Archive for the 'Lena' Category



02
Aug
08

The wedding is nigh…

One week from now my sister will be a married lady. And I will hopefully have a nice tan. Everyone’s entitled to their own goals, right? I mean, a trip to Hawaii is a trip to Hawaii, and even though there’s a wedding to go to one day, hopefully we can all still squeeze in some beach time.

So at any rate. After the dogwatching debacle of last week, matters between my sister, her fiance and myself improved. I stopped doormatting around (you will be happy to know, Jonathan). In fact I turned into a Roaring Woman, Extraordinaire. Happily I did it via text message, so no one’s eardrums were perforated or anything. And the soon-to-be-blissful married couple turned out to be tres understanding.

Unhappily, the rest of the fam…eh, not so much. They’re in full wedding mode, and every time I hear from any one of them, I get an earful: Have I gotten my shoes? How was ‘my’ bachelorette party? Do I realize that I need to pick up my dress from the seamstress myself b/c other people are very busy and can’t be bothered? (This last one from my other little sister, who works as a bartender 25 hours a week and keeps herself very busy the rest of the time brewing beer in the bathtub and looking up conspiracy theories online.)

The most important admonishment I’ve heard, though, is this: I need to not only show up, but show up and be completely undistracted, 100% in vacation mode, ready to party, and absolutely under no circumstances preoccupied with mood-killers like, um, my own life.  Deadlines? Contracts? Commitments? People waiting on me by the dozens? Psshhh. It’s all irrelevant.

The family dynamic, to me, is an interesting phenomenon. Family can not only tell you what to do, but they can tell you how to feel, and feel totally justified. (Yes, I know Jonathan, I don’t have to go along with it…but that won’t stop them In fact, they’ll try twice as hard.)

On the bright side, personally I couldn’t be in a better spot to be a maid of honor. I have had no social life for the past 2 months (okay, except for that one night in the Nicaragua bar), and therefore have nothing to distract me from the big, important relationship, which is my sister’s.

Actually, the last date I had wasn’t even a date–it was a halfway date? An almost-date? A quasi-date? With someone I’m quasi-dating, so I guess it fits. He’d been out of the country for a month, returned and kindly offered to distract me from my pre-wedding/book-writing hell by taking me out to dinner. I jumped at the chance–even I know what havoc all work & no play can wreak on a body. (Not to mention, a soul.) Anyway. Dinner was nice, and then I asked him to go pick up my sister before hitting the cocktail bar. She was lonely. Her fiance was working. She wanted to test out different mixed drinks, in the hopes of selecting ‘official wedding cocktails.’ I’d promised her I’d call…I mean, at this point I know there’s a place in the rule book that states: Official wedding cocktail selection is a priority. So we went and got her.

An hour later, he dropped us off and bailed. I’ve barely heard a peep since. I don’t really know what to think about that. Was the third wheel pickup inappropriate? Dunno. Do I care? Eh. Anyone who’d be put off by it was, let’s face it, off already.  (Actually I think this dude is way more enamored of my job than he is of me. You laugh, but repressed creative types are prone to that.)

So here it is Friday, and I must finish a chapter, and go to Los Angeles with my dog, and finish another few chapters, and be ready to fly on Tuesday. Indeed it is a good thing I don’t have a Friday night date.

(Truth? I want a Friday night date. Tonite, I deserve one.)

It’s not going to happen. Not tonight anyway. I am a maid of honor, a book writer, a sulky family member, a dog mama, a catsitter and a once-in-a-while doormat…and that, for now, is gonna have to be enough.

14
Jul
08

An ode to my overly dramatic ex

I’m still good friends with my ex from 12 years ago, even though (or maybe because) we only see each other about twice a year. When I was 20 I thought that if he and I still knew each other at this age, we’d be married, having worked through our personality differences and volatile communication patterns. Instead, having worked through them, we’re more like brother and sister. We swap dating stories and provide career support and maintain a loving but detached relationship that requires only 1-2 hours phone time per month. When I was 21, I thought this guy was my other half. Now he’s more like an extremity. Always there, never requiring much thought, and usually (barring some massive universal shakeup) completely predictable.

Which is why I’m writing this blog. Of all the men I’ve known and dished about, G (which is actually his nickname) is the only one to threaten bodily harm to me if I ever wrote about him. “You’ll wake up with your toes missing the week after you publish it,” I believe were his actual words.

