28 June 2010

Butterfly Boy, A Year Later...

I am a bad girl.
I don't just mean in a naughty-spank-me way.
I mean I seem to have missed out on some of the girly genes which most of the girls I know seem to have.
I mean the genes that make them keep a tidy beautifully decorated home, keep up with fashion trends, or remember significant dates.
I keep track of two types of dates: the "yay, time to buy tampons" and the "uh-oh, it should be time to buy tampons".
I'm not one of those girls who remembers the date of "our first kiss", "our first movie", "our first sleepover", etc.

Last week when Butterfly Boy asked me if I could take Monday (the 28th) off work I gave him a look of contempt.


What nerve, I thought, to ask me to take the day off to go gallivanting around with him just because he has Mondays off...and then it began to dawn on me that it was around summertime last year when we'd first met and that the second or third time we'd gone out was for his birthday, which was coming up again in about a week or so...Oh!

He'd been looking at me with a coy little grin on his face, waiting for recognition to sink in. He told me he wanted to take me on a little moonlight sailing cruise, the jerk.

"Our anniversary?" I felt like an ass.

I don't celebrate a lot of relationship anniversaries, if you hadn't guessed. I have a rather short attention span when it comes to romantic and sexual relationships. Some would say I get bored or impatient. I like to think of it as being able to see when things have run their natural course and not dragging things out. And I like variety.

In any case, I haven't celebrated an anniversary with somebody in about 5-6 years. I would have never guessed I'd celebrate one with Butterfly Boy.

He was a one-night stand, or so I thought.

He was playing a series of shows at Dante's last summer and I'd met him during the first show of the series. I found out he played in two other local bands I really like and had been trying to book there. I found it odd that we'd never met before, since I am friends with the singers from both bands. So much for my keen powers of observation!

We'd chatted a bit, but I ended up baby-sitting his very drunk singer that night, almost getting a chopstick in the eye for my trouble. Long story, for another time...

The second time they played, we chatted quite a bit more over drinks. It finally dawned on me that I had noticed him playing with one of those other bands! At a show two years before, a friend and I had watched him on stage and decided he was hot, but the type of guy who never went for girls like us. He seemed very sweet and serious.
But he was certainly showing an interest that night at Dante's!
We made a speedy exit and ended up back at his place.

It was terrible!
Just a drunken, fumbly hook-up before we both finally passed out.

In the morning, I opened my eyes to an unfamiliar room. I started to plan my escape...just as soon as the room stopped spinning.

"Uh, g'morning!"

Oh, this was gonna be awkward!

I wasn't even sure in which neighborhood he lived, or how I was going to get home...and then he was bringing me water and coffee, and being sweet and smart and funny. He even brought me breakfast in bed---eggs with runny yolks. I should have known then and there. I can't eat eggs with runny yolks. But I politely ate around them without saying a word.
We ended up staying in his room until late in the afternoon, redeeming ourselves for the previous night's disaster.

And we've been pretty much inseparable ever since.

The last year has not been all fun and games. I say "pretty much inseparable" because we did experience a rough spot. There was a month's period when I was so angry with him, I truly thought I hated him. I don't suffer neglect or disrespect lightly. A pattern had begun to develop, and I felt I either had to end it, or lose respect for myself, since discussing things was not helping.
That opened a big can of worms.

So, I seethed and hated. Then I began to pine and miss.

Butterfly Boy is the only partner I've had who has truly ever accepted me for who I am, instead of the usual "you're great, but..."
He's never tried to "cure me of the poly", as others have either directly or by quietly hoping they'll be such wonderful boyfriends they'll convince me to forget ever wanting other lovers.

About two months into my relationship with him, I remember having a realization.
A friend had asked me about a year before that, what my ideal guy would be like. He'd laughed at my response, saying it would be impossible for me to find somebody who fit all of my criteria. Suddenly, laying next to my Butterfly Boy, I realized this was that guy, that combination of just the right traits my friend had deemed impossible to find.

