Friday, October 19, 2007

Bonding Moments

Spending time with my son lately has been pure joy. He’s been having issues with his teacher and 2 classmates, which I have to go in and address tomorrow. To ensure his spirit remains nurtured, while enduring his personal challenges, I’ve rearranged my schedule to spend even more time with him. As a result, he’s made me laugh each day with something creatively funny he’s said. Below is a sampling:

[Scene: Picking him up at the gym from after-school program my son sees me, gets all excited starts running towards me.]
Son: Mom… mom, you gotta let me go to the Halloween party they’re throwing here in 2 weeks!
Me: You know that it starts past your bedtime. Why do you want to go so badly?
Son: Because that’s the mother load of candy days! I can collect more in one night than you buy in a YEAR! I can collect it and stash it away and eat only a few pieces a week, that way it'’ll last me till next Halloween and I’ll never have to negotiate with you to buy candy ever again ‘cause I’'ll already have my own.
Me: [Just gave him a look he’s used to by now]
Son: [Turns to friend and says:] “See, I told you she wouldn’'t buy it.”
[Scene: Me, stopping in at the corner café to buy some coffee on our way to my son's school. My son remains outside running around chasing pigeons. He stops for a moment, comes inside and starts collecting the crumbs off the counter.]
Me: Why are you collecting crumbs?
Son: The pigeons are hungry and want the crumbs.
Me: How do you know they’'re hungry and want crumbs?
Son: They told me so. I speak fluent pidgeon! [He said this with such a serious face everyone was dying to burst out in laughter, me included. He stood there waiting for me to give the ok.]
Me: [All I could muster to do was wave him on and say:] Go ahead.
Afterwards everyone bursts out in laughter and a few agree, the scene was worthy of submission to the the Metropolitan Diary column in the NY Times. I simply said "Please go ahead and submit them yourselves. I've got plenty more where that came from." Hence the inspiration for this new theme in my blog - Bonding Moments.
[Scene: While playing chess in our living room]
Me: Where are you going, we’re in the middle of a game.
Son: I know, by the time you figure out that I have you in double check I’ll be back with my glass of water. Want some? [He stands there waiting for my answer as I stare at the board and see that I'’ve lost becaues he has my Queen in double check-mate and my King in check. ]
Me: How did you do that in 9 moves?
Son: It’s easy, Thursday’s is your worst day of the week and you come home tired, with lots of things on your mind. I suggest we play chess so I can take advantage of that! [Him giggling!]
Me: Some day you’ll have kids of your own, I'’m going to teach them how to play so well, they're going to teach you a thing or to!
Son: Yes, and until that day comes I will continue to beat you!

Update: I received a lot of comments on this post. One of my readers shared a scene so hysterical, I'm still crying from the laughter.  I repost with permission below: 

[Scene: Seven-year-old son say goodbye to mother before leaving with Dad for school] Son: Mom look the dog is licking her privates. Mom: Yes. Dogs do that sometimes. Son: I can't do that. [bends at waist to demonstrate.] See? [Parents fall to the floor laughing the moment he leaves the room]

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Clueless in NY

You would think that an urbane chick like me could handle anything life throws her way. I usually can, that’s why I have the job I do. But when it comes to SOME men, like my sexy, wonderful “Secret Agent Man” (SAM for short), I can be rather clueless. I discovered that last night quite by accident.

At the end of a most wonderful phone conversation he finally said to me: So how soon can I hear from you again?"

Ms. Sophisticated Urbane Chic (me) answered "Uhhhhhhm, I don't know." Why did I say such a stupid thing? ‘Cause I was truly puzzled and when that happens my mind starts racing. That's when the barrage of questions from my inner demons visiting from my past which have permanent residence in my head began talking to me, "You know, I'm not really clear on what he means" and in the background I hear his wonderful sexy voice protesting my 'I don't know.'

"“Oh, I see how it is… [he says in a disappointed frustrated voice], I'’ve been away in China on business for almost 10 days, in which I didn'’t call because of the 12 hr time difference, and as a result I'm now relegated to the back burner of your life, while you play it cool. I see how it is.”"