“Do you really think you’re important enough for me to bother writing about?” I asked him. “Anything juicy between us happened too long ago for me to even remember.”

G is such a drama queen. He’s prone to vast exaggeration, sudden emotional thunderstorms, and passionate pronouncements swiftly forgotten.  The above gory threat falls into the latter category. Seriously, who else in the world would think my  dating rants worthy of such retaliation? Or consideration, even?

In order for a dating column to warrant any kind of retaliation on the part of the subject, it would have to be explicit, incriminating and personally damaging. It would probably have to name the subject outright. And then, of course, the subject would have to find it.

There have been a few instances where my subjects have stumbled across columns written about them, but none have ever done anything more than send a brief email like: “Hey, saw that thing you wrote about me, how u doing?”  This is because, while I might poke fun or point out stupid behavior, I steer clear of the incriminating/damaging/outright-naming racket.  Even for those who might deserve it.

The fact that G, who hasn’t done anything to piss me off in several years and hasn’t slept with me in–hm, I think 7 or 8 years? memory fails–would think I’d publish a character-besmirching tell-all about him, speaks volumes about his own particular brand of paranoia. It also brings out the bratty side in me, which is what’s driving me to write this blog.

In the old days, maybe he’d have found it and we’d have gotten in a rip-roaring fight (I told you not to write about me!/ I don’t care, I do what I want! / You disrespectful little…little… etc etc.) Now? No way. G is the last person who’d ever Google my writing. He has zero interest. As for eavesdropping on my personal life…well, he’d probably get more of a thrill watching 2007 Women’s National Bowling League reruns.

And I know this not only because I know him (know him as well as the very toes he threatened to remove), but because I have already written about him several times–even on this very blog, within the past two months–and he’s never mentioned it. Never ever. NEVER.

G, for the record and for posterity–though not for your eyes, because you’ll never friggin’ read this–you are the world’s biggest exaggerator. You are not in the Mafia, and shouldn’t talk as though you are. I suspect you will never grow out of it, and this makes me sigh a big sigh.

You are also one of the funniest people I’ve ever met–totally a blast on road-trips, as we rediscovered last week, and great for shocking people at Hollywood parties. While you may be Skinnybones Jones, you look damn good in ripped-up blue jeans and nothing else. Oh, and even though we haven’t had sex in ages, I remember and am happy to go on record confirming that you are OUTSTANDING in the kip.

See, that wasn’t so bad, was it?

07
Jul
08

Love is indeed fleeting

People say that women “of a marriageable age” see a cute guy and immediately imagine ourselves shacked up with him, and having his babies.  I’ve even read chick lit novels that confirm it. Apparently this is “too much, too fast,” even when it’s purely in our own minds.

In that case, I have the following question: What’s the deal with men who start quizzing you about future plans (and your whereabouts last Friday night) before you’ve ever properly met them, and a half-hour into your first date, they’re already deciding where the two of you are going to live?

Jesus Crikey on a popsicle! Talk about moving too fast!

In those situations, I can’t ever figure out if it’s pure 100% meaningless blather, if they think they’re saying what the woman wants to hear, if they’re sort of kidding (but not completely, b/c men never joke about that stuff unless they kinda mean it); or if they’re just on an obsessive nutty hunt for a wife and any woman will do. It baffles me. I just sit there looking confused and trying to figure out a polite way of saying, “SHUT UP!! YOU FREAK, I DON’T KNOW YOU, WHY ARE YOU ACTING LIKE WE’RE ENGAGED?”

Maybe they’re trying to make me comfortable by being decisive? In that case, time for a different strategy.

But on the positive side, these hyper-activated one-sided relationship trajectories tend to burst into full flame and then wither and die within about 72 hours. Seriously. A couple weeks ago, I was talking to a guy who already was concerned whether I’d quit working to raise the kids before he and I had ever MET. We got in a tiff while trying to plan the third date: it came to light that I enjoy restaurants, and consider dining to be more of a pleasure than a chore.  He, on the other hand, might as well be eating from a feed bag for all he cares. What’s more, he told me, ALL MEN feel that way. I disagreed. In a dolorous voice, he said, “I don’t know if this is going to work out.”

Gee. You think?

Then, last Thursday, I met the mystery man from three years ago. Before I left the house, I told him I couldn’t spend too long out, because I am moving out of my apartment over the weekend. He said, “Not to sound weird, but I have a spare room, and you can stay there for a couple weeks.”

