Tag Archives: South Florida

Allen West goes to D.C.

Last night, my new Congressman-elect (I love typing that!) Allen West gave a moving speech to the West Palm Beach Republican Club, in which he honored veterans, upheld American Exceptionalism and vowed to stand firm for the US Constitution once sworn into office in Washington D.C.

I’d had the good fortune of unexpectedly bumping into Allen as he strode through the parking lot toward the entrance of the Bear Lakes Country Club, when I had to return to my car to retrieve my Flip-corder. He thanked me sincerely for working so hard on his campaign as I gave him a hug and my congratulations (something I’d been unable to do at his victory party, due to the size of the crowd). Truly, this is a man of honor and integrity.

It’s hard to describe just how thrilled South Florida is to have this decorated war hero and and patriot representing us, but you’ll get an idea of the scope our our genuine love  and affection  for Lt. Col. Allen West in the two videos below.

God bless Allen West as he begins a new phase of service to his country. And God bless all of our US Veterans!

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Filed under Politics, Tea Party, US Military

Tea Party Fort Lauderdale celebrates the 2010 Midterms

I spent a few hours on the corner of US 1 and Oakland Park Blvd. on a gorgeous South Florida day with the  Tea Party Fort Lauderdale. The longest-running Tea Party in the USA, founders Danita Kilcullen and Jack Gillies have done a tremendous job growing the group, supporting local conservative candidates and offering information on  pending legislation, amendments and other important developments.

While the group realizes that our work has only just begun, yesterday was mostly about taking time out to celebrate our successes after nearly two years of passionate, dedicated activism.  The three videos I put together, beginning with Part One below, tell the tale of what ordinary, everyday Americans can accomplish with enough belief, persistence and willingness to roll up their sleeves. Enjoy!

Update: Here’s the second video from the day:

Update: Third video featuring US veteran John Sykes’ presentation on the US Marine Corps.

Update: Fourth and last video featuring a beautiful rendition of The Star Spangled Banner from Ashley.

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Filed under Conservative Activism, Politics, Talk Radio, US Military

South Florida Supports Allen West!

After receiving a tip-off late last night on Facebook about Debbie Wasserman Shultz’s planned protest of Lt. Colonel Allen West’s candidacy today, I headed over to his campaign office in Deerfield Beach. Yes, the Debbie Wasserman Shultz who represents FL  Congressional District 20 and is herself running for re-election, took it upon herself to arrange an anti-West rally on the sidewalk alongside Federal Highway.

As West supporters, we were respectfully requested not to engage the Klein crew or the local media, lest a confrontation erupt that could potentially damage the campaign. Well aware of the left’s hateful demagoguery and deceitful tactics, I’d never planned to engage any of them in conversation — a losing proposition among people brandishing signs like “Keep Abortion Legal” and “Florida doesn’t want the Tea Party or Allen West”, anyway.

Clearly in the throes of desperation, the Klein campaign (and DNC operatives) have published Allen West’s social security number; aired ridiculous commercials using Tea Party footage of West declaring himself a “right wing extremist” (hello liberals, it’s called sarcasm, and it was done in reaction to Janet Napolitano’s DHS); made false allegations of West belonging to a radical biker gang and repeatedly (in the case of debates) linked his name with Sarah Palin and “Terri Schiavo issues” — all in an effort to paint him as some sort of Bible-thumping, wild-eyed Christian lunatic who is unfit for public office.

Today that theme continued with the pro-abortion placards and handmade signs claiming that West is somehow “anti-women”. Mind you, to the best of my knowledge, he hasn’t even made abortion an issue in the campaign (though he  is pro-life), but if you were a Klein supporter, would you really want to focus on your guy’s support for highly unpopular legislation like Obamacare, Cap and Trade and stimulus?

In their classic, diversionary and fear-mongering style, all the liberal sacred cows were on display this afternoon in Deerfield Beach  — along with plenty of Allen West supporters, who had a few thoughts of their own. Enjoy!

