vendredi, juillet 31, 2009

Groundhog evening

Today someone else "winked" at me. This occurs maybe three times a week, when some random guy on the dating site decides I might be interesting -- but doesn't have the interest or literary ability to actually write me. On a bad week, I can get as many as 8 or so. I'd guess roughly half are spammers, so I don't get too excited. But I knew this guy. He was considerably younger than me. He'd asked me out a few years ago, suggesting that I needed to date a younger guy. I had no idea that I needed to date anyone in particular, but I have to confess I was intrigued by his pursuit. In between the miso soup and the sushi he told me of his sad experiences in love. As we walked into the chilly night, I decideed to pigeonhole the evening as "hard to tell."

I wasn't sure I wanted to go out with him again -- but I wasn't sure I didn't. Until he put his arms around me in the parking lot and let his hands stray places no gentleman should even imagine on a first date -- then I was sure. Maybe it was then that I resolved that, most of the time, unless the guy was really sweet and it seemed appropriate, I'd try to pay for dinner.

Wriggling out of his grasp, I climbed into the car and drove off, disgusted as much with myself as with him for my inexperience -- a sophisticated lady would have known how to handle such a situation. After pressing "delete" I wondered -- had my experience since then made me any smarter about how to handle fresh guys? I learned one thing -- stay away from sushi bars on a first date. Uncooked fish can make a man amorous.

Why didn't anyone tell me?

jeudi, juillet 30, 2009


This isn't the video I started watching about an hour and a half ago (a little after midnight). I rarely stay up past one o'clock, but with my little family gone until Saturday, it's just me and the cats. They don't seem to crave Nichole Nordeman the way I do...

"It's the fear that keeps me wide awake, in the middle of the night...when the expectations are too great..."

As night segues into morning here in tropical Glenmoore, I keep searching for the perfect song, and find snippets of meaning here and there. Wondering who else is up -- writing, thinking, creating.

Somehow I stumble across this wonderful song by Chris Tomlin, a purgative for my pride...

You see the depths of my heart
And you love me the same
You are amazing, God

mardi, juillet 28, 2009

Snob alert

I have the sense the many of my friends and acquaintances believe that I'm a truly nice person.

Well, maybe on my good days I can aspire to niceness, if that's a positive in a journalistic world in which opinion often seems more valued than fact.

Possibly I'm delusional -- "they" are all saying what a piece of work I am, behind my sweet demeanour.

Someone described me recently in an online forum as "nice" -- frightening. But I'm not -- really!

So I'm having this online conversation recently with a friend about a subject on which we hold positions that are charitably to be described as polar opposites. We go back and forth a few times... then something she writes gets under my skin.

And I, who pride myself on my ability to see multiple points of view, find myself putting pedal to the medal.

Don't mess with me, sister! I'm better educated, better read, and more in command of the basic facts than you are, I tell myself, as though I was back in college, interrupting that smartass kid who always thought he had the answer.

Then I take a deep breath, and assess the possibility that this kind of attitude probably won't be useful in nurturing our friendship. Plus there are many kinds of intelligence. Not to mention I could have a blind spot about this topic.

After backing off, I ask myself -- is there something corrective I can do about being such a darned elitist?

Is this as bad a character flaw as being a racist?

Is it something I need to work on? Can I blame my genes? My teachers? My high school? After all, we were told subtly and not so much, that we were being educated to lead America. When that kind of mantra is inculcated in you at a tender age, do you take the rap for believing that some folks are a bit less ignorant than others?

Yes, I take the rap. After all, I'm all for personal responsibility.

There should be a rule that after 40, you can't blame anything but your wrinkles or nearsightedness or other genetic problems on your ancestors. Everything else -- you broke it, you own it!

Nice, huh?

dimanche, juillet 26, 2009


"Have a nice vacation" she said when she dropped me off at my ex's house, where I'd parked the car. I knew she meant it sincerely. She's one of my oldest friends, and we share the companionship of two women who have been through a lot together.

But she is still married, and I am not -- and I have kids, and she does not.

We'd gone to Connecticut for the weekend -- driving up along the New York border and through the lovely towns that sit along the road to Southbury. We'd hiked, eaten in nice restaurants, driven down to Clinton to pick up fried clams and take a long walk along the beach.

It was wonderful to see the white clapboard homes, cupolas and churches that are so much a part of my childhood memories -- but it was also a weekend planned to escape the emptiness of a house full of absence. In a summer already replete with transitions, I experience what it will be like when they have their own lives, and I need to reconfigure mine.

As I drove home, the skies became threatening. I turned on news radio. Crazy weather is predicted for tonight, one local reporter said with what I can only consider sadistic happiness. Eight people killed in New York State on the Taconic, four children.

I tried to imagine that, and, thankfully, could not. Instead, I will pray.

The two cats greet me at the door. Soon the younger one is lying asleep on my bed, satisfied that I'm not abandoning least for now. Cats live in the now. People, and maybe whales and elephants, wonder what the future holds.

This mother aches and wonders how she will fill her days, normally so busy and rich, until the ones she loves are sleeping in their own beds again.


I could have tried to explain. Instead, I smiled, and hugged her, and sent her home to her husband, who was waiting with dinner.