Tag Archives: internet romance

My answers to Nosy Questions #2

  1. Tell us how you met your partner. Please be specific in telling your tale. He was reading his poetry at a coffee shop in Santa Monica, California. I was 38 years old and had never been married but when I saw him, I immediately recognized him as the man I’d been waiting for. I didn’t go up to the stage afterwards as there was a crush of other women there wanting to talk to him. I was going to the University of Iowa that summer for their writing program, but when I got there, I thought, “What am I doing here when the man I’m supposed to marry is back in CA?” So I walked out of the dean’s office without registering  and went back to CA. A few months later, he came to one of my poetry readings (I still hadn’t met him at this point) and I saw him in the audience and changed the poem I was going to read to read one that dealt with my breakup with my boyfriend so he’d know I was available. It worked. He came right up to me after the reading and a year later we were married. It was my first marriage and his third. I had no children. He’d had 10!!! Four were still small and I helped raise them for the 15 years before his death.
  2. What is your most romantic experience, again with details? I fell in love with a man in a very remote spot in Africa. After about a week, we decided it was not going to work and I left to work my way northwards and to eventually make it to England, where I would find work. Events, however, made it necessary for me to stay on and not to immediately leave for Khartoum, where I was to meet a travel companion. In a few weeks, the matter that had detained me taken care of, I was ready to leave on a plane the next day when a letter arrived for me in poste restante. It was from my lover. In it he said it was the biggest mistake of his life sending me away and that I should come back and live with him until we were driven out by the rainy season and that then we would travel to all the places we had discussed and eventually get married. There were no phones in the remote area where he worked and so I had no way to reach him, but I cancelled my flight to Khartoum and got a flight on a small plane to fly to where he was. When I climbed down the stairs of the plane, there he was… his arms full of flowers. Later, when I asked his friend how it was that he knew I was coming, he said, “Judy, he met the plane with his arms full of flowers every day for a week. The Seven Olives hotel gave us permission to cut flowers from their garden.”  That night we went to dinner at the Seven Olives, the only small hotel in town. To get to the dining room, we had to walk through their gardens. They were totally devoid of flowers!”
  3. What is the most extravagant purchase you’ve ever made, and why did you buy it? A Jaguar SJ6. I’d met a man, a poet, at the Santa Barbara Poetry Conference. He was a man who got along on a lot of charm and very little money, which did not both me, but when he came down to visit me in Huntington Beach, he very quickly  wore out his welcome. He was getting grouchy and demanding, so one day we drove to Newport Beach and on the way stopped by the Jaguar agency to test drive a car just for the fun of it. This was supposed to be a lark. I’m sure he thought I was as down on my luck he was as I was staying in my friend’s guest room and, having run away from my life in Wyoming and come to the coast by train with one suitcase, I seemed to have very few worldly goods. But unbeknownst to him, I had just sold my house in Wyoming and had few expenses as my old friend’s estranged husband was paying for half her very low house payment and I was just splitting the other half with her, so when the salesman started negotiating, I bought the car, writing out a check for the full amount. My “friend’s” jaw dropped and his face was still frozen in a flabbergasted expression as we drove home in it. On the way home, I asked him when he was heading back to Santa Barbara. He left that night and I never saw him again but I surely did enjoy that car.
  4. What is your favorite swear word or expression, and when are you most likely to use it? “Asshole!” I’ve used it a lot since Trump came into office. Prior to that, I’d reserved it purely for rude drivers!!
  5. What is your favorite kind of pie? With or without ice cream? Chocolate pie with vanilla ice cream.
  6. While we’re on the subject, what is your favorite ice cream, and where did you last eat it? Pistachio Gelato. I last had a double dip at the Laguna Mall food court in Ajijc a few weeks ago.
  7.  Who is your most unique friend and why? (May be someone from the past.) My most unique friend is Forgottenman. He has the cleverest and quickest mind of anyone I’ve ever met. He’s quirky and loyal and corrects my apostrophe errors on my blog. And I love his bald head.
  8. What is your most irritating habit? My sister would say it is humming under my breath.
  9. Who was your favorite teacher and why? I’ve written about him HERE.
  10. Do you like being alone and if so, what would you probably be doing? Yes. I would be blogging or doing art or playing spider solitaire or in the pool, throwing balls for Morrie to fetch.
  11. What is the most outlandish thing you’ve ever done? Rented a WWII tank carrier to sail around the coast of Portuguese Timor through waters inhabited by Bugis pirates.I was young and stupid. you can read about it HERE.
  12. What superstition do you always follow? I never walk under ladders and if a black cat crosses my path when I’m driving, I turn around and go in the opposite direction for a block or so before going around the block and continuing on my way. I do not dislike black cats. I think they are beautiful and I would have one as a pet., just as I would climb a ladder. I just don’t walk under them or cross the path of a black cat. I also throw spilled salt over my left shoulder. Always.
  13. What famous person or animal have you met? Tell us about the meeting. HERE is my story about meeting John Wayne.

