|A Decade of (Mostly) Blissful Marriage!|
I Just Want to Be Alone is a collection of humorous essays about the men in our lives, from 37 of the most Super Cool Lady Writers you'll find on the web. Including: People I Want to Punch in the Throat, Baby Sideburns, A.K. Turner, My Husband Ate All My Ice Cream, and Bad Parenting Moments. I am so very proud of this book and I know you will absolutely love it and laugh so hard you'll feel like you're out with a few good friends having a giggle together. My story is about the joyful months we spent as an engaged couple. Here's the link - check it out as soon as you get a chance! In the meantime, on with my story about our first few dates!
***********************************************************************Too many broken hearts have fallen in the river
Too many lonely souls have drifted out to sea,
You lay your bets and then you pay the price
The things we do for love, the things we do for love
(Lyrics from the song "The Things We Do for Love" by 10cc's hit song from 1977.)
When I first met my husband, I was so smitten with him that I would've walked barefoot through fire to impress him if I thought it would help. He was such a tall, dark, handsome drink of water full of energy and ideas and I just really wanted to be better and more adventurous than the Nervous Nelly, calculated risk taker/high maintenance fluff chick that I was trying to hide from him.
One of the first dates we went on, we went hiking. It was my first time, but I pretended I was cool and knew what I was doing. When I showed up with a Latte in one hand, a fun little Coach purse in the other, while sporting a cute pair of BCBG boots he was like, ummm, do you have any better shoes than that? I did a double take. Was he asking me if I had better shoes as in sexier, hotter, more stylish? Because how dare he question my fashion this early in! I kind of laughed it off and said this was the only pair I brought. Little did I know, I would be scaling mini mountains in my precious booties. I insisted he go in front of me because I kept tripping on rocks and I looked like an ass most of the time just walking. I did not want him to see how incredibly stupid and uncool I looked trying to hike up a hill in my adorable heels. Look, I was born in the city - the only hiking I'd ever done was from the parking lot to the mall entrance. I was raised in Ohio where it's flat. What did I know about scaling the side of a mountain to picnic on a bluff? The only bluffing I was doing was pretending that I was having a good time. About half way through the hike, I wanted to start complaining. I had to pee from drinking way too much coffee & I was sweating my flawless makeup job away. The bugs were bothering me, the shoes were killing me, I was scared and I was getting tired of tripping on tree roots. The things we do for love, I thought. Son-of-a-. I got myself into this and now I had to deal with it. I had to do whatever I could to combat my fear and loathing of the buggy outdoors. He was just way too much of a catch to screw it up. Suck it up buttercup - you and your booties need to soldier on.
|Nevermind Namaste...Na-must-not-stay long up here where the bugs are.|
A few days later, he asked me if I'd like to go sailing on his boat up in Maine. Ohhh, a sailboat...he's got a sailboat...! I was so giddy, in fact, that I managed to forget my history of boating mishaps. Sidenote: my family is Greek. My mom was born on a little island of the Mediterranean called Cyprus. It is surrounded by water. Many Greeks are sailors and shippers, shipbuilders, Captains of cruise ships, etc. It is in our blood to love the water, to have our sea legs at birth. But keeping my tradition of my DNA screw ups, I was born with the seasickness gene. Most Greeks have olive skin - my olive skin was of the green kind. Put me on a ship, boat, canoe, catamaran, and watch me turn into the hazy shade of goblin. I'd been on a boat a handful of times in my life, none of them ended well. The craziest thing was that my ultimate dream job was to be a cruise director. You never saw Julie McCoy throwing up on the side of the boat did you? Some cruise director I would've been. Thank goodness my life took me on the course of a flight attendant instead, or I would've been fired on day one - that is, if they every found me hiding on the floor kneeling by the toilet.
Back to the second date. YES YES YES! Of course I'd will go sailing with him! In my mind, I had a flashback to Message in a Bottle and remembered Robin Wright as she had a whirlwind romance with Kevin Costner. My romantic side blinded me of my little problem/aversion to boating and I found myself agreeing to the whens and wheres of our next date. Mental note: try to cut back on Nicholas Sparks movies, they only lead to bad decisions.
