Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sweet Dreams, My Darling

It's the two month mark.

And we are doing great.

Both of us.

Redefining our paradigm. Our mother-son relationship. Our devoted family of two now spanning the globe.

The 8,000 miles that separate us. His night; my day. Has brought us closer together. Amazing.

This position is a perfect fit for Charlie. Perfect. It is as if he was hired solely on the basis of a few things:

1) He was a member of Hasty Pudding.
Although I am confident they think it was the theatrical wing. Costumed events. Rat races through Central. Singing skits. A sedan race in a team dressed as Rocky Balboa ... tailor-made black satin hooded boxing robes emblazoned with a gold dragon over silk trunks ... wow six men to a team carrying a tiny woman perched atop her ancient Asian chariot.

2) He's a jolly good sport.
And can be called upon at a moment's notice to play cricket, in a tourney no less, when he has never held a bat in his hands. Or to start for the firm's soccer team when his last foray into shin guards and slimy shorts (as he called them then) was when he was in kindergarten and he stayed on the team only long enough to get his baseball-type card for posterity. In fact, all the rules and strategy that he knows about the game came from years of Sony PlayStation soccer matches with his Norweigan college friend!

3) His senior honors thesis advisor is a highly celebrated global rock star who looks like Tony Blair, is a Brit and dazzles the press with his nonformist, contrarian views. An economist unparalleled.

That Charlie is a scholar whose post-colonial studies over the final six years of his education, depth of compassion, utmost sense of fairness, poise and passion ... or that he is fluent in Mandarin. Merely footnotes. I am guessing.

In ways he feels as if this firm, this storied colonial firm whose two Scottish founders colonized Hong Kong for Great Britain leveraging China trade to the Western world by their foothold at the gateway to Asia was tailored for him. A perfect fit. Whether five years, several decades or until retirement.

That opium was a primary export is immaterial. That the Opium Wars raged virulent in the early 1800s spiced up the landscape and adds to Jardine's backstory.

That trade with America was opening up in a very big way from ports in Canton (now Guangzhou) and Peking (now Beijing) propelled their business across multiple industries spanning the maps of the New World.

That the sea faring tall ships embarking across the globes waters from Boston and Nantucket were built in Maine and that the remnants of these shipbuilding landings still dot the shores of the Kennebunk River bring this home most poignantly over two centuries later.

The circle gets smaller. Aided by technology. But mostly by brave intrepid souls like my precious son. The new explorers. Pioneering in a new world order shedding the temptations of easy street in the familiar turf of New York or London to cast his net far and wide.

Sweet dreams, my Charlie. I am so proud of your spirit and ability to imagine the possibilities!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Missed Calls

Is that my mobile phone vibrating in the back pocket of my jeans signalling a call?

Or my untoned ass jiggling as I stroll through town on my daily walk, Bailey tugging not so gently on her leash?

Yep. Missed call. Good lord. Another one.

With the colder weather ... the need for gloves to warm my fingers against the frosty morning air ... and the zippered fleece substituting for a warm weather lining under my quilted Barbour barn jacket ... I miss calls. Many of them. And that is too bad.

I only receive calls from a few of my dearest friends, my sisters and of course, the lovely Bobbie (my gorgeous mother who checks in daily if I don't first).

Talking on the phone accelerates my outings. Time zips by. Before I can say "holy shit, is that my phone buzzing or an errant nerve ending?" I am back at my front door.

The only problem presented is how to gracefully bend over to scoop up the remnants of Bailey's breakfast, balance my ever present water bottle while keeping the phone delicately in place between my shoulder and ear so as not to interrupt the conversation.

Dropping it on the cement sidewalk. Now that would be a disaster of the first order. Missing that infamous call from Dialing for Dollars. Unfortunate.

This is my lifeline. My rolodex. No one knows (nor do I want them to) the number of my landline.

I am too mobile. Me and the phone. We are well suited. We fit.

