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Welcome to #spillthebeansonlove

A True-Life Romance


Chapter 1 - I was in The Hamptons...

Here goes: I was in The Hamptons with Devon and Courtney having just finished happy hour at Wolffer Winery. Life was beautiful and little did I know it was about to get even sweeter...

So much sweeter in fact.  

The story that follows may seem like a fairytale, but know that it comes after twenty years of  learning lessons in life, dating and love. Many have called me lucky, I call myself patient, resilient, and determined. The man you'll meet in this story is my 'worth the wait.' 

Come along on this topsy-turvy love story ride and be sure to share your love stories along the way.  

Hold we go!

Chapter 2 - I'm most grateful for...

One of the things I’m most grateful for in life is my friendships. I’ve always been a girl’s girl and taking girls’ trips and nourishing these relationships has always been a priority in my life. I have a rule that I’m only friends with women whom I admire and aspire to be like in some aspect. This keeps me striving toward my best self and keeps the integrity of the people I hang out with at a high level. 

I admire so much about the two women in this story that I don’t have enough space to write it all, but I will tell you this: Devon is the most well-connected person you’ll ever meet. She knows someone everywhere we go and she’ll nonchalantly say, oh I met them 9 years ago on a train ride from NYC to Boston (Random example, but so realistic) She is a master at maintaining those friendships and relationships, and being that she’s one of the most generous people, she will give you the shirt off her back without a beat of hesitation which I’m sure is one of the many reasons everyone wants to be connected to Devon  I think of Devon as my social butterfly friend who knows where to go, what to do and will always know someone where ever we end up. 

Courtney is my sweet, genuine, modest, quiet at first friend who has no idea that she’s absolutely hilarious and one of the bravest and most adventurous souls I’ve ever met. She would never tell you that she’s whip-smart, highly successful in her field, and have traveled to most edges of the Earth even Bhutan (where she brought me back an authentic singing bowl that I use in my meditations) The three of us - very different, yet at our core possibly very alike. 

So one day Courtney and I are sitting at the pool two rosés deep, discussing her life motto #enjoythejourney, and Devon calls.  In true Devon form, she's calling with life-changing information.  She says, “do you want to go to the Hamptons for the 4th of July?” Without missing a beat, trust me, the answer is always YES!!!

Chapter 3 - We hit the road...

We hit the road from Philadelphia to The Hamptons super early, like 4am early. There’s only one road in and one road out and you can imagine how jammed up it gets on a holiday weekend, so we were on a mission to beat the traffic. As we entered the Hamptons, Devon gave us a driving tour and I remember looking out the window like a kid in a candy store taking in all the beautiful homes and the adorable shops. As we passed by all the cute restaurants I saw one that caught my eye and I mentioned to the girls that I’d love to get a lobster roll at some point. I’m not really sure why I said this, and to be honest I didn’t even remember saying this until Devon reminded me of it later in the day.

 We were too early to check into our hotel so Devon took us on a walking tour of adorable Montauk. We thought about having some midday cocktails but instead decided to sit down and have a light lunch al fresco as we were going to be heading to a winery later that evening. The air was warm, the street was bustling with eye candy and I was on vacay with two amazing friends. I wasn’t chasing joy, I was living joy.

Chapter 4 - Montauk is adorable...

Montauk is adorable. There’s something so TrumanShow / movie-set perfect about it.  We walked up and down the Main Street and did some window shopping and people watching.  The sun was out and the sky was clear.  The world was moving in a way that felt comfortable, caring, and safe.  

We decided to check into our hotel but since we still couldn’t get into our room we did the next best thing - we laid out by the pool.  The girls napped and read magazines and I watched a few young families with kids playing in the pool wondering if I would ever have the experience of playing with my own kids in the pool, and if I did, would a husband be in the picture? I’ve actually wondered this for years and in that moment at the pool watching the kids play brought back those thoughts. These aren't sad thoughts, more thoughts of curiosity.  Will I ever experience this or will it only be left to my imagination?  

