Hairy Hanukkah Harry and The Story of Hanukkah 2012

Hannukah candles

Forget elf shaming, try a little Hanukkah Harry Guilt! (Not gelt).

This post is a time machine back to the year twenty-twelve, but it’s the only one I have for Hanukkah.

That year I was all alone. Again. 

Happy Chanukkah or Hanukkah or Hannukah or Channukah 2014!

However you spell it, it’s eight days of prezzies! 


…or the continuing saga of my life.

As my first husband’s mother said to my mom, “isn’t it such a shame you wasted so much money on her education. She doesn’t really seem to do much of anything, does she?”

Looky here, readers, you all need to stop whining right now. Right now, I say!

I’ve peeked inside your private lives. Here’s a typical scenario:

8:00 a.m. You’re home with your spouse before leaving the house to go to work or he goes to work while you “stay home to take care of the kids” which really means you’re going to Tweet and shop all day and change a diaper or two, only if necessary. Not all of you, but enough to make it true. And I know it’s true ‘cos who do you think I tweet with all day?

Spouse: “I’ll home home at six. See ya.”

{Smooch goodbye}

crzy cat lady bathrobe

This is awesome.

Wife pulls the ratty bathrobe a bit tighter and rebelts it because an important message is acoming…

“Now you come right home after work, don’t stop anywhere; no bars, no strip clubs, nothin’. You come right home, ya hear me?  I’m making something special for dinner tonight.”

Spouse: “OK”

He walks out to the car. Five seconds after leaving the house, before the car even backs out of the driveway, he totally forgot everything his wife said. Typical, right?

6:00 p.m.- no hubby

6:15 p.m – no hubby

6:30 p.m. Here it comes…the power texting, phoning, emailing commences.

{no response}

burned dinner in oven7:00 p.m. Dinner burns. wife drank all the wine, spends time sharpening knives. Candles burnt down to nubs, the smoke of one burnt out candle with its acrid scent floats through the air.

The scissors come out to make a few strategic alterations in his favorite t-shirt.

She opens another bottle of wine.

8:00 p.m. His car drives up, front door opens, “Hi honey, I’m home!”

“WHERE. WERE. YOU.”

‘Wha? Why is it so dark in here?”

Where. were. you. I called. I emailed. I texted.”

“Ohhh…didn’t I mention I’d be late today? I -uh- thought I did.”

-End scene-desperate housewives

OK, I could go on and on but the point is that when 99% of you get mad at your significant others when they’re late; when work or whatever–delays their arrival at the appointed hour–you all need to STOP WHINGING AND WHINING about it!!

Since the world revolves around me, take a walk around South Coast Plaza in my shoes (not the Gucci ones, tho. I wear a 5 1/2 and your feet’d stretch ‘em all out.) I was expecting the captain tomorrow, Thursday. I cleaned the house, washed the windows, planned and anticipated the whole homecoming–even made a new welcome home sign–and he called and said he’d be LATE.

HE’S GOING TO BE A MONTH AND A HALF LATE!

HE WON’T BE BACK UNTIL SOMETIME NEXT JANUARY 201THREE!!

I’m not saying not to be pissed at your inconsiderate spouse–I would never think to deprive you of that joy–just think about ME next time.

OKAY?

Your “late” and my “late” are two different things altogether.

Ahem. Now, to give equal time to my cultural background as a full blooded Jewish American Princess, may I formally present to you my Hannukah installation….with the one and only Hairy Hannukah Harry holding the torah. Eight candles represent the eight days that I had to wait before I could spend more of the captain’s hard earned money.

Hannukah candlesForget elf shaming, try a little Hanukkah Harry Guilt!

Marriage: Sweatpants or Babydolls?

There’s a time and a place for everything, right?

A BALANCE between sexy and comfort.

But I was really blindsided when my tugboat captain called a couple nights ago.

Even after twenty-plus years, that hub of mine is continues to be full of surprises.

For those of you who are curious about what a merchant mariner thinks about when he’s out to sea, this conversation is quite revealing.

I figured all the thought about was guy things like distances between ports, how much fuel does it take to get from A to B, knots per hour, weather, towing big stuff and trying not to break a tow line, and what the surf forecast would be when he came home.

So, I almost choked on my wine when he said,

“Hey, we’re tied up at the dock for a while and I walked into town to buy you some presents.”

“YAY! You know how much I love prezzies!”

What did you get? No, dont tell me, surprise me.”

“OK, just give me a hint.”

“Nope, not gonna tell you.”

“But…I went into a shop that had a lot of silky, see-through stuff, and I didn’t get any ‘cos it was too hard to choose, but I think you should go out and buy yourself some SEXY LINGERIE.”

He even said words that have never been spoken by his lips EVER…

He said “baby dolls”.

Baby dolls. I had no idea he even knew what that was.