 

These are my answers to my own question Challenge, Nosy Questions.

Ta Da!!! Finished. Now you tell me your stories!!!!!

Old Lovers

 

Old Lovers

We meet in the kitchen,
your face slightly blue
in the light from the refrigerator.
Left-over shepherd’s pie in one hand,
a half-gallon of Costco vanilla ice cream in the other,
you seem suspended in a middle land
between repletion and guilt.

Being here for the same purpose,
I offer absolution,
and we talk about the future,
sitting with forks and spoons aloft,
eating from the same bowl and carton.
It is part of our sensuality,
this culinary communication at 2 a.m.

Wishing to go deeper,
we seek out chocolate
in that place
where you have hidden it
for years––on top of the refrigerator.
Knowing all your secrets,
I am the one who retrieves it this time.

This is what might happen
if we were not divided by miles,
you in your country,
me in mine. As it is,
you feast on ribs from Dexter Barbecue,
I eat the ice cream with a single spoon—
these mid-night fantasies
reality enough for old lovers
building new communions.

 

 

 

Prompt words today are talk, middle, sensual, future and kitchen.

The Taste of Love: NaPoWriMo 2018, Day 19

The Taste of Love

What we feasted on
in those first stages
of internet romance—
when nine hours was too short a conversation—
was words.

We passed on to the next stage of computer dating:
our first dinner date.
He watched on his desktop computer as I prepared a salad.
This was a long and lengthy process
I recorded as closely  as was possible
using the camera from my laptop.

A prisoner of his large unmovable console computer,
I watched his empty desk chair
as he repaired to the kitchen to prepare his meal,
hearing sound effects but little else.

When he returned to the living room and his computer,
he laid his meal in front of his computer.
I had yet to see it as I, in turn, placed my salad in front of me
and took my first bite,
watching closely my technique according to my Skype image.
I chewed politely and then smiled,
revealing the lack of lettuce shards on my front teeth.
I looked up. He was watching me as lovingly as usual.
Now, it was his turn.

What are you eating? I asked.
Ham, he said.
He lifted a huge hunk of ham on his fork, taking a dainty bite
and chewing happily.
What else? I asked?
Just ham, he answered.
And so he demolished the entire pound or two of thick ham steak,
now and then washing it down with a healthy swig of rum and Coke.

Rum and Coke.
It had been one of our bonding experiences
to find that the drink of choice of each was not only rum and Coke,
but Bacardi Rum with Caffeine-Free Diet Coke.
How could this not be a romance made in heaven?

Culinary compatibility,
from 2,000 miles away
seemed to be less of a problem than it would be three months later,
when we first made physical contact.

Well, there was a resolution.
He started munching on carrots
and I had no objection to ham.
We both found a like mania for potato chips,
but true romance bloomed
when I found the full bar of Hershey’s Chocolate
atop his refrigerator.
Who says we need to concentrate on our differences?
Hershey’s Chocolate?
Yes. Our first true taste of love.

 

NaPoWriMo Prompt for the day: write a paragraph that briefly recounts a story, describes the scene outside your window, or even gives directions from your house to the grocery store. Now try erasing words from this paragraph to create a poem or, alternatively, use the words of your paragraph to build a new poem.

Premature Viability

 

Premature Viability

It was a viable solution to a major tragedy.
She had it all planned out, and she confided it to me:
how she might overcome her fears of dating and romance
by going on a dating site and giving love a chance.

First she lost a pound or two and got a stylish cut,
then purloined her sister’s Spanx  that nipped in thighs and butt.
Had a makeup session and bought a new blouse that
showed off a bit of shoulder as well as a new hat.

Set at a rakish angle, it polished off her wiles—
made her eyes more come-on and accented her smiles.
When she was ready for battle, she turned her webcam on,
signed up for OkCupid, and when her family were gone,

tried out her Skype and FaceTime to see how good she looked,
only to discover than her goose was surely cooked;
for no matter what the lighting or the camera angle,
there was little chance that a boyfriend she would wrangle.

