Thursday, February 5, 2009

Prevention ~ Cigar Night ~TED & IRENE

Yesterday afternoon I had a four-hour Suicide Prevention Training at work. They give it to supervisors largely because the overwhelming majority of people at our agency wear uniforms and carry weapons. Statistically, most suicide attempts with guns are fatal. Of course, I work in the Trade side and don't have a weapon, but the training was still required. On the whole it was useful. And our agency has a decent Employee Assistance Program (EAP). I've considered using it myself at times. Instead, I've gone to resources at Kaiser, and am now contemplating going to a private therapist. I'm still such a heart-sick, hopeless & foolish Romantic!

After work I stopped by my club and expected to find it relatively empty on a Wednesday afternoon. I had forgotten that it was the annual black tie Cigar Night. I talked with a couple friends before it began, and before heading off to a birthday party. How Dennis used to love those Cigar Nights. The real reason for going is the food. It's one of the best dinners of the year! But then there is all that cigar smoke, and I seem to have lost my tolerance for it. Curiously, a decade ago-- for my 50th birthday-- I hosted a black tie cigar dinner at home for ten guys. Again, I just liked the ambiance of the entire event... and overlooked the smoke.

From the club, I went to Irene's condo on Geary Boulevard near JapanTown for a birthday party. Irene was in my grieving research/support group two and a half years ago. She had lost her long time husband Ted. A year or so later I hosted hors d'oeuvres at my flat for the six of us in the group and the assistant moderator before going to dinner at one of the fine new restaurants in my neighborhood. At my event Irene became better acquainted with one of the other participants, whose name also happens to be Ted. (He had lost his wife Edie.) Since then Ted2 and Irene have become good companions. They credit me with getting them together. I took the iPhone photo at Sunday brunch in December at Delancey Street on the Embarcadero.

The party last night was for Irene's friend Annie who had turned 86 the day before. She's still quite active and very stylish. She lives next door to Robin Williams' soon-to-be-ex-wife in Sea Cliff. (She's getting the house). Both Irene and Ted had their dogs who were relatively well behaved. Mimi-- a predominantly white papillon --is darling. And Ted's Elizabeth is a black and white bassett/spaniel mix -- a real sweetheart. I had thought of taking Rose and Rupert, but my training was supposed to go longer than my usual stop time, so I decided to leave them at home in the good care of my neighbors Ben and Susan. The other guest Margaret, a landscape architect, gave me a ride home after dinner before R & R had returned from next door. They, of course, had enjoyed themselves immensely!

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