It’s Valentine’s Day. How About Practicing Random Acts of Romance?

Vintage tugboat valentineMy Valentine’s Day advice?

Practice random acts of romance all year.

My tugboat man isn’t here today, Sigh.

But I don’t really care about Valentine’s Day. I really, really don’t.

It’s not that I reject it for its blatant commercialism (although there’s that, too) but my thought process works like this: why set aside only one day out of 365 to be nice? 

Practicing random acts of romance any time during the year speaks to me of being genuine – that one has had an independent thought not generated by heavy-handed advertising — and expression of love and romance.

It doesn’t have to be expensive (really!).

I get as excited and grateful when my tugboat man brings home a seashell or a cool rock as I do when he brings my favorite Chanel perfume.

With all due respect to Sheryl Sandberg, this is how I lean in

ChanleHowever you decide to spend this day, I hope you enjoy these vintage valentines.

Want to read about our first Valentine’s Day? Click here: He Who Tugs At My Heartvintage valentine vintage valentine vintage valentine vintage valentine

Fifty Shades Of Grey. No Way.

Fifty Shades of Grey

Credit: IMDb

As you can probably imagine, I love very romantic chick flicks with happy endings — whether it’s Love, Actually or Notting Hill or Bridgit Jones, Confessions of a Shopaholic, My Best Friend’s Wedding — and remember the good old days of  When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle?

Ahhh. Romance. YES.

I could include Dirty Dancing, but the ending is ambiguous. WILL they get together again, or WON’T they? I like a nice, tidy ending with a FOREVER love.

And then there’s Fifty Shades of Grey.

Sixteen words describe the film, based on a novel by E.L. James.

According to IMDb: “Literature student Anastasia Steele’s life changes forever when she meets handsome, yet tormented, billionaire Christian Grey.”

Sounds pretty benign, right? We all know THAT’S an understatement, right?

No mention of BDSM (and I had to look it up, ‘cos I had NO IDEA what it was.)

At one point in the film, Christian tells Anastasia that he “does not do love and romance.”

Not very Valentine’s Day-ish to me. Not the message I’d want to hear, that’s for sure.

Ch, Jamie Dornan is nice to look at, but I’m not getting the appeal of Dakota Johnson.

I think there was more sexy chemistry between Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick) and Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester)  in Gossip Girl.

Then, also on IMDb (which is different than BDSM haha), I found this…

[SPOILER ALERT]

It’s a Parent’s Guide (!) for Fifty Shades of Grey with this disclaimer: the content of this page was created directly by users and has not been screened or verified by IMDb staff.

(And this is just my opinion as a MOM, but I don’t really think this is the kind of movie that contains appropriate content for children. Or teens. Or young adults. Or anyone, ‘cos I’m kind of a prude that way, but that’s just me.)

So here you go, if you haven’t read the novel and you’re thinking about seeing the film, and you don’t want to be surprised…

“A woman tells a man that she is a virgin and he asks, “You’ve done other things, right?” to which she answers that she has not and he takes her to a bedroom and then they remove their own clothing (we see full nudity of both people, except for the crotch area); he kisses her mouth, throat, chest, nipples, abdomen, navel and the inside of her thighs several times, blows air onto her chest and abdomen, removes her panties and lies on top of her where he thrusts and she moans and writhes (the camera pans up to show his bare back and buttocks thrusting in a ceiling mirror).

A woman lies nude on a bed with the camera behind her head, looking toward her feet; she spreads her thighs slightly and we see her shaved pubic area and vagina lips slightly parted for a few seconds. In several scenes, we see a man and a woman completely nude from the back. A woman is seen fully nude in several head to foot profiles while standing and while lying on a bed; we see her full breasts and nipples, several times in close-up. Several scenes feature a nude woman from the waist-up, in close-up, facing the camera and. A shirtless man wears jeans that reveal his upper pubic area (no pubic hair). A woman facing away from the camera drops a robe and we see her bare back including buttocks. A laptop screen displays two Internet images of nude women tightly hog-tied with black leather straps and we see partially nude thighs, abdomens and backs.

