What We Do Is Who We Are. I Think. Well, Maybe.

What We Do Is Who We Are. I Think. Well, Maybe.

Maybe not, ‘cos if that were true, I’d be Eleanor Powell or Ella Fitzgerald and hub’d be Frank Sinatra or Fred Astaire or Sammy D.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Long relationships possess an ebb and flow; that we know.

On any given day, either one of us is the frustrating one to be married to (most often me ha ha). Sometimes we’re on the same path– in sync and cosmically aligned — sometimes we misunderstand cues and hurt feelings ensue.

My tugboat man and I have experienced it all — mostly we’re sailing along on the same course (nautical reference) —  but this past Sunday was a nice and easy day, kind of a quirky series of activities that pretty much defines our relationship in a good way, I think.

After a few days on antibiotics, hub’s up and about, almost recovered from an upper respiratory infection except for a nasty cough that’s stubbornly refusing to disappear.

My recovering invalid requested French toast for breakfast with fruit and yogurt — as much as I throw a certain amount of snark his way, I’m a dedicated caregiver — I learned it all from my RN mom.

Hmm, thought to self: next time he’s sick, I’ll need to remember to wear my mom’s old nurse uniform and that cool hat she wore along with the thick white support stockings and shoes — I love to play dress up. Yes, I never grew up, I know that…

In appreciation for the yummy breakfast, Tugboat Man declared that he would learn to play one of my favorite songs on his ukelele, Cole Porter’s “Begin the Beguine”.

Kala Concert Ukelele

He brings his Kala Concert Uke when he goes out to sea; it’s the perfect size for traveling.

(BTW, a beguine is a dance.)

That led each of us down a parallel path on You Tube to search for all the different versions we could find.

Sitting side by side on the sofa with our individual laptops, we shared our discoveries, both of us mirroring jaw-hanging-open awe of Eleanor Powell and Fred Astaire dancing in Broadway Melody of 1940:

While this may not seem like an overwhelming good time to everyone, when you’re a mariner’s wife, these simple slices of an everyday life  – things you might take for granted under different circumstances —  become more precious and more poignant — and more appreciated.

(Look at me!  A deep thought! Did you think it wasn’t possible? Did you doubt that I could be more than a one-dimensional shopaholic?)

We both agreed that our all-time favorite was performed by Ella Fitzgerald. I can (and do) listen to her over and over:

But Frank Sinatra’s is awesome, too. Throughout the years of his career, he sang it many different ways, and we listened to them all:

And then there’s Sammy Davis, Jr. He’s amazing:

What a wonderful way to spend a Sunday morning.

I guess for us today, what we do IS who we are, and the reaffirmation of us; together, enjoying different interpretations of “Begin the Beguine”, eyes closed, side by side, each of us feeling the haunting lyrics and exotic melody.

Sometimes, just being together is enough.

Whose version do you like?

Begin the Beguine

When they begin the beguine
It brings back the sound of music so tender
It brings back a night of tropical splendor
It brings back a memory ever green

I’m with you once more under the stars
And down by the shore an orchestra’s playing
And even the palms seem to be swaying
When they begin the beguine

To live it again is past all endeavor
Except when that tune clutches my heart
And there we are swearing to love forever
And promising never, never to part

What moments divine, what rapture serene
Till clouds came along to disperse the joys we had tasted
And now when I hear people curse the chance that was wasted
I know but too well what they mean

So don’t let them begin the beguine
Let the love that was once a fire remain an ember
Let it sleep like the dead desire I only remember
When they begin the beguine

Oh yes, let them begin the beguine make them play
Till the stars that were there before return above you
Till you whisper to me once more, darling I love you
And we suddenly know what heaven we’re in
When they begin the beguine

When they begin the beguine.

#Ella Fitzgerald, #Frank Sinatra, or #Sammy Davis Jr.

 

All About Love: The Engagement, The Wedding, The Anniversary

wedding

Today is our 20th anniversary. We were supposed to be camping at Zion, but my tugboat guy had to leave sooner than planned. This should be a short assignment and we’ll celebrate when he returns — but he’s out of cell phone range already so I’ll only get a short call on the sat phone…such is the life of a tugboat captain’s wife.

More to the point, appropriate gifts for the 20th include china and platinum.

Hmmm…good to know for my shopping trip today. Deets later.

The Engagement…

“Don’t ask any questions, but get all dressed up and be ready to walk out the door at exactly eight o’clock.”

