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One Is Good; Two, Even Better

One Is Good; Two, Even Better

“Mmmm…Butter Pecan or Chocolate Praline? Oh, my – I love them both; how do I choose only one? What the hell, I can’t. Just give me two scoops – one of each – please.”

“You know, teal is one of my favorite colors; I have so many suits with which I can pair that shirt. But the maroon is absolutely gorgeous on me, as well. It brings out the mahogany undertones of my complexion. I’ll take them both. Thank you.”

“Hanukkah…or Christmas? My girls and I are Jewish. But the rest of the family calls that other holiday ‘the reason for the season.’ However, celebration is a good thing – you know, the more the merrier! We do both.”

My name is PD…and I’m a double-dipper.

So many women go to incredible lengths to find the loves of their lives – bars, online dating sites, friends. They dress up to impress and dress down to do bugs, dirt and sleep on the ground. They color, cut, weave. They torture themselves with jeans so tight they can’t breathe (in the hope they will take his breath away), stilettos they pray won’t drop them on their asses and even – ugh – underwire bras to make their headlights flash their high beams. All this for…him. That one love who’ll enhance their existence and make their hearts sing.

And some of us double-dip.

Very early in my life, in fact, I’d just barely tipped over that line marking the age of majority, I found Mr Right. He was that proverbial tall, dark and handsome man of mystery hiding behind a bushy mustache and beneath a bright red “sly hat” that made me giggle. His mind was even more brilliant than that hat; on each date we solved another of the world’s many problems. We shared the same values. And together we double-dipped in the progeny pool; we created two phenomenal daughters. His loss was devastating; the world will never know what it missed, but our girls and I know all too painfully well.

Convinced I’d never fall in love again, I was blindsided years later when another proverbial tall, dark and handsome man of mystery hiding behind a bushy mustache entered my life. We shared the same values, the same profession and he made me laugh, despite the absence of a floppy red hat. At that first of many meetings, he sat across from me at my desk and delineated what he expected my role to be – as I let him know what it would be. Mr Intractable resisted my persistent attempts to set him up with my single girlfriends, as he had other plans. He convinced me to remove my shell and take that second dip in love’s pond. Alas, he is also no longer with us, but the love he left in his wake daily lifts me, makes my toes tingle…and my heart sing.

And all I can say to the universe is “Thank you, Thank you.”

My True Love? Me.

A friend posted this photo to my FaceBook feed today; it puzzled me. Why would the first day of Christmas be different from any other? On that day, as I do every day, I’ll give myself — me.

T-Shirt

Duh!

“People in love aren’t usually noted for using their brains.”

Perry Mason
in Erle Stanley Gardner’s The Case of the Fiery Fingers

Kindsorta Love Maybe But No Not Really I Don’t Think

Kindsorta Love Maybe But No Not Really I Don’t Think

“I appreciate you.”

When I heard those words as a gratitude virgin, I was beyond titillated. In fact, the resultant orgasm carried me all the way to the bank – with a bonus check for the successful completion of a project that paid for my first European vacation. Oh, how I appreciated being appreciated.

Imagine my confusion, three years later, as I heard them again – but this time at the end of a peck-on-the-cheek dinner date. Granted, we’d only been seeing each other for a couple of months and, while fireworks exploding from the perfectly pedicured toes that wiggled at the tips of my purchased-just-for-this-occasion, peep-toe, sling-back pumps would have been very much appreciated, a spin on his little friend truly wasn’t an expectation. In all honesty, it was too soon. But I hadn’t written into my script for the final scene of the evening a tongue-free, slobberless “I appreciate you” either.

In fact, precisely what does an “I appreciate you” mean? It reminds me of an “I respect you” — are they related?  Is it a synonym for “keep your thong on, honey?” Does it mean I don’t get the $200 for passing go or the prize hidden behind Door #3?

And is that your final answer?

Faster than that caped man from the planet Krypton, I raced to consult my friend, the Urban Dictionary.

“’I appreciate you’ is a polite of way of expressing your disgust with a particular object, situation or person. When utilized in this format, you leave the subject of your statement wondering why you were so polite when in reality you were simply telling them to fu*k off.”

No, our frequent evenings out and his near daily (often multiple times in a day) texts and phone calls lead me to believe, in this case, it’s the Urban Dictionary that should, indeed, fuck off. I poured a glass of white zinfandel to assist in my further research as I visited other sources.

“It means he is glad to have you in his life and thankful you can support him.”

This is s-o-o-o not looking good. Glad to have me in his life? Okay, that’s — uh — nice. But I’m already supporting my ex-husband; in fact, I’m late mailing this month’s check. However, he did, at least, tell me he loved me. Of course, he also told me he’d go out and get a job. While Mr Appreciation and I did split the tab tonight, this one hasn’t yet found his own slot among the compartments of my wallet. And he has something woefully foreign to Mr-Wrong-Formerly-Known-As-My-Bloodsucking-Leech — a job. No, this one is a real man; I’m thinking support is not an issue and I can discard this definition as well.