A man throws a woman onto a bed, removes her clothing, removes his clothing, blindfolds her with her undershirt, and ties her forearms and wrists together with a necktie; he then roughly turns her over onto her face and chest and begins intercourse and we see thrusting and hear gasping as the scene ends; the camera cuts to the couple in bed under covers, he dresses and leaves after telling her he does not do love and romance. In half a dozen scenes, a man uses a necktie or red ropes to tie a nude woman’s hands above her head in bed, sometimes to a bed’s headboard and sometimes, he ties her ankles to the foot of the bed and he blindfolds her as well in a few scenes; in one scene, he removes and smells her panties, then sticks them down the back of his jeans as he manacles her wrists to an overhead frame, tickles her body with a riding crop all over her body and then slaps the crop against her rib cage and buttocks causing her to gasp; he lifts her thighs and begins intercourse in close-up and we see her abdomen hitting against his abdomen.

In three scenes a man turns a woman over his knee at home, raises her skirt, lowers her panties, and slaps her buttocks as she gasps. We see a riding crop hit a woman’s bare buttocks in close-up as she gasps. A man hits a woman’s buttocks with a heavy lash while she counts and cries and we see no injuries until she stands up, pushes him and stomps a foot, making her bare breasts jiggle. A woman wearing a blindfold, is handcuffed by the wrists to a headboard above her head; we see her from the upper-chest-upwards, we see her startle and hear her gasp (sexual stimulation is implied below the frame) as a large peacock feather is drawn across her lower legs and breasts from off-screen; a many-tailed flog is drawn across her body in the same way, with light slapping of the abdomen three times. In a bedroom scene a man spits a mouthful of wine into a woman’s mouth, then takes an ice cube in his mouth, rubbing it along her lips, chest, nipples and abdomen as she gasps. A man and a woman are shown in a bathroom where he is bare-chested and she is seen fully nude from the back (we see them in a mirror); they sit together in a bathtub of water as she leans back against his chest and we see her topless as he dribbles water across her chest and the scene ends. A man and a woman on their first date have sex on a couch: with the camera behind the couch we see thighs until the woman’s roommate enters the apartment and the two on the couch get up and the man dons jeans off-screen while the woman wears a knee-length slip that bares some cleavage.

A shirtless man sits on a piano bench in the dark in a long shot and his girlfriend approaches, wearing a large sheet that he pulls away; we see her fully nude from the back as she straddles his lap and sits and he stands up and carries her off-screen, holding her thighs (her buttocks are spread apart somewhat and sex is implied). A man and a woman kiss passionately for several seconds in a dozen scenes; he also caresses her lips and face with his fingers. A man and a woman have a passionate encounter in an elevator; the man backs the woman into a wall, holds her hands above her head and kisses her passionately as she returns his kiss (we see tongues touching). A pilot straps a woman into a helicopter seat with three straps, his hands coming close to her groin and he cinches her straps tightly and she gasps.

A man and a woman discuss a bondage and sadomasochism behavioral contract in an office; she asks the man what “anal fixing” and “vaginal fixing” are, but he does not have the chance to explain because they are interrupted. We hear that a man’s mother was a prostitute and he tells a woman that his adoptive mother’s friend seduced him when he was 15 years old, making him a bondage submissive to her dominant character for six years and that at age 27, he has had 15 women submissives serially.

We see a red upholstered dimly lit room with a red leather headboard on the bed, a ceiling mirror above it, red walls and red carpet and various of sado-masochist appliances.”

(BTW IMDb = Internet Movie Database)


 ICK. Sorry, but this does not appeal to me. I don’t like the message; it sounds quite rape-culture-ish and crosses boundaries I’m not interested in crossing.

Tugboat man returns next week. I asked him if he wanted to see the film, and he said NO. Definitely NO. Definitely NOT in a public forum, that’s for sure. Being around a bunch of people who are semi or full-on aroused grossed him out, he said.

  • Have you read the book(s)?
  • Will you see the film?
  • Will you see it in theaters or in the privacy of your own home?

Happy Friday the Thirteenth, everyone!

Champagne, Cupcakes, and Candles

Let’s never forget to practice random acts of romance, OK?ChampagneCupcakesCandles1Tugboat man had to fly away for a couple of days to attend a biz meeting (not to go out to sea – that’s next week) and I decided to surprise him with a flirty homecoming.

This allowed me time to plan…

Logs are staged in the fireplace, candles are flickering, champagne and chocolate cupcakes are ready to serve; he’s gonna be one very happy hub!

When was the last time you peeled off your sweat pants, got all dolled up, and romanced your significant other?

I’m not talking about a birthday or anniversary or Valentine’s Day —  but for no special reason, just like the good old days when you were courting, when you were that different person. Know what I mean?

