Friday, June 7, 2013

"Fountain of Youth" (Part I)

A Moment's Decision Will Affect Our Lives...
to return to the way things used to be...or
to chance something new and possibly quite wonderful!

One may say, “Nothing in Life is Perfect.”  Be assured, “Nothing is Permanently Perfect.”  There are Perfect Moments…and the will to change that, will bring more such moments. Life has complications and maybe impossibilities that try to beset us.  It is a rich discovery …to find that Moment to Live.

* * * * * * * *

A Potential Mother, first seeks freedom and independence...always dreaming of love, a husband, home and family. Marriage, to a woman, is a step to achieve these goals...providing a Life of Happiness and Great Personal Fulfillment!

Men seek in Women:  confidence, intelligence, unmaterialistic, spontaneity, playfulness, sensuality, honesty, independence, supportive. Men explore all these qualities.

Each looks for “the perfect match.”  For generations,  woman was dependent upon man finding her…by chance meeting...arranged marriage…church or neighbourhood friend.  Women today may independently search Mating Groups on Internet, they frequent bars, gyms and sports where men can be found, attend Singles’ Dances.  Others are more subtle…relying on opportunities for their destiny.

From my viewpoint point and reflecting on  memories of several attentions over many years, I consider some decisions wise and some irrational.  We feel that we are intelligent at any stage...the 20's, 30's 40's then we question the disappointments and failures.  The male, I am confident, has experienced  same.

Please understand: As I introduce these “men in my life”, mostly, they were acquaintances, becoming friends for a period of time.  Only my husband lived with me.

In Grade 8, Elmer and his twin brother moved to our farm village.  He was tall, lithe, athletic and intelligent.  We found ourselves competing for high marks.  Throughout High School, we were in the same classes...always sitting near the other and secretly passing notes.  I dreamed of possibly “a life together some day”.  To me it was a great omen that the letters of Elmer and Merle were the same. Although he attended University of Toronto, I rarely saw him. My mother informed me that Elmer then did post-graduate work in London, England and graduated from Carlton University in Ottawa as a Civil Engineer.  He retired as a Professor from University of Waterloo a few years ago.

At the tender age of 18, I suddenly discovered the first emotional stir for the opposite sex.  A church acquaintance of my parents drove to our home with a handsome man (dark hair and of swarthy build) to discuss some business with my father. Glancing at Lawrence,  my teen age body said, “WOW”!  I longed to see more of him...which didn't meet my father's approval.

Contrary to common belief, it is the Brain, not the Heart,
that is responsible for all emotions.  The Brain breathes...
beauty into art... drama into the crashing waves along a rocky shore…
serenity into a dramatic sunset…anger into uncalled for injustice…
danger into a possible vehicle collision.

Names have been changed to protect identities in the following;
I have renamed them after Explorers and Adventurers.

While at College in  Toronto, Jacques invited me to an International Baseball League game...the Maple Leafs at Maple Leaf Stadium.  I was so flattered, yet felt somewhat uncomfortable, having not yet experienced the etiquette and good manners of a gentleman who buys the tickets, provides a blanket to cushion the hard seats, purchases hot dogs and pop from the selling vendors, who takes my hand as we navigate the many stadium steps. I felt truly honoured...yet unable to garner my inner feelings.  How do I handle this?  We dated a few times...remaining friends. (The Maple Leafs ~ now  Toronto Blue Jays.)

Sebastian was 25 and I was 19.  Handsome with curly auburn hair, he was anxious to marry and was  most disappointed when I rejected his proposal.  I had a Life ahead  to to qualify for  job positions...but mostly to “find myself”.  Marriage, as exemplified by my parents, was nothing I was in any rush to experience.

As happens, with most females, I admired Al, Bill and Marco in College.  Only Marco showed any interest who wanted more than I was prepared to give...and deterred me by his sexual advances.

Returning home to Brantford for a summer job, Abel, who lived in my neighbourhood, invited me to attend the September Commencement Exercises.  He had already spent one year at London’s Western University..  The evening was conversationally pleasant; distances prevented any further development of our friendship.  He  graduated with a Business Administration degree; job awaiting him at Eaton's.

I was employed by the Hamilton-Wentworth Board of Education as a teacher, spending about 15 years with students varying from Grades 3 to 8..  Specialty Supervisors visited our classrooms a few  times yearly observing our students' progress...then offering suggestions for improvement. Roald, a Physical Education Supervisor, paid special attention to me, flirting and hinting at out-of-school-meetings (he was married).  This was unacceptable to me!.  My perception of the situation said, “I'd be thrilled to spend some time with this handsome man,” yet common sense ruled! “I'll not be responsible for the breakup of any man's marriage.”

Then there was Henry, a Grade 8 teacher in the same school, who at noon hour one day, suddenly zipped open his fly and flashed his enlarged swollen-looking penis!  Seeing me shocked, he stated, “You'll love this!  When can we experiment?”  Blatantly I replied, “Never!”   It was total revulsion!

