Just Another

Some slices of life will be of the mundane, this is one:

So it’s just another Sunday afternoon. In these final days before spring, Old Man Winter reminds us he’s still in charge. It’s cold outside, so I am inside. I spent part of the weekend bingeing on TV shows; a true Netflix and chill. Some parts were spent setting up potential subject draft for future essays. Other parts giving time to muse and dropping random lines of poems and prose in draft for potential future poems.  I even donated a couple of hours to laundry sorting and house cleaning – as I said, the mundane.

Still, I am hardly bemoaning of these more quiet and frankly necessary times.  Yes, these more mundane times help me to appreciate the times that are anything but. Mostly, they are needed and appreciated to help recharge the old noggin and give this body some rest beyond the basic, and there is never mundane anything about that.

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Let’s see how others are slicing up their day:

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10th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge! – DAY 12

Cold As

Hung out last night for dinner and drinks with friends. On my way home this happened:

Male Friend I ran into on train: Have you been drinking?
Me: Yup.
MF: You’re drunk?
Me: Nope. Inebriated.
MF: What’s the difference?
Me: A) I can still pronounce it easily. B) I can still spell it slowly. C) You’re attractive, but not nearly enough for me to have illicit thoughts. D) I actually thought the words “illicit thoughts”.
MF: Damn. Even inebriated you’re cold.
Me: Yup.

For the record, even when sober, I spell inebriated slowly.

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Let’s see how other’s are slicing it up this Saturday:

10th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge! – DAY 11

As Old As

Killing time before class starts, my students and I are shooting the breeze about music. One mentions she will be attending Metallica’s upcoming concert in NJ, which I will attending as well. It segues into first album purchased (Micheal Jackson’s “Off the Wall”) and first concert attended, which for me was The Spinners with an appearance by Dionne Warwick. Only one student, not much older than I, knew of the group. Way to feel ancient Rai – geesh, but I guess it was better than none of them knowing, right? Right.

The student who knew of the Spinners sings out  “I’m sitting all alone by the telephone, waiting for your call..”

Not missing a beat I join in singing “…when you don’t call at all. It’s a shame, sha-ame.”

We trade lyrics and singers from the late 60s, early 70s for a bit. Clearly, I was familiar enough with the music of that time to have not just heard it from my parents collection. I am accused of that often enough that I just shrug it off for the compliment it accidentally gives. Meanwhile I can see the numbers crunching in his head as he looked hard at my face, which is never a good way to judge my vintage, by the way.

“How the hell old are you?” He baldly asks the burning question at last.

“Damn dude!” Exclaimed another student “You don’t do that!”

Without batting an eye, me – being me, answered in true me fashion.

“Let’s just say I was a cougar to Methuselah.”

There was a most awkward pause before some of them got it and laughed. While Methuselah had to be explained to the rest. It amused me immensely that I, the self-proclaimed resident heathen, made a biblical reference that went over nearly everyone’s head.

And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died.”
–Genesis 5:27 King James Version (KJV)

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Let’s see how other’s are rapping up their slices:

10th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge! – DAY 10

!! HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY !!


Maya Angelou’s classic poem Phenomenal Woman as set to music by Amy Sky.

A loving reminder to all women that we are indeed phenomenal!

It’s International Women’s Day and I’m I woman. W-O-M-A-N! I’ll say it again!

Today is going to be ridicu-busy for me. If I don’t post something now – it won’t happen.  And who better than Maya and the lovely Amy Sky to say and sing it better?
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10th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge! – DAY 8

Wake Up And Listen

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Note: This was the slice that should have been typed and posted Saturday morning. By the time I finally pulled myself out of bed, I hit the ground running and did not stop until very late evening. Those who read my ‘placeholder’ for Saturday night and my slice for yesterday know why it was preempted to today.

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I woke up to birdsong.

I have a small playground surrounded by trees outside my windows. So in spite of my being a born and mostly bred city gal, I do hear birds on a regular basis. However, it is usually on weekday mornings of spring and autumn when their rising coincides with my walk to the train station for work. Again, depending on timing, some evenings I will catch their riotous calls as they circle and settle in for the night. Still, I almost never hear them weekend mornings.

