My niece Ravyn, who is one of the most unique and creative people I know, often refers to Jaden as an old man in a kid’s body. We all chuckle when she says this but there’s some truth to it. He does indeed have a bit of an old soul; especially when it comes to music. He jams to Earth, Wind & Fire, Rance Allen, Gap Band and so on. When I saw that @BoyzIIMen were coming to Portland, I knew exactly who my date would be: the kid!
Let me start by saying I’m getting too old to go out on a school night after a full day’s work. Nevertheless, I managed to work an entire day, drive home across the I-5 bridge, get pretty and drive back across the I-5 bridge into Portland; and boy was it worth it. The kid selected his grown up attire and was quite stylish with his black sport coat and button down shirt. When he slipped his canvas shoes on and said, “I think I want some really nice dress shoes” it was music to my ears! Finally! I have longed for the day he asks me for style advice. Okay, so he didn’t ask for my advice but at least he’s considering real dress shoes. That’s progress!
So we arrived at the @ArleneSchnitzer concert hall, a place that has become so familiar to me since my move to this area. I was actually filled with excitement at the thought of hearing the great music of my youth. (#ORSymphony has a very young new conductor that the ladies were going crazy over #Norman) I’ve lost count of the number of @BoyzIIMen hits that I love! I’m sure I was the only mom with her teenage son at the concert. But what I enjoyed most about the experience was his appreciation for the talent and musicianship. He appreciated the orchestra because of prior exposure. I think he appreciated it more when Shawn Stockman expressed appreciation for the arts and spoke to their upbringing in relation to their classical training. Additionally, their voices are still BUTTA – that’s butter for some of you. Honestly, it was refreshing to hear them sing. They were both professional and engaging. And the old man in the kid’s body knew every word to every song! That’s my kid for real. My all time favorite @BoyzIIMen song is Girl in the Life Magazine. The beauty of that song captivates me and I was thrilled that they sang it since it’s not one of their most popular songs.
Listening to all those love songs and after attending a wedding reception (which I will tell you about in a minute), my heart aches. It’s not a bad aching…it’s hard to describe though. To come from a place of such pain to appreciate and see the beauty in healthy and respectful relationships is a journey. To see people who are spending their lives with their best friends and growing together and enjoying life…it does exist. We all know things aren’t as perfect as people portray on social media yet there are those who know how to have respectful conflict (ha…you probably haven’t heard that before) and that’s a good thing. I say all this to say kudos and blessings to those of you who have the kind of love and partnerships that are seemingly rare these days. I also say this to say that life is too short to be in a relationship that isn’t fulfilling. Think on these things my friends.
Orlando…yeah, I went to Orlando over the weekend. I stayed at an Omni resort which made me long for my days of the Middle East. With the rolling greens of the golf course as a backdrop and gorgeous sunsets each night, it was a relaxing experience. Of course there was some good food involved. I had dinner at their “upscale sports lounge”. It was a great spot. The comfy leather chairs set up on each end of the restaurant with big screens was perfect for the start of the NFL season and NCAA football. The food was pretty good too. I had short ribs that melted in my mouth and the best mussels I’ve ever had. The one thing that reminded me I wasn’t in Doha though was the service…I’ll leave it at that.
I went to Orlando to celebrate the marriage of a dear friend. One who admittedly wasn’t so sure about me when we first met…yes Sharmane, I will never let you live that down! Hand picked to share our office space, she was nervous coming into the lioness den! We can laugh at this now as we quickly became great friends. There were many therapy sessions that took place on the 8th floor in that tower in Doha. It was an honor to be present to see her and her beau say their vows before their friends and family. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. I wish nothing but the best for them as they start this new chapter of their life. Their love is inspiring.
On that note, I’m going to end this post…living life and it’s good.