Common Sense: A Blog by Mary Worth

Location: United States

Sunday, July 30, 2006

My charming new neighbor.

The day after I said goodbye to my friend Jeff, I decided to get to work on one of the many tasks that prevented me from accompanying him on his trip. In other words, I decided to go out and admire my flower garden. While I was out there, I met an interesting man named Aldo Kelrast. He came to my aid when I poked my finger on some thorns. It was a particularly troubling injury because, instead of blood, electrical bolts began to shoot out of the puncture wound. Fortunately, Mr. Kelrast's deeply flattering remarks caused my injury to heal almost right away.

Mr. Kelrast is a very friendly man. He is staying at Charterstone and is subletting his cousin Hal's condominium. He introduced himself and asked me to call him Aldo right away, and also suggested that he hoped we might become friends. I told him I had been thinking about my absent friend Jeff, and he expressed sympathy for my present lonely state. Then he told me I looked very pretty in my rose garden, and he told me I remind him of his late wife, who was also a plant enthusiast. He seems to be grieving terribly for her, so I gave him two red roses as a gift. I hoped this would soothe his pain.

Then Mr. Kelrast asked if he could take me to dinner to thank me for the gift. I told him I could not go out socially with any friends of the male persuasion, even platonically, while my friend Jeff is abroad. A widow of good social standing cannot act in the manner of a "loose woman." But Mr. Kelrast did not seem to understand. He suggested we might have lunch together. I tried to make him understand that my seclusion from all single men, and/or all men not in the company of their wives, must be complete until Jeff returns.

Sadly, Mr. Kelrast seems not to understand the finer points of social intercourse, and he told me that I shouldn't stop living while Jeff is away. I really did not understand what sort of point he was trying to make. I tried to explain to him that while Jeff is gone, I will be spending all my free time and energy thinking about him and fantasizing about him. Mr. Kelrast seemed not to understand that I could never do something so immodest as dine with a man on a friendly basis outside the company of my special but platonic male companion.

I am afraid that my attire might have given Mr. Kelrast the wrong idea. I chose to wear a sleeveless black shirt and a sporty madras skirt that I must admit was above-the-knee. I am worried that perhaps this was a vulgar display of flesh and that it may have suggested that I was "advertising" for male attention. I have resolved to put away my more "come-hither" outfits and dress conservatively while my friend Jeff is away.

I find myself wondering, however, why younger men are always throwing themselves at me? First there was Jeff, who is a good ten years younger than I. Now Mr. Kelrast is presenting himself as an ardent suitor, and he looks to be no older than 50. Is there something about my dress or appearance that screams "whore"? Please advise.

Out of sight, but not out of mind.

As some of you undoubtedly know, my longtime friend, Dr. Jeff Cory, has gone on a medical mission to Cambodia. Of course he is doing important work, but I can't help being disappointed. While he is gone, I will have to maintain a certain proper seclusion. I will not be able to go to the "Bum Boat," nor will I be able to socialize with anyone of the male persuasion, unless he is married and accompanied by his wife. This may sound like a very rigid sort of rule to all you young ladies out there, but I assure you that it is very important to guard your good reputation. You do not want to be known as the widow who lunches with just any man who moves into the Charterstone Condominium Complex, no matter how exalted its residents invariably are.

So, I will be spending a lot of time secluded in my garden, tending my flowers and constantly picturing Jeff's face in my mind.

Jeff did ask me to accompany him on his trip. Naturally, I had to decline. A childless widow living alone on a modest pension has a lot of responsibilities "on the home front." Also, I was concerned about how it would appear for me to be seen traveling in an exotic foreign country with my longtime escort. I do not want Jeff to get the wrong idea about the kind of girl I am. Remember ladies, the only safe sex is the kind you have after a man puts on...a wedding ring.

I am a little concerned, though. Jeff said that he would be back in three months, but only if things went well. But what if things do not go well? Who will I have my wholesome nightcaps of cocoa with then? Best not to dwell on the negative, I suppose.