As an early riser Monday thru Friday, unless my bladder calls, I steadfastly refuse acknowledgement of the world before 9am, 10am if I am particularly knackered from the previous night’s shenanigans. This is what made Saturday morning different. Daylight was just breaking over the jagged horizon of homes and tenements that mark my neighborhood I woke up to the trills and coos of birds. It’s not even 7am so my first instinct is to turn over and go back to sleep when I realize what I’m hearing. While I knew the playground and trees were there, it was one of the selling points to choosing the apartment, I had not really factored in birds. I amused myself trying to imagine their “morning routine” on a brisk winter day. Who’s the early riser among them, driving every other avian crazy with a.m. perkiness? Which is the one still burrowing under the twigs and twining of their nest wanting a few more moments of shut-eye.

It was the first time I’ve noticed them while ensconced in the quilting of my bed. It was a wonderful reminder of how close we are to spring.  They were at decibels boisterous enough to seep through windows tightly sealed against the chill of winter. Loud enough to reach through my still sleep drugged mind to make me hear; so now I listened. Until they lulled me back to sleep.

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Let’s see how other’s are serving up their slices:

10th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge! – DAY 6

Careful What You Look For

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I am a born and bred New Yorker and a daily mass transit commuter. Part and parcel of this are the mornings when I may encounter a group of police officers performing random searches of bags. This happens at my local station several times a year, while I have witnessed others randomly selected to have their bags searched I myself had not been stopped before. Until the day I really, really should not have been. Oh, the deities do love to laugh at us mortals, no?

When the officer signaled me, my first instinct was to balk. I mean seriously? Of all days to be selected! Please note the situation: me – a fat black woman, clearly dressed for work, carrying a leather cross body bag with embossed skull adornment and a zipped leopard print shopping bag, certainly looks as though I am in possession of potential bomb making materials, to transport via the subway nonetheless- staring down several gun-toting NYPD officers who indeed looked friendly enough, but let’s not get it twisted, I am most certainly offering my bags for inspection. I huffed at the inconvenience of a missed train, but then I remembered exactly what I was carrying.

In my mind I could hear a Greek chorus of certain friends yelling “Rai BEHAVE!”

However, my ever-present demon did Olympic worthy somersaults on my shoulder as I bit down the urge to grin while I handed my bags over and took a step back from the table.

“But of course officers, here you go.”

Oh, this is going to be such FUN! 

A younger friend of mine, slowly coming into her sexuality, wanted to go “toy” shopping. As she was new to this, instead of randomly buying things online, I had suggested we go to a brick and mortar store where she can actually see and touch a few things.  Let’s just say that after an hour or so the end result was my friend, and a couple of others – who overheard me explaining certain things and wound up in our conversation, spent a lovely amount of dollars there and the salesgirls wanted to recruit me. Which was all well and good until I got home I realized I had her purchases with me because in spite of it all she was still too shy to be in the street carrying a bag with the store’s logo emblazoned on the side, announcing to the world where she’d been. We agreed to meet in the morning at a station downtown to drop it off. I placed the items in the leopard print bag to be nice to her. I now watched as an officer slowly unzipped the bag and took a peek inside.

I knew the first thing he saw was the brand spanking new dildo, still in its package sitting at the top. His mouth dropped as he gasped, turned all manner of persimmon and looked up at me.  Of course this got the attention of the three other officers working with him who naturally had to take a look. It seemed as almost one they all slowly looked from the bag to me in expressions ranging from What kind of shit is this? to Oh my God! to Well, hello there!

“That’s not mine. Would you believe, it’s for a friend?” I teased, Maxwell Smart coming to mind as I shrugged a shoulder, knowing damn well what they believed.

It took everything I had to keep a straight face as a different officer took a pen, moved the dildo over to look further into the bag only to remove his hand and look up at me anew. I suspect he saw the – well never mind what he saw.

