My annoying organized self was thinking of starting my stories from the beginning, in chronological order. Should I start telling you about my marriage, and leaps of faith, and the things nobody tells us? Or should I start from the beginning of the single life in my thirties and how to date Satan and not (but almost) die trying?
But no, I’ve decided to loosen up a bit and start wherever the hell inspiration comes from today and that would be, telling you about connection.
I am a very curious type of over thinker, I have found. I go over situations, experiences, moments, text messages, over an over again, drawing sometimes very enlightening conclusions and sometimes just driving myself crazy. But one of the things that sometimes actually comes out of those mental circular races, is a lingering feeling of having connecting a few dots and extracting a learning point out of that. Most of the time, it happens almost imperceptibly; it’s not like I come up with an Aha! Moment and see the light, but rather come up with an isn’t-it’funny-how… moment that doesn’t necessarily fix anything, but does feel like something here was learned.
I’ve got one of those moments now, and it happens to be about connection. So this is where I’ll start.
I just came back yesterday from a long weekend trip with 2 of my good gal friends. We decided to take advantage of the fact that some friends have pretty good positions at a certain exclusive hotel we could never otherwise afford, and took off to a little private island in the north Caribbean. Sounds amazing, huh? Not to brag, but it was. Now, please note I said little private island, which means the place was full of honeymooners and couples celebrating their anniversaries of happy marriage. So here’s us three, merrily going to couplesville, but not giving a damn because all we want to do is lie at the beach, talk nonsense, and drink wine from 11 am. I am not expecting to find Javier Bardem there (don’t get excited – I didn’t) and I am perfectly fine with that.
On the second night at couplesville, we got invited to an intimate happy hour event at the beach bar, organized every Friday for all guests of the hotel (there are only about 70 rooms there, and they weren’t even 50% full, so do the math). So off we go, to disrupt the honeymooners and annoy the anniversary celebrating couples. And that’s when I notice, for the first time, the very cute director of F&B, working the bar, giving me a look I know only too well, as he was pouring me another glass of rose. We exchanged a few words and in under 1.5 minutes, I knew we were both electrically connected. We didn’t know each other, and we didn’t care. I knew he felt connected and I did, too. No, it was not love at first sight, and I didn’t feel the universe had taken me to this remote island to meet the love of my life. I just clicked with the guy, and he clicked with me.
The next morning, as I was getting out of the water at the beach, I saw him approach me from the sand, with yet another glass of wine in his hand. “You look thirsty” he said with the whitest, most Californian smile you can possibly imagine. “Look at you reading my mind!” I said, in a (apparently obvious, according to one of my friends) flirtatious way.
“I had the weirdest dream about you last night”
“Oh, did you?” I said. “Do I want to hear about it?”
He hesitated a bit, playing shy (very badly) and then said “I think so. But it’ll have to be over a couple of tequilas tonight, because otherwise I’ll be embarrassed.”
Yep. That was it. The deal was closed. Mind you- this whole conversation happened in front of my girl friend, who looked at him, and then at me, and then at him again probably wondering if she was invisible.
As you might imagine, my dear reader, California boy and I ended up having sex that night. And oh- did we connect.
I have mentioned before that I have been single for five years. Now, I am no Cindy Crawford, but I am –I think, somewhat attractive, in good shape and can be quite charming if I don’t think about it much. I am also very OK with my body, my sexuality, and I am perfectly clear that love and sex are not the same thing. I enjoy having sex, and do it (safely, obviously) when and if I want to, without any prejudice or remorse. Having made that disclosure, I have obviously had sex with men during these 5 years of single life. Some has been good, some has been pretty good, and some has been frankly unremarkable. But the one thing I have struggled to find, has been good connection. I don’t mean we need to feel we are soul mates and come together. I mean, connecting sex where you can completely let yourself go, be present and aware of pleasure, and feel compelled to please, and most importantly, the feeling is perfectly reciprocal. For whatever the ordeal lasts, you are both, perfectly present and aren’t afraid to let yourself show exactly as you are.
I knew, from that first night during happy hour, this guy wanted to sleep with me, and I was perfectly fine with it, because I wanted it, too. What I wasn’t expecting was to find such a fine connection. It was hot, perfectly in synch, relaxed and uninhibited. We were both complete strangers but it was as if we had done it for years. I don’t know if I like him, if he is a good guy, or if he is thinking about me now, but it really doesn’t matter. You could argue I am just describing a summer one-night-stand, and it could very well be, but what I am referring to here, is how easy, simple and smooth can something be when there is an effortless connection of any type.
Forget about California boy for one moment and let me pause to tell you what my current dating life is when I am not impromptu having mind-blowing sex in a remote island (trust me, that doesn’t really ever happen). Before my trip, and like most of the single people my age, I subscribed to some dating app. I know, not ideal, but sometimes a necessary evil. I am not looking for hookups or using it to date around. I genuinely want to find Javier Bardem and since he’s not showing up at work, at the gym, while I walk my dogs, or when I brunch with the girls, I decided to get a little help and see if he shows up in the cyber world.
So since a week before my weekend trip, I started talking to a guy via this (allegedly exclusive and curated) app, which claims to give hope to those of us hopelessly disappointed with Tinder and Bumble. We have been talking over text for a week now. Now, I am not new to this dating app dynamic (and that certainly is another story to blog about) so I can tell you I know when “talking to someone” qualifies as such. We text each other throughout the day, every day since we “met” and have exchanged from fun banter, to pictures of our daily life, and personal stories. The only one caveat to this, and pretty much the story of my cyber-dating life is, he lives far away. Far, far, far away, as in he is British and lives in Britain and I live in the East Coast of the US. Why on EARTH are you talking to a Brit in the UK? You might ask yourself. I don’t know, they find me, follow me and talk to me, and I have a soft spot for the British, or so it seems. Again, another story.
Just the other day, Mr. UK told me something along the lines of “well, I didn’t know you that well then (meaning 3 days before)” to which I responded, “and you feel you know me better now?”
“Yes!” he said, “I feel like I’ve known you for ages, don’t you?”
And you know what? I do! We really have connected. He said it, I feel it, and it’s just a fact of life that for some reason, we just felt a connection, as ridiculous as it might sound, over text messages, without even having seen each other. The exact opposite connection I had with California boy, from whom I know absolutely nothing but felt as strongly close as I feel to Mr. UK.
So what is this connection, then? Is it in our heads? Is it in what we want the other person to be? Is it in our instinct? Is it all of that, none of that?
Like another Brit told me not very long ago, at the end, we are all looking for a connection; to ourselves, to another soul, to someone who makes us belong. And even if I can’t define what that means exactly, I couldn’t agree more.