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.

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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!

PART TWO: “Bitch, Stay Away From My Husband”

Now that I’m not so tethered to the toilet (TMI?) I can focus on the second part of my two-part story, “Bitch, Stay Away From My Husband”.

I’ve done some research, which is what you’d expect from a former sorta wanna-be investigative journalist who (eons ago) used to work at a local TV station.

Simply stated, some chicks have a thing for a guy with a ring.

The Husband Hunter is a real thing. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-485097/Why-single-women-pursue-married-man.html
http://glo.msn.com/relationships/beware-the-husband-hunter-1533311.story

As for me and hub, we’re still solid here, he just needed a little reinforcement training – a refresher course, you might say — about how to spot predators and how to avoid them.

Here’s the thing.

When I saw them standing on the beach, I had a tremendously powerful visceral reaction — he was pointing to a wave while she was leaning in his direction, acting for all the world that he was showing her a treasure full of the world’s riches.

Can I be honest with you?

I mostly super hated her for being cellulite-free and having great legs, which I do NOT.

There, I said it.

Since I’m purging every other thing in my body at this point, I might as well vomit that secret up, too.

No babies, no stretch marks, and the bee-yotch was standing there all tanned and tawny blonde hanging on every word MY husband is saying?

She ALMOST was close enough to touch his arm. MY ARM, if you know what I’m sayin’.

OH NO she dint.

I can’t explain how I went from being all happy and mellow and digging the laid back beachy kind of ambiance to RAGING LUNATIC, but there you have it.

I DID.

Oh so Jekyll and Hyde-ish…

I walked due south, spread my towel, and sat down, truly as I said in Part One, smoke was pouring out of every orifice.

Hub FINALLY scanned the beach, noticed me, picked up his board, and walked over to where I was and said, “What’s up? Did you see that wave I caught? It went on forever.”

(That girl didn’t follow, by the way. She walked down to a group of single guys and was chatting with them. I THINK she picked up on the arrows and hate vibes I was spewing.)

Silence.

“Did you hear me? How long have you been here? Were you able to video it?”

Silence.

Then… Me…“Don’t you know what that girl is trying to do?” “She’s putting out all kinds of feelers, trying to make a connection, looking for a surf buddy — or more. Like somebody else’s husband.”

This is where the tugboat man went off course (nautical term supplied by said tugboat man although he has no idea why I wanted to know that.)

HE DEFENDED HER.  He F-ING DEFENDED HER.

You’re thinking to yourself, oh NO, he DINT. But he did.

He said, “Don’t be ridiculous.”

(Now the smoke ignited and there were actual flames coming out of me.)

“She’s here all alone and just wants to talk about surfing. She doesn’t even have a car, poor dumb kid.”

Are you KIDDING me?

IMPORTANT POINT:  Hey, guys who might be reading this, or spouses and girlfriends might want to print this post and leave it out where your significant other might find it, like let’s say—in the bathroom, here’s the scoop. Sometimes good guys are very innocent, naïve, trusting even. They don’t get that SOME women have ulterior motives and things are not exactly as they seem. I’m not even saying that my tugboat man is not to be trusted, that he’s ever given me a moment of worry ‘cos I don’t play that game. That would be a deal breaker if I couldn’t trust a man 1000%, especially a guy who travels for a living. Plus, we have this total honesty type of relationship – we have from the very beginning; it’s one of the tenents of our relationship.

I was never worried about him.

I was listening to my gut and very suspicious of this chick, and what’s more telling? I NEVER get that vibe unless there’s something to be wary of. Women, listen to your instincts. They will never lead you astray. (Although, later on in the week, my gut was saying all kinds of OTHER things, ha ha.)

So, my tugboat man and I had a little “discussion” about that very fact right there on the beach.

Yes, my friends, the crazy came out.

The crazy was set free, you might say.

The more he defended her by saying things like:

  1. She’s not interested in me.
  2. She knows we’re married and celebrating our 20th.
  3. No girl wants a married man.
  4. I’m too old for her, she’s our son’s age.

The more that kind of CRAP came out of his mouth, the more crazed I became.

Of COURSE she was looking to hook up with a guy who had enough money to fly down to Mexico with his surfboard and stay at a resort.