Update:  Apparently, Palm Beach County tax collector Anne Gannon joined Wasserman-Shultz in the 20-30 people protest. Here’s the Sun-Sentinel’s coverage.

Update: Here’s the second video, featuring a Democrat for West.

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The Difference Between Conservatives and Liberals Summed Up in a Single Phone Call

The other day, after having attended the monthly REC meeting, I recorded a robo-call on behalf of Pam Bondi, Republican candidate for Florida Attorney General. Prior to heading out to precinct walk yesterday, Pam’s South Florida campaign coordinator called to inform me that they system would be sending my message out to several zip codes in Boca Raton, so I should expect a least a few return calls throughout the course of the day.

And as I hung clear plastic bags filled with candidate collateral on doorknobs, I simultaneously responded to at least a dozen or so calls on my cell phone. Most of the folks I spoke with were highly supportive of Pam, and one gentleman even asked for assurance that she was a “conservative” Republican, as it was important to him to have an Attorney General who respected both the Florida Constitution and the US Constitution.

When I assured him Pam was a staunch conservative with a proven track record as a tough prosecutor, he exclaimed, “Oh, she’ll definitely get my vote!” and remembered seeing Bondi supporters at his polling location when he voted in the primary back in August.  And yes, he’d voted for her back then too, based on what he’d seen and heard, though he was excited to speak with someone who’d actually met Pam and was actively volunteering on her campaign.

Others who were not familiar with her promised to visit her website.

But the most memorable call of the day took place in the evening, when I returned a voicemail message from an elderly couple. The wife answered with a thick New York accent, and after listening to my brief introduction and solicitation for her support on November 2 inquired:

“Pam Bondi? What is she?” (Yes, you read that correctly. Not “Who is she? but What is she?”)

While I could’ve been sarcastic and retorted with something like, She’s an alien from outer space, I patiently explained Pam’s credentials. Undaunted, the woman persisted (did I mention her New York accent was obnoxious, no offense to my NY friends?):

“Yeah, but what is she?”

Realizing this was a lost cause, I noted that Pam was a conservative Republican. I might as well have told her Pam was a handmaiden of the devil who drowned kittens in her spare time — not that it would’ve made a difference. I could almost see the woman recoiling in horror as she yelled:

“Oh NO! God NO!” and promptly hung up on me.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, exemplifies one of the major differences between conservatives and liberals. Every other neighbor I spoke with wanted to know about Pam’s qualifications and accomplishments, and most asked for clarification of her website address so they could learn more about her.

This woman, on the other hand, was only interested in confirming her preconceived biases of liberals as good, conservatives as evil. Everything else was immaterial.

But this call was illustrative on a personal level, too. Instead of feeling angry and upset over her ignorance and the rude manner in which I’d been treated, I had a really good laugh. Of course, it helps knowing Bondi is going to win the AG race soundly on November 2. And visualizing the shattering disappointment on this woman’s face as the returns roll in on Election Night was pretty damn satisfying as well.

Ironically (although she doesn’t realize it), my elderly neighbor will be one of the beneficiaries of a Bondi victory because Pam will continue the fight against Obamacare — with its “death panel” rationing and soulless, cost-containment dismissal of old people whose lives aren’t worthy of valuable medical procedures.

This New Yorker, who in all likelihood was raised on FDR Kool-Aid, will have the “heartless” conservatives to thank when Bondi becomes Florida’s next AG.

Go Pam Bondi!

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I was a “Tea Party” (e.g. conservative) Republican Before It Was “Cool”

Having been raised by conservative Republican parents who were both into activism long before it became a way of life for countless Americans in the months following Obama’s election, it’s probably not a surprise that I have been a registered Republican since I turned eighteen a few *cough* years back. And no, I didn’t opt to be an elephant versus a donkey just to make mom and dad proud, I actually did take the time to look at the platforms of both parties and ask myself why I wanted to join the GOP.

The answer?

The Republican platform (notice I typed, “Republican platform” not “Republican elected officials”) just made sense to me.