Um, yeah, that sounds weird.

We met, we recognized each other, we went to have a drink, and within a few minutes I remembered why I didn’t talk to this guy for years: HE’S ONE OF THOSE ONES.

Our conversation revolved around his work–which is poker–and my work. I hate poker, and I usually don’t like the people who play it. I told him this before I ever agreed to meet him. Nonetheless, I was treated to a lengthy monologue detailing the career highlights and comparative skill levels of a half-dozen random players I don’t give a hellshite about.

Then I treated him to a lengthy monologue about book publishing vs. magazines…and I think he may have fallen asleep for a few minutes. Then he woke up and asked me what we were doing the next night. THE FOURTH OF JULY, mind you. I said I had plans. He said, “Fine the next night. ” I said, I’m moving. He said, “No no, I’m going to help you move, we’re going to go pick up some day laborers from Home Depot, so on Saturday you’re free to share a bottle of wine with me.”

Gentlemen: This would be such sweet music, coming from someone I’d dated for a couple months. But on the FIRST DATE? It is completely and utterly insane. And presumptuous.

“I really am not sure I’ll be able to,” I said.

But he wasn’t having it. Till Saturday afternoon, when he texted me and I responded that I couldn’t make it…whereupon he texted me back huffily, telling me he was getting on a plane to Vegas to hang out with a bunch of girls I don’t know.

I guess I’ve been dumped. Good thing I didn’t take him up on the spare room offer.

04
Jul
08

Surely this sets some kind of record

Okay I have to make this quick because I’m heading right out. To the Pier, to have a drink with a guy I met once…approximately four years ago. At least I think I did. I don’t know how else his name and number would have gotten in my telephone; and he seems to have some memory of meeting me.

I know some people think Internet first dates are somewhat nervewracking because you’ve only seen the person in pictures, but let me tell you, this is much worse. I have *no idea* what the guy looks like. I do know where I met him (at an event), and I can only hope that if I gave him my phone number, it was out of interest. Sometimes I do it out of misguided politeness, or worse yet drunkenness. We shall see!!

In case you’re wondering how come I’m only going out with him now, after four years…well I blame my computer. It mysteriously died a year ago and swallowed up all my data. Distraught, I started calling every techie I could think of–including a grade school friend I hadn’t talked to in, um, 15 years. Only I got the numbers mixed up and ended up calling my once-and-future date instead. (It was an easy mistake to make: they have the same first name, I didn’t bother to list last names, and I’d never called either before.)

At first I was confused, then I was embarrassed, and then suddenly I was being asked out, sort of. “I’m moving to Hermosa soon–maybe we could meet up for a drink and figure out how we know each other,” he said.

“Sure, okay, whatever,” said I.

One year later, here we are. I can’t believe I’m actually doing this…but on the other hand, how could I not? Many times I’ve looked at my phonebook and wondered who all those random first-name-only contacts were. And now, I’m going to figure one of them out.

Must go get ready. The moment of truth draws nigh…

30
Jun
08

Married in Managua @ age 16

I was in Nicaragua all week, where apparently the women (? girls?) get married around age 15-20. Our tour guide’s sister was married at 16. For the first time. She’s been married and divorced a total of 3 times, and can’t be more than mid-40s, so for sure there’s the possibility of even more happy nuptials yet to come.

Anyway. I was just thinking about that social structure, and wondering what in the world would have happened to me if I’d been living in it. Basically I would have married the neighborhood drifter/hoodlum who I had a crush on in 10th grade, and had an interesting teenage life as the wife of a sometime drug addict and petty criminal turned automechanic.

Or maybe I would have married the hippie guy I dated at age 17, and within a couple of years my role as the responsible half of the duo would have been cemented: even then, I brought home a meagre but steady wage as he, 9 years my senior, casually bumbled around the junior college system.

Or, possibly, I would have married my first love, who I’m still in contact with to this day, and still adore and find attractive, even at the same time as his hair-trigger emotions and unwillingness to concede a point continue to drive me insane. Yeh. That’s the most likely option. We’d have great sex and vitriolic fights; I’d be the breadwinner and he’d feel bad about it; and he’d always wonder what life would be life if he’d just held out for a 5’10 brunette. (Now he doesn’t need to wonder, because he’s had about 20 of them that I know of.)

