When in Boston with visitors, I like to take them along the Esplanade to watch the sailboats and view Beacon Hill. While in grad school, I made an annual summer migration from Philadelphia’s heat and mugginess to New England’s relative cool. I worked at Man’s Greatest Hospital from seven to three, then headed directly to the Charles River to sail its vast expanses. After sailing, sitting on the dock offered the opportunity to talk to friends and watch the wind chase the waves on the water.
By the end of the first summer, I did this, I was in a relationship. Charlotte was her name. She was a charge nurse on the orthopedics floor I worked on. I thought I was in love, but we still had a lot to discover about each other.
I invited Charlotte to the river for a sail. We were not on the water five minutes before she asked when we would get to where we were going. I had to explain that we were already there. It was not very encouraging.
Up to that point, we had been together at her place. My little rented room on Beacon Hill was shabby. But the room had an essential feature: my gray cat, Clancy. She needed to meet Clancy. I was beginning to trust his opinion of my girlfriends over my own. During the previous year, he had successfully demonstrated that his taste in my girlfriends was better than mine. Was my taste in women that bad? OK, I have to admit to making a few poor choices.
Clancy turned his back and took flight when she started a “here sweet Kitty kitty” routine. Then she tried to grab him in a hug – a terrible move; he wasn’t nicknamed the Grey Menace for nothing. After separating his claws from her, we had a frank discussion about compatibility.
I broke up with her about two days later after going to the doctor for a shot and a pill. I should have introduced her to Clancy first.
“He that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.”