Looking at our world I see it divided at the most basic level into two types of people. Realists and romantics. Some may straddle the fence between the two, but for the most part I see a clear division. Realists see the world in stark black and white, while romantics view it in muted shades and varied hues. Truly, I am a romantic. Realists might see a bad situation as just that and love as an illusion. No matter how dire the situation I imagine it improving down the road, and no matter how bad the break-up, I can envision another, better relationship forming after it. Go figure.
A friend is going through an extremely rough patch of water in his relationship. Amazingly he comes to me from time to time for counsel. Not the first time I’ve been called on for romantic advice certainly. It happens on a surprisingly regular basis. Why people would assume a woman with four marriages and numerous relationships has any clue about how to proceed on this subject is beyond me. Perhaps they ask me, listen to whatever wisdom I might impart, and then move in exactly the opposite direction from where I have pointed my finger to go. I have no answers for this.
What makes for an enduring relationship? If I knew the answer to that my latest book (of which there is none) would be featured on Oprah’s Book Club, book signing gigs lining up as we speak. What do I think makes for an enduring relationship? Endurance. Those of us willing to stay the distance. One of my aunts remained with the same partner throughout her life. Three sons were born during their time together. My uncle traveled a great deal with work. Perhaps absence does make the heart grow fonder? I cannot speak with the truest knowledge on the subject not being a fly on the wall. They shared a strong belief in family. Over the years, though living on opposite sides of map, I had the opportunity to come together with them and their growing brood. Observing them through my eyes I would say it was endurance that bound them together, with tolerance providing the glue to keep those ties strong.
Neither my aunt nor my uncle were perfect by any standard. Both were good people, I believe, or at least good intentioned. Imbued with all the basic flaws we humans seem to possess, I would describe both parties as strong-willed people with often opposing views sharing common goals. As I said, family was important to both of them. My uncle was successful at his chosen profession, and my aunt outwardly at least seemed satisfied with her role remaining home with her children to guide them into adulthood. I’m sure there were fights and bumps along the way but whatever occurred once the doors were closed and the lights out, they still chose to remain together until his death a decade ago which in and of itself is something to said.
Some relationships can be patched and remain seaworthy. Others have been patched and tarred so many times when tested on choppy waters they cannot remain afloat no matter how much bailing is done to keep them above the water line. When to cut the lines and abandon ship is always a difficult call. When I have had to leave a relationship it has never been easy. Both parties, whether the one wanting to leave, the one left behind, or if it is a joint decision, suffer the loss. Divorce or severing a relationship is high up on the stress scale with death of a loved one and loss of income or job. Figure children into the equation and the loss is on a larger scale adding another level of hurt feelings and a deeper need for soul searching before making a final split.
At best, relationships are puzzling. Love is like an incurable disease which causes us pain yet we endlessly desire to be infected by it. Psychologists spend hours with patients on their couches examining it, dissecting the parts of it, and leaving much on the table when all is said and done to still be understood.
Would I want to be twenty again and begin the journey in search of it anew? I don’t think I would. Love has brought me so much joy balanced with some real darkness. Would I rather be in love than out of it? Sign me up for the latter.
Hearts are showing up on the card stands. Love, love, love is in bloom as spring lurks around the corner.
These fish filets were absolutely lovely (to quote Canadian). Light breading and soooo flavorful. Yum.
Baked Cajun Tilapia with Spinach Romano
Baked Cajun Tilapia
4 tilapia filets
3/4 tsp. paprika
3/4 tsp. dry mustard
3/4 tsp. onion powder
3/4 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. basil
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 1/2 Tbsp. chives, chopped
1 Tbsp. parsley flakes
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter
1 1/2 lemons
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Spray casserole dish with cooking spray.
Rinse filets and pat dry.
Mix together all ingredients through cayenne pepper. Reserve 4 Tbsp. and place rest of seasoning mix in small bowl.
Place filets in prepared pan. Using 4 tsp. reserved seasoning mix sprinkle 1/2 tsp. on each side of filets.
Mix together the rest of the seasoning mix, breadcrumbs, chives, parsley flakes, and olive oil until well blended. Dredge filets in crumbs.
Place in pan. Top with 1/4 Tbsp. butter. Bake for 8 mins. turn over. Top with 1/4 Tbsp. butter and 1 slice of lemon. Bake for 8 mins. or until flakey. Squeeze 1/2 lemon over all.
2 pkg. chopped spinach, cooked and drained
1 Tbsp. butter
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/3 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix together all ingredients. Place in microwave on high for 1 min.