“Why?”

“What part of don’t ask any questions don’t you understand?” “Just be ready to go.”

I had no idea what was going on, I really didn’t.

My twelve-year-old son already had plans to stay over at a friends house, and while my tugboat man drove him there, I tried on dress after dress, littering the bed with pretty much the entire contents of my closet.

Without knowing WHERE we were going nor having any idea WHY my tugboat guy was acting so mysterious, I figured the solution was to get as dressed up as I could because, in my experience, you can never be overdressed. And I HATE being underdressed. I like to shine, always have, always the princess.

I chose a pretty silk floral dress with a wide belt (1990s ha ha), a wide skirt that fell mid-calf (1990s calling again) and a pair of really high red heels. I have always been passionate about a pop of color.

“ARE YOU READY?? IT’S ALMOST EIGHT 0′CLOCK!”

I’ve never been one of those females who makes her guy late; if you tell me I need to be ready at a certain time, I’m usually ready a few minutes early, so yes, I was fully dressed, made up, perfumed, and really curious.

I wasn’t used to being surprised by my tugboat man; mostly we planned everything together after a lot of discussion.

I mentally ticked off the possibilities. It wasn’t my birthday, it wasn’t Valentine’s Day — the only thing I could think of was that this was somewhere around the time of year that we had our first real date in 1991 and we were going to go out for dinner to celebrate, especially since I learned early in our relationship that my mariner NEVER misses a meal.

I love to cook and bake — he loves to eat — a perfect match, right?

My boyfriend (ha ha, it’s funny to think of my hub as my BF) told me it was time to go NOW.

I opened the front door.

Parked in front of my house was the longest, shiniest stretchiest black limousine I’ve ever seen.

I looked at my tugboat man who was grinning from ear to ear.

WTF?

“This is just the beginning”, he said.

All the neighbors were outside pointing and waving to us.

I felt like I was in a dream. My first limousine!

After getting settled in with a glass of champs, we drove away, taking a detour to show my son and his friend the limo. My sweet tugboat man had obviously thought of everything.

The boys thought it was totally cool.

I found out later that my son was in on the surprise and had totally kept the secret  – in fact, my amazing guy had asked HIS PERMISSION to marry his mom. A lesson to all you guys out there…this is how to do it RIGHT.

I kept asking where we were going and what was going on and my sneaky mariner kept deflecting my interrogation with more champs.

I bet you can tell where this is going, but I was totally clueless. TOTALLY.

We took a drive up and down the coast. I was feeling like a real princess in the back of a limo with my handsome guy.

After a bit of kissing (details are intentionally fuzzy here ‘cos you know how tugboat man hates it when I spill too much on my blog), we were holding hands when he slid away from me and dropped to one knee.

He really did, I swear,  just like in the movies.

My mouth dropped open.

It’s like you’ve always daydreamed about something and played the scene over and over in your mind, but you’re still not prepared for the actual feelings that go along with it when it’s REAL and not a DREAM.

That’s what I was feeling.

He was so nervous and took my hand and was saying all these amazingly loving things and I was having a hard time breathing and I was all shaky and couldn’t even hear anything very clearly except when he said, “I love you. Will you do me the honor of marrying me?”

I. DIED.

Oh, of course I said YES, a huge YES, and in case you’re wondering, he didn’t have the engagement ring yet, ‘cos he knew I’d want to be a part of the selection process. See how well he knew me even back then? Hee hee.

We ended up at a romantic restaurant on the beach in Encinitas. When we were seated, the maitre d’ brought me a dozen long stemmed red roses that my now fiancé had delivered. I guess he knew I’d say yes, right?

(I don’t remember what we ate except dessert was my very first ever Chcolate Lava Cake, which is now one of my faves to bake for my tugboat guy.)

My guy thought of every single detail to create an unforgettable moment in time.

We drove around a bit more after dinner. When the limousine dropped us off, I was literally walking on a cloud.

We didn’t want the magic to end, so we stayed up the entire night and went for a walk on the beach at 5:00 a.m. to watch the sunrise.

We walked miles that morning. On the way home, we stopped at a little restaurant in Carlsbad and had breakfast.

[Fast forward]

The Wedding…

February 20, 1994
After the ceremony, me In a vintage gown, my tugboat man in a tux, we danced to our song, Nat King Cole’s Unforgettable.

Here we are in 2014, twenty years later, and I’m still the luckiest girl in the world.