If you’re empty nesters like us, there’s really no excuse.

No kids, no school, nothing to interfere with rekindling the flame that brought you together in the first place.

Sadly for us though, his Southwest Airlines flight was delayed almost two hours and he didn’t get home until after midnight and was too exhausted to do much of anything except eat one of the yummy cupcakes.

The beauty of a long term marriage is that we have another opportunity. We’ll try again tonight. There are 15 14 13  12 cupcakes remaining, along with a very chilled bottle of Gruet champs.

Grand Marnier Frosted Chocolate Cupcakes adorned with pretty garden flowers.

champagnecupcakescandles

Christmas Eve EVE

Preparing for Santa Tugboat Man’s arrival this evening —  I’m busy busy busy baking and cleaning AGAIN.

Such is the life of a tugboat captain’s wife.

Almost finished decorating his welcome home dining room table. Chanukkah, Christmas, seashells, and love in the middle.christmas2014table

Looking through old pics, I found this one of Angel Boy with our best and smartest Border collie, Stella Rondo, named in honor of one of my favorite writers, Eudora Welty, from her short story, “Why I Live at the P.O.”

Was there ever a more adorable fashion-forward little boy?

Love the stripes and print! My little man definitely has always danced to the beat of his own drum, even when he was seven!jasonchristmasHappy Christmas Eve EVE!

separated by space and time

5db5e087aa07181994bab5c14a02075a

pinterest.com/frankjklein/heart-chakra-unconditional-love/

separated by space and time

but connected through our hearts

just like the spaces between one word to another

or one sentence to another

we

are

connected.

weareconnected

That’s my secret — or should I say, OUR secret — how we successfully navigate being married to a husband who’s not physically here fifty percent of the year.

Love is timeless

Alone together

Together alone

This.

Love.

Happy ‘cos my tugboat man’s coming home today! Yay!

A Song for You
“But I’ll love you in a place
Where there’s no space and time
I’ll love you for my life”


Versions of “A Song for You”
Which is your favorite?
I think mine is the original by Leon Russell.

Elton John

Whitney Houston
http://youtu.be/7tvxSNyN1ok

Amy Winehouse
http://youtu.be/SX8Sb9zSO1Q

Ray Charles
http://youtu.be/JSlv_n-gBmk

Leon Russell and Friends

My Ten Dollar Wedding Dress

For sure I’m the same girl who loves her Chanel and those sexy sexy toe cleavage Louboutins.

But I’m also all about a bargain – a good deal – a TREASURE.

When tugboat man proposed and we set a date, (yes, Dr. Laura, I had a ring and a date) — it was time to commence the checklist and countdown to becoming Mrs. Tugboat Captain.

I didn’t expect to find the perfect wedding gown at the DAV (that’s short for Disabled American Veterans) but I was getting desperate.

I had visited all of the local wedding shops, tried on a lot of gowns that didn’t feel right for me – not for a second marriage — and they didn’t speak to me design-wise.

Remember, it was 1994. Not as bad as the eighties, but still…light years before “Say Yes To The Dress”.

It was January; the wedding was the following month and I didn’t have anything to wear.

Not quite time to panic, well, yes, time to panic.

I would have been a Bridezilla if I wasn’t the one who was doing all the planning.

As a last resort, I was going to sew my own dress – but there wasn’t a whole lotta time.

One day I was aimlessly driving around and thought what the heck, I’ll try the thrift stores, whaddid I have to lose?

I stopped at the DAV on Coast Highway in Oceanside. It never smelled fresh, and that was a turnoff for sure, but I’d had luck there previously when I was looking for a vintage Hawaiian shirt.

Dejectedly, I dragged my feet over to the “fancy” dress aisle. It was an exercise in futility, but I wanted to be thorough.

I certainly didn’t expect to find the perfect wedding gown here — although there were lots of graduation-type dresses that looked like they had seen their one and done status and that’s how they ended up in the rack of last resorts.

And there it was.

Smashed and smooshed between two hideous body-deforming shiny blue taffeta trashed bridesmaids gowns or quinceanera dresses…

…my little jewel of a a wedding dress sang her sweet song of lace and froth.

Not too much; just right. Oh so right.

Lace tiers and sheer long sleeves and a nipped-in waist. SO ME.

A slightly Victorian feel or something that wouldn’t be out of place at Highcleer Castle. (Downton Abbey reference)

ME WANT.