She turned off her webcam and decided she would wait
another year or two before vying for a date.
Her stars were not aligned now. Her prospects were not fine.
She’d put off looking for a boyfriend at least until she’s nine!

The prompt today is viable.

Cyber Romance

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Cyber Romance

Our affection is elastic, stretching from here to there.
My nightly kisses reach you through a thousand miles of air.
We have a date at 2 p.m., another at eleven
or twelve or one. It matters not. This freedom is just heaven.
No scrambling for a lipstick. No reaching for our combs.
No need to leave the comforts of our cozy homes.
No reservations must be made, no flowers to be bought.
No rashes to be suffered and no colds to be caught.
We are so safe here sheltered each in our favorite place
without expending energy meeting face-to-face.
It is a cyber romance—the newest thing to do.
And instead of having babies—one, perhaps, or two,
emojis I will give thee—as many as you please.
Life is so much simpler  lived out via screens and keys.

The prompt today was elastic.

Music Man

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For the most part, the men I have met over the seven years I’ve participated in social introduction sites have fizzled out–either through lack of interest, lack of memory or just plain lack of fuel to keep a long distance relationship going. There is just one who has lasted as our relationship has evolved from friendship to seduction to love affair to a best friend relationship where we are crazy about each other from a distance––willing to do anything for each other that can be done from 1500 miles away––including advising each other over other romantic relationships as we share heartbreaks, frustrations and all the problems of daily life.

In this strange cyber world we are all slipping into by varying degrees, he has become one of the most important people in my life, even though it has been two years since we’ve met in person. He is my blog administrator, copy editor and computer tech. He reminds me to pay my helpers, lock my doors at night and turn the lights out. When I lost my camera, he found it from 1500 miles away in Missouri by checking the message boards in my hometown in Mexico! Once, when I was at the beach, when a friend came by and handed me something as I lay on a hammock on my front porch, he Skyped me asking me what she had handed me—having seen it on the beach cam of my next door neighbor which just happened to pick up the corner of the porch I rent every year! (I know. Sounds creepy, but it wasn’t.)

Since he hardly ever leaves his house or his computer screen, unless he is asleep he is usually available within a few minutes via Skype. He checks my computers from afar, patrolling for viruses or needed updates. He is there when I receive good news and bad. Because I live up on a mountain above a small town in Mexico and because all of the houses around me are homes used as vacation homes and usually empty, he monitors my after-midnight swims in the pool or my journeys down to the studio, waiting online to check that I am safely back in bed within a reasonable amount of time–one hour or two, depending on how ensconced I become in my late night/early morning adventures. But with all of the roles he has assumed in my life over the years we’ve know each other, one of his most important roles right from the first is as my “Music Man”!

For the first four months I knew him, he played his guitar and sang me to sleep every night over Skype, the camera of my laptop trained on my face so he could see when I slept and say goodnight and go back into his own world where few strayed. Those serenades continued off and on for the next year, but since then, he has been my music man in other ways: sending favorite songs I request as well as songs I’ve never heard before that I open like Christmas packages.

On the CD’s he has made for me or the iTunes he’s sent are my own favorites: Emmylou, Rickie Lee Jones, Tom Waits, Stacey Earle, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Nina Simone, Dan Bern, Chris Smither, Billie Holiday, Ray Charles, Lila Downs, and Janice Joplin. Joining them are his favorites, some of whom I’d never heard of before: Brett Dennen, Joe Purdy, Steve Earle, and Nanci Griffith. He has created a new world for me comprised of Towns Van Zandt, Eva Cassidy, Jolie Holland, the Wailin’ Jennys and Iris DeMent along with songs discovered via movie soundtracks or the background music of favorite TV shows. The Avett Brothers we discovered together––I no longer remember which one of us first stumbled across them on a YouTube video of the Letterman show.

Music was our courtship: Since he is too much a rebel to participate in the regular celebrations of society, songs became my valentines, my birthday gifts and Christmas stockings. Where others gave flowers, he gave songs. “I and Love and You” was declared to me by the Avett Brothers. When Amy Lavere sang to me, “Lucky boy, lucky boy, ’cause I’m your lovely girl,” I got the message that I was the lovely girl and he the lucky boy, even though in the past he had advised me not to interpret all the songs as messages.

I now have over 471 songs on my computer—most of them sent by him. They are the songs I listen to every time I have guests, when I am in my car or in my studio. They keep me company at night in the pool or my studio. The first thing the man who comes to my house to give me a weekly massage does when he enters the room is to click on my iPod in its speaker/holder. He says this is his favorite place to come—partly because of the calm and the art, but more so because of the music.