Even though my tugboat man is out to sea and I’m alone for our anniversary, I know we are as connected by our hearts now as we were in 1994.

And that’s all that matters.

P.S. Along with the prezzy I’m getting. Just keepin’ it real, y’all!

Top Ten Things My Husband Hates About Me

On a whim, for no real reason, I sent my tugboat captain husband-in-absentia an email asking him to come up with ten things I do that piss him off, airing our dirty laundry, so to speak.

He wrote back that he….

  • …was too busy, didn’t have time to play my “little game”.
  • …is smart enough to know he should NEVER put anything in writing that could be used agaist him in a court of law.
  • …was sure I didn’t need him to tell me what I already knew.
  • …knows that I answer for him everywhere we go, so I could respond to my own query.
  • …was sure that I only asked or cared because I want to write a snarky post about it.

What a smart ass jerky jerk he is, right?

But he does know his little Princess Rosebud, that’s for sure.

Pretending for a moment that I’m a tugboat captain married to me (lucky guy), I walked a couple of steps in his shoes and compiled a list of my annoying traits…and no, I don’t plan to make any changes to my behavior because it amuses me to piss him off.

The List

organic-red-apple_3001. Hub HATES it when I hand him an apple to eat (or a peach or a pear) and I don’t remove the sticker first. I’ll wash it, of course, but the fact that this annoys him just means that I’ll ALWAYS remember to NEVER remove the sticker, ‘cos it’s so much fun to hear him rant about it.

2. I routinely let my car run out of gas when he’s out to sea, park it in the garage, and then I use HIS car until it’s also out of gas and then I call or email him to find out how many miles I have left in the reserve tank before I have to refuel or call AAA. Uh, I HATE going to the gas station. Duh.

3. As compulsively clean as I am, I leave open every single cabinet in the kitchen; and no matter where I am in the house, I laugh to myself as I hear him close each and every one when I leave the room. Hee hee.

4. We used to go out swing dancing and to Lindy Hop events, and he HATED that I would fight him for the lead. I’m not a very subservient follower; even while dancing, I like to be in control. He would say, “In most things in life, Rosebud, you can tell me what to do, but when we’re dancing, the MAN LEADS!” It’s a tough concept for me to grasp. So…we don’t do too much dancing anymore.

5. He hates that I love to watch Real Housewives of Orange County and once made him drive me to Laguna Beach and walk around pretending to be one of them. (For reals.)

6. He hates that I bug him to play Scrabble because I think I’m so smart and then when I see that I’m going to lose, I upset the board and ruin the game. Yes, I’m a sore loser.

7.  More than anything, he’s frustrated with me because my mouth has a mind of its own and it will yell out VERY RUDE things to people who are either texting/talking on their cell, or if I witness abuse/mistreatment of  children/animals…and then he has to step in and be my reluctant knight-in-shining-armor, but on the other hand, he tells me he loves me for my passions. He’s sending mixed messages, right? So it’s all his fault, right?

8. This is more of a thing that he’s perplexed by, rather than pissed off by…I’ll drive across town to either get the lowest price on a–let’s say for example, a ball of twine (READ ABOUT IT HERE), or I’ll take back a fifty cent item because I am SO CHEAP, yet I have no problem at all slapping down the plastique for a Chanel handbag or designer dress or a pair of Kate Spade specs. Drives him totes cray! I say it also keeps him on his toes.

9. He gets really incensed when I don’t wear safety goggles to mow the lawn. REALLY. Professional mariners are VERY safety-conscious. VERY. Since I mow the lawn mainly when he’s out to sea, he can’t enforce his safety rules. He is so not the boss of me!

{I checked Chicago Manual of Style online to determine whether it’s “safety conscious” or hyphenated “safety-conscious” but it didn’t give me a clear-cut answer and then I got bored with the research.}

10. Mostly, without  a doubt, the NUMBER ONE thing he hates is when I write about him in any context. And a picture of him? Forget about it. He refuses to let me post a photo of him, of us together, or any personal info.

For all that you guys know, he’s a figment of my imagination, but he really exists, I promise! See? Here’s my tugboat man shoveling mushroom compost ‘cos that’s what hubs are good for! 

Smooth sailing? Not always.

The Continuing Saga of Princess Rosebud and her Tugboat Man

Day 30…thirty days and thirty long nights since my tugboat man has been away.

