My cousin's son, Stephen, lives in Jersey and is getting married in October at the a fancy hotel in downtown Philadelphia, in a very large wedding. Steve is in his late 30's. He's been a very successful real estate developer for many years. I've met some of his earlier girlfriends, who are all intelligent and very beautiful. One in particular, a blue-eyed blonde beauty who was older than Steve and a pharmaceutical saleswoman I tried to convince him not to let get away, but, like many before her, she didn't quite have what Steve was looking for in a long-term mate and probable mother of his children.
Steve knows my wife, Susie, well, having spent a few days at our home several years ago when my father was in his final months and Steve took the trouble to bring his grandmother, my father's sister, from New Jersey to Middletown, so the two siblings could see each other one last time. My dad died in early December, 2003, and Steve's grandmother died one month later, in January, 2004. Susie and I were most impressed that a grandson would take the trouble to do such a self-less act for an elderly relative. That was the occasion on which Susie and I met Steve's blue-eyed blonde beauty girlfriend, who obviously wanted desperately to marry Steve and have children with him. She really enjoyed getting to know Susie, who is the Mother archetype, personified.
I won't meet Steve's dark-haired beauty fiancee until the wedding bash in Philly next month, but I've seen pictures of her on his Facebook page, and she is as darkly beautiful as Steve is handsomely blonde. Opposites DO attract. She must be One Special Lady to get Steve to wanna' "put a ring on it if you like it," as the Beyonce pop song goes.
Although Steve is a natural in business, given his natural smarts, blonde good looks, positive outlook, and outgoing personality, his parents once wanted him to become an accountant. Steve is more naturally suited to artistic pursuits, so he hated the accountancy program his parents originally pressured him to pursue. Steve dropped out of that school, moved to Myrtle Beach, and started a very successful jet ski sales and rental business. In short, Steve knows what it means to be pressured by other people to live his life in a way that makes THEM happy but HIM unhappy.
Steve has been following "Bob's blog," the photos of me having a blast dancing in the discos, the "dirty-dancing," the whole bit. He's read the comments and my blog posts indicating the variety of views about the propriety of how I'm currently living my life. And here's what he said to me earlier today in acknowledging receipt of my positive response to his invitation to his upcoming wedding:
"I have been following the you tube and dancing
pictures. Love the ladies. Don't let anyone throw the
jealous curse on you. You're retired and having fun
that's what counts."
Now that's just Steve's opinion, but it does come from a man who knows the importance of enjoying life and not limiting oneself to conventional notions of propriety or listening too much to the opinions of other people in deciding what course to set your life on. In my case, if I took a vote about how I'm living my life, it's hard to know what the percentages would be on the Pro or Con sides. I hear different reactions from people of all ages. Usually the negative reactions come more readily, but many other people are very supportive of my choices, and very encouraging of my continuing along the path I have chosen.
Please don't think I'm offereing Steve's perspective, or mine, as the suggested Gospel reading for the day. It's just his thought process, based on his experience. And, by all means, I welcome your criticisms, positive, negative, or indifferent to what I do with my life and what I say about it, or show-and-tell about it, in "Bob's blog."