An Interesting Perspective.

Today I went to the D r’s office.  It an office that I’ve been visiting for years, and have come to know the nurses very well.  We often spend 15-20 minutes catching up before and after my appointments.  Last time I was in the office I was in the process of moving out of my “married home” and about to head off to Italy with my best friend.  They wanted to know all about the trip, where I had landed, what I was up to, etc..  

I told them everything.. how great the trip was, where I’ve landed, what I am doing now, how I was feeling, and where I am off to next (Paris)..  they shared with me their life happenings, what they were up to….  buying houses, moving, one just broke up with her boyfriend.   They are both beautiful (and who really doesn’t have a fantasy or two about a beautiful nurse??!?)  .  Anyway, the one I connect with is Russian, forever known as Beatiful Nurse #1, is now divorced with a daughter.  She looks 12 but I’m guessing she is closer to early 30’s.   She asked me, “do you miss him, your life”?  My answer was no.  I shared with her that I didn’t miss him or our life because the last years was a lonely place for me. She couldn’t believe it because she now missed her husband .. I asked why.   She  had been bored in her marriage and they had grown apart, but now that she was dating (actively dating), she missed the stability, the support, the luxury of being able to count on someone (to fall back on them, to depend on them.   It was an intersting perspective, one I hadn’t thought about.

Of course I’ve been thinking about it ever since (over 6 hours now)… is there something to stable and predictable?  I’ve not thought about it because I’ve been so busy thinking about myself, what I wanted/needed, that I didn’t think (or did I, I just dont remember?) about being happy with what I had.  What I wonder is, when I come around, when I decide that I want to have love, be in love, will I regret my decision to “have it all”?  Who knows, but Beautiful Nurse #1 definitely had an interesting perspective…..


My Trials & Tribulations with Utah Liquor Laws.

So, I just returned from the great state of Utah.  There are so many reasons to love this state and the great city of SLC, including the gorgeous mountains, the friendly people, the clean city, my family, etc…. its all good.

But everytime I go to Utah  (from CA), I forget how to live there.  The hardest part for me is the liquor laws ( I know, BIG surprise)…. they are strange, unnecessary, and IMO, a hinderence to the state success (tourism!!)…   Lets hope they dont get any more strict (although, from what I hear (and need to read up on), hope is not a strategy).

  1. Respect the Sabbath (forcibly).  So, I arrived in the great state on a Sunday night, 8:30 pm.  I had driven to Utah from CA, a 11 hour drive.  I took my suitcase and a few other items upstairs to my condo, then really really wanted a drink, mostly to relax and watch highlights from the SuperBowl (which I missed because I was on the road).   I do know that the liquor store closes at 10pm, so I rushed out the door, hopped in my car, drove to the liquor store (I was sober) to purchase gods nectar (keep in mind that the tempurate is freezing.. thats close or below 32 degrees Fahrenheit)..  I pulled into the empty parking lot…  thinking to myself, wow,  I’ve got the whole place to myself!!   then I realized, it literally just dawned on me, that it was quite possible that the liquor store was not open.  I double checked with the hours sign.. yup, not open at all on Sunday.  I became frustrated with myself.. why didn’t I know this?  My natural instinct was that it would be available to me, but just before 10pm, which even that doesn’t seem reasonable (should’t I be able to purchase a sealed, contained alcoholic beverage at anytime, am I not an adult??)… 
  2. Sticker With My Wine Please.  Soooo.. I took my realtor out to his favorite restaurant for his birthday (he’s 39 again).  Great restaurant.. he brought the wine (hes a thinker!!)…  He did not have a sticker on the wine bottle, so the waitress (a bit young and immature), stated quite loudly, that she couldn’t open the wine because it didnt have a sticker…   Its the dummest law ever – If you want to bring a bottle of wine to any restaurant, it has to have a “Utah Liquor Store” orange sticker on it, otherwise, restaurants can’t  and won’t open it.   So if you want to have a special bottle of wine and it isn’t purchased in Utah, you’d better plan on drinking at home or find a friend with an orange sticker..   I’m looking into it, I’ll let you know what i find out.  Anyway, we (rather he) figured it out —  a sticker was produced and attached to the bottle and all order was restored. 
  3. Brunch – Beer Yes, Mimosa No. O.k. So, my last morning/day in Utah was a tough one. I had a ton of stuff to finish up …  I wanted to take my parents out to brunch before I left… and when they showed up at the condo for brunch, it took us  a whilte to get out of the condo (all due to poor time management on my part). They are saints, they helped me finish up so we could get out when we did (later than expected).  Anyway, I take them to brunch, a nicer establishment, and I order a mimosa.  Seems reasonable, its brunch, long and hectic morning,  11:30am…   After ordering, the waiter came back and shared with me that at 11:30am, he could serve me beer, but not “hard” liquor, such as champagne and orange juice.  I have to tell you, I almost had a meltdown.  I was able to keep it together because a) my parents were there, b) Bubba, my nephew was there (and he adores his aunt “Paula”), and c)  I knew the airport laws were different (if only slightly, at least I knew I could get a cocktail)…

All of these examples just scream religious control… that there isn’t the seperation of church and state  that is clearly outlined in the First Amendment…   Its easier to practice poligamy in Utah than to get a cocktail….   which is a completely different topic, one that I’ll write about later…

Anyway, its the pretense that we, citizens and visitors of this great state are “free” to make our own choices and decisions, when in reality, we are not.   Religion rules here, and this is the feeling I do not like, and why, as a non-mormon, I just couldn’t move permenently to the state (I’m sure they are happy to NOT have me)..