A year later we are still challenging each other, learning from each other:
I teach him how to pick up on women, he teaches me how to iron and sew...
Together, we continually explore what it means to be in a completely open, functional relationship (he'd never explored polyamory before). We have a lot of fun, whether it's trying out new rope bondage ties, or cooking, or crafting (though he prefers the more manly term "making stuff"), or just hanging out being dorks. That last is something I really cherish. Beneath the cool, fabulous exterior of the Infamous CoatCheck Girl lies a very dorky silly side which few people ever see. Butterfly Boy, for better or worse, gets the full, glorious, dorky onslaught.

He says I'm giving him laugh lines.

I've noticed a pattern in the duration of my previous relationships. They tend to go in predictable increments. 2 weeks, 2 months, 6 months. If they go past the 6 month mark they usually make it to a year. The two relationships I've had which made it past the year, ended at 18 months. By that count, my dear Butterfly Boy has 6 months.

I have high hopes though. So far, he's managed to break every other relationship pattern I've experienced.

Why not a 2nd anniversary?

All Content Copyright 2010, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

23 June 2010

So have you hooked up with Christian Kane and/or Steve Carlson?

Haha... I like the "and/or"... No, deary, why would I? A man's occupation is not sufficient to pique my interest or incite my desire.*
I don't find either of them particularly attractive...and I'm not a star-fucker, not that I think either of them qualifies as a "star" in any case.


Infamous CoatCheck Girl

*The only exception to this seems to be my weakness for bass players. It's not like I see a man playing bass and just can't control myself--- I always seem to meet them in a non-musical context, but over the course of conversation, invariably discover that they are, indeed, bass players. It's almost a curse, this "bass-dar". It may be my undoing...

Now, if Steve takes up the bass, maybe then we can talk ;-)

Have any burning questions for the Infamous CoatCheck Girl? Ask me anything!

All Content Copyright 2010, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

03 June 2010

Rum O'clock

I have spent the last few months moving, working constantly, whether it's going to CoatCheck or the office, or a movie set or even just home to edit photos for hours, while also maintaining a very active social life...
All of that forward movement came to a grinding halt in Progreso and it took me a day or two to finally catch up, or rather, slow down, to the local pace.

The first day was spent hammock-hopping mostly; taking in the view of the beach from different angles on the veranda, and getting to know the other guests at the villa. I couldn't quite overcome the feeling that I should be doing something. Toward the afternoon, everyone seemed to get a bit restless so it was decided that we should go explore the malecón (boardwalk) and grab a bite to eat. The older folks would take the car, so GBF, his sister, M and I had to make our own way there.

The main form of public transport in Progreso is by combi, small white vans which run on loosely defined routes on no apparent schedule whatsoever. You walk to a corner and hope one passes by. Should you be so lucky, you hail one and hope it has room for you, that the driver feels like stopping, and that the stars are aligned in your favor (more on that later).
Fortune seemed to smile on us, and we hailed a combi within minutes. As it made a quick stop at the marina, we could see a festival with a large outdoor stage and a variety of vendors, and decided to take a look around there.
M introduced us to a favorite local snack, marquesitas (a crepe which is rolled into a tube and filled with cheese, or sometimes nutella).

The snack only reminded us of how hungry we were, so we decided to continue our journey to the malecón. Easier said than done...
We were finally able to hail a combi and get underway, when *sputter*...The stars were evidently not aligned in our favor. Or the driver forgot to put gas in the tank. We all sat, uncomfortably stewing in the heat while the driver made futile attempts to start the van. As a camión (bus) drew nearer, he gave up, handed us back our money and suggested we hop on that.
To call it a bus would be...generous. It was metal and plastic loosely held together by paint. Any springs/shocks it may have had were long worn down, and the slightest turn or bump would send us bouncing and hurtling about.
This bus in particular had certainly seen better days:

As M and I giggled nervously and held on for dear life in the back seat, she exclaimed "Who knew riding a bus could be an extreme sport?!"

