The Jibe

Published: October 28, 2014

The Sailor is so many things I am looking for: sane, sweet, smart, single, eager to settle down, likes kids, and has an itch for an airplane ticket. All of my break-ups have been precipitated by the absence of one or more of these qualities. He is even tall, with a Ph.D. in hand. If anyone deserves a second chance, he does.

I traveled to his small college town for a day of sailing. I love the water but am terrible at the helm. Not everyone needs to be captain; figurehead is an extremely important job.

The Sailor took the tiller, and I happily soaked in the sun. He told me stories, like the one about his friend who married the guy she wasn’t that into, but he was a great person and now they’re really happy.

Sailor: She read that book — Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough — have you heard of it?
Me: Me and every woman over 35.
Sailor: Their kids are amazing.

Did he just tell me to settle? Was he offering himself as the settling candidate?

We tied up at the dock and ate a seaside dinner. There was a too loud band and a boozy sunset.

When I was a student, there was an endless checklist of public spaces where I was supposed to do it: the library, the chapel, the arboretum, the linguistics department, and Economics 10 while Martin Feldstein was delivering a lecture. It turns out professors keep the exact same list, only they have the keys. We checked one off.

Was it better? From zero to anything is an infinite increase.

Afterward the Sailor was cuddling, pointing out the constellations.

Me: So how does the universe end, anyway? In fire or in ice?
Sailor: Lukewarm. Heat death. It just runs out of energy.

Of course it does.


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