Indeed things would have been very different, and I can’t imagine they’d have been better. As I’ve progressed thru my 20s into my 30s, the range of possibilities has continued to expand, and the experiences have become more colorful, and I’ve become increasingly less willing to sacrifice a bit of it. This week being a perfect example.

It’s hard enough to have rules and restrictions at home–but having them when you’re in a foreign country, on a different schedule, with almost no telecommunications access? How could I deal with the 11PM phone call: “Yes honey, I’m back in the hotel room, no, I’m not going out again….no, I’m not having fun without you.” How could I report my every move back to the person waiting for me at home? (And don’t tell me it’s not like that. It is. Every time. I have enough married/engaged friends to know.)

When my colleagues said they were “going out, but just for a few minutes,” on the last nite, I would have taken the early car home & been snug in bed at my business-class hotel by 11PM, just like the 50 year old artist/eco-journalist from upstate New York and the other lady who came down with terrible food poisoning.

Instead, I wound up bumping into a group of youngster Americanos from Southern Cal, no less, and one of them wound up being pretty damn adorable–so much so that I forgave him for being not only career military but also very stern and that wee bit bossy…and we ended up talking, laughing, dancing till 4AM, while Nicaraguan teenagers shamelessly took advantage of my distraction and stole one after the other of my 25 cent beers. Then the car came, and all my friends and fellow adventurers were waiting for me, and the plane flight was only 10 hours away…so I left. I think I may have heard his email address through the noise and smoke, but I really don’t know for sure.

It was such fun–but still, basically an opportunity only barely explored, and as such, pretty bittersweet.

The husband-hunting teen queen contingent in Managua–you see them at bars and restaurants, dressed up, drinking, smoking cigarettes, feeling very grownup & looking like pipsqueaks–would never let an opportunity like that go to waste. They’d stay with the blonde Americano and do whatever seemed most likely to spur a marriage proposal. (Even if they didn’t speak a word of the same language, and therefore could never get the jokes.) To me this seems insane…and my lifestyle no doubt seems insane to them. I think maybe we’re both a little bit right. The question is, where’s the happy midpoint, and when you’ve gotten to it, how do you know?

22
Jun
08

This green craze has gone too far

Okay, I’ve had enough. I get 5-10 notices every day about ‘green’ initiatives, and various invitations to jump on the green bandwagon, and I know they’re well-intentioned, but they’re starting to cross the line. 

I’m sitting here, trying to find the energy to get off the computer and head out to my friend’s party, and the following email headline arrives in my inbox:

START OFF LIFE AS A MARRIED COUPLE WITH A STEP IN THE GREEN DIRECTION.

Excuse me? OMGWTF? Is this really necessary or even in good taste?

I have never been a newlywed but I’ve sure known plenty of ’em, plus many who are preparing to join their ranks…and from what I’ve seen, though it is an exciting, giddy, highly significant and memorable time in one’s life, it is NOT the appropriate time to install a compost pile in the backyard or convert your house over to solar power. 

Newlyweds have a lot on their minds. Like:

  • Paying off their wedding.
  • Writing thank-you cards
  • Paying off their honeymoon
  • Merging their finances (or not)
  • Buying a house (or not)
  • Tossing out their birth control (scary!)
  • Having in-laws
  • Coming to terms with the fact that they now have legally and officially committed themselves to another person for life (or at least a few years).

I may have left a few things out, but the point is… don’t newlyweds have enough to worry about? They’re entering an entirely new stage in their existence! They’re supposed to be blissfully happy and floating around on a cloud and having sex three times a day. More likely, in this day and age, they’re just sort of getting back to business, but with that cute shell-shocked glow of someone who’s just made a life-changing move and is happy about it. But either way. Shouldn’t they get at least a month’s grace period before some do-gooder with a buzz word and an agenda ambushes them and demands that they evaluate their environmental choices?

I think they should. I think that composting, recycling, using cloth grocery bags, buying energy-efficient lightbulbs, biking short distances instead of driving, conserving water, buying local produce, raising chickens in the backyard, wearing only natural hemp fibers, driving a hybrid and offsetting one’s carbon footprint are all admirable practices, and should be considered and implemented as lifestyle choices whenever feasible.

However. I think they are a damn buzzkill on a honeymoon. And I’m pissed on behalf of all honeymooners at the zealot who dares to bring them into the bridal suite. Back off!! Take your slogans and your earnest marketing spiel and go away!

