Gary Rinsem

Longer Than Hotel California

The minimum requirement?
Outlast Hotel California!

Anything less is unacceptable... but the entire "A" side is the objective.

February 15, 2014

It's our wedding anniversary, third Saturday in February. I love you BB. I miss you. It would make you happy to read this story.

It happened again after a long time without. A big flirty smile on her face, Jessica asked "How long does sex last?" My smile instantly matched her smile and without hesitation I replied "Longer than Hotel California." Foreplay is afoot! I had no expectation of this, she's too young to be interested in me, but apparently not. We had dinner and sat talking for an hour, then to each our own home. She's hot. I've been interested for a long time now. I'd like to drag out the foreplay at least a week, but gotta be careful not to turn her off in the process.

It's the Hotel California bit that has me writing this. I've been giving the same answer to that question since I was seventeen years old. It's just been a lot of years since I was asked. I'm smiling deep down now as a result of the chance to give that answer once again.

Soooo... here's the story!

It was the beginning of 1977 when one day Tami asked me for something. She very rarely asked for anything so I was always happy to go along with whatever she wanted. This day she wanted to go to a specific record store to look at an album. I'd never heard of it, but for some reason Tami was obsessed with Hotel California. She'd never shown a lot of interest in music, beyond playing the radio in my car. She'd do the head bobbing and hand jamming on the dash board thing like in the intro to That 70's Show. Every time I see the beginning of that show it still reminds me of girls who rode in my car in high school. Most of all there is one memory of Tami and Cindy, stoned beyond belief and jamming to the tunes. Every once in a while I hear the song that was playing and it all comes back to me, clear as if it just happened. I can never recall what song it was until those moments.

My family moved to Scottsdale in August of 1966, so my father could manage the parts department at the Ford dealer. It was located on the south west corner of Camelback and Scottsdale roads. By 1977 it had been gone a long time, bought and moved to a new facility on McDowell road. Tami knew where the record store was and gave very good GPS turn by turn instructions. Pulling into the parking lot I got flashbacks to 1966. Dad took me to work with him on a Saturday, soon after we'd moved here. It was closed, but I played in the parts department for a few hours while Dad did his business at a desk.

As Tami rushed across the parking lot I realized that the record store door was the original parts department door at the Ford dealer. It's been 37 years and I still have vivid memories of what happened next, with Tami. It was extremely uneventful except for my emotional response while remembering the event of going to work with my Father. Looking up, I saw Dad pull keys out of his pocket and unlock that door, the same door handle and appeared to be the same lock. As Tami pulled the door open I had a surreal experience of reliving the prior event. It was Tami, but I saw my Father pulling the door open. As Tami and I entered the record store I saw a parts counter, not bins full of records. I saw Ford Pics on the walls and car stuff on display. In my mind I followed Dad behind the parts counter, and then I explored the aisles of parts bins. I was still aware that I was actually with Tami as she looked for Hotel California. I knew she was reading the album cover and I wasn't really an eight year old kid in a parts department. Still... the event created a memory that I've been reliving for all these years. It makes me happy to recall both my Father and my first True Love in one event.

OK, nuf-a-that... It's the first half of why Jessica's question has me still smiling hours later. Here's the second half... it involves more precious vivid memories from the 70's.

I didn't even think to buy Tami the record. She never asked for ANYTHING. All I usually bought her was fast food, mostly at Jack In The Box. Numerous memories there of Tami and I, and a few where Cindy was with us. One of my life's favorite memories took place at the McDonalds across the street. Cindy was there for that one too. Aw crap. I'm babbling... Sorry, if anyone ever reads this.

So I didn't think to just buy the record for her. It occurred to me that night in bed and I went to the record store the next day on my way to work. Another day passed and I dropped Tami off at home after school, without going in. She was disappointed, expecting us to spend time in her bedroom. I gave no reason, just went home and got the album. I quickly returned to surprise Tami with it, and with me. Tami was ecstatic. I'd given her few presents in the year and a half we'd been together. Mostly just $10 bags of Mexican herbs. Tami got excited about them, but not like this present. She finally started playing Hotel California on a record player in her bedroom. I call it "Barbie's first record player" because that's what it looked like.

Details omitted, but my answer to Jessica's question is the result of playing Hotel California for the first time. It's an important memory in my life. One I've cherished since I was little more than a kid. The first time I gave the answer was only a short time later. Tami and I were siting in the front seat of my car, Cindy was sitting in the back. We'd been talking for a long time, I think we were parked at the park. Cindy asked "how long does sex last?" and I answered without hesitation. "Longer than Hotel California." Tami immediately broke out in uncontrollable laughter while Cindy spent a moment with a confused look, then joined Tami in laughing. Yet another special life's memory. I have so many of them. Talking to at least a hundred other people about this, makes me think my memory is unusual. I believe most people have few vivid memories, and maybe no old vivid memories. I think they drink them away. Booze pollutes your mind horribly... In the Navy, a friend named Kelly was forced into AA by the Navy. Over a two year period as he dried out, Kelly claimed his memory was improving. All kinds of excited, he routinely told me about things he remembered for the first time in many years. Kelly isn't the only one to tell me this, he's just the person who made the most dramatic recovery. Knowing him for a year as a drunk he'd been shallow and lost. Drying out he became a great guy and a good casual friend.

Tamara Jo,

It seems I write to you often and it always looks the same. Here's one more time. I desperately wish I could tell it to you. Maybe I wouldn't need to write it any more if I did.

I haven't seen you in 35 years.
I still miss you every single day.
I still Love you as much as I ever did!

I don't know if the memory of you is a curse or the best and most important part of my life. I only know that I constantly, STILL... need you to be near me. Every woman in my life has known you if they wanted to know me. Jessica might be the next, and probably the last. I'm certain of one thing regarding you, my entire life would have been VERY different if we'd never fallen in love. You are the most important part of my life.

I love you, ALWAYS...
Gary - Pinger