This time the laptop is on the kitchen table, and I'm sitting in semidarkness composing on the fly and enjoying the rich, seductive smell of kalua pork wafting out from the kitchen.
Anyway, while the rest of the family were watching a short film about life in the monastery, I went into the gift shop and talked to the monk on duty, Brother Patrick -- an elderly man with the sweetest, most twinkly demeanor. He asked me my name, asked if I knew whether it was in the Bible (I said I did, though I wasn't as familiar with the Apocrypha as I'd like) and was generally genial and outgoing. CM and I bought a few things (including some maple walnut penuche made by some Trappistine sisters in Massachusetts -- mmm, Catholicious) and when we left, he cheerily declared, "See you all in heaven!"
It's a deal. Heaven wouldn't be much fun without people like Brother Patrick in it.
Going from the sublime to the ridiculous, tonight I've been reading aloud He's Just Not That Into You to an appreciative audience. For a self-help title, it's pretty funny, though you have to read around the proofreading errors. (Don't get me started about the sad state of modern publishing. Really.) Reading books like this is a bit like eating Twinkies -- a guilty pleasure -- but the basic concept (a man who is into a woman will do a lot to be with her and make her as happy as he can; if he doesn't try to do this, he isn't really interested) needs to be taught to teenagers and reiterated frequently. I know it would've helped me.
From high school on, I fell stupidly for guys who had little interest in me and who regularly, cavalierly sliced open my heart because they wouldn't do the manly thing and tell me honestly that they didn't like me that much. (Want examples? Let's see... Guy who flirts constantly and turns out to be gay. Guy who turns you down for a date, but promises he'll ask you out another time, and then turns you down AGAIN, but finally goes on a date with you two years later when his own social life is on the skids. Guy who dates you obsessively over the summer and dumps you immediately in a letter after he starts college. Guy who pursues you like mad until he manages to get you, and then loses all interest except for the occasional NCMO session -- and who callously wounds you on a weekly basis, even going so far as to make out with one of your close friends. Guy whose profession will always be the most important thing in his life. Guy who sees you as "one of the guys," getting you to give him advice and cheer him up and take him on long car rides so he feels better about himself. Feh.) I was languishing over that last one when I met Captain Midnight. He showed me pretty quickly the way a man treats a woman when he really, really likes and cares about her. What a difference. None of the earlier crap ever obtained when we were dating -- one thing led to another, and then another, and then another and another, and pretty soon we were talking naturally and casually about where we'd both like to set up house and how many children we'd want to have. I think he'd sooner slice off his own arm than hurt me deliberately.
My two cents: nobody should settle for less than that.