I woke to an email from an old friend, he has been around for fifty years.
He: O.K. It’s a date
Me: How extremely sweet – to have a date with an old friend you have not seen in ages.
We shall lunch at our old stomping grounds – the restaurant where four relics from McAuley Neuropsychiatric Clinic would meet for lunch on monthly basis. All of us worked at St. Mary’s in in San Francisco during the the late sixties and early seventies. St, Mary’s is four blocks four blocks from Haight Ashbury, those were the days my friend. Two of our party were psychiatric residents – I took my ‘date’s job when he went back to school. I was the intake worker, a social work position, the job description entailed interviewing potential outpatients seeking psychiatric care. That was when it was extremely stylish to seek therapy. EVERYONE did it as a means of self improvement. Now it is gyms, long and unnecessary eye lashes, collagen treatments, make-over and gyms. Those were the days my friend, we thought they would never end.
The four of us renewed our acquaintance about twenty years ago and I became the social chairman, planning monthly lunches. I vividly recall one lunch, in my pre (2014() London days. My date of next week was suffering from prostrate problems and vividly described the joys of wearing a diaper. At some point I mentioned how wonderful it was to have the three of them still in my life after almost fifty years. I attributed their continuing presence to the fact that I had not gone to bed with any of them. One the romance was gone in my romantic relationships I never saw the guy again and usually forgot about him altogether. But my future date chimed in.
He But Alexis I have always wanted to go to bed with you! And I still do!
Me: Oh that is real appealing! Your with the diaper and all. Go away!
We all died laughing at this point in time. DIED! Another member of the party, a gay man, was also complaining of prostrate difficulties.
Me: I know what you should do, get a sex change operation, that would solve the problem
He: Not a bad idea Lexy
Me: Then I will call you Maria instead of Mario.
Again, gales of laughter overtook the restaurant. I returned to the restaurant on a prior visit to Marin this year and the maitre d” remembered me fondly even though I had been in London for three years. All of the above is true. To bring everyone up to date Wonder Alice and I lunched there with psychiatrist friend Jim during a prior visit. I had met Wonder Alice in the loo of the Sausalito ferry a day before and we have been friends ever since.
Wonder Alice is in law school in Melbourne, Australia and I plan to visit in the upcoming year. I was lunching at the VAG cafe and struck up a conversation with a woman on the nearby bench. She told me she lives in Melbourne, I about died with the coincidence. Then two of her friends joined her and we had a most jolly time laughing away. Out of that conversation I received the following much needed advice. 1) Visit Melbourne in middle March because it is extremely hot in January and February 2) Don’t marry the new guy in my life, instead leave him living where he is, I stay in Vancouver and we get together for romantic weekends. So it sounds like a plan, Wonder Alice is happy with the decision to visit in late March, early April, now I have four friends to visit in Melbourne and as for the guy – who knows?
I got mad at someone because they did not return my emails. He called and I gave him heck.
He: I do not like emails, I want to hear the sound of your voice.
So perhaps swoon should be the word of the day. Swoon, a verb,• be emotionally affected by someone or something that one admires; become ecstatic: teenagers swoon over Japanese pop singers.
Then on another occasion, at the VAG cafe, I met two wonderful people, both conveniently from Vancouver. Jan Tse is an author and I read a piece she wrote It is in a collection called Thursday. The picture accompanying this post is of Jan and I, I am clutching her collective’s book. She was joined by a man originally from Trinidad.. We are going to have lunch following my return from California. He and I discussed how weird Vancouver people are – they are so casual with their commitments, not planning ahead to be with people, ‘forgetting’ lunch and dinner invitations, showing up late or with someone uninvited, never bringing anything to the feast. It is downright weird and no one knows how it started. He is not the only one that made this observation, at least four people on separate occasions shared this viewpoint. There are exceptions to this rule – definitely NZW. Now that woman is the antithesis. I now look for two things when making new friends. They must have empathy and grace.
Very recently two men returned to a state of grace in my eyes. We had lost contact with one another. One I first met in April of 2017 and we explained our relationship to his coworkers.
He: So we have known one another for over a year – our anniversary was in April.
Me: And where are my flowers? You never sent flowers!
He: There they are! (pointing to a beautiful flower arrangement in the lobby of the Exchange Hotel)
Me: You are cheating!
The other returnee text messaged me: “ Yes indeed! Sleep tight” His texts are a bit inconsistent but he is an extremely busy and important man. Needless to say neither of these two men were romantic interests – although the later called me his soulmate and I have it in writing.
Yesterday I also received a marriage proposal from a man born in North Vancouver who still l lives in these parts. He is only twenty, so perhaps not altogether suitable. But he is funny ad he does adore me.
In the words of F guy: “So Many Men, So Little Time.” Enter this into the search engine of the blog and you will observe an extremely apt video. All of this attention is a direct result of not having children otherwise I would be consumed in the task of being a good mother. I would not have been and instead I have fun and bring giggles and laughter to others. I made the right choice.
I write on Saturday morning – later I am meeting NZW for yoga and a swim afterwards in the Kits pool. Could life get any better? I cannot imagine how it could. I guess life begins at 75.