It reflected the concepts enshrined in the United States Constitution — that all rights come from a higher authority and that government exists mainly to provide for the common defense, support a criminal justice system and create a climate in which individuals and entrepreneurs have the opportunity to pursue their dreams in a free market that encourages healthy competition.

Long before both Bush administrations came to power, I was familiar with the term “RINO”. In 1976, my entire family reacted with heavy-hearted disappointment and anger when Ronald Reagan lost the Republican nomination to RINO Gerald Ford.

As a kid, I remember suffering through the insufferable Carter years with their long gasoline lines, seemingly endless malaise, foreign policy ineptitude and Iranian hostage crisis — until our sunny optimist finally won the Republican nomination in 1980 and subsequently, the White House.

Watching President Reagan’s speeches and appearances on television with my family was much like watching an Eagles game (without the heartbreaking losses). We’d cheer, clap, jump up and down and shout with delight as Ronald Reagan unfailingly reminded us — in his bold, unapologetic and endearing style — of the greatness of America, the courage of our men and women in uniform and the exceptionalism of  our system of government.  With moral clarity and conviction, he made us proud and grateful to call ourselves American citizens.

Sadly, upon his departure from Pennsylvania Avenue after serving two distinguished terms, Reagan’s successor wasted no time in reverting the bully pulpit back to “Rockefeller Republican” mode, calling for a “kinder, gentler nation” (whatever that means), raising taxes and ultimately alienating conservatives. Enter Ross Perot in 1992 and — well, you know the rest of the story.

My point is — long before the beautiful Tea Party Movement got underway — I’d always supported candidates who espoused the principles of limited government, strong national defense, capitalism and personal responsibility. And yes, to my great consternation, there were way too many instances when I’d find myself holding my nose to vote for Candidate X because he or she was marginally better than Candidate Y.

By the way, I voted for Sarah Palin in 2008.

And long before the breath of fresh air from Alaska blew in, I read conservative blogs, railed against open borders and amnesty, criticized President Bush’s massive expansion of government and spending, called for the release of Ramos and Compean, supported the war against global jihad (not terrorism, which is a tactic) and objected to the rampant cronyism that defined the Bush years (Harriet Miers, anyone?).

So I was “Tea Partying” before there actually was a phenomenon known as the Tea Party.

Concurrently, I believe that the best way to save our country from socialistic decay is to reform the Republican Party from within. Not only is this the most efficient method, it’s already putting the establishmentarians on notice and yielding excellent results including, but not limited to Rand Paul, Sharron Angle, Joe Miller, Christine O’Donnell, Pat Toomey and….Marco Rubio.

Of all the aforementioned candidates, Rubio best exemplifies the qualities of the Great Communicator, articulating conservatism with a genuine passion and conviction that has helped propel him to 50% in recent polling. Like other Tea Party Republicans, Marco defied the go-along-to-get-along Republican establishment (which immediately sought to destroy his nascent campaign by prematurely endorsing Obama-hugging, stimulus-loving Charlie Crist in May, 2009) with his heretical talk of spending cuts, deficit reduction, government reduction, and tax relief.

A charismatic embodiment of the American Dream whose parents fled Cuba for a better life for themselves and their children, Rubio quickly attracted a loyal following of constituents fed up with Washington games and hungry for the kind of leadership he espoused.

Crist, on the other hand, embarrassed the GOP (a richly deserved outcome) by showing his true self-serving colors and abandoning the party when he read the “tea leaves” and realized he didn’t stand a chance of beating Rubio in the Republican Primary. Thus, the sleazy opportunist who once invoked the greatness of Ronald Reagan and swore he’d never leave the GOP, threw all principle to the wind (if he even had any to begin with) to run as an “Independent”, emphasis on “I”, meaning “Me”.

And in a recent debate, ol’ Charlie found yet another way to disgrace himself by regurgitating a newspaper’s race-baiting, grievance-mongering claim that Rubio had “turned his back on his Hispanic family”, thus proving his Democrat bonafides, according to Ed Morrissey.