BUT with the caveat that they need to be classy and of a silky-type material. He’s a detail man, my captain…

I asked him if he wanted La Perla ($$$$$) or Fredericks of Hollywood (stripper pole-ish).

Once I explained the cost of La Perla, he said “somewhere in between”.

This is La Perla $450.00!! NOT GONNA HAPPEN. This is proof that my tugboat man has been away far too long if he thinks my body would look good in something like this.

Not even with all the lights off. NOT EVEN.

laperla

I guess the years decades of sleeping next to a someone wearing Hello Kitty pajamas has taken its toll, don’t you agree? Aren’t I ADORABLE?hkpjAgent Provocateur is something I can do. I think. In the dark. It’s not Hello Kitty, but it’s animal print.  It’s the least I can do for my wonderful hub. A sacrifice, but isn’t that what marriage is all about?babydollagentI’m on a mission, first to see what Victoria’s Secret has to offer before I expand my search to other areas.

In this season of giving, I love to shop for ME.

Life is tough for this tugboat captain’s wife.

Wish me luck!

 

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)

Tormenting Husbands is FUN

When my tugboat man goes out to sea, communication is limited to email and cell phone, and even that depends upon what part of the world he’s in. Sometimes, there’s no cell at all and I’ll only occasionally receive a call from the vessel’s sat phone. And sometimes the boat’s computer stops functioning and I don’t get email. And that’s when I start to worry.

Since he’s a fairly quick learner after twenty-plus years of training,  he tries to call or email at least once a day, the obligatory “I’m still alive” type of thing. Read more about that HERE (if you don’t call, I think you’re dead, and that’s why I’m getting a pair of Loubies)

Every so often I attempt to spice things up and venture beyond the boring…here’s a verbatim transcript of pretty much every call,

“Hi, honey, what’s up? How are you today, did anything break down, is the car OK, anything come in the mail for me, anything I need to deal with, what’s the surf like, and oh, by the way, I miss you.”

it’s  a definite struggle to maintain that thread of mystery and personality in a three-minute call or a few words tapped in black on a sterile white background.

A lot of the time, one or both of us’ll say, “I got nothing else” and the other will say “I got nothing, too” and then my tugboat man’ll end with “Lock and load” which is our secret code for “don’t forget to turn the security alarm on before you go to bed.” always ending with “Love you” and “Love you, too”

So far, this this time he’s been away for about thirty days —  he’ll HOPEFULLY be home before Thanksgiving, which totally sucks ‘cos I thought he was gonna be home by Halloween. Nature of the biz and all that.

To try to inject a little fun into our convo yesterday when he called, I asked him if he was sitting down ‘cos I had something really serious and important to tell him:

“You might want to sit down ‘cos I gotta tell you something that might shock you and I don’t want you to faint.”

(It was a total set-up.)

He gets this super cute, super serious tone in his voice,

“What is it. Is everything OK?”

And then I hit him with the shocker:

“I washed the car today”

Maybe y’all don’t get how earth shattering that news is, but you have to trust me that it could cause hub’s heart rate to skyrocket and blood pressure to explode.

In shock.

I don’t like to spend the $$$ or the time to take it to a car wash and I don’t EVER wash it — I mean EVER — but there I was in the driveway with a bucket of soapy water and a hose.

With neighbors watching in case hub needed witnesses to this miraculous event.

He laughed so hard it was totally worth it to wash that stupid car.

And then there was more.

“Are you sitting down?”

“Yes.”

“For reals? Where are you?”

“In the wheelhouse, but we’re tied up at the dock right now.”

“‘Cos there’s more.”

[Pause]

“I went to a gas station and filled the tank with gas.”

“Oh. My. Gawd. Stop the presses. Was it running on fumes? Had you depleted the Reserve tank like you usually do?”

“Nope, I had about a quarter tank, but I drove by a gas station with cheap gas, and thought it’d be a good idea to take advantage of it.”

“Shocked, huh? Speechless?”

“I’m more shocked that you actually thought to fill it up before you were stranded and  forced to call triple A; that’s the part that’s boggling my mind. But good job! You go, girl! I’m proud of you!”

And that’s how we keep our love alive around here, or in other words, how we torment our husband and have a little gentle fun at his expense.

Just another day in the life of Princess Rosebud and Her Tugboat Man…

 

 

 

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.

My Tugboat Man is Gone and I’m Blue

And so it begins…

Tugboat man withdrawals. Cold turkey.

I took him to the airport at 4:30 a.m. yesterday.

Once again there’s that lonely ride home.

This time he’ll probably be gone for a month or so.

blueskywrds

I pointed my camera straight up because the sky was so blue, more blue than I’ve seen in a long time. Not a cloud in the sky.

And nope, I can’t go with him, in case you were gonna ask.