I didn’t even bother to try it on in the (ick) sketchy“dressing room” — really just three dirty blankets hung from a partition.

Cost? It was $10. TEN DOLLARS. I’m not sure of the designer’s name — whatever label had been attached was removed, but someone cared. There was LOVE in the stitches.

One thousand pennies.

What if it didn’t fit? 

As soon as I got home, I tried it on and it was a perfect fit. Perfect. Like bespoke. Like so perfect I got teary.

SO meant to be, just like my tugboat man.

Although it was as immaculate as if it had never been worn, I always feel the need to add some embellishment. I went to the fabric store and bought twenty yards of chiffon for a belt/sash and then I decided I wanted to give the gown a slight vintage feel. I filled my tub with ten bags of Earl Grey tea; dipped and soaked the gown just until it was tinted a faintly champagne-ish color.

Absolutely fabulous.

May I present Mrs. Tugboat Captain in these old and scanned pics.

weddingdress1 Yes, I have to cut tugboat man out of every one, but I swear he was there.weddingdress2 Haha, half a head, but I’m not dancing alone! See the gorgeous sash.weddingdress3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m Guessing The Honeymoon Is OVER

Source:Found on Pinterest

Source: Found on Pinterest

Here’s why.

This is what it’s like being married to a professional mariner who’s also a surfer.

My erstwhile and often absent tugboat man is trying to program his work schedule for the rest of the year based solely upon future winter swell forecasts, and NOT about being home for the holidays.

On his regular daily call, I was forced to listen to a thirty minute diatribe (while he’s studying a calendar) about these pressing issues:

“If I come home now, I’ll miss the next swell but if I stay a bit longer, it’ll put me in the perfect position for that potentially big December surf.”

Nice to know I’m such a high priority in his thought process, right?

Welcome to my world, friends.

And don’t even think for ONE MOMENT that I’m not contemplating either jewelry or a new dress that will look FANTASTIC with those new Loubies I’m getting because of his previous infraction.

(Hee hee)

Making Long Term Relationships Work

October theme: Healthy Living: healthy relationships
*This is a sponsored post*

love couple at the train stationAs those of you who read Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife know, the traveling required for my husband’s job has me going from a sassy single girl to a coupled up married woman at the drop of a hat.

It’s a bit of a unique situation those of you with other types of careers might not be able to relate to in your own relationships.

However, recent studies show that could change.

The Wall Street Journal says that business travel is something that we can expect to see increase in the coming years. Face-to-face interactions have proven to produce better results between companies than those utilizing technology for other forms of correspondence. Video chatting, social media, and other options have become popular alternatives to traveling over the years.

So it seems that no matter what color your spouse’s collar, many new couples could find themselves needing to rework their relationships to fit the lifestyles of a traveling significant other. How can you go about doing so successfully? Take a few tips from someone who has been making it work for years.

Let Them Relax

When dealing with the responsibilities of the household alone, you have to be more independent on a day-to-day basis. However, there will always be things that come up that you need your spouse for.

While it’s perfectly okay to keep a list of tasks you need completed, don’t bombard them with it on their first day back. Think about how annoyed you would be after working hard only to be reminded of added responsibilities the second you thought you could relax. Wait a day or so and let them recuperate. You don’t have to try and do everything yourself, but give them time to rest before bringing up how badly the kitchen needs to be painted.

Make Your Time Together Count

The less time that you spend together, the more important it is to make the time you do share special. While you may feel complacent just sitting around with one another, try and work in at least one activity when your spouse is feeling up for it. Even if it’s just for a few hours, trying out a new restaurant or even something adventurous like indoor rock climbing can be a great bonding experience.

Of course with a sporadic schedule, it’s difficult for intimacy to be spontaneous, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. With a little planning, you can come up with ideas to make you time together even more memorable. Introducing adult products and toys are a great way to add some spice to your sex life or just make the moment that much more special/fun, according to adam&eve. With the help of a sexy massage kit or a bottle of warming lube, you’ll certainly be able to send your partner back to work with a smile on their face.

Communication is Key

There are ways that technology can help you stay close when you’re apart. When your spouse is traveling, though, it’s not as easy for them to pop on Skype as it is for someone with a desk job. That’s why it’s important to figure out your expectations ahead of time.

An article by Forbes indicated that some travel-heavy relationships face difficulties when the person doesn’t disclose the details of their trip. That includes their itinerary, who they will be traveling with, and other information.