“Now, that one is mine.” placidity was my name as I arched a brow at him. He grinned. It was lethal. It was beautiful. I reminded him he was married, to the amusement of his comrades as the first officer quickly zipped the leopard print bag and handed both bags back to me.

“Enjoy yourself.” Officer Smiley’s grin was divine as, per protocol, he held the emergency door open for me to go through as I earn a free train ride as payment for the inconvenience of being detained.

“You saw what was in the bag; you know I will.”  I purred as I went through. The officer’s laughter followed me as I went down the escalator.

I was on the train, pulling out my iPod, when it amused me to realize that in the surprise of the toys found in the leopard print bag, none of them actually checked my purse.

To paraphrase a classic: be careful what you seek, you might find something unexpected instead.

Whoops!
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10th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge!DAY 2

MLMM: Atriocaval Shunt

Can I live without him? Unfortunately, yes.
Will I want to? No. God, No.

I sit here and listen to the beep of the heart monitor. It used to be a most gall and wormwood noise before – when it was attached to someone else. It is the most wonderful sound in my world right now. For as long as I hear that sound, that beep, I know his heart still beats, and as his beats – so does mine. Because he is my heart and no one ever wants their warm heart to be attached to a frigid heart monitor. It was so touch and go in the beginning, he coded twice in the ER. The damage to him was that massive. And I sit here by his side, again in the fruitless mental exercise of how we got here.

My bike was showing its age; I didn’t trust it enough to participate in the upcoming Annual All City Cycle so he and I were at our favorite bike shop perusing for a new one.  I was looking at a ridiculously expensive silver and carbon frameset when he called my name to check out a vintage apple red Schwinn that was on display near the showcase window facing the street. I turned just in time to see a car careening towards him at a rapid speed. A woman having a massive heart attack, lost control of the vehicle and crashed into the window of the store. It was less than a heartbeat’s pause – just time for me to scream, not enough time at all for him to dive out of the way before the car jumped the curb, shattering glass panes and my world into a million fragments.

I have been here nearly every day and night for over three weeks now. Our assistant Margie has been such a godsend, showing her talents by holding down the fort at the office in a cinch, but I can see the strain is beginning to get to her. We will give her one hell of a raise once we are back at the office. I will feel so guilty if the business falls into a less lucrative position that what it was before all of this happened. However, its potential failure will not appease the guilt I will feel if he awakens and I am not here. I have only left his side to shower because it drives me more than halfway insane – the grimy feel of being in a sterile hospital 24/7, and yes, I appreciate the irony of it.

There is a difference between sympathy and empathy and you learn it at times like this. Most of our clients are sympathetic, but business is business – they want theirs taken care of, and logically, I understand that. Yet I take one look at him lying there and I could not possibly care less right now.  One of our overseas clients, who had gone through what I’m going through now, sent over a nature sound machine. When I called to thank him and ask why, he says that he had used one when his wife was in a coma a few years back.  He does not know if really worked, but what could it hurt, right? I checked with his doctors first, who also agreed it couldn’t hurt, so I have played different sounds over the past few days.

Tonight, to accompany the palinoia of the heart monitor, I chose wind and rain sounds as it reminded me of our last trip to the coast a few months back for a different race.  A really great picture of us leading a pack of cyclists had made the papers and I pulled out the folded-up copy I always carry with me and grin. I remember the moment the shot was taken, the concentration on my face was less about the race and more about me not stopping to cuss him out yet again. That day had started out with rain and a three hour long argument, but ended with sun and our engagement.

Listening to the sounds and reminiscing, I fall into an exhausted sleep. I wake with him holding my hand.

Wait…he’s holding my hand…

I slowly move my hand to be sure and feel the grip tighten more.

My head pops up to see him smiling at me and I hear the raspiest, but most wonderful sound in three weeks, outside of the heart monitor.

“It’s about time you woke up.”

mlmm-cyclists

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Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie | Weekly Wordle #143

Apple, Frigid, Pane, Gall and Wormwood, Dive, Cinch, Halfway, Grime, Wind, Vintage, Palinoia, Pause

Use at least 10 of the words to create a story or poem. The words can appear in an alternate form, in any order that you like.

