March 14th, 2010
Last night I had the most wonderful time on the town in Portland with my second husband. We attended Hooray for Bollywood, the annual gala for Portland Center Stage. Lavish silks and twinkling lights draped the Amory, costumed dancers and musicians mingled with exquisitely, colorfully dressed guests. The mood was festive, the giving generous, the performances sprinkled throughout the evening of the caliber I’ve known to expect of the theatre troupe since Steve took me to the season preview evening early last year.
And the food? The little girl who insisted her food groups not touch each other on the plate forty years ago, sampled every offering at the Indian food buffets. The chicken curry with Mahogany rice, cilantro sauce, pistachios and cashews was ambrosia. (I was also recently introduced to mouth-watering cuisine at Portland’s East India Company Bar & Grill http://eastindiacopdx.com/index.html. The setting alone ensures a lovely experience, only to be surpassed by expertly prepared food that pairs nicely with Chateau Indigo Chardonnay 2008 – the first Indian wine I have tasted.)
But wait! Cut, rewind. “Second husband?” you say. Yes, a tall, swelt, salt-and-pepper-haired fellow who says I’m the “ideal date.” I know better; I am an easy 25 years older than his dream catch but since I’m still fairly new to town, having me on his arm allows him to glide seamlessly through a sea of faces belonging to forgotten names. When Steve says, “You’ve met Tracey? No…?!” that is my cue to extend a hand, introduce myself and simultaneously solicit the mystery person’s identity.
We’ve been an occasional couple since we met during my first visit to Portland in May 2008. For me it was love at first site of a building he’d designed (he also designed the renovation of the armory for PCS). I was accompanying a friend condo-hunting on a tour of The Casey. Steve’s reputation for green buildings meant even the sparkling stainless trash chute allowed residents to direct trash into one of three recycle channels.
It was on the 13th floor that I found a two-bedroom I could live with quite nicely in. Subsequently, for MONTHS Joel avoided meeting Steve, sure if we ganged up on him, it would cost him a multi-million dollar mortgage. By early 2009, Steve began to wonder if I truly had a husband but continued to invite or escort me to functions while Joel traveled for business. Our first movie date was to see Slum dog Millionaire at the Living Room Theatre so a Bollywood themed fundraiser was rather fitting.
Every single woman my age should have a fellow to call on, a man who easily makes an even number at a dinner party. A two-by-two parade is something our generation, in particular, is more comfortable with at this stage of life.
“My married friends’ husbands aren’t too keen to include me,” said a Wyatt third-floor neighbor. “I’ve loved being single for over 20 years (following a marriage and two less-than-perfect involvements). “The husbands seem to fear I’ll give their wives ideas,” she said with eyes mischievously twinkling. She’s right; many separated and newly divorced friends tell me, “I’ve been approached by women saying they wish they were brave enough to walk away.” Voluntarily ending an established relationship, especially one tied to a desirable lifestyle, financial security and guaranteed companionship is frightening. Once you’ve done that you then have to muster courage regularly to walk solo into a room with a dozen to several hundred party goers assembled for a social event. It does take chutzpah! I know; I did it myself just a week before Bollywood when I attended the Tulsa C.A.R.E.S. 13th Red Ribbon Gala in Tulsa.
It isn’t easy but it becomes less difficult and you owe it to yourself to show up. Don’t miss out on celebrating and supporting your community or attending the events that benefit your career. Give the evening dresses in your closet an occasional airing out and yourself a night on the town. Don’t let the parade pass you by.
As always, Trix
Worth becoming familiar with:
To date this season Portland Center Stage has produced stellar performances of Ragtime, Snow Falling on Cedars, The Receptionist & Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps. See what is still in store this season at www.pcs.org
The Casey is a 16-story, 61 unit luxury condominium tower in the heart of Portland’s Pearl District. Designed by GBD Architects, the Casey was the first residential building in North America awarded a LEED Platinum rating. www.thecasey.com
Tulsa C.A.R.E.S., Tulsa Center for AIDS Resources Education and Support, delivers social services to people affected by HIV and AIDS.
With the advancement of medicine, many of those infected with HIV/AIDS, are living longer, healthier lives, which in effect creates a greater need for support services in this population. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in 2006, there were an estimated 56,300 new HIV infections in the United States. There are approximately 2,274 people living with the HIV infection and 2,247 living with AIDS in Oklahoma, according to the Oklahoma Department of Human Services Fact Sheet (Dec. 31, 2007). According to the Community Service Council of Greater Tulsa, it is estimated that nearly 1,700 people are living with HIV/AIDS in the Tulsa Metropolitan area with a growth of 100 new cases each year.