It’s all too easy for jealousy to rear its ugly head when there are people of the opposite sex traveling with one another. However, you can avoid insecurities by being open. If you trust them, and you’re both honest with each other, it will make the transition easier on you both.

Be completely honest about what you need for reassurance. Do you want to be able to talk at least once a day? Do you want them to let you know if they’re going out for drinks? Setting standards for situations like these ahead of time will help you avoid heartache down the road.

Your relationship doesn’t have to suffer because of a change in schedule. If you really love one another, you can make it work. Keep yourself busy while they’re away, and cherish your time together when they’re home. It can be hard, but I promise it will make you appreciate one another more. It will lead to a stronger and happier relationship in the long run.

 

 

 

*At times, I’m compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites, and various other topics, as well being compensated for the occasional sponsored post. Even though I may receive compensation for posts or advertisements, I always give my honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party in question.

Just a Cup of Coffee – Part Two

Just a Cup of Coffee…the true love story of Princess Rosebud and her tugboat man.

Click to read Part One HERE

(This might take a while, grab your hankies, it could have been broken up into three parts, but I didn’t want to prolong the happy ending.)

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

Yes, I kept my promise; no dates and no mistakes. There was the excruciating lure of nubile and suntanned young surfers but I stood firm in my resolve in spite of the half naked, salty-skinned–oh crap. Living in Southern California is sooo like opening up a fresh box of candy. It wasn’t fair, but a deal’s a deal.

box of chocolatesIf only I could have had just a teensy-weensy bite here, a bite there–oh, SO yummy–that one has a caramel center, or that other one’s coconut-filled, or a tart juicy cherry embraced by dark chocolate, or full of Baileys Irish Creamer–you get what I’m sayin’?  I’ll just bet you do. On my towel, surveying the beach, I wanted to take a little bite out of each one, so to speak.

But….I had to go cold turkey and avoid them all. Not one lick, not one taste.

I had a goal, I had a vision; I had my list–clenched tightly in my hand–WILLPOWER–it’s all about the willpower.

Here’s where serendipity might have had a hand in the convergence of our lifepaths.

In the beginning, I THOUGHT I first laid eyes on the captain when I was hired for the marketing department of a local cruise line.

Aside…because the whole idea of me and boats is a joke. I’m not what you’d consider sea-worthy. I’d only been on a couple of boats previously and became violently seasick on both of those trips.

OK, now read this – could it be the hand of fate that brought us together? Was our eventual connection forged a decade before ?
_________________________________________________

Was it luck or serendipity? 

On a romantic evening In front of the fire with a couple snifters of Courvoisier, my tugboat man and I concluded that our paths did cross, not in a prior life, but…

In the 1980s he captained a charter vessel in our local harbor–tours of the bay, dinner cruises; that kind of thing.  

In between going out to sea for four to six months, he’d come back to SoCal for a break and to surf-and worked locally.

Around that same time, my mom and I took my then five-year-old son on his first boat ride, a tour of San Diego Bay.

At that time, there was really only one boat company that offered daily excursions.

It wasn’t until we had been married for probably ten years or so– looking through an old photo album–when he saw a pic of my mom and me on “his” boat — that the subject came up.

(That’s part of me and the Coronado Bridge. Obviously, my mom couldn’t take a decent pic.)

Since there were only two captains, and the time of day we were there was during his (remembered) shift, it’s highly possible that we spoke–or made eye contact. As captain, he always greets and counts the passengers while he collects boarding passes; especially because we had a child with us. Always concerned with safety, my captain.

Our ships DID, most likely, PASS in the night (day).  

What would have happened if we had talked? I was married with a little boy–the timing was absolutely not right.  

Did we each hold on to a momentary glance or imprint on our subconscious so that our path to romance was pre-determined? 

Why did I become employed at a cruise line when I don’t even like boats?

I still have no idea.

That we met in 1991 and felt an instant connection might be interpreted as luck or serendipity. 

Which do you think it is?
_______________________________________________________________

Back to the story:  Was it merely coincidence–meaninglessly simultaneous occurance–or  synchronicity?  We agree that it was meant to be. We’re two peas in a pod, me and him.

We mirror each other.

One of my first marketing duties was to attend a downtown trade show. I vividly recall my ensemble–and before you get all judge-y and everything, let’s take the year into consideration–1991–please be kind.

You know you looked exactly the same.

You KNOW you did.