My inner demons were screaming at me, the arrogant evil one said, "Good let him sweat it out for awhile for not calling". The nicer demon screamed, "“Noooooooo, wait, that’s not what you meant, talk to him…. NOW dammit!!! Tell him the truth. Tell him that you’ve missed him, but didn’t call sooner because he hadn’'t responded to your last email. Tell him you thought he was busy and...”
"“AHHHH, STOP!!!“" I shouted to myself in my head as I pressed the palms of my hand against my forehead to try and stop the chatter and my impending headache. The voices subsided long enough for me to respond to SAM, who had been quietly protesting to me all the while through the telephone. When I spoke, all I was finally able to say was, "“It's your turn next."”

"What?!!" I thought to myself. All I remember from him was silence. While within me raged a second storm between my twin demons who were by now vying intenselfy for supremacy, so their message could get out first. The nice demon said: "“Tell him you DO want to talk with him...… often, but just don’t know how often and how long, or what happens if he calls and you're not in the mood. Or what if you're PMS, Lord, that’s never a good time to talk with you, EVER!"” I swear, for once in my life I was rolling my eyes at myself. I was so grateful he wasn't standing before me. My internal dialogue continued going in all different directions, my feelings were being crowded out by my demon twins.

My evil demon shouted, saying,"“Wait A minute... you’'ve emailed, you'’ve called,… you’'re not the only one who should be doing the heavy lifting here. He has to show he truly cares or has a genuine interest about this relationship too, otherwise you’re giving too much of yourself, and then it becomes one-sided, when it should be an equal effort… a give and take, a true partnership. This is when they show you if they can be a truly giving and caring friend, 'cause if that's too much to handle, then they'll be coming up short with everything else... EVERY TIME and then it'll be too late to realize you're just been wasting your time."” Since that argument sounded reasonable, I let my last statement stand.

We talked for a bit more about other things, I don’t remember how the call ended exactly, it was late and I hadn'’t slept well in a week, so I knew to quit while ahead.

And since I wasn’'t able to sleep yet again, in the wee hours of the morning I wondered if this is as hard for him, as it is for me. How on earth do we get past the inner demons and the fears to be able to speak from our hearts. Is it just as hard for him to tell me what he wants or needs from me, as it is for me. But the truth is that somehow we are managing to go over those speed bumps called fears, that temporarily slow us down long enough for us to take stock on how things are going on this wonderful journey. The good thing is that those bumps serve as a way to learn how to first and foremost be friends, so that we can learn how to be incredible lovers afterwards. I wonder if he's even aware how my stammering and stumbling of words is something that happens only when I talk with him. At work I'm clear, decisive and a force to be reckoned with. In intimate relationships the truth is I sometimes muddle my way through because my brain interrupts my heart every time.

Because if it hadn'’t been that hard for me, I would have simply said, “"You know what, I’'ve missed you this past week. I've missed your sense of humor, your incredible sexy voice; I've missed the sharing of our week with each other... I always love hearing from you... in any form. So write when you want to write, even if its just to say hi and to let me know you're busy. Call when you feel like calling. And if we can talk, we’ll talk and If we can’t… well, then we’ll figure something out when we get there. You just tell me what you're comfortable with, then do what you're comfortable with, and I'll do the same, and we'll just go from there. How does that sound?”"

One thing's for sure, next time I'll make sure I have plenty of sleep before we talk. I think the call would have gone a lot differently had I slept more than 16 hrs in in the last 5 days.

Hmmmm, I wonder if anyone has figured out how we can do do-overs in relationships. Any suggestions?

Update: Some of the comments I received on this post are worthy of re-posting here.

1 Do what your heart tells you, always trust your heart. It knows what it's doing, even if you don't think it does.
Posted by: Quality Weenie at October 17, 2007 07:25 PM (BksWB)
2 Wow, you not knowing what's the right thing to say? You ARE sleep deprived. You even sounded so today during the mid-morning call. Get some sleep! Everything will look better int he morning.
Posted by: lisa at October 17, 2007 07:37 PM (D0Mr6)
3 Hey, if things don't work out, can I have an oppty to take you out?
Posted by: Erik at October 17, 2007 08:09 PM (ueMLc)
4 Suggestion: email him what you said in the last half of this post.
Posted by: Jean at October 17, 2007 10:15 PM (AiJXe)
5 I'd love to offer up some great advice - but...yeah. It's ME, for cryin' out loud.... I sure do wish I could just replay some of our phone conversations for you. ;-) Probably the best thing I can say is to remind you to remember he's just as human as you are. Just as vulnerable. If you keep the walls TOO strong, you might miss out. Balance darlin'. It's all about balance. But then again, it's like I' ME, so what do I know.......
Posted by: Tammi at October 18, 2007 06:11 AM (dnmhS)
6 Are you aware that Mercury is retrograde and that all communications is apt to go awry? That means that everything you do, say and write is automatically prone to mis-communication.
Posted by: Lisa at October 18, 2007 10:28 AM (BN/Fu)
7 "I wonder if anyone has figured out how we can do do-overs in relationships." Just ask for one.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at October 18, 2007 03:47 PM (UquFN)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Mail Bag

