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Anastasia (Sissy) Prot. Karamerou
T h e M a r r i a g e
It was the 10th of October 1987, when my cousin Jane was getting married. The preparations for the wedding had started long ago and I had participated in it!
The night … arrived and both, the bride and the groom were listening carefully to the “sacred” words of the Orthodox priest. The quests were attending the ceremony happily…When time came, me and some other single girls were passing through the people to offer them “rise and flowers” as the Greek tradition demands.
I was around 30 then, blond, not natural though, medium height, rather rounded… nicely rounded….but pretty. I was wearing my taffeta white night gown –my mum had sewed for me- leaving a bit of the front of my bust free in a heart shape, with pleaded short sleeves. A big ribbon decorated my dress. As for jewellery, I was wearing “stras” –tiny, little Austrian crystals– on the neck, accompanied with the same kind of earrings and bracelet.
Everybody liked me that day, I was happy for my younger cousin, I never envied her for getting married younger and earlier than me.
The couple took a few days off for their honeymoon trip and when Jane returned to her office, Tom -one of the Senior Managers- asked her who that girl with the lovely white dress was and looked like “Princess Sissy”!!
My cousin was really astonished! Yes! My name is Sissy!!
They were both … astonished!
Tom expressed the desire to meet me. But Jane tried to avoid the meeting finding all sorts of excuses, knowing how much as peculiar person I was!!
Once, I had an unlucky engagement, when I was 23 -I loved him dearly-my first love…..it took me years to stop thinking of him… Clayton was his name…..*
T h e a c q u a i n t a n c e
Tom was really sure and confident of himself that he and I would eventually go out together and I would not reject him. And so it happened! It was amazing! We just went out for coffee and it turned out to be a lovely evening at a taverna.
I went home at 4:30 in the morning. Noteworthy mentioning that I had to give a “push” on his car ….which happened to brake down!! How could I forget that evening?…Full of talking, laughs, jokes….music..and generally a nice first evening.
Now, that I am writing these words, I am inclined to mention you the dream I had on the 27th of August 1987….
….after a long time –since my maturity….and some experience …. I start to believe that things are meant to happen- as if Destiny rules everything in life – good or bad, fortunate or not……
In Greece there is a Saint called “ Agios Fanourios” , a Saint that reveals things to followers …especially, if you ever lose something.. oh yes…you must turn to the Saint of Revelation…..
Young women , a day before the Saint’s Name day (meaning the 26th of August),usually prepare a kind of a fasting cake…a delicious cake with no eggs and no milk , only oil, flour ,raisins, …..
In the afternoon, in the mess, the faithful bring the cakes to the church to be ” blessed”…..and then after the end of the ceremony the cakes must be shared… At night the unmarried girls put a small piece wrapped in aluminium foil under their pillow –for 3 days- The Saint is said that will reveal them their future husband……….
Thus, on the eve of August 27th….I kept the tradition!
In the morning I woke up with the name of “Tom” !!!, a person I had never met …with a beard , wearing a light gray raincoat, having his lapel risen up……and me …wearing tangled golden bracelets…..
Peculiar, I said to myself…what a dream !!!
Time passed by until the day I first set eyes on him! October 1987…Yes…I remembered my dream! It was the same person …and fancy what! …His name was Tom!!!
R e l a t i o n s h i p
Then we were seeing each other regularly. I liked him. I think I was not in love with him. I tried hard not to be in love with him-to feel deeply in love. I suppressed my feelings. I did not want to be hurt again. I did not want him to leave me as Clayton had done for another woman. I did not want to be disappointed again! Maybe that was my mistake. I lost my spontaneity!
Tom was married again…not having any children from his previous marriage. I knew that from the very beginning. What I hated most was that I did not wish to become the victim…I wanted, I needed to be loved because of ME, of my personality, of my graces, my knowledge, everything which was mine-ME!
Anyway, after 2 years of engagement and after getting his divorce and so many obstacles…..that we over passed -we got married on Dec 30th 1989. It was a lovely wedding ceremony, with 450 guests.
