturing a culture of neglect within a relationship is a bad thing. You know what happens when you neglect living things? They die.

People want partnership but they aren’t willing to do the work. They aren’t willing to communicate, prioritize time and sadly, many people lack empathy. We swing our relationships in stomach-churning circles, instead of lovingly holding them with care and giving them the elements they need to survive.

Tonight it was nice to connect with someone who really understands what it means to be in partnership.

It was nice to know that my values and my heart are not alone in this world, and that someone, somewhere remembers who we were.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Can I Get a Witness?

old-man-kissing-old-woman-on-foreheadSome time ago, I stared across the table at a man who used to be my lover. The menu wasn’t all that spectacular, but that didn’t matter.

What mattered was that after all of this time, we were still close in one another’s hearts.

What mattered was that we were there.

Back almost where we started so very long ago. Less than a block away from his old place, and the same distance from where I spent some of my most difficult and formative months at work.

It was fun to listen to him. Another man of privilege, just starting to find himself on the other side of the horizon of adulthood.

For people like me, who’ve had a harder than normal life, who’ve been alone, had no one to turn to at times, watching someone get to know themselves is an eye-opening process. It always makes me thankful that I had to be grounded in my own personal ethic and morals for so long.  It also frightens me thinking that so many adults wreak havoc with one another’s hearts trying to ‘find themselves’.

It can be frightening to watch someone twist and morph into a thousand different personas that they are not, being a bystander until they finally settle into who they are. Sometimes settling at peace, but more often catching peace in fleeting moments of sunlight, solitude or minor successes, and still not understanding that these small moments are peace.

Sometimes having the luxury of luxury isn’t such a great thing. You have the time and means to run away via travel, hobbies that require gobs of accessories, and buying highs (whether that comes in the form of delicious meals, booze, drugs or expensive cars and toys).

Ah yes, to be able to run away. I’ve done it, enjoyed being away, but also know the feeling of having the weight of a shadow on my back, despite being half way around the world.

To be at peace means to find joy in moments, and to come to uncertain feelings, thoughts and emotions without letting fear cloud the path to clarity.

Sitting across from this man whom I’ve known so well, I sat forward, happy to hear about his journey to becoming. What I forgot was that throughout the years, he had also been witnessing mine.

 

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Bed As Battlefield & Tempting Invitations

holding handsMore than I hate crying, I hate crying in front of anyone, and that’s exactly what I did. I was in the middle of reprimanding myself for letting my heart win out over my head.

Goodness knows darlings, that fabulous women certainly do not put themselves in precarious emotional situations. Vulnerability is for the weak, and the lord knows we aren’t weak. Delicate maybe, but not weak.

I had fallen into a trap of my own making, having made an exception to one of my rules-of-romantic-engagement. Feeling frustrated, angry, and foolish, tears came, and my stomach knotted. Making my way back from a good-old-fashioned-anxiety-provoked-puke, I decided to turn off my head and try and get some rest.

Seriously, who needs the heartache??? Who needs this shit?

And then the room lit up with the faint light of the magical smartphone. A late message is one of three things in my home; an urgent message from the kiddo, a friend’s cry for help, or an old lover reaching out for whatever-it-is-they-miss-when-they’ve-overindulged.

In this case it was behind door number three. An old lover I’ve known as long as one of my oldest friends. “You have been on my mind. Just wondering how you’re doing and if you’re ok. Let’s get together soon.”

Let’s get together soon you say?  Ooh-la-la.

This little out-of-the-blue text got me to thinking. Really, who does need the heartache? A delightfully romantic date and a steamy romp are always only a phone call away when you’ve reigned over the land of Singledom,  back-up lists, younger men and full-time-on-call lovers longer than any of your gal-pals.  Choose your poison ladies, and they show up on the doorstep with whatever your heart desires, and an appetite for everything that’s deliciously bad for you.

My thoughts turned from reprimanding myself and repeating in head the mean words my sweetheart had uttered and over again, to the various and sundry shenanigans that I had been exquisitely escorted through on the arm of my rather storybook suitors. Not. Too. Shabby.

Keeping close to my side of the bed-turned-battlefield,  I asked myself again, “Who needs this relationship-heartache shit?”