Chasing after your dreams can get you in a lot of trouble. Sandy’s friends and family were certainly skeptical when she told them her plan. She had put a profile up on crew.com in early September and was contacted by a skipper from Washington State who was currently sailing in Mexico. After emailing each other for about a month, he offered to pay for her airline ticket to Mexico. She would finance her trip – he said she needed her own spending money – by selling her car to her son, who needed it to get to college. That was probably her first mistake. That, and trusting Bank of the World not to mess with her ability to draw on the funds from out of country.
“You don’t even know this guy!” her best friend exclaimed, when Sandy told her she had finally booked her ticket for the first week in February. “But he comes with great references,” Sandy argued. “His parents’ best friends are Bill Gate’s parents, for one thing. And his dad was editor of the Seattle newspaper for 20 years. His sister still works there. And he’s a retired lawyer, pro-tem judge, and assistant district attorney.”
“You know you can never trust lawyers,” Lisa said.
“Interesting that you think so, considering that your husband is in law school,” Sandy retorted.
So Lisa planned a bon voyage party for Sandy to be held in conjunction with Lisa’s birthday party, and Sandy started to pack, limiting herself to two collapsible duffle bags, her daypack, and her laptop. She would have been better off just packing her daypack, the way things turned out. She just had no way of knowing that at the time.
The first red flag had waved when Bob booked her ticket. Even though Sandy had told him that she couldn’t possibly leave until after the holidays or her kids would have a bigger fit than they were already having, Bob got her a ticket for Christmas Eve, with a layover in LA. Fortunately, Seattle got snowed in on Christmas Eve and the airlines offered her a replacement ticket for anytime in January, so Sandy got to spend Christmas with her family after all. Even though that red flag was still waving somewhere in the background of her brain, Sandy lobbed in a call to the airline the last week of January and they told her she could still use her ticket the following week.
When she told her ex-husband she had made her plans, his jaw dropped (and he almost fell off the kitchen stool he had perched his fat ass on) over the fact that she was really going to go. But he was one of the reasons she was really going to go. He’d been making noises about how difficult it was to live with your ex-wife after having been divorced for 15 years. Her daughter had dragged her back to their north-of-Seattle suburban home from Tahoe a year and a half earlier to get Sandy away from her then-boyfriend, and she had been occupying the nanny suite ever since. Sandy and her ex (husband, that is) were still pretty good friends, even though she’d had good reason to leave him when she did and there was no hope of their ever resuming their marriage. She’d gotten to the point that she didn’t really want a relationship with ANY man, not after what she’d gone through with her ex-boyfriend. Men presented their best selves to women when they first met them, then turned into monsters after making them fall in love with them, in her opinion. Shortly after hitting menopause (which she was still suffering through), she realized she no longer had much desire for sex anyhow. It was fairly comforting not to need a man in her life just so she could have sex on a regular basis. None of the men she was interested in were interested in her, anyhow.
It was a good thing the skipper didn’t know this, or he probably would not have been inclined to purchase her ticket, since he was probably looking for a sex slave rather than a galley slave. And Sandy probably should have insisted on a roundtrip ticket, just to be safe. But Sandy wasn’t focused on safety. She was focused on Adventure with a capital “A.” She was bored with her life, and one of her dreams was to sail… if not around the world, at least the west coast of the Americas. Being in the wind on a sailboat was Paradise, no matter where you were.
She wasn’t afraid of Mexico, and she didn’t believe all the negative press it had been getting over the drug wars lately. After all, she had lived in Tijuana with her druggie ex-boyfriend for three months and had even written a book called “Crystal Meth: The Scourge of America” about her experience, although she had yet to sell it. It was on the laptop she was taking with her, and she figured she would have plenty of time to fine-tune it while they were under sail. She counted on the sale of the book to continue to finance her sailing adventure after her son had paid off the car.
My cousin died in the desert. He got turned around and walked the wrong way, and by the time they found him three days later he had been gotten to by everything that survives in the desert. He certainly hadn’t.
But that’s not what this desert story is about. This is MY desert story.
Well, the whole paragraph just got deleted again. Why is this happening to me? I am so frustrated!
When I was young, I dated older men. They didn’t support me, but they took me out for nice dinners and occasionally bought me Christmas and birthday gifts. One of them bought me several suits to start my new life in San Francisco at a top PR firm. Of COURSE I slept with him. Do you think he would have bought me those suits if I didn’t? ahhhhh. He also bought me a really nice leather attache for my new career. And then I never saw him again.
Sometimes I wonder what happened to those guys, now that I’m 54. I actually called one of them recently, a lawyer I dated occasionally whose cousin was married to Danielle Steele. We did a lot of coke together, and of course that meant we had a lot of sex. I was younger than 25; I know that because I was 25 when Evan was born and that’s when I quit dating men for money. John sounded a little frail on the phone. Well, he was in his 40s in the 80s so that makes sense.