My wedding gown- especially shown for me -made of satin, ornamented with lace and pearls, Victorian Style- was superb.
My 6 bride maids with light purple gowns were the “clue” of the evening. Many people would remember my wedding for years… only because it was different from the Greek tradition.
M a r r i e d l i f e
Our married life rolled nicely, going out, seeing friends, going dancing and travelling…
I started loving him dearly, showing him affection, fondness, care. I was not scared anymore. I was letting myself free…I was kissing him whenever I felt like, embracing him, wanting to make love…
Unfortunately, he never showed me affection and tenderness the way I was hoping to. He had a peculiar way of showing his love….Now after so long I wonder …
Had he ever loved me at all????
U n f a i t h f u l n e s s
He was buying me flowers and jewellery-bunches of flowers were sent to me either at the office or at home….and golden rings and bracelets……
That was his way of showing love??? or was it because he was feeling quilt?
Is this what a woman needs?
As for our sex life I dare not say much…One …can understand …words are not necessary to be told……..
I tried to be patient…I tried to please him ,satisfy him…I needed something to change our sex life…I used my imagination…I tried to pretend another situation…..he didn’t follow…he either didn’t know how…to make “stories” with his wife………he preferred …..showing his manhood otherwise…..
Since he never managed to get me pregnant, replacing his problem to me….he started flirting…..
I realized everything.
I begged him to stop. To respect me…or at least do whatever he wanted to …I should not know…….
After losing my trust in him…I turned “my eyes” elsewhere….
- Treachery? Or Revenge?
I met Pole, 20 years older than me …..not so handsome, yet attractive….a married man..who really knew how to “treat” a woman….My sex life started having a meaning….I even got pregnant…unlucky me…I didn’t know…..I got the flu that 4th of February 1993 ,I got tired…during and after the reception we had for the new office opening…..and ….had an unpleasant “loss”….
If only I knew….!!!
Pole, learned about this mishap almost 10 years ago, now, that I am writing these lines is January the 13th, 2015.
My ex, and now late husband, never trusted me in his business, in his affairs….he was always telling me that I was “young”-mikri in Greek-as if I were 10 years old…and knew nothing about…..
So after his bankruptcy and his resignation…slowly- slowly my family and I realized in what a horrible situation he was involved with… …..
G a m b l i n g
Can anyone recognise that one is gambling? Are there any first symptoms??
Is this “hobby” a dependency??? Is it like being an alcoholic?
We went on a business trip in the USA on August 1992. We visited Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas , New York….
In Las Vegas –where we stayed for 3 nights- at the Mirage, next to Caesar’s , was always with me and our friends, never wished to go and play …he never showed me his urge , his deeper need to gamble ……
Only after a couple of years, when money never entered our home….when significant amounts were meant to pay … allegedly forgotten cheques….well …he exceeded the limits…
Our family’s money slowly –slowly was lost….
Cheques that were bearing his name and company’s title had to be paid…..Calls from the banks to inform us of the date due……
I could not understand what was happening…..
He was late to return home –but he was always bringing “production”….He was calling me to inform me that he was to be late and not to wait up for him…..because he was at a customers house …. trying to sell…a policy…
Many friends (women friends) were telling me to hire a private eye…..so to see what was the matter with him? Was he telling me the truth? Or was he lying to me??
We reached to the point not to afford anymore ….and so I turned to my parents for help…..
Our problems had arisen…we quarrelled , but at the end he had his way to reassure me that everything was alright…and tried to sooth things down…….I had the feeling he was lying….
Problems at work started….until …the company hired its own private eye….
My ex team …never revealed to me anything…….
After my divorce……most of them –the ones who knew about his gambling urge and need- then revealed to me the places he used to visit , play and lose….
And guess what?
Tom was gambling!
He never showed to me his passion or to anyone in my family….only the gambling “palaces” and the money lenders knew about…..
To my bad luck….not even my ex colleagues revealed anything to me…..After I found out…I felt for a multiple time betrayed…even my friends I thought –didn’t have the guts to protect me……..