It reminds me of the Jew-for-Jesus lady who accosted kids outside the synagogue when I was a kid; or the wild-eyed dog rescue lady who shamed me into fostering two dogs, paying another one’s medical bills, volunteering all day Sunday and answering phone messages Mon-Sat… I mean sheesh! We all (most of us) want to be better people and do our bit, but enough is enough.

It’s fine to have a cause. A party line.  Whatever. But along with it, people should acquire a sense of timing and tact. They should understand that “going green” happens every day, but marriage happens once in a lifetime…and  they should allow newlyweds to feed each other wedding cake and develop their wedding photos  and wonder about the color of their children-to-be’s eyes in peace…

11
Jun
08

I Don’t Want You, I Want Your Mom

Ah, the many ambiguities and confusions of casual dating/friends-with-benefits. They’re pretty much endless, no? From the ubiquitous scenarios (she wants to get serious, he doesn’t) to the embarrassing (a blast-from-the-past man catches you six months unwaxed and looking like the Bride of Sasquatch) to the plain ..!?!?… (such as I am about to relate)…FWBs are fraught with minor minefields. So much so that I wonder why anyone bothers with them. Until I dabble my toe in the ‘serious relationship’ pool…and then I remember.

Anyway, back to the story at hand. I have a bit of an odd situation with Chris, my occasional FWB of two years. In short, he wants me (this week) and I want his mom.

No, not in thaaaat sense, you filthy freaky dirty bird!! I just want to talk to her. In specific, I heard from her lovely son, that she is a Boomer dater and budding writer of some skill…and since Kim of this very site is looking for Boomer writers (or was; don’t quote me), I thought I should perhaps pass the word along.

Trouble is, I would have to go through Chris to do it, and then I would have to explain why I don’t feel like having sex with him. (Answer. No particular reason. I’m busy.)

I like Chris. I was happy to hear from him the other day…it had been a couple months. However, I was out of the country when I grabbed the phone, and therefore rather quick to hang up, after agreeing to call him the very evening I got back.

(This was just a downright silly thing to ask on his part, by the way. Who calls a casual friend the minute they get out of Customs at 10PM on a Sunday? Nobody. You’re grumpy, been standing in line for an hour, you just want to grab your bags and go home. I don’t know why I even pretended I would call.)

Anyway. Obviously I didn’t call straight out of Customs. Nor did I call the next week. Nor have I yet. It’s slipped my mind, what with work and travel and dieting to fit into the bridesmaid’s dress for my sister’s wedding. And I don’t feel too too bad about not calling, because I figure if he really wanted to hit it talk, he’d call me again. We don’t stand on ceremony.

And then came the thought with his mom.

I almost just sent him a text: Does ur mom still want 2 write bout dating?

But I thought that might bring up a whole bunch of questions and I really didn’t want to get into it, being that I am not actually doing the hiring–just giving a heads-up.

If I’d had his email address I would have emailed him: Sorry have been so incommunicado, ask your mother to email clips to my ed, and I’ll get back to you personally when next available for casual sex.

However. I do not have an email for Chris.

That left a phone call, and for some reason I just balked at making the call. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I didn’t want to chat, quite yet, knowing what chatting leads to with him. Maybe I have more social graces than I realize…to the point where I feel a bit untoward telling my casual fling that I don’t require his company, and am only calling him back because I want to encourage his mother to post her most private, personal business on the Internet for all to scrutinize.

And then there’s the last thing: It’s bad enough to say, “Hey, friend, I want your mom,” (in the metaphoric sense) but much worse to make the probable eventual followup call a week later…”Sorry, my editor took a look at her stuff, and we don’t actually want her after all. Thanks for playin.'”

Hmmmm….no. Maybe she’d consider it the opportunity of a lifetime, but I think I’ll just sit on this one for a while.

05
Jun
08

The Whole Arm Candy Role is Over-rated

I been thinkin’ on it a bit–well okay, I’ve been pondering on it nearly my entire adult life–and at last, at the ripe old age of 31, I’m going to tell you for certain: arm candy babes don’t have it as good as girls who can pay their own way. In fact, I’ll take that generalization and expand the scope to cover all women. Those who are dependent on someone else’s whims and bankbook just really don’t have as much fun as the sisters who, to quote my favorite buzz-cut ’80s rock icon of ambiguous sexuality, are “doin’ it for themselves”

They’re not as well-traveled either.

I came to this conclusion while in Cancun the past week for the launch of a new luxury resort development. There were many, many rich and powerful Latin American developers and businessmen–and closely following them, the requisite bevy of perfectly turned-out, rhinestone-belted, cleavage-sporting Latina babes.