“It means you’re his bookmark. You’re not the one, but you’ll do until the right one comes along. You’ve been sentenced to life in…the Friend Zone.”

Oy vey! This definition has settled into my mental Barcalounger, shoved its hands into its pants and farted – an eternity as friends with only-in-my-dreams benefits. The thought that I have nothing more than my own permanent space in his platonic parking lot is not exactly what I want to believe, but as I review the video of our relationship, sadly, this shoe is beginning to fit. On the other hand, maybe I’ll grow on him. The last one who declared us to be just friends did the whole down-on-one-knee thing a year later. Hope is still breathing and it has a faint — but nonetheless perceptible — heartbeat…

“It means that he was thinking of you in a way that made him smile and he wanted to let you know. It might not mean he’s in love with you, but it definitely points to him liking you a lot.”

Okay, this one not only works, it actually feels good — kindasorta. I like him a lot, too. But as much as I want to be appreciated and respected, I want to be loved. So perhaps I’ll just bide my time and appreciate him and his appreciation of me until we grow on each other…

…or until the one who’ll give me that trifecta enters this race and crosses my finish line.

Ahhh…The Best Love Story

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Grab your hankies, dear readers. I’m still bawling as I share with you a video created by my friend, Keith Kropf of Simi Valley, in celebration of 27 years of marriage to his wife, Maureen.

Ladies, take a look and imagine the way it could be.

Guys, take a look and see how it should be.

Thanks, Keith!

Oops!

We have plenty of time, darlin’.”

He knew she’d always be there.

What he didn’t know was that he wouldn’t.

You never know what tomorrow will bring — perhaps not even itself.

Tell her now.

My Tax Man Cometh…

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“Hey, you! I’m on my way — just running a little bit late.”

I laughed. I knew the routine. That was Tom — my mentor, best friend and the love of my life. He was on his way to pick me up for dinner, but only after he’d driven around the block a few times with his windows open and the fan blasting so I wouldn’t notice the cloud of smoke that enveloped his head. Yes, I was well aware he still smoked, but — he swore — he was down to one cigarette a day. His nasty little habit had been a major fallen log across our road to romance. I’m highly sensitive to cigarette smoke. Just a few minutes in a smoke-filled room could land me in bed — coughing, congested and almost completely incapacitated — for days. But I loved him. So I let him think he was fooling me — and my hair blew in the breeze of my open window like that of a deliriously happy Afghan Hound on her favorite doggy car ride.

Eight months ago, the pretending stopped. Tom was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer which had metastasized throughout his body. Three months later we said our final good-byes.

So here I am in the middle of my first tax season without the man who called me every evening to chastise me for working so late — on the way home from his own office. Tom was also an accountant, a CPA. I’d always put him on speaker phone so we could swap stories and exchange advice as I packed my briefcase and locked up the office. Oddly, we spent more hours together during a time when one would expect we had so few available than we did during the remainder of the year. I miss him so much. But, like me, Tom was an unapologetic workaholic. He’d have been beyond disappointed had I let my grief interfere with my profit.

So, each morning I now plaster on my very best fake smile and trudge off to work.

My first client on this day leaned back in her chair and smiled as I forged my way through the pile of paper she’d just dropped onto my desk. Within moments my nose, filled with the faint stench of burning tobacco, began its telltale tingling and fluid began accumuling in my lungs. I assumed the noxious vapors were coming from her documents.

Between coughs, I queried: “Do you smoke?” I was perplexed because my client, in addition to being a medical professional, was a rabid health nut. I could hardly imagine her smoking, but the evidence was as clear as the snot that escaped my nostrils.

“No, but that guy standing over your left shoulder is smoking like a chimney.”

“Ohhhkaaayyy,” I thought, as the faint echo of the theme from the Twilight Zone played in the space between my ears. I was aware that she was reputedly visited by those who’d passed to the other side, so I wasn’t really too concerned, but this did make the little hairs at my nape curl themselves a bit tighter. I considered asking her to describe him, but I thought better of it. I returned to her paperwork and tried to give nothing away. My eyebrows knitted themselves into knots as I attempted to focus again on the issue I was trying to untangle.

“He says that if you need help with something, he’s here. He’s always here. Just close your eyes and ask him. He’ll tell you what to do.”

Okay, that was it; I was convinced. The odor of cigarette smoke alone — at times and in places where there should have been none — I would have dismissed as I always had recently. But she didn’t know him; how could she have possibly have come up with his words? I’d often wondered if he visited. There were many moments in which I’d felt a shift in the energy surrounding me — and hoped it might be he — but I’d always dismissed this as another figment of my overactive imagination. He’d never appeared physically, so I’d poo-pooed it as wishful thinking and moved on. So why appear here? And why now? And why the burning cloud that he knows’ll fucking kill me?

“He says to tell you the smoke is so you’ll always know it’s he; you didn’t ‘get it’ before.”

“And he says to tell you he loves you.”