Saturday, June 03, 2006

The Interview

They sometimes call houses like ours Victorian Painted Ladies. And why not? Especially for families who live for years in a house like this one, the structure seems to lose its inanimate quality and becomes almost human with quite complex emotions. I imagine if "she" could be interviewed, the write-up would be something like this....

Today, we focus on the downside of dating after 40, specifically on finding that special long-term relationship. We are fortunate to be able to interview an older Ellsworth resident, Victorian Lady, who knows too well the hazards of finding that special someone.

She is an elegant lady who looks younger than her purported age of over 100 years. She is dressed to the nines, but as she removes her dainty white gloves, her hands bespeak her true age. She looks intently at me and sighs.

"I'm honored to be here. Of course, at my age, I'm honored to be anywhere! I believe that's an old George Burns joke. So, tell me, what do you want to know?"

I look into those aged but bright eyes - the windows to the soul. What things they have seen!

I clear my throat. "Victorian Lady," I begin, "exactly how hard is it to begin dating again at your age?"

"Oh my," she replies. "It's extremely hard. I feel like a Sophia Loren competing against the Paris Hiltons. There are so many eligible ladies out there these days, vying for just a few special available people. The trouble is that someone will agree to date me, but it ends up being just that - a date. I have yet to find that long-term relationship, the commitment, that I need so desperately."

"Why is that, do you think, Madame?" I inquire.

She pauses to consider this, then smiles a poignant smile. "I think that many people assume I am a high-maintenance kind of gal. Well, in a way, that is true, of course. I sag in places, other places could use a day at the spa. Body parts don't last forever, you know, and I have actually had to have replacement surgeries! But they can do wonders these days with that!" She pauses. "I'll bet you can't even tell my porch has been rebuilt, can you? The wonders of medical renovation!" I can tell she is proud of her upkeep.

I know I have to ask, but all the same, it is uncomfortable raising the delicate subject.
"Madame, I hear comments that....well...your size may be working against you. Do you think, as some have said, that you're just too big?"

She draws herself up to look every inch the Grande Dame. "Sir," she replies. "Some people actually prefer the larger woman. We have more to love."

I can't help but grin. "What exactly are you looking for in a mate,

Her eyes get misty. "Oh, I'm flexible on that, but I have my desires, of course. I want someone who loves and appreciates me for what I am - an old lady, but with the charm and charisma you don't find in the younger girls these days. I want someone who realizes that under this prim and proper exterior, there is an adventurous soul. Nothing can shock me - the things I've seen would make your hair curl!"

She continues. "My true desire is to find a family to love me. Of course, I am multifaceted and have the potential to be lots of things to someone. I learn quickly and easily and could master the art of a Bed and Breakfast overnight."

She sighs again. "I'm not some old stuffy Victorian Lady who can't have a little fun. I'm not stuck in the 1800s, for heaven's sake. "

She leans closer. "Do you know I have high-speed Internet and Wi-Fi? Some of the younger girls can't even get that! And my washer and dryer are digital top-of-the-line. My garage doors open by remote control, too." She takes her voice down a notch. "But they don't open for just anyone," she whispers. "I have to give you the special remote. It's my equivalent of giving you my unlisted phone number." She smiles.

She looks at her clock. "Oh dear," she says with a frown. "You'll have to go now. It's time for my weekly haircut." I look at her broad expanse of lovely green hair, which displays the beautiful flowers she enjoys wearing. "Ed, my hairdresser, tries to keep me looking groomed. Even so, I occasionally have those bad hair days! But don't we all?" She laughs a remarkable laugh that speaks of many years of love, caring, and wisdom.

"Good luck, Madame," I say as I depart. "I dare say your special someone is right around the corner." She nods wistfully, and plucks a day lily out of her hair to give me. "Just a remembrance of our visit," she says.

As I drive away, I take one look back. She stands tall and proud with a little furrow in her brow, squinting down the horizon, still looking for her soul mate. Someone special will be fortunate, indeed. I hope it's soon.


RJB said...

Chris says, "Thank you."

Cuidado said...

Just came across you blog and like it very much. We have a lot in common. I'm 52 and want to sell mt big, old house. I have to find a replcement first however. I found you through the ageless blog listing.

Anyway, come see me over on


Malakela said...

Awww... makes ya wanna hug the ole house! LOL
lovely writing - you have a poetic flare that is charming [for a youngster! You keep saying you're old but your just a middie...}
Be blessed,
Miss Meg

Tif said...

There has got to be someone, somewhere who will reprint that and give it the attention it deserves. What a writer! You had me laughing and crying at the same time.

Makes me appreciate my creaky house a bit more, since I was fussing and fuming at it this morning. But then, my house is but a mere youngster compared to your painted lady.

Mary said...

Lovely personification! Reminds me of Betty McDonald and The Egg and I and how she describes the old Victorians in her little town in Western Washington State. I laughed and cried. I love reading your blog.