I wasn’t at all surprised the girls were there…after all, what’s a party without gratuitous pretty women to act as floating arm candy? But here’s what shocked me: Though these girls live in Miami–an hour’s flight from Cancun–and I live across the continent, I’ve been to Cancun more often than they have. As we talked further, I learned that one girl–a Venezuelan–had never been to neighbor countries Chile or Argentina. To me, that’s like saying you’re from California but have never been to Hawaii or Vegas. It’s possible, but only if you’re singularly untraveled.

And this confused me greatly. Because…isn’t the whole POINT of being arm candy to wealthy men that you get to jet around and see all kinds of cool places and experience amazing things? Isn’t that one of the major perks?

The answer to this is YES, OSTENSIBLY. As a cute female, if you spend enough time surfing the online personals, or hanging out in wine bars in Los Angeles/San Francisco/Las Vegas/wherever, some man will invariably approach you with offers of travel and fancy meals and tickets to the opera.  That is how they reel you in. The thing is, they’re…not lying exactly, but grossly over-exaggerating. ‘Travel’ as arm candy means a trip to Vegas, or to Dallas/Chicago/other boring corporate hub… Caribbean or Cancun if you’re really lucky. And the whole time, you’re under pressure to sparkle and flirt and basically WORK IT… and you only eat, drink or have any fun at the whim of the man who brought you. 

Face it: Nobody wants to–or knows how to–spoil a girl as well as she knows how to spoil herself. Except maybe her best girlfriends or her sisters.

A man’ll buy you a pair of Wolford stockings and a teddy, and expect you to turn into a private porno pinup model in return. You can buy yourself a $300 Dirty Lingerie corset and wear it out clubbing, to a costume party, or  just keep it in your drawer to pet and fondle on rainy days.

A girlfriend will treat you to a spa day if she’s got the hookup, just because she thinks you need to relax. A man…well, one once offered a spa treatment, but it was in Vegas and I’d only just met him, so I politely said, Thanks, but that’s a little creepy.

A man will buy a bottle of champagne on a special occasion. For my sister’s bridal shower, the girls are buying a case.

I could go on and on. The point is this: The life of an arm candy girl seems sweet, and men always come with the big promises. But in actual fact, it’s a round-the-clock job where you don’t get much respect, and  usually don’t get a salary either (unless you’re a full fledged ‘sugar baby’ which is exponentially sketchier).

If you want to travel the world for real, splurge madly on lingerie for no reason, order $100 worth of sushi with no one questioning you, and really enjoy every moment, then girl, you gots to do it for yourself.

 

27
May
08

Scottsdale and Just a Wee Bit of Rain

It’s the first Memorial Day in hmmm like 5 years I haven’t been in Hermosa Beach.

I suppose I knew last year that I wouldn’t be back on the Strand again in ’08. After a certain point, the allure of hundreds of college girls in bikinis and red-white-blue patriotic soccer shinguards begins to pale. Okay, I lie–it never does. But by noon, when they start puking and peeing on stop signs and getting in cheesy fist fights in the bars, pretty much everyone over the age of 25 is like ehhh… over it. Nonetheless you stick around till midnight, because people will not let you leave. Seriously, you try, and they grab you and steer you back into a bar. It’s brutal.

Last year I did the Memorial Day on the Strand thing, and ended up making out w/two randoms–one guy who owns some gyms and swears he doesn’t do steroids (yeh I asked), but everyone thinks he’s lying… and the second, 8 hours later, a Brazilian jiu jitsu instructor named oh I have no idea does it really matter? He was cute, that’s all. 

Oh, and I believe my friend Nadia saved a lovely young lady from drowning in a public toilet at Dragon on the Hermosa Pier. Straight-up heroic she is.

Anyway the day was off the hook, but BJJ instructors, bathroom heroics and all, I kind of felt I’d reached the end of the road with the Memorial Day Hermosa mayhem.

So this year I wound up in Scottsdale with a girlfriend whose husband is in London at grad school for a year. She tells me that some of her girlfriends get all judgmental about Hubby being overseas. I’m a good antidote for that b/c I am the last person to judge. How could I? The closest thing I have to a relationship is some guy I see weekly when he’s not too angst-y for human contact (yes I do have one, but am not going to write about it–it is simply too dull for a self-respecting singles’ blog) and who would probably go to Mars for the duration of the millennium if he thought it would help his career. And I would fully support him in it.