We had a plan for the rest of the evening.  Step 1: Get super cute, Hamptons-style.  Next, we would head over to the house of one of Devon’s friends (obviously, Devon would know someone having a pool party in the Hamptons - obviously).  Next stop, catch music,  happy hour, and then the sunset at Wolffer Winery all while enjoying their famous rosé.  

Chapter 5 - Get cute, Hamptons style...

So this was my interpretation of ‘get cute Hamptons-Style.’ Lol. A few fake lashes, some Westmore Body Perfector, a few clip-in extensions, a white silk blouse, and my favorite skort.

Meanwhile, the humidity was on a mission that night and my nice flat ironed hair became so big and frizzy I had to take out my clip-in extensions because they were straight and my natural hair was curly (enter a very awkward hair style) Good thing I caught this hair faux pas early on while at the pool party, pre-winery bc it was UM...we’ll call it interesting in a not-ever-trending type of way.

My makeup was melting off but I just decided to roll with it and call my oil-slick face my ‘Hamptons glow.’ What’s a girl to do in 100% east coast humidity? Own it and move on. 💁🏻‍♀️

Just as we were about to leave the party and head to the winery a warm good night, thanks for everything gesture turned into a full glass of white wine flying through the air and landing directly on my white silk blouse. I had now inadvertently entered a Hamptons style wet t-shirt contest. I jumped into action doing the only trick in the book I know to take about a stain and quickly grabbed soda water and poured it all over the spill which takes my shirt to next-level wet and completely see-through.

As luck would have it, we had about a ten-minute drive to the winery which was just enough time for me to hang my chest out the car window and dry my shirt. Interestingly enough it worked pretty well and all that was left was an outline which later came out with a dry clean, but in the meantime, I could camouflage by wearing my handbag as a crossbody. ✨Score!

The winery was so very Hamptons. Beautiful scenery, beautiful people, beautiful wine. Everywhere I turned I saw beauty. The gorgeous sunset to my right, a joyful band to the left, fabulous rosé, a charcuterie plate in front of me, and two amazing friends to share it all with.

We enjoyed the evening until the sun had set. But now what? In my mind, the night was young. Where would we go, what party would we find, which celebs would we see? I was so excited to experience the Hamptons nightlife. Until this point I'd only seen it on TV and in magazines. Let's go play, I thought!

Perhaps my vision wasn’t exactly in alignment with the girls’ vision. In their defense, we did hit the road at 4am and I took a little snooze in the backseat on the way up. Regardless, looking back my biggest blessing is that they had a different idea of what to do next.

Chapter 6 - The sun has set...

The sun has set, the music is fading and I’m ready to hit the town. We pack up our blanket and souvenir wine and as we’re walking back to the car Devon suggests that we go to dinner. Dinner?! Honestly, dinner hadn’t even crossed my mind because I just ate a charcuterie plate, but because she’s so darn sweet, she says, “yes, there’s a really cute restaurant down the street where you can get the lobster roll you wanted.” Oh! Right, I asked for that. Well for starters Devon has never let me down with a dinner or social decision, and secondly, she was the DD, so quite frankly, I was happy to defer. Courtney is the most go-with-the-flow friend of the bunch who was just enjoying the journey, her life motto. We pull up to the cutest little beach shack, a Hamptons-style‘ shack’ if you will, that is actually famous in the Hamptons, not just for its lobster rolls, but also because an episode of ‘The Affair’ was filmed there. It’s called 'Lunch, The Lobster Roll'. Ironically, we were going for dinner. The three of us jump out of the car and head into the restaurant. While standing at the hostess stand I determine that the A/C is too cold for me and run back out to the car to grab my jean jacket. As I’m walking back into the restaurant, My nose is buried in my phone texting with my co-worker/'big sister' Shawn about our Friday night static beauty show that I'm missing. Interestingly enough as a ‘big sister’/mentor figure to me, a few days prior Shawn said ‘Have a great time in the Hamptons and go meet your rich, hot husband!’ ‘Ok, will do!’ I replied. Since I was fully immersed in my text convo with Shawn I was lagging a few feet behind the other girls as the hostess led us to not just A booth, but THE booth where ‘The Affair’ was filmed. Adorned with a plaque and all, we were officially sat at the special table. As I delinquently approached our ‘special’ booth and was making a decision as to which side of the booth I wanted to sit on, I glanced up from my phone, and for a second (whoooosh) the world literally stopped. Time.stood.still. I saw him. I saw the most beautiful man I’d ever seen in my entire life. And he saw me.

Chapter 7 - He saw me. I saw him...

He saw me. I saw him see me. And I kept seeing him…in fact I stared at him for so long it passed the point of flattery and went into the awkward zone. I didn’t care because some sort of bravery came over me and I thought it’s now or never - I’m going to continue to stare into the kindest eyes I’ve ever seen and now I pep talked myself into a…smile. It felt it good to smile, almost like a relief.

As fate would have it, the hostess seated him in the booth next to us. Not the ‘special’ booth, that was for us, girls, but the one next to the ‘special’ booth. I watched him sit down facing our booth. As I was walking up I was positioning myself to sit with my back to him, but then a wave of bravery took over, and without breaking eye contact or missing a beat in what felt like slow motion, I switched sides of the booth to face the most beautiful man. I maintained my eyes locked on his and nudged Devon to ‘move over…move OVER.’ (In the kindest way while being emphatic)

At that moment in time, I couldn’t blame Devon for not knowing that I was going to sit on her side of the booth, I had made a sharp change in my direction and hadn’t told her what was going on. There was no time to explain, this was my make or break decision. If I sat with my back to him, I’d have to be brave enough to turn around and talk to him, but if I sat across from him, I could ‘make eyes,’ which would be a much easier segway into a conversation.

He was sitting with another gentleman, an older man. Both of them well dressed but the most beautiful man in the world was the only one I was concerned with. He had dark hair with a fresh precision cut and not a hair out of place. He had perfectly even-toned and tan skin with a slight exotic glow (the kind I pay good money for with my beauty products) and deep soulful eyes behind stylish glasses (the kind I always wished I could pull off). He looked sharp in his suit, but his smile was the game-changer. I took all of this in and stared for an uncomfortably long period of time until he did what any nice man would do, he smiled back at me.

Chapter 8 - Perhaps he smiled out of embarrassment...

Perhaps he smiled out of embarrassment for me because I was truly taken and terribly obvious, maybe he smiled because he was flattered, or possibly and hopefully because he liked what he was looking at. I watched his perfectly shaped lips begin to split, his deep dark eyes soften and there it was, the most beautiful man with the most perfectly, imperfect smile. I melted. I was literally a puddle of rosé. The waitress came over to take our order. I’ll be honest, I didn’t even know there was a menu on the table. I was in a parallel universe and it was just me and the most beautiful man. Without even looking at the waitress, I said, ‘I’ll have the lobster roll.” “Hot or cold,” she said. “What? Cold.” I didn’t care. I wasn’t hungry for anything but attention from this stranger. I think the girls were having a conversation, I’m not really sure. My entire focus was on my connection with and gravitational pull towards this man. I had such tunnel vision that it felt as though he and I were on a date and in a very intense conversation sans words. His eyes said everything I needed to know and his smile said everything I wanted to hear. There was a force pulling my heart toward his and in my mind, it looked like gold spun thread with a small locket in the middle. My lobster roll arrived. It was massive and I was not hungry. I asked Devon where her dinner was, and she said, ‘I don’t like seafood. I wanted to bring you here because you said you wanted to get a lobster roll while on this trip.’ Classic Devon, thinking of everyone but herself. I took a bite…daintily…with my fork. There was no way I would manhandle that sandwich full of lobster and mayo and try to take a bite while having an ‘eye dance’ with my…soulmate??? I’m not sure when his dinner arrived, but at some point, I looked at his plate and realized we ordered the exact same thing. I would take a bite, he would take a bite. I would smile, he would smile. I was essentially on a very romantic date, one booth over and with three other people attending. Finally, I went for it. “Where are you guys from?” The friend answers, “Miami.” The most beautiful man answers in a ridiculously sexy accent, ‘Yes, I am from Miami.” I look him dead in the eyes, “No you’re not…where are you FROM?” “Oh,” he says, “Cuba.” I melt. I throw in the white towel, I surrender. How did he just go from a perfect ten to a perfect ten plus?

