Thursday, August 18, 2011

All Good Things Must Come To An End

Jesus, what a utterly depressing saying that is but it has been running through my head quite a lot the past two weeks. That and, "This too shall pass" which basically means I've been walking around in a bubble of "endings" that has me feeling a little unsteady and anxious as hell. Hooray. 

Trying to get my bearings, settle and hunker down so I've not had the time or the energy to write anything...or anything I think you all would want to read. Got no fewer than five posts started but at night, when my day is over, the dishes washed, leftovers placed in the fridge, my little sliver of time that is just for me, well I've been spending it sitting beside the little river that trickles through my apartment complex. The afternoon's heat gone, the damp air shifting in and out of my lungs, the moon brilliant and watching over me. A glass of wine, the sound of water as is pushes itself along, the tickle of tiny feet as the crickets scamper across my bare toes.....stolen minutes of quiet, distraction and chatter free. Just me, my thoughts and all the strength and love I can muster, "This too shall pass" a reminder that tomorrow is another day, a new chance to breathe in and out, select wines for people looking for their own little slice of peace....this tranquil spot waiting for me at the end of the day, the sounds, smells, the life going on around me breathing new life into mine. 

I haven't given up blogging, it's all good things that must come to an end, drivel it appears can go on for-ever. Aren't you the lucky ones?! Just been supremely busy and slightly overwhelmed. Hope to be back on sane and solid ground soon....I miss you all. 

Should you need me, you know where I'll be and all you need to do is step outside beneath the moon and we will be there....together. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Oh Great

Where is The HoseMaster of Wine when we need him?

The latest from the, "This is why people think we're Wankers" file... 

Going to now go strap on my aluminum underpants and stuff my socks full of cow dung so I can go to work and properly evaluate wine....sigh.
Goddamn it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Reflections Of, The Way Life Used To Be

“Perfect. Absolutely perfect” my jaw tight as I saw the folded paper that I had fished out from beneath the coffee table with my toes. The jury summons, or rather my extended jury summons, (the first one I pushed back due to my trip to Italy in February) that I was supposed to return like ten days ago….mother fucker. My morning started with watching my son fold and place his washed laundry back into his suitcase, a feeling that sinks deep into the pit of my stomach and brings with it a sadness that no matter how irrational I know it to be, simply crushes me. I do what I always do, what any mother does, I make jokes and only allow myself the relief of tears when I am sure he won’t see them. The day before Jeremy leaves is always the hardest on me…I wish I were better at just holding on to the few remaining hours feeling the joy and peace that comes with his presence, from him just being under the same roof, but alas much like being a responsible adult and attending to my civic duty, I, have, failed.

The next little piece of crappy was getting a call that shook me with that, “Oh shit. Did I screw up?!” the kind that makes me shake and floods me with panic. Again not terribly rational, and this time it wasn’t my error but settling down after that took some tantric like breathing, the rubbing frantically of my un-made-up face and a glass of Chateau la Canorgue Rose. Settled back into my day off, the last day with the kid then I opened an email that ended up taking another crack at my spazzed out and crumbling heart. Closed the email just in time to look at the clock and see that it was just about time for my beloved Amy and Roger to board their flight back to their exiled home of Texas. More muttering and expletives before opting to just lie on the couch and try and rest my frazzled head, quiet the aching and loneliness in my heart.

“Bang! Bang! Thump!” the maintenance men pounding, sawing, ripping out and making all the ruckus that comes with replacing the entire restroom in the now empty apartment above us. Great, no nap and now the worry about dealing with new neighbors. Got up from the couch and shuffled to the kitchen for another glass of Rose. Needed something to get lost in, refresh me and help un-stick my jaw. Pouting and a tad pissy, a favorite combination for me, especially when I know just how very lucky I am most of the time…..

I ran my fingers around the cool and sweating bowl of my wine glass. Made myself focus on the pale pink color, the herbal and mineral aromas, the electrifying thrill of cold liquid hitting my wanting, needing palate. Found comfort in my connection to the flavors and began thinking of all the moments where wine has been at my side, my partner of sorts…with me through the laughter, tears and discovering of myself along the way. The trips out of the country, the trips to our very own wine country, the faces I’ve met, kissed, caressed and spent hours with, our love for this one thing, this thrilling liquid, bringing us together and making each and every one of those moments possible…and it was there, at my side, through it all.

I thought of the past week, the time spent with my beloved son, chatting, just sitting in the same room watching television, being in separate rooms but still close enough. Wine in my glass to share the elation I feel at these times. Taking Jeremy to his first wine and food pairing event and feeling my heart swell as he spun his glass, buried his nose, took that first evaluating sip, the biting of my lip as he described the Francois Chidaine Touraine Rouge….perfectly. Wine and Momma will forever be linked in that young man’s mind and memories and for that, I am so very proud.