Which brings me to today. As a precinct committewoman, it is my obligation to walk precincts — my own and others — ahead of elections, to help get out the vote. This effort is complemented by the distribution of (gasp!) Republican Party-endorsed candidate literature. So it won’t come as a shock that among other candidates today’s goody bags included information on Marco Rubio.

However, it did cause some angst for a Facebook friend and self-described Tea Party movement member on the Gulf Coast, who chastised me in no uncertain terms that “not all Tea Partiers support Marco Rubio” and that I should “just remember that”.

I replied that as independent thinkers, I hardly expected all Tea Party members to be in lockstep on every candidate, but found her remarks sort of odd since Rubio stands for everything the Tea Party seeks to promote. I then reminded her that my precinct walking activity was a function of my membership in the Palm Beach County Republican Executive Committee to which she snidely replied:

I’m so sorry for “lumping” you into the TEA PARTY MOVEMENT. Belive me, it will NEVER happen again…..

I politely informed her that A.) Tea Party Fort Lauderdale, DC Works For Us and various 9/12 groups in South Florida all endorsed Rubio; B.) It was very possible for one to simultaneously hold membership in both the Tea Party movement and the Republican Party; and C.) if the status updates I posted on MY wall offended her, she was free to either ignore them or delete me.

Personally, I hope she goes with the last option. Facebook has a friend limit and ever since attaining the milestone of 5,000 friends last year, I’ve had a waiting list a mile long.

Go Marco Rubio! Even the Sun-Sentinel wants you to win. 😉

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Filed under Conservative Activism, Politics, Pop Culture, Sarah Palin, Tea Party

Scenes from a South Florida Deli

Kelly Ripa: Beautiful and talented, but not quite endowed enough for the "pigs" in the deli.

I’ve overheard and observed so many interesting conversations and interactions at a local deli where I often go for the excellent food and the free WIFI that I’ve decided to start a new feature on my blog: Scenes from a South Florida Deli. Because writing is such a solitary activity, there are times when I take my laptop to this local hangout and continue my work, surrounded by the sights and sounds of humanity. One of my friends recently asked how I could possibly concentrate amidst all the noise and mayhem; doesn’t it interfere with my ability to churn out good content?

As strange as it may sound, when I am in the “zone” of type, type, post, there could be an earthquake going on around me and I’d barely notice. Ok, so maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but I do have the ability to tune out most things when engrossed in creative activity. As paradoxical as it is, that’s just me.

Anyway, the deli also provides some great fodder for blog posts, much in the same way the cafe does for my good writer friend, Brooke Musterman, who penned the excellent book, Reptiles on Caffeine, based on her experiences as a barista.

In my first installment of this series, I would like to address the oft-repeated conventional wisdom, “Men are pigs” (the truth of which is upheld by even the decent guys I know, including a very good Facebook friend). An incident that occurred in the deli the other day would seem to support this hypothesis.

The owners of the establishment have two plasma TV screens located at the front and back of the dining areas. Without fail, one of the shows they broadcast every day (in addition to their unfortunate inclusion of CNN in the daily line-up) is Live with Regis and Kelly.  Now, let me state forthrightly that I have never  been a big fan of Kelly Ripa, Regis or this show, which I’d never willingly watch in the privacy of my own home. However, I am going to defend Kelly here because whether you like her or not, the fact remains that she is a beautiful, accomplished woman.

But try telling that to the “pigs” that frequent the deli, all of whom I truly like when they’re not channeling their inner hormonally charged, perpetually immature high school adolescent. None of these men are particularly attractive and it’s safe to say most of them could afford to shed a few pounds. Unfortunately, that didn’t stop them from commenting on Kelly Ripa’s lack of  cleavage, as they ridiculed her “flat-chest” and stated that her male co-host probably has bigger boobs than she.

