After dinner smiles all around (or is it the wine?)

This was taken last fall, at Mosaico in London; I'm still learning how to post pictures, so this is here as a place-holder more than anything else.

Paul, Eli, moi et Rob Posted by Hello


Love is good

...and it's not blind, people. It just sees foibles and flaws with a tolerant eye, as it should. Had an interesting discussion about fidelity and marital constancy yesterday at lunch with Eli & Hermann, and it got me to thinking about the state of unions.

I have several friends (and, no, I will not name them here) who have strayed from their marital vows and cheated on their partners, etc. I've never understood it. Now, granted, I've only been married 3 1/2 years and we don't have kids yet, and buying the house is the most stressful thing we've ever done (and we definitely squabbled during its purchase), but our relationship is well into its twelfth year and I've never considered stepping out on Bryan. And I'm sure he hasn't considered betraying me, either. The way I see it, if you think there might be other people out there you want to shag, maybe you shouldn't oughta get married/ hitched/ joined.

The thing is, it's not like there aren't other people in the world to whom you will be attracted, whether physically, emotionally, psychically, or whatever, even after you're in a committed relationship or married or otherwise engaged, under terms that preclude you indulging that attraction.... Fidelity, though, is not a question of not being tempted, but rather, resisting that temptation, and in fact, re-choosing your partner, over and over again, affirmatively, renewing your commitment to them in the face of whatever juicy morsels may be dangled in front of you by a mischievous universe. And those morsels will be dangled, my dears, because Somebody up there (out there) has a very naughty sense of humor indeed.
What I wonder is whether infidelity (or adultery or faithlessness, pick your term of choice) is deliberate or accidental, for the most part. I'd be curious to see a survey of those who stray, to find out. Naturally, those surveyed would be anonymous, and there would have to be questions that allowed you to winnow the serial cheaters from the one-time cheaters.... the corollary to this is whether once you cheat once, is it easier to cheat again? Does it, I wonder, depend on why you've cheated, in the first place? I guess it must: if you're a rat bastard, cheating for the thrill or because you crave infatuation more than love, you probably won't blink at cheating and re-cheating, whereas if your offense is ... situational?... it's more of a lapse than a character flaw.

A propos of devotion, in its myriad forms, I do want to say more about Eli and the missus, with whom we had dinner Thursday and went to Carnegie Hall, as you may remember from the last (exhaustive) post. Their regard for one another, and how it was expressed in facial expressions and chuckles, was incredibly sweet and touching. Michael is only 25, so they were together for a long time without adding a child to their relationship; I wonder if that's why they like each other so much. I suspect that a lot of marriages become focused on the family really early on, leaving parents without much in common once the littles are grown.... If you know each other for longer, before adding variables to the equation, maybe the formula is more complex and longer-lasting.... It's funny, because it doesn't seem like the Ms are very much alike (although they share key interests), but I rather think that may be one of the keys, too: to have someone with whom you're not exactly in lock step, to keep you on your toes.

Anyway, my point? Love, in a word, is grand. Find some for yourself, and enjoy it. But remember not to put up with any drama or bullshit or anyone who treats you less well than you treat them. People need to check their baggage before they get on board the Love Express. Life, as you've read in these pages before (I know, ad nauseum), is too short. Save your issues for your therapist. ...Or your blog. Heh.


Could I love New York more? NO!

Do not be fooled by the "7:57 p.m." you see below; I am in the Big Apple and it's so past my bedtime it's not even funny, but I had the most AWESOME weekend, just had to write about it.

Let's see. Okay, so first.... I write in green in honor of mi querido H, big brother and bosom buddy who gave up virtually his entire weekend to hang out with me and toodle around NYC.

Got to NY Thursday at o'dark fifteen, following Beyonce and her Moms off the plane (you heard me); went immediately to lovely N's apartment to shower and change, and then to the office, on E. 57th. Excellent old building, although I could have done without the chunklets of ICE falling off the roof and pediments, pelting the plaza! Got set up in a centrally-located cube (oh, the humanity) and worked 'til 12:30, when I was late to meet my mother for lunch. Oy vey.

Two slightly painful hours later, walked across 54th Street to Third Ave, calling Rob, and reunited after 5 1/2 months with my BOYS, Eli, Rob & Hermann!!!! Hugging, kissing, effusion, happiness. Oh, and all the cases settled, too, so let's not forget the wire transfers and original execution copies of documents. Wheeeee, litigation's a screeeeeeam!

Thursday night, H and I met Eli and the missus at the Redeye Grill, across from Carnegie Hall, where Alfred Brendel played a gorgeous programme of Mozart, Schubert, Schumann and Beethoven and we tried really hard not to giggle out loud at all the nearby sleepers, especially the one who kept scaring himself awake, to our glee. Enjoyed most of the music enormously, and LOVED Mrs. M. I especially loved that Eli adores her so much it shows in his face when she talks. That's something to aspire to, people, after 35 years; take note!

Walked over to 5th Avenue with H afterwards, detouring past a certain site I won't mention but suffice it to say ideas for the future were spoken of, and at the risk of boring you more, he's sooooo cool, this guy, it's ridiculous. Went home, slept badly, and went to work for a couple of hours Friday (office was closed so it was amazingly peaceful) Lunch with Lili at Norma's, followed by an afternoon at MOMA with Lili and Liz, who'd taken the train up for the day. Awesome. Liz and I had tea afterwards at Takashimaya, a Japanese department store on 5th Avenue. Swanky, and I found the most beautiful black tea bowl for H's "Easter basket," so I was pleased.

Dinner with Lili and handsome Tom at some Chinese place in Chelsea where everyone else's food looked better than ours. Hate that! Met Susan and bf, Damien, at a perfect neighborhood bar on W 23rd & 9th Ave, and had a great time talking, catching up, getting to know Damien, staying out late. And ohhh oh oh do I love how easy it is to get a cab in Manhattan?! YES I DO!