Piling into the car on Monday afternoon to travel south and nab a few hours with our friends escaping the oppression of the Texas sun. Wine, or Champagne more specifically, ignited our friendship, introduced Amy and I but our journey was just beginning. Been through a lot since the nights spent on the back patio of their home, (aka The Vortex) in Long Beach popping bottle after bottle of Champagne, getting to know one another and learning, for the first time, what family really means. Jeremy in Louisville, Amy and Roger now in Texas, Merritt leaving The Wine Country and moving forward in her burgeoning career in the growing beer business. Seeds scattered but roots forever intertwined. 

Driving past the sights that I had ingested hundreds of times before, Camp Pendleton, The Giant Boobs in San Onofre, the windmill that once belonged to Anderson’s Home of the Split Pea Soup and has now become a T.G.I. Fridays. The landmarks that once signified that my mother and I were almost home after visiting Long Beach, now connected to walking onto the patio of a resort, my son, husband, Amy and Roger…..a coming home unlike any I’ve known before but just as soothing. Amy and I sipping away on a bottle of Saint-Chamant Blanc de Blanc while opening our hearts and taking a few moments to just look into the eyes that, no matter the pain, strife or struggle, see you as the most beautiful and compelling person on the planet. My glass cold, laced between my fingers and at my side.

Here I sit, just hours before I have to “man up” and hold back the tidal wave of memories, snuggles, kisses and overwhelming emotion that comes with saying goodbye to my baby, the child that is now a man, that changed my game and in turn changed my life. His roots still twisted with mine but needing less of my nutrients to get him through. The last ten days not nearly enough time for me to express my love, gratitude and astounding pride. My living room silent, the kid out and saying his goodbyes, the Texas crew back in the blistering heat, my soul feeling their ache to be closer. My heart full but at the same time…as lonely as it has ever been. Life is forever changing, shifting and spinning our seeking souls in directions that find us looking for footing and a safe place to catch our breath. I find mine here, in my late nights, heart raw and exposed glass of something cold and familiar in my hand with all of you. Thank you. Thank you for being here, listening and feeling me…. 

Scores, alcohol levels and the relentless ranker about both mean…dick, when I think about what wine has brought to my life. I have a partner that sweats and bleeds beside me while I spill my guts and expose myself for the failed and fragile woman that I actually am. I can rant, piss and moan, ooze my femaleness all over these pages but in the end, I am just a girl, in love and wanting more than anything to be heard…..felt and to share that all with you.

Wish me luck with my goodbyes
Hope that I can find peace in my glass when I come home to a quiet house
Walk past that room and feel my heart sail with the emptiness of it

I still have wine to whisper to me
Those of you that are still willing and wanting to read me…
I’ve got this glass of wine and just a few more hours….    

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I Hope You Dance

“C’mon momma, let’s dance” my wee son extending his little brown hand in my direction. Six or seven years old, dressed in a vest and tie, head shaved silky smooth, looking a bit like Montel Williams at a friend’s wedding. Took that tiny hand in mine, as I had done a million times before, smiled as I felt his slender fingers slip between mine…little pads of his fingertips resting just above my knuckles. My baby and I walking, well dance walking, onto the slightly raised popup dance floor of a hotel banquet room wedding reception. All eyes on us as people tried to figure out the relationship between the handsome little black kid and the scared to open her mouth but fearless on the dance floor blonde chick he was rocking the night away with.

This would be a pattern for Jeremy and I, the two of us on the dance floor, showing up on every damned wedding video, lost in the thump-thump-thump of the base, stomping our feet, fingers laced, our love for each other, music and dancing too big to stuff away. Those freeing moments just too precious to let slip away. Any, or all, the times we were made to feel uncomfortable because we didn’t look the same. All the people that would stare at us. The family that worried. The kids with their questions and name calling. All of it whisked away as KC and the Sunshine Band, Stevie Wonder, George Clinton and Marvin Gaye spilled their acceptance and understanding all over us. Words set to music that made our hearts feel too big to contain in our chests, we needed to move and we needed to do it together.

“Oh turn that up!” my mother, thin and beautiful, hair in loose waves, mid-drift exposed and in a good mood. I scampered to the stereo and took that big volume knob in hand. Cranked the decibels to blaring and sat on the couch, knees tucked into my chest, trying to bite my lip but finding it difficult for the missing front teeth…just watching as my mother, my one and only love at the time, swayed and snapped, swung her curvy hips to the music. The feeling so massive, the power so intoxicating that my stomach was in knots and I couldn’t catch my breath. “When you’re standing in the crowd, your love talks to me so loud” the words bouncing off her shoulders, resting upon her waist then spinning out all around me as she swung about. I sat there shaking as I watched this often sad and quiet woman become fierce and bubbling with passion and the speaker behind me flicked and pounded into my back. I could hardly keep still but found myself holding my breath as I didn’t want it to end.