I carefully picked out the cutest, most spectacular Nautical outfit that was both sexy and appropriate for sailing. My hair and makeup was done with great care - every date was an investment in my future with this spectacular fresh catch of the Atlantic waters. We arrived at the marina and walked down the spectacular row of boat-lined docks that seemed to go on for miles. I stopped to take a photo. I was full of optimism and excitement at the adventure ahead. I was overconfident and oblivious to what could possibly lie ahead...and blinded by love peppered with optimism, I never even suspected how very wrong this date could go. Blue skies and the smell of saltwater in the air were absolutely invigorating and attacking my senses.
We finally reached our slip and I realized I was going to have to do some form acrobatics to get up on deck. My capris were a little too - a-hem form fitting, yes that's it. Okay, tight - they were too damn tight because I bought them that way to discourage overeating. Please don't let me split my pants..I thought to myself. I made it up on deck by some miracle and start looking around at the gorgeous, high-gloss, sparkling clean wooden deck. I followed him around, trying to make small talk, but things start to get serious. There are mad skills needed to work this sailboat. Apparently, there was no room for joking when maneuvering out of the slip without hitting another boat. I stayed quiet but started to think I might need a drink, and soon.
I was in the way no matter where I sat. I tried to move here and there, front to the back, side to the side. Finally we were sailing. The breeze was causing my hair to whip me in the face, poke me in the eye, and smudge my lip gloss. I could feel my blood pressure rising as my high maintenance tendencies started to kick in. He got comfy at the helm and we started making some conversation. About a half hour went by as we made our way out on the beautiful blue Atlantic. I watched him as he guided the boat with confidence and know-how and I'm getting all warm and fuzzy just seeing him there. Wait. Warm. Fuzzy. Blurry. Nauseous. Oh God. No. It's happening. It's happening quickly. I'm going down, and things are coming up. Shit Shit Shit! Are you OK, Oh my gosh, are you OK??? Are you seasick?? Hello??? I could hear his voice coming in and out as I held my hair and vomited over the side. Look away! I begged....I'm fine - I'm fine, I'll be fine! I tried to convince myself. I tried to will myself to pull it together, but my legs went out from under me. I now have puke in my hair from the effing wind blowing my once-spectacular hair in my stream of vomit. My eyes are watering, my mascara is running. This is a worst-case scenario right here. He took me to the bow, laid me down in the warm sun and put a cold washcloth on my head and blankets on my body. I was shivering cold and sick as a dog. He was seeing me at my worst and there was nothing I could do. I was certain the smell of funk was radiating from my pores and magnified in the sun. I am SO not going to be invited on another date. Nice going dumb ass. Nice going.
We made it back to my place in one piece. I swear the minute my feet touched dry land I was perfectly fine. Talk about a bad joke. All that money on a fabulous outfit and all I have to show for it is a picture (see above) he took of me during the height of my suffering. I was curled up in a ball on the deck of the boat with my face and lips pressed up against the cool touch of the soft wood. That beautiful day, I kissed the deck and I liked it. Love me now, love me forever. Luckily, he did.
Later that day, all I could think of was this was strike 2. He was probably thinking what kind of idiot wears heels to go hiking, and goes sailing with seasickness tendencies. Later I learned he thought it was all very sweet that I would agree to step outside of my comfort zone to take an interest in what he loves. Awww, it did work! Date 3 was a weekend trip to Boston to go shopping. Smart man. He set me up to really succeed that day.
We went on several more sailing trips but stayed very close to harbor while I wore a Dramamine patch, sucked on Ginger candy, sported seasickness bands on my wrists instead of cutesy jewelry like on the our first date. I probably should've had him tie me to the sailboat like Bill Murray in What About Bob so I could yell, "I'm sailing! I sail! I'm doin' the work - I'm not a slacker!" Instead, I found a place on that friendly deck I loved so much, and I focused on the horizon just like they tell you to. I looked ahead at the blue skies with hopes and dreams that life really is good once you find the right companion and stop throwing up from seasickness.
To this day, he continues to put the wind in my sails, and I put the wind in his, only from the safety and calmness of shore. He knows I'll never be much of a sailor, and he's okay with that. The sailboat is no longer his. It now belongs to a bachelor somewhere on the other side of the world and I'm certain that high gloss, shiny cool deck is being loved by another girl. I'm okay with that because we'll always have Maine. My husband is fine with that, too. He is still at the helm - only this time it's of our family.
Happy 10th to the love of my life - he has just about established Sainthood for putting up with me!
More about I Just Want to Be Alone...here is an excerpt from my piece.
Here are the links to the coolest lady writers who contributed stories to the book: