Laughing with Strangers

I was on my way back to my room at Riverpointe in Napa, California. I had a piece of paper in my pocket with a list of 101 Dreams on it with the intention of throwing the list away. My plan for the evening was more time alone sulking, falling apart, and wondering when the pain was going to stop. My life was in ruins, or so I thought.

Marilyn Caldwell, the concierge at Riverpointe yelled out from her car, “Come on over and have some wine.” I went to decline and before I could say anything she yelled, “Get your happy little ass over here and come play with us. You are not spending the night alone.”

I had known Marilyn for a little over twenty-four hours and had quickly realized she wasn’t someone you said, ‘no’ to. I reluctantly made my way to the lobby of the resort and sat down in front of her desk. Soon we were joined by a couple from Columbia and glasses of wine were poured.

I’m not exactly certain how we got on the subject but the woman from Columbia started to tell Marilyn that the way to know how healthy you are is to look at your BM and see if they float. Marilyn stared at the woman with a look of total WTF are you talking about?

A giggle, something I hadn’t heard from my lips in sometime, escaped my lips as I drank my wine.

IMG_8215Marilyn stared at the woman and said, “You’re telling me that I’m supposed do my business in the morning, get up, turn around and ask my sh@# “how you doin today?”

Now my stomach was starting to shake as I watched her stare at the woman in disbelief, but the woman wouldn’t give up. She was determined to make her case. As she and Marilyn continued to banter Marilyn let out this deep belly laugh and suddenly I was laughing so hard at their conversation that tears were rolling down my cheeks. As they continued my sides began to ache and I was coughing from laughing so hard that I had to get up and go to of all places, the restroom.

I wiped my eyes and nose still laughing. Then I looked in the mirror and realization dawned. I took out the list and stared at the final item – to laugh so hard with a stranger my sides hurt. The final dream on the list had become the first to come true.

That was the moment everything changed. I stared into my eyes and thought – What if?

Marilyn is now a close friend and I spend many nights in Napa laughing till my sides ache. Thank you girlfriend for beginning my journey and not taking no for an answer.

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