The malecón is essentially the heart of the town, but also the most touristy. Progreso boasts one of the longest piers in the world (4 miles), and many cruise ships dock there. The town really comes alive when the tourists disembark, and every opportunistic scam artist, vendor, and strolling musician comes out of the woodwork. Everyone wants a piece. Even the many restaurants which line the malecón will try to pull some shady math (adding taxes and tips in sneaky ways) to take advantage of unsuspecting visitors.

We finally arrived at Buddy's, a restaurant which very obviously caters to European and North American tourists. But, they did have seating right on the beach, under little thatched-roof kiosks, so I wasn't complaining.

I sat quietly and observed our little group. What an odd collection of people. We ranged in ages from 14 to 70-something. I wondered if we'd have much to talk about.
As it turns out, I needn't have worried. As conversation progressed from social pleasantries into the more personal, it was apparent we all had things in common.

From the third day on, our disparate little group started to gel. We'd all wake up in our own time and nibble on something for breakfast. Somebody had brought up yoga, so we started doing group yoga in the mornings. I would lead us through the The 5 Tibetan Rites and a meditation, and Peter would lead us through some Hatha yoga.

Peter and his wife have been married for about 45 years and do yoga together regularly. They met when she was 33 and hitchhiking across Europe, alone. I found their story very endearing. A Latin woman at the age of 33 is considered an old maid, and one who would go gallivanting about Europe alone in those days, must have been considered eccentric at best. She, herself, was resigned to a life alone until this charming Brit offered her a ride. The rest, as they say, is history.

After yoga, there would be more lounging until lunch. Most actual 'activity' seemed to revolve around food. The GBF's step-dad and the caretaker would drive to the Cocina Especial every day to pick up lunch. The Cocina (the name translates as 'Special Kitchen') is a loncheria. Loncherias are often run out of individual homes, usually just one cook: the lady of the house. They usually offer two options for the day. A quick phone order in the morning, and by lunchtime a delicious feast is ready for pick-up.

One thing that struck me about the eating habits of the other guests was that they didn't seem to eat any of the local fruit. That was one of the things I'd been most excited about! GBF'a parents are very much American's living in Mexico like Americans. They shop at Costco, Wal-Mart and Mega-Mart. They buy apples, kiwi and strawberries imported from the U.S.
It absolutely baffled me, when there was such an amazing array of tropical fruit to be had in any of the little fruit stalls in the market. On one of our trips to the malecon, I stocked up: papaya, pineapple, chico-zapote, guanabana. All throughout the day I would cut up fruit and set it out.

"What's that?" GBF's sister asked.

"Papaya with lime," I replied

She said she'd never seen or tasted papaya like that.

"That's what papaya is supposed to look and taste like! This is actually ripened on a tree, not gassed in a warehouse...real papaya is very sweet" I replied, feeling a little smug.
It was a little coup, getting everyone to try some of the local produce. Between M and I, we even convinced them to try some of the fruit growing in their own driveway, some of which they didn't even know was edible (tamarind)!

But it would not be fair of me to ask everyone to step out of their comfort zone without offering to do the same...so I faced one of my fears. We were at the beach after all. I had not been in the ocean in about 20 years.
Swimming in the ocean absolutely terrifies me.
Caribbean waters are fine, since I can see the bottom and see if anything were to approach, but recent storms had left the water there rather murky. The storms also washed up a lot of seaweed, which by now has become a sulfurous muck. Getting through this malodorous goo is easier said than done. I borrowed water socks, thinking it might help with my fears of stepping on unseen critters, but I almost lost both of them before I realized I'd have to try to float over it, shallow though it was.

The pier lies North (I think) of GBF's house. The original structure was built by the Dutch and is a true engineering marvel. The more recent addition, built by the Mexican government, is a disaster. The arches of the Dutch portion of the structure did little to disrupt the natural currents in the region. The Mexican addition is solid rock, and has affected the entire beach toward GBF's side. It's been a political and ecological disaster, but it does mean the water is a comfortable depth for quite some distance from the shore.
Of course, I wasn't really comfortable at any depth, but I had to face my fear. But, oh, what a sunset that was! As it grew darker, however, I gave up. I started to panic a bit and headed back to shore.