He’s on the move–closer to land–and his cell works! He called last night. Other than the five minute satellite telephone call on our anniversary a couple weeks ago, this was the only time we’ve spoken. It was so unexpected. What a surprise to see his name pop up on my screen!

I always ask the same thing, “When are you coming home?” The answer this time was the answer he usually gives me; he doesn’t know, it could be now or in a month. “…you’ll be the first to know.” Dry humor.

The unpredictable life of a mariner

Some mariners have a regular schedule: three weeks on, three weeks off or two weeks on and two weeks off or even a month on and a month off. In the world of ocean-going tugs, there is no such certainty. One of my captain’s recent assignments was estimated to last  two months and it dragged on for a full four months due to several factors–including weather related issues.

Weather

There’s always weather. Right now, the project he’s on has had a lot of weather delays. If there are storms, high winds, and high seas, it’s neither prudent nor safe for a tug to proceed, and that entails a wait or what they call “on standby” until it clears.

What do you think about that? Do you think that uncertainty is a relationship hardship?

Things weren’t always so idyllic for us.

Did you think it was?

Before we met (at the company where we both worked), the captain had plotted a career move to Hawaii. His goal; good surf and work, probably in that order. Our company was setting up operations in Hawaii and he was tapped to head up that division.

Guess what? A year later, he left. He did. He really did.

I do kinda still hate him for that sometimes…wouldn’t you?

I took him to the dock and had to say goodbye. I mean a real goodbye, maybe a forever goodbye; he had packed up all his belongings and they were on the boat with him.

It was horrible at the time and it makes me sad now thinking about how I felt that day…so alone and bereft.

Us–we–it didn’t end. Over the course of several months, we visited back and forth a half dozen times. I was unhappy with the whole situation–I had done my work, made my list, and he was IT. Hawaii’s awesome, don’t get me wrong, who doesn’t love paradise–but that wasn’t part of MY plan.

Oh yes, he was IT for me but I couldn’t figure out how to persuade him to move back and allow our relationship to blossom. I was running out of options.

What if he met someone else?

One day I had just had enough. I was sick and tired of having a sometimes he’s here, sometimes he’s not boyfriend. It wasn’t what I wanted. And do you know what I did?

I changed my telephone number.

That’s just the way I roll. My home number was a landline and I called the telephone company and changed it. I figured that when he called, he’d get the recorded voice saying, “The number has been disconnected and there is no forwarding number” and he’d become so distraught when he couldn’t reach me that it would be the catalyst he needed to come running back to me!

MotorolaPager

I didn’t have a cell phone. I had a beeper, a pager–remember those things? Now I think only drug dealers use them LOL. He had one, too.

I waited for him to beep me. I waited all day. I was DYING to know if he had TRIED to call. This was 1992-ish; email was in its infancy–I don’t believe we even had a home computer, and the computers at work didn’t have internet access.

This is the funny part.

I started power paging him; over and over again. I mean, like twenty times, thirty times.

WITH MY NEW NUMBER.

I went to so much trouble to change my phone number and I couldn’t wait twenty-four hours. When he called, I asked him if he had tried to call the old number and he said he had (still not sure of that) and asked why I did something crazy like that. I can’t remember my response–I WAS crazy at that point.

[The quick end to that story is that I flew to Hawaii the following weekend and from there we went to Kauai and he said that I had wasted my time changing my number because he had already come to the conclusion that he couldn't live without me and he didn't want to live without me and he proposed and came home for good two months later and we were married nine months after that.]

Fast forward to yesterday’s phone call.

After we said our initial hellos and all that, I asked him,  “Do you ever get worried that I”ll change the number again and you won’t be able to reach me? Like when you’ve been gone a really long time and I’m getting tired of it? Like NOW?”

Him: (Laughing) “Not really, or if you did, you’d just call me right away to give me the new number like you did before.”

HA HA.

Now he’s turned into a sometimes he’s here, sometimes he’s not HUSBAND. The difference is that he always comes home–to me. Oh, and his paychecks come here even when he’s not. Hee Hee.

Final Words

It cracks me up when I hear “Somebody That I Used to Know“.  Gotye sings, “No you didn’t have to stoop so low. Have your friends collect your records and then change your number“…

He who tugs at my heart

Our first Valentine’s Day…a sweet moment in time

10:00 a.m. Pre-boarding routine on a 350 passenger charter vessel.

On the dock, the ramp is placed snugly against the vessel’s port side; a deckhand wipes it down to avoid any mishaps.

