Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained

Yesterday my friend D and I attended a dinner party hosted at a restaurant by a gentleman with an interesting story, a good friend of our mutual friend, M. We knew no one except M. We arrived a little late because of the construction chaos downtown. After the introductions were made, we sat down to begin our meal.

At my table there was a woman who owned a matchmaking agency. She said that the most common mistake people make when searching for a love partner is their lack of open-mindedness. They are not ready to venture out of their comfort zone. They should look past the physical appearance or lack of instant connection, and take the time to get to know them as a person. If they get to like and appreciate the person, the rest will follow.

Sounds like logical and sound advise but in today’s world where we look for instant gratification and we are slaves to our busy schedules, we don’t have the luxury of time to get to know someone, unless we think the person is worthy of our time. Perhaps that’s why I haven’t met anyone I’d like to share my life with. Or maybe, it’s because I enjoy being single and not ready to settle into a committed relationship.

When dinner parties are held at restaurants it is hard to mingle but last night, D encouraged me to venture outside the premises with the guests who went to enjoy a cigarette and chat idley. There we got to know some of the other guests. My friend and I are ex smokers, but last night we were each offered a cigarette which we graciously took and giggled like two school girls while trying not to inhale. With one puff we were both buzzed, but this broke the ice and we shared some good laughs with the others.

This was the highlight of the evening, a casual exchange with a few laughs, without any expectations.

Thank You, M for having us added to the guest list.

The Time Has Come

I think we can safely say that spring has arrived. With it people are in better spirits, including myself.

In my last blog I mentionned that I was awaiting news of my breast biopsy. Luckily, the results were negative. When I entered the doctor’s office for the results I wasn’t even given a chance to sit down before he announced the results. The doctor then quickly apologized for not inviting me to sit but he said that I looked so tense that he wanted to immediately ease my mind. I sighed with relief, not realizing until then how much it was weighing on me.

The emotional clutter I was feeling is slowly being cleared. One of my first important decisions was regarding my “no name” relationship with the younger man, Ryan; I decided to end it. Sometime ago I realized that this “undefined” relationship was a very pleasant distraction, but it was becoming a dependency, like a drug. It kept me from moving forward, evolving.

He came into my life when I needed to feel like a woman, to express my sexuality. We developed a friendship. Countless hours were spent discussing many topics while sharing a bottle of wine.

I will always look back at this relationship as part of my sexual awakening and never forget the first time we kissed (it is permantely etched in my mind) but, mostly how he appreciated me for being me.

Good-bye Ryan, the sexy man, the gentle soul.

The Spring Clean-Up

I’ve been in deep reflection mode since the beginning of the year.

The winter (weather) was a harsh one. It put me in a state of semi-hibernation which prevented me from engaging in any non essential activity.

My physical health is a cause for concern again. The mammogram taken earlier this year showed growing microcalcifications in the breast. A biopsy was performed; the results of my biopsy are due on Thursday.

Going on vacation in St Marteen in mid March was the launching pad for a fresh start .

I’m at a turning point again, in my life. I need to realign myself. I need to simplify my life. An emotional spring clean up is needed.

Over the years our body, mind and spirit becomes cluttered just like our closets.

Lately, I’ve been wanting to change my dress style. I want my clothes to fit my body, not have my body fit the garment. A woman’s mature body is harder to dress than that of a firm young woman’s body. I’m in the process of cleaning my closet and discarding any item that does not meet my new requirement.

Spiritually, I am working on decluttering old emotions, hurts and self image with some breathing and meditation.

When I’m not in tune with my true self, my body talks to me. It comes in the form of physical ailments and diseases. The more I deny my true self, the worse the ailments become. I must learn to truly love, respect and accept myself. I must heed my intuition and affirm myself and not fear rejection. I must learn forgiveness at a deeper level.

My mind is always in thought mode. Even my sleep is not restorative, experiencing vivid dreams with strong emotions.

Transitional phases of any kind are never easy because they bring the unknown to your doorstep. You must learn new ways and confront your fears. They test your strengths and weaknesses. It is in the transitional phase that you have the opportunity to grow and discover new facets of yourself.

The Weekend

Just got home from an evening out with my young friends, Maya and Anastasia. We went for dinner at a fine restaurant in a quiet residential area. We ate too much, laughed and drank good wine. The waiter was very friendly which made the evening even more fun. After our meal he gave us a complimentary dessert and a digestif to accompany the dessert.