All Content Copyright 2010, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

01 June 2010

The Adventure Begins

I had to look at a calendar to determine the day this morning. I'm pretty sure it's Tuesday. But really, who cares? I'm lying in a hammock, smoking a cigarette, a nice ocean breeze is blowing, and it's 91 degrees.

It was a long trip, to say the least. I finally got to bed at 4:30 this morning, after having been awake since 11am on Sunday. But this is the first thing I saw when I walked out of my room upon waking:

All of those hours spent wandering airports, back and forth, trying to find the right gate, the right concourse; the squalling infants and contradictory directions at customs...all of that melted away as soon as I saw that view.

This winter has been especially difficult for me, with its never-ending rain that seems to seep into my very bones. When my Gay BoyFriend invited me to his villa in Mexico I knew it was exactly what I needed.
This is no romantic getaway incidentally...nor is my Gay BoyFriend actually gay. He has proven utterly immune to my charms so, naturally, I just assumed and the nickname stuck. He loves it, I'm sure.
Our trip was originally to include several of his band mates but they all dropped out, one by one. So, the two of us set out for PDX at 3:30am after my Sinferno shift in CoatCheck. (Thanks for the ride, Butterfly Boy!)

We were met in Cancun by GBF's ex, Mariana and her friend Paola, who kindly drove us to the ADO (bus depot). It's a good thing, too. Even well-rested I would have been overwhelmed. The moment we cleared customs the taxi drivers pounced. To say they are persistent is an understatement. One of them latched onto us, particularly when he realized I spoke Spanish. He chatted with us, even following us back into the terminal when we went to call Mariana...just in case our ride didn't work out.
But Mariana arrived with Paola in tow.

It was so wonderful to finally chat with somebody in Spanish, somebody who wasn't asking me for money, or a passport. I realized somewhere along the trip, I began to think in Spanish. I found myself having to search for the English words for things when speaking to GBF, who doesn't speak a word of Spanish.
I did, however, have a chance to practice flirting in Spanish before that, at Benito Juarez airport in Mexico City. Apparently it takes 6 cute boys to do a security check for one small Colombian girl, and they have to ask many important questions such as: what do you think of Mexican guys, do you find them handsome, and how would you rate them on a scale of 1 to 10? I even made one of them twirl for me. I gave him an 8.5. He pouted and said he would have rated me an 11.

Paola drove us through the streets of Cancun. I was disgusted: McDonalds, Dominoes, Burger King and some ghastly casinos litter the main strip. I am so glad that was not our destination!
We made it to the ADO with 15 minutes to spare. I was so glad to have Mariana with us. My brain was a jumble of English and Spanish at that point, and I was more than happy to let her handle the travel arrangements.
I hoped to sleep once we were on the bus, but instead ended up watching Transformers in Spanish, which was playing so loudly it was impossible to ignore. And no,the movie is no more entertaining in Spanish than it is in English.
GBF's parents met us in Merida, and drove us the rest of the way into Progreso and to Villa Tio Francisco, our home for the next few days.

And what a home it is! It's a bit rustic by American standards, perhaps, but I love it. It was once a boarding house for students, so it has 10 rooms with either private or connecting bathrooms. It reminds me so much of home, of places we stayed in a small beach town called Covenas.
Despite my exhaustion I only slept a few hours---I was too excited. Even as we came up the driveway in the dark I could recognize the outlines of trees I remember from Colombia: lime and tamarind. This morning's inspection revealed some other familiar flora: coralillo and besitos, nispero and zapote, and the ubiquitous coconut palms.

Though GBF's parents, sister, nephew and some friends of the family are also staying here, there's enough room (and there are enough hammocks) for everyone. Today started with lounging on the veranda watching the waves, a leisurely breakfast, followed by more lounging (and even a little telecommuting).

It's a rough life, this.

All Content Copyright 2010, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved