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We Never Did This Before
I am writing this one week early, as I often do. So if all goes as planned, while you are reading this Denise and I are in someone else’s apartment in the Algarve. And those someone elses’ are in ours.
Hopefully A Funny Anecdote
In 2000 Denise and I moved from a Philadelphia suburb to Port St Lucie, Florida. We had wanted to move away from winters in the Northeast, and I had wrangled a transfer out of my boss so the company paid for the move. As you will recall, back then the squeal of your modem connecting to the internet was being replaced with Broadband. Often times after connecting you heard “You’ve Got Mail!” (Loved that movie with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan…but I digress.) Mark Zuckerberg was not yet in college, so the social networking platform was MySpace. Okay, okay…I’ll get to the point.
Denise went on MySpace looking for lesbians…searching for a tribe so to speak. She connected with two women and made arrangements for us to meet them one Saturday night at a restaurant in Stuart. I had never been on MySpace so I was a bit taken aback by the whole thing. As we drove to the restaurant that night I said, “Do you think they might be ax murders?” Denise gave me one of those looks…
Later that night, after enjoying a lovely dinner with two women with whom we became friends, one said, “You know on the way over I said to Kathy ‘I hope they aren’t ax murders’.”
More recently, I thought of this story when a subscriber to this blog suggested we might apartment swap. It all started with the post In Search of a Tribe…which as it turns out has been read more than any other post. That post also produced many comments and emails to me personally. One of the loveliest I got was from a woman, Jeanne, I had never met. She and her partner had recently moved to Loulé Portugal from Austin, Texas. They choose to land in Loulé in part because they had been befriended by a gay couple on Facebook. How odd, Becky and DJ (our Lisbon/Tavira buds are from Austin) and we met them through Facebook. Could there possibly be more similarities?
It turned out there were. Loulé has one of the best mercados in the Algarve and Jeanne likes to show off her weekly shopping sprees. She and her partner, Victor also spent time in Thailand and in particular in Chiang Mai, which was our favorite during our travels. She had even lived in Palm Springs for a while, back in the ’60s.
So while we have never house swapped with someone, or frankly even considered it…we decided what the heck.
Even More Recently
Jeanne and I have continued to correspond. My first impression of her kindness and good humor has been reinforced. She didn’t call me an idiot when I forgot what day they were arriving. She asked if we drank coffee, so she could be sure to have pods available for us in their apartment. And she shared the following when I asked her if I could write this post:
I made an appointment in Lisbon the day after arrival for grooming. Not the dog- me! I realized in Yelping for a salon for a haircut that for a little more than the price of a haircut back home, I could include services that I have recently realized would enhance my "beauty". That being an upper lip and chin wax. Ok, so it was that or start shaving, a prospect that, unlike a 13-year-old boy, I did not find the least bit appealing. Then a "brow style". Say what? I had to Google that one. Add a mani and pedi, a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and 3 hours and 95€ later, voila, a new woman! God, I love Portugal!!
So while Jeanne and Victor tool around this area, trying to determine if this is the “right” place for them…we will be spending two weeks in the Algarve doing the same. Don’t worry I am taking my MacBook Air and will continue to post. However, if you never see another post from me remember their faces…they might be ax murders.