Couldn’t you dance a Texas two step to this? Or an Irish jig? This is another little video of the Chanukah celebration in our township. When I was young, there was always someone who could play the fiddle or the accordion and a singer who could carry a tune (or not depending on the alcohol intake…). Holiday get togethers in Scotland usually incorporated a wee sing-song. Younger generations learned the old songs and you weren’t allowed to be shy!
I went dancing recently with a girlfriend. It was a local bar with a Motown night – just our era. They were a really good band and most of the ladies got up to dance. The gentlemen, however, all just stood around hugging the wall/bar – it felt like being back at a Catholic school dance! Lots of leering but no action… Eventually one guy asked me if could swing. I am 99% certain he was talking about dancing but I said I was better at Salsa. He said he would ask me up for a slow dance after the group had their break. It was 10 pm, though, and time for Kerry’s bedtime, so we went home. If he had look like Brad Pitt, my bedtime could have waited!
Flirting on airplanes – it’s a special skill and it has taken me years to master it. Sometimes I mention my work at an airport to lead to upgrade on a plane. This trip to Scotland, I caught the eye of a charming middle-aged flight attendant from Lisbon. First, I complimented him on his lovely accent – that led to him giving me a ‘delicioso’ meal from business class. I heard him asking the young group of people in front of me why they were visiting and from what I could understand they were dancers on a cruise ship. The flight attendant suggested they might give some dance lessons in the galley later. I told him I could teach him the Samba and this led to 2 bottles of Cointreau from first class. We later had a short Samba in the galley…
On one occasion this professional schmoozing back-fired somewhat. I caught the eye of a flight attendant who snuck me up to Club class but he shouldn’t have. I had four wonderful seats to myself until the married businessman across the aisle came and sat next to me to chat quietly (night flight). We had fun sharing stories of disrepute. I was slightly surprised that he had a couple flings. Then…he asked me what I said during coitus. I was flabbergasted but laughingly said, “unintelligible moaning”. I could sense that an invitation to the mile high club was imminent so suggested, tactfully, he go back to his seat. During this scenario, the first flight attendant had come to visit me (he was in the next cabin) and looked appalled that someone was sniffing around his territory. No more treats for Kerry. We really haven’t evolved as much as we think we have and it is no wonder that STDs are spreading fastest between age 50 plus lovers.
I can hear you all thinking “poor Teddy – married to such a slutty Bunny”. But no…he is a handsome guy with a sexy Scottish accent who some years ago managed Europe and Kazakhstan in his particular role. Bunny was increasingly fed up with how GORGEOUS all Kazakh women were. Sometimes Blond Russians were appreciated but mostly Ethnic Kazakh were his preference. Bear in mind that there were two women to every male Kazakh at this time. He was suddenly a Greek God or whatever the Scottish equivalent was. Apparently he was the bees knees “rejecting myriad offers”… On one particular flight from Almaty (the capital of Kazakhstan) to Europe he was sitting next to a beautiful Kazakh woman, of an appropriate age, who was going to visit her daughter in the States. She was beautiful, dark with amazing cheekbones. She was entranced by the handsome guy chatting to her in Sean Connery’s accent. All was well until the meal and drinks were served. It’s a long journey – Kazakhstan is as broad as the USA. Teddy woke up sleeping on the beautiful woman’s shoulder, having drooled down her outfit. Suddenly not so attractive…. So as you can see Teddy and Bunny are a match made in heaven, both deceptively attractive. One drools and snores; the other needs a new deodorant.
There is a nice postscript to this anecdote. On the sad return journey from Scotland to Houston I used my powers for good not evil. The flight was not full and most passengers had a seat empty next to them. I started talking to the lady in my row, from Hawaii, who had just visited her new grandchild in Scotland and we celebrated that with every death there is a birth. Then I turned to the passenger on the row opposite. He was obviously of Arabic descent so I asked him where he had come from. He was in the armed forces and had just come from Baghdad. I asked if it was bad and he said yes. He was squashed next to two big guys, wasn’t wearing fatigues and seemed unwilling to ask the British Airways staff for a better seat. I went back into the galley and found a handsome flight attendant from the north of Scotland. I explained the situation and shortly afterwards he came along to the soldier and seated him in a row alone. The soldier said, “thank you, sweetie” and I responded, “thank you for your service”. I rarely say that to returning servicemen because it sometimes sounds trite and you can see that they seem traumatized. I have seen so many family reunions go badly because a loud welcome is the last thing they need no matter how well intentioned. Usually I just go out of my way to be accommodating because actions mean so much more than words. So, the next time you see a young man of Arabic descent, why don’t you just engage him in conversation? At the very least he might feel less isolated or you might find yourself talking to a real hero.
In the chaos of the last few weeks we completely forgot that I had a ‘work party’ for the place where I volunteer. It is a huge organization so it was located in downtown Houston which is over 30 miles away from where we live. We had decided to stay in a hotel but after my husband was laid off we cancelled it. After the initial shock we started to realize that 2016 might be a year of opportunities and something to celebrate so rebooked another cheaper hotel. We left our home before lunchtime, got stuck in the endless queues on the main interstate because there is always an accident. This one involved many cars and trucks but didn’t look like a fatality – thank goodness.
My husband traveled extensively with his previous position so he still has perks with hotels and airlines. We were immediately upgraded even though it was a cheap deal, so we had a sumptuous suite with two bathrooms. It was a beautiful cold sunny day and we went walking to find somewhere for lunch. The bar I had in mind was not open so we went to a lovely Tapas restaurant that my husband had been to. Although we have immediately gone into frugal mode with most things we still haven’t come to terms with not being able to eat where we want. I decided that it was Christmas and to just let it go, mentally.
After lunch, we went back for a little nap and then got ready for the event. As soon as I walked in and started recognizing people, I felt at ease. Everyone had made a big effort to dress up which added to the festive feel. It helped knowing that many of the employees do not earn large salaries – no-one was bumming (boasting) about their Porsche or Harvard educated children. I earn nothing as a volunteer but love every second of my job, helping members of the public, sometimes in dire straits. As you can see from the photograph, my husband was not quite in his element to start with, but got on very well with my mostly male colleagues who were sitting at our table.
The food was tasty, there was a well-stocked bar and the band was astonishingly good. My boss told me to get up and dance and I needed no persuasion. I LOVE dancing and am pretty good at it. Funky would be the best description. 🙂 For some reason, she also wanted me to dance with top boss. ‘No problem’, thought I and he seemed to enjoy his very forward volunteer asking him to dance. What always fascinates me is how your partner perceives all your colleagues and their opinion of me. He was very impressed that my relationships were easy and full of humor with paid and unpaid employees. Eventually, he felt comfortable enough to get up and dance properly. I would say that most people had a great time (apart from the organizers who seemed a bit stressed) and I could have danced all night.
My dance moves belied the fact that I have a spinal condition and arthritis for which I take Celebrex. It is two days later and I still ache all over. I will have to take Celebrex for quite a few days… I did hear a few bitchy comments but that’s normal as long as the comments aren’t too mean. Houston is the most ethnically varied city in America and the couple who won ‘best dressed couple’ were in full African regalia (Nigerian, I would guess). I am so fortunate to work at a place where I have made friends and acquaintances from every corner of the world. We live in a very affluent small city outside Houston and it is good for your soul to have friends who come from a different ethnicity and socio-economic strata.