That’s why he was absent from home, that’s why he had a poor job performance….that’s why he had neglected me….as well….
Was he really feeling sorry for lying to me???
Was he really sorry he lied to my father?? His father? Since he had lost his father when he was 16!
He didn’t have problems to solve (as far as I knew)……
….was he gambling in order to forget his problems???
Was gambling an escape?
Did he want to strike rich in one night?
Was he feeling inferior????
Dr. D a n d D
On April 21st 1994, I accidentally met –on the phone first – my “buddy” my closest friend. Dr.D.
I was to inform him on the mutual funds…and so I visited him at his house. I met his family, and stayed with them for about 3 hours…But I never had the chance to sell him bonds!!!
I laugh to myself now…..
Amazing…I met a person with whom I “matched” from the first time…..Dr.D became my closest friend. He met my husband and we all had nice outings together, fun, and I had a best friend to trust and turn to….He was my “buddy”….
Going out with D. Calling him, chatting with him ….gave me happiness, a new meaning…..we loved each other slowly-slowly but never wished to interfere at each others lives….D was engaged…I was still married….
D was like my other self. He could see me in the eyes and immediately realise what I felt, what I wanted to say…..what I was feeling….at that particular moment .We spent time together doing funny and silly things, like going to the cinema, or staying in the car outside the Navy base talking about his relationships….with the nurses…and eating marshmallows…
Our problems started when he asked me for a financial assistance….which I thought I should offer since he was my best friend……
- Friendly advice: Never lend money to friends…..
I was so disappointed when I was in need and could not get my money back….until now…
I stopped seeing him at the verge of the millennium…..
Out of anger and disappointment ….I started painting…..I made an acrylic futuristic portrait of him cut in half : Dr D. on the left side and D on the right. Two different persons. Two personalities struggling to become one –not knowing which of the two will be the dominant figure.
Accidentally, after a mistaken remittance of a fax to his office….a couple of years back(4 years to be exact)….we talk again…but rarely.
And …was this the end of our friendship?
Lately, we have a lot of meetings , a lot of calls….Is this a new beginning? Can I trust him again?
He seems he has forgotten about his debt…..and I kind of clumsily reminded him….he was embarrassed….so he seemed….
I don’t know really…..
He feels the urge to talk to me, and see me….does he have anything else in his mind?
C l a y t o n – s o m e w h e r e i n S o u t h A f r i c a
I was turning 23 , I guess…..
Clayton was 10 years older than me. A mature man….This is what I thought at the beginning….
We met on the 23rd of January 1981 at a nice –popular restaurant at Kolonaki , Athens….It was just amazing …love from the first sight….He was extremely tall, thin, with light brown hair…a bit nervous and a heavy smoker….He was not a person of higher education, but his years spent in South Africa-more than 15 then, I gather…taught him not only the complexity of the language, but how to be advanced in the aeronautic micro components….
Except of our difference in appearance…. I thought we were doing fine…except when one day , when he needed assistance from my father so to be promoted supervisor….he didn’t grant us any copies of a college or a university………(which I didn’t mind)…as long as I could nicely communicate with him……and my dad was ashamed when he was told that his future son in law lack of higher education…..
He felt offended ….bitter…and started …avoiding me…..
Then I knew he was with another woman……
…Later on , in time , I heard….that at the same time he was with me ….he was …also with the other woman……..whom , I gather, married ….
Complicated things happened later on –due to my inexperience- and need to see him and be with him and explain things……
He never let me….
He was also influenced by “gossip” against me……
When I said good bye to him….he only told me to let him go to S.A first see how things were over there…… and (as expected) …. .he disappeared…..
After so long…I happened to see him in Facebook , older, fatter, successful….living in a nice house with all the amenities. I thought I could say hi to him…so I messaged him…..adding at the end of my message, that if he wouldn’t reply back, I would understand.
He is bitter…
At least I made the effort…”.to say I was sorry”…
C o p i n g a l o n e
After my ex husband’s resignation, I found myself struggling to save the subdivision…..we were around 20 colleagues in the office… I had many pending to attend to and problems that had arisen to solve…..
