Friday, October 29, 2010

Magical Moments

“There is some kiss we want with 

our whole lives, the touch of

 spirit on the body.  Sea water

begs the pearl to break its shell.

And the lily, how passionately
It needs some wild darling! At

Night, I open the window and ask
The moon to come and press its

Face against mine.  Breathe into
Me. Close the language-door and

Open the love-window.  The moon
Won’t use the door.  – Rumi

Last weekend, while at the beach, we had a moment that we both label as magical.  Xing Fu has a few of them that he likes to talk about & this one is on both of our lists.  We went up to the boardwalk in Rehobeth to get Thrashers & hot dogs.   We decided to sit on one of the benches up by the ocean.  As we were sitting there, all of a sudden a little paw appears between the dune & the boardwalk.  I get up & look between & there's a little tabby kitten (a lot like the one pictured above).  He was just sitting there so I decided to feed him some of my polish sausage.  I break off a piece & hold it out to him--his little paw swipes quickly like a piston & snags the meat out of my very surprised fingers.  He looked very healthy--eyes clear, coat shiny, ears clean, so obviously I wasn't the only sausage donor.  I continued to offer pieces of the sausage & he wouldn't allow me to hand it to him--I had to place it on the edge of the boardwalk but after he'd consumed each piece, his little face would pop up looking for more.  Piston paw each time until there was nothing left.  Then, it was as if he knew that it was all gone because when I looked over the edge, he's disappeared just as he'd appeared--I imagined him curled up in the sun somewhere licking his paws for the last taste of the sausage.  It was a small snippet of our time at the beach together but I have to agree with Xing Fu--it was magical because it unfolded only for us--our own shared memory.  Just like the pieces of shell with the purple insides that I collect every time I go to the beach.

We've had a few "magical memories"--Xing Fu recalls evenings at concerts that he found particularly noteworthy--Nada Surf when first we went to Full Kee for dinner, & arrived just as the band came on & then he caught the drum stick as we stood watching.  Another one he remembers is the night we saw Telesma at Sonar with Alex Gray painting his special brand of psychedelia.

I remember being down in North Carolina the night before we dropped my kid off at camp--we stood at the edge of the water on the dock of a marina, watching the water ripple & the moon reflect off of the masts of sailboats & the still water. The feeling of peace that night was just amazing.  

Magical Moments--we have quite a few--I like that he remembers these & refers to them often--bringing us yet closer--like our kitten.

And so I come to another "blogoversary".  I take these posts as a refection point from the previous year.  A "where am I now?" kinda thing.  So where was I & where am I now?

Last year:
It has also been quite amusing to see the dating blunders I've written about--I think ultimately when I do find the right one it will be fun to go back & revisit it all from time to time just to appreciate the journey.

Overall I am happy with what I've experienced--a lot I would never have lived through if I were still married--it has been quite the adventure & I'm looking forward to many more along the way--

My commentary for this year (certainly my blog focus has changed quite a lot):

Have I found "the one"?  How can I think otherwise when we were getting ready for work this morning & he bursts into "Happy Blogoversary, Happy Blogoversary..."  So, I think so--certainly this time last year I was still filtering through the frogs for the prince.  Is Xing Fu my prince?  It certainly has been a dream of a romance--even today, with emails flying back & forth between us, he writes the most loving notes to me.  One phrase that he says to me often is most probably one of my favorites: "Are you as wonderful as I think you are?"  How can a woman not melt when she hears that?   I am a lucky woman that this wonderful man has chosen to be my partner--I hope next year I can write the exact same thing.  

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bucking the Odds

I've come to find out that many, many people who know both of us didn't think we'd last.  (In fact, my mother still asks if everything's all right with us almost every phone call...)  Yup, the curse of the rebound relationship--we did fret a bit about that at first but we very soon set that aside.  Apparently, people assumed that we'd last about 3 months & then because of the nature of the beast, we'd be done.  Interesting because the framework of our relationship never resembled that old rebound stuff.  And in fact, as I've researched it a bit, there really is no evidence that supposed rebound relationships don't work.  Regardless, I think we've moved beyond the possibility anyway--major relationship events recently have proved this unequivocally. 