And as I looked at the trim, effervescent and radiant Ripa, I marveled at the fact that she hasn’t succumbed to the pressure of our superficial culture by undergoing surgery to transform herself from an “A” to a “D” — just to make the day of some slobbering men with beer bellies and receding hairlines. Kelly Ripa obviously cares about her looks, wears make-up, gets her hair and nails done, and stays in shape — all very admirable. I do believe in looking one’s very best and I am certainly not demeaning any woman who chooses to increase her bust size via implants. If it’s her choice and hers alone (not one made under pressure by a spouse or boyfriend), more power to her.

What I am stating however, is that there is something terribly wrong with our culture when a woman as physically beautiful as Kelly Ripa is mocked for being an A-cup.

Ironically, later that day I ran into a woman who’d obviously been under the plastic surgeon’s knife a multitude of times. She was unnaturally thin, yet sporting breasts that looked like two inflated hot-air balloons, and occupied pretty much every inch of her chest — to the point where you couldn’t differentiate between her waist and her upper body. Botox-enhanced lips completed the entire Boca Babe vibe. And if her attitude was any indication, this woman was thoroughly convinced she was a femme fatale — a sentiment with which the Kelly Ripa critics in the deli would no doubt concur. I didn’t actually speak to her, but I am pretty sure there wasn’t much going on between her ears, as if that even mattered to most men. Superficially speaking, if I were asked to deem the more attractive woman of the two, Kelly would get my vote in a heartbeat; while the guys in the deli, I am quite certain, would choose big and fake over small and real.

Beauty after all, is in the eye of the beholder. Some of us believe it comes in all forms and sizes — unlike the “pigs” in the deli — who would be wise to invest in a full-length mirror before critiquing a woman they could never hope to date (even if she was available)  on a good day.

Update: My good friend Suzi — who concurs that Ripa is adorable – just informed me that lips do not get botoxed, but instead are filled with a substance such as Juvederm or Restylane. Thank you, Suzi, for the clarification! 🙂

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Reflections on Real Life Versus Fiction: Ken’s Question

For someone who’s been in the habit of journaling for nearly all of my life, it’s strange I did not take the time to write about the emotional phone conversations I shared with “Ken” in the months preceding the release of Water Signs. Perhaps because I was so busy channeling all of the energy and feeling into a fictionalized version of events, I didn’t believe it necessary. Besides, there is no way I’d ever forget them, no matter how hard I tried. For good or ill, the selective amnesia phase of my life is definitely over.

And given the personal, surprising nature of what I am about to share in this post, it would be damned near impossible to force myself to forget.

Sometime in July of 2008 — two months before the book was on the market — “Ken” and I made plans to meet for coffee one night after work, against my better judgment. While my heart wanted nothing more than to see him in person for the first time in approximately 13 years, my head kept telling me this was not such a great idea. In fact, it was a really bad one. Keep in mind, unlike the novel, “Ken” was still very much a married man.

And although as I’d admonished him “I hadn’t lost my moral compass” or my steadfast belief in right and wrong (to nip any erroneous notion of my motive for contacting him/writing the book in the bud, i.e. the desire for an affair), I still didn’t see any good reason to put myself in a potentially gut-wrenching and/or tempting situation. After all, I was not superhuman — I was a flawed human being, a woman who was just beginning to understand and appreciate the magnitude of my feelings for this man and the depths of the sorrow we’d inflicted upon each other (though he has me beat in this area; I never pretended my fiancé was my “platonic” roommate, knowing full well someone was relocating their entire life to be with me).

Still, I did sincerely apologize for the hurtful “Dear John” letter I’d mailed him all those years ago, under duress to end the relationship by a well-meaning, but nevertheless misguided parent. It tore me up when during one phone conversation, he described in great detail exactly where he’d been when he’d read it; his anguish was palpable as he relived the memory of standing in his living room in absolute pain, hurt and anger.

And all I could do was say I was sorry. I count this episode among one of the very few things I’d change if God allowed us to travel back in time. Regrets, I’ve had a few — and this is definitely one of them. But I’ve also forgiven the naive, confused 25-year old young woman who’d written that letter because she no longer wished to be the cause of discord between her parents. For that matter, I’ve long forgiven my mom, too.

