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In the world of computerized dating services, the impersonal perusal of picture and profile dissects every physical flaw and grammatical error leaving a tray of disembodied imperfections that diagnose the stiff as “Not the One.” After reviewing almost one hundred profiles I decided to respond to two men. Here is a brief accounting of one of my meetings ...


The pilot asked me, “What do you want?” This after two hours of grueling interview questions that included, “Can you bear children?” There is nothing quite like hearing, “How are your ovaries?” over Sushi. My date was sounding like a self-help book tape I'd listen to on a long drive. He'd validate my responses with things like, “That's good because I WANT…”. When it was my turn to tell what I wanted I couldn't recall any savvy label or description only a single image popped into my head. The single most profound image of love I recall in my adult life—the portrait of my Grandparents that I shall forever carry in my heart.

Grandpa was dying of stomach cancer. His decline was very rapid and began just after his 83rd birthday. He opted for an emergency surgery that only succeeded in freeing a horrible tube from his nose—it was enough. He smiled. Grandpa had not spoken a word for three days, his breath so labored it hurt me to watch the rise and fall of his chest. His eyes held no color or focus—he looked blind. That night we made ready to leave for dinner and the family lined up to bid Grandfather goodnight. Each family member leaning close, kissing him, and whispering their secrets in his ear. My very petite Grandmother, Maude, stood and watched the procession of her family over her beloved husband. When the last grandchild had passed and politely stood outside the room, she took a single step toward the bed and said rather quietly but clearly, “I love you Hugh.” My Grandfather sat up in that hospital bed and looked at his wife with the clearest eyes I've ever seen and said quite boldly, “I love you too Maude.” The two them held each other in their eyes for the sweetest moment I've ever had the privilege to witness.

It was one of those portraits frozen in time. The air so still as witnesses held their breath in stunned silence. Eyes moist with tears of sadness and joy. I explained to my date that I wanted my voice to mean that much to a man. Wouldn't you?

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When Life Gives You Lemons
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