In summary, if I spent more time in Utah, I would just know about these little things.. and work around them very easily.. As a visitor I”m learning.. I just put in an “owners closet” in my condo, stocked it full with my favorite beverages just in case I visit during “off hours”.  But as you can see, I assume I have rights, basic rights, and as much as I would like to be accomodating, I just cant, it goes against every fiber of my being (I really really really don’t like to be told what to do).. So, as great as Utah is, I don’t appreciate Big Brother, aka the Mormon Church, looking out for me.

First Purchase of 2009.

So.. as you all know, one of my 2009 New Years Resolutions is to Not Buy Anything (except for what is on the exception list… ). But Paula’s gone done and purchased something NOT on the pre-approved list.

First, I did go shopping last week. It was all for the condo EXCEPT for one item (or one type of item, but six of them). The condo looks fabulous (its all coming together, I’m so pleased!!), but in my frenzy to make everything ‘perfect’ for the condo, I found and indulged in something for myself.

So what did I buy? Those of you who know me are probably assuming a new pair of shoes… or a cashmere sweater.. nope, not this time. I purchased a matching set of cocktail glasses. They are the perfect size for my favorite drink, “The Carrie”, Grey Goose, Soda, Splash of Cranberry, and a Lime…. The total cost: $6. I will update the 2009 NYR page with this expenditure.

I do understand that I don’t need these glasses. I do have 2 glasses I use now, but my reasoning/excuse for purchasing the new glasses include:

  • Yesterday I only had 2 glasses, which do not match, are of different sizes (some nights I get 8oz, others I get 10oz)..
  • the current glasses are old, worn (they have that white film of over-usage) and too small (see above)
  • the loove new glasses  – they are perfectly sized, hold just the right amount of beverage 

So, thats it… cocktail glasses not on the list, but purchased.. A technically unnecessary item, but one that will get a lot of usage…

Just keeping it honest.

Go Dolphins!

Dont even ask me how or where I heard/saw/read this… lord only knows … but I learned that Dolphins where the only other animal, besides humans, that have sex for pleasure (vs. procreation).  Of course, when I heard/saw/read this, my OCD kicked in and I:
a) got a huugggeeee smile on my face,
b) had to research the topic, and
c) immediately thought of the ANIRAC bong. confirms what I heard/saw/read. Article is titled Buried Pleasure (is that classic or what??!?). I love the the description, my favorite line being: “males and females willingly (and regularly) engage in sex even when there is no possibility that offspring will be produced…. “. Wooohoo, go Dolphins!

So, first I find it classic that I heard/saw/read this DURING my stay in Utah, where everyone appears to have a lot of sex because there are a ton of kids. Way to many kids IMO. Hell, going to Wallmart in Utah is like going to a Russian orphanage… the kid to adult ratio is WAY TO HIGH. Kids are like ants in Utah, they are everywhere (and not in a good way)…

Another thought I had was, did the Jamacian artist who created the infamousANIRAC bong create this one-of-a-kind piece for me because he knew, in his very stoned and posssibly inebriated head and heart, that I relate more to the dolphin kind than the Mormon kind?? I will never know, but I would like to think, that on some level, the artist “knew” me… Makes the precious hand-made, one of a kind item on display in my cabinet all that more precious to me….

Its the little things that make life fun and interesting… 😉

No Strings Attached.

Work has been brutal…. we recently had a meeting, a territory review. The best thing I can say about it is that I walked away with my job… no dignity left intact, and no respect for the leadership at my company.  A co-worker and I were commiserating over drinks at the airport… about the meeting, how we felt about it, pondering the next steps…

The job market is tough right now, and I feel both concerned about losing my job and the need to really get away.  I told my co-worker that if i was laid off, I wanted to go on a long-term adventure, and asked him what he recommended.  He preceeded to tell me about two trips he and his 1st wife had taken to Napal.  It opened the door to talk about his 1st wife and their life together…. It was a great trip, he has really fond memories of the trip, and overall of his life with his 1st wife.   I asked him why he married again?  He said he liked that kind of bond, the closeness he had/has found in his marriages.  He then told me that I shouldn’t worry, that I would marry again someday.  I gasped…almost choked on my beverage.  There is no way that I could do THAT again.

