You’re so vain. You probably think this post is about you.

He was 19, two years older than I. Because I had been a band-weenie in high school (flute, thank you very much), it was quite a social promotion for me to wear his letter jacket at our small college. He — the artist, the poet, the football star, the Paul McCartney look-alike — he was interested in little ol’ freshman me.

“Paul” and I were together less than a year. We began dating in late fall and broke up some time during the summer when we were home in our respective cities and he met a new girl. But in the early part of the summer, I received beautiful poetry written for me, devotions of undying love. Real handwritten letters in my mailbox. It was an endless summer and a painful fall.

Fifteen years later, he looked me up and began emailing me. He was going through a divorce, and I knew that such a thing can prompt a person to take stock of his past. We corresponded for a few months, and our interactions culminated in a phone call where I gently slipped in (in case he had begun wanting to become more than “old friends”) that I was very happy in my marriage. The call ended and he never contacted me again.

Fast forward almost another decade to now. Soon I will be traveling to his city. I read in our alumni magazine that he has gotten remarried and has two step-children. He and his wife own a business, and I find an email address for it (not him, specifically). I write him a brief email congratulating him on his new family and business, and tell him I’ll be in his town on a certain date. Would he like to have coffee?

I have reconnected with many old friends — male and female — from past eras of my life. Sometimes I have been the seeker and sometimes I have been the found. I have appreciated these opportunities to revisit situations from my teenage and naive self with my now grown-up eyes. I have valued the chances to reclaim bits of my spirit I may have allowed others to stow away.

I was prepared for Paul to respond “Sure. There’s a Starbucks at Main and Broadway. When is good for you?” I was ready for “No. This really isn’t a good time for me. Sorry.” I was even ready for, “Do I know you??”

But I wasn’t ready for what I got. Paul wrote back, as part of an email from his wife, “No, I would never meet with you. Never contact us again.” His wife‘s portion says that when the High Ranking Clergyman married them, she and Paul made a commitment not to look into the past. And I should not contact them again.

So, being a polite and non-confrontational person, I will not.

But I would like to ask him/them this: how, exactly, did you go from “coffee” to “cheating on your wife” in one short email?

Oh, Lord, it’s just as well. I bet his Starbucks serves clouds in the coffee.

Perfect moment

(If you’re looking for limericks, click here and then vote on the right sidebar.)

***

It’s one of those pre-Spring days, where there is snow along the roads but the sun is shining warmly, melting away all the gunk from past weeks.

I have just dropped my kids at my sister’s house after their morning at school. Tami and I trade babysitting duties on occasion, and as I back out of her driveway, I realized I have three free hours. Three. Free. Hours.

The sun through the windshield warms my face and brightens my soul. I am driving west, and the purple snowcapped mountains kiss the bright blue sky. The colors are vivid in the clear air.

Queen is on the radio asking Is this the real life, is this just fantasy? and soon Freddie Mercury is crooning about killing a man and earning from Beelzebub his very own put-aside devil. And then he gets existentially nihilistic: Nothing really matters. Anyone can see. Nothing really matters to me. (Anyway the wind blows.) ((((gong))))

It feels glorious to be alive. Life is gooooooood.

(This version was filmed live at Wembley Stadium. Bohemian Rhapsody starts at 1:00.)

TMI (an understatement)

I remember as a child thinking that there was a finite amount of information in the universe.

If I could just read every book, I would be able to know everything. The children’s library looked vast but conquerable.

Years later, the Tattered Cover looks anything but conquerable. In fact, when I stroll through a book store or library today, underneath the sense of wonder and possibility is a feeling of frustration, a loss for all that will go unknown.

In the early days of the internet, I got so excited because I would eventually be able to visit every website and absorb all of human knowledge. That sounds so absurd and naive now.

It is hard to accept that for every book I read a gazillion go unseen. For every website I gaze upon there are a googolplex more that will go unknown.

I want to grasp it all. I am failing miserably.

***

Only 4 more days to get your entry in for the Limerick Chick Contest. Get your inner poet primed for St Patrick’s Day.

adoption, parenting, mindfulness, open adoption