Last night, my husband and I were lying in bed, and I said, “I can’t think of anything to blog about tomorrow.”
“Did you hear me?”
“What? I mean yes. You said you couldn’t think of anything to blog about.”
“Well?” I said, pointedly.
“Huh?” my husband replied sleepily. “Well what?”
“Well I obviously wanted you to come up with a blog topic for me.”
“Oh…Oh! Now I understand.”
“Well?” I said again.
“I’m still thinking. Okay, you could write about our Sunday night routine of going down to the Oceanfront and getting a Dairy Queen on the Boardwalk and how you have decided not to get the chocolate dipped cone anymore because it melts the ice cream too fast.”
“And you seriously think people would want to read about that?”
“Well, you know, it sort of deals with facing disappointments in life. Sort of,” he said, trying to drift back into the edge of sleep.
“Right. And the ice cream cone example is definitely right up there at the top of the list of life’s disappointments.”
I know, I know. This is my blog, not his, but you can’t blame me for trying.
All was not lost, though, because the subject of disappointments did get me thinking. On my refrigerator door I keep comics I’ve cut out of the paper. One of my favorites is one from “Pearls Before Swine.”
It rings so true. We start out in life with all these grand dreams. I remember my sons used to use their allowances when they were in middle school to buy a magazine called Unique Homes, a magazine for luxury real estate. They would drool over the pictures and plan what car they would buy to go along with their mansion. They even got their dad to take them to the Ferrari dealer. I have to tell you, though, that when they weren’t looking, I’d peruse those magazines, too. Who wouldn’t want to live like that!
The older I get, however, and the more time I have for reflection, my dreams are on a much smaller scale. I’d like the economy to improve so my husband can retire in a few years and we can spend more time together. I’d like to live closer to our kids, though living here is so much closer than when we were in Texas. I don’t need to take European vacations or cruises, but I’d like to take a road trip to Nova Scotia. Those grandiose dreams of our youth just slip quietly away, don’t they, but we find that we didn’t need them to be happy. Of course, I’m not saying I’d turn down lottery winnings if they ever come my way, and if that happens, I’ll go straight to the book store and grab the newest copy of Unique Homes. But, yes, new vinyl windows would thrill me.
I can’t even remember why some of those dreams I had seemed so important when I had them. I guess I thought they would make me happy, but somewhere along the way, I found I was happy just the way things have turned out. A few hours before he died, my father said to me from his hospital bed, “I’ve been a good man, haven’t I?” “The best!” I replied. That’s the only thing in this life I really want, that at the end of it, I know I was a good person. I don’t need the chocolate icing.