“Come here baby” her just moments before, flailing arms reaching for me, asking me to join her in this moment of freedom. “Do I do, what you do….what you do, when I do, my love to you” my hands locked in hers, my fingertips resting just above her knuckles. Dancing, learning to dance, with my mother. One of the most powerful and brilliant memories I own. How tall she looked as my neck craned to look into those beautiful blue eyes for approval, the patter of my own feet as she bent down and instructed me, Stevie Wonder’s voice like a puppeteer, moving my arms and legs, the words oozing struggle and the music framing it bending my body, opening my heart…pushing all the “uncomfortable” to a section of the room that was not where my mother and I were dancing. Nothing could touch us.

My mother taught me to love music and moving my body to it. She wasn’t the greatest dancer, I’m suspecting because she was never completely willing to let herself go. Never willing or able to just let it all go, make a fool of herself learning, look silly when she failed or stumbled. It did however give her a fire, a desire to make me a little stronger and less bound by the constraints of what a woman should be. Maybe too much, maybe Stevie and her bare mid-drift were a little too much, or too liberating. I ran. I ran with it like my fierceness was gonna protect me from, my need to be seen, touched, wanted and protected. As if knowing how to move, sway to music in a way that would ignite want would give me the power to make my life so very different from hers. It gave me the confidence to step on any dance floor, know that my swerving spine, arching and bending would garner the attention of the boys that would line the dance floor and watch me….try and take me home and I found some kind of bite or strength in the fact that I got to say yes or no but…that thing that they saw and wanted to spend the night touching, it was still me, six years old and dancing with my one and only love in my socks and wholly spellbound by her swaying and the thumping that took my breath away…

“So I’m thinking I might go to grad school in Maryland” my not so small fingered son. Home for a 10 day visit and somewhat sheepishly telling me that he isn’t coming home, to stay, anytime soon. My heart instantly sank and I thought of all those nights on the dance floor. Our hearts and story playing out before all the eyes that cared to watch. Fingers linked as we freed ourselves from the eyes that watched us and tried to figure us out. Our hearts and bodies bending to the music, souls shaking off the inquisition. Just us, no one could touch us as long as the music was playing. Time to pay the fiddler….

My swaying curves aren’t going to change that fact that I am now a 40 year old woman with a 22 year old son that is stepping on the dance floor. Full of his own bite and ready, been given the tools to dance in another life…one he has been building on his own. His hand in mine now sees those fingertips resting upon the little bumpy bone of my wrist. Just as his hands now envelop mine, his heart and drive to be his own man are bigger than anything my silly head could have ever dreamed. My heart is torn between the ache of feeling my partner’s hand slipping away and the overwhelming pride that is watching your child learn to dance….alone.

Jeremy, I just want you to know that you need only reach your arms out, I will be there. Momma will be there, ready to step on any dance floor that has the two of us not caring what people think, expect or assume. My mother taught me to dance, you my sweet son, you taught me how to love and feel loved. You are and will forever be my miracle. You saved my life and for that, my dance card, it’s yours.

We have 10 days kiddo. 10 days to laugh, eat, drink and snuggle into a love that is so tremendous that is would freak most people out. I am in awe of your strength and courage. You are my hero and I will pack into these 10 days all that I can. I’ll take those kisses you love to plant on my forehead, the hugs that make me feel like I’m tiny and melting into your strong frame. I will take you to The Wine Country's Francois Chidaine wine brunch, share with you what it is that keeps me going when I can’t feel your touch, hear the music and dance with you….

Don’t worry about me baby, I’ve got my memories and my pride to keep me company while you are away and when I am missing you so much that I fear my heart my explode I will remember us sipping wine, you watching me “dance” to the flavors and sway with the textures of the music that now pounds against my flesh.We will both understand that while your entrance in my life made me the woman I am now, there are still a few spins around the floor in my future and because of you, I can step out there with my head held high. No longer looking for acceptance and never looking to forget, not even for a second, the life I am living in.  The life that loving you made possible.

Should there ever come a time when you are feeling low, afraid, alone or like it is all too much, just always know that our door is as open as my heart and as long as my body is willing, I will take that hand of yours and smile as I walk onto the dance floor with you. If distance and time won't allow than just close your eyes, think of us in the car and remember...

"We're gonna fly away, glad you're going my way, I love it when we're cruising together"

We've still got lots of dances left you and I. Birthdays, graduations, weddings, the birth of your children. Your private dancer will be there for all of it and finding, this time, more freedom and fierceness in the pride that comes from standing in awe of the man you've become. 

C'mon baby, let's dance.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Wine Or What?

Harmless enough right? But what if we look at it from another angle...

So this product is being sold as wine and does in fact have wine in it. Red wine even, because you know, red wine is way more classy. What could be more sophisticated than pouring yourself a glass of, wine and giving it a good spin, you know, to open it up and all....

 Just look at the milky sludge aka legs on this baby. Gack!!

Who is this for? I just don't get it. You're selling it as wine, to people I'm assuming don't care much for the taste of wine, for what? So they can pretend to be refined while glugging down chocolate milk with 14% alcohol? Why not just sell it as Baileys Light? Not "fancy" enough?