Anyway. Back to the matter at hand, which is Scottsdale. I thought it would be 100 degrees & was totally ready to get a sweet tan (YES I KNOW this is an unhealthy outlook, but it’s MY HOLIDAY, I’ll do what I want!). Sadly, however, the city was hit by the same cold snap as everywhere else in our southernly, westerly region. I heard it was snowing in Flagstaff. The desert regions were chilly with a chance of rain. And I don’t even want to know what all those collegiate chickie-poos in Hermosa did on Saturday morning. Rollerblades, red-white-blue shin guards and giant overcoats (or bathrobes) just don’t have the same effect as eenie-weenie bikinis.

I guess I’ll never know. I can tell you, however, that I got a nice hike in, and spa’d it up like a queen bee in the Fairmont Scottsdale, and that Michael Mina steaks are marinated in *butter*, which is delightful… and, hm, that in not-entirely-unrelated news, I am quite fat right now. And as always, totally in love with the desert. It calms me in a way the beach never will. 

18
May
08

Going to Club Med. Porque no?

As anyone who’s ever Googled me knows, I’ve done a lot of writing about all-inclusive resorts–particularly the adult variety–in my day. I know my Desire from my Hedonism from my Couples from my Sandals. (Gosh, that sentence is bizarre if you don’t know the context.)

Anyway. These companies constantly contact me to write about them–and I often do. They also invite me to visit–which I very rarely do, for a few reasons.

First, the clothing-optional ones are completely out-of-bounds because I’m very choosy about whom I wish to see naked. Call me shallow if you must, but I don’t consider the average nude stranger to be sexy, or spiritually liberated, or inspirational. I find them unnerving. The sunburn, the bulge, the swinging bits…no thank you.

Second, you’ve gotta be pretty darn comfortable with your significant other to drag ’em to an adult/ nude / swingers resort for a week. And the last time I was that comfortable was with my ex-fiance, who completely agreed with me on Point #1, above.

Third, I always think that places with a “clothing optional” or “anything goes” policy don’t really mean it. What they really mean is, “Get naked immediately, get involved in stupid drunk hijinks along with the rest of us, and do stuff you’d never normally be comfortable with–because you’re on vacation and them’s the rules.”

I know Hedonism is like this, and I think others are. Couples is, of course, very twosome-ey and lovey-dovey, and would probably not want me to dress in a toga and have sex with a stranger in the hot tub… but Couples is Honeymooner Central, and what the hell am I supposed to do with that?

Anyway, the point of this whole blog is that finally after 9 years, I’m going to an all-inclusive party resort–and not just any one, but the one that started it all: Club Med. Cancun, baby!!

There is actually more method than madness in my decision: See, Club Med claims it’s changed its stripes, and I want to see it. Back in the day, this was the uber-uber of crazy adult resorts. It was Ground Zero for a million regrettable Spring Break moments. But in the last 10 years–particularly as it’s spread so far throughout the world and spawned so many competitors–it’s tried to diversify beyond the crazy-singles-party scene. About five years ago, Club Med even hired a friend of mine who specializes in reinventing giant companies to be more female-friendly. She basically rewrote their branding bible, tossing out Commandment #1 (Male Employees, Thou Shalt Tap as much Female Guest Ass as Possible) and replacing it with a way more PG set of rules. Obviously this wasn’t great for some of the male employees, but Club Med management loved it, and I from what I understand, guests loved it too. Vacation hookups are fun and all, but 90% of us want them to be spontaneous, not mandatory.

Fast-forward a few years, and Club Med has become a family vacation resort and a brand internationally known for its approachable, casual style. Some locations are more hedonistic than others, but overall, the place is far distancing itself from its formerly crazy image. It’s even started hosting self-help workshops and the like. Which is how I ended up being invited to go…my friend is a self-help speaker, and she invited me. Though I’m a little afraid of any inclusive Caribbean resort, especially ones I associate with Tara-dise or Girls Gone Wild, my curiosity wins out this round. I want to know what the place looks like. I want to see with my own eyes, these charming international employees bid adieu at the end of the night, and just go home rather than trying to beg, borrow or steal a soul kiss. Above all, I’m curious to see what sort of identity Club Med is creating for itself, since it left a fairly serviceable one behind when it wentoff the sexy rails.

Stay tuned…




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