Friday, April 30, 2010

Learning Each Other

So let go, let go
Jump in
Oh well, whatcha waiting for?
It's alright
Cause there's beauty in the breakdown

So let go, let go
Just get in
Oh, it's so amazing here
It's alright
Cause there's beauty in the breakdown 

Let Go--Frou Frou 

I still haven't quite finished the Lori Gottlieb book, but I am continuously struck by what she has to say.   I was reading a bit yesterday & came across some advice that a Rabbi gave to her.  He said, "Many people, I believe, have an inability to believe that other people work differently.  We don't realize that you have to learn someone in the way that you learn a subject.  You can't do it only by feeling.  You actually have to listen to them when they tell you how they work.  That's a very counterintuitive thing to do because we all trust our instincts about people, but you really can be very wrong.  Your instincts are based on people you know, and the person you're getting to know is not your mother or your ex-girlfriend or your sister."  It is so true--he goes on to say that people give up too easily & really miss opportunities to really get to know someone.  I think in the past, I may have been done just that, not listened & learned the other person.  I think I'm doing right this time.  We are learning each other & it does have bumps in the road.  But I think we do listen to each other very carefully & we do talk it out.  As a result, I know I'm more willing to compromise about things that may rattle me a bit.

An example, most days we send a couple emails back & forth to one another--sometimes about planning something, sometimes just to say, "how are you?, etc.  Today, I sent an email early in the morning regarding upcoming concerts that I'd be interested in seeing.  One band had a presale opening at 10 AM & I wanted to try to get the tickets as soon as possible--if it was even a possibility with scheduling anyway.  No response.  Ok, not too unusual, so I figure he's very busy & I usually get a response a little later--day goes by & still nothing.  By the end of the day, I was a bit concerned because I do usually get some response--it may be brief, but there's at least something.  But no--already a bit off-kilter about another issue completely unrelated to us, & having to do with my son, I of course get into my head again.  

Learning each other--when he does call, on his way home, he tells me that he was extremely busy & really pushed a lot of his private life aside--singlemindedness here--wasn't personal & nothing was wrong.  But I listened to what he had to say & then I think he listened to me--that even a short note is important--that nothing in response is unthinking & causes me to stress.  I think we both get it--this may be a small bump, but how each of us moves forward from it, knowing that we've learned a bit more, can only help when the bigger bumps occur--and they will for sure...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Blow The Guy! (Warning: contains sailing stories)

Finally! Finally! Finally!  Back out for Wednesday Night Racing on the West River.  And I almost didn't make it!  I was running quite late & the weather was wreaking havoc on the roads--dock time was 5:20 & I knew the boat might leave without me--that would totally suck!  But I got there in time.  It feels like forever but despite the ick rain & slightly "cool"  temps, we had a great sail.  Not counting being pushed off-course at a really good start under the chute (which I flew), & then as a result running aground because we ended up on the wrong side of the mark (not our fault). But I had a blast & the people on board were a lot of fun--especially the two younger dudes who'd never sailed or for that matter raced before.  As we're getting ready for the race--getting sails up, looking at the course, etc., the boat Xing Fu is on sails by..he yells across at me, "You made it!"   I hadn't noticed them going by because I was trying to get set for the jib so it was nice that he called out to me. 

Here we were at the start & getting ready to round the mark--the skipper is telling the noobs what needed to happen and what they need to do to get ready for the windward tack & the douse.  She says, "You'll need to blow the guy."  The one guy responds, "I'll do a lot of things but blowing the guy is where I draw the line!"  We just about lost it!  In fact, I think I collapsed the chute because I was doubled-over laughing.  Those of us who sail, occasionally take for granted that people know terms--we never think twice sometimes.  But, what that really means is that one of the lines that is connected to the spinnaker needs to come off of the winch so that the sail can be taken down.  After that, all terms became somewhat pornographic, at this point we really weren't racing anymore so it was a good practice & time to just enjoy a brisk sail.  By the end of the race, it just felt like coming home again...being on the water just feels right.  

After the race, everyone goes to dinner.  Again, a lot of fun..Xing Fu & I met up afterward to talk about joining a boat for the NOODs next weekend.  We will sail together on the last day of the 3-day races.  Looking forward to it!  

Like I said, it is great to be back out there racing & I agree with Xing Fu that it's also great when your "squeeze" also loves to sail...even coming home to watch a bunch of sail boats broaching on youtube...I'm still riding the adrenaline high! 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Significant in relationships are all of those little mile markers.  And we seemed to cram quite a few into our weekend.   Hadn't really thought too much about it--going to the beach for the weekend--until Xing Fu said that he was a bit nervous about it.  Strangely, I wasn't--I'm usually a big worrier--will we get along, will we get bored with each other, etc., etc.  I did bring a couple magazines along with me--never opened 'em...we just were busy & involved in each other.  Xing Fu brought magazines as well--his concern was that we'd run out of things to say to one another...HA! No need to worry--it was a phenomenal weekend--came back just feeling even more sure of where things are headed. 