I got home from a busy, fun weekend (of hikes, apple picking, and taking my son to his first county fair) to find lots of wonderful emails in my inbox. That's a first for me! The sentiments ran the gamut and since I am pressed for time I will post a quick response here with individual emails to follow.

A few of you wrote asking for lots of interesting details on how my romance is going. Sorry folks, but I don't like to kiss-N-tell.

Several more wrote urging me to be careful and proceed cautiously. I am nothing if not very careful. So careful in fact that guys usually get tired of waiting for me to come around, they give up and eventually walk away. That suits me just fine because it's only over time that a person's true nature is revealed.

Some of you urged me to stop the torture and get it over with and jump his bones and share the details. One person in particular wanted pictures. No Lisa, I will not put a hidden webcam in his bathroom. I think your bathroom fetish is going too far now and you need to consider getting some professional help.

The jumping of the bones is fine for most people but not yet for me. Fortunately, my erogenous zone is somewhere in my brain, so the jumping of bones is for after the fact, or should I say after that act. Besides, you know what the Supremes say: You can't hurry love. No, you just have to wait...", but in the meantime, its a wonderful journey.

To those who are wishing me well, a heart felt Thank YOU! I am truly touched by your caring and thoughtfulness. I especially liked the email I received from Eric (Norway), which contained his wonderful wishes wrapped in the beautiful poem below. I am sharing it for our mutual enjoyment.

Again, a heart felt thank you to all.

Love One Another by Khalil Gibran

Love one another, but make not a yoke of love
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Fill each other's cup, but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread, but eat not from the same loaf.

Sing and dance together and be joyous,
but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone
though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping;
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together yet not too near together;
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


There’s something unbelievably sexy when someone you like a lot leaves a voice mail message in a slow, deliberate manner, in a tone just above a whisper and says: “I called just to let you know I was thinking of you.” [Sigh!!!]

After listening to his message a few times, which gave me enough time to regain my breath, I was finally able to subdue my endless grin and bring it down to a reasonably normal smile. When my head finally got off it’s “giddy” Merry-go-round, this great song came to mind. Someday, I’ll let him know the effect his voice mail message had on me and how this song was posted in response. Yes, someday, just not today.

Now let me see if I can get out of my head, wipe the silly grin off my face and get back to work.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Pt. 3 - Parting of the ways

We had been lost in each other for what seemed like only a short while, when we heard the conductor announcing our arrival in DC. Not knowing what to say, we gathered our belongings in silence. Reality had intruded into our little world and had cruelly disrupted it.

When he finally turned his attention back to me, there was a seriousness of manner and a purpose in his look that could not be mistaken. I’ve been in business long enough to know when a man is about to try and “close the deal”. I listened intently to him praise the qualities he liked most about me, and was touched by his sweet and sincere manner. It’s never easy for a guy to ask a woman out, I’ve always been keenly aware and sensitive to that. So, it was even harder for me when I was forced to turn down his dinner invitation. I quickly explained that it's a personal rule I have, not to go out with men I don’t know. Normally, that deters those men who only have one thing in mind, from going any further.

But when I also turned him down for lunch he was really confused. I again explained, since we didn’t have any acquaintances in common that could vouch for his character, I would have to know him awhile before I could accept any invitation. After all, all I knew of him was what he told me of himself and whatever was printed on his business card.

To help him understand where I was coming from, I shared with him a personal experience I had over a year ago. A gentleman, who called himself a christian, told me he was an Eagle Scout, a well-respected college professor and leader in his community. While wooing me over a period of several weeks, I refused to meet with him for the same reason and I thought I had gotten to know him pretty well. What he didn't tell me (though I asked) and what I later discovered, was all along he had a wife, mother-in-law, and 2 children living with him. Of course, it was easy for him to be so deceitful; aside from lacking morals and values, he took advantage of my ignorance because I didn’t live nearby. I had no way of knowing.