I wore a short split skirt (dare I say skort) of silky polyester-type material (I know, I know) imprinted with brightly colored parrots (cringe), a turquoise blazer, and four-inch-high red heels. Oh, and they were LARGE parrots.  I’m five-feet-tall with very curly dark brown hair. You can imagine the style when I tell you it added five inches to my height. Nuff said–stop laughing, I have nothing to apologize for; it was the decade of big hair.

The owner of the company walked by our booth and introduced me to his senior captain. I played it cool; I’m good at that–just a quick handshake and then I turned my attention to the marketing materials like I was very, very busy.

I only allowed myself a passing glance his way, committed as I was to making a good impression on my boss. Plus, I was fully dedicated to my promise to celibacy and just because he was ADORABLE was no excuse to give in to temptation. Not even with those green-gray eyes. Not even.

Since I was on a “man diet, I transformed him (in my mind) into a rich chocolaty truffle chocolate truffleand successfully used my powers to resist–at least on that particular day. During the next few weeks, our paths crossed many times; at the office with brief hellos in the hallway, and with overt scrutiny during cruises when I accompanied some of the charters. (When I wasn’t stuck with my head in the toilet. I told you the truth, I’m not a natural seawoman.)

As much as I tried to deny it–I can’t lie–there were those familiar little tingles, goose bumps even, delicious frissons of attraction. On one hand I was fighting it with all I had, yet on the other hand I spent more time in the office than I really needed to.  A little extra makeup, perfume, a few new outfits–you know how it is. OK OK, I admit it! A smile from him did something to my insides, that fluttery butterfly sensation I willed myself to ignore.

I carried The List in my handbag and referred to it in moments of weakness, and for a while I was able to avoid temptation.

Here comes the good part, y’all.

In mid-November, I met with a client at one of the boats to plan a large corporate event. As we walked up the gangway, I discovered the captain was on board in the wheelhouse. I had no idea he would be there, and resolved to ignore him, except that everyone always wants to meet a captain, (too much Love Boat) so I was forced to be polite and make the introductions.

Here’s where it all went wrong-or right-depending on your point of view.

After my meeting ended, I did not immediately leave. I stalled, meandering around the small area of shops located near the harbor. I was so mad at ME; I tried to talk myself into leaving by going over The List and telling myself that I should be writing up the event details.

Just GO, I said to myself! But guess who didn’t listen? I found myself furtively looking around to see if the captain was still there. Since the whole chocolate visualization thing didn’t seem to be working anymore, I turned him into as a gooey, cheesy, spicy pizza and I used all my willpower to stand firm–to stay focused–recounting all the reasons why that delicious piece of heaven is not worth the calories.

I swear to you, I had every good intention of leaving and driving to the corporate office, I really did, but cosmic forces had grabbed hold of my good sense.

I was powerless. The hand of fate had me in her grip–and that chicka had been working out with the heavy weights.

Finally, I could find no further excuse to drag my feet and delay the inevitable departure.

I very reluctantly and slowly walked to my car, parked in front of a coffee shop, and as if by magic, the captain appeared.

I was trying to act all cool and nonchalant in spite of the fact that my heart was racing.

“Where are you going? Why didn’t you say goodbye? “What’s up?” “How about buying a co-worker a cup of coffee?”

I demurred, saying I had to go, I had another appointment (not true); uh, I don’t buy guys coffee, and he kept badgering me,

“C’mon, don’t be stuck up, don’t you have fifty cents for a cup of coffee?”

(That was before six-dollar lattes and Starbucks on every corner.)

“You don’t want me to think you’re a snob, do you?”

[pause]

That did it.

Of course you understand why I wouldn’t want him to think any of those things, right? RIGHT? It was a matter of pride; once he turned on his charm, I was hooked. I unearthed a few quarters from the bottom of my handbag.

Yes, I bought the coffee. It’s something I can’t believe myself.

My other credo had always been, “Princesses don’t pay. Men pay.” But buy the coffee I did.

Honestly, I was borderline pathetic. Not even borderline. I was hanging on to the cliff with my fingertips.

It’s like sparks were flying off his body. I made every excuse in the book to lean over and oops, accidentally brush his arm and cop a sniff. He smelled heavenly.

It’s that damn pheromone thing. I was–still am-hopelessly–magically attracted. He’s irresistible. And he knows it.

We took our coffee outside and sat at a cement patio table. It was one of those perfect SoCal November days–balmy even. For a few moments we said nothing as we sipped from our coffee and enjoyed the warmth of the sun.

