Good Narrative Principles

The Other Shades of Gray


IMG_5568For years when friends would offer to set up Tricia with a friend, recently divorced, or a cousin who had just moved here from Canada or Paris (it might as well have been Mars) the answer was always no. Tricia had her fill of humiliating first dates, fraught fifth dates and heartbreak. She was fine on her own, though her Mother thought otherwise.

Tricia took herself off the market. Even the thought of “taking yourself off the market” made her feel cheap and shabby like a cow at auction. Then she met a Doctor. He lived in the suburbs, an area of the world she knew nothing about save for her annual drive out to one pesky client who insisted that she conduct her audit on site. She found the rows of strip malls and tire stores dispiriting. But now, here she was, every weekend, without fail, sitting shotgun as they drove to the Chinese restaurant, the multiplex, maybe stopping off at the old fashion ice cream parlor for a sinful banana split for two.

Tricia had a sense that this is what “love” (though neither had used the word yet) looked like in this stage in life. It was as if they had skipped the distinctly fractious child rearing years and headed straight to domestic bliss. And while she was still maintaining what she thought was her best behavior, he seemed to have her number especially when it came to beauty. For instance, he took her to Macy’s and selected a set of Calphalon pots that happened to be on sale. It was the most romantic gesture of her life. And she was touched.

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