How do I get myself into these things? Last week I was going to be in a town near-by where two old friends live, a man and a woman who both knew each other years ago but none of us have seen much of each other in recent decades. (He’s divorced and just moved back to town. She’s been a widow 5-6 months and, like me, she’d been in the caregiver role for many years before losing her husband.) So I called them both up and asked if they’d like to meet for lunch. They said yes and why not, we used to have fun together in the old days when we all had significant others and no emotional baggage to haul around. Lunch went well and we all agreed that we should meet for some of the summer outdoor music jams that are common in the area. Great! Well, great for them. The next day I got a call from the guy and he wanted her phone number so he can ask her out on a date. Judging by the fact that she had to hold back tears a few times during lunch when “widow talk” came up I seriously doubt she’s ready for romance, but that’s her choice to make and his demerit point to take for not noticing her watery eyes. Whatever her answer, the question alone is a game changer and I can probably count the music jams dead in the water. It’s no longer possible for us to just be three old friends hanging out together without me feeling like a fifth wheel. Hey, maybe I can take up matchmaking as a new hobby.
The next day I went to a tasting and recipe exchange event at a store that sells nothing but balsamic vinegar and olive oils. They carry 50 different kinds and they fill bottles from large urns when you make a purchase. I was on a mission: to find vinegar to make a healthy dressing for spinach---yes, I’m still on a kick to learn to eat better and I recently bought my very first bunch of fresh spinach, but I didn’t know what to do with it. Well, I do now and I can’t believe I just paid $18.00 for a bottle of vinegar! It’s from Modena, Italy and its supposedly aged 18 years in barrels made of chestnut and oak. You could practically drink it down like black wine, it’s that good. Before settling on a balsamic, the store owner talked about “pairings” and she mixed vinegars and oils together like a chemist. So, of course, I had to buy a herb infused olive oil as well. That’s when it occurred to me that I was using the services of a matchmaker just to buy a frigging bottle of vinegar.
I’ve got a couple of busy weeks coming up---sixteen appointments, lunches, bridal showers, classes, etc. spread out over twenty days. Plus Don’s and my birthdays and anniversary fall in the same time frame along with the anniversary of my mother’s passing. To commemorate these latter events one of my appointments involves going on my second annual pilgrimage to the Butterflies in Bloom exhibit. And I swear if a pair of them land on the floral print purse I bought special for the outing I’m going to smack one of them for living. I really wouldn’t do that but I would wonder if Don’s soul found a new friend and he’s bringing her by to meet me. Do you suppose they have matchmakers in the butterfly kingdom?
Speaking of matchmakers reminds me that a week after Don’s funeral, one of my relatives said she could picture him up in heaven holding court with a bunch of women sitting at his feet, hanging on his every word and I said, “Well, thank you very much for implanting the image in my head.” After some back and forth regarding whether or not I’d want him to be happy up in heaven I blurted out something like, “Not THAT happy!” His ashes hadn’t even come back from the crematory yet and she was matching him up with angels.Young, pretty angels. Now, almost 14 months later I’m contemplating butterfly homicide at the mere possibility that Don’s soul could be catching a ride on its wings with a new friend flying two-by-two at his side. Widowhood is turning me into an accident prone crazy person. How else can I explain pushing the cork down inside my very first bottle of expensive balsamic vinegar and matchmaking two old friends all in the same week that I have less than admirable thoughts about an innocent butterfly I haven't met yet? ©