From Princeton University:  (On the Rebound: Time to Remarriage and Subsequent Union Stability) This paper has a single straightforward finding: there is no rebound effect.  People quickly entering new relationships after an initial divorce, whether by remarriage or cohabitation followed by remarriage, do not have higher divorce rates. This finding persists after controlling for key demographic differences between respondents. The advice offered by many self-help books ("Don't get into a new relationship too quickly!") therefore has no basis in reality.

There are quite a few websites out there that refute the rebound relationship but overwhelmingly the opposite view takes precedent...I wonder why.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Closing in on the anniversary of this blog in T-minus 3 days.  Found the article reprinted below & it makes sense to me:
Actually, Xing Fu recommended this illustration of arguments between couples: 

The Key to Lasting Love 
By Karen Salmansohn (from Match Online)

Act I: You hurt me.

Act II: Because you hurt me, I hurt you.

Act III: You hurt me even more because I just hurt you, so I hurt you even more. Then you hurt me; then I hurt you; then you hurt me because I just hurt you, so I hurt you more, and so on. 

The point: It’s easy to act cold/hurtful/in a stonewalling manner toward someone who you feel has said or done something you perceive as having done the same to you.

But that’s the point. That’s the easy thing to do.

Basically, most of us people as a species aren’t mean. We are weak.

It takes effort to consciously, openly, bravely, warmly speak up about the hurt you feel before things spiral negatively downward.

Yes, it takes effort to take the high road and to express your vulnerabilities and concerns with warmth and candor. But this effort is worth it... because love and connection are your true sources for happiness — not money, not shoes, not sports cars... and definitely not the satisfaction of being right about someone or something. (Yes, I know that last one really sometimes does feel as if it will bring us happiness... but in the end it brings us more misery than glory.)

So next time someone you care about does something that you feel isn’t very caring at all — put in the brave effort and kill that relationship monster while it’s still small.

With this in mind, here are some helpful communication tips to keep on hand:

1. Pick the right time and the right place. Do you have at least 30 minutes of uninterrupted time ahead? Are you in a place where your partner feels like he or she can talk openly and not self-consciously? Are you in a loud restaurant where it’s hard to hear and so you must shout — even before your partner makes you want to shout? In general, the best place to talk is at home alone, where you can sit facing each other, with good strong eye contact. Many psychologists even suggest holding hands as you talk — to keep a warm connection ongoing through all the bumps in the conversation.

2. Before you begin a difficult conversation, make it very clear to your partner that your goal is to create the best relationship possible. Admit you recognize talking about difficult subjects can be uncomfortable, but you’d rather have a difficult conversation now, than a decaying, untruthful, less intimate relationship later. Remind your partner how much you value him or her. Compliment your sweetie on a few qualities you appreciate. In general, be 100 percent certain your partner completely understands and believes your goal in talking is to increase the love, not wound to the quick, before you begin any difficult discussion.

3. If you are upset at your partner for something specific, try not to generalize by saying “You always do this. You always say that.” Generalizations will only escalate your partner’s emotional state because they’re vaguer and less believable. Come on. Be honest with yourself. An “always” action is in reality a very rare thing. And psychologists all agree it’s best to limit your talk to the one specific recent event that is bugging you and make past offenses not admissible evidence.

4. Be conscious of trying to begin as many of your sentences with “I” as you can. Likewise, try not to begin your sentences with “You.” The goal: own your feelings. Don’t slander your partner. For example, try to say something like: “I feel like you were ignoring me yesterday — and I was hurt because I needed your warmth after my proposal was rejected at the office,” instead of “You are cold, heartless, and don’t offer me an ounce of support.”

5. Create an obvious upside to talking, so you and your partner will want to talk again. In other words, be sure to close the conversation by consciously listing all the positive things you learned thanks to talking. Make a specific list of all the new actions you both will try to do to keep your relationship as strong and loving as possible. Oh... and this is where that good, old-fashioned reward of “making up” comes in! By ending on an upbeat “rewarding note,” next time a difficult conversation comes up, you’ll associate positives with talking, which will help you get to the heart of the matter much more quickly together.

