I Open at the Close

With every ending there is also a new beginning. This is the first post to the Blog Pink Robes & Uzis. It’s a strange title I know: it will all be made clear with time.

If you’re reading this post, then there is a high likelihood that we are personally connected and this is a good thing. For many years now, my mom and I have chatted about me sharing many of the stories about our life. In many ways, it has been quite extraordinary and in other ways as boring as yellow parchment. Rather than bore you with a giant introduction into my family, our lives, our stories and what lessons I have found, I will let each story be a single piece to a large puzzle. Each story will help make your understanding more complete. Much like real life, you will get to know me and the long list of characters over time.

This is a work in progress so please bear with me; I will add categories and markings so you can pick and choose what topics you are interested in. I don’t want you to feel like you are trapped in some huge awful endless group text! These categories will be broad in scope and will change over time.

Image result for I've never been held hostage but I have been part of group text

I finally decided to write down many of the stories and experiences as part of processing grief. If I were reading this, this is the part where I’d yell out “Check Please!!”. But stick around….this is not all about sadness and loss and loss and loss and loss and sadness…did I already say that? The truth is that this is about sharing experiences that connect us. It’s true, my partner recently passed away from cancer (Melanoma to be exact) and it was horrible. Really horrible. Since then, there’s been more loss and adjustment than I could ever wish on my imaginary worst enemy. I’m truly glad to report that I’m not lying in a ditch hoping for death and my world is also not made up of rainbows and unicorns. Each day, each moment, each relationship is a journey.

Without sounding too corny or hipster new agey, I’ve been working on self-development for almost two decades. As more stories come, you’ll learn more about my past, my work, and my identities; it suffices to say that thanks to my training life is good.

I am a full-time yoga therapist, yoga teacher, and fitness instructor. Insert corny new age remark here! To me, the value of the very personal stories I’m going to share with you is in their connection. We all have powerful stories and experiences that have shaped how we perceive truth and how we can best express it.  I hope that what I share will bring you joy, make you laugh, make you cry, help you reflect, enhance your memory and encourage you to know yourself better. Some of the stories will be just that, a great story. Some of the posts will be interwoven with deeper yogic teachings that are the basis of yogic tradition. Some stories will be a bit of both.

So now, three months into grieving my partner of 15 years, I welcome you to this modern relationship of unknows: Pink Robes & Uzis. Everything I share will be from my experience and how I can best remember it. Nothing in this blog is meant maliciously or to damage; it is the woven tapestry of my life.

 

The Little Pisher:

Image result for fountain with boy peeing

The year is 1982, I’m six years old. My family (Mom, Dad, Brother and me) were doing one of our month long trips through Europe. These trips became something of local legend in our social circles in Mexico City. Pretty much the trips were planned by my mother, a reincarnated travel agent and full time domestic engineer.

Every detail of the trip was mapped out with the greatest of care and planning. My father, a mountain of a man (literally standing 6’4″ and 300+lbs!) was often the worst travel companion imaginable. Many of the stories you will hear will be about my Dad during our many travels. The point is, the trips were planned with our expert travel agent, my Mom and the Micheline Guide.

Only the best hotels and only the best restaurants were on the itinerary. These luxuries were packed deeply into an agenda that would make the troops on the Amazing Race give up! My mom loves museums, churches, natural wonders, and all the glory of foreign culture. My dad loved eating, hotels and shopping. So you can imagine that our trips were like a luxurious endurance race where your final 26.2 was uphill and only drinking Chateau Rothschild.

So, it’s August in Rome in 1982. I’m six, confident and still pretty cute. To make matters more awkward, my mom would dress my brother and I in matching outfits. Yup! that was me in the yellow and blue jump suit with my brother in the blue and red one!

My dad needed to blow off steam and decided to take us shopping at Carlo Palazzi. We left our suites at the Hassler, moving down the Spanish Step for a good shop after plates of Prosciutto e Melone & fettuccine Alfredo. Think a scene between Pretty Woman and Karen Walker from Will and Grace. Money was no object and Daddy loved to buy: for himself, for my mom an for us! If it wasn’t available in his size, he would have Carlo make it for him custom. Let’s just say that there were a lot of attendants waiting on us.

We are at least two hours into this days’ shopping spree and bored stiff.And then I realize… I gotta pee!! My brother and I are in a changing room trying on boys suits (for what I have no idea! but we tried on lots). Intimidated by the foreign attendants and habitually petrified of my Dad, I decided that the changing room is a perfect place to relieve myself. That’s right, one of the greatest design houses in Rome’s changing room is a spectacular urinal.

Before even beginning the deed I realize that my brother, the first born perfect apple of my father’s eye who is named after him, will rat me out! I cannot for the life of me remember what I said to him, but I do remember both of us turning and peeing in the corner. Giggling and squirming.

The joy was sweet and sadly short lived. The fear and realization of what we had done set in……panic……terror……survival. My father finding out was not an option. To say that my father was a violent and irrational disciplinarian is like saying that the Communist Revolution in China was only ideological. For most of my life he was a tyrant. And yet, I had to confess: I saw no other way out.

I marched myself to my mother outfitted in custom heels and Hermes, I pull on her skirt and ask her to bend down to tell her something. Her beautiful hair held in place by a fog of Aquanet tickled my face. “We made pee in there,” I say. She stands up and shakes her head not comprehending what I said. After all, we knew how to behave. Seriously, I could eat at a formal dining table with all the flatware from the age of 4!! She bends over and asks, “What did you do?”.

“My brother and I peed in there,” I say pointing to the soiled mirrored crime scene. Also please notice that I knowingly threw my brother under the bus without a single qualm. And then the fear set in….panic…..terror……survival. Having mastered the art of crisis, my mom shifted gears seamlessly from 2nd to 5th without the clutch!

“Alejandro (my father), we have to go! I’m not feeling well and the boys need to move around. Plus there’s another museum I need to see today. You can go lie down at the hotel while we visit before dinner!”. Satisfied with the damage he had done at the at the store and titillated by the idea of napping and escaping yet another museum, my father acquiesced. My mother hovers in front of the changing room ordering any lurking attendant from the space.

The charge comes and my father signs. A shower of praise and accolades walks us to the door and just before leaving…..having made sure my father and that we are both out of earshot, my mother turns to a low-level clerk. She whispers in her ear…..I cannot make out what she says but I see the look on her face.

It seems as though she’s saying, “Your spoiled matching dressed jumpsuit slightly pudgy poorly combed Mexican rugrats urinated in Signore Palazzi’s Mirrored wall monument?!” and just then the store manager runs out. “Signora Luna, we shall deliver all items to your suite at the Hassler by early evening, Mile Grazie!”. The clerk is mute and we are free. It was a secret the three of us, and the unfortunate staff of Carlo Palazzi kept for all of my father’s life.

My mother would say that this is the power of money. I believe it’s one my first full lessons of crisis management and exiting with grace from a shit situation!

 

My Music Cue for Today: L’Appuntamento by Ornella Vanoni

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