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Writing Prompt February 19th – Randomize!

For this week, we are asked to seek inspiration in random places. What does that mean?

1st  – Use the Wikipedia! Random Article button, and the article you get, is the title of your write, in my case Atriocaval Shunt.

2nd – Go to http://writingexercises.co.uk/random-image-generator.php, to receive a random image. Post this image and connect it with your written piece. I feel the Muses, especially Calliope, were being ridiculously generous to me when the bike race image came up. Thus the above story.

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Real Toads : Tuesday Platform

You Can’t See The Condition Of My Condition From There

For the past few years, photographer, activist and friend, Substantia Jones, has celebrated love from February 1st thru Valentine’s Day by posting pictures of couples in love.What makes her work different than the many other photographs of loving couples is that her couples are fat ― and often in various states of undress.  For those first fourteen days of each February Substania shows the world something most rarely see depicted in mainstream imagery – that fat people are in love and are very much loved in turn. That’s the good news…

Each year more and more other media outlets take notice of her work with glowing accolades.   And without fail, whenever she receives these well-deserved accolades for her work in other media, especially social which will often reprint her photos, there is a backlash. Even when an article is overall positive or at least enlightening, as we erstwhile and current models of her Valentine’s Day series, Adipositivity.com, Uppity Fatty and Fat People Flipping You Off  series know…

Now seems like as good a time as any for an important reminder: Never read the comments.

Because, in spite of that good advice, every now and then I forget where I am, the internet, and it will start off with praise and commentary for the article, then someone post that first bad comment. And once that first negative comment appears – from that point on it snowballs into a downhill shitstorm. And that’s the bad news…

For just as inevitably, the negative comments swing from how someone looks around to those who will start spouting their unasked for two cents regarding someone’s “health.”  This is when those, who from a mere photograph can and will spout, near chapter and verse, of the presumed physical, and sometimes emotional, ills of someone, especially the fat someone. Often they do not even bother to be nice about it by wrapping it in the sandpaper of “can” and “may”.

Look at her, you know she has hypertension or diabetes at that size.

I can see his ribs, he’s got to be anorexic.

I just don’t understand how people don’t see the double standard. There could be totally average size people pictured and you don’t question their “health”, because it is the “standard.” Average, thin or athletic looking people could have heart disease, diabetes or liver disease, but no one makes definitive presumptions about their “health”. Give him a salad, get her a cheeseburger.

And for God’s sakes some arm chair Dr. Oz-es out there, really need to stop acting like your judgment is somehow based on some noble concern for our health. Especially when you are basing the things you spew upon a double standard.

Because you simply cannot judge someone’s heath based on a photograph. Unless, you’re Sherlock Holmes, but since he does not exist and even if he did Dr, Watson would tell him to zip it any way, you’re not him, but I digress. You know nothing about the people in the photographs or their background. They may have health issues that prevent them from losing weight, they may have depression or any number of things that would cause weight gain. You do not know if they’re trying to lose the weight and frankly it is none of your damned business whether they are or not. If I have a salad for lunch today, it for the same reason I will have a cheeseburger for dinner tonight, I like the taste. My food consumption is not up for public discussion, especially from a perfect stranger – because there is nothing perfect about them if they are commenting on my food choices–, and especially while I am actually eating.

Average, thin or athletic looking people could have heart disease, diabetes or liver disease, but no one thinks about their health.  No one would comment that she or he could be a contributor to the high cost of insurance. Yet, one look at a fat person and it is almost considered a given. Commenting that a fat is a contributor and that it is something we all have to be concerned is pure sizest bullshit. By making this presumption it bears the extrapolation that some think all fat people are poor and/or do not have insurance. Unless you personally are footing that fat person’s insurance premium, it is just an opinion, an erroneous one at that, and I believe most of us are familiar with the adage regarding opinions and sphincters.

No one should voice an opinion on the healthy or non-healthy status of someone else’s body, whether they are fat, skinny or in between; not even a random someone in the medical profession.  The only person who can voice a definitive opinion on someone’s health without impunity is that person’s private doctor.