Chapter 9 - I am from Miami...

The friend answers, “Miami.” The most beautiful man answers in a ridiculously sexy accent, ‘Yes, I am from Miami.” I look him dead in the eyes, “No you’re not…where are you FROM?” “Oh,” he says, “Cuba.” I melt. I throw in the white towel, I surrender. How did he just go from a perfect ten to a perfect ten plus? Cuba, I thought. Oh wow, how exotic. I start scanning my Rolodex of friends in my head to see if I have any friends from Cuba…? None, I have officially no friends from Cuba, but I do have a friend of Cuban descent and she will be getting a phone call about this soon. I’ll be honest, I didn’t know a lot about Cuba, except the normal things, like a bit about their government, the complicated issues they have with the US, the fact that they make a coffee that can keep me wired for 3 days and that they produce GORGEOUS people. When I was in college I studied in Spain and I fell in love with the culture. It was rich and vibrant with fabulous holidays and a relaxed lifestyle. The food was savory and every meal was cherished and enjoyed for hours. The language was intoxicating, the topography was dreamy and the people were magical. Perhaps Spain was my first love, and well this stranger, might be my second. All I wanted him to do was to talk more. Anything, he could talk about anything, I wanted to hear that accent for hours. I wanted to speak Spanish with him and see if I could muster up what I’d learned 18 years prior. I wanted him to tell me all about Cuba from the Cuban perspective. I wanted to know when he got to the U.S. and how. I wanted to know where his family lived and if he got to see them often. I had a million questions. And while I’m thinking of everything I want to ask him, the friend asks where we are from? ‘Philadelphia.’ Trying to keep it short and sweet, I thought, there’s no need to expand upon that - it is what it is - moving on. We're talking and dreaming about Cuba right now!! So to keep the conversation rolling in the direction I wanted it, I looked at the beautiful man and asked, “Would you take a picture of me with my friends please?” Without missing a beat the friend (not the beautiful man) says, “Yes, of course, I will.” At this point, the A/C is on full blast and we’re all wearing our jackets - THREE.JEAN.JACKETS. 3 girls, 3 jean jackets, not embarrassing at all. (insert thick sarcasm here) We rolled with it and said it’s our band name - ‘Three Jean Jackets.’ It just rolls right off the tongue. The friend takes the picture. The beautiful man is watching. I know he’s watching so I make the prettiest smile I can while trying to be cool as I can as Jean Jacket #2 of 3. He hands my phone back to me. I inspect the pictures. ‘No good. Terrible, in fact. These must be re-taken.’ I look at the beautiful man, ‘Will you try?’ He takes our picture (it’s also not good yet not his fault, the lighting was bad, the angles were rough). I took one look at the picture, paused for dramatic effect, looked up at him, and said...“It’s PERFECT!” In my mind, the next sentence was, 'you're perfect, we're perfect, let's do this!)

Chapter 10 - She was beautiful, intelligent, and witty...

Three months prior and right around my 38th birthday, my Grandmother passed away. She and I were particularly close as I was her only granddaughter. She was beautiful, intelligent, witty, and very interested in making sure I would find someone to marry. During the last decade of her life, she would often remind me of my ex’s and ask if I would like to call any of them up to see if perhaps they would like to get married. As much as I appreciated the gesture I couldn’t help but belly laugh over this suggestion. Firstly because we had obviously broken up because we were clearly not marriage material, but also because if I have this right, I believe it takes two to tango. Of course, I knew this was coming only from the deepest love a Grandmother has for her Granddaughter. I assured her, that I would be ok. I would be patient and wait until the time is right, but in the meantime, I would be ok.

I didn’t want her to worry, so at times I even thought about staging a wedding before she passed so she could rest assured that I was in fact ok. But I knew she was too sharp and would have seen right through that lie.

When she passed, I knew with every fiber of my being that she would be my angel. I even thought she may guide me gracefully through life, but little did I know that she would be the one to organize the meeting between me and my person.