On our way back from the beach we went to the Spin Sheet Crew Listings Party in Annapolis.  It was an opportunity to find a boat to race on together..not sure if we've found one, but it was a start.  It also marked a kind of "official" public outing together amongst mutual friends/acquaintances--another milestone.  I think I was actually more nervous about that then being at the beach. 

And yet another marker is the start of the Wednesdays on the West River.  I can't wait--I've certainly missed being out there on the water...but again, what a difference a year makes.  Last year my son & I joined a boat down on the West & that's where Xing Fu & I met.  It seems impossibly far away...never thought this would happen between us...but here it is...and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Soul Mate Redux

Excerpted from:

Dating 101: Have You Found Your Soul Mate? 10 indications that you may have found The One By dating expert Diana Kirschner, Ph.D.

So chances are, there is more than one person out there who fits the bill for you. All of them are less than perfect. But if there are no perfect partners, how can you know whether to stay or go? Here are 10 relationship markers to help you know if he or she is The One:
1. When you're together you feel like you've come home.
2. You feel like your partnership was meant to be, as if kissed by destiny.
3. In your communication with each other there is a rapid "knowing" of what each of you means.
4. You have a shared mission in life, perhaps a cause, a career, or the creation of a family life.
5. When you're together the world seems like a better place.
6. Your mood is elevated when you're together. It's not necessarily passion or excitement, although that's there too at times.
7. When you look at him/her you see a part of yourself that's been missing. Perhaps it's her assertiveness or his joy of adventure. But it's something that when added to your life, makes you feel more complete.
8. Being together makes you more hopeful about the future you are creating.
9. You can be more authentic and fully yourself around your partner.
10. Being together makes each of you work harder on overcoming bad habits and becoming more loving people.
Don't worry if you don't feel all 10 of these things when you're with your partner. That's where the imperfection comes in -- either in you or your partner. If you are experiencing six or more of these markers, chances are you are matched well. Over time you can work towards having all of these qualities. Couples who have lasting love find that their relationships get closer and better over time. And that process has been my privilege and good fortune to experience personally -- after a lot of hard work that continues to this day!
Bottom line: your chances of finding The One are better than you think. So go out there and start looking. Love almost always comes in a surprise package that opens up in marvelous and magical ways.
This article spoke to me on different levels.  One, because a lot of what is on that list resonates with me--coming home for example--huge.  Two,  because like Gottlieb, Kirschner also says that looking for a soul mate has caused many people grief & often people have overlooked someone who may be ideal but not have everything on the list.  And Three, relationships grow--if you work towards it--but that work doesn't need to be work when communication is open & honest.  In other words, looking at number 10, being together makes you work harder to overcome the bad habits--if holding emotion & feelings in instead of discussing them was the norm, now perhaps, learning to tell your partner what's going on is a change that you work hard to maintain.  
I like Kirschner's message--it seems a bit more optimistic than Gottlieb's.  

And I love the list...especially because after looking at it, both Xing Fu & I see that we have way more than 6.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Lime Tree

Spark a match and watch the candle burn
the wick runs out and love takes its turn
on fallen angels and broken sounds
we will last past the final round
it took a while for you to find me
because i was hiding in the lime tree
above the city in the rain cloud
i poked a hole and watched it drain out
parallel to the city streets
our broken crowns beneath our feet
but as we walk across the diamonds
we know that love is always shining
so save me love save me all the time
i'll wash you down with a simple sip of wine
and toast my glass to all my loved ones
to let them know that the stars well they still shine

Trevor Hall

"The lime tree is the symbol of conjugal love, the quality, hospitality and modesty. This symbolism is to decrease/go back on Ovid's narration of Philemon and Baucis, the old married couple, the nothing more desired than dying itself together, so that none of them would have to experience the death of the other one. Zeus met this desire, when death came to them, to them transformed it the two into trees; Philemon into an oak and Baucis into a lime tree.

Knowing this, its easier to decipher what this song actually means.....

It's a song about intense love for a soulmate.
The line "i was hiding in the lime tree" is his way of saying he was waiting for his mate all along in a place where lovers lay.

As the myth goes, after the gods had been rejected from every home they had visited, philemon and baucis were the only good people left in the world; the gods flooded the rest of the city leaving only the small cottage..
hence the line "above the city in the raincloud i poked a hole and let it drain out"

Monday, April 5, 2010

Lucky! Part II

"Behind bad luck comes good luck."  

