That was us – two ladies with no idea how to play bridge having no idea about how to bid for a trump suit. But before we knew it, we were playing! OK, so once again, this was NOT a seniors class – but we were the only people who were not grandparents. After the class, we decided to see it through – and have committed to four weeks. I think the reason we enjoyed this so much was because it really engaged our melting brains. I just loved all the strategy! The good news is that I have a bridge partner for life. The bad news is that we have no one to play with – so if there are any twosomes out there who want to play some beginners, let us know!
A clumsy dork on tap shoes: That’s what I was for this “We Never.” As a result, I never felt great taking tap lessons every week. Erin loved it and even went so far as to discuss setting up a recital so all of our family and friends could come see the clumsy dork on tap shoes (me). In a brief moment of enthusiastic insanity, I agreed. I’ve since reconsidered and the only way anyone outside of class will see me “performing” will be if I’m bribed (or drunk) and convinced into showing them the video I have on my phone. Even that would make me blush if I was actually still young enough to be able to blush. Either way, I’ve hung up my tap shoes for now in an effort to regain some amount of dignity.
Words can not express how excited I was for this week’s We-Never. Tap dancing! This is something I have wanted to do for years – I have even tried it (adult beginning tap). But this is the first time it took! And it was everything I had hoped it would be. Heel, toe, dig, cramp…
The music was in my bones – and I was dancing! The reality is that I looked like an idiot – not because my steps were bad but because I had a shit-eating grin on my face the entire time. So Lisa and I agreed to keep taking the class. Maybe we will find a way to tap and play Uke at the same time. Well, that would be something…
Yes, that’s how I would describe not just the photo shoot itself but the anticipation. Anticipation may be the wrong word – that seems to carry with it some excitement. There was nothing exciting about readying myself for our We Never boudoir shots. No, it was nothing short of dread. In fact, I couldn’t wait for dinner the day of the big shoot not because I was looking forward to the meal but because I knew it would all be over.
Having said all that, things are never completely as bad as they seem. The photographer showed up at my house and immediately put us at ease. …Well, at least at a little less unease. She said that many of her clients feel the same stress at the idea of posing in various stages of dress and that they’re talked into it by a friend or spouse. Other than my discomfort, though, I’m not going to go into too much detail about this We Never other than to say the following:
I left much to the imagination, i.e., I was mostly completely totally covered up.
If you have some desire to do it, it’s not as bad as it seems.
The pictures turned out better than I expected…at least when looked at with a cringe and peeking between my fingers while covering my eyes.
That’s it. No more.
No – and do you want to know why? Because you never know how good you look until after you look that good. So that is why I decided to do Boudoir photos of myself – less than 2 years before my 50th. Notice I said ?I decided” because I can promise you that Lisa had NOTHING to do with this one. She did it kicking and screaming. In the end, it was so much easier than I expected. Basically, Lisa and I put some make-up on, brushed our hair and pulled out lingerie that we have not worn since our 10 year anniversary. We had a really nice photographer (who did not come in tight jeans and lots of make-up so that we felt inept…). She put us quite at ease and before you know it, we were sprawled across Lisa’s bed pouting into the camera. OK, so not quite pouting but every once in a while, there was a smile with a little something extra. I would post the pictures but that would make both of us uncomfortable. But I can tell you that I was thrilled with how they came out – and they were a great gift for my husband as we recently passed out 20 year anniversary together. I recommend it highly: http://www.justagirlfromla.com/
Our “We Never” experiences have put us in some odd situations. Sometimes you look around and wonder how you got there. Tai Chi was one of those – Me, Erin and 8 or 9 Japanese American octogenarians in a church hall engaging in the slow and steady movements of Tai Chi. Well, at least the others were slow and steady. Once again we were humbled. The gentle movements are supposed to reduce stress and according to our instructor, different fingers are “connected” to different organs. So, as you move your digits, you’re improving the health of a particular organ. But for “We Never,” I would have never engaged in tai chi with a group of 80+ year old Japanese American women. These activities are often humbling. In this case, the 8 or 9 octogenarians spending an hour doing tai chi had it down to an art. Erin and I did a fair amount of hand waving – movements I think may have had enough similarity to what everyone else was doing to give us some benefit.
Tai Chi with seniors? Bring it on! Ok, in fairness, we did not know it would be a seniors class – it was simply by default. All the attendees were 80 year old Buddhists (we did it at the Buddhist community center where we attended the service). The reality is that it is harder to do some things slow than it is fast. Moving your arm in front of you slowly requires patience, balance, concentration and strength! And yes, the 80 year old Asian woman in their track suits and orthopedic shoes kicked my ass! Once again, a great break in our car-pooling lives – and a bit of exercise to boot!
Visiting a Buddhist Temple had been on our list since the beginning. So when we finally checked into it, we found one in Culver City in a non-descript building that looked more like a home circa 1960’s. We went to the morning service at Venice Hongwanji Temple. There was a handful of friendly and welcoming worshippers who helped us get settled with our prayer books. While most of the service involved chanting in Japanese, we were actually able to participate – the books included phonetic spelling of the words. We may not have understood a word but after the service I felt somehow calmer. Even if we never attend again, our spiritual outings have been beneficial, opening our minds up to other approaches to worshipping.
This week, Lisa and I headed to our local Buddhist temple (more like a chapel within a community center). Like so many weekly adventures, we were welcomed with open arms. The attendees wanted to tell us about their religion – but without that feeling of someone trying to recruit you. We were offered coffee and donuts and lots of smiles. The service was predominantly a chanting of scriptures (see picture) but the book alone taught us about the different variations of Buddhism – and some of the fundamental beliefs. You can never know too much about what other people believe – and what makes them tick.
I was interested, a bit nervous and hugely skeptical about being hypnotized. Turns out that the hypnotist we saw was not one of those who claim that they can make you quack like a duck. She’s more into getting you in a relaxing position and convincing you that you can do whatever it is you think you can’t or stop doing something you shouldn’t. I decided to focus on healthier eating. After chatting with me for a while about my life, she decided I was a stress eater (probably right) and that I needed to quit stressing so much about my kids, their grades, their futures (probably right again). Anyway, she put me in a hypnotic state (maybe) and tried to convince me not to eat when I’m stressed. It probably would have worked better had I been more open to it. Either way, I actually enjoyed talking to her and hearing her theories on previous lives. Whether or not you believe in that stuff, my favorite take-away was a quote that I now try to apply when I’m starting to stress about my kids’ issues – “It’s their journey, not yours.” Her thought was that while you can parent, you shouldn’t try to control; otherwise you might be interrupting their journey. I like that…so I received a little side-therapy that I didn’t expect during a hypnosis session.