Better Than A Shirt

Last Christmas, after a crack B made about all the shirts and ties he had received over the years for the holidays, I gave him a bathrobe instead. But after contemplating his “joke” I realized he was right. My present giving had gotten a little boring just like our marriage had been for several years. I decided right then and there that this year I would give him something he would never forget.

If you know B you also know that he has devoted the last several years to playing the bagpipes after a trip to Scotland got him hooked. His favorite band is The Red Hot Chili Pipers but unfortunately they only play on the East Coast when they tour away from their home base of Scotland. So what is a girl to do? She buys airline tickets to New York, calls son West to see if the folks can stay with him at his pad, and she buys tickets to see the band at B.B. King’s Bar and Grill. That is where we were last night and the blokey bagpipers were amazing! Watching B watching them was the best gift I could have given myself. The joy on his face and the challenge that stirred his soul brought tears to my eyes. It was in short…one of the best nights ever!!!

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We arrived in New York at 11:30 p.m. Friday. West was here to pick us up. It was great to see our son and also see how well he is doing for himself. The view of Manhattan from his condo is amazing and his home is sporty and chic like a young man’s pad should be. But hell, we are only here for 60 hours so we had to get the show on the road. So off to bed we went only to be greeted by the sun a few hours later.

The next morning we went to the City Diner. The food is amazing and my stuffed french toast was incredible.

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We visited Central Park where we embarrassed West by riding the carousel like a couple of kids. We stopped and talked to Big Bird, who was with Elmo, and posed for pictures with the two icons, while West tried his damnedest to disappear behind a tree. It’s nice to know we can still embarrass our children no matter what their age!

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We also visited the Plaza Hotel, went into the New World Trade Center, took the subway, gave the Trump Tower the finger, went to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, saw Times Square and Broadway, had an amazing pub experience at The Dead Rabbit (voted one of the world’s best bars), ate New York pizza & cheesecake, while drinking just a wee too much.

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So here it is early morning Monday and we are packing to return home to our “real” lives. We enjoyed each others company immensely, had great sex,  and got to see the things we enjoy most about the other. Divorce felt about as close to us as the sun as we spent our anniversary just being happy with the way things are…undefined.

In short, it was a weekend we will never forget, and if I do say so myself…it was much better than a shirt!!!!

For Violet-My Sex Life In Tibet

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This is for Violet. Because Violet wants to know how my sex life went while over in Tibet. She wonders if this 29 year married couple who are temporarily without the bat ears of their children will fare as they explore Asia together. I promised I would give her the juicy details about whether or not you can have sex in a monastery… I am a woman of my word.

January 11- Leave San Francisco for Shanghai. The plane is cold. I rub strategic spots on B’s body in hopes that he will warm me up under the flimsy cotton blanket. No dice. He’s not that kind of guy. Reminds me of the time we were naked on the nude beach in Kauai. He passed then too but to this day swears it was the pneumonia he was in the process of developing that waylaid his libido while on laying naked on the sand all those many years ago.

January 12-Arrive at Shanghai after an 11 hour flight. I survived. I can only assume it is some sort of cosmic miracle but hell we have 7 more flights to take so I am not taking bets yet. Eat some incredible Chinese food and crash after promising one another that tomorrow will be our “special” day.

January 13- Take green subway line to subway line 16. Take bus 1068 to Xinchang where we enjoy the “Venice” of Shanghai. Reverse process only it is rush hour. We are packed into the subway like sardines when I feel someone grab my left boob. I turn and smile at Dave for being so frisky…only it isn’t Dave at all. It is an intoxicated old man with missing teeth. I give him the death stare and he smiles. Okay, that is one “feel up” for the day, zero sex. We get back to the hotel room and defrost our parts. Since we understand you can get in serious trouble (think prison) for “doing it” in front of an open window we opt for something more like home…the bed. Great foreplay. Fantastic sex. No children anywhere around. No wonder!