Having apologized for being so insistent about dinner, he became quiet and reflective. After a short interval he once again began to smile and said (more for himself than to me), “All good things come to those who wait. I’m a patient man, and that virtue has gotten me to where I am today, so I know my patience can take me all the way…. to dinner that is.”

A minute later he was holding the door open for me to enter the taxi. He lingered long enough to give me just a bit of hope. He finally said the words I’'d been hoping to hear for the last few minutes:
"“May I call you?”

I momentarily held my breath as my heart leapt up with excitement. Smiling happily I answered, “"Yes. I would love that.”"

Sporting a happy smile, which made him look younger and more handsome than he had all day, he asked, "“Is Saturnday night at 9:00 a good time?"

"“9:00pm is perfect"”

"“Then it’s a date!"” he said with a mischievous look on his face. He closed the door as he smiled triumphantly, having managed to secure more time with me after all. I leaned forward and waved goodbye just to take one last good look at his gorgeous frame. I had already memorized his face. It was my last chance to memorize the rest of him before he disappeared from view.

By the time I arrived at the office, there was an email waiting for me that simply read:

"“I'’m really looking forward to talking with you Saturday night!”"

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Power of Love

Love is an incredibly powerful force. It has its own energy and life span and can outlive the bonds with those we love.

Meeting this incredibile man recently has made me think of my very first grown up love.

My first true grown up love was and incredibly beautiful and powerful love that had a force and an energy all its own. Its hard to put into words how incredibly perfect it was. I’ve never spoken of Jack to anyone because the huge solid lump in my throat would prevent me from speaking his name, let alone me sharing about him or our time together. Even now, tears still flow as I write and think of him. I can still vividly recall the moment we first met, what we wore, what we said, how we felt (though the intensity of the emotions have faded considerably over these past 20 years). There are times I remember awkward funny moments that our self-consciousness produced very early on, which gave way to a growing strong and abiding love.

For a very long time I believed he was my one and only soul mate. But he, being older and wiser, kept insisting, especially as his cancer progressed, that I would love again and eventually find another wonderful soul mate. Being 20, I felt I had already lived a lifetime. so I never knew whether to believe him or not. I figured either way time would tell, but I didn't think it could ever be possible for me to have what we had a 2nd time around.

This past summer I had a lot of time to think about the kinds of love I have experienced in my lifetime and the kind of love I now want to have in my life. For the first time I had the courage to think back on the kind of love Jack and I shared, and reflect on what made it work and what was lacking, so I could be clear about the kind of love I want to experience in the future.

Funny how it took me to be in my mid 40’s to learn love is not an accident. Meeting someone, and experiencing a connection with them is, but true love is something that evolves slowly over time. True love exists when you deeply care, not only what happens to that person, but loving them in spite of their shortcoming and through every challenge they experience. True love doesn't fade in their absence, or with sickness, and is supposed to remain steadfast in health. When you truly love it holds steadfast whether you grow richer or poorer, and irregardlessly of your lives getting better or worse.

Saying “I do” doesn’t make true love so. True love is a state that exists way before the “I do’s”. It’s when both individuals are willing to do whatever it takes to make the relationship work, thrive, and grow, and you’re not afraid of self-sacrifice or hard work, because the rewards from it are so incredibly worth the sacrifice.

I bumped into Jack’s parents this summer. After years of marriage they were still holding hands as they walked down the street. We recognized each other and immediately began talking and catching up on the missing decades, as people so often do in this city.

Afterwards, as I watched them slowly walk away, hand in hand, I realized what a gift Jack had been in my life. In loving me, he taught me how to truly love. And to truly love someone is to do so openly, honestly and without manipulation, with caring, patience and understanding; with commitment for the other's well being as well as their own. It is loving with passion, respect and vulnerability; all while deferring self-centered desires for the greater good, which is always the relationship.

Jack, what a blessing and a great teacher you were. Thank you! And I finally believe your prediction was right. I finally believe I have found my other soul mate. His smile and laughter are already in my heart, filling the space that you opened up for him to fill. Thank you!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Mon Cher, do I love you?

“Do I love you because you're beautiful, or are you beautiful because I love you? Am I making believe I see in you, a [man] too perfect to be really true? Do I want you because you're wonderful, or are you wonderful because I want you? Are you the sweet invention of a lover's dream, or are you really as beautiful as you seem?” 
~ Oscar Hammerstein II

I Cried For You

Pt. 2 - Intimate Interlude

There is something that happens to the rest of the world when you meet that special someone you strongly connect with. For awhile, the noisy intrusive world that surrounds us ceases to exist. Time seems to stand still, when in fact it steals away precious minutes from new found lovers. The world shrinks to encompass only them and nothing and no one else exists in their little world. Sleep, hunger, comfort, all are sacrificed just to linger for a moment longer with that special someone. Early on in their meetings, that special someone's presence and closeness is all they need and want for nourishment.