The captain checks with his crew to confirm that they’re stationed in the designated safety zones.

In the bathroom, the marketing coordinator fluffs out her hair and re-applies lipstick, grabs the clipboard, reviews any late changes for this corporate charter, scribbles a couple of notes, but her mind isn’t really on her work.

10:30 a.m. Two hundred men, women, and children gather at the foot of the dock awaiting the OK to board.

The captain straightens the gold stripes on his shoulders and counts the people clicker down to zero.

I take my place on his left where I’ll greet everyone with a “Welcome Aboard” after they’re counted.

The captain nods to the deckhand to unhook the velvet rope blocking the gangway.

It’s time to begin the boarding procedure.

He turns to me and whispers in my right ear, “My heart is melting.”

WTF. That is just so HIM, to say something so monumental and amazing and unexpected–and it took my breath away. Literally.  My mouth dropped open. (It really did, I remember it like it happened yesterday.) I had no sense of what went on for the next three hours. I was a zombie.

When all the guests were escorted to their seats and listened to the safety speech and lines were untied and we were underway, and after I had answered a million questions about our destination and passed out a few barf bags, I opened the door to the wheelhouse and handed my captain a cup of coffee.

I was suddenly shy. “Hi.”

“Thanks for the coffee.”

“Why did you say that, you know, back there?”

“Because it’s true.”

“You can’t just say something like that and expect me to just go on and act all normal.”

“I just did.”

Well, tugboat man, it’s our twenty-third Valentine’s Day, and you still make MY heart melt every time I look in your amazing grayish blue eyes.

I love you.

Come Rain or Come Shine

It’s a misty, rainy, foggy Saturday in Southern California. My tugboat man only has about ten days left before he leaves again for a deep ocean assignment. We’re working as an effective team organizing a lot of year-end paperwork. We’ve got some reggae music on while we slice open envelopes, creating piles to save and piles for the recycle bin.  We’re drinking tea with ginger cookies. He’s having a ginseng tea; the last of his stash from Korea. My Yogi Anti-oxident Green Tea bag is memorable and prophetic today:

You must know that you can swim through every tide and change of time.

So true, tea bag, so true. I’m not a very good swimmer, but I can count on my tugboat man to help keep me afloat just as he once told me I was his anchor.

Happy Saturday, y’all!
Sinatra sings, “Come Rain or Come Shine”

Grudge match: the pissed off surf widow versus the good wife (guess who won)

That wily vixen beeyotch was in rare form today.

Madame Beeyotch has been elegantly restrained lately except for an errant episode or two. Today, however, she wielded the POWER…

The day started out in an innocuous fashion. We woke up, had coffee–hubs had his portion controlled breakfast of homemade granola and low carb high protein flakes of some sort.

We went to the gym to take a Boot Camp/weight training class. So far, so good. On the way home, we ran a few errands–Trader Joe’s, Target, and stopped to get my glasses adjusted.

Still serene–planets in alignment–all is good. Madame Beeyotch, still restrained,  is singing a sweet, calming, and repetitive tune in her head.

Then…Captain Dorko decided we he needed to do a surf check. Stupid ocean. Obviously the waves were looking pretty good as evidenced by the grunts and snorts and exhalations of pleasure that emanated from the driver’s side.

Standup Paddleboard

Standup Paddleboard

Hubs just got a standup paddleboard (SUP) and now that there’s no wave small enough to keep him out of the water, he’s gone ALL THE TIME, and right about now it’s kind of getting on my last nerve.

I know what you might be thinking–cut the poor guy some slack; he’s out to sea a lot and he deserves a little r & r. Blah, blah, blah. That’s what I think!

My inner beeyotch can be held back no longer.

lastnervecatI’m thinking of all kinds of painful tortures to inflict upon the surf-obsessed hubs when I realized that he had been talking for quite a while. I only picked up the last part of it.

Him: “… and it’s so cool, I paddled all the way from the power plant past Old Mans and Warm Waters past the jetty to Tamarack. The waves weren’t big, but with that SUP I can have a lot of fun anyway.”

Crickets-Silence-More crlckets.

I’m thinking to myself. He can’t be talking to me. He just couldn’t be sharing all that stupid surf stuff with me.