Maya suggested we head off to a local club for a nightcap. Upon arrival we walked around the club to get a feel of the crowd.

Anastasia was approached by a man and they chatted for a while and then he disappeared.

We made our way to the bar to order drinks. Two gentlemen sitting at the bar offered me an empty seat between them. My friends encouraged me to accept. The DJ had just put on a Frank Sinatra song, New York, New York. Everyone began to sing along and the gentleman on my left took off his cap and put it on my head and encouraged me to sing along. Maya was enjoying the interaction. He offered each of us a drink. He chatted with Maya and Anastasia, intermittently.

Conversations in clubs are difficult. People go there to drink, listen to music and eye the opposite sex. Some men like the one tonight, will actually offer a woman a drink, no strings attached, just for the pleasure of having their attention.

The gentleman on my right was there with his wife, enjoying a night out without the children. He thought Maya was my daughter — said we looked alike. Maya told him we were friends. He was surprised. I imagine it seems strange for a 62 year old to be friends with a 28 year old!

As I’ve been told, age is just a number.

Maya often reminds me not to focus on my age but to just enjoy life to the fullest. She’s right.

The Spring Vacation

Last week I came back from spending a week in St Maarten. The weather was perfect; always a light breeze to keep us cool with lower temperatures in the evening.

Most of my days were spent on the beach just not the same one, lol; my young

friend Maya likes to “beach hop”.

On the Sunday we took a speedboat excursion to another country nearby, called Anquilla. It was a cloudy day and the ocean was a bit choppy. The captain accelerated to keep us from catching the rain. It was a wild ride and frankly a bit dangerous but exilerating nonetheless. Most of the occupants on the boat were young millennials. They were drinking and music was playing. It was like a rollercoaster ride. When we arrived at our destination we swam to shore but I had difficulty swimming back. The waves were high. A young man called Zac jumped to my rescue and helped me back to the boat. At one of the stops I stayed on the boat and chatted with a surgeon and his girlfriend. We talked about dating sites since it was how they met. We swapped some of our experiences. She asked if younger men had reached out to me on the site and I replied that they had. I told her that my sexual experiences were with younger men. They both high fived me. She was genuinely delighted to know older women can get younger men, at any age, that she shouted it out to everyone. On the boat I also got to chat with a retired professional squash player from India. He now lived in New York recruiting players dfoe this sport. He had come to St Martin for the annual music festival with friends. There he instantly connected with a woman and they started a vacation romance. She was with him on the excursion. It brought back memories of my vacation romances when I was a young woman.

As a side note, I so enjoy spending time with younger people. They are full of life and make you forget all your aches and woes. They are so engaging. I always feel privileged to interact with them.

On another day we took a small boat ride to Pinel Island to sunbathe and enjoy the beach. The water was knee deep for a very long stretch. We had an assigned waiter who served us on the beach. Between the two of us we drank two bottles of rosé after our lunch. We met a lovely couple sitting next to us and chatted with them. Once the wine kicked in we got giddy and chatty. Maya suggested we untie our hair and take pictures in the ocean. We took pictures in our bikinis not caring about seeing our imperfections on camera (not that Maya has any). It was so liberating!

One night Maya wanted to retire early so I decided to go for a drink at the hotel bar. There a met a very young man called Jackson, we had a brief conversation until I decided it was time to retire. He was 3 years old (where are all the available men)!

We both got great tans and put some healthy color back on our faces after a long and harsh winter.

Springtime in Paris

Traveling was something I had not done in over 15 years. That was 3 years ago.

One day a good friend of mine and I were talking about purchasing ourselves a Louis Vuitton purse, (a luxury we owed ourselves after many years of working). Out of the blue she exclaimed, “Let’s go buy it directly from Paris”. Crazy as it sounded, I immediately replied “YES!”

Ah, April in Paris, a dream come true!

When I was married my husband and I talked about going to Paris for our 25th wedding anniversary. But when the time came, I had no interest to go.

We arrived on a beautiful sunny spring day. The trees were in bloom. The boutique hotel was elegant with excellent service and hospitality. It was situated in the Champs-Élysée district. The concierge greeted us and asked us to follow him to the sitting room while our rooms were being prepared and offered us refreshments.