OF COURSE some girls like married men because they are tried and true proven goods.

I mean, if another woman stuck around for twenty years, there must be some value there, right?

Even IF she only wanted a surf buddy or someone to drive her around ‘cos she was too stupid to rent a car out in the middle of nowhere which meant she was stuck unless she could bum a ride from someone, EVEN IF ALL THAT, it was not appropriate for her to choose my husband to hang around.

What made me even more crazy was when he said that I was OVER-REACTING.

Guys, guys, guys, I’m going to give you some really important advice here: Don’t EVER EVER EVER say that to your woman. EVER. Not EVER.

If you want def con level mushroom clouds of nuclear cray to be rained down on your head for a LONG time, go ahead, but please for the love of god, listen to me.

It just MIGHT save your life.

Finally, what stuck in his thick head was when I said that the more he defended HER, the more it seemed that HER feelings were more important than MINE and there was something skewed in that, don’t you agree? I’m his wife, the person he’s supposed to love and cherish more than anything in the world, and for whatever reason, this whole scenario was upsetting me, and THAT should take center stage.

If the situation were reversed, I would care more about HIS feelings than that of anyone in the whole world.

In fact, a long time ago, we had a mutual friend, an attorney, who started emailing me innocent stuff, jokes, lawyer stuff (my dad was an attorney so I can talk the talk) and then he started asking me advice about his personal life and I was spending quite a bit of time online with him. Hub told me it bothered him; I thought about it, saw it from HIS point of view, and EVEN THOUGH it was all innocent on my end, hub’s feelings meant more to me than anything, and I stopped the “relationship”. It was simple, and that’s the behavior model I reminded him about.

As it turned out, that stupid bitch found other men to bum rides from and hang out with – at other surf spots like Perditos up the road that had smaller waves, and the rest of our stay at Villas de Cerritos was predator-free. However, some damage was done.

This episode messed up what was otherwise a wonderful little holiday south of the border. My tugboat man and I are almost always on the same page; we like to believe we’re a “team”, and this had us on opposite sides of the universe for a time.

He couldn’t believe I went ballistic and couldn’t have quietly discussed my feelings, and I have NO explanation for my intense reaction, but we got past it, and now we’re even laughing about it, so no lasting harm was done.

In fact, on our last day there, she was eating alone in the restaurant near the pool where I was trying to catch the intermittent wifi signal, and I said hello to her, but with a definite coolness. I’ll be polite but UP TO A POINT, if you know what I mean.

But…I can guaran-damn-tee you that it will NEVER happen again.

Here’s my tips to females travelling solo:
First of all, kudos to you for being brave enough and empowered enough to travel alone. I could not do it. It’s not that I don’t like to be by myself, but I could never go it solo. Maybe in a group tour or something, but not totally on my own. More power to you if you can. BUT, when you do end up at your destination, try befriending the wife/girlfriend. Do NOT ignore the wife and converse solely about stuff that you and her hub/boyfriend might have in common, such as surfing. In other words, buddy up to the female first, win her over, before you mow her down to get to her man. Get it? HER MAN, not YOUR MAN. Most couples who vacation together actually enjoy being together and are spending time alone to do just that. BE TOGETHER ALONE. We are not interested in a third party hovering around, bumming rides, that kind of thing.

CONCLUSION:
The takeaway for my tugboat man (and for ALL MEN) is to be ever vigilant and even a little suspicious of single women hovering around. DON’T be clueless. DON’T forget who is most important, who you sleep with, who makes your food and has the ability to add or NOT add rat poison, and who you’ve invested many years in as well as a few Chanels. (Of course, that last tip was specifically directed to my own hub.)

FINAL Conclusion ‘Cos I Love to Have the Last Word:
Apparently what happened was that the girl had come up to hub when he got off this bomber twelve-foot wave ride and was congratulating him and that’s when I walked up. Nothing more. But I didn’t know that and didn’t give him time. Oopsie. Tee hee. My bad.

xoxo From Mexico: The Gift That Keeps on Giving…

Please accept my sincerest apologies for not yet posting the resolution to “Bitch, Stay Away From My Husband”. (Click on the title if you haven’t read it.)