Saturday morning, braved the NY bus system to go chez H. Turns out you need quarters, 8 of 'em, which makes SF's transit system superior to NY's in just one way: you can put dollar bills in the Muni thingies. ANYWAY, we hung out at H's amazing, fantastic, immaculate, sublimely decorated (if couch-deficient) condo, in which I now must live, and I drooled over his art and artifacts and enjoyed his pretty kitty, to whom I was surprisingly unallergic. Gave him the tea bowl, which he loved, so I was super happy. Finally got moving by 1, walked partway over to Chelsea, getting completely waylaid in a bead store, of all places (yes, entirely my fault, of course), where H paid for all my baubles, naughty fellow. After late lunch at Rogue (on 6th Ave), went to an antiques "mall" where we peered at many beautiful things and I bought a lorgnette that needs prescription lenses. We talked and talked and talked and talked and I have no words to say how great he is (I know, you're thinking, "You've used a bunch already; we GET IT!"). We were totally tickled when this woman at a jewelry booth said she "knew" we were brother and sister. She said she "could tell." There was something wistful in the way she said it; I feel so lucky to have this fraternal friendship we've created. It really brings home that old saying about friends being the family we make for ourselves.

Stayed too late in Chelsea, trotted across to Madison Square Park (lovely in winter with no leaves on trees, a favorite look of mine), and taxied uptown to change. Dinner at Nice Matin, on the UWS. I got there zippy quick, since I only had to get across the park; H got there a bit tardy thanks to Crate & Barrel and fashion emergency, but bought me an excellent dinner. Dashed to the Promenade in time for our play, which we love love loved (thank you Russ for being a genius and recommending it)!! Headed back to Nice Matin afterwards and sat for a long while, having dessert and talking more.

First light yesterday saw me headed to Glen Rock for Easter at Susan's; had a nice time with the fam even though Dad is still in Florida and we couldn't even get him on the phone. Susan's duck came out well, and it was good to see everyone. Back to the city at 3:45 to meet H to [this space intentionally left blank] at the office, where he surprised me with perfume he'd chosen for me at Aveda -- isn't that amazing?? No one's ever bought perfume for me before! It's soft and nice and I was really knocked out that he just spontaneously got it -- unless, as Bryan posited, he was just trying to tell me I'm stinky, but I'm guessing that's not it. Sooo, we hung out doing this and that (and we'll never tell what, 'cause pinkie swears mean something, damn it!), and went to dinner and talked a long time and H even missed The Contender for me, however unintentionally, and I felt bad, but not bad enough to regret getting to spend all that time with him, because he rules.

This morning, back to work, in the pouring rain, where first thing there was an e-mail from Rob saying his case had settled so we were on for dinner tonight, huzzah hurrah yippee!!! His birthday is tomorrow, which is when I'm leaving, so I was psyched to get his note and talk to him later in the morning. Lunch with Eli and Hermann for nearly four hours at Brasserie 8 1/2. Such wonderful men, so sad to say bye to them, even sadder still that H nearly got concussed on the doorframe when I ducked in to kiss him goodbye, as he was trying to get out! Eli just got soaked getting out of the town car to hug me.

Just got back from dinner with Rob at The Post House, which was delicious and it was so great to see Rob; I've missed him. Steak, Scotch, wine, Mayor Bloomberg at the next table over. FANtastic service at that place. Not remembering our London habits, we each ordered dessert rather than one to share, big mistake. Ended up having to dash out because he would otherwise miss his train home, so off we splashed to Park Avenue to catch cabs; quick kiss goodbye, and try to stay dry.

Taking the 7 a.m. flight back to LAX, suuuper tired but I've never had a nicer vacation. Had fun in our NY office with some girls I met, and it was good to see the family and Mom and Liz and Lili and Tom, however briefly, and I just adore Eli and Rob and HF, as you can tell. I've been commanded back to the city for Noofie's seder, so April 21, here I come. And it will be SPRING!! Hurrah!


You can all thank HF for sparing you the rant about my mother

This space was going to be devoted today to a diatribe about my manipulative and annoying mother, whom I love but who drives me out of my freakin' skull an awful lot of the time (and, yes, I know I'll regret writing this "after she's gone," but I'm willing to take that chance). However, because I poured my vitriol into an e-mail to Hermann, who might have time to read it before the end of this month, I will spare you. Suffice it to say that when someone tells you that this trip to NY is NOT the trip during which they will have time to see you, it is a very bad idea indeed for mother-daughter relations if you then PLAN A TRIP to NY to coincide with the offspring's arrival from California. NOT COOL.

In other, more important, news: I don't know whether anyone reading this is a believer in prayer or its efficacy, but if you are and/or do, kindly send a prayerful shout out on behalf of my friend Mihal, a wonderful spirited woman with a 7-year-old son. Mihal has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, at the age of 38, and her treatment and future are presently uncertain. I believe in the power of positive thinking (and also in G-d, although I admit we don't always know what plans there are for us, nor do I believe in a hands-on, micromanage-y type G-d) and in prayer in the general universal sense, so I'm looking to gather some good energy for Mihal. Yeah, sorry if that sounds like I've lived in the land of nuts and berries for jussssst a little bit too long, but I'm sincere in my wishes for her to get all better, as soon as possible, with as little fuss as possible. Thank you, and peace.


This is a self portrait, in case it's not PAINFULLY obvious. I took it to show someone the present perfection of my recently-groomed eyebrows, but it's a dreadful picture 'cause my little bitsy digital camera-on-a-string doesn't care for anything less than full daylight streaming in about 17 windows. Sorry!

Oh, really? Posted by Hello