Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Naked with Chanel No 5: Day 26.5: All the men

So I look around my home at the mementos of lovers past and see the watercolor painting sent from my British lover, a photograph taken by the magical Australian architect while wandering through Germany, a painting bought by my Italian dreamer after a truly charmed night in the Piazza Michelangelo, sea-shells collected with my adventurous Turk, a Chinese scroll from my honeymoon, the photo of a the Matisse museum that reminds me of another beach wandering and the playful black and white photographs taken at a party with a recent flame.

Knowing that most of these passionate, fiery romances all ended in some sort of painful combustion on one side or another, I can't help but wonder - what got me here? How did the sum total of all these great loves result in me choosing perhaps the most impossibly wrong partner? What is it that each of these men who fell in love with me, if only for a short while, saw in me? And what did I see in them?

I am a chameleon and have always been. I do not apologize for my evolving self, nor wish to become stagnant, but I do want to find out what the accumulation of all these characters might amount to!

This recent curious contemplation is for two reasons.

One: I just learned that a recently past romantic fling, with whom I'd planned to travel away for a weekend adventure - went away with another date. While I had no claim, I cannot help but feel simply replaced, passed upon, and it stings. He warned that he was a scorpion, ready to sting and needing freedom, but I had hoped he'd change or quickly evolve! Especially because I was not sure I was done and am certain he walked away from an amazing woman. A reminder to myself - evolution by definition means to move forward, so no man will ever turn back. 

Two: This weekend at the bachelorette party, I learned that my Italian was far more love sick for me than I ever knew, and I adored him as well. So much so, I went back and saw him before I agreed to marry my former husband, just to be sure. I chose an American life, because surely I could never be an Italian wife. He would expect me to just be his wife and an American marriage would certainly allow me the freedom to achieve. Ummm, yeah that worked out well didn't it?!?!

So now I wonder, what other choices I made, what other men I walked away from, what other experiences I did not accept because they did not fit that current mold. What might have happened if I married the Brit and traveled the world with him, or moved to live with the Australian? Would being an Italian's wife have given me the freedom to write, without the burden to perform in an American world? Could I have climbed Everest with my Turk?

So I ponder, what I might learn if I revisit all the men, if I journey to all the ports of call? Would it change what it means to be Naked with Chanel No: 5?

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