San Francisco

While we stayed in a lovely lakeside hotel during our vacation I sat in bed one night staring out the window while contemplating what I saw. It was dark outside but the lights from the hotel were somehow both cozy and remote at the same time.

(The photo above is of the view of the lake from the room. The many people you see were at the restaurant in the hotel that overlooks the lake or just taking in the view from the restaurant balcony as pictured.)

…One thought that kept occurring to me was how different it truly feels to live next to water. I lived next to the Puget Sound for two years so I have a little experience. Now, however, we live near a river but that’s certainly not the same as living next to a huge lake, much less the ocean.

But also, I thought of one of my aunts (she married my father’s older brother) and her sister and her sister’s daughter. The daughter’s name isn’t Jackie but we’ll call her that for privacy reasons.

Jackie’s father was a heart surgeon and her mother was (my aunt’s sister) a nurse researcher. For years she was, anyway… BUT these days her mother is currently selling her art at galleries. She and her second-husband (an orthopedic surgeon) seemingly have retired in San Francisco while maintaining their home in the lakeside city we visited (where Jackie grew up). And Jackie also lives in San Francisco now and works as a lawyer.

*sigh*

During more than one summer family party in my adolescence, and very early adulthood, I recall being told about Jackie’s latest endeavors. And often I somehow found my way on her path without knowing it. For example, when I said I was considering working as a lobbyist when I grew-up I was told, “Oh, [Jackie] is considering that very same thing!” About something else it was, “Oh, [Jackie] is into that too!” Etc. …We were apparently similar and since she is a few years older than I am I eventually got used to following her lead by accident. I just started to assume we were up to the same things without ever even asking…

…But then I changed.

And now, after working in D.C. for many years Jackie is living and working in San Francisco. She owns a very lovely old home there too and frankly I can’t help thinking she might have an at least somewhat glamorous life… And unlike a lady (we’ll call Laura) near my age I’ve known since childhood who works in D.C. in a rather important government position and who’s father is best friends with my father and has been since college…Jackie seems very content to be single and thriving in her career? At least, that’s the sense I get. Again, Laura is very successful (she could apparently get a job at the White House if she wanted) but…she doesn’t seem to be the same as Jackie. Neither am I though.

No, I’m much more like Laura. Actually, I’d like to sit down with Laura and have coffee and talk. I miss her. But…Jackie…is fascinating.

Jackie’s aunt (also my aunt) idolized Marlo Thomas from “That Girl” in her youth and frankly she even looked like her a bit. So does Jackie… And they’re both stunning, so I mean that as a compliment, of course.

Yet, as I sat staring out that lakeside window I felt some sort of…melancholy. There are only so many things you can do with your life and I wish that we all could do more and live more. Perhaps having just seen my 90 year old grandfather-in-law also inspired a bit of pensive reflection. And it’s not just that it’d be fun to be able to be in more than one place at a time and have both a brilliant career and be a stay-at-home mom all at once. It’s that I wish the Jackie sorts could live longer. They do so much for our world… And we must all get old after all…

But, truly, I’ve made my choices and I tried to be as true to myself as I could be. However, regardless, I do respect the ladies of the world who are the reason we took shows like “Sex and the City” seriously. They are women who are elegant, well-bred, well-educated and…well…just charming. And while I think the characters on “Sex and the City” were (at times unfair or unflattering) caricatures of real women like Jackie, they at least gave a tiny glimpse into the lives of such individuals as themselves.

…My father went to San Francisco to visit last year and was disappointed by his experience in the city, although he loved seeing our family and relations. And actually a lot of people seem to dislike San Francisco now… But, it still seems like a beautiful city in my mind.

I highly doubt Jackie will read this, but suffice it to say, her house is in the single digit millions, I believe, as most homes are in San Francisco in good areas, and I’m sure it’s obviously a really lovely house, BUT…that night, at the lake, I got bored and a good friend of mine, who I was talking with, asked me what my absolute dream house (think dream, as in not likely to be reality) in San Francisco would be so I looked. And goodness… Some of the homes in San Francisco are…*shaking head* absolutely awe-inspiring. *rolling eyes in wonder* My goodness… I think I might be scared to own a house that expensive, especially in an area prone to earthquakes, but it’s amazing the sort of extreme beauty one can find in that city nowadays. Some of them sell for around 40 million or more. *silence*

So, I’m closing this post with a screenshot photo of one of my favorites just because I’m in the mood to see grand architectural splendor (“Hello” to the dear friend I was talking with.):

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