I had no intentions of making the cliff hanger last so long but…

Mexico bestowed upon me its highest honor: Montezuma’s Revenge.

From PETA

(From PETA, thought I’d offer a little subliminal message LOL)

In between bouts of throwing up and…. you know…I’ve been trying to figure out where I got it. Ice cubes? Fruit? Not sure, ‘cos I was my usual compulsive self about using bottled water for everything.

To make it even worse, our trip home was delayed for four hours. We boarded the Alaska Airlines flight, sat there for a long time, was told there was a problem with the fuel gauge, and deplaned. We all sat in the airport with free food vouchers while some people left to go to a hotel, but finally, we reboarded and departed only to be told that there was a lot of fog in San Diego and they might have to divert the plane to LAX and bus us down.

I don’t think my poor stomach could have taken much more of that. We made it home safely, with no diversion.

While stuck in the Cabo airport, we had the pleasure of meeting an awesome Angel who brought home a puppy that had been dumped on the side of the road near Cabo.

Now I’m on clear liquids, probiotics, and dry toast.

I’m almost finished with the rest of the story about that stupid girl surfer and will post tomorrow, but I’ll leave you with a little teaser…my tugboat man just needed a little refresher course about how to spot predators.

 

Date Night with Princess Rosebud and Her Tugboat Man – Native Foods Cafe Restaurant Review

Lit matchStoking the fires in a twenty year marriage sometimes can be as simple as changing out of bleach-stained sweatpants.

For all my love of fashion trends and designer handbags, you can usually find me in a pair of threadbare sweats and an extra large Yale t-shirt that my son keeps me supplied with.  Or should I have more correctly said “with which my son keeps me supplied.” Damn those pesky grammar rules! You know what I mean though, right?

(I’m the proudest Yale mom EVER. Yale bumper stickers, Yale license plate holders, Yale key chains, Yale sweatshirts, Yale t-shirts, Yale+Hello Kitty marketing marriage merchandise…and I drink coffee out of a — yes, you guessed it — a Yale mug. Without a doubt, I REPRESENT, YO!)

Back to date night…if you read my post (and you should) Pap Smear With Benefits, you’ll remember that whilst mid-exam, my gyno told me about a newish vegan restaurant in Encinitas, Native Foods Cafe on El Camino Real, just north of Encinitas Blvd. It’s the only chain vegan food establishment I’ve ever seen, and we were excited to try it.

I got all dressed up head to toe in clothing from Anthropologie so I’d fit right in with the trendy vegan crowd and made my tugboat man wear skinny-ish jeans, even though he was doing a fair amount of grumbling about not being built like a twenty-year-old skateboarder. He’s right, ha ha, but when in Rome….one’s attire needs to be appropriate for the venue, that’s my motto.

As soon as we walked in, I noticed that it was way more of a casual atmosphere than I had anticipated for a date night meal, and I was super overdressed. I mean, I could have NOT changed out of my bleach-stained sweats and I would’ve fit right in. You can only imagine the grief I had to listen to from my tugboat man about those skinny jeans I forced him to wear…

A very nice longhaired hippie-ish young man explained the menu and took our order as soon as we walked in; we paid and were given a number to take to our table where the food was delivered. It’s set up is similar to Rubios or other fast food establishments, not the fine dining ambiance I had anticipated.

This is what we ordered:

Bangkok Curry Bowl
Seared tofu steak on top of steamed veggies, greens and brown rice with a lemongrass and ginger-infused coconut milk curry. Topped with sesame seeds and cilantro. 9.95 GF

Sesame Kale Macro Bowl
Grilled Native Tempeh atop steamed kale, brown rice, creamy ginger sesame sauce, tangy sauerkraut, gomasio and toasted sesame seeds. Green onion garnish and crunchy cucumber seaweed salad on the side. 8.95  GF

Native Fries
Thinly-cut, cooked in pure vegetable oil and seasoned just right!
Seasoned Potato Fries. 2.95

I’m a pretty fair vegan-veg cook and I’m sorry to report that we were both underwhelmed by our meals. The tofu was chewy and rubbery, the tempeh was flavorless, and the brown rice was gummy — it seemed to me that it had been sitting in the pot far too long and had attained the consistency of old oatmeal. The kale was simply a few large steamed leaves I needed a knife to cut into bite-sized pieces;   I would have chopped them in squares or strips. The fries were pretty good, though.