My music man. I’ll see him in person in September and it will be wonderful to give him a hug and a kiss, to travel up to Minnesota together to see my sister and nieces and to Alabama to see other friends; but this man who has been by turns my serenader, my computer tech, my editor, my confidant, my lover and my best friend has, in addition to everything else, given me one invaluable gift. He has created the soundtrack to my life.

In typical fashion, Music Man has answered this post you have just read in musical form. To hear/see it, go HERE.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/music/

Snapped!

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I can’t believe that I’m actually going to tell you the story associated with this picture, but here goes! Most of you know the story of how I decided to move to Mexico for a year with my husband, who was very reluctant to spend even a few weeks in Mexico, let alone an entire year!  When he got here and got adjusted, however, it was he who started agitating to buy a house, with the end result pictured here–a house on the side of a mountain above Lake Chapala. The problem was, that shortly after we bought the house and before we could move into it, he passed away.

I moved to Mexico, but memories of Bob moved with me and it was as though he was inhabiting more of the house than the small shrine I constructed in his memory in the entrance hall.  For seven years, I just felt married.  I think I dealt with the loss of him well.  For those seven years, I journaled most days, wrote a book and numerous poems about dealing with the loss of a loved one and other aspects of moving to a foreign country. The thing is, that my heart didn’t go along with my head and in spite of everything, I felt married.

A part of this may have been that I just didn’t meet anyone who triggered that first automatic response that Bob had.  The minute I’d set eyes on him, I suspected he was “the” one. Once I’d heard him read his poetry, I knew he was.  But Bob was gone.  Had been for seven years, and I decided it was time to go about trying to meet someone else.  I joined Match.com and in a year found not one person I wanted to meet, let alone anyone who wanted to meet me.

Then a friend told me about OkCupid and within 24 hours, I had met a number of people I was interested in and the response indicated that they felt the same way.  But Mexico is a long way from the states and the obligation associated with having someone come all this distance made me reticent about encouraging visits.  I wrote to a number of people, and then Jerry came along.

Although we were very different in some ways, our communication was conducted on a more intimate level than any of my other conversations.  We seemed to get to the meat of ourselves and I was intrigued.  He was the first person who made me start to feel romantic again in the way my heart had turned over when I met Bob.  I was due to give a talk at a local lecture series and it might be an indication of how my life was quickly transitioning if I admit to you that the night before I gave a 45 minute speech on Bob’s death and overcoming grief, I stayed up all night taking to Jerry.  That morning, after only one hour of sleep, I gave my talk about Bob and overcoming his loss, but it was Jerry I was thinking about.  That quickly, I had gone on to a stage unmentioned in my talk.  I no longer felt married.

Our long conversations on Skype turned  sensual–not in a cyber sex sense, but in a romantic sense.  When we met, what would the setting be?  What would I be wearing?  What would he be wearing?  What would our first words be?  We constructed romantic dialogues–and this writing was a new and exciting experience for him.  He began to paint again–something he hadn’t done in years–and attributed this new interest in writing and the rebirth of his artistic life to me.

Within a few months, he had decided to fly to Mexico for a 4 day weekend. I’d meet him at the plane.  This was very different from our initial resolve to meet at a location other than one of our homes.  We had envisualized meeting at a beach resort.  I would be sitting at a table with my back to the door.  He would enter and recognize me immediately.  He’d come up to me and kiss the back of my neck.  Then he’d sit at the table and the tension would build as we had margaritas and dinner, a walk on the beach, and. . . .  Who knew what it would lead to?

What would I be wearing?  His choice was a full Mexican skirt and an off-the-shoulder peasant blouse.  Sandals.  He’d be wearing a Hawaiian shirt and Levis or shorts and huaraches or sandals.

When I first heard word that he was coming in a few weeks, my sister and her friend were visiting me in Mexico.  I finally revealed to them the details of my cyber romance and they threw themselves into the task of helping me to find the right wardrobe for our meeting.  It was fun combing the shops for a full skirt.  The peasant blouse was another matter, but we finally found it. They were complicit in my plans–nothing short of a romance comic book come to life.  They left.  Jerry’s arrival was that night.