Maybe I should set the phone to Vibe and Ring. Place it in the pocket of my coat. Or leave it at home.

Hmmm. Decisions.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

There's No Place Like Home

Finally after nearly six and a half years I am calling this home. Finally.

Not parenthetically for the time being.

One of my feet or t'other has been ready to bolt periodically since I moved here.

I have teetered on the threshold one step out the door.

That's not right. Not fair. To me. To my family. To my friends.

I live close to my darling, precious Mama. Have the dearest friends and most lovely neighbors. Am active in town and other civic affairs. Am vested in my quaint community village near the sandy Maine coast.

But most importantly ... my home, that I treasure and adore, is my nest.

So without further ado I am going to figure out what it takes to integrate my physical self and emotional being into this one place. To subdue the wanderlust rearing its perky head for the moment. To roll up my shirtsleeves anew and enmesh myself in the fabric of my hometown.

I know that I will continue to travel the world adventuring and connecting with the diverse cultures across the planet.

I know that I will find my life love who together will cherish and protect me and love me quirks and all. As I will him. Together we will share in the bounty of our families and the riches of unexplored experiences. Who will co-imagine the possibilities even if they are slightly askew. And who might balance our lives partly in my antique village home and then his abode ... wherever.

I know that the proximity to my darling Mama was paramount to my relocation to this corner of the world. And I am oh so appreciative to have the ability to frequently share an outing, a read on her porch overlooking the harbor, by the crackling fire watching a DVD and sharing giggles past midnight on one of our beds. She is my bestest bud. My confidant. My precious mother.

Just as I know that moving here would allow Charlie the opprotunity to board at school and begin the rest of his life was critical ... fueling his personal journey.

I am blessed.

And furthermore ... to hell with loneliness ... the one thing that doesn't reside here anymore!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Ballet Shoes

My Mom took my pudgy hand in hers, our fingers laced, as she walked me down the wooden stairs of the stone church in St. Matthews to a large studio awhirl with cotton candy swirls. Mirrors framed the room's perimeter creating silvery-taupe reflections of the polished wooden floor.

An upright piano stood solitary along the back wall. A woman with grey-blue hair tied delicately in a bun tinkled the ivories while little girls in black leotards and pink tights giggled as they twirled and slid gleefully.

My steps were careful. One pink Capezio slipper in front of the other. My tummy filled with butterflies and magic. My first ballet lesson was about to begin. I was three.

Rooted deep within my being is an adoration of all shoes ballet. Not the toe shoes with pink ribbons encircling the turn of an ankle tied in a bow at the curve of a calf. From a prior life perhaps, when pirouetting en pointe was part of my daily regimen in the gaiety of 19th century Parisian courtier.

I simply adore the graceful turn of a skimmer flat. The way it sits on the foot framing its shape, toe cleavage peaking shyly at the curvature of the last.

Through the decades I have always worn some variety of the delicate flat in a multitude of colors. Textures. Embellishments. Accoutrements.

Black patent Capezio (but of course) skimmer flats with mother of pearl buttons accessorized my frilly, hand-smocked 1950s birthday party dresses fanning tutu-like over ruffled crinoline slips.

As a French student abroad in the mid to late 1960s, I purchased a half dozen assortment for 21 francs au Printemps in Paris. $4.20 a pair.

In college I paired the ballet flat with my black velvet bell bottom pants sliding effortlessly across whatever dance floor, or not, I found myself on.

Today, some fifty plus years later, my closet is filled with ballet flats. Mostly all are black: suede, patent, leather, velvet, silk, metallic, lizard. Some adorned with a small bow or a gold doo-dad. Most naked.

I wear them everywhere. Even my bedroom slippers are pink kid Capezio ballet dance shoes sans elastic strap. Replaced, mais bien sûr, when tattered.

Audrey Hepburn chic. Skinny capris and a cigarette holder held limp in an arched wrist. I so enjoy the balance they bring to my gait. A stroll. A glide. Charm. Grace.