--from a fortune cookie I had on Friday night

When I wrote my last blog post about being lucky, I never realized how true that theme would follow throughout the weekend...

Our plan for Friday was to go have dinner in Chinatown down in DC & then go to the 9:30 Club to see Nada Surf.  Funny again how things come full circle.  The last time I saw Nada Surf was with the Bull & we also ate dinner (actually late night @ 1:30 AM) at one of the best authentic Chinese restaurants in DC called Full Kee on H Street.  First lucky was finding on-street parking rather quickly--it was hopping on Friday--I think everyone & his brother was out enjoying the warm night.  When we got to the restaurant there was a bit of a line & we became concerned that by the time we were seated  & eating, we might miss the 10:30 start for Nada Surf.  Luckily, the line moved rather quickly & we were soon seated in a relatively quiet back corner with the requisite Chinese Zodiac place mats.  We immediately looked to see if we were compatible.  Xing Fu is a Rabbit & I am a Sheep & of course we are the most compatible--do I need to say anything more?  Having done a bit of research, I knew what to order that would yield the best results.  The outstanding dish was the Oyster Casserole--the oysters were plump & HUGE and the delicate fresh ginger sauce was amazing.  It was a great dinner & we agreed to go back again.  Out the door & on our way to the 9:30 Club--we made it, found great floor spots, & the band started 5 minutes later--LUCKY.  It was a great show--enjoyed hearing the songs that I know so well & they can really rock during their live show--At the end of the show, the drummer threw out one drumstick & lucky as the theme has been, Xing Fu caught it!  That night we stayed up talking almost until sunrise--we just have so much to talk about--it is amazing that there are so many levels that we connect on.

Saturday was another beautiful & jam-packed day.  We decided to go to Cylburn for a picnic before wine tasting with BFF(A).  Cylburn was simply delightful & we shared a nice white wine with prosciutto di parma, strawberries, cheese & crackers to go alongside.  It was so nice just to enjoy the sun, we had briefly thought about finding a spot along the water as we are both jonesing for a sail, especially since the weather was so perfect & racing season is so close; we were missing the water.  After our picnic, we swing by & pick up my BFF(A) for winetasting.  We then were having dinner all together & watching the Final Four games--of course with a careful eye on the WV-Duke game.  It was a packed day & very nice evening & the luck continued with the teams going on to the championship--my bracket looks pretty good right about now despite so many upsets...

On Sunday, we parted for most of the day as we both had much to accomplish before the work week & my son was coming home after a busy weekend himself.  BFF(A) & I decided to be ladies of leisure, relaxing outside in the sun & reading magazines--always a rare occurrence.  It was nice to have girlfriend time & not have to worry about anything--our boys were out riding bikes & helping her husband do yard work.  Later, Xing Fu came back for dinner & our busy weekend ended.

Xing Fu & I realized that Luck did figure prominently all weekend--all I can say is that I am lucky to have found such a great guy--we really are great compliments to each other & everyday that becomes clearer.

Friday, April 2, 2010


to make a mountain of
your life is just a choice
but i never learned enough
to listen to the voice that told me
always love
hate will get you every time
always love
don't wait til the finish line

slow demands come around
squeeze the air and keep the rest out
it helps to write it down
even when you then cross it out

--Nada Surf  Always Love 

Xing Fu always seems to know when I need some reassurance & he always knows exactly what to say--he told me today that he was lucky--lucky to be with me & lucky to have met me, etc.  I needed to hear that.  But I am the lucky one--This is a man who catches the red-eye & gets home a day earlier after being away on business for most of the week (my mom said that action exceeds her expectations of a great BF), seems to intuitively say what I'm thinking, & makes me feel so cherished.  I know I sound a little over the top but I've waited one hell of a long time to be treated in a way that I should--I only hope that I am exceeding his expectations.  In 20 years I hope I can still feel the way I do--hell, in 30 years!  

Lucky me--looking at a few of my friends' recent Facebook posts--they're looking for their Prince Charmings & so far they're still kissing the frogs like I was.  I keep reassuring them that if I have been lucky (& is it luck? karma? fate?  another question to ponder in the future), they will as well--have hope & maybe read a bit of Lori Gottlieb's book as well as think about not wasting time on the losers who don't treat you right--a la He's Just Not That Into You.  My good friend MAC seems to have followed that advice & is currently snuggling up to a man who also treats her like gold so she knows exactly how I feel too.   One of the points that I like from Gottlieb's book is that she says that single women needn't fall for that old line of being great on their own--if you want a partner for the rest of your life then why shouldn't you?  It's not a weakness.  That was a freeing statement for me--I used to operate under the incorrect assumption that the mere fact that I wanted to share my life with someone was a weakness.  Lucky it ain't.