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A Few Joyce Words - Good Things Take Time


    “Such is life,” my grandmother used to say.  My other grandmother used to say, “Get off the arm of the chair or I’ll knock ya down.” Ah, the Irish – a loving people.  Both phrases stuck with me throughout life because both Marian Reilly and Loretta Joyce were great influences in my life.

    I mention these beautiful ladies because, like most other things in modernity, they don’t make ‘em like they used to. I did meet a nice girl the other day. Well, I didn’t meet her per se. I was standing outside the office, minding my own business and smoking a cigarette as said pretty girl walked by. She smiled. I smiled. I would have said something. In fact, I fully intended to speak, but I was more immediately concerned with whether I was blowing smoke on her and thought I should have stepped back a few paces. (I would smoke in one of the campus’ designated smoking areas if they were paved or at least well manicured, but they are not. I frequently wear white sneakers. Forgedaboudit.) By the time I reconciled my smoking-section thoughts with myself she’d already turned the corner.

    Many are the inconsequential thought clouds that deter me from acting on the opportunities that open and close before me as rapidly as retail stores in the increasingly dilapidated shopping malls across this country. Such is the now-mainstream mentality of the “enthrall me now and betray in a moment” culture that was once relegated to the artist community.

I’m not asserting that women today aren’t of a certain quality in comparison to past eras, merely that times have changed. The Mecca of innovation and limitless aspirations that once was America has since dissipated into a global pool of mediocrity and so have our standards.

    The cliché among women has long been that all the good men are either married or gay. The male version has always been that the best women are the one’s we’re not presently involved with. Crass? Maybe. But lets be honest for a change. The rate of successful marriages has fallen faster than the stock market does every time someone in Washington, D.C. utters the phrase “job creation.”  Pundits rail against gay marriage but how many elected officials are divorced, on second or third marriages or have been caught in compromising positions by media photogs or even their own cameras?

    Granted I’ve done my fair share of dating and have run the gauntlet of the long-term monogamous relationships a few times. I’ve been committed, single and committed to being single. But before I digress into a “Sex and the City: Lost Episodes” diatribe, allow me to clarify.  What I’m getting at is that we today are not the graduate, marry and go to work generation our parents and grandparents were, and much of what they valued by the time they were molding our precious little minds was in direct contrast to what they rebelled against when they were our ages. What is different now is how much we know about the world and how early in life we decide to engage in certain activities versus how late in life we accept responsibility for those actions.

    I’m not divorced and I haven’t fathered any children out of wedlock, not that there’s anything wrong with that…or isn’t.  But maybe, just maybe, when I find a girl who is both physically and consciously youthful and socially and intelligently mature I’ll extinguish my cigarette, dust off my sneakers and engage her in meaningful conversation. Maybe I’ll swap the sneakers for a nice pair of Stacy Adams and ask her on a date. Maybe we’ll take my big-bodied Mercury Grand Marquis for a ride like they used to do with Studebakers and later Cadillacs, cars with names like Bessie and Bertha. I gave my car a name that speaks these thoughts I often have and holds the place of this so-called dream girl I’ve yet to meet. Her name I don’t yet know. My car’s name is Loretta Marian. 



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