I will never apologize for my love of ballet flats. Jamais.

All of life should be so harmonious. Cheers!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Laughing Faces

What is up with the universe? No I mean it. What gives?

As soon as ... and I mean as soon as ... I drove away from his apartment complex he had rejoined (or maybe he never resigned) one of those online dating services.

So you are asking: How do I know? And, what was I doing perusing the catalog of eligible sixty-somethings in a part of the northeast some 200 plus miles away?


First, I am not a paying member. Nope. Not for me. Five years ago, well that was another story. Yep, back then I went out with ... count 'em ... two and a half dozen unattached guys everywhere from here to Buenos Aires. And to be honest, only a handful were what I'd call datable. One is still a dear friend. But the others? I can honestly say that there are around 24 women scattered over the country that are waking up every morning with a huge smile on their faces and screaming: THANK GOD HE'S NOT SLEEPING IN MY BED ANYMORE!

So why the look-see?


My darling friend, and fellow BSer, recently parted ways with her online dating partner after two years. They had grown apart. And if I do say so myself, weren't really headed in the same direction anyway. But that is not for me to judge. Anyhoo, she checked the site absentmindedly and drumroll ... amidst the sadness and crocodile tears that were streaming down the man's cheeks was his picture as big as day: Active within 24 hours.

So I said to myself: Hmmmm. Weren't those emails from the dating site in his gmail inbox when I last visited? You know right under the letter from his daughter that he asked me to read? No. He wouldn't be searching while he was professing that I was the love of his life. That he couldn't believe his good fortune that we reconnected again after 17 years. That I was: Easy to love and that he'd never let me go.

So he must have done an about face. Or was searching all along. Just in cases. But no. In one of his final communications he emphasized that it might take another few months to appreciate me and we should just be friends. Appreciate me? He has had, off and on, 39 years to figure me out. But I digress.

He wrote that he is a simple man and wants to focus on two things: his thirty year old daughter and managing his shrinking retirement funds which were downsized by the shift in the markets a few years ago. Out with his love life.

But I looked anyway. And lo and behold his gorgeous eyes were staring back at me from among the lineup of eligibles in his neck of the woods. ACTIVE WITHIN 24 HOURS. Whoa ...

In a nutshell, I was saved by his tantrum in the car a few weeks ago. Big time. His head in his hands.

So who is smiling now? Me!

Not because I am happy with this turn of events. I am not. I truly thought this was our forever. But because it is early. Any later and I would be devastated.

To my tomorrows ...

Friday, October 1, 2010

In a Flash

I am cyber-challenged.

Not that I cannot wend my way through the world wide web. I can.

But I am all thumbs and no brain when it comes to getting a new device up and running. Like my new Sony Cyber-Shot camera. Or, the Lenovo ThinkPad Edge I am picking up from Best Buy tomorrow. Fear pervades my every pore. Swirls through the vacuous dimensions of space.

Fear that I will lose my entire Outlook Contact List. Or, my email trails for Charlie, Mom and all my bestest friends. What happens then? Gheesh. Or, my blog posts in Word format. And the tax return backups for the past umpteen years.


With Charlie 8,000 miles from home how can I be assured that all this will transfer? Seamlessly. Like before. The mishy-gosh that is currently connecting my Dell Latitude laptop to my wireless router. Will this all be lost, too?

Can I trust the geek who, in under 30 minutes, sets it all up. He is about 14 years old. And this is not his laptop. His photos. His files. His life on my C drive. I don't think so.

With trepidation I will back everything I can up to my stick drives. Yep, two of them. Fingers crossed that I can connect to Charlie via Skype. Connect to BU's online paralegal course which starts in a few short weeks.

This is why I rub the letters off the keys before I agree to upgrade. Next time I'll be Medicare eligible. Now that is worth the wait.

In the meantime, wish me luck!