In my memory, I see my husband with our three-year old daughter on his lap, each morning sharing a grapefruit. A grapefruit? Yes, our daughter doesn’t eat simple things like bananas (she hates the texture) or applesauce. Grapefruits? She loves them when they are particularly tart and juicy and when her dad is cutting into the grapefruit and doing the work, one bite for her and one for him. Occasionally my brilliant husband will say “one for me and two for YOU” trying to give her as much Vitamin C as possible and it always worked. When I think of grapefruits I think of my daughter, young and blonde, sharing a grapefruit with her dad. As she got older, I introduced her to grapefruit “smiles” and orange “smiles.” She really liked those too and then I would serve her plates of grapefruit and orange smiles and we would put them in our mouths together and pretend we were monkeys. It was fourteen years ago, when we made monkey sounds and danced around the kitchen with our big, yellow, grapefruit smiles. Life was good.
ROMANCE CHANGES, LOVE DOESN’T
Ah romance, it’s what the world needs to feed our young souls. What romance means to me does not exactly coincide with my life but that’s okay. To me romance are glances, warm, velvet eyes looking directly into yours, quickly looking away. It is a surprise weekend at a place you love best, for me it would be to the ocean on a warm, sunny weekend, staying at a cozy Bed and Breakfast. It would still be roses, delivered to the house, in a long white box tied with a red ribbon, for no special reason. Perhaps a surprise dinner in a famous restaurant when your loved one just says” don’t wear jeans” and smiles sheepishly yet triumphantly.
Romance, when you are young is very different from when you are older. When I was in my twenties I remember a tee-shirt printed with my secret initials, a tiny teddy bear magnet and flowers in one night. It was holding hands in the freezing cold of a Boston winter when there was no need for gloves. It was having someone watch you with admiration while you slept.
Now, after being married for 23 years, romance is comfort. It is knowing you are married to your very best friend. It’s always having someone in your corner; it’s the person that knows you best of all. It’s watching television together so you can hear the other person laugh, it’s the comfort of silence and the knowledge that you can always be yourself. Romance changes; love doesn’t.
Sharing What We Have
I grew up in a very tight-knit family, just my parents, my sister and I. We ate meals together but my parents were not very sociable people. The focus remained on the family and if someone came over they had to call first. Heaven forbid they came at mealtime because there wasn’t enough food.
When I was in college I shared an apartment with three really good friends. At dinner one night, some different friends stopped by and I was worried because I knew we didn’t have enough food. That didn’t matter to my good friend Maureen. I remember, in detail, how she invited the friends to the table. We all made screeching sounds with our chairs to make room for our friends. Maureen, with clear simplicity of heart said “we will share what we have with you.” A new hero was born. I had never been exposed to that before and ever since then, if people stop by at dinner time, friends of my son or daughter, I always say “of course there is enough” and enjoy having a little less for myself. Thanks Maur.
Closing all Borders stores is an out-and-out major disappointment. It stinks, big time. What now? Adios Barnes and Noble too? I’m not saying that I don’t love Amazon.com because I do, I like it for its convenience and low prices. Sigh, but really, you can’t sit at Amazon and drink a cup of coffee. You can’t leisurely and lovingly stroll down the aisles to see what the new hardcover books look like or how the new in paperback books are all lined up in a perfect row begging for hands to fondle them. It’s just not right and it’s sad.
Now, there is no where to go and stroll through the aisles, looking at book jackets, stopping to read the titles, gently touching my fingertips to the outline of the illustration. Borders was a great place to meet, it was in the perfect place for so many people from nearby medical offices, stores, office buildings and deli’s to meet. Closing Borders is closing a network of people who like to linger, socialize and have a damn cup of coffee even it tasted like dirty dishwater. It was a place to sit and not ever feel rushed. You could linger among magazines and mochachinos. You could also meet like-minded people, give unsolicited advice about books, make friends, start a book club, read books to their springy, enthusiastic children.
So now, what do we do? Read our lifeless Kindles (I don’t use the one I ordered years ago) by ourselves, never touching a piece of fine, heavy, cream-colored paper? Part of closing this particular business is not like saying good-bye to a furniture store or a nail salon, it’s saying good-bye to a way of life. A nice, peaceful way of life where people could talk, they could exchange ideas and suggest books for each other or lend coupons. It was a social place as well as a store. My children may never sit in a bookstore and linger over a heavenly array of different books, with different colorful covers and eat snacks. They won’t meet other people or share a cup of coffee or talk to other people their age. They will be hunched over their iPhones and all they need, it seems, is a credit card and a computer. It’s a sad statement for our society.
Not Into Shoes, Clothes, Jewelery, Make-Up……
Oh, everyone knows what I am going to say…..GREAT FOOD. It’s only for a celebration, no one (that I know) can enjoy this every day but a couple of times a year? Absolutely!!! I don’t care about shoes, clothes (much to my 16-year-old daughter’s dismay) jewelry or “things.” My only luxury is buying a book but recently I have just been taking things out of the library. My top dollar is probably very different from rich people but it doesn’t matter. Whatever you can afford, a great meal is worth it, but for me, only if you share it with someone you love.
p.s. Dessert options MUST be heavenly.