While standing in line at the grocery store the other day, I glanced over to the magazine rack. It was full of trashy gossip rags predicting the demise of the latest "it" couple's relationship. Why would people want to waste their money on this stuff? Out of the corner of my eye I saw something that flooded my brain with memories of my dad. Nestled between the gum and other sweets was a cherry blossom candy bar. I added it to my cart.
When I was a little girl my family moved from the city to a newly developing suburb on the South Shore. The corner store was a 15 minute car ride. My dad was an avid reader and would drive out to "the dep" for a photography or national geographic magazine every weekend. I loved riding along because it usually meant I could choose an Archie comic book. If he was feeling especially generous, I could get an Archie digest.
On the days that I did not go with him, he would always bring me back a sweet. His usual go to candy bar was the Cherry Blossom. I'm not sure why, maybe it was because whenever the commercial would play on the television, I was right there singing along with the catchy jingle. I loved it; it reminded me of the Beatles Yellow Submarine movie. It was a type of animation that was synonymous with the late 1960's.
As a child, this candy bar was daunting. It was a huge misshapen bomb of milk chocolate. It you bit into it too quickly, the syrupy cream filling would explode onto your chin and dribble down your shirt. The other alternative was to lick it until the chocolate started to melt and you could take in the cherry and gooey cream at your leisure. The downside of that option is that you were left with a lot of melted chocolate all over your hands.
Truth be told, I didn't even really like this treat. I just didn't have the heart to tell my daddy because I did not want to hurt his feelings. Every trip to the corner store without me filled me with dread.
After unpacking the groceries I picked up the chocolate bomb of my childhood and decided to tuck into it. The package and everything about it seemed smaller and more manageable. It really wasn't so bad after all and all it cost me was a few bucks and calories for a trip down memory lane. There are some things in life you just can't put a price on. I miss you, dad. Thanks for having left me with this funny and loving memory of you. When I see you again one day we will both have a laugh over this.
My human came home one evening with an unexpected surprise.
He opened a tiny box and I could hardly believe my eyes.
He was so excited to show me this "gift".
He couldn't be serious; surely this must be a trick.
So out of the box my furry nemesis climbed
with razor sharp claws, long whiskers and scrawny behind.
In that instant, the very sight of her I despised.
I immediately began to plot her untimely demise.
Time has passed. Much has changed when guests arrive.
I used to be the star, but now I feel mainly deprived.
Playing fetch and roll over for company was once a great sport.
Now I feel like a lowly fool in the king's court.
When kitty's around, they barely notice I exist.
I wish all this cuteness would cease and desist.
I try to hover near her for a chance at a sniff.
But she hisses and spits and throws such a fit!
The terms of our friendship are grossly unjust.
If she won't let me near her, how can I trust?
Woe is me, this is my sad sad song.
Since her arrival, I feel I've been wronged.
I long for the days when master and I were care free.
We were the dynamic duo my human and me.
Wallowing in pity, a day spent moping.
For my owner's attention I was still hoping.
What?! Did I hear correctly? Oh bliss! Oh joy!
Master jingling his car keys and saying "Let's go for a ride, boy."
Like an eagle my spirits soared and with that dreadful cat nowhere in sight,
I leapt off the sofa in a flash and raced down the hall with my entire mite.
She noticed my pleasure and tried to divert me with her sneaky feline ways.
There was no way I would fall for that though, no way, not today.
Had I died and gone to heaven? At long last in the car riding shotgun.
What a stroke of luck. This day was turning out to be such fun!
We drove to the mountains and then sailed on the lake.
Followed by dining al fresco where I noshed on a piece of leftover steak!
The day was perfect, no longer did I harbor any frets or care.
That's when I realized, it's not what's missing,
It's what's there.
I cherished my special time with my human all the more.
So much so, that I was actually happy to see kitty when I walked through the door.
I attended an event yesterday which was advertised like this: A unique interactive town hall style event where local experts and an excited, engaged audience will dish, discuss, dissect and debate the current state of the date, hosted in partnership with Match.com. The audience comprises 200 women and 200 men all discussing "Why are we still single?"
Whoever was driving the marketing campaign for this is an evil genius. And by genius, mean con artist. I bought a ticket and convinced a friend of mine to come along. At long last, perhaps an answer to why the ranks of the unattached are growing exponentially. I was pumped!
Cue reality check. This "debate" was a classic example of shameless self promotion and from questionably deserved "experts". They included the following (names withheld, these folks have to make a living too, I guess). A socialista and network guru, a professional matchmaker, an NLP (neurolinguistic programming) practitioner, a "well known" weather girl who is newly single after 10 years, a professional dancer whose mission is to heighten women's sensuality through dance, an author/director/producer who is involved in an off Broadway show, a relationship coach, and a singles culinary events organizer.
Here's my take on what some of these titles really mean when you dust off the sparkles. Someone who spends a lot of time on the internet, someone who capitalizes on other people's loneliness, someone who watches people, a weather girl, someone who may or may not be on a first name basis with the pole, a jack of all things creative but master of none, but I see potential there, someone who tells other people what's wrong with their relationships (who incidentally weighs in at 500lbs. Doctor heal thyself.) and someone who throws together a bunch of foodies, has them cook their own food and charges them for it. This last one is actually fun though. Hey are you going to finish that?
By these standards, then I am surely an expert at something. All I have to do now is figure out a way to charge y'all for it.
When faced with the dilemma of how to break the ice with a total stranger/potential Mr or Mrs. Right, the author/director/producer/host/fill in the blank guy suggested sticking your tongue out at the object of your desire. Can't imagine how that could possibly backfire on you. Supposedly this will appeal to a person's playful side. Hopefully you will have brushed your teeth first because all I would be thinking is "What the heck did that guy have for lunch today? Gross." By the way, most, if not all, of these experts have penned a book. Hint hint.
At the end of the evening, I think most of us left with that burning questions still unanswered. Well, I can take a poke at it and it won't cost you a dime.
When I walked in, most if not all people there were staring into their phones. Women: when asked what you are looking for in a partner, put away that exhaustive list of criteria that another human being MUST live up to. Good luck with that, you are going to be single for a long long long time. Then there is the other side of that coin. The woman who makes every excuse under the sun for a man's bad or bizarre behavior. Stop being a martyr and kick that dude to the curb and move on. If it doesn't feel right, let it go. Case and point - there was a lovely, intelligent, interesting woman there who by profession is a VP in banking. She was pontificating over whether or not she should text a nasty gram to a man who she repeatedly allows to waste her time. No, madam VP, don't do it. Move on.
Men: you are consistent in your habit of judging a woman who actually enjoys a meal and does not look like an anorexic runway model. No offense to models, but women cannot live on a salad leaf alone. Funny how these guys tend to overlook their own love handles and paunched mid-sections. Many of them also hide behind text messages in the getting to know you stage. Pick up the darned phone and say hello. It doesn't have to lead to a four hour discussion. Personally I'd rather have my vocal cords ripped out with a rusty fork than spend that much time on the phone. The impact a simple phone call to set up a date is so underestimated these days.
All things aside, there were a couple of messages that hopefully both genders walked away with. They were: Stop wasting time worrying about people who don't like you and focus on those who do.
My personal favorite and one I recently shared with a friend: Enjoy being single. It is a time of endless possibilities. There are no demands on your time, the world really is your oyster. In my eyes, being single is a gift and I'm doing all I can to honor this time in my life.
Last but not least - a fool and her money shall soon part ways. I want my $30 back.
Hi! I'm Chris, an empty nester living in Montreal and making the most of this stage in my life. I love cooking for friends and family, DIY projects, decorating and writing.