Old School Love

I went to a memorial service yesterday, it was more of a cocktail party gathering in the afternoon kind of thing in newport beach , it was my "other mom"Pam's mom's service
so an older crowd if you will sprinkled with extended family I have known for years and it was a nice afternoon of catching up with phin's familia as well.

Her friends got up to speak every now and share a memory or favorite story ... she spent most of her life living on balboa island and from what I hear , living a very interesting, sophisticated, well traveled, sexy kind of small town life in the OC.  

From her job as a teenager at the local island pharmacy with her BFF where they would be left alone while the owner ran a few errands ...and actually filled prescriptions and "distributed" latex products to locals who inquired. She was the type of woman who shared recipes on lined old school index cards  recipe cards, written in her perfect penmanship. We heard about the dinner parties she would throw , the perfect hostess she was and the delicious thank you cards she would write on Cranes paper. When I peeked at the photos of her on the board, they were so reminiscent of jackie kennedy and just a time when the little things like leaving your door open so neighbors could stop on by for a chat and maybe some iced tea... were the norm. She was my kind of "lady."

I wanna say I miss those days, but I didn't really have those days, because those days were when we just had less shit going on, less distraction, no blackberries or facebook, email or voicemail.We actually had conversations without distraction of texting or twittering mid story It was old school kind of  way of living.... write a letter ask a lady out and court accordingly. I think I would have been a "lady" like susie and her favorite poem

When I am an old woman 
I shall wear purple....
With a red hat which doesn't go
and doesn't suit me.

And I shall spend my pension 
on brandy and summer gloves and satin sandals....

I shall sit down on the pavement when I am tired
and gobble up samples in shops
and press alarm bells
...and run my stick along public railings
and make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in slippers in the rain
and pick flowers in other peoples gardens
and learn to spit!

you can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
and eat three pounds of sausage at a go...
and hoard pens and pencils
and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes to keep us dry,
and pay our rent
and not swear in the street
and set a good example for the children
we must have friends to dinner 
and read the papers.

But maybe I shall practice a little now 
so people know me 
and are not too shocked and surprised.

susie was that kind of woman. and her love was no different-- pam read a letter she had written to her bff back then, about this very charming and charismatic gentleman bob , who was trying to court her...and boy did he. From his very old school approach "i'm in between ladies right now i could fit you in ... how about dinner?"  (Wonder how that would fly today!? ) To his later voicemail "okay never mind dinner how about lunch?"  Bob continued to court her in this very romantic, boyish, traditional way which unbeknownst to him she was already "bitten" by bob and after their first date she walked in her house closed the door behind her and said "that is the man i am going to marry." And she did.

They were a real love affair..one that started from the moment they spoke to the day she closed her eyes to fly to heaven and still today... as Bob tried to read what he wrote for the service... he spoke about waking up that morning to try to think of what susie would have wanted him to wear--he started with a tie and said "oh no susie would hate that" and chose a casual shirt and pants option which was exactly perfect. Bob couldn't get through his letter, and he said "i thought i would be over it by now and started to cry ...." and deferred reading to pam. 

I wanted to tell Bob .... you will never get over it,  you will get through it, but  not over it. Loss + love is that way. It stays with you , you carry it and honor and cherish it and it will guide you and watch over you and protect you. Susie will always be there, in these little ways...reminding you to live life, to love again and to cherish what you have today. She might even show up as a peacock or a humming bird, or even a squirrel but she will show up make no mistake about that bob.

And I looked to my left and felt very warm, grateful + quiet,  as my very own love affair was right there next to me. Ironically or not at all ironic, we were surrounded by phin's family, by sergio, nino, chris, wenche, abuelo, pam, pj, lauren, phin, jay , which somehow that just made it even more special without even realizing it until this very moment. 

While the courting has , to say the least been far different -- i mean we met online for God's sake! You cant really get more untraditional than that can you? Unless of course we met at a strip club,  but even that seems pretty traditional in comparison ! The matters of the heart,our  intention, his romantic gestures, fluttering butterflies , humor, and gratitude are very much right there along the susie and bob wonderful love story. May god bless me that way in my heart always.

I left with this impression susie was this old school, true LADY  i'm sure i'd want to know and sad during all those years being with Phin that i didn't. And then i realize, oh my gosh i do know her, because  I know Pam.  I have my "Mamalou" . Everyone says so --Pam is the spitting image and likeness of susie. and come to think of it she really is--i do have her recipes, and she tells me to get over myself at the very right moments and chooses the perfect swear word and makes it sound perfectly nurturing. And Pam has taught me more than i can remember about planning and  throwing a good party, about love, compassion, cooking, writing thank you notes.  She is the most resepctful and polite person who follows all the key eittiquette rules always --but can knock back tequila, put a man on his place while smoking a cigarette and does it with grace every step of the way. My kind of lady.

And I would want Kris to wear his 25 cent sexy western shirt, Levi's and slippers,  by the way. 


  1. i can't see clearly to write right now. Baby girl. i love you so much! thank you for that wonderful bitter happy letter! thank you for you! Mamalou


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