The company- though, after Tom’s resignation– had decided to ask a friend Manager to come over our office and his subdivision and ours to integrate..- then changed their mind – forced me to accept a new Manager , whom I knew from the past , but didn’t trust…..
After 3 months I had to accept him and to become my “Boss”…
Are you aware of signs??? Do you happen to know about a woman Taurus and a man Capricorn????
We ended our co-operation after 2 years- I had to resign- give up my office and start a fresh new in a nearby division……
Ten years long I worked on my own…I struggled to be at the top….Always among the first 50 in the whole company- getting distinctions…travelling around the world….until time of the end came and I had to resign and leave the insurance field after 22 years!
I felt betrayed….once more……because I have learned the “straight” way.
The “black and white”….situation….
And when someone promises something,,. he/she must abide by his promise…
B e i n g S i n g l e
I was wondering…after so many years of my divorce……how come and I couldn’t manage to find a “proper” person for me….
All these years long….being single ….with a couple of making outs with a few men who either came after me only with one thought: to get money and generally take advantage of me….or just to have nice time with an “older “ woman…
Amazingly peculiar, was the fact that younger men were attracted by me….
At the beginning I didn’t want to continue a relationship ….and just have it in a “coffee level”….
What would possibly an older woman offer a younger man?
What would I expect from a 15 years younger guy?
Malta –August 2000
It was in the middle of August of the Millennium. The Insurance Company had scheduled a trip to Malta. So, around 150 colleagues we travelled together to Malta , where we stayed for about a week…at the Hilton….I must admit , that our company was generous enough to offer luxurious accommodation, sight seeing…meals…etc.
There, after a 5 hour voyage to Gonzo island (if I recall well)I met Micky, a tall handsome man, a Lion in zodiac, a talker, a poet, a person who could lure almost any woman he wanted to.
Micky , same age as I, was in the basketball team of the company and a successful agent.
Being so tall (1,93cm) made me feel uneasy….but then …I got used to it and could walk by him as if I were …of the same height!!!
Micky, when we first met , had told me about his past, his divorce, his 2 boys….his sick father ….
I decided to let go….since It had been almost 3 years after my divorce, and decided to begin a new life again….
I stood by Micky, as much as I could…..
After his father’s death….things became harder for him and his family….It was then I learned that his ex wife …hadn’t given him his divorce….
I felt betrayed…. As if he had cheated on me ..….he told me lies……
I have had enough of lying from ex, why should I have to bear another liar?
Our relationship was slowly –slowly lingering….
Until one day , we -all together- me , Micky and the kids , had lunch at a Greek tavern….the meal consisted of meat mostly ….the kids were heavy meat eaters…..since their mother wasn’t cooking any meat at their house….
After finishing their meal the boys were begging their father to buy coca-cola for them….This was out of the question. Coca-cola was a forbidden beverage –I didn’t know about- and after the continuous nagging of the kids I dared plead him to buy them coke……
-“Do not interfere with my family”, was his sharp comment..that still echoes in my ear …
That was it…..
I decided to stop this relationship the fastest …since I was never gonna be a part of that family, only a good friend……
And that was the end of a relationship…which lasted a year and a half.
Amazingly enough, after almost 16 years ….we are still friends….we just call each other often , if we have time for coffee to catch up….we see each other …..and at least …I believe that Micky will stand by me if I am in need.
S c a m m e r s and the Social Media
The social media are very popular not only in my country, but all over the world. People , have been alienated lately by the use of technology that entered our house, our pocket, our hands, our mind…. and instead of having true relationships- that begin with friendship, and either remain so….or become stronger bonds…that can lead to life’s engagements that lead to marriage , they live virtual lives….
Youngsters, stay almost all day long….in front of a screen chatting, exchanging photos, experiences….
Most of them are not aware that this “life” is not real and that it hides dangers….
I feel the urge to let know about an experience of mine to the persons who will have the chance to read my mini novel….as a warning….against scammers.
To be continued