The girls were ready to hit the road. Understandably so, as we had been up since 4am or possibly even earlier. Personally, I could have stayed there all night, but that’s because when you’re falling in love your second wind kicks into high gear.

I asked for my lobster roll to-go. After all, Devon went out of her way to take me there, I only took about 3 bites and it cost almost $40. (It’s the Hamptons, what can I say?).

We got up from our famous booth and the girls headed towards the exit first. I lingered just a little bit in hopes that maybe he would ask for my number or Instagram or Facebook or Linkedin or Snapchat or place of employment or last name or ANYTHING! LOL. But he didn’t. He was a bit shy. However, what he did do, was flash me that perfectly imperfect smile and give me the look of hope and deep connection in his kind, gentle brown eyes. I stood there for a beat. He waved. I waved. I stood for another beat. I smiled. And then I walked toward the exit as I noticed my friends had already left the restaurant.

As I approached the exit, I was now in an empty, dark part of the restaurant which had already been shut down and was ready for closing. The tables were cleared, the chairs were stacked and the lights were dim. I was the only one in this section, as my friends had already exited the restaurant and were in the parking lot walking to the car. My exit from the restaurant was now mirroring my entrance to the restaurant. There I was in my own little world, a few feet behind the girls.

All of a sudden, a force physically stopped me. Not an actual human, but some sort of... I can’t explain it other than a pair or gentle yet firm, strong hands were placed on the front of my shoulders and stopped me in my tracks. I conceded. I stopped, I stood still and I listened.

A voice, a comforting yet commanding voice came into my right ear and said, “If you leave now, you will forever regret it.” It wasn't the type of regret that was fleeting or that I would get over quickly. The message that was relayed to me here was one of deep, profound regret It was made obvious that meeting this man was a crossroads, a sliding door if you will, moment in my life. Choose path A - continue on, choose path B - everything changes.

It was my Grandma. It was her voice. It was her command. Had she set this whole thing up in the mere two months she had been gone?

Chapter 11 - Stopped dead in my tracks...

Stopped dead in my tracks with legs like lead. I couldn’t move. I felt as though my feet were super-glued to the floor. I heard the command. It was loud. It was clear. It was coming from a force bigger than myself. I knew I needed to act and act swiftly. I thought, ‘Ok, I need a piece of paper.’ I realized my receipt was still in my left hand. I thought, ‘I need a pen.’ I looked down at the table in front of me, it was empty, except for not one, but two pens. In fact, there wasn’t a napkin, a piece of silverware, even a lick of trash in the room. Only tables, stacked chairs, and two pens. With my hand shaking from nerves I turned over my receipt and wrote Elise - (xxx) xxx-xxxx. I tried to write neatly because I didn't want him to have any excuse not to contact me. What if he couldn't read the number? What if my shaky hand and terrible handwriting ruins my chances? Nope, I got this. Somehow I had the wherewithal to think this through and I purposely didn't write my last name because I didn't want him to google me. I wanted him know the real me, not the me on TV with lots of makeup and perfect lighting. I turned around and walked back towards his table. Time slowed down, the room got blurry and could hear some sort of motivating soundtrack playing in my head. Simultaneously I could feel and hear the shuffle of my feet, as I put one foot in front of the other. With an intensity in my eyes I looked through the room, and to my relief, I saw that he was sitting at the booth and his friend was on the phone. I walked up sliding my feet in what looked like a shuffle/sashay all while trying to seem ever so casual. I moved the receipt from my left hand to my right and laid it on the edge of his table. Then with my cutest 'bend and snap' impression, I slid it from the edge of the table until it was right in front of him. Looking him directly in the eyes, “In case you ever want to visit Philadelphia.” And just like that, with my heart pounding out of my chest, I turned around and ran (literally ran) out of the restaurant, to the parking lot, and into the car. I slammed the car door closed and released a big deep breath. Courtney and Devon said, “Where were you?” “Um, I just gave that guy my number.” Collective shouts of “What! OMG!” followed by an eruption of laughter. “Yep, my Grandma told me to.”