Category Archives: movies

Four rings, three friends, bound in sisterhood.

I am truly blessed to have an enormous circle of friends and two very special ones who I met (and they each other) at the same moment, on the same day four years ago – Amy and Jennifer. To say that these women are like sisters to me would be an understatement – especially as I wasn’t born with one in this lifetime and those women from my sorority at university faded from my life more than 25 years ago.

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My rings.

In 1989 my husband and I separated. To cope with my despair I ‘ran away to the sea’ and became the operations manager for the HMS Bounty, then owned by Turner Broadcasting Systems in Atlanta. I was disillusioned and hurt and perhaps a little angry and I bought myself an antique coin ring with diamonds on either side of a bezel set 3rd century AD coin featuring the profile of Emperor Constantine. I had it sized down to fit on my pinkie finger and decided to wear my great grandmother’s rose gold wedding band behind it. My accompanying explanation to all the lovely compliments received (for many years) had been “the only man worth having is one wrapped around my little finger”. It became, and remains, one of those signature pieces of jewelry each of us possesses – that we feel nearly naked when not wearing, and which people associate with our being. I didn’t realise how much until just before I was to leave for three months in Croatia – from where I write this blog post.

Amy’s ring.

Amy had taken me out for a quiet ‘chick night’ of Thai and a couple glasses of red wine. And she mentioned the ring and how ‘if I ever found one like it’ she’d love to have it to remind her of our friendship and me. (High praise that made me cry.)  I explained that the one I was wearing was actually an eBay find to replace the original one which, because of daily wear, had thinned down and required too much restoration to be wearable and that I had managed to sell the original for scrap completely paying for the replacement I was wearing (set with cabochon sapphires). That night I got on eBay and found three rings for Amy to consider – she chose, made an offer which was accepted and now wears the one most like mine and, on its receipt, was quick to drop me a note to say “Hi There! My ring came today! I love it – reminds me of you!!! Hugs!!” What could be lovelier? These are enough alike to be the ultimate sister rings without being icky and creepy!! Happy Anniversary Amy.

Jennifer and I also have sister rings though she bought ours for us two years ago – truly one of Snowflowerthe grandest gifts I have ever received – following our mutual reading of Lisa See’s Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and then seeing the movie together; we are a remarkable parallel to See’s characters of Lily and Snow Flower.  Our rings are Halo from Lyndsay Caleo – 14kt gold, mine (shown) in Labradorite (alongside my Elizabeth Gage dolphin ring) and Jennifer originally with two of the smaller stoned ones stacked of Moonstone and the other of Labradorite (there was a mistake in the order so we negotiated).  The stones specifically chosen for the protection they offer for 20141112_073211both of our respective astrological signs.

There is immeasurable comfort to me in having us wearing these rings now.  Small talismans to provide connection between us energetically that ground and nourish me as I embrace the next chapter of my life and Amy and Jennifer their own paths though we are 4400 miles apart from one another. It’s pouring down rain, the lightning and thunder just kicked in, my date cancelled because of weather, I am heating up some split pea soup I made the day before yesterday to take the chill out of me and the air and I am, quite frankly, missing the comfortable nest of my apartment in Rochester. So in looking down at my hands while I type my girlfriends you are with me; I love you both very much.

To everyone else – be the kind of friend worthy of such friendship regardless of your gender. Love fully without smothering. Don’t be ‘needy’. Be unconditional in your support. Be brave, be authentic, be “there” when no one else but you will do.

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The Little Black Dress

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Fishtail train detail

In 1959 my mother bought this incredible “wiggle dress” of black silk lace embellished with black sequins with alternating panels of black silk chiffon (complete with a fishtail ‘train’ of the same which floats behind as you walk). It has the tiniest lingerie straps and one assumes she MUST HAVE worn a Basque corset with it (though I am not going to ask) because at 5’ 9”, and not exactly petite woman in her wedding pictures of 1960, I cannot imagine her getting into this otherwise. It is exactly the kind of dress that a Bond Girl would wear as 007 slides up, tuxedo suave and orders ‘shaken not stirred’. It is something that (most of) our contemporary ‘lifestyles’ wouldn’t find an opportunity to wear.

Of course I have worn it, when I reached the same age of 19 she was when mom wore it and at left in 2002. My niece is just twelve so has some years dress 2before I can make a gift of it to her. Frankly speaking, if you tried to purchase something made as well as this today it would be at least a couple of thousand dollars.

So the Little Black Dress has (mostly) hung in my closet for 33 years like a piece of art and a relic from a time when ladies wore gloves, men opened doors, Charlie Parker made Jazz hot and people actually drank gin in their Martini’s (not insipid, tastes-like-nothing vodka)! I am writing about this dress because I received the most extraordinary gift to go with it from a gentleman met on OKCupid – updated this was in October 2013 – absolutely exquisite 20 denier black silk stockings. The accompanying note read (in French) ‘Not many French women would appreciate the difference…’, what a fine compliment!

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My legs, the gifted black silk stockings, and black silk Manolo Blahnik’s.

