Thank God for, Carol Waldorf

Thank God for, Carol Waldorf - student project

Carol and I always go on Staycations just north of Naples, Florida to escape our lives. Whenever we needed to get away from the mundane cycle of everyday life and people. The freedom to just travel the 15 miles up the highway to the beach for a weekend is our medicine, (well, and Vodka libations, too I need to keep it real.) 


Naples does boast some of the most beautiful beaches, beautiful people, fancy restaurants and posh nightlife. But for us, the vibe those few miles north makes us feel a million miles away and definitely suits our idea of fun and letting go of stress and feeling free.


The first time I ever “met” Carol, I didn’t really meet her, actually. No matter how many times we tell people how we met we both still laugh as it is so funny, the scene of it all. I had driven from Naples on a weekend I didn’t have my children during my divorce to see a man I had been seeing who was working a commercial construction job in Tampa. It was a job which was to last a few weeks so the crew was set up in a Home Away from Home Hotel type place. 


As the man I was seeing was taking a shower, washing away the dirt and rubble of the day’s work off himself, I was in the sitting area on my iPhone on the internet.  Without warning the door to the room burst open with swift cause. I was startled and looked up.  All I saw was a blur of a thin tan woman with big blonde hair trailing behind her trying to catch up to her rapid paced walk/run,as she was yelling this man’s name with a cigarette in her hand while waving her arms.


The next door to fly open was the bathroom door where he was taking a shower. It banged against the wall or tub very loudly. I heard the shower curtain whip away and she is yelling his name and curse words. I hear his voice yelling back, “Carol what the fuck!!” I then realize she shares the same South African accent as the man I am seeing. I hear the shower curtain rustling and I envision him scrambling about. He then yells, “Why the fuck are you smoking in my room, get the fuck out!”


I am laughing as I am thinking this is all you have to say in this moment right NOW! “Why are you smoking in my room?” I thought I was in a movie. They both come out of the bathroom and mind you this is all happening  in less than a minute’s time. He was wrapped in a towel, with a full head of shampoo dripping everywhere. She was smoking feverishly talking fast about something about someone, I assume on the job. 


He interrupts her harshly with his loud voice,  which even though he is quite mad, sounds polite, to me given the accent. He says, “let me finish showering,  you go outside and smoke, this is Aimee, and then we shall talk.”


He points right to the open door with as much authority as one in the moment, standing soaking wet in a towel, and a soapy head can bring forth.  I was just sitting still in the chair like I just got touched in “freeze-tag,” taking in everything I had just been watching. My eyes wide open. Uh oh! What's going happen next? 


She then looked right at me. She didn’t miss a beat. She took a drag of her cigarette. She waved her hand in a full circle, and said in her thick South African accent, “Okay then, carry on!”


She left the room out the open door at the exact pace and with as much intention as when she entered. The man I was seeing, looked at me and said, “And that, is my sister, Carol!” I replied, “And no matter what happens between us ever, I get HER when it's over!”


Later in the evening Carol and I met quite properly and we had a chuckle, a few drinks and several laughs. It was the beginning of a friendship for life. Carol is part of my family now and is like an auntie to my children.


We have shared so many memories in a condensed time frame with tears of laughter, sadness, and pain. It is funny how you just know your people when you first lay eyes on them. I knew Carol was one of my people. 


So when Carol and I need more of our people and to relax we head to Ft.Myers. We had both ended up in Naples by making a choice for ourselves before ever meeting each other. Choices we both thought were going to make our lives better and happier. 

In some ways the choice moving here did those things, in other ways, Naples is a place I think we both feel stuck in. Neither of us can leave yet to go where we want permanently. This is one of many things Carol and I have in common.The desire to leave Naples. 


It sounds crazy as people who know Naples, know it as a beautiful, wealthy and warm weather beach destination. Naples is all those things. Naples is also a very generous town. I have done charity work and attended Gala events here, and have seen such giving take place it’s unimaginable to most.     


I have never been an overly fancy girl. I'd rather be barefoot in the grass in overall jeans and a tee. I like sunshine but a breeze because I hate it too hot.  A no makeup face suits me just fine. I do have my fancy side. The heels and blown out hair and great dress, Yet it's not the way I want to live. It's not who I am in my soul.


I do love the chill life. I do take things very seriously, especially funny things. I surrender to a process of I am sure it will be fine, despite all the nights of not sleeping a wink thinking like Henny Penny! So my arch is vast to say the least, yet it all comes together. My people get this about me, as they are on this same arch.


I am simple at heart and one of my soul sisters is Carol. We have always held true to a no judgment friendship from the start.  It has led to brutally honest conversations and hilarious funny memories. Memories of which always make these little escapes to Ft. Myers forever priceless. 


We typically share a room as we are on a budget and our goal isn't to go up there and meet random men for the night. Though we joke,”if you need me to sleep in the car I will,” which never happens.


Our nights end at the McDonald’s drive-thru ordering two number twos, and laughing like first graders cause I’ll say to the poor person on the speaker, “do you get it? I said, I want two number twos!” (hehehehe)


We always head home with a touch of sunburn, bags of clothes we never wore, the car full of sand, new memories and our heads somewhat sorted again. I cherish these Staycations they are few and far between.


When we can’t make the short distance out of town, we have our open sessions of porch therapy. We joke we feel like Waldorf and Statler when we are the only ones in attendance at these sessions. We are joking and complaining about life. Laughing, sharing and sometimes crying.


I just thank the Gods, Greek and otherwise, Carol burst through a door into my life very unexpectedly one night, and we are carrying on.