This aspect of real life is explored in Chapter 13:

“No thanks, I’m not hungry,” she informed her mother, before rolling over to face Lori’s closet. Wasn’t it enough that she’d caved into unreasonable demands and broken Kenny’s heart? She was also expected to carry on as if he’d never existed? Here it was, the night before Thanksgiving and all she wanted to do was crawl under the covers, crying over what might have been; for all she knew, she could’ve been spending the long weekend with Kenny’s family in Ventnor, or driving and laughing with him in the car as they toured suburban Philadelphia on rambling, country roads. Instead here she was, lonely, frustrated, sad and angry—mostly at herself.

After all, Dad, Lori and Greg had all taken her side, offering complete support and encouraging her to follow her heart. Dad had even stressed on more than one occasion that Maddy could always talk to him whenever she felt the need. There was no question that, had she proceeded with the relationship, Mom would’ve accepted it eventually. But Maddy was self-aware enough to acknowledge the truth—she’d used her mother’s disapproval as an escape route when her own intense feelings for Ken had become too frightening to handle.

Looking down at the gold Pisces pendant in her hand, Maddy thought back to that beautiful weekend, and their romantic dinner at The Ship Inn. He had such an incredible way of making her feel as if she was the only woman in a room; being with him had been so easy. No pangs of inadequacy, borne out of some misguided notion of failing to live up to the accomplishments of her ambitious family. Ken saw her as that rare and complete woman—smart, beautiful, principled and sweet. She was everything he never thought he’d find. And towards the end, he’d nearly accomplished the impossible by edging Maddy ever so closer to seeing what had been clear to him from day one.

Anyway, when the idea of an after-work get-together presented itself, an internal battle raged within (should I or shouldn’t I?), though I ultimately agreed to it. Later that same night, “Ken” even emailed his confirmation on the date, place and time; he’d also been very forthcoming about his busy life as a sales executive with days that typically started at 8 a.m. and didn’t end until 8 p.m.

About two days before our scheduled coffee date, I received another email expressing his regret that — due to the fact that some corporate bigwig was flying into Fort Lauderdale the same day we’d arranged our little soirée  — he’d have to cancel. That his weekly Happy Hour ritual with local management had now transformed into a mandatory dinner with the big boss. And while this explanation seemed plausible, even probable, I knew instinctively it was not the real reason for his cold feet: based on our heart-tugging telephone correspondences I surmised that the real, raw emotion we’d mutually dredged up was also a significant factor, maybe even the only one.

Trust me, I was relieved. There was no good reason to break my heart all over again, and I knew that laying eyes on him once more in  person — with his piercing blue eyes; beautiful smile; masculine build; and deep, baritone voice — would only make me sadder about what might have been. It was one thing to verbally clear out past issues; quite another to stare at each other awkwardly over cappuccino in  a local cafe. Then there was the not-so-insignificant matter of someone seeing us in a town where there are six degrees of separation. Innocent or not, given our history this meeting would’ve been highly inappropriate.

Six weeks went by with no word from “Ken”. In my return email, I’d never mentioned anything about rescheduling; I simply wished him luck with his business obligations. On the Friday afternoon of Labor Day weekend (just weeks before the novel’s release), I’d just arrived home from work when my cell phone rang. The conversation went something like this:

“Ken”: “Daria, I needed to talk to you, to tell you the real  reason why I canceled our meeting.”

Me: “Do I need to sit down for this?”

“Ken”: “I’ve been having these very real, very explicit, passionate dreams about you, and it’s really freaking me out.”

Me: (heart in my throat) “Oh.”

“Ken”: “And the thing is, I don’t even remember you being that attracted to me. I mean, I was the 25 year-old guy with raging hormones and you — well, you just never seemed that into me. And yet in these dreams I’m having, you –”

Me: “Ok Ken, I get the picture.”

“Ken”: “So, I just can’t see you right now; I am just not ready to revisit that idea”.

Me: “To be honest with you, I’m not either. I was kind of glad when you canceled — not that I don’t want to see you, just that I see no reason to put myself through that. And one of us is married, so it’s not right.”

