I find it hard to write today as I vacillate between images of Michael Fassbender, sea turtles, jeweled gowns, red lava, and dolphins effortlessly spinning 4 feet out of the water.
I have seemingly not yet re-entered the earth’s atmosphere. I’ve been floating in some godly realm of supernatural landscapes and moviestars. Something does not want me to go back to how things were, or have always been. How can I? Now that I’ve been privy to such a preposterous dream?
Explanations, dear reader, yes– I hear you. I have just come back from a week on the Big Island of Hawaii (my first time ever), and no sooner had I landed than I was propitiously catapulted into the spectacle that is Oscars night. It feels something like the latest Thor movie wherein all 9 realms align at once and universes converge offering glimpses into new worlds, different possibilities, unrealized potential, bigger dreams. It also feels like a tropical island-infused jet lag acid trip.
First things first– Hawaii. Oh my God. Why was I not alerted to this before? Why have I only just now been introduced to the most magically delicious place on earth? I really had no idea. I mean, people talk about Hawaii and it sounds wonderful and everything, but, oh my God! It’s almost too good to be true.
You may think I’m blowing smoke up your nethers, but you be the judge: In the 7 days I was there I swam with 6 sea turtles plus countless fish right out of Finding Nemo, I paddle boarded with a group of spinner dolphins, I spied so many whales I lost count, and watched a whale family of three surface 30 feet from our boat– each creature coming up for air with its own signature spouting noise. I saw geckos, wild goats, and mongooses (mongeese?). I took a helicopter ride and saw molten lava burning down a forest. I saw the milky way, at least fifteen different kinds of hibiscus, danced the hula, and I ate my body weight in papaya.
It’s the kind of place that makes you wonder why you would ever leave. It’s also the kind of place that makes you wonder- Does a piña colada count as a breakfast smoothie?
And then came the dreaded 11 hour flight back to New York, and the time-change weirdness and then – Holy Frijoles! The Oscars are on! What can I say? I love it. I love the glamour, the dresses, the beautiful women, the beautiful men, the lights, the cameras, the action. It’s like an experiment to see how much glittering talent you can fit into one room. It explodes my brain into joy. It does. And then the ethereal grace and majestic beauty that is Lupita gives her acceptance speech, and my heart overfloweth.
What is it that both Hawaii and the Oscars have that propels me into a state of delirious ecstasy? ROMANCE. And what is it that every woman wants? ROMANCE.
And I’m not talking canned cheese romance with candlelit dinner and red roses. I’m talking titillating mystery, sparks of excitement, ravishing beauty, hot sex, racing anticipation, and sublimely being whisked away from your everyday life.
Which brings me to Michael Fassbender. And Jane Eyre.
*Sigh*… Can we just take a moment here?
Not only have I just returned from tropical Oscar bliss, but I have also just completed reading Charlotte Brontë’s classic romantic novel Jane Eyre. I am dripping in Romance. It is indulgent and glorious and I think I shan’t ever return.
You may be straining to find the link between all this and Mr. Fassbender, but do you really need one? I mean, c’mon.
This lovely creature was in the latest adaptation of Jane Eyre playing the dark, handsome, and devilishly romantic Mr. Rochester. He was also highlighted in this years Oscars with his nomination for Best Actor in 12 Years a Slave. And he has an Irish accent which makes him magically delicious– thus linking him to Hawaii. Somehow.
So. The thing about romance is that it is really really good for all of us womens. It actually washes our brains in all sorts of beautiful and natural chemicals that dramatically increase our joy, boost our radiance, and stoke our creativity.
Romance is what keeps us happy, healthy, horny and excited to get out of bed in the morning- or stay in bed rather. Ahem.
What does this mean for us when we are not vacationing on a sun-drenched isle or watching starlets trip over the red carpet? How can we access more romance in our everyday existence and bathe in those dreamy endorphins?
Here’s my shortlist:
1) Go exploring.
When you try something new– peppermint lipgloss, an improv class, a fortnight in Morocco– you are being swept out of your everyday and into the unknown. Voilá! Romance. This is what Elenor Roosevelt meant when she said, “Do one thing everyday that scares you.” A true romantic right there.
2) Find your turn on.
Make a list of all the things that make you hot and bubbly on the inside. Silk against your bare skin? Stretchy scarves you can wrap yourself up in? Fresh flowers? Smiling at your morning barista? Giving a stranger a compliment? Don’t get hung up on it having to be sexual. Sexual healing is highly rad, but turn on is more than that. It’s about doing what feels good on a deep emotional, spiritual, psychological level as well. If green smoothies turn you on because they clear up your digestion and make you feel more comfortable in your body, then by all means- go there.
3) Surprise yourself. Why not?
The late fashion icon and true maverick romantic Diana Vreeland had an ongoing column in Bazaar magazine called “Why don’t you…”. In it she shared a bevy of ideas to spice up your life and/or wardrobe. “Why don’t you wear a bowler hat?”, "Why don’t you have a yellow satin bed entirely quilted in butterflies?”, “Why don’t you tie an enormous bunch of silver balloons on the foot of your child’s bed on Christmas Eve?” Delicious, non? Life is too short not to enjoy it fully. There ain’t no rules. You get to make it up as you go. So go big.
The trick here is that all of this romance starts with you. Waiting around for your boyfriend, your husband, Michael Fassbender to charge in on his gallant steed and sweep you off to a magical Hawaiian paradise is not going to help you. What IS going to help you is making a priority of falling in love with your amazingly fantastic Self and romancing the hell out of Her. She is SO worth it.
So until next time, Aloha, Mahalo, and remember– Romance begins with you. It actually begins with R, but you know what I mean. Go get ‘em tiger.