Archive for June, 2016

Summer Romances

June 26, 2016

My first summer romance, at age fifteen, was more of a crush. I went to a camp for the arts on Cape Cod and adored the drawing teacher. I thought he was very old. He went to the Chicago Art Institute which meant he was at least twenty! He handled it very well. We talked and he teased me like an older brother. But Ron gave me confidence that I could relate to the opposite sex. He drew a sexy sketch of me which I have hanging in my bedroom in Scottsdale.

The summer after that my parents rented a house on the beach after camp ended. The teenagers would go down to the beach at night and make bonfires. I met a fellow from Connecticut (I lived in New Jersey) and had my first mutual romance. I was a naïve kid so it only entailed kissing, but it sure made me feel good. We wrote and saw each other during the fall but it fizzled with the winter snow.

In the summer of my sophomore year of college, I worked in the Hamptons as a waitress in a twenty-four hour diner. Some of my college friends were there, and all the out-of-town waitresses lived in a mansion, which had seen finer days, across the street from the diner. We were paid $1.25 an hour and pooled our tips which usually gave us another dollar per hour. But we got free room and board so I was able to save quite a bit of money.

This was in the late sixties so there were plenty of bars and music. (The drinking age was eighteen then.) The first half of the summer I fell for a guy named Gordon who was in the Coast Guard. He looked like Troy Donahue and I called G. G. of the C. G. (Gorgeous Gordon of the Coast Guard.) He left midway through the summer for another assignment.

My heart was broken until I met Max one night. He was a Marine stationed at Camp LeJeune, 665 miles from the Hamptons on Long Island. But he would “swoop” down for long weekends to see me. Oh my, how romantic. Sometimes I would get off at midnight and we would sleep on the beach.

I went back to the Hamptons the following summer with my boyfriend Rob, who had just graduated from The University of Rochester, where I was going to be a senior. Although I liked him a lot, the romance didn’t bloom until that summer. The ocean, the sand, the sun, the passion. He proposed towards the end of the summer and I married him the next year.

I was done with summer romances, for a while. When I was in my late thirties, and divorced for five years, I went over to a friend’s house for dinner. Afterwards, she and her husband convinced me to go to a bar where they played Classic Rock. It was a boiling hot summer in Phoenix and didn’t seem like the time for a romance. But as soon as I saw Dan, I fell in love. That had never happened before. He proposed a month later and we married the following spring.

Fast forward to being a single senior. It’s different now. I’m more a “seize the moment” person, make the most of today because maybe I’ll be eating dirt tomorrow. In this column I’ve chronicled my summer flings with Mr. Spiritual Journey and the Train Man. Neither led to anything serious, but they were great summer flings.

It’s been a few years since I’ve felt that passion. But now I’ve met Mr. Hotstuff in Munds Park. Maybe it will only last a week or two, maybe the summer, maybe more. I’ll enjoy it as it is.

P.S. He told me I should change my photo for the paper because it didn’t do me justice. Way to stroke my ego!




June 13, 2016

I’ve just returned from a picture perfect wedding in Sonoma County in California. The bride, Vanessa, is my goddaughter and the daughter of Susan, my best friend from seventh grade. She and her husband John just finished medical school and start their residencies this month. I couldn’t be prouder. Their success at marriage will depend on their communication skills and I observed them working issues through with words.

Since Vanessa and John were a bit busy with medical school, Susan planned the wedding. Susan, a graphic designer, did all the signage, too. She is one talented lady. Her husband served as support staff and our friend Alexis was the collaborator. Vanessa’s sister and brother were the schleppers. I was the one who called and asked, “how are you doing?”

Vanessa's wedding_venue

The wedding and reception took place outside at a vineyard. There were rows and rows of grape vines, mountains, and a lagoon in the distance. The day was clear and just the right temperature. We arrived early to get our makeup professionally done and Vanessa got her hair put up.

Vanessa's bride photo

The bride is Jewish and the groom Lutheran. The ceremony, held under a copse of redwood trees, was nondenominational except they stood under a huppa, the traditional Jewish wedding canopy.

Cocktails and wine flowed freely to accentuate the celebratory atmosphere. We sat at round tables overlooking the vineyard. The food was very tasty, especially the butternut squash ravioli.

Annie with Vanessa and John

At this wedding I did not feel my single status acutely. There were other single women and we mingled with everyone. The dancing was a group affair. It started with the hora, a traditional Jewish circle dance. Eight strong people lifted the bride and groom in sturdy chairs. People just stayed on the dance floor when the DJ rocked out, no need for a partner.

Weddings make me take stock of my single status. I reflected on my two marriages. The first lasted twelve years and at least ten of them were great. The second lasted fifteen years and at least twelve were great. I have warm memories of both of them and am glad I was married to each man. I don’t see another marriage in my future but I’m glad I was trustful enough to take the plunge twice.