Him again: “Look” he said, pointing west as we were stopped at a light, “I caught a wave there, and there, and there and…”

lastnerveyourcardPicture this. I’m sitting in the passenger seat. He’s driving. As he’s droning on and on and on AND on about the fun waves he’s been catching every damn day since he got that hateful SUP, I twist all the way around to look in the back seat. I look to the left-I look to the right– I stretch my body as far as it will go and look down with exaggerated movements to see the floor on the back seat.

Him: “What are you doing?”

Me: “I was looking for whoever you were talking to that must give a shit–’cos I don’t!”
(Whom/who–at that point I didn’t care to be correct.)

Him: {Laughing} “You’re really funny, you know that?”

(He honestly thinks I’m funny, he wasn’t kidding.)

Me: “I mean, I heard your lips flapping, waves, blah blah blah—fun, blah, blah, blah– and I thought to myself, he couldn’t possibly be talking to me because he should know that I don’t give a shit about his stupid surfing experiences!”

“You’re lucky I’m so agreeable to all the time you spend playing in the water and ignoring me.”

“But now that you mention it, you’re really getting on my last nerve, so you should prolly think about cutting back on your playtime in the water or I might just have to run up to South Coast Plaza and see what’s new for Spring. Chanel says tweed and feathers are trending right now.”

“Do we understand each other?”

Him: “Are you threatening me with shopping?”

Me: “How perceptive of you. You didn’t need a crystal ball to see where that was going…do we have a deal?”

Him: Arms folded, giving me that look of having tasted defeat…”Where do you want me to install those shelves?. Muttering half to himself as he walks in the garage, “I know when I’ve lost.”

surfwidowHowever, it is now almost 5pm and he ran off to the beach with a surfboard this time for an evening glass off session.

He will pay. Oh yes. He will pay. The beeyotch has spoken. Meow.

So the question remains. Who won? Who lost? Surf widow or nice wife? I think you know the answer…

Where was your first “I love you”?

Aside

Christmas
Wednesday, December 25, 1991

This was our first holiday together after I figuratively walked to the edge of the cliff and jumped off by telling my tugboat man I loved him the first time we shared a cup of coffee.

I was positive he was going to break up with me.

My son was with his dad for the day. The captain and I went to the gym in the morning for a little holiday workout before they closed at noon. The house was freezing when we got home. I remember going to the thermostat to turn on our central heating.  It’s rare that we need the heat on continuously here in SoCal; we use it briefly to take the chill out of the air.

It was (like it still is) a sad home when my son’s not here.

On the way home from the gym we stopped at a liquor store and bought a small bottle of Jagermeister250px-Jagermeister_bottle and a bottle of Rumpelmintz.rumplemintz

I was in the bathroom when I heard him. He very quietly said, “Rosebud, will you come into the family room? We need to talk.”

Oh NO, NOT the dreaded we need to talk. This did not sound good. Not good at all.

That’s breakup speak, I just knew it. But on Christmas DAY??? Who would do that? I know we had kind of fast tracked our relationship after that first cup of coffee–he even had been introduced to my son during a  work-related event or two and things were moving along great-or so I thought. Maybe things were moving too fast and he was getting cold feet. All kinds of doomsday scenarios were floating around in my head. All I knew for sure was that I didn’t want to come out of the bathroom; I stayed there, heart pounding, tears welling up in my eyes. I looked at myself in the mirror.

Why today of all days? What did I do wrong?woman_crying_m

I was still wearing my workout gear with an oversized plaid shirt. Nineties grunge, ya know?

At some point I steeled my nerves and came out of the bathroom to get it over with and figure out how to endure a breaking heart.

He was sitting at the small dining table we have in our family room where we eat informal meals. There were a couple of shot glasses filled with Rumplemintz (peppermint schnapps). He looked very serious. I mean, like he planned to deliver really bad news. He pulled out a chair and said, “Have a seat.”

tablechair

I said, “No. I don’t want to.”
Nice guy. He was going to get me drunk, break up with me, and run out the front door. This could be the worst day of my life. Seriously. He was going to do this before I could get a Christmas present from him? Seriously?

“Oh, come on. I need to tell you something. Come and sit down right here.”

Oh. Shit.

I forced my sad little plaid covered self over to the chair and looked down. I looked anywhere but at HIM. I didn’t want to see him for the very last time.

He wasn’t saying anything. I could feel him looking at me. At that point, I was thinking to myself, oh hell–just get it over with already! I gotta get myself a gallon of ice cream and start on it asap.

Finally, he reached over, took my hand and said, ” I need you to know that I love you.”