Of course (the Paula in me!) that got me thinking about my own Marriage, how I dreamed it would be, how it actually was, and of course, the dissolution of it.  I’m sitting on an airplane now, glass of wine in hand, pondering how it all happened, and why I reacted so strongly against the idea of getting married again. 

My marriage was a good one by most standards, having all the trappings of a good life; two young, successful, financially stable, good looking people finding each other, marrying each other, buying a beautiful house in the burbs, etc..  But as I look back on it, it was a lonely place for me. I spent most of my marriage alone, wishing, wanting, waiting for a “real” partner.

I tell myself all I want is to be with someone that wants to be with me. I dont want a certificate, a kid, obligation of any kind to keep my man around. I want someone to be/stay with me because they are happy there to show up and no other reason.  If they become dissatisfied for any reason and want out, all I ask is that they summon up the courage to tell me they are leaving/want out.  I will gladly help them back their bags.  Its not worth it to me to keep something “together” when both parties aren’t completely and totally into it.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of finding a soulmate, someone who truly gets me, and I look forward to the day when I can again experience the bliss that comes with finding the person who loves my quirks ( I have only a few .. 😉  ) and finds me perfectly imperfect.  I am excited and look forward to caring and taking care of another human being.  I’m just saying that if I do ever find this person,  I will hold onto it, enjoy each day for what it is, every moment we have together, because I do believe, there will come a day that I become imperfect to this person and they will want out.  And I want them to know that while we had a good run, if the love is gone, they should be going.  Life is too short to be unhappy.

So, why do I say this?  Because my marriage was a very lonely place for me, and I’m pretty sure it was for the soon-to-be-ex (STBE) as well. I want a relationship filled with passion, intimacy, love, honesty, trust, NOT one that is unfullfilled, obliged to out of guilt, a marriage license, kids, etc.. Here is how this perspective came to be.

  • DREAMS.  I absolutely loved the STBE… feel completely head over heads for him.  I was so enamored with him, he was for me, perfectly imperfect.  He really couldn’t do anything wrong and all I wanted to do was take care of him.

We had some big things come into our lives that shook us up for sure.. work stress, an unexpected live-in experience with a wild teenager, medical issues, etc.  but these are the times when you are supposed to pull together, not apart. And we, given the opportunity to pull together, we couldn’t pull together. We did not lean or count on each other.

  • THE TRUTH.  Looking back on “us”, I dont think he felt the same way about me, but was more mesmerized by the love I showered onto him; having someone fawn over you on a daily basis can be intoxicating (I’m guessing, its never happened to me).  Compound this with his family and friends telling him how great I was (I am fabulous!!).  It’s hard, if not impossible, to keep your head about yourself when someone thinks you are the best thing since sliced bread.  When the eyes you look into every day/night sees a different, better version of you…

I believe quite possibly that the STBE didn’t love me when he married me, and even worse, was unhappy for most of our marriage.  I dont think he will ever have the courage to tell me this, but its what I believe now that I have some clarity and emotional distance from the relationship.

The honeymoon was way over after 6 months of marriage.  I felt like a check-box, like he had a list of things he wanted to do, marriage was one, check, off to the next big thing: triathalons and ironmans.  He disappeared, worked-out a lot, priortizing work and work-outs over time together.  it was a choice he made, and based on where he found happiness. 

  • THE END. My marriage, our marriage, for me, was a very lonely place. When I talked to him about it, he said that my need for and intimacy and connection was my “twin thing” (yes, Paula’s a twin). I thought its what two people shared when they were in touch with their partners, they care for the person they have chosen . He obviously felt differently.

It took a lot of brutal honesty and courage to end my marriage (you guessed it, I’m patting myself on the back, go Paula!!).  You can say that you will do a lot of things to fix it, but it all comes down to actions: are you willing to do anything to have a successful relationship? If the answer is no, then part amicibly, its best for both parties. I do know that I tried absolutely everything to try to get it back on track.  And this is enough for me – I gave it my best shot, my all.

In the end, his actions revealed his true feelings.   He lived with me for years, ambiguous to my presence, pointing out my imperfections, treating me as though I wasn’t as good/smart/athletic as he was. I didn’t see this for a long time, I didn’t want to see it…. but I finally did in April of last year. It was a few really sharp/mean comments from him, the condom in his suitcase after a trip, his non-communicative style; I realized, he was unhappy too, he just didn’t want to admit it or be the “bad guy”. So, I did it, it was hard… but it was absolutely the best thing for the both of us.

So no, I dont ever want to get married again, at least not the kind of married I experienced, its a very lonely place.  I’m happy now, relieved to not be responsible …  happy to be free.  Now, If someone comes along and we experience a true connection, passion, and have a lot of fun together, fabulous… but it will come with brutal honesty and no certificate, it will be over when someone becomes unhappy or disinterested…. It will be a happy place for the both of us, no expectations and no strings attached.