Sky blue, SO BLUE — can you believe this is an un-retouched pic I snapped in our backyard? Kind of heart shaped, can you see it? If you tilt your head just a teensy bit to the left, can you see it now?

blueskythursday2

My old friend, Willie Nelson, singing “Blue Skies” by Irving Berlin

Another Beach, Another Bitch

THIS IS GETTING RIDICULOUS

“Yoo hoo!”

“Hey!”

“Hey, you!”

“I’m talking to YOU!”

Single girls, PLEASE stay away from married men.

Specifically, MY man.

‘k?

Do you unnerstand?

There are OTHER fish in the sea.

Those are YOURS.

This tugboat man is MINE.

Got it?


It happened AGAIN.

However, THIS time hub demonstrated that he’d learned his lesson from the previous incident and didn’t even TRY to tell me I was overreacting.

Remember when we were in Mexico?

Bitch, Stay Away From My Husband

 Part Two: “Bitch, Stay Away From My Husband

 And that’s why he’s still breathing and walking around with all his teeth.

Here’s how it happened:

Ya know how I posted My Husband Suffers From Performance Anxiety?

Well, that wasn’t the WHOLE story.

Yes, there were big waves which eluded hub’s expertise  – his timing was off, whatev.

I waited ’til he came in for a break so I could walk up to the bathroom.

I didn’t want to leave my camera bag and and all on our blanket, but a girl’s gotta pee, ya know?

I was only gone less than 10 minutes; honest.

Y’all don’t know what my tugboat man looks like, and although he’s beautiful to ME, he’s NO Brad Pitt or Chace Crawford or Ed Westwick (obscure Gossip Girl references). Or even Laird Hamilton, his nemesis. He’s getting better looking as he ages, I must say — like he came with me to a doctor’s appointment and the ladies in the office whispered to me, “He’s gorgeous” — I dunno, it’s hateful the way some guys look BETTER as they get a few wrinkles and gray hair — and we women don’t get similar responses. Oh well, another topic, another post, another day.

Back to the beach…

He’s not even sending off vibes –  trust me — he and I are TIGHT.

We’ve been a team for more than twenty years – and no one could tear us apart (INXS reference.)

So, as I’m walking back from the bathroom, I notice that — wait, let me back up and explain that the beach in this particular area is for surfing only and it’s not crowded with families — in fact it wasn’t crowded at all at 10:00 a.m.– there weren’t all that many people there, so it’s not like there was no other place to be…and I see this stupid girl with stupid blonde hair in a stupid teeny weeny bikini plunk her chair down RIGHT next to him – I mean only about two feet away from where my tugboat man was sitting.

And there was no reason at all for it.

And then she swished her stupid blonde hair back and forth just to make sure everyone (and by everyone, I mean tugboat man) noticed her arrival.

She adjusted her stupid bikini top and bottom a few times — unnecessarily, I might add — again OBVIOUSLY to garner the attention of my tugboat man.

For fuck’s sake, girl, could you be a little LESS obvious?

My ire was up.

As I made my way down the steps and across the burning hot sands of the Sahara, I assessed the situation.

Beneift of the doubt?

I DON’T F****ING THINK SO.

I announced my approach by throwing my sandals in her general direction  — wanting with all my heart to hit her in her vacant, vapid, empty head — but I curbed that violent impulse and tossed them THIS close (hold up thumb and finger to approximately three inches apart and that’s how close) to hitting her in her left leg, which was a classy move ‘cos it kinda sorta made sand  fly, which caused her to look up and see ME.

You should have seen the look on her face.

She had NO idea my tugboat man was not alone.

She was BUSTED.

Big time.

Stupid girl; she had failed to observe the signals that he was not alone (like his wedding ring) or the girly-type chair.

I picked up my towel and proceeded to shake the sand off of it (yes, in her direction) and sat back down squeezing myself between my tugboat man and this clueless female (hub is looking at me with glee and admiration and even a bit of lust in his eyes — if I may say).

We chatted a bit about his surfing debacle and what he’d like for dinner (always a topic hub loves to engage in) and then, guess what?

Stupid bikini girl picked up her towel and chair and flounced OFF.

Not just to another spot on the beach but up the steps and away!

BYEEEE!

I looked at him. He looked at me.

I said, “Did that REALLY just happen?”

Hub gave me a high five for my restraint in not hitting her in the head.

He gets it now, he really does…what I mean to say is that he understands now, he comprehends what I’ve been telling him about the predatory female and that I possess the ability to perceive them — to sniff them out, you might say.

I don’t know what it is about my husband that draws females to him.

In general, he doesn’t really even like women  — he’s like those people that don’t really like cats but they’re the ones cats jump on and gravitate towards.

Maybe that’s the secret to his appeal; a little disdain. What.Ever.

That’s the story; it made us snicker, ‘cos one of the secrets to our successful marriage is our feeling that we’re a team and we share a passion about absolute and total honesty coupled with the ability to laugh at ourselves.

P.S. And also because Princess Rosebud can go batshit crazy at any moment and her tugboat man knows it.

Hee hee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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