With a yearly income, I had the freedom to explore the games of golf, tennis, renew my badminton interest from High School and learn to ski.  With a few lessons, I became exhilarated with this winter sport.  On a weekly packed ski bus travelling 2 ½ hours north to Collingwood or Holiday Valley, south of Buffalo, I met Christopher...tall, dark and handsome (the ideal man for any woman's eyes)...and an avid skier.  We dated a few times when ski season ended.  In his apartment, one Sunday, waiting for other guests to arrive, I was “in awe” of him...yet reticent to show any personal emotions.  He never chased me...always a gentleman.  I felt relieved, yet disappointed that nothing romantically developed between us.  He was Jewish, which I respected.  My desire was to spend more time together. Those were the days when “women did not telephone men.” I would often stay in Saturdays and Sundays, to await his call between ski seasons.  None ever came.

Monday evenings I played badminton at Westdale Collegiate.  There I met James.  We frequently played  Doubles and participated in a few local tournaments.  He captained  an Oakville soccer team.  We dated several times...all enjoyable.  I didn’t have these fluttery flashes, but he was a ‘fun guy’.  Near the end of his soccer season, it was evident his team would win the Championship.  He invited me to attend with him the Celebratory Dinner/Dance and presentation of trophy.  I DID NOT DANCE! And therefore, I would not embarrass him by going...and too embarrassed to tell him.  I kept giving him excuses, despite my desire to attend.. After 3 askings, he gave up.  He never knew my reasons!  Upon losing him, I was extremely disappointed!  Defeated...I must LEARN TO DANCE!

The lessons with a professional instructor were enjoyable, inspiring, rewarding.  Music I understood and quickly realizing that dancing was an outlet to express myself with choreographed steps to the rhythm and with defined body movements.  The Latin beat from the Caribbean came alive on the dance floor. Now confident, I attended Saturday night dances in downtown Hamilton.  In those days, it was safe to, not only go alone, also to accept a ride home from someone you met. Francis was German, a good dancer...I felt very much at ease with him.  Our friendship was mutual, instilling a warm comfort level.  One Saturday evening, he offered to drive me home.  Approaching his new Ford, I commented, “Francis, I love  your car,” to which he responded, “I want you to love Me!”  Impressed, I smiled.

Through a Varsity group, I met Edmund, a High School Language Teacher.  Fair of skin and red haired, he was very friendly…a fine gentleman.  We were great friends for 2 or 3 years.  He left his teaching position to attend Trinity College (University of Toronto) to gain a divinity doctorate degree en route to becoming a Presbyterian Church minister.  Frequently on Sundays, I took the train to Toronto...he would meet me at Union Station.  Together we would attend Massey Hall to hear the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at one of their rehearsals, following which we had dinner prior to my return train to Hamilton. During the third year, I seldom heard from him.  In May, we met at a Lakefront cafe in Burlington and when dusk, parked beside Dundurn Castle overlooking the Bay.  He asked me to marry him…a huge surprise! To marry him didn’t seem like the “right dream to come true for me”.  Yes,  I respected him...but lacked  romantic heart beats that should spell of “love”. 

I am beginning to wonder about Relationships and Love between Man and Woman. What is it I’m  missing? Are my expectations too high?  From what I had read and heard, “chemistry is rare”…which seems I haven’t yet discovered!  A couple married friends commented, “This romantic excitement isn't cracked up to what you believe.”  Flo, a newly married friend in confidence told me, “I am happy but this sex thing wasn't fantastic.” Infatuation occurs when courting and extends through the “honeymoon days”.  With the daily routine of Life, it wears off.  Pondering all this...what are you left with? A Friendship that is Stable is possibly the basis of a Good Relationship and a successful marriage...upon which  Love will then surface and be built after day, year after year.  Is that the secret?

Que Sera, Sera

( lyrics by the Jay Livingston and Ray Evans songwriting team)

When I was just a little girl
I asked my mother, “What shall I be?
Will I be pretty? Will I be rich?”
Here's what she said to me:

“Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be.
The future's not ours, to see.
Que Sera, Sera.
What will be, will be.

When I was young, I fell in love.
I asked my sweetheart, “What lies ahead?
Will we have rainbows, day after day?”
Here's what my sweetheart said:

(Repeat Chorus)

Now I have children of my own.
They ask their mother, “What will I be?
Will I be handsome?  Will I be rich?”
I tell them tenderly:

(Repeat Chorus)

(To be continued...Part II)

Merle Baird-Kerr...originally written December 4, 2010
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Can you match the names with the following Explorer surnames?
                                           Drake                         Cartier                 Amundsen
                                           Tasman                      Hudson                 Cabot
                                           Hilary                        Columbus              Cook

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