A Traveler’s Terrene

You only live once. What are you going to remember the most?

Rules of Dating… January 23, 2010

Filed under: Random — italicana kitchen @ 10:54 am
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Being in the dating world is like being a fisherman on the open sea. The fisherman has one main objective–to catch a fish.  He may be looking for the biggest fish that he can find or a certain type of fish he’s never caught; he may be fishing solely for the game of catch and release or he may be trying to catch a fish that he is  proud of, that he can take a photo and hang it on the wall to showcase his prized possession. The aims of dating are similar, one dates to find someone else. Some search for a lifelong partner, others for a one night stand.  Some search to pass the time, others to create moments to remember. In the end, though, the baseline of fishing and dating are the same: you are searching for something, there is excitement in the unknown, and a sense of hope that you will find the best catch.

There are multiple ways to date, and there are multiple ways to fish. Do you put out one line, and only one line to catch a fish? Or do you put out multiple lines and increase your odds of how many fish will bite?  With the first you are more focused, more in tune with what you are doing and are ready the moment a fish may tug on the line, the second you have more possibilities of catching something but may miss the opportunity of a bite while you are focused on another line.

With dating it is the same. When you date, should you commit yourself only to dating one person at a time to focus attention on what you are doing? Or is that the entire point of dating, to not commit yourself to a person but rather to throw out many lines to increase your chances of catching something worth keeping?

I’ve always gone with the latter, dating multiple people at continuous times until I’ve found someone who I want to get to know intimately and that is when I pull in all my other rods. But, as I’ve found out yesterday, levels of intimacy are different for each person. For instance, what is a value of a kiss? Is it something you give out to multiple people or is it something you give only to someone as a commitment?

I’ve always thought of a kiss as part of the dating process. A kiss can tell you a lot about a person and whether you’re attracted physically without playing on a bigger ball field like sex, which for me is the top-level of intimacy and something you share safely in a committed and monogamous relationship.

Yet, back to a kiss. A kiss is something that moves you from the “friend” zone and into the “dating” zone.  But, is it appropriate to kiss multiple people at once?  For me, I always believed it was. If there weren’t levels of excitement, attraction during the kiss than the relationship should be turned backed to the friend zone. If there are no butterflies, then it’s almost impossible to grow an intimate relationship even if you love everything else about the person. If there are sparks during the kiss than the relationship can move into the exclusive zone, given that is what you want and the other important pieces (values, interests, morals) of the relationship fit.

What do you think? Is dating multiple people at once an acceptable convention or is it a superficial way to date?


Men are like Paint November 28, 2009

Filed under: Daily Life — italicana kitchen @ 1:52 pm
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Right now, my love life is all over the place. I feel like my heart is a paint pallet and all of the boys in my past, present and future are the different colors of paint. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, white, black, grey and all the shades in between. They are all so different. My mind is trying to paint my bedroom. It grabs a paint brush and puts one stroke of color on the wall, let’s it dry, looks at it and waits. After a while, the paintbrush gets emerged in water, everything that was once connected to the paintbrush is washed away. Used and disposed of, because my mind wants to try out a new color. So the paintbrush, once dipped in red, is now washed, dried and dipped into orange. A stroke of paint is streaked across the wall, but only a small line. Then, back into the water the paint brush goes and the same actions repeat. And repeat. And repeat. I have all of these beautiful colors, and they are all alluring it their own way, but it is me that is indecisive as to which color to paint my walls. Do I paint a tranquil colored room filled with soft hues where I can relax, a vibrant colored room that inspires me; colors that standout and are noticed, or colors that compliment the art hanging on the wall and serve merely as the backdrop?

A partner is like paint; and, paint is one of the most important parts of a room, it is the backdrop by which everything else evolves around and connects to. However I paint my room will decide for me as to what type of decor I fill the room with: elegant, country-feel, artsy, trendy or simplistic.  What kind of room do I feel most comfortable in, what kind of lifestyle do I want to lead? Each color is so different, all with their own unique characteristics and all provoke completely different emotions: relaxing, inspiring, serious, playful, lively, boring, cutting-edge, old-fashioned.  My surroundings are important to me because they change how I act. For instance, if I am in a super elegant room I wouldn’t dare jump on the couch, yet, if I was in a cozy room–game on! Some people are fortunate to be themselves in all kinds of rooms, but for me the room directly affects my behavior and actions.  Whether this is a trait or a flaw I am still unsure of. Is it good to be so adaptable to your surroundings or is it a vice?

There have been a few times I have committed more to a color by painting an entire wall. Only one though. And, it filled the room for a while and made it feel cosey, made me feel more at home.  But, I never let it go further than that…and the wall soon came to be painted over in white, small streaks of colors splashed across it’s surface like many times before as I continue to search for the color with which I feel most connected to instead of picking one and enjoying it.

So, my room remains unfinished, and in truth quite ugly. It’s not inviting nor is it relaxing or soothing because….it is not complete. I want to complete this room. I am ready to furnish it, to commit to a style and to call it my own. But, the question always comes back to me…what color do I choose when my mind changes so often? And, if I paint the whole room one color I want to be sure. I don’t want to someday repaint it again. I don’t want to do it all over. I would rather touch up the paint, or recoat it with another color. I want the color to last. I want my partner and my relationship to last.

Sometimes I just wish that a stranger would walk into my room with a bucket of paint and throw it on my walls. I would laugh at the madness. I would laugh at the realization of how easy the whole process can be: choose a color and throw the paint. Because, in the end a room that is painted and decorated feels like home. Maybe it’s not perfect, but it is cosy and warm.  A room left unpainted, undecorated feels merely like a room in transit. It doesn’t feel owned, it only feels rented and above all, it feelsincomplete.