WHAT? You set me up for a break up scenario and you were planning to tell me that you loved me? WTF? 

I had anticipated the worst possible outcome. Instead, once again–he surprised me.

Crap. I can’t go any further with this story! He just told me that I can’t write the rest of what he said ‘cos it’s private–not for anyone to hear but me is what he said–but I can tell you it was lovely and sweet, and I’m so glad he’s here now–home for Christmas–because I’m always reminded of that first year.

If you don’t have to drive anywhere, try our special holiday tradition cocktail, the Reindeer: mix equal parts Jagermeister and Rumplemintz. Very potent!

Where did your most memorable “I love you” take place?

All You Need is Love, Love is All You Need

…there’s nothing you can do that can’t be done, nothing you can sing that can’t be sung, nothing you can say, but you can learn how to play the game, it’s easy, all you need is love, all you need is love, all you need is love, love, love is all you need. – The Beatles

lovely blog awardIf only that were true, right? I am the honored recipient of some hot love from Cowboys and Crossbones in the form of One Lovely Blog Award. With lots of love right back to CBXB, I’ll try to do justice to the love! THANKS CHICKA! YOU ROCK!

The rules are simple:  to share seven random things about myself and to nominate seven other worthy bloggers.

Where to begin. Where to begin.  I’ve shared so much, I wonder what’s left? (It’s no secret I love seashells and shopping and my Angel Boy child.)

1. I totally crush on Tina Fey. She’s smart and funny and pretty and very powerful. tina fey

2. I’m petrified to walk across running water, like a creek.

3. When the captain’s gone, I change all of the buttons on his car radio to my favorite station and place Hello Kitty stickers all over his truck-interior and exterior, just to annoy him.hellokittycup

4. I’ve been to Greece and Germany.

5. I was once the bathing suit centerfold model for a trade magazine for police officers. Don’t even think about me posting any pix.  Don’t even think about it.

6. I like to watch fifties and sixties sitcoms: Leave it to Beaver, Father Knows Best, I Love Lucy, My Three Sons.

7. The day I fell in love with the captain, I felt the earth move.

Check out these seven awesome bloggers-there are tons more I could include, but seven is the magic number!

PeachyTeachy
Why am I here in a handbasket
Freepennypress
The Cheeky Diva
IBDesignsUSA
The Fur Files
Misifusa’s Blog

Just a Cup of Coffee – The Love Story of Princess Rosebud and her Captain – Part One

Today:  Sometimes he’s here, sometimes he’s not. That’s the life of a tugboat captain’s wife. Right now he’s not..

weddingpicture

Yup, the secret’s out. I’m married to Johnny Depp

The Wedding: February 21, 1994

Our song, our first dance as husband and wife. “Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole
http://youtu.be/wkVuQGgx7d8

The Beginning…This is the love story of me, Princess Rosebud, and the tugboat captain.

We met when I was a year into my deal with myself to stay celibate until I met someone, uh, worthy…

Easter Sunday, April 4, 2010… At 3:40 this afternoon, I was in the threshold of our garage door that leads into the living room where I had dragged in a ladder to help with my latest project–painting the living room walls a divine shade of seafoam green–to stay busy when the captain’s out to sea. I mean, I can’t shop ALL the time. A girl has to take a break now and again, right? I set the ladder down and went back to close the garage door. At that precise moment, the glass vases on the shelves surrounding our fireplace began to vibrate and wobble. Here in SoCal, I’ve endured a handful of quakes, but never such intense shaking.

Through the open garage door I saw the bicycles that hang from the ceiling sway back and forth. As I attempted to process THAT information, the crystal lustres on my grandmother’s antique porcelain candelabras clashed and clinked. Terracotta tile flooring in the foyer seemed to roll back and forth as if I was on a sailboat in San Diego Bay, and I had a difficult time standing.

Feeling dizzy and unbalanced, I grasped the doorway for support.  My poor kitty gave me a dirty look like I had interrupted her nap on purpose. So much for the concept that animals can sense an earthquake–not this spoiled little brat.

I ran up our oak-planked steps into the family room and through the patio doors onto the deck and shouted out to the neighbors.

“Look at your pool!”

“I know, this is crazy! Are you OK? Any damage?”

“I don’t think so. A couple seashells fell off the shelf in the family room, but I was so freaked, I didn’t want to stay inside, so I ran out back. I don’t know if we should stay in the house or what we should do!”

“Us either! Let’s see what’s on the news.”