You are not attracted to fat people/skinny people, that is fine, beauty is… after all. Do you have a right to that opinion? Absolutely. Do you have the right to voice that opinion? Yes, you do. However, is voicing that opinion germane to the conversation at hand? If not, then please keep that opinion to yourself and avoid potentially derailing a conversation that was not about you and your opinion.

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Writing Our Lives #52essays2017 challenge – Week 8
52essays2017
A year-long weekly personal essay/memoir/creative nonfiction writing challenge. To learn more about this challenge or to participate, check out Vanessa Martir’s website and learn about it.

And let’s see how others are slicing this week:
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Slice of Life Writing Challenge|Two Writing Teachers

Soulmates? II

I covered this before, but considering today I’d like to bring it up again.

I have a special person in my life.

I love him immensely. When we’re together there is much laughter, very heated discussions, tears and yes love. When I completely lost my mind last year and had to face up to the reality of my actions, he was my first call for drinks and discussion. The words were never spoken, but there is no question if one calls, the other will answer because we don’t do so lightly.

He is my soulmate.

Luckily, his wife knows I am not a threat to her and is completely supportive of our friendship.

Betcha didn’t quite see that one coming did ya?

Let me begin where I ended the last time I broached the subject of Soulmates…

https://raivenne.wordpress.com/2012/01/09/soulmate/

“Nearly, everyone says and thinks of a soul-mate as the all-encompassing, be all and end all romantic type of love.

I propose a person can have more than one soul-mate and while a soul-mate is always, someone you want to share the rest of your days with, a soul-mate is not necessarily or solely the person you also want to share your bed with for the rest of your days.

But that thought is a blog for another day”

It is now another day…

The concepts of soulmates arose from mythology, Greek if I remember correctly. According to the story, our ancestors once had 2 heads, 4 arms and 4 legs. These ancestors did something to piss off one of the gods so bad that the deity punished them by splitting them down the middle, resulting in the creation of humans. To add insult to injury, we humans are now condemned to spend our lives searching for the other half of ourselves, our soulmates.

You’d think the gods would’ve gotten bored watching us run around pell-mell trying to find the ever elusive One, but nooooo. Here we humans are, a few millennium later, still soul-searching.

As Shakespeare had Puck say in A Midsummer’s Night Dream “Lord what fools these mortals be!”
Indeed, Puck-a-rooni, indeed!

I mean think about it, unless these two-headed, four-armed beings were asexual and/or hermaphroditic and/or aromantic, they were loving each other just fine without the concept of The One, but I digress…

My mileage dictates a soulmate is a person who connects with your soul in a way that changes you and that can happen on various levels.

Temporary Souls: A teacher who intentionally or not provides a valuable life lesson. The complete stranger or barely known acquaintance who unexpectedly reaches out to you at a time when you really need it. They are the people that we encounter throughout our lives, who come, touch our souls for a moment and are gone. Whether or not they have any idea that they touched our souls, we know they did and they will always be a part of us. Think of all the nth amount of people you have encountered in your life, outside of your family, yet of all these people only a select few have somehow made it in to the very core of you however briefly. For that brief moment – soulmates.

Twin Heart Souls: Think your best and/or closest friends. The ones who help you bury the body or at the very least know the right thing to say to you at three in the morning when you’re losing it, to keep there from being a body to to be buried in the first place. The one/s you really click with pretty much from the moment you meet. Those who believe in reincarnation, say it is because you have already met in a past life, and in this life you are continuing the relationship. My best friend of over thirty years and I have a saying of our relationship. Where we are opposite we are polar opposite, but where we are alike we are twins. If we both point at something in a store window – say a piece of jewelry and we both love it, without even looking at each other, we immediately know two things. 1) It’s a classic piece that can work with various styles and 2) it is likely to be considerably out of our price range and to keep on walking. From the moment I butted into her conversation with someone else back in high school, unto this day – we were soulmates. YMMV

Twin Flame Souls: This is the what most people refer to when speaking of the soulmate. If we follow the edicts of the mythology I mentioned earlier, there is only one twin flame soulmate for each of us. Like Twin Heart Souls, in reincarnation beliefs, Twin Flame Souls have spent several lifetimes together in past lives. The chemistry and attraction towards each other is undeniable. They burn with passionate fire for only each other. To go all Jerry McGuire here, they “complete” each other and only a very lucky few are able to find their twin flame soulmate.