Once settled in our rooms and freshened up we made our way to the Louis Vuitton store. It was a block away so we walked there. The security guard at the door welcomed us and a Sales person took charge of us after we finished exploring the store. We were seated at a counter and they offered us champagne or any other refreshment we desired. While we sipped our champagne the salesperson, put on a pair of black cotton gloves then proceeded to show us all of the bags we wished to see. I remember asking myself, “am I really in Paris sipping champagne at the Louis Vuitton store”? It was surreal!

The days that followed were about shopping and dining in fine restaurants with the occasional afternoon stop at a café for croissants or a Parisian ham and cheese sandwich in a crispy baguette. The French waiters were very engaging and enjoyed serving us.

The next major designer purchase was a pair of shoes from Christian Louboutin, well known for his famous red soles. We both bought a pair of sling backs with golden studs, which we wore that evening for supper at the rooftop restaurant, the Kong, (featured on one of the Sex and the City episodes).

On one of the rainy days, we visted the Musée d’Orsay the home of the well known masterpieces such as Monet, Degas, Van Gogh. Near the end of our tour of the museum, my friend and I had been admiring a sculpture when a gentleman behind us, a Parisian, engaged us in conversation. He introduced himself as Jean Francois and asked where we were from. He told us that he enjoyed visiting the museums, “a good place to meet women”, he said. We laughed. He offered to take us to visit le Palais Royal on the Saturday. We had agreed to meet outside a metro station. It had been raining on and off, that day; it was not a pleasant day to sightsee. I had a chance to stop at la Maison Fabre to buy myself some beautiful lamb skin gloves lined in silk. Later we stopped off at a cafe for some refreshments.

Jean Francois was in his early forties, recently divorced with a small child. He was infatuated with my friend. While enjoying our refreshments and small talk he received an urgent call from his babysitter. His child had taken a tumble; he needed to get home immediately. He ran off. My friend and I both looked at each other perplexed. When we realized that he had not paid for his coffee we laughed. Later that evening Jean Francois messaged my friend to apologize for his sudden departure and told her that his child had no serious injuries.

Going to Paris and living it in style was indeed one for the bucket list.

Expectations and Disappointments

This Thursday was Valentine’s Day, the day of expectations and disappointments.

When I was in elementary school, there would be the exchange of Valentine cards among the students. Each child would keep count on the number of cards they had received; the more you received, the more you felt noticed and loved by your classmates. I never got many cards but enough to know I had some friends. Some children were not so lucky. As I grew older, I dreamed of the day I would have a boyfriend that would give me a card, chocolates and roses. Alas, the most I got from my fiancée ,which lived overseas, was a Valentine card. When we were married, I can’t say I recall being pampered that way. You see, my husband was not considerate when it came to Valentine’s day, nor on any other occasion, for that matter. Any gift or flowers given to me for an occasion was because my older sister would urge him to do so and she would also take care of it. The first time he went out and ordered roses for me, by himself, was after a huge fight where we both started hitting each other. He felt bad, thus long stemmed roses arrived the next day.

A few years ago, on the morning of Valentine’s Day, I woke up questioning why I felt disappointed that I had no special man to bring me flowers. It was at that moment, that it came to me, why did I need a man to buy me flowers on this occasion? It’s a day of recognizing and appreciating the people we love in our lives not only boyfriends, life partners and husbands. That day I decided to purchase my own roses, (now a yearly tradition).

This year, I purchased 12 white roses which I always pick up at the grocery store. They are less expensive than at the florist.

I went to the pharmacy near my home to pick up a box of chocolates to bring to my esthetician and friend Maia, who never accepts a tip. At the pharmacy, there were several men in the Valentine section picking up chocolates for their loved one. It was amusing to watch them. They picked up the first heart shaped chocolate box they spotted and quickly left. Was it embarrassing to be seen selecting chocolates for the woman in their life or were they simply in a hurry to leave and be done with this task.

Most men know that women appreciate this type of demonstration of affection although they don’t expect the same in return. On his show, Thursday night, Jimmy Kimmel made reference to Valentine’ s Day and said that men would much prefer that their woman offered them sex instead. LOL!!!!

This Valentine Day, I did receive a card , a beautiful single rose and a box of chocolates from a special friend.

When there are no expectations, there are no disappointments and maybe some pleasant surprises.