January 14- Land in Lhasa, Tibet. Upon touchdown I get an immediate headache. Altitude sickness descends. We get to our room which has old single pane, handmade wood framed windows. The walls appear to have frost on them at first glance. We see our breaths all night as we talk across to one another in the rigid, very hard and not going anywhere twin beds. We decide that self-preservation is our best bet as we crawl under yet another blanket in our light thermals, heavy thermals, 2 pairs of socks, pajamas, gloves, blacava covering our heads and a coat on top. Wake up numerous times during the night feeling like an elephant is sitting on our chests as our hearts think about giving out. It is doubtful anything is going to rise this night as frost bite is a definite possibility.

January 15-It’s gotten colder. So has our room. Need I say more?

January 16-Can you believe that it is still colder? Our room is cold enough to be used as a morgue except that unlike a morgue there is nothing stiff in this room. I am thinking the next vacation will be to a warm clothing optional place with free booze. Lots of free booze. Even tho I am not a pot smoker I suspect that the next trip will involve it because after this journey I am sure I will be missing parts and will need a medicinal high to forget the feeling of phantom pain where my limbs used to be.

January 17-Shigatse. Well what do you know…a warm hotel room…with twin beds. What is it with the twin beds for goodness sake!!!! Luckily, love is in the air along with an unidentifiable smell that is not either one of us even though we had not showered for so long. No…it is something unique and different enough to turn your stomach. But we refuse to let it defeat us and we do one for the Gipper. In the morning everyone in our group wonders why we are smiling so much that our teeth hurt. Of course they are all under 30 without children… but someday they will know why those smiles were plastered all over our faces.

January 18-Bad news. The Rongbuk Monastery is closed. I am deflated with this bit of news as I really wanted to be faced with ethical decision of whether it is proper to have sex in a monastery and see whether the devil or angel on my shoulder would win out. Sigh. Instead we are booked into a hotel in Shegar a small town of about 1,000 way out in the middle of nowhere but about three hours from the Mt. Everest base camp. The good news…dinner is a delicious full bodied noodle soup. The bad news (I know you are asking how could you have BAD news on a vacation you whiny, spoilt b****)…the temperature is -16 while the sun is still up. There is no water in our room and the bucket that you fill with water to flush the toilet is frozen solid. This time we sleep with one pair of light thermals, 2 pairs of heavy thermals, gloves, three pairs of socks, blacava, sleeping bag and down parka in TWIN BEDS. But really we don’t sleep. Instead we gasp for air and watch as my coat emits thousands of static electric charges as it lights up the room. SEX…doesn’t even enter our minds as we just struggle to survive.  The next morning we find the people who run the hotel sleeping around a huge coal/dung stove. They are walking around with smiles on their faces….hmmmm!

January 19-After almost being blown off of Mt. Everest by the wind we make it back to Shigatse. Half our group look like death warmed over but when we end up at an Sichuan restaurant eating amazing food and there is no yak in sight, the color returns to the faces of all. The room is once again pleasant and warm. Two blissful sighs are heard around the world and Mt. Everest rocks.

January 20-Back to Lhasa and the first hotel only this time I ask if we might have a room with something other than twin beds. So we are put in room 207 which I am happy to report it is an inside room and is at least 20 degrees warmer than the first room. Are you spotting a trend here, Violet? Warm=happy=sex. Yet, during and afterwards we are panting hard like we just ran a marathon and seriously question whether our hearts will explode due to this high altitude exertion. Getting old should = purchasing larger and larger amounts of life insurance especially when getting it on while in the two mile club without the benefit of an airplane.

January 21-Fly back to Shanghai by way of Xian. We are exhausted and spent when we land at 9:30 p.m..

January 22-Wake up at 3 am for an early morning flight to Jinan. B has business. Attend a late night dinner of fish, fish and more fish.Eyeballs of fish linger in our psyche and we can’t get past that tonight.

January 23- Violet, its warm…do you even have to ask?

January 24-Fly back to Shanghai. We leave tomorrow for San Francisco. I’ll leave this one for you to fantasize about my dearest Violet. I leave for an 8 hour trip in the morning.

 

 

Where Do I Go From Here?

