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Posts Tagged ‘reconciliation’

Happy 82d, Dad!

In aging, behavior, children, domestic life, family, life, love, men, seniors on June 11, 2011 at 12:30 pm
A view of Galway Bay from Salthill Credit: A P...

Galway Bay -- full of mussels! Image via Wikipedia

Four score plus two — score!

His father died at 59, just after he retired, so this ripe old age — full of health and friends — is an additional gift for him.

We’d hoped to spend today together, but he’s in Toronto.

As Dads go, he’s been an interesting one. He won the Palme D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1962 for a documentary he made about young British rebels.

Here’s his Wikipedia entry!

A documentary film-maker, he was gone for weeks at a time when I was a teenager living with him. But he always brought home intriguing pieces of the world when he returned: Olympic badges in 1964 from Tokyo, elbow-length sealskin gloves from the Arctic and a thick caribou rug, an Afghan rifle case.

All of which ignited my own lust for global discovery and adventure, equally eager to find and tell great stories for a living.

He’s blessed with incredible energy; on our last trip around Ireland, in his 70s, he raced up the hills ahead of me, and set his usual blistering pace. On our cross-country trip when I was 15, knowing I am not a morning person, he’d pretend it was 7:00 a.m. and get me up an hour earlier. We attended pow-wows in Montana and North Dakota, finding a steak and a bag of sugar at our tent door, a gift for everyone attending — he would film and I would sketch.

We’d set up our little tent wherever looked good. One morning we awoke to find a farmer staring down at us from his tractor, as we’d picked one of his fields.

We’ve driven through rural Mexico, picked mussels in Galway Bay, skiied in Vermont, forged through rain across the Great Dismal Swamp, had a terrible shouting match at midnight in Antibes. We’re both driven, ambitious, stubborn, relentlessly curious. After the French fight, we didn’t even speak for years.

Both mad for antiques, we once stood outside two store-fronts in Wilmington, N.C. — one a diner, one an antiques store, torn between the boring need to eat and room full of possible treasures.

As always, he dresses with impeccable elegance: silk pocket square, gleaming lace-up shoes, navy blazer, ties and tattersall. His library, before he sold his house, ranged from archeology and theology to art history. He paints, sculpts, works in silver.

I wrote about him in my new book and was worried he’d be angry at the unexpected loss of privacy, but he was fine with it.

He likes the book a lot. Which, even at midlife, matters to me. Having lost too many years to anger and conflict, I now especially treasure whatever time we have to appreciate one another. It finally feels like he knows me.

For years, I could never find a boyfriend.

My late stepmother finally nailed it: “Your Dad is a hard act to follow.”

True!

Happy birthday, Dad!

Oh, Oh — Here Come The Former Beaux!

In behavior, domestic life, family, life, love, men, women on April 30, 2011 at 2:25 pm
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What do you do when the boys from your past show up?

Facebook makes it easy.

So does Google.

So I’m now back in touch with three men I was crazy about in my early 20s, each of whom found me. They all live far away and one is happily married — I’ve been with my sweetie for eleven years.

Much has been made of the midlife nostalgia that prompts us to want to re-connect with the men and women who once made us swoon and indulge — certainly in my case — in some interesting behaviors.

One of the men, now a stolid, solid educator, was a hopelessly romantic redhead when we met, a mass of walking muscle training, he hoped, for the Olympics as a rower. I’d never seen anyone eat so much or so often!

Nor had any man, before or since, sent me a bouquet of flowers so enormous that I couldn’t see the deliveryman’s head. “I’m not dead!” I said, when I saw the mass of red roses. What an astonishing, lovely gesture from a fellow college student. I always wondered what had happened to him and was happy to hear how nicely his life has turned out since then.

Another man is a doctor, never married.

The third is a man I lived with in my 20s, who proposed, (and I refused), then went on to date and marry a woman working for the same company, where we all saw one another every day.  Not fun! I would overhear her in the cafeteria gloating about their upcoming wedding. Even if I didn’t want to marry X, we had still spent several tumultuous years together.

Now, hard to believe but I’m fine with it, we’ve become Facebook friends after he reached out to me. He’s divorced, still good friends with his ex, his kids now adults. We live in different countries, so I have little concern this is a flame being re-lit, more of a mid-life reassurance that we’re not forgotten, that our shared memories still carry some currency.

I have no intention of zipping off into the sunset with them or exchanging steamy, longing emails.

But I am glad to reconnect with men who once loved me and who I loved in return. There weren’t that many!

Here’s an interesting post from my ex True/Slant blogging colleague Marjie Killeen about the dangers of re-connecting via Facebook.

Have you reconnected with a former beau/belle — or several?

Or vice versa?

How’s that working out?

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