If I go by that edict, that would mean my late-husband was my twin flame soulmate. Does this then mean if I happen to fall in love again, this person will only be second best? Considering I tend to lean toward the very self-confident to borderline arrogant types, I’m somehow guessing my potential paramour would not take kindly to that option. In addition, many people change as they grow older. If Twin Flame Souls find each other and grow together that’s perfect and as it purportedly should be. However, for most of us, the soulmate that would have been perfect for us in high school, may not exactly be as acceptable in later years, unless they too have somehow continued to follow a congruent path in life, so then what?

That thin thread of hope the deities tossed out at us, that there’s always a possibility that we will find and connect with our perfect soulmates becomes ever more threadbare when one considers after all these eons, our Twin Flames Souls may be on the other side of the freaking planet. Hell, if Richard Branson has his way, that soulmate could be on Virgin Galactic heading to a galaxy far, far away in the really not too distant future.

Just as your heart has more than one way to love, so can your soul have more than one way to share. It is one of the many reasons why I find the Highlanderish “There can be only one” soulmate bullshit, well — bullshit.

To those of you who have found your Twin Flame Souls enjoy your Valentine’s Day. For the rest of us, lets grab our Twin Heart Souls, hit a bar and and hope Branson does not get his galactic wheels up anytime soon and give us earthlings a chance.

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

Editing to add: Thanks to my Sweet friend, I am reminded that Aristophanes’ speech from Plato’s Symposium is the Greek mythology I was trying to remember and any one who saw Hedwig and the Angry Inch, knows the myth was best explained in the Origin of Love.

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Writing Our Lives #52essays2017 challenge – Week 7
52essays2017
A year-long weekly personal essay/memoir/creative nonfiction writing challenge. To learn more about this challenge or to participate, check out Vanessa Martir’s website and learn about it.

Name Me

Before I begin this I concede that I am a prurient ass, and while I hope I am not the only person for whom the following would be such a point of contention as to blog about it, but it does irk me to that degree.

I have a confession to make: I, a writer, am at a loss for a word. Not words, for this is not a post on writer’s block, but a word. A single word -and speaking of single let me roll this back a bit and make my conundrum clear.

My spouse – the person I am married to.
My fiancé/fiancée – the male/female identifier with whom I am engaged to marry.
My betrothed – the gender neutral term for the person I am engaged to.
My intended** – the very informal use of betrothed.
My lover – the person I am having sexual relations with, but who is not necessarily my betrothed or my spouse.
My paramour – the pretentious and/or facetious use of lover, but indicative that the other person’s holy matrimony is the stumbling block between the two of us.
My friend – the person whose company I enjoy, but I have no romantic feelings for.

I’m guessing at this point you have figured out the missing rung.  So I say this to you: When I enter into a monogamous relationship with a person I am dating, but not necessarily have engaged physical relations. I do not desire to state it so baldly by using the term lover, or any indicative thereof, especially if we have yet to engage in the more physical aspects of such. How do I introduce that person to others? Please note I am not referring to terms of endearment, the romantic nouns with which we would call each other, but a clear-cut specific term when you are past saying my date, because as a grown woman of 53 years of age, I would feel utterly ridiculous being introduced as someone’s girlfriend. Thusly, I would not want to introduce a male of my peerage as my boyfriend. So what are the alternatives for the mature dating couple?

My woman/My man sounds like someone is trying a buy a couple seconds while desperately trying to remember the other person’s name while not insulting their maturity by addressing them as my boy or my girl.

My lady, while acceptable enough, sounds so stuffy as though bowing of some sort is expected. My gentleman caller evokes, well, peals of laughter, and expectations of bows, curtsies and polite kissing of said lady’s knuckles (*press play on hurl.mp3 here*).