Unfortunately, in the time between my shopping spree and Jerry’s evening arrival, the weather had turned cold.  As I stood at the airport reading the notice that the plane would be delayed by two hours, I shivered in my skimpy gauzy clothing and sandals. Around me were Mexican citizens in their Levis, Reboks and down jackets.  I was seemingly the only senorita in sight and I was cold!  I went into the warmest spot I could find–a restaurant on the second floor–and asked to borrow a tablecloth to wear as a shawl as I ordered coffee, then soup. Anything to get warm!!! Yes, I felt foolish.

As I waited, I thought of what I knew about him.  I knew he had 4 more years until retirement and that he had saved up enough air miles to travel around the world for a year. He had asked me to go with him, saying he had enough miles for two.  He loved Mexico and wanted to retire here.  He’d been married but had no children. He didn’t drink, except on vacation. He was going to quit smoking, but couldn’t until after we’d met–the tension was too great in the interim. He was trying to lose weight. His favorite food was flan. (I had three different varieties of flan awaiting him in my refrigerator: my mother’s recipe, a killer variety cooked by a friend who was a chef and a diet variety.)

Then, finally, the plane was announced.  I took the elevator down to the first level, stood by the railing watching person after person come out of the doors of customs and scan the crowd.  I was looking for the athletic handsome man pictured in his OK Cupid profile.  Person after person passed.  Then, when I’d about given up hope, a chubby man with a  foolish sort of grin came down the “runway” stumbling just a bit.  Weaving just a bit.  He was wearing a Hawaiian shirt.  Could it be?  When he caught sight of me, his grin widened.  At the end of the runway, he caught me in a big hug and a brief kiss.

Even in that brief kiss, I could tell he’d been drinking.  His erratic walk told me he’d been drinking quite a bit.  It turned out that during the 2 hour delay, the airline had offered free drinks to everyone, and it had been a shame not to make full use of the offer. I could understand this.  The conversation on the 45 minute drive home was fine and half way home, he asked me to pull over for a full embrace.  Again, my hopes soared.

That night was as romantic as I might have wished. When we arrived at my house, he put his suitcase in the spare room.  No pressure, he said.  I appreciated this. Loved it, in fact.  We ate.  We danced for hours.  Talked.  Kissed.  He did not use the spare room for anything other than a repository for his suitcase.  It was one of the most romantic nights of my life and the fact that I’d been waiting for it for seven years did nothing to dispel its effect.

The next morning, we slept in.  Or, at least, I slept in.  When I woke up, he was already in the kitchen making breakfast.  We ate on the patio.  The weather had warmed up and everything should have been perfect.  But, when he kissed me, I noticed tequila on his breath. Wasn’t it a bit early to be drinking tequila? He was on vacation, he told me.  When he went back into the kitchen for more orange juice, I could hear him uncapping the tequila and pouring some into his glass.

By the end of breakfast, the tequila bottle that had been full before I drove to the airport was 2/3 empty. By then the gardener was there.  My living room is pretty much floor to ceiling sliding glass windows the entire expanse of the living and dining room that face the  terrace, pool, and back garden.  I’m sure Pasiano was a bit shocked to see me close dancing in the living room with this stranger at 9 in the morning.  It was romantic, yes, but I kept looking up to see Pasiano’s reaction.  He was watering the plants nearest the glass wall.  Now and then when I looked up, I met his gaze and his somewhat stupefied expression.  This was something new in this house!

Over the next few days, we drove around to the other side of the lake, walked the malecon in Chapala, went out dancing with friends.  The entire time, Jerry drank.  When he had said he only drank on vacation, I had not understood that what he meant was that he Only drank on vacation!  Once he hit Mexico–his usual vacation destination–what he did was drink!  By the second night, his libido was somewhat inhibited by the tequila. By the third night, he nodded off the minute his head hit the pillow.  The romance, if not over, had certainly hit some ruts in the road.

Before I drove him to the plane to return to the states, I confided to him that I would  be writing a new book and wasn’t going to be able to devote as much time to talking to him as I had in the past. (Our record marathon call had lasted 9 hours.)  He got the message loud and clear.  The romance quickly cooled.

I went on to meet other interesting prospects and several have come to Mexico to visit, but never again did I invite anyone to stay with me prior to meeting them. At one point, I preferred going to the states to meet prospective love interests–during visits to family and friends.  Some of these encounters have turned out well and I’ve made at least one lifelong friend whom I hope will always be in my life, but I’ve retired the peasant blouse.  Only this picture remains to remind me of my foolish foolish heart and to remind me never again to let it rule my choice of wardrobe!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Snapshot Stories.”  Go to the first photo you find of yourself in the first album you locate and tell us the story of that photograph.