The fondue was really awesome. It was pricey, but awesome. We dipped bread and veggies and apples in a garlic-y cheese fondue pot as the first course, along with salads. The second course was various meats (marinated chicken, top sirloin, shrimp, lobster) and vegetables (mushrooms, potatoes, zucchini, carrots) which you place in a special broth that’s boiling. You cook your own food, and they give you an array of sauces. This was all at Forever Fondue in Mission Valley. It was a social fun food thing. None of this is unprecedented.
The dessert was various fruits and some cake and cheesecake which we dipped or drizzled in melted milk chocolate from the fondue pot. Highly yummy. This also is not unprecedented.
After, we went and saw the very funny movie Barbershop (Cedric the Entertainer cracks me up). It had us all laughing! I really like Ice Cube as an actor. The movie was maybe a little predictable, but the textures of what feels like real life. While I’m not black, I remember going to the barbershop as a teenager and getting the same kind of comfort and banter you can only get at a barbershop. As to the reaction the movie has gotten from “black leaders,” I really like Oliver Willis’ How “Barbershop” Exposed Jesse & Al, and having now seen it, I couldn’t agree more with Oliver. Again, none of the above is unprecedented.
As Jennifer said in her journal, the Fondue Foursome was unique. It was unique in that the “party of four” consisted of my good good and longtime friend Erin (we worked at the San Diego Public Library together in the late 1980’s); Jennifer, the wife from whom I’m separated and will, we have decided, divorce; and my new girlfriend, Leah came. Yes, it sounds strange. We remarked that someone should be filming this or that it’s like something from a Woody Allen movie, but really, it was unremarkable in how it looked. We got along wonderfully. Jennifer and I have come to this interesting space where we are good good friends. We agree that we no longer want to have a relationship that is marital. We have gone through counseling, and speak and have spoken at length about what we want for the future. For neither of us does that future include a world where Joe and Jennifer are married. Having deep knowledge of that is a blessing for both of us, and it took quite some time to realize it. At the beginning of the separation I desperately wanted her back, and she wanted nothing to do with me. We went to counseling, and later, she wanted me back, and I found myself not wanting her back. As we have spent more time hanging out as friends, we realize that neither of us really wants the other back. Friends, yes. Husband and wife, no. Anyone I or Jenny or Leah or Erin told about this particular Friday night at Fondue and Movies before the fact did not believe it. So I suppose that it really is unprecedented.
Which brings me to say something more about Leah. She’s a wonderful person, and I have not known her very long at all. It is true that we have moved very fast, and we realize that danger and are attempting to turn the pot down so we don’t boil over. Neither of us wants to get scalded. But I know that we have a wonderful time together, we are both creative in a visual way, and when I look into her eyes there’s a familiarity there that I can’t say I’ve ever felt before. My Mother, who definitely reads this journal, has warned me of this concept of “glimmerance” – that new love blinds. She’s right, and is backed up by my counselor, who warns me to slow down. She describes new love as a kind of temporary insanity. So my new girlfriend and I feel like sailors on the sea, trying to find a way out of the fog of newness, and see where we stand when we can see each other clearly and rationally. The irrationality and mania of new love is wonderful, but it is not, uh, encouraging of rational decision-making. Some may say that the Fondue party was a bad idea to begin with, but as it was not based in malice or a desire to create jealousy or enmity, I can’t see how it was a bad thing. We had a great time, I think.
And so it goes, my unique life with unexpected things happening all the time. I had been quite nervous about it all, but life will surprise you when you’re honest and open your heart.
I’m working on this theory about stupid/fearless. That when you open your heart and are honest with people you’re in this stupid/fearless mode. You must be prepared for rejection, for bad feelings, but if you open your heart to people who are coming also from a place of honesty and openness, the risk in being stupid/fearless goes way down, and things are stupid melts away, and it’s fearless – fearless truth, and fearless honesty. If it all is based on respect, it is good.
And things are good. I realize with every waking hour how lucky I am to have the friends and family that I have.