There are two types of people, those who prefer to dine al fresco and those who don’t.
Those who truly do, know the glory of stretching out on the grass and delighting in the most simple of food while watching the world go by. These types of folks like wild, rambling conversations, a good drink, a solid sleep and the company of like-minded people.
I’ve been known to be one of those people. Often, and without reserve.
This morning, after having been swatted away like an irritating insect by my loveliest of lovely men ever, I decided I’d forgo further snuggling, suck up the fact that I was not living with a cuddler, and head to the office early.
As you all know, lengthy, relationships with the less fair sex have never been my strength. Relationships of purpose and pre-determined length (preferably no longer than three hours at the outside), nonetheless meaningful however, have been my go-to preference. I’m a woman with diverse tastes after all.
But since having nestled into a loving, long-term relationship, my own gifts to give have been called into question by a relentlessly ironic universe. As I was propelled through morning traffic my mind wandered to wonder what exactly it was that had me feeling unsettled, unsure and quite frankly, a bit like hitting the accelerator in a panic and turning off onto the highway to faraway-parts-unknown. Parts that would surely include a beach, icy gin, and quiet sunrises.
My first email of the day was a monthly or bi-weekly or quarterly, or whatever-the-hell-time-frame-they- plop-it-out newsletter from an employee assistance program. This month’s topic? Relationships.
Oh, the irony, and before 8:00 a.m. no less. Le sigh…black coffee and silence pleases plebs, momma’s got some thinkin’ to do.
At the top of the newsletter were the politically correct number of Caucasian, African-American and Asians (three in total, sorry Native Americans, Drag Queens and everyone else, you remain represented and marginalized by the ‘big three’). However, someone in marketing goofed (or not), because they were all women.
All women? Only women need this information about relationships; professional, familial, friendships, romantic? Say it ain’t so.
For a moment I thought about the lovely handsome man who was slumbering in our bed, oblivious to having tossed off the morning-snog bowline and giving me the equivalent of a one-legged-flat-footed send off from shore after having taken my paddle, map and water and shoving me out into the pre-dawn,swampy, wilderness.
Ok, ok, I might exaggerate a little bit, but I’m a woman of great imagination, and I want to be sure you understand the depth of my feeling. But I digress…
The irony of the morning send off and morning email was not lost on me. Not lost on me because women so often are the gatekeepers of relationship health. My mumster’s wise words of wisdom have always been, ‘Men will treat you how you allow them to treat you“. In other words, don’t take any shit, and be prepared to reel in your line,go to another fishing hole without haste, on your own steam, without looking back and wearing something that makes you feel wonderful. Thanks Ma.
But why did it bother me this morning? Most mornings, I’m happy to leave my delightfully delicious man-steak peacefully slumbering with his light snore and adorably messy hair, knowing he’s safe, resting, happy, and refueling his manliest of manly love-machines.
It wasn’t until this afternoon while I was driving around, finding (or losing, depends on how you look at it), my religion that it dawned on me.
My ah-ha moment? There was this beautifully haggard, out-of-time man sitting, back against one of the only trees generous enough to provide shade. His legs were stretched out in front of him, one laying long against cool grass, the other bent, over which he rested his arm. He was chomping on a sandwich and watching the world go by. It could have been 2015 and it could have been 1815. It didn’t matter. He was in the moment, being fully alive and human.
This man was the answer to that nagging question the bitch of insecurity had followed me with from my bedroom to work this morning. I am that man. Well, I’m really not that man, but you know what I mean right darlings?
I mean, I’m the kind of woman who does that kind of thing every day. I’ve never given it a second thought. I come home and revel in being naked, sliding on a pair of undies after my after work soak, pulling on a t-shirt, and drinking, writing, or entertaining the less fair sex into the wee hours of the morning.
I’m that guy!!! I’m the Alfresco diner for Christ’s sake!!!
Somewhere along the way during the past few months I’ve lost
Immediately I decided to ditch my suit, and cling to a patio chair while being administered cold gin and tonics and listening to Jimmy Buffett.
Instead I came home, mumbled the residue of the angst that has been holding me prisoner, collapsed into bed for two hours and awoke looking like the Pillsbury Dough-boy in a coral-coloured tunic.
Tomorrow I’ll do it with more flair and a double G&T. I will welcome my self back gently and with wonderfully tacky beach music.
Ah yes, sometimes it just takes a slow drive, a few weeks of madness, and a true love to rock a lady to her core.
Sometimes all it takes is, having a long, slow meal outdoors with some great wine, the delightful company of your lover, tossing our worries to the wind, and taking in the world just as it is, no more and no less.
Here’s to dining Alfresco and always finding a soft shady spot to land.