Monday, May 30, 2005

It's Memorial Day

The saddest letters I get are from women who are trapped in relationships (or almost-relationships) with men who mistreat them. I received one this morning that took my breath away. The writer has two children with a man who cheats on her constantly; she's walked in on him with other women. He's even cheated with her sister. When I get letters like this, it takes me one or two days to fully process them because they just blow my mind.

It would be easy to write back to her, "Leave him! What's the matter with you?" But she says she's in love with him. So I have to think of ways to help her fall out of love with him; once she becomes indifferent to the guy, she'll be free.

Hey, I've been there. A million years ago, I dated a guy who treated me poorly. Today I wouldn't look at him twice, but that man used to be a drug to me. Couldn't get enough. Ever hear that song by Emmy Lou Harris, "I Don't Want to Talk About it Now?" That sums it up.

Went to Mom's on Saturday and came back yesterday afternoon. Sometimes she loses the ability to speak. Then it comes back. She smiled a lot and says she's happy, though. I suppose that's the best all of us can hope for, to die happy and surrounded by loved ones.

Right now, I'm listening to U2. Peter is outside barbecuing chicken, steak, and potatoes. We may go to B's later for another barbecue. I suppose I'll be eating a lot of fruit and not much else this week.

The weather is warm and sunny, a change from the windy March weather of last week. When I woke up this morning, the birds were chittering. Paradise.

I'm reading The Group by Mary McCarthy. My mother, who came from a later generation, was so much more innocent than the characters in the novel, who graduated from Vassar in 1933. I didn't know that girls got up to all that sex back then. I thought my generation invented it.

Andy Rooney's commentary last night about Memorial Day hit the mark. The best thing we can do for the men and women who lost their lives at war would be to end war altogether. It's hard to believe that the human race is still settling its differences in 2005 by killing each other.