Tag Archives: provincetown

Seven Year Itch

Today on Alphabet City: Jon Paul realizes Frida has reached middle age, and that Chef may have got bitten by the seven-year itch.

Our little one soon after her birth

Our little goose turns 7 today, which effectively means that our incurably cute Bichon Frise Frida has reached middle age.  Chef and I have begun noticing the telltale signs of aging (early dementia?) that runs in our family—restless sleeping, irritability around children.  Then there are the mysterious new habits like randomly removing kibble from the bowl and leaving uneaten bits on carpets and stairways throughout the house.

It’s funny to think back now that exactly this time 7 years ago I had forged Chef’s name on the breeder’s adoption application and was plying him with wine to lessen the impact of the news that we were starting a family (Alphabet City’s Episode 15 And Baby Makes Three).  At the time, Chef claimed he wasn’t a dog person thanks a particularly unfortunate childhood experience with the family Weimaraner.

Chef and Frida on the ferry to Fire Island

Soon enough though Frida Carlota Xochtil Amarilla Buchmeyer-Chavez (her full Mexican birthright name) had charmed the pants off Chef, and those two have been in love ever since.

Sure, I’m still Alpha Dad—the one she relies on for food and walks and treats.  But Frida has a special bond with her Papa Chef.  His legs are the ones she curls up inside at night.  I’m the one she forces out of bed in the morning so she can snuggle next to him.  She’ll sit with him and watch World Cup matches no matter the time of day, no complaints.  Both of them share a love of True Blood, Smallville and Dexter.  They’re easy companions, through and through—like Father and Daughter.

The family in Provincetown

Meanwhile, I have classic Working Mother Syndrome.  I arrange the childcare, and interview the au pairs/dog walkers (all of ours have a painting background which we’re sure is a good influence on Frida).  I take her to the allergy specialist and dole out the meds.  I feel guilty when traveling, and get punished and ignored for a day upon my return.

In the early years, Frida traveled with me.  She was a regular on the West Coast prancing through the lobby of the L’Ermitage Beverly Hills and exploring the grounds of Montage Laguna Beach.  She took in the Cherry Blossoms in the nation’s capital and ran the corridors of Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco.  She lounged poolside in Puerto Vallarta.  She even went to New Orleans for Susan’s birthday and enjoyed beignets at Café du Monde.

At Montage Laguna Beach

Cherry blossoms in DC

Lounging in Puerto Vallarta

Beignets in New Orleans

The mad pumpkin

But middle age has brought on a bout of persnicketiness.  The girl likes a set schedule.  Up at 6am to look out the front window.  6:30am return to bed to push Papa (me) out of the way.  7am visit Papa downstairs and lay on couch.  7:30am back patio to chase stray cats.  8am check on Papa at his computer.  8:30am stretch and whine for walk.  8:45am walk.  9:00am Papa departs.  Any switch in schedule is cause for much concern, pitiful looks, cries and opportunities for lap sitting.  Except Friday, that day, she somehow knows is Papa-Often-Works-From-Home-Day when anything goes.

This week is National Take Your Dog to Work Week.  And so, Frida is right here in my lap, looking at me with her big saucer eyes—sensing that I am writing something about her, no doubt.

Lately, Chef has mentioned the possibility of getting Frida a sister.  He must have the seven-year itch.  I don’t know.  Maybe I’ve got my hands full with this one—especially as she moves into her twilight years.  I start to get nervous remembering the searing pain when my last little goose Winnie passed away.  And I hug Frida a little too close.

Then she winks, doles out a round of wet kisses, and I smile, knowing Chef and I have raised quite the little charmer.  Happy Birthday, goose.

Two proud papas

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Speed(o) Demon

Today on Alphabet City: Jon Paul confesses that his love for bikinis has lead to some painful experiences.

Somewhere along the way I developed a deep appreciation for Speedos.  And I don’t just mean tingling excitement from seeing a hunky guy parade down Fire Island letting it (almost) all show.  No, I mean that I, myself, much prefer to don a bikini than baggy board shorts.

It’s not like I can chalk it up to a European upbringing.  In Texas, I was raised to wear much more modest pool attire.  And it’s not like I have a toned torso that I love to show off.  I have battled weight my entire life.

Maybe it started when I was 14, and just coming to terms with my body and sexuality.  I used flip through GQ magazine pulling out pictures of models in revealing swimwear, creating a collage on poster board of my ideal man that I hung in my room.  Remind me again how my Mom was surprised when I came out officially several years later?

In my "couture" bikini going snorkeling in Tahiti...so butch

At the time, the only place in town I knew sold actual men’s bikinis was Neiman Marcus—they catered to men with more of a “special” fashion sense.  I saved up my pennies and steeled my courage to purchase one for myself.  When my father and stepmother were away, I’d put it on and lay poolside.  I also doused my hair with special Sun-In to bring out the highlights.  Oh I was a vision.  And felt so sexy and like such a rebel.

My fetish flourished when I took up residence on Alphabet City.  There was no shortage of places catering to men wanting to display their package.  Over the years, I’ve acquired quite the menagerie of swim attire.  Flashy red floral for Puerto Vallarta’s gay beach.  Cheeky green plaid for Provincetown.  Understated deep purple for more family oriented resorts in the Caribbean.

Last year for my 40th birthday, I even had a “couture” suit designed by swimwear designer Keiko—something to show off my Green Lantern tattoo placed high on my thigh.  I needed something with just the right colors, and cut so as not to ride up my butt—I was going to be entertaining friends on a boat in Sydney, after all.  A little modesty was required, after all.

As I’ve aged, it’s taken more work to look “presentable” in a bikini.  I’ve lost weight, pumped up my legs and trimmed the unruly hair on my thighs.  When I started noticing some odd patches of hair growing on my back, I immediately booked my first waxing treatment at men’s spa Nickel.

After disrobing and laying prostate on what looked like a sacrificial alter, Latin American aesthetician Monica gave me a once over.

“Ay papi, it’s not just your back.  That hair on your butt needs to go, too.”

“Why?  It’s mostly covered up.”

“No, no baby.  From looking at your tan line, some of that hair is poking out.  Monica gonna take good care of you.  Just relax.  You want inside as well?”

“Um, I don’t know what that means.”

“Sweetie, you watch porn?  How you think those boys have no hair there?”

Holy Christmas!  Just the thought of it made me writhe in pain.  Turns out, there’s a male equivalent of the female Brazilan wax.  I’ve named it after Monica’s home country—Ecuadorian Torture.

“Well, okay, I’ll try anything once.”

Famous last words.

Yesterday, as I dropped my towel in front of my gym locker, I noticed my tan line fading, along with memories of the warmth of Mexico.  But the cute guy next to me winked, and told me he liked my tattoo—and my tan line.  Nice.  Just the reaction, and boost of self-esteem, I’d been looking for.

Time to book my next trip to a sunny locale.  But what Speedo will I take?

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