The year was 1991 and I had fallen in love. I had graduated from college, acquired my first real job in a design firm, gotten fired from said job, and was back working in retail until I could find another graphics design position. I was living out my life in terms of romance, egged on by alot of hormones and pheromones. My newly-found LOVE was a young attorney in the DA's office. He was very different than the arty, free-spirited liberal guys I was usually drawn to. He wore suits and ties and had a great checkbook-wallet-type thingy he kept in the breast pocket of his suit coat, just like I imagined Carry Grant might have. (And yes, I get how ironic it is that I was taken by where he kept his cash - can you say pre-nup?!) He was a conservative, a Catholic, and could deliver a mean voir dire . He could, I figured, write a brief or an amendment to the Constitution instead of composing a song about me - to spell out what I meant to him and how he had never met anyone like me and couldn't imagine living his life without me. VAIN you say? - absolutely, positively - but I was young and ME and what you thought about ME was my favorite topic of conversation.
Our first Valentine's Day spent together, we drove to a restaurant in the adjacent state and had a marvelous dinner, sipped on grown-up drinks and told each other stories about our families, our past relationships and our shoe sizes. (Wha?????) On the drive home I became intoxicated with the feelings that I was experiencing and said really loudly and with kind of a speech impediment, "I LURVE YOU!" It was at that moment that my LOVE turned and looked at me and smiled . . . . . . . . insert cricket sounds . . . . . . . tumble weeds rolling around . . . . . only the sound of the car on the road . . . not a word . . . . . and definitely not the words I was longing to hear. It was at that moment that I was seized with an irrational need to fling myself over the bridge we were driving over. What I wanted to do was throw him down, stick a knee in his chest while assaulting him with a tourette-syndrome-like tirade, using every cuss word I could think to rant. But, I didn't. The mood in the car was anything but romantic after that point and I was filled with resentment and anger... and a lot of urine - I'd forgotten to pee before we left the restaurant!
But, here's what I did do . . .
I finally broke the silence with something along the lines of "What the #@$% is wrong with you? When someone says that they love you, you just DON'T SMILE!!! You say something back, preferably the same thing . . . . verbatum to be precise, only with a "too" at the end of it!!!!!"
We had meet 2 years prior to that night at a party that I was at with my then current boyfriend-type person. When my LOVE walked in the door our eyes locked on each other and I asked my boyfriend in a kinda short of breathe like manner, "WHO IS THAT?" Bad move - I'm aware - of course the boyfriend was offended and blurted out that, "Oh that's So-and-so and he pretty much hates women!" "You mean, he prefers men?" I shot back. "No, no, no he's just gotten out of a really awful relationship" said the boyfriend.
Fast-forward 2 years and I'm at a club dancing with friends. I look up and see my LOVE staring at me with a drink in one hand and the other hand in his jeans pocket. He's staring and staring and staring some more. Finally, I got fed up and made a bee-line over to him and asked, "So, are you going to stare at me all night, or are you going to talk to me?" And, it's at this point that his oratory skills acquired from his career in law came to their full potential with the most romantic thing I've heard, "Errrr . . . .uuuhhhhh . . . . . mmmmmm . . .eerrr . . . . gulp." I mean seriously, he had me at "Errr", don'cha know! Later that evening, we checked each other for tonsils and began what has turned into a fantastic 19-year adventure together.
And I made you endure that story to tell you this one and to go "on the record" about how time and age changes one's attitudes toward romance. This story begins with my little sister, Pauli. She is a marvelous cook, she's also a vegan and exercises and generally eats bark and pretty much ranks in the "super hero" division of mother to her two little boys. The other day we were visiting about our plans for Valentines day. She was planning a dinner with a menu that consisted of grilled shrimp salad, scallop chowder with Pernod and Thyme and grilled kebabs with guava BBQ sauce. Frankly, after a few minutes of hearing this, I was feeling like my planned dinner of Pringles, Altoids, and Cheddar Whizzy shot straight out of the can into our mouths, lacked a little something.
So, of course I said, "say who? . . . what the . . . where did all that come from?" "My Coastal Living," she said, "it came in the mail the other day and those recipes were in there - it's their annual islands issue." So, of course I rushed home and pulled mine out of the mailbox and immediately turned to the "It's Five O'clock Somewhere" article and found a ton of new booze recipes to increase the whole island bartender vibe I'm throwin' out these days. They were sharing cocktails from islands around the world, like Bali, Fiji, Nantucket, Capri and Mauritius.
I also got really inspired by their piece on "The Prettiest Island Rooms." They have pulled together some of their favorite tropics-inspired rooms into one super slide show. You can go to Coastal Living.com and see it here.
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