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My plane lifts off for Shanghai in thirty-seven hours. Between now and then I want to play with the grandkids (ages 2 and 7 months). They bring such joy and happiness around a house filled with the angst of teens and tweens. I want to enjoy and appreciate my kids and have my love surround them when I am gone. Each and every one of them.But in real life time, I also have to work at a diving meet tomorrow and then stay to watch Gracie compete. I have to shower. Do my hair. I have to pack. Decide what to bring and what not and whether or not to take up precious room in my suitcase by bringing along eye candy for my husband. Red or green? See-through or make-you-guess? Right now it is a 50-50 chance one of them will make the cut. Later I have to drive from my house to the airport which is four hours away IF there is no traffic and that is a BIG if. Thirty-seven hours  to go and I am nowhere near ready and I am unsure what I want to do with the 24 hours we have in Shanghai. Still. But I think I might have an idea.

I have been investigating Shanghai for the past four hours. Considering whether to take a tour. Or maybe a private car (never have done one of those). Even a taxi. But within the last two hours I think I have decided to be brave and take the road less traveled by many foreigners. I think we will take the subway from the airport (line 2), go eleven stops, transfer to line 16, go 6 stops, exit the subway station, cross the street and take bus 628 go past the Government Building and get off at the next stop. Then walk towards the direction the bus is going, make a left and then I should see the Ancient Water Town of Xinchang. At least this is what Doug on Trip Advisor says. Every Doug I have ever known has been a nice guy so I am going to assume that this Doug is too and that he is not leading me into some sort of den of iniquity which might be interesting in of itself if B was not along for the ride.

It is always intriguing to me how we choose the places that we visit. I used to think that is was a science but I have now come to believe it is haphazard and you end up going where you are suppose to be. So many times I have set out in one direction and ended up somewhere else. Usually some place better than I had ever imagined and I have met people that I never would have had I followed my Itinerary.

That is what I am hoping for when I go to Xinchang. I hope to meet an old man who takes me into his ancient house in the ancient river and tells me stories. Stories of what life was like when he was young. Stories of the war. Stories of his family, his work and his loves. Stories that help explain things I can only imagine. Stories that bring tears to my eyes and a laugh to my heart. For really, its only the ancients that can tell a great story in a way that makes you realize you have to live much longer, take more bounteous risks, and love much deeper/fearlessly in order to create a story that hugs a heart like that. A stick-with-you kind of scenario. An I-want-to-do-better-myself type of thing.

So I am crossing my fingers about today and the days to come. They are crossed for Gracie and her first diving competition of the year. About my suitcase weighing less than 50 pounds. They are crossed and white knuckled about airplane trips. About de-icing planes. About making sure my kids are okay. They are crossed tightly about having a clear day to look up at Mt. Everest. About B and I discovering more to love about one another during this trip. About meeting little old men with great stories so I can earn the basics of a few good stories of my  very own. And my fingers are crossed because maybe, just maybe, this journey of a lifetime will actually renew a love that was suppose to last a lifetime; as we look towards a mountain that has withstood it’s own test of time to become a beacon for those with love in their heart, determination in their minds and passion in their souls. One can only hope.

 

 

Surprise! We Are Going To…

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I’m not big into surprises. I like to plan my life in advance. If I had my way I probably would have every day of my life planned out in pencil for the few necessary erasures that would be required here and there. So imagine my surprise when B announced “I think that instead of taking this business trip to China alone I would love for you to come with me…oh and by the way, we will also go to Tibet… and Nicole is coming to babysit. So what do you say?”

Tibet. Place of my dreams. A place of full of “good” karma. A place so breathtakingly beautiful that I hear that you often just forget to breathe as you stand in front of the Himalayan Mountains in awe. It’s the place where dreamers, doers, climbers and athletic persons who are all in supreme shape go to test themselves both mentally and physically. And it’s where the base camp for Mt Everest is located which we will be visiting in the dead of winter. Frankly, I’m a little worried. Why?  I cannot do one pushup unless I plank against the wall. My idea of cold is 75 degrees and I have knee replacement surgery penciled in on my calendar for March 27, 2019. Oh and one more thing…I hate to fly. Seriously hate it and take out extra life insurance as a cushion. So why am I going?