From there it evolved into another emotional exchange with “Ken” telling me how wonderful I was, how much he’s missed me, etc. At one point he asked if he could call me again, to which I replied:

“It’s a free country, Ken, and I can’t stop you from calling me. However, I can’t guarantee that when you do call, I will pick up the phone. I have to think about myself, too. And this is beginning to feel like emotional adultery. I’m glad we got to clear the air, but as long as you’re committed to another woman, we really shouldn’t speak to each other.”

To which he responded  by saying, “That’s what makes you so cool.” (Yeah, that’s me. A real cool cat!)

I should also mention that my heart was pounding furiously throughout the duration of this little exchange, which ended abruptly when he started to get choked up, before mumbling something about driving in traffic and hanging up the phone.

Still reeling, I took out the trash, retrieved my mail and tried to regain my composure. That’s when I noticed a voice mail message on my cell phone:

“Daria, it’s me again.  Please call me back — I have one more question to ask you and it’s the most difficult question of all. Don’t worry, it’ s not about getting together. Like I said, I am not ready to revisit that concept just yet (muffled laugh). Just please call me.”

And here, dear readers, is where we have another convergence of fact and fiction.

In Chapter 18, Ken, now a recently relocated resident of South Florida, dials Maddy’s number to initiate yet another dialogue about the wonders of his new state and the possibility of her joining him in his excellent adventure. Over a year has passed since they’ve seen each other, and Ken has a very pressing matter on his mind:

“Thank God I’m not the only one,” he replied softly. “Maddy, can I ask you something; please don’t get mad at me, but it’s just something I need to know.”

“What?” She braced for the query.

“Are you still a virgin?”

“Kenny! I can’t believe you’re asking me that!” For a moment, she thought about sharing all of her dating horror stories, but quickly decided against it; she wasn’t ready to give him the satisfaction of knowing he still ruled her heart.

“C’mon, Maddy, it’s me you’re talking to here; please just tell me.” His voice remained steady and calm.

“Fine—yes, if you must know! Yes, I am still a virgin! Does that make you happy?”

“Yes, because I still want to be your first—and only,” he confirmed softly. That led to another long silence as Maddy contemplated this simultaneously uplifting and confusing piece of information.

“Kenny,” she finally said, “I-I don’t know what you want me to say.”

“Say you want it to,” he pleaded.

“I do, but it’s just not that easy,” she sighed.

While for dramatic purposes, I embellished and altered this real-life exchange in the interest of more compelling fiction, the virginity question was indeed posed by both flesh-and-blood Ken and character Ken.

Almost 15 years after he’d made the original query, “Ken” called me back on that Labor Day weekend afternoon specifically to repeat the question. Bear in mind, we’d already disconnected the call amid a wave of overwhelming emotion, so for him to redial my number strictly for this purpose was a little unsettling. It was also deja vue, only this time we were both living in The Sunshine State.

I’d like to say I acted coyly, or simply announced with some indignation that my sexual status was none of his concern, but after first nervously laughing in reaction (and remembering the “first time” he’d asked me years ago), I was so taken off-guard that I gave a much more detailed answer than was necessary or prudent.

I did however, ask why it was so important to him — being a married man and all. To this day, I am not sure if I am buying his response, but it went something like:

“Sex is such a great part of life and you’re such a wonderful woman I just wanted to make sure you’re not missing out.”

Coming on the heels of canceling our coffee date due to “passionate dreams” about me, admitting he’s not ready to see me in person and having the audacity to inquire about my love life, this just didn’t come across as an honest answer. It also confirmed that, as long as “Ken” was choosing to remain united in the bonds of marriage with another woman, this had to be the absolute last time we’d ever speak. One thing I knew for certain: if I was a married woman, I would not be too happy if I knew my husband was participating in such intimate conversations with an old flame.

But in the age of the internet, there’s always email — and social media. And I would soon discover that “Ken’s” spouse was not above using a little LinkedIn deception to make a little mischief of her own.

More intrigue to come in another post.


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