Sunday, April 15

Charmed, I'm Sure

I wanted to write about our evening out last night but I am reticent to do it. I am feeling sensitive that it may come across as "rubbing it in" to those who have implied that I live a charmed life.

Since it was a charmed evening.

I also am not certain I can do in justice in words. Meaning the magic of the moment may get lost as I retell any stories or attempt to portray the players.

But mostly it's that first thing.

Now that I have some readers and commenters (thank you all for coming!) I am feeling a little pressure to perform well. Knowing that there are friends out there who are likely looking for some consistency in the worthiness of my writing, or my subject matter makes the butterflies in my tummy twitter. On top of that I don't ever want to come across as a Pollyanna. You know, the perky personality who never shows the secrets of the darkness in her days. As a matter of fact, I do have some of that. I just don't tell it very often.

Okay, really not at all.

I suppose you could say never.

Except I try to never use words like never. I don't actually believe never ever happens.

At any rate if I tell this story will you also believe me when I say that there are moments, loads of moments where nothing very cool happens over here? And that there are even times it is ugly and yucky and icky and I don't like it at all?

I really can't help the positive attitude; it just leaks from me like water from a soaker hose in a desert garden. Positive is how I am designed and manufactured. A little bit on the perky side, its true. Even though that makes me gag a little even to myself. But this blog world is a take me as I am kind of place, isn't it? If you don't find me interesting then there are lots of other URLs you can insert in the search bar. I can recommend some if you would like.

Well, now that the whole lead in is out the story itself may look a little lame.


We met some friends for dinner last night at a local Japanese restaurant. She is a work colleague of Don's and up until very recently He worked in the same office. He has since stepped out to pursue his PhD, studying in Milan. They are newlyweds. He is Italian. She is Japanese.

Being in their company is an easy thing. We fell immediately into conversation catching up on personal news and events since the last time the four of us were together.

"How was the trip home to Japan?"

"When is your next trip to Italy for your studies?"

"How are the kids doing?"

We covered the basic niceties and discovered new topics between us as the time rolled by and the sushi rolls arrived at the table. We talked. And laughed. And talked and laughed some more.
Generally when I find myself in a dialogue with three attorneys and me, I have little to contribute when the banter turns to the intricacies of International Criminal Law. I then willingly assume the role of 'person-in-the-conversation-who-nods-her-head-and-murmurs-an-occasional-'ah-I-see' at the appropriate moments. It's not a bad role and I don't begrudge it in the least because I know when the tables turn and the topic becomes 'what is the best way to tie shoelaces so they won't come undone' (it's NOT a double knot) or ' is there a good homemade remedy to eliminate killer diaper rash?' (Mylanta and corn starch) I will be the only expert at the table.

Yes, I know who I am and I know what I have to contribute.

But that's not exactly what I wanted to say either. This is.

With the chatter flowing smoothly and the food tickling every taste bud, I was once again struck by just how freakin' cool it is to belong to an international network like we do.
Between his hilarity in storytelling punctuated with the absolute stereotypical talking with his hands sort of Italian way; and her occasional "Waaa?" with a quick self correction to put the "T" onto the end of the word "what", I was in giggles most of the night.

Big, loud, brash AMERICAN giggles.

My loudest outburst spluttered forth at his declaration that he was learning to speak Japanese as part of his JAPANIZATION which had begun at the commencement of the "occupation" otherwise known as their marriage.

I remember as a kid being highly disappointed when I queried my parents as to where we came from. My best friend and next door neighbor had a grandmother from Norway. Other friends down the street were the product of an Italian papa and a Mexican mama.

"Where are we from?" I wanted to know. The succinct answer "From America, princess" was probably designed to instill a great sense of pride that my family had been part of the USA since its beginning. As a matter of fact it does bring me pride. But at the time I took it to be a total smack down to my desire to be something exotic; something amazing; something international.

Sometimes here, that feeling rises anew. Nevertheless, since I cannot claim it in my own DNA, I lay claim to it vicariously by rubbing shoulders with some of the finest people in the world. That those people also happen to be exotic, amazing, international folks is simply the sweet cream in the coffee.

Hours passed and then with a belly full of Japanese delicacies and ears still ringing with the jubilant conversation, I saddled my sturdy Dutch bike and pedaled toward home. Riding tandem with my husband down the bike path I took a deep breath, and filled my lungs with the luscious night air. I then sighed and whispered "This really is the life.... I can't believe it's mine."


  1. Well now don't get all denfensive on us DARLING! (Big sly grin while typing). I hint a little tension in these words - no?

    Yes your life is lovely and I, quite frankly, I'm grateful for a blog that doesn't feel the need to air all the dirty laundry and revels (notice I didn't type "gloats") in this wonderful thing called life.

    So can I keep the url? Please?

  2. SMID-
    If you leave me now, you'll take away the very heart of me...
    Ooo, ooo, ooo, ooo baby- please don't go!

    etc. etc. etc.

    Yeah, maybe a little tension because like I said I wouldn't want to drive readers away because of a perception that I have a perfect life, ya know?
    I do have a good life, and I know it. And I like life. A lot. I think you see that too.

    Thanks for the support and the comments. And pleeeeaze keep me bookmarked!

  3. Jenn, isn't it funny when we don't want to jinx ourselves by really believing how incredibly ilfe has come together to give us moments like that...I have a similar story brewing. Keep up the good work.

  4. soccer mom-
    just so glad to have you here. stay stuck.

    you said it perfectly. I am looking forward to your next post... and the one after that... and the one after that....

  5. wait, you got comments that people were upset b/c you were happy?

    That makes no sense to me. People only want to read dreary blogs, where people are miserable? I guess that's why my hits are down.

    Keep blogging, and keep being happy.

  6. Wow! I can't believe it either that people are upset that your posts are filled with LIFE! I love reading your stories and seeing your pictures. It is a breath of fresh air, if you ask me. Keep it up, girl! :)

  7. Let me just be clear about something. It wasn't that I neccessarily got blasted for being happy; rather it is my own hypersensitivity to offending others or not proving to be accesible and understanding. What I was trying to say was that I do know I live a charmed life, and I am lucky. Or blessed. Or however you want to describe that. I get that, I really do. But I would never want a reader or friend to feel like I was flaunting that status.
    Am I just digging myself in deeper here? Or does my neurotic mindset make any sense?
    I am just thankful for every day. And for all of you and your kind comments.