I love my husband, that’s why. After a year of the “almost divorce” consisting of six months of fights, disappointments, therapy, sadness and worry; the fact that he wants us together at all is a huge testament of how hard we have worked to try and find each other again. It brings me joy to know that out of all the people he would want to spend his time with… it is me. Still. Again. Now. And even better, I want to spend time with him too as our friendship grows into something deeper and more meaningful to us at this stage in our lives.

I am also going so that I can challenge myself. No, I won’t be going for the summit but I will be standing there looking at a mountain that has spurred people to accomplish great things and brought them closer to “God” in whatever form you believe she/he takes. And I hope some of those feelings… the exhilaration, excitement, and the oneness with “another” will touch me in ways I have yet to experience in this lifetime.

Finally, I am going because I truly believe that travel is one of the keys to genuine peace with one another and within the world. Whether it is 2,000 miles or 200 ft; leaving your comfort zone is necessary for growth because it frees you from the tethers that keep you trapped within the confines of our own mind. Being away forces you to look outside yourself and sometimes dig deep within yourself to find answers to the obstacles you have put in your own way.

So, YES, I’m going to Tibet. YES, I will scamper on Everest! And YES, I will be going with the person I care about the most in the world! And if I die at least they can write on my tombstone “She summited in life just not on Everest.”

The High Price Of Being A Temptress…298 Days To Fix This

This four-day holiday weekend is all ours. Today we pack up the car, wave good-bye to the kiddos and head due west towards the ocean. By ourselves. All alone. A time meant to revive this marriage to its fullest, a time to be ourselves and put away the parent mode and ramp up the “I’m too sexy for my shirt” one.

As I mentioned earlier my husband informed me that he misses the days when I would act like a temptress and seduce him while wearing sexy barely nothing there lingerie.  I know that this week-end he is getting more than he bargained for.

I bought this beautiful corset dress. Here is it.zu12297035_main_tm1406644068

Sexy isn’t it? Paired with a pair of black stilettos it is definitely titillating to the max. If this doesn’t get him he is already seven feet under. The only issue with this particular item of non-clothing is that the bust was about five sizes too big and stuck out 8 inches in front of were my boobs should have been filling it up. This is what happens when you order on-line instead trying on in-store…things you think will fit here end up fitting there. I was bummed.

I mentioned my problem to my walking buddy L who told me to come on over and she would stitch it to fit. Thank goodness for good friends!

“No problem,” she assured me, “You will look beautiful when I am done with you.”

Today I arrived. I stuffed myself into the dress trying not to turn crimson as I stood in front of L who has never seen me in a bathing suit before much less a seducing suit. She fussed, she mussed, she pinned and grinned while I stood there completely flustered. But hey, I was doing this for my man I reasoned; so what’s a little lack of modesty amongst friends?

As we sat down in her perfect powder white chairs at the dining table so she could begin sewing I was horrified to suddenly see purple/black fingerprints all over her lovely pristine chairs. We both looked down at our hands to discover that they were entirely black from the dyed lace overlaying the corset. At that moment I wanted to die.

We bleached, used the Magic Eraser and we scrubbed with every cleanser known to man. Nothing worked to remove the awful purple fingerprints. By this time I was nearly in tears. Thank goodness I have a gracious, calm friend who kept reassuring me that “it is only a chair.”

But to me it isn’t just a chair. It’s two chairs. And they belong to my friend who was doing me a favor. And they are ruined.

Today I discovered that there is a high price to being a Temptress. It costs exactly $414.97.

One sexy corset                                              $59.00

One pair of silk thigh high stockings               $19.00

One tube of red lipstick                                   $10.99

One tube radiant makeup overlay                   $19.99

One spool of black thread                                 $5.99

Two white dining room chairs                        $300.00

Total                                                              $414.97

B is definitely getting more than he ever bargained for. I pray he thinks its worth it.

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