But what most of us don't realize when looking at that special someone, is that we really don't see what's before us. No, instead what we see is all that we wish to see and hope to find in another. What is before us is often a magical illusion of all our hopes and dreams. Anything beyond that is ignored for the sake of maintaining the wonderful fantasy just a little while longer. So we can have that love high be just a little sweeter.

That was the Svengali-like effect he had on me. Nothing existed within my sight except his beautiful smile, his heavenly eyes and his heart-melting sexy voice. He too was just as attentive and eager to learn about me as I was about him.

At one point he was sharing this story about himself babysitting his younger nephew. As a mom, I couldn't help but think that his story of learning to be an uncle and of the manly 5 second rule (for food that falls on a floor) were a bit gross and did not reflect the incredibly sophisticated and attractive man that was before me. I couldn't help but unconsciously respond by making a strange face.

Stopping mid-story he asks: “What’s wrong?”

Though I hesitated at first I went ahead and asked, “"Do you always tell this story to women you’re trying to impress?”"

"“Uh… yes”. Why?"

"“No wonder you’re still single. That’s story makes you seem so.. so… .... sooo unlayable right now... it’s just not funny!"”

His shock at my frankness caused him initially to gasp then pause, before letting out the biggest raucous heartfelt laughter I’ve ever heard from a man. I too was shocked at hearing my honest thoughts escaping my mouth, and laughed.

When he finally composed himself, he confessed to me that no one had ever told him that it was such an unappealing story.

“Well honey, someone needs to tell you the truth… and often. Otherwise the next thing you’ll go around believing is that you’re handsome, and we can’t have you going around believing that falsehood.”

Here again he laughed heartily too. I enjoyed making him laugh because he had the most wonderfully infectious laughter and the most heart-warming smile I had ever seen.

Yes, each second of those 2 hours and 45 minutes were nothing like I had ever experienced before in my ife... they were truly magical.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Pt. 1 - The Meeting

While descending the stairs at Penn Station I was glad to see that my Amtrak train bound for DC had not yet arrived. Reaching the bottom of the steps I excused myself, to get the attention of 2 gentleman blocking my path onto the platform.

As they apologized I could not help but stare at the one gentleman who turned to face me. For a moment I thought I had run into my best friend, but knew that to be impossible since he had just left for a long secret vacation at some unknown resort with some mystery woman. I smiled broadly thinking to myself, how am I ever going to explain my staring, to this handsome gentleman standing before me?
“Pardon me” I finally say to him, who is by now returning my smile, ”I must tell you that I believe you have a twin brother in Georgia”
Shaking his head while smiling broadly he laughingly says, “That has got to be THE worst pick up line I have ever heard!” I was instantly captivated by his honeyed northern Virginia drawl. And yet, I couldn'’t help but laugh heartily, both at his presumption and clever response.
As I laughed I realized I still couldn'’t stop staring at him, which made me both very self-conscious and caused my breathing to quicken. I was just mesmerized by his deep intent gaze into my own eyes. I think it is so sexy when a man is confident enough to look straight into my eyes and hold my gaze. Thinking at that moment was impossible, but I needed to say something to the man standing so closely before me, awaiting patiently for a response. Amidst our silence, I felt his Svengali-like power begin to take hold of me.
Momentarily looking away I gathered all my courage to speak honestly. Smiling shyly as I looked back at him once again, I finally whispered, “I’m sorry… your beautiful green eyes have mesmerized me and I can’t think of anything to say.”
As he continued to hold my gaze, I could sense his surprise. “"Wow…! that is the most honest come back line I’ have ever heard!”"
I truly don’t remember what he said next, for I was completely lost in the beautiful sea of green that were still controlling me. I do remember thinking about halfway through our trip, as we continued to talk, “Wow, he’s funny, intelligent, interesting, charming, well traveled, self-confident and handsome, with a great body to boot… I finally have before me the man of my dreams. Oh Lord, I think I'm in deep trouble here… If he’s meant to be in my life please Lord, let me know the right thing to say.“
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