Be Madly in Love November 9, 2009

When love is not madness, it is not love. –Pedko Calderon De La Barca

Unfortunately, many couples forget this. And, these words, written over 300 years ago during the Spanish Golden Age are starting to lose their color like black ink fading on paper, after awhile what was once written with emotion and passion is fading away to the sterile color of a hospital wall. Love is slowly becoming orderly. Love is becoming contained.

For the mass, we wrap up our love in nice little boxes with big red bows at Christmas, boxes of chocolates and roses on Valentine’s Day, and maybe something a touch more personal for the birthday. It’s sweet. It’s appreciated. Yet, it’s expected and mundane.

I was talking with my Italian friend the other night and he was telling me about his long distance relationship with a girl living in England. Every Friday night after work he would board a plane and set off to London for the weekend, returning early Monday morning to start another week of work.  I thought it was rather sweet that each weekend, he would buy a cheap euro-flight and a spend a few hours traveling in order to share three nights with his lover. And, in my mind, the time/money he spent was completely worth the three days with a loved one.

But, when he also told me that he would leave every Wednesday night after work, fly to London just for dinner and leave again the next morning at 6:00a.m. to catch his flight home and drive directly to work….well, folks, now, that is just plain madness. And, that wasn’t a one time ordeal, but a ritualized travel excursion that continued for over a period of five months!

“WHAT are you thinking spending all of that money and time just for one night together? That is just madness!” I exclaimed in disbelief.

His eyes lit up, a smile broke out. He didn’t have to say a word.

Then, I understood.  Yes, it was madness….it was love.


Daily Challenge: Express your Love January 6, 2009

This was the first New Years in two years that I didn’t have a kiss at the stroke of mid-night.  And, although I sometimes miss having a special person in my life to share these moments with, I was very content to wrap my arms around my friends in big hugs and watch as others couples shared a sparkling moment to express their love for one another.  

The whole kiss at midnight may be cliche’, but any moment you take to show someone you love him/her deserves some credit. After all, there are those individuals who don’t typically express themselves and a tradition like this which forces them to show emotion can mean the world to the recipient if emotion is a rarity.  

And, for those relationships where emotion is not a rarity, you still have the ability to sweep your partner off his/her feet. I had the sappiest grin on my face and made uncontrollable “cooing” sounds when my friend came up to me moments after her midnight kiss with her boyfriend of five years and told me it was one of the best kisses of her entire relationship.

“WOW!” I responded, while thinking to myself how incredible it is that after five years of kissing the same two lips there can still be a shock factor that stirs emotions you’ve never experienced, or long since forgotten, and which take your breath away leaving you stunned like a deer staring into a pair of shiny fluorescent headlights, unable to move and frozen mid-stride.

Love is an extraordinary gift and the best part it is a present you can give for free! It can be through a hug, a kiss, a special note or a simple smile. Although special occasions are good excuses to let a person know they are cared for, don’t rely on them as the only time you need to express yourself. When you happen to think of someone, let them know they were thought of; when you see someone, tell them they are cared about; and when you’re in love with someone, let them know with a touch…a kiss…or a magical moment that they will never want to forget.


Daily Challenge: Get Together With Old Friends December 1, 2008

Maintaining friendships was once so simple. As a child you only needed to walk across the street to your best friend’s house, as teenagers it was school that brought you together each day and in university you spent hours together studying, procrastinating and drinking countless beers—these phases were the Caterpillar stages, you roamed around, but slowly and mostly stayed in close proximity to each other. 

Then comes the butterfly stage where jobs, relationships or a quest for new adventures propels you to spread those wings and fly to someplace new–often times to far away distances. It’s exciting as you leave the cocoon and explore the world on your own, creating your own path, and a new chapter to life–after all you only live once, right? So you might as well take advantage of using those wings.

As you create your own path, you form new friendships and a new home. You become engrossed with daily life and sometimes for days, weeks, months even you forget about the life you once lead during another time–it is a chapter in your book, but you’ve turned the page–you’re story is moving forward.  But just like a book, if there is a supporting character in chapter 1 doesn’t mean you can’t bring him back in chapter 10, in fact, it’s even better that you do. It’s familiar to the reader, it’s reminding him of the events he read prior. There is an instant connection of understanding to this relationship. No explanations are needed, the writer only needs to carry on the story.

As I look at the friends I have made over the years, most of us now are spread out across the U.S. or across the globe.  We would hang out each day if we could, if we lived close to each other as the connection is still there, but it is the distance that divides our lives.

This weekend I went to Switzerland to visit Sam, who lives in Bern, and a friend who I haven’t seen in six years as well as Beck and Strom, who I consider to be two of my closest friends but who now live in Pasadena,CA and Boston, MD. Seeing all of them filled my heart with happiness–overflowing happiness actually, I can’t remember the last time I smiled and laughed so much (to the point that I probably now have about 4 new permanent wrinkles around my eyes!)

I may not see these friends everyday like I use to, but when I do see them I am truly thankful and feel lucky to still have them in my life. It is comforting to pick up where you left off and to not have to go through the “get to know you phases” of new friendships. They know me, I know them and we just enjoy being around each other and making new memories.

So my challenge to you is to get on the phone or send an email and make plans to meet up with friends that are still dear to you but that you don’t get to see on a regular basis. Spend that extra $100 on a plane ticket, take a day or two of work and make the effort to keep the friendship going. There are incredible things in life, but it is truly the relationships you make with other people that are the most important, and special!

P.S. I am back in Seattle on December 10th and will be at my parents in Eastern,WA over Christmas and in January. I look forwarding to meeting up with all you wonderful friends that I haven’t seen in months, or years!!! It is going to be wonderful to see you again! 🙂