Granted there is the classic sweetheart, but seriously. For those who know me, I can already hear their snort at my attempt to say such with tenderness except maternal and I haven’t done that when addressing my sons since they were in grade school.  Saying sweetheart with derision or utter sarcasm? -oh in a heartbeat. Saying it with affection? -never gonna happen. And honestly, could you see me with a man who would call me such, except smartastically? Great the old standard Let Me Call You Sweetheart is now running in the background of my mind as I type this. Ugh!

That leaves the ubiquitous my guy/my gal. The former immediately brings the classic Mary Wells tune to mind, while the latter conjures Judy Garland & Gene Kelly hoofing it. So again, I really would prefer a term that did not engage my already natural tendency to drop a song lyric at any given prompt more chances to run rampant. And cripes – now Bon Jovi’s Runaway is in my head- I really can’t stand myself sometimes.

I have read somewhere that other places, such as in the Chinese language, there are several distinct terms for love. These words define, romantic love, from familial loves, from humanitarian love etc. Whereas English only the generic love which encompasses everything, versus in love, which is solely the providence of romantic relationships. If the English language, which has no qualms in blatantly stealing phrases from every other language in existence to make its point when needed, has such a dearth of more appropriate terms for the varying intricacies of love itself, is it really surprising we are so lacking in terminology for the extended ladder rungs leading to it?

I imagine part of the reason for this lexiconic lacking is a mix of history, tradition and longevity. History in that from the days of yore the human life expectancy was a much shorter one than now. Tradition in that a hundred or so years ago, it was pretty much a given that anyone over the age of 25 was likely either married or widowed, unless the person was a spinster or confirmed bachelor. While it was possible for a widow in antebellum south to reenter the courting pool, she retained her late-husband’s surname if/until she remarried. There was no need, read time, to establish more dating/courting terms for the mature single person beyond the genteel gentleman caller. Longevity in that it is still the relative norm to presume a person will date, became engaged, get married and at some point widowed, and as we’re talking this day and age –  possibly divorced. However, as we are living much longer and by extrapolation, dating longer, and/or returning to the dating pool at later ages, the strictures of old-fashioned courting are as outdated the as term gentlemen callers. As such we find ourselves in a bit of linguistic conundrum.

So here I am a week from Valentine’s Day, throwing out a net into the linguistic waters in search of a word in English that is equivalent to the immediate understanding of girlfriend/boyfriend yet does not immediately bring to mind the days of high school. Any takers?

**While intended as a romantic term is used interchangeably with betrothed, I personally have considered it a step down on the romance ladder because of the classic definition of the word intend. Betrothed, brooks no question, two people are definitely going to get married. John Watson proposes to Mary Mortenson in the traditional way with a ring and everything (Yes, I am a huge fan of BBC’s Sherlock – just zip it – would you do that for me please?). There is no question they are a devoted couple and John is going to marry Mary, thus they are betrothed to each other.
When a spontaneous proposal happens, but there is no ring on hand to seal that part of the deal, I think intended should be used. In a moment of passion (not that type of passion – geesh people!) Pat pops the question to Leslie. However, because Pat has more love than moolah at the moment, it takes a bit before an engagement ring is placed on Leslie’s fingers. Until the rings show up, they intend to become engaged/married.
And going back to 221B Baker Street as temporary analogy (I said zip it), in the case of Sherlock flashing an engagement ring at Janine, Sherlock would have introduced her as his betrothed for we would see the evidence of such on her left hand ring finger. However, as she would have been the sole ring wearer, she could introduce him as her intended. After all Sherlock bought the engagement ring because he intended to propose (<– see what I did there?). Intended – you can all but hear the comma, space, but and ellipses immediately following that sentence can’t you? This is why I place intended as a romantic term a rung down on the ladder.

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Writing Our Lives #52essays2017 challenge – Week 6
52essays2017
A year-long weekly personal essay/memoir/creative nonfiction writing challenge. To learn more about this challenge or to participate, check out Vanessa Martir’s website and learn about it.

And let’s see how others are slicing this week:
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Slice of Life Writing Challenge|Two Writing Teachers