Nice to see that our instincts are on point.   But it's easier said than done....but we have been pretty successful thus far--a very good thing.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Relax and Reconnect

Nothing is more important than reconnecting with your bliss. Nothing is as rich. Nothing is more real. Deepak Chopra

Wrapping up a beach weekend right now & reflecting on just how important it was.  Xing Fu told me he didn't feel quite like I did about needing to reconnect but once he got here & we sat in front of the fireplace at midnight, he said that it was a good thing that I put a lot of thought into "couple things" to do as he doesn't often think that way. Being at the beach was a good example.  I have to agree because even though he didn't feel the need as I did, I found it very necessary for the both of us (maybe he'll recognize this later).  We have been spending the past few weeks fully engaged in everyday living & have had fleeting times together for any real duration of time.  Just getting away for these few days has been hugely important--down time, R & R, whatever you want to call it--reminds me of us--who we are as a couple--it is necessary.  Xing Fu also said that the almost three hours in the car each way went by quite quickly--talking about everything & perhaps very little but it was quality time.  Both of us brought a couple board games (bored?) thinking that perhaps we'd play--Scrabble or something but as usual, we just ran out of time--again, if asked what we did exactly--walk on the beach, boardwalk, a nice dinner in town & evenings by the fire.  It's funny, but even as we sat listening to the end of a Stevie Ray Vaughn disc, I knew exactly what Xing Fu would choose as the next selection--Eric Clapton...kinda freaky but there's that connection--the synchronicity that perhaps we'd lost a bit of.  It was good to have it back again.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Growing Pains

Been a tough couple weeks on many levels--I've been thinking on it a bit & I truly believe that it has something to do with the fact that we've spent almost no extended time together for almost a month--good thing that we have a weekend coming up where we will go away, by ourselves, no kids, no work, no nuffin'.  Alone.  I'm pretty sure we need it...been a lot going on.  We've been together now about 9 months & at some point some of the initial luster wears off & the real relationship-building begins.  Yup, we can now safely label this as an LTR.  The commitment is unquestioned. And throw in a big relationship event which causes everyone involved huge amounts of stress & there it is--misperceptions, misunderstandings, irritation, etc., etc., & well--a steaming mass of potential pitfalls.  Good thing we talk about it & don't ignore it because as usual we seem to figure it out--we want to.  But once everything is now out in the open & there are no more mysteries--no more "who's that man behind the curtain" feelings & the understanding that this relationship is for real, & that all parties now get that, there's no turning back that we are here to stay.  It changes things--for the good & now perhaps I can take a deep breath & relax just a little bit & see where the next 9 months will take us.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sleeping Angel

Take me if you need me
But never hold me down
You're asking me to trust you
Well there's little of that around
I'm trying to believe you
And I'm learning all the time
Two-part personality
The flower and the vine
Flower and the vine

Take me sleeping angel                     
Catch me when you can
Real love affairs are heavy spells
For a woman and a man
For a woman and a man

I need you because you let me breathe     
Well you've taken me away
But never take me lightly
Or I could never stay
No I could never stay

Well, someday when we're older
And my hair is silver gray
A braid with all of the love that you have
Like a soft silver chain

Whoa, someday when we're older
And my hair is silver gray
A braid with all of the love that you have
Like a soft silver chain
Well, like a soft silver chain

Oh, take me sleeping angel
Oh, catch me when you can
And a braid with all the love that you have
Like a soft silver chain

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Just Friends--Part II

Which brings us to Xing Fu.  We were also friends first and for quite some time.  That is not to say that my initial attraction to him wasn't there--it was--I asked about him soon after I met him.  But, because he was married, & I have a rule--NO MARRIED MEN, there was no way anything was going to happen & therefore I was perfectly happy to be platonic sailing friends.  But certainly I have to admit that the sex thing, or at least the attraction thing, was there to even initiate a desire to be friends--so that is of note.  

An aside, Xing Fu had also been friends with another female sailing friend & had shared a room with her during a regatta weekend one year.  Purely platonic & was never cause for alarm as both of them were "off the market" as well.  And accordingly, not everyone is a slave to their baser instincts anyway.  On Slate there is reference to a Dear Prudence letter with a similar set of circumstances. Essentially, a woman writes in that her boyfriend & his platonic female friend are going share a hotel room during a conference. Problem was, the writer didn't want that to happen because she suspected a little hanky-panky might happen.  People just suspect that something will happen even if there's nothing to fear--kinda sucks because it's not always about that.  Referenced here: scroll down to see the letter

Anyway, I digress.  With regard to Xing Fu, I would have been perfectly happy to continue as was--we certainly had much in common to be "cross-sex" friends & I was happy with that, even if I did wonder as time went on & he was a perfect gentleman in every way.  But, as circumstances changed, so did our platonic friendship--so there it is...just like in Hollywood.  And this just friends thingy--well, I'm on the fence there.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Just Friends?