San Francisco was an interesting place to live. All the clubs were private. I had few friends there; lonelier there than a lot of other places I’ve lived, but I guess I’m pretty picky about my friends. Not being picky enough about my friends is what got me into trouble at the last place I lived. I met people I didn’t need to know. Now I’m practically agoraphobic, and I’m certainly not interested in meeting anyone, although I would love to have good friends whom I could trust.
I was always an articulate conversationalist, and I certainly was cute back then — and I didn’t even know it, which is what even made me cuter. Even that guy who started Sharper Image chased me into a parking garage to ask me out! I ended up getting his account for Ketchum, but I never did go out with him. I probably should have. Just think how different my life would have been if I had married a man like that. Yep, sour grapes.
Now that I’m older, and not quite so fresh as I was back then, it’s impossible to find a man who wants to spend his time or money on me. It’s quite disconcerting. I am learning to bite my tongue rather than make negative statements. That means I’m quiet a lot. I spend more time with my oldest son than anyone else, but he goes to work (thank God he has a job!) and he likes to play his video games or he goes out to play pool. That’s his life. Sometimes he takes me to play pool with him, but he’s so serious and he prefers nine-ball and he kicks my ass a LOT. So that’s my social life.
That’s why I took the plunge and initiated contact with someone on Craigslist. I need a life.
Well, I seem to have a virus that highlights and deletes what I have written, which is the most frustrating thing that can happen to a writer so I am going to publish before I lose this whole thing.
The course of events that leads to a tragedy or even just a calamity is serendipity. I like the word, but not the ramifications. For instance, if I had never gone to go look at that boat that night at Driscol’s Marine, I never would have met the love of my life, who turned out to be a facade. Or would I have? Was I destined to meet him? Would I have met him elsewhere, if I hadn’t met him that night? Makes you wonder.
But then, of course, i went on to actually PURSUE him. ugh. I hate the thought of pursuing a man. It’s just so distasteful, especially these days. If a man isn’t interested, neither am I. Actually, I’m not interested in men at all anymore. Nor women, so it’s not like that. I’m just not interested in sex and that seems to be the only reason men are interested in women, so…. I’m just sick of the “any hole will do ya” attitude among men. It’s so disgusting.
Do I really have to support myself? Truly? Yeah, I guess I do. So I either need clients, or I need a job. Looking for a job at my age is hellacious. I’m overqualified! No one wants to hire me! Especially after they see my teeth! It’s hard to interview without showing your teeth. It’s hard to TALK without showing your teeth. So that leaves out front office/receptionist-type positions that I could apply for. I’m not as cute as I used to be. And actually, those jobs are a misuse of my talent. But it’s a foot in the door.
That’s another reason I need a job; I need to fix my teeth. It takes money to fix your teeth. It takes even more money to fix your teeth in Seattle than in San Diego. At least down there you can run across the border where it’s much cheaper. So dental insurance would be nice even though, in my experience, dental insurance doesn’t even come close to covering anything. You’re better off putting that money into your pre-tax medical account — if your company offers that — than paying the premiums for dental insurance. I managed the pre-tax medical for a large church in Redmond when I was their bookkeeper for a year. I did all their accounting and managed the hr benefits as well. I hate jobs like that, which is why I quit after a year. Unfortunately, I quit a week before 9/11. Which left me unemployed for a year. Then I went to work for my ex-husband. THAT was an experience.
So what do I want to do? Well, someone suggested that SEO is an up and coming field. So I start researching it, trying to figure out how to teach it to myself. I’ve taught myself a lot of things, including QuickBooks, which was an asset when I was looking for a job working for someone else. But I’m having a hard time finding anything that actually teaches me the MECHANICS of SEO. So I’m floundering…. then I decided to look up SEO companies in Bellevue, and there are LOTS of them. Maybe I should try to get a job working for one of them. But are they actual companies or just people like me, promoting themselves to do the work? So I’ve found a few of their emails and sent them resumes. We will see. I even started putting “Do you get a lot of resumes?” in the Subject line and “Here’s another one!” on the first line of the email. I don’t know. Will kitchze (sp?) get you anywhere during a job search?
My dream job, that’s what I have to think about. My dream job is actually DESIGNING interiors and doing all the shopping and ordering to complete them. That’s what Lockhart Design is about. And that’s my dream. Interiors AND exteriors. Putting together the crew to do the stamped concrete, then designing the landscapes and having someone put it in. I don’t want to do the physical work. I am too slow! But shopping… online and in person… that’s the fun part. I love going to Home Depot or Lowe’s (had to mention both to be fair) early in the morning, when they aren’t crowded. Just the contractors are there.
I have to go for it. Somehow.
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