Let me know if you’ve been there or if you do go, please share your experience with me. Maybe we got just there on a bad day.

I know this might be a touch nitpicky but here goes:

What really bothered me about Native Foods Cafe was the fact that a big part of their marketing is directed toward the promotion of “meat replication” vegan food.

This is our personal passion; we don’t want to eat any food that sells itself as a flavor replacement for meat or chicken and tastes like a living creature.

This might seem to be an extreme concept but my hub and I strongly believe that this is the right way for us to live — respecting and honoring the right of animals to exist without cruelty and abuse.

These are some “meat replica” examples from their menu:

  • Sausage Seitan meatballs
  • Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger
  • Crispy battered Native Chicken
  • Philly Cheese Steak
  • Bistro Steak Sandwich
  • Native Seitan Steak

After we left Native Foods Cafe feeling slightly disappointed with our date night fare, I was reminiscing with hub about the BEST vegan/vegetarian food I’ve ever eaten.

makedaIf you’ve lived in San Diego as long as I have, you might have eaten at The Prophet on University Avenue, owned by a good friend of mine, Makeda Cheatom, also known as Reggae Makossa.

With training in culinary arts from San Diego Mesa College, Cheatom opened The Prophet vegetarian restaurant in the 1970s.

Her amazing food attracted well-known patrons such as Dick Van Dyke, Gloria Swanson, and George Harrison of the Beatles. “George got mad at me because I wouldn’t let him smoke,” Cheatom says.

Nowadays, Makeda runs the non-profit World Beat Center in Balboa Park and only creates her awesome food for special events.

It’s too bad, really, because she’s a truly gifted chef, providing spectacular food and memorable dining experiences.

Finally, as far as date nights go, it’s a good thing we can try again next week!

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! 

Call Him Master; What It’s Like Being Married to a Tugboat Captain

Here in real time, our real life.

Short and sweet, here’s our emails from about an hour ago.

It reveals all you need to know about how we deal with this long distance marriage thing.

You will notice that he is referred to as MASTER. Isn’t that just the funniest thing ever?

That’s what they call the captain of the vessel….Master.

Sometimes I’ll call him “Master” in public just to freak people out.

Email captain

Oh, and he was thanking me for sending him a current weather report. Don’t ask me why he likes whatever forecasting model I use instead of the options he has, but I send him one every day.

And you can tell who talks the most, huh?  This is exactly what we’re like when we’re inches apart as opposed to being separated by thousands of miles.

His word count is four.

Nuff said.

Have a lovely Friday evening, y’all!

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“…

Call me maybe

February 20, 1994weddingpicwithed

Today’s our 19th wedding anniversary!

Here’s a picture from our wedding. That’s not my tugboat man; it’s Ed Westwick, Gossip Girl‘s Chuck Bass. Handsome guy, huh? Dreamy…sigh.

Nineteen years ago –WOW– it seems like it was only yesterday.  I remember looking everywhere for a wedding gown and I found that one at a thrift store–what a treasure! It was ten dollars. I couldn’t believe my luck. It looked like it had never been worn. It was exactly what I had envisioned; romantic, lacy, old-fashioned.

My girlfriend worked for a floral warehouse and her gift to me was that magnificent bouquet and all the wedding flowers.

It was a really lovely day.

Our house landline rang at 7:00 a.m. this morning. It was the princess phonecaptain calling from his sat phone to wish me a happy anniversary!

I haven’t heard his voice since he left and it was a special treat to have a real conversation.

With all the technology we take for granted in our day-to-day lives, it’s amazing to think that there are still places that don’t have full access to incessant communication.

I’m kinda used to delayed celebrations and I know we’ll make up for it when he returns so I’m not too sad.  I’ll just keep the champs on ice a bit longer, that’s all!

I always try to put a positive spin on situations like this–to think about it as something to look forward to, not something I’m missing or deprived of. Glass half full and all that.

funny-pictures-auto-thug-life-tug-469509

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.