Been doing some research recently on the man-woman friends thing--always been intrigued by it so recently a mini-series on Slate Magazine (Strictly Platonic piqued my interest.  The author, Juliet Lapidos, explores modern "cross-sex" friendships & discusses the history of why this type of relationship is a recent development.  Which makes complete sense--historically men & women have been very segregated until quite recently--the structure of roles, society, etc.--when was there an opportunity for men & women to be "just friends"?  She also talks about how Hollywood has certainly influenced our perceptions of friendship with the opposite sex.  The classic "When Harry Met Sally" comes to mind--and the statement that Harry makes,"Men & women can't be friends because the sex part always gets in the way."  So what do I believe?  Does the sex part always get in the way?  I think that yes, perhaps it does, in some way, but it doesn't always play out that way in the friendship.  It just depends.  So here are my thoughts:

I have a male friend that I've talked about--Zen Cyclist.  He's like my brother & like part of the article by Lapidos, we talk about everything & I can get a really good impartial male perspective: 

"But when men and women start hanging around each other platonically, they meet somewhere in the middle in terms of emotional exchange. Research shows that cross-sex friendships are more emotive than male-male relationships and less emotive than female-female ones. In my own survey of nearly 600 Slate readers, I heard from men who said that what they like about their cross-sex friendships is the ability to share without fear of judgment, and from women who said they valued the opportunity to watch sports, for example, without having to pick apart their feelings."   

I totally agree with this--we hang out, talk about our various relationship stuff, & chill--like guys.  But this was only after we got the sex stuff out of the way.  At one point we decided to try it out--I guess that there was enough sexual tension at the time between us to give it a go & we were both in between relationships--bleh!  It was like kissing my brother! And we both felt like it was like kissing a sibling so neither of us had any unrequited issues.  That is one example of this platonic relationship between sexes & yes, there was the sex thing at some point... 

And we are great friends now with no sexual tension whatsoever--in my humble opinion, perhaps sex does play a role but you can get beyond it in some cases...

Sunday, October 3, 2010

14 Ways to Keep Your Relationship Happy | Hybrid Mom

14 Ways to Keep Your Relationship Happy | Hybrid Mom

We do many of these....good thing!

End-Of-Season Sigh

So this past Wednesday was the last of the Wednesday Night Races at Pirate's Cove.  It all switches to Sunday afternoons now for the fall series.  And even though I'll race some Sundays--they will be sporadic at best as there is just so much that happens on the weekends.  Of course this means that summer's officially over & there's just no getting around it.  There are a few weekend races coming up & the boat show next weekend so I will still get my sailing fix through October but after that I guess it will be time to hang up my foulies for the season (just can't wrap my head, or the rest of me for that matter, around doing frostbite).  So what will I do with myself over the winter?  Reading the Racing Rules of Sailing, finally going back to taekwondo (I've been soooo bad about that), waiting anxiously for the new Spin Sheet & Sailing World every month, & probably having long convos about our favorite obsession with Xing Fu.  Perhaps even a Raven's Game, live music....I'll fill the time but part of me will be out on the bay somewhere--sigh.

I am looking forward to the boat show--this year I'll be hanging with my boat & enjoying their company--it has been great being part of this crew & I know the boat show will be equally as fun.  I also look forward to seeing my cousins as well--they are exhibitors so it will be great to spend time with them too.  Last year my cousin & I really loved walking around with our Pusser's rum drinks--maybe a repeat???   I also need to get a few things--I want to get better knee pads (the J-30 just rips up my knees), possibly some foulie pants (I have bibs but would like the ease of pants), & some boots for colder weather sailing instead of my Keens.  Of course I enjoy looking at all of the boats--even the Benehuntalinas.  Just a great way to end a very full summer of sailing.  Perhaps this will be one of my last posts about sailing for the season---oh, who am I fooling??