Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Outside My Comfort Zone ... or so I thought

September 1, 2015

I've settled down enough to take care of some self-care and administrative tasks, like buying some new clothes suitable to the northern climate.  Milwaukee has so many great things going for it, including a great bra shop in the heart of town, where I got fitted, and now i am actually wearing a bra that fits. While this may seem to be a non sequitur in this travelogue, it is actually very relevant.

Since i have been on the road, I have been feeling more and more comfortable in my skin, especially here in Milwaukee.  I walk around the city and see people of all shapes and sizes, in every type of dress, going about their business, and i feel more and more at home each day.  At the same time, I have noticed that certain things that did not bother me before have become vexing.  Wearing the bra  i have always worn has become excruciating, so i decided to do something about it.

Patricia suggested Soma, a store in the mall nearby, and, once again, I followed her advice, even though i hate hate hate being fitted for bras.  In my experience, especially in Vero Beach, where, if you believe the looks on the clerks' faces at some of the lingerie stores, women are all moderate C and D cups, bra fittings are torture, and i have managed to avoid them for many years.

On Saturday, the friendly saleswoman at Soma measured me and informed me that they didn't carry my size, and as she saw my lower lip start to tremble, as i contemplated breast reduction surgery, she kindly handed me the card of Theresa Gaudzik, the owner of Voluptious Secrets (http://voluptuoussecrets.com), in downtown Milwaukee.

Theresa measured me and informed me that i was probably one of her smaller clients, and proceeded to find me two great bras, and instruct me on how to wear them.  I cannot believe that I am the age i am and i needed to be instructed on how to wear a bra.  But as the daughter of a small breasted mother, I did.  As soon as i had the bra on, my whole body felt different, and my head and neck no longer ached.  Just like Stacey and Clinton always said on "What Not to Wear," foundation garments will change your look and your life.  

I did not even realize that i could feel so comfortable.  And that is exactly the way i feel, here in Milwaukee.  I had no idea that there even was a place I could feel so comfortable.  Everywhere else i have lived has been because of other people.  Chappaqua was where my parents wanted to live.  Washington, DC was where my parents wanted me to go to college. And Vero Beach was where my parents lived and where i moved to help them at the end of their lives.  

All of these places were beautiful places, but none of them really suited me.  Since i have so many more places to see, I am not sure that Milwaukee will be my permanent home, but it will be a place I will return to.

Yesterday, I discovered the Cafe Hollander, located on Downer Street, where i had another delicious breakfast.

Despite all the fun and good food, every now and then, like this afternoon, I get overwhelmed by emotions - loneliness, especially.  I was never lonely before, but because i am not feeling great physically, and my bank account is running low, i tend to spiral downward, and forget about the joy in this adventure.  It's been another weepy afternoon, missing my parents and my sweet dog, and wondering how i ever got to be so alone.  This afternoon, i felt aimless, even though i did clean out my car and had it washed.  It was a sunny and humid 87 degrees, so i took a nap.

I woke up refreshed and realizing that i need a routine. 

We went to dinner at a place in the Bay View neighborhood called The Odd Duck (http://www.oddduckrestaurant.com), and had more small plates, which were unique and delicious, including 1) a cheese plate; 2)  roasted fairy tale eggplant with ricotta fritters, crushed chickpeas, dill, basil, Anaheim chili, sprouts, and black garlic yogurt; 3) salt roasted beets, with beet tahini, baby green and raw Chiogga Beet salad, soy nut granola, house pita, and smoked tzatziki; 4) buttermilk fried chicken served on top of red hot butter, creamy grits, coleslaw, and dill pickles; and 5) charred octopus with fermented black beans, rice cake noodles, snow peas, oyster mushroom duxelle, cashews, bok choy, and scallion.  All this was topped off with a delicious french wine, MurĂ© Signature Pinot Noir Alsace 2013.  
As incredibly wonderful as all this was, the hands down favorite of everyone were the gouda stuffed, bacon wrapped dates, which could have been dessert.

Apparently, all it takes to lift my mood is good friends, fun conversation, a little wine, and delicious food. Happiness returned.  


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