janet finds love

She was a small-town New Brunswick girl who, to the delight of all who knew her, had survived a long career at IBM with much of her small-town New Brunswick girl still intact. I’d met her playing golf about 10 years earlier and, soon after, become part of a group she’d organized who golfed every Sunday at Flemingdon. When everyone showed up, there were about a dozen of us, altogether.

She’d been unlucky in love, had never married, and had pretty much concluded she never would. Then, a couple of weeks ago, she’d moved from her suburban bungalow in Willowdale to a condo on the waterfront and, while scouting out her new neighbourhood, had met Archie.

They’d been out a couple of time, she said, most recently last evening. She hadn’t really wanted to go out with him this second time, but he wouldn’t take no for an answer, so she’d relented, and he’d arrived at her door with a dozen roses, taken her to a charming little Italian bistro on King West for dinner, then on to the Sky Lounge for a nightcap or two. He’d been wonderful company and a perfect gentleman the whole evening.

"No wrestling match at the door," she said. "A gentle hug and a kiss on the lips, that’s all. And he wanted to see me again today."

She had wanted to say yes, but was wary, still—once bitten, twice shy—so she’d begged off giving him an answer till this afternoon and hadn’t decided, yet, what she’d say when he called.

She took out her phone and scrolled to a photo of him she’d taken in the bistro, then handed the phone to Joan to be passed around and asked what we thought she should do.

Joan remarked, right away, how handsome and neatly-dressed he was, and said he had a smile just like her father’s. In her opinion, she said, Janet should give him a chance.

"I agree," said Grace. "Nothing ventured, nothing gained." 

"And besides," said Frank, "you don’t have to keep giving him a chance forever—you can stop anytime you choose, right? Stick with it while you’re on a roll," he advised. "That’s what I’d do, anyway."

"And you can always keep some Mace handy, just in case," said Betty, passing the phone to me.

My judgment of human nature honed by many years of service in the Personnel trenches, I was quick to see the truth.

"Dump him," I said to Janet. "I know his type—he’ll shrink your head."

She laughed it off. She thought I was joking.

And, as it turns out, it was a good thing she did laugh it off—she and Archie have been married, now, for over two years and couldn’t be happier.

She told me, recently, that apart from the minor inconvenience of having to replace her hats and eyeglasses, the shrinking of her head had gone without a hitch and, though much smaller now, it didn’t really feel any different than it ever had.

She added that she had yet to replace her prized Gucci sunglasses, and probably never would. 

"None of that stuff mattered much, anymore," she said. "I have a new lease on life. I’m living the dream."

"Love conquers all," I said.

Their frequent Facebook postings have been an international travelogue and guide to fine dining. It seems she and Archie only come home, anymore, to pack for the next trip.