ImageWhen the dress fit me for the first time at 19 Raquel Welch (then age 42?) appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated inside proclaiming that she ‘had to’ do two hours of yoga a day to maintain (yes, maintain) her body! I suppose I will work up to that but for starters I walked two and half hours this morning covering a circuit of about 6 miles – in conjunction with errand running (a large – heavy – parcel to the post office at the farthest end of the route, a trip to the hardware and drug stores) and grocery shopping (lugging equally balanced bags with a pineapple, a gallon of milk, a package of Halal chicken breasts weighing 5 pounds, 4 Granny Smith apples, 4 cucumbers, a pound of green grapes, and 5 cartons of yogurt six city blocks simply HAS TO count for weight training!). Hardly sophisticated looking!  I can irrevocably state that there is almost nothing I hate more than a trickle of sweat running down the small of my back and across my brow (subsequently making my naturally curly hair resemble the coat of a Standard Poodle) – needless to say, Bond Girls never look like this!  It might take me a year to get back into the kind of shape that would do justice to the dress and those silk stockings (both in storage as I edit this in December 2015).

The stockings provided the catalyst to the physical change that for any number of reasons I chose not to do for myself before this time. This is not to suggest that the man made any claim on me, nor I him, (our ‘romance’ never advanced as his career as a sports photojournalist always put some excuse in the way of not closing the distance to explore us) or that my (unread) Tarot cards have made prophesy of his continuing to be in my life but, suddenly, while my skin tone can still carry this off I WANT TO! Who knew that a pair of silk stockings could spur on such activity (in addition to the above) as 20 minute sessions climbing staircases, doing incline push-ups against the washing machine while it is on spin cycle, oh yes, and the big pink yoga ball now sitting on my antique Heriz carpet demanding my use for core work?

ImageMinus the smoke rings above my head, the idea of re-capturing (for a brief moment) the refined sophistication of wearing this dress while imbibing in a so-cold-it-should-be-illegal, shaken-not-stirred, served in a chilled glass with a lemon twist and a splash of St. Germain gin Martini someplace such as Georges V, the Hotel Cipriani or the Hotel Aldon Kempinski is pretty compelling rationale for exercise.

If you enjoy my blog please consider ‘buying me a Martini’ in your currency via PayPal to livelikeadog@gmail.com and then, please do share the blog with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 

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Das Boot(s)!

Yesterday I scored a pair of utterly impractical, Kaki Daniels black velvet boots on eBay for $51.99 (original retail around $500) because, well, because of OKCupid… and also because I am working on my second book – this one about finding love after 50 (yet untitled) so I am considering them a prop for ‘field research’.

My book is chronicling my personal experiences in navigating online dating, combining it with research involving histories’ greatest lovers, Imagethe lives and ‘careers’ of women commonly referred to as Les Grandes Horizontales of 19th century France, Geisha’s, Venetian courtesans (like Veronica Franco), the seductive power of, say, Brigitte Bardot in And God Created Woman and the confusion I experienced in watching Catherine Deneuve in Belle de Jour, what makes something truly sensual, and men, oh, yes MEN, finding a GREAT ONE and what makes them respect, swoon, finally commit! That I am the least qualified woman on the planet to write about these (I am not a scholar of women’s studies, human sexuality or for that matter a historian) matters not.  Why? Let’s start with the fact that I can still hear my mother say “why do you have to make every guy your best friend?” (Maybe because that safer path meant I wouldn’t come home a pregnant teenager or acquire STDs.) Okay, and I was a virgin on my wedding night and I can count more years of not having intimate physical relations than those in which I have.  Oh yes, and I have this ABSOLUTE about physical expression needing to be bound to emotional and spiritual commitment.  But I am curious and as someone who exists in a state of mindful sensuality about virtually everything, whose friends leave notes on the back of business cards tucked inside my books saying things like “use your power wisely”, I wonder WHY have I put off finding this ‘perfect for me’ man and hopefully in finding him I might create laughter, foster thoughtfulness, encourage the passionate exploration of life and love, and find it without clichés in the process. Of course I am experiencing plenty of clichés!

Anyway, back to the boots, which in their own way are just as scary as the movie title I have used for this post!  I have never owned anything remotely like these – they are so sexy that they should come with a warning label and age restriction around their use. I am trying to figure out what (besides the obvious Lise Charmel) to wear them with, and more specifically with whom and when!?  None of that matters for the present.  It was the art of bidding here in combination with the fact that “the universe” clearly understood that I should have them is most important. One, never, ever, be in a hurry. The auction, as most are, was 7 days in duration. At the time I found the listing (primarily a fluke because I was actually searching for a pair of Emma Hope beaded and embellished mules) 3 days remained, they had one bid of $18.99, and I was not inclined to pay more than $40 plus shipping for something so frivolous. So I put them on my watch list and w-a-i-t-e-d.

I was on a Skype call when the countdown to bidding began – 34 minutes to the auction ending. It’s amazing how slowly time can pass even while multi-tasking. All of the sudden it was 3 minutes to go. At 2 minutes before auction end I opened the bid window, entered $60, prayed that my timing was spot on against the processing (actually I have never done this before) cycles at eBay, waited until the countdown clock cleared 58 seconds and submitted my bid. My heart was racing, my hands clammy. Really? Over a pair of boots I might not have the nerve to wear in public (or private) in the spirit of discovering their effect on the right man? The site registered my bid, and the high bid jumped from $18.99 to $31.99 at 2 seconds to go – and then, CONGRATULATIONS, YOU WON! My girlfriend in London did a happy dance with me virtually.

bootsMaybe the boots have certain magical powers like Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers. Almost as a reaction to my stepping over the edge of reason, the universe conspired and an OKCupid suitor sent me an invitation to be his guest in Egypt at the end of November.   (I doubt these will be in my luggage.)

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