My friend Matt, from the vantage point of his long-term relationship and semi-retired life, often decides to “fix” my life. I find this particularly amusing and endearing because he is a big bear of a man, at about 6’4”. His MO is about as far from “Dear Abby” as you can get.
And yet. I get a call, usually about once every couple of weeks, with helpful hints from Heloise—oops, I mean Matt. They usually begin, “So, I was thinking . . .” This entrée to the conversation never bodes well for me.
Last week, he was thinking that I should move downtown because “if you stay in the suburbs, you’ll never meet a man.” As I smiled and assured him I was not going to plan my future residence around the best place to meet a man, he continued: “I just don’t want you eventually becoming one of THOSE people.”
Curious, of course I asked who THOSE people were. “You know,” he said, ”the people who live alone so long that they can’t put up with someone else. And they get weird and picky and collect cats.”
Ah, yes. The weird-picky-people-who-live-alone-and-collect-cats tribe. I believe I just watched a NatGeo documentary on their nomadic habits.
I reminded him that I live with two teenaged boys and a large neurotic dog. I put up with a lot of someone elses. And their friends. And their loud music, insatiable appetites and dirty socks on the floor.
“Yeah, you’re still OK for now,” he said. “But don’t let it go too long. They’ll be gone before you know it.”
After I hung up, I searched the fridge for something that remotely resembled dinner, knowing I could just snack because the boys were gone. I smiled to myself. “Huh,” I thought. “He thinks I’m going to get weird and set in my ways.” As I opened the bottle of blue cheese dressing, I decided to dip the crudités directly into it. No one else in my house eats blue cheese dressing so I get my own personal jar. I ate at the kitchen island, standing up, thinking about making myself a gin cocktail.
When my large black lab wandered into the room, I said in my best Humphrey Bogart voice, “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.” She didn’t bat an eye. She is used to my voices. She did lick my leg, however. Which reminded me that I was wearing an extra-large high school football shirt and no pants, eating directly out of a jar at the kitchen counter, while imitating Humphrey Bogart to my dog and contemplating drinking alone.
Oh, Matt. You silly rabbit, you. Move along. Nothing to see here.
All is perfectly normal.