Making Adventure Part of Your Routine

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I think it's important—from time to time—to do something outside your normal routine, out-of-the-ordinary, something a little adventurous. Here's a story about one of my favorite adventures:

Lesson 2: Indulge yourself! Romance. Sex. Adventure.

I like being a woman, and I like being with a man: being courted, flirting, holding hands, laughing over silly double entendres. Something may or may not come of it, and that’s okay. I like indulging that part of myself. Having sex is important, too. It doesn’t always have to be love; it’s fine that sometimes it’s closer to “I think I kinda love you right now”. Under the right conditions, sex is really good for you, good for your body, good for your soul.

And God bless Dr. Mehmet Oz who actively promotes sex for its medical benefits (which gives us another reason to do “it”). He says that people who have active sex lives have better cardio health, sleep better and live longer. Honest. He says this a lot.

It should be sex-among-equals, though. Meaning: not somebody’s husband, and not somebody with whom you really want more, but can’t get it. If he’s not your significant other, you should both be clear what the deal is. That way, nobody gets hurt and everybody has fun.

The adventure part is just about pushing the envelope a bit. Dating should be fun… and occasionally doing something out-of-the-ordinary is particularly enjoyable. Dial it up just a little bit. You’ll look back at it and smile for years to come. I promise.

The story behind the lesson:

At 26, I moved from Washington, DC to New York and was just delighted to be here. I didn’t know many people, so each weekend I’d eagerly set out on my own to discover something new. Looking back, I’m reminded of the line in Stevie Wonder’s song, “Living For The City”: “Wow. New York City. Skyscrapers and everything!” It was all so exciting. One weekend, I found myself in Greenwich Village. I walked around Christopher Street, then turned onto West 4th Street and that’s where one of my favorite adventures began.
A guy approached me. He said he’d been watching me from his friend’s window and liked what he saw, so he decided to come down. He was low-key and non-threatening, but hearing that I was being watched from a window spooked me a little bit. He introduced himself, giving the name of a well-known, A-list actor. I didn’t believe him, of course. He did look a lot like him, though. I became a little confused…then my guard went way up. The monologue in my head was: “This guy can probably tell I’m a bit of a hick from out-of-town, and he thinks I’m gullible. He knows he looks like Mr. Famous Actor and thinks I’m stupid enough to believe that he is”. I let him know in no uncertain terms that I wasn’t about to be duped. He pulled out his Screen Actors Guild card to prove that he was who he said he was. The card had the name of Mr. Famous Actor. But I still didn’t believe him. It’s not hard to get a fake i.d.; how hard could it be to get a fake SAG card?

By this point, I was getting a little uncomfortable because this guy had put a little too much effort into impersonating this actor, so I went inside a Gristedes grocery store to ask a manager or someone to get this nut away from me. He followed me in- side. Then the manager came over and excitedly shook his hand. And the customers in the store smiled and pointed. Oh! I quickly realized that this guy was who he said he was! Wow. Ok. So I gave him my telephone number. He wrote it on a $20 bill because neither of us had any paper. I was excited.
I went home grinning, hardly believing what just happened, and thinking: is this what living in New York is like?!I do belong here!
He called me that night and we made plans to get together the next day. I tried on a dozen outfits trying to find just the right one. I wanted it to look just right: cute and pulled to- gether, but not like I was trying too hard. I didn’t want it to be too dressy because that would be corny.

I could barely concentrate at work that day, but I didn’t dare tell anyone what I was doing that evening. They might think that the new girl was a kook. I left work and hopped in a cab. I showed up at his apartment building and I was a little embarrassed because I was wondering if the lobby manager thought I was a hooker; he looked at me with what I thought was a bit of a smirk. Anyway, he buzzed me up, I got in the elevator, and Mr. Famous Actor opened the door before I could knock. He made a clumsy move that started out like a hug but ended up being more of a pat on my shoulder.

We grabbed a bite to eat in the restaurant downstairs and I proceeded to have the most boring date of my entire life! In fact, it was dread-ful. I was still a little nervous, and he was practically mute –not exactly the formula for a stimulating evening. What I know now is that this Actor is well-known for not being much of a talker, often giving interviewers shrugs and one- word answers to their questions. But I didn’t know that then. I didn’t know what was wrong, but I knew what we were doing wasn’t working. We finished eating, and I made up an excuse to leave. I couldn’t tell if he cared or not. I was so confused. Here I was brand-new to New York City, out with Mr. Famous Actor, which should be the most exciting thing I’ve done and yet …nothing.

When I got home, I felt a little more clear-headed. I decided I could have handled the situation more cleverly, so I called him, and was pleased that I didn’t really have to say much. We made plans to get together the next afternoon. I took the day off. I wanted this time to go better, and I didn’t need the distraction of work. So I went there with high hopes and when I arrived, we hugged at the door. Inside, we made more awkward attempts at conversation (this guy was giving me one-word answers), while I was trying to decide where to sit. There weren’t a lot of choices. Most of the chairs had piles of stuff, lots of paper and boxes, so the bed would actually be easiest, but that would be too obvious. As I was standing and wondering if he’d clear off a chair for me, he kissed me. It was nice; now we’re getting somewhere. And, of course, we continued –all the way, as they used to say. Wow!

We took a quick nap after and watched some TV…and made much better small talk this time, for some reason that I don’t know. Later, while I was showering, I thought, “I can’t believe I’m in Mr. Famous Actor’s shower…touching all his soap, using his deodorant, drying off with his towels”. This was a long way from Nicholson Street, where I grew up. I liked the way he watched me while I got dressed, though he didn’t say much, except that he was leaving town later that week for a movie he was shooting. “Okay,” I said. “I’ll see you when you get back”. I didn’t, though, unless on the Big Screen counts. That ended my first NYC adventure.



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