Damn it…I’m a seagull.


Last summer I had an epiphany .

You know that moment when God opens the heavens and wisdom that surpasses all understanding shines down on you and you have a moment of revelation that changes your life forever.

Ok well the actual dictionary definition it as: a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience.

So Yeah, one of those.

I had gone to the place all great thinkers go when they want a near spiritual experience.

The Jersey Shore.

I was contemplating the end of my “Embrace My Inner Coloradan” summer experience. Laminating over a man who had broken my heart because I wasn’t “Coloradan” enough. I was about to travel back to Colorado in less than 2 weeks and cumulate my “Inner Coloradan” experiment with a Labor Day camping trip. (Fearing the worst hoping for the best).

It was here that I pondered why it was so hard to find a man I was compatible with. Was I truly not ‘Coloradoan” enough?  I had scared off enough men simply by stating (rather mater of factly) I have no intention of ever getting married again (yeah that stereotype of men being dragged to the alter…not true…tell a man you don’t want him to “put a ring on it” and watch him run) After all, I saw my friends happily in relationships and at least the ones who were single seemed to meet great guys. I, on the other hand, was incompatible.  Either they were too needy, or I was too needy. They were too short (or maybe I’m too tall). They had kids I didn’t like or partied too much. I told my friends I wanted a man who could party with me all night in Lodo and then get up and go to church with me on Sunday because he wanted to. They told me Good Luck.   It seemed the men in Colorado wanted a granola-camping-skiing- hiking Birkenstock chic which I was not.

I stared at my perfectly polished Jersey manicured toes in the sand.  Felt the salt air brush my sun-blocked skin (yes I am the rare breed that wears tons of sun block at the Jersey Shore…blame my Irish grandparents) I felt my heart beat slow down and calmness fill my soul as I listened to the sound of the waves crash against a beach and looked out towards the NYC skyline.  Breathing in my salty (and admittedly slightly polluted air) this was there I had my epiphany.  The reason I couldn’t find a compatibility man is because I am a SEAGULL and I have been trying to mate with a PENGUIN!

It was obvious. I am not a penguin.

I prefer stilettos to flip flops. Have yet to learn to ride a bike.  Camping to me is a hotel without room service. I love ski resorts if they involve margaritas and hot tubs and not actual skiing. I think fast, I talk faster, and I have an unapologetic sometimes offensive belief that everyone secretly wishes they were from the east coast. I refuse to celebrate New Years Eve at midnight Mountain Time because New Years happens when the ball drops in New York.  The whole world revolves around NY – literally- because after all that’s where the stock exchange is.  I am horrified that the Denver News channels don’t air NYC news stories.  I had never heard of meth until I moved to Colorado and I had to give an ID to buy Sudafed and still am trying to figure out exactly what a sinagrab sale is.  The idea that your bike costs more than your car seems like a prescription for a mental institution and Warren Miller is a cult.   I don’t understand why no one realizes putting your blinker on while driving is the international sign to speed up so I can cut the guy off behind you, not actually slow down to let me in. I know that the calzone they gave Candice at the Wazee Supper Club is a calzone not a Stromboli as they claim on the menu.  I know what krugel and knish is and all the words to the dreidel song even though I was raised in an Irish Catholic family.  I say Tawk (talk) and Dawg (dog), and cawfee (coffee).  Pizza is a religion and bagels do not come in plastic bags from the grocery store. I can’t talk without my hands and my head has been known to move in strange ways if you piss me off.   I have lived in Colorado for almost a decade and still can’t call downtown a “city.”    I use left and right when giving directions not east and west because don’t these people realize you can’t see the damn mountains in the dark. And I swear I was on 285 with mountains behind me and I was heading north but it shouldn’t have been east right?  I still find it strange I don’t rotate out my winter and summer clothes because it can snow in may and be hot enough for capris in Feb.   And finally, I know Eltiches is really 6 Flags.

It all made sense now. I am a seagull trying to date a penguin!  No wonder I always feel a little “different” and my friends have to “remind me” to wear sneakers.  I’m a seagull living in the land of penguins!!!

As I sat there a strange sense of peace came over me.  Just like the moment in my marriage when I realized it wasn’t ME – but rather I was married to a mentally unstable alcoholic – I realized – it wasn’t me.  IT WASN’T ME!  Other seagulls love me!  It’s just those damn penguins and since I don’t like the cold any way who really cares what they think!

This seagull needed to fly home baby!

But it’s not as easy as that.

I have now become some sort of hybrid bird.

I am still all those Jersey things but 10 years in the arctic will do strange things to you.  I went to a wine tasting on Saturday in a dress with jewelry and (gulp) a pair of flip flops.   I wore a straw cowboy hat to jazz in the park.  I went to a barn party – like in an actual barn – and wore cowboy boots and (gulp again) a denim jacket.  I am learning to ride a bike and actually go out on my own to practice. I expect all guacamole to be homemade and avocadoes to be a staple in the grocery store. I have taken the light rail and celebrate July 4th with 3 days straight of fireworks.  I drove in the mountains and have cut back on my makeup.  I had my “tips” (uh those fake nails) taken off.  I get annoyed when I have to pay a toll.  I wear shorts to church.  I went fishing and low and behold caught 3 fish (of course I almost cried and begged to take the 1st home as a pet but that’s another blog….) I visited Kansas, sat in a tracker and a columbine (yeah they are actually different) and (shhh don’t tell….) loved it!   I wore a kaki skirt and flip flops to a BBQ and now not everyone asks me in the 1st two minutes of meeting me “where are you from.”  I relish the sun and love outdoor concerts.  Jazz in the park is my addiction and am actually bummed when Scott doesn’t set up his volleyball net.  I drive slower, smile more, and have found I don’t have to starve but just need to scout of the good places (basically ask other east coasters “where the hell do you eat?”) But it gets worse.

Finally when I am ready to fly back to jersey – to embrace my seagullness – I find myself….

Dating a penguin.

Not just any penguin. A rare breed of penguin.  The native. Like a real, born here, lived here 45 years and never been to Jersey native penguin.  Are you kidding me?

As I begin to pack my house to move back to the motherland I am keenly aware of the irony of it all. This native is the man I have waited my whole life to meet.  Our relationship a scary resemblance to the life I often think I was ‘supposed’ to have. And now, in an attempt to do what is best for my daughter (yeah separate blog on that too) I am relocating us to NJ.  It seems like a cruel trick of nature.   A penguin and a seagull.  How did this happen?

I guess Oscar Wilde was right when he said “There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.” 

I guess it’s time to pack.