Short Stories by a Long-Winded Guy

A Perfect World

In a perfect world, there's no need for Hallmark apology cards, we dote over grandchildren with the same sweetheart we took to our junior prom, and when I hop on a plane for Tel Aviv in 1973 to propose marriage, the postman doesn't deliver my “Dear John” letter the next morning. Welcome to Earth. It's a tough planet.

Falling in love is a humongous hormonal overdose that works as Mother Nature's Gorilla Glue. It's a bonding experience on both a cellular level and a cosmic scale. But falling in love is more than poets, artists and especially a 21-year-old me can understand. I was on the rebound when I met the perfect woman, so my heart was in mourning and in no way ready to re-flutter. When I didn't fall, I assumed I'd never fall. She fell and proposed on the day we met. Call me stupid, but... Never mind. Just call me stupid. I was pigheaded and rejected her for years. When I finally realized she was right and I was wrong, I got so excited, I dropped out of school and hopped on that plane a week earlier than she expected.  Twelve hours after takeoff, my "Dear John" letter arrived back home and Mom, assuming it was a love letter, happily forwarded it to me in Israel. I had already gotten the message face-to-face.

Thirty years later I break off an engagement with an imperfect woman - the right move - and within a week I meet my Robin. It's too soon for the hormonal hoot, but I'm not making the same mistake twice. We marry, and SURPRISE! Three years after we're hitched I get the crush -  the oxytocin tornado - that falling frenzy when your heart feels too big for your chest and every moment without her feels like withdrawal.  That summer, I clung to my wife constantly and followed her around like a puppy.  Robin found it slightly cute and moderately annoying.

There's life after love, and even love after love, but make sure there's life after COVID. Stay masked, outdoors and distanced. You may need the extra time to fix a monumental screwup.

Stay well and Stay away,

Mark & Robin


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