Red lights flashed on and off in my head.

DANGER AHEAD! STOP THE MISSION! RUN!

Less than a foot away from me he straddled the half-moon shaped concrete bench. His thighs were encased in soft worn jeans and my thoughts were heading into hazardous waters.

His hair was wet and looked like he just had showered.

“What are you doing here? Did you know I was going to be here?”

“No, I didn’t, I had to update the logs, and I surfed a bit earlier.”

Ah, that’s where the wet hair came from.

“So…you’re a surfer?”

That is most definitely NOT on my list.

“I like to think I am.”

Scintillating conversation, huh? I thought that was a bit arrogant, a bit–AHEM–cocky.

Later I learned that he had spent much of his youth in Kauai and he really was/is a great surfer, but I didn’t know much about him — only what I was feeling.

As the conversation unfolded and we chatted–he told me where he lived and where he had gone to college, and–those thighs, oh wait–no, not that–of course I meant what kind of music he liked and that he loves animals–I found myself listening to his voice but not hearing the words.

This is where it gets weird.

And pinky-swear, it’s all true, it all happened exactly like this. It was REAL.

He looked at me and smiled.

I felt lit from within.

My heart melted. (Even now, his smiles affect me the same way.)

I sighed. He sighed. I sighed again.

That was IT.

Everything became quiet and a calm-before-the-storm sensation enveloped me. I placed my hands on the bench because I was suddenly lightheaded–I needed support because I felt like the ground beneath shifted;  waves that triggered that falling phenomenon just before you completely succumb to sleep–like a hypnagogic myoclonic twitch.

Faintly, I sensed the planets tumble into position, the clickclickclick… of stars aligning in the heavens; the sun, moon, Venus, and Mars at that moment were singing in the universe.

Did we just have an earthquake? I jumped off the bench like it was on fire. I ran to my car, unable to deal with the intensity of the moment. He was right behind me. He was so annoying!

“Where ya  goin’? We  should go out sometime.”

I was having a hard time breathing and fumbled with my keys as I unlocked the car. I leaned against the door for support and turned to him,

“When? Tonight?”

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m not known for being subtle.

“I have to work a charter later, I’ll give you a call.”

And with that, I drove off.

Of course, I never went back to work. Who could blame me?

I raced home and power-called all my girlfriends.

I was in panic mode.

I reported every detail to one friend after another. I needed advice, I needed explanations. I needed to be talked down. But no one had experienced anything comparable. No one knew what to do.

I was on this voyage alone; no rules to follow. I was in uncharted waters.

That evening I did what we are warned not to do, what mothers counsel daughters against.

I was nervous and jumping out of my skin, but also determined to be 100% honest (also on my list). How else would I know if he was “the one”? I called and left a message on his voicemail. Remember way back when we used voicemail?

“Hi, can you give me a call when you hear this message? There’s something I need to ask you.”

He called a couple hours later. I was  on my bed, reading a magazine, pretending I was not waiting for the call…dreading the call.

“Hi there, it’s me. I got your message, but I was planning to call you anyway. What’s up?”

I took a deep breath and decided it was now or never–I needed to go for it…take that chance. DO it.

”Uhh, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about what happened at the harbor…I never felt anything like that EVER, and I think… I think…”

I took a deep breath and the words tumbled out,

“IthinkIamfallinginlovewithyou
andwonderifyoufeelthesame
way–orifitisjustme.”

“I mean, I really need to know.”

[Pause]   [More pause]

Oh boy. In that single, painful, heartstopping moment I wished I could hit delete and erase the last five minutes.

Palms sweaty, heart pounding, OMG, I am a total f-ing idiot–what have I just said–I’m insane, he’ll think I’m a freak or I’m exhibiting psycho pre-stalker tendencies–and then, finally, it seemed like hours of silence had gone by–I was gonna hang up and hide under my bed if he didn’t say something–he said,

“Umm, no, it’s not just you. I’m feeling the same exact way. Something happened to me today too,  and I can’t explain it either.  How about us going on a real date and let’s talk about it?”

I released the breath I hadn’t been aware I was still holding. That last planet locked into position.

I discovered my soul mate, my tugboat man.

There’s lots more to this story; some twists and turns and ups and downs, but the thread that ties it all together is how we found each other and fell in love.

Today: I wait for him to come home. And wait. And wait. And remind myself, “Don’t count the miles, count the I-love-yous”

Christina Perri, “Miles”

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