mercredi, décembre 15, 2010

This ain't Casablanca, hon....

As a veteran of dating avoidance (I don't do Harleys, traveling salesmen or trios) and countless attempts on the evanescing virtue I have left, you would think that I'd be pretty wise about the pitfalls of the online variety by now.

Mais non, mes amis.

Maybe it's my middle-aged memory, or the way that people can reinvent themselves in new and charming guises on your screen.

When we began chatting, he looked appealing -- a nonconformist, a songwriter, the creative type to which I am impelled - in spite of knowing much, much better.

It wasn't until we moved to our normal email addresses that I figured out that I'd actually chatted with this fellow before. In fact, we'd (blush) met and had something to eat -- last summer.

In my defense, I must point out that he really is a nice guy, with one big flaw. He's leaving on the midnight train to Georgia (well, Asheville, N.C.) in March to do what people in Asheville apparently do a lot -- find themselves.

When I realized that, I emailed him back -- hey, aren't you S?

Yes, he responded. We had lunch at the Exton Square Mall -- we sat under a tent. You are a good kisser!


Kidding, he added. We didn't kiss.

And a few emails later -- hey, could we do that kissing stuff?

OK, now we were back on familiar ground. But I was too tired to deal with another proposition at 11:30 p.m. -- ya have to get me when I'm fresher.

So it wasn't until a few mornings later that I responded, when he wrote again, and told him a few night's sleep hadn't convinced me I was friends/w/benefits turf.

He responded gracefully, adding incongruously, that he thought I was "sweet."

Funny. I thought "sweet" women were the ones you dated for a while, not the gals you "loved" and left.

But given that my opinion of unattached men right now is about on a par with my opinion of the Senate and the House of Representatives, I guess I don't blame him for trying.

I wonder if I will even recognize the moment when I really, truly, want to say "yes" -- or if the chance will be lost in a flurry of men on their way to something else, far on the horizon, that they really, truly want.

mardi, décembre 14, 2010

Tis a gift to be simple

Life can get so complicated -- don't you agree?

And, with a sick kid, a girl who rips through 3 boyfriends in a week but can't do her bio homework, work, and other diverse forms of intrigue, it's evolving into a nest of ledes, subplots and sidebars.

When drama, whether boardroom or barroom, sneaks into my life, I get cranky. Long ago, I figured out that I don't do cute (I'm genetically incapable of perky) and I most enjoy the melo when it's on a stage or screen in front of me.

I don't think its age. It's more a desperate desire (at least I feel desperate desire for SOMETHING) to hang on to the threads of sanity I have managed to maintain in this menagerie.

Last night, we finally ended up in the same place at the same time. Trust me, this is a feat. That being so, we had no other option, but to seek out a Christmas tree -- and what better place than Bethany Farm?

We could easily stop, I figured, on our way to have Mr. C practice the trumpet for the evening Christmas service with the husband of our interim organist. Dick's 60 plus years on the instrument might outweigh my son's three or four -- but a kinder guy it would be difficult to find.

As we jumped out of the car into the frigid air, Farmer Dan limped over to us. We got a white pine last year -- or was that the year before? he wondered. Whatever we buy, I'm going to replant it, Dan, I said.

All the delivery details taken care of, we clambered into the car, leaving the redolent stench of chilled manure behind us.

As we turned right onto the road that would take us over the covered bridge, past the mill, still not bought, I began to relax. Time didn't seem to have ravaged much on this lane. We could have been taking this drive 50 years ago, and the road, with its fields and trees, might have looked almost the same.

A whitewashed house glittered with porch lights. A Victorian home loomed up on the left. The evening was quiet -- we were the only car on the road at that moment. We could have been anyone, any time in the last hundred years.

I turned right on Chestnut Tree, and the lights of the church windows shone on the hill, as they have for more than a 100 years.

There is a solace, amid the frantic changes we all desire or resist, in what has been handed down to us.

New is lovely.

But sometimes, older is even lovelier.