This quake was so violent that it caused the water in their pool to slosh over the sides like a mini-tsunami. We each went back in our respective homes and turned on CNN. We discovered that there had been a 7.2 earthquake in Mexico. The first reports that came in revealed a lot of damage near the epicenter in Mexicali, but no major problems in San Diego; only broken glass and falling cans at grocery stores, which seemed pretty miraculous considering the earthquake’s size.

Still spooked by the shaking and some pretty strong aftershocks, I surveyed the house, removing anything unsecured and potentially dangerous.

This is as good a time as any to confess something.

I’m a shell-aholic.

seashell mirrorI’ve got shelves and shelves of seashells in every room–including the bathroom. Everyone collects seashells, right? One here, one there, as a memory of a great beach or a fun vacation, right? Well…I’m a seashell hoarder. I want ALL seashells–there are never enough seashells to collect or buy. I make things out of some of them–picture frames, mirrors, boxes–they line the walls in our two bathrooms and even our front door, but mostly they just hang out–in bowls, on shelves, anywhere and everywhere. There is no empty space in our house, and if there is, it’s quickly filled with a shell–or a rock.

After a couple decades, we have come to an understanding, the captain and I. He thinks I’m crazy and obsessed with shells and rocks and driftwood, and I don’t destroy his surfboards if he doesn’t give me a hard time about it.

I anxiously emailed the captain who’s half a world away in the middle of an ocean. I figured that if anything would cause him to cut his four month assignment short, this might be it. The way that emailing works in deep ocean situations is through a pretty inefficient satellite; sometimes it takes hours to complete the process. If there’s a real emergency, I have a phone number to call, but this didn’t really fit the definition. I wasn’t hurt and the house wasn’t damaged or anything. When he finally read the email and wrote back, he told me to “standby” at the house phone because he would try to make a call from the boat’s sat phone. When he called, I used all my powers of persuasion to convince him to come home, but to no avail. He simply wasn’t going to call the United States Coast Guard to fly a rescue mission a thousand miles from land to bring  him home because the kitty and I were scared.

Well, I know where I stand in his list of priorities. Hmmm, I wonder if this is when I hatched my plot to get that Chanel. Hmmm, I wonder.

After that stressful event, and many aftershocks later, some pampering was definitely well deserved. That evening, I drew a bath in the upstairs bathroom we call the spa because it’s decorated in earthy tones with seashells and beach glass surrounding the mirrors and along the walls.

(I know what you’re thinking, and I don’t care.)

I lit a fragrant and calming lavender candle, eased my body into the almost too-hot-to-stand-it water, and trickled in ginger and lemongrass aromatherapy oils. Sipping from a glass of merlot, I leaned back, closed my eyes, and my thoughts wandered.

Experiencing an earthquake; the dizziness, the weightless feeling in a tub of warm water; it all reminded me of falling in love. It all felt the same… and it all started with a fifty cent cup of coffee.

Newly divorced in 1990, I speed dated a few guys, including one totally boring and slightly scary man who immediately wanted me to meet his parents after the first (and last) date, along with a couple of total idiots whose combined IQs prolly didn’t equal my Border Collie‘s. Those unsavory experiences became flashing red lights–STOP! NO! THINK!–impossible to ignore–that I seriously needed to take some time off the dating circuit.

It was the perfect time for a list.

I’m an inveterate list maker; I prioritize my errands and even list groceries in the order of where they’re located in the store– like my own custom board game–where I start at the entrance and finish at the cash register.

I wrote this particular list with the hope that if I documented the qualities desired in a significant other, the universe would deliver the right one when all the planets were aligned. Or so I dreamed.

At midnight on August 7th, 1990, with a bottle of wine to seal the deal, I made a promise to myself–I would not date (or do anything else) for a very long time, and the next one would be “the one”.

The List
1. Must call when he says he will. This is non-negotiable.
2. Must show up on time for dates.
3. Must love pets. Also non-negotiable.
4. No cigarettes. No smoking, and of course, no drugs.
5. Likes to exercise, work out, eat healthy, etc.
6. Must have gainful employment.
7. Must be nice and polite and honest and trustworthy.
8. Fidelity is of paramount importance.
9. When the time is right and he meets my son, my son has to like him. Also non-negotiable.

Fast forward to a year later, the following September 1991.

Tomorrow:
Part Two…Just a cup of coffee, the love story of Princess Rosebud and the tugboat captain