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May 27, 2022

I think I'm jealous!

These days, when I apply lipstick in front of the mirror, I occasionally notice little devil horns protruding from my forehead. Yes, you read that right! The green-eyed monster takes hold of my noggin from time to time. Yet, apart from the great heroines of history, I have never envied anyone. Not superstar Céline Dion, not the famous Coco Chanel, not even my idol, the great Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood (82 years old).

The truth is that I admire all brave and courageous women. Yet, during this dreadful pandemic, I’ve done everything I can to get on with my life. I reflected deeply on my new reality as a retiree; I’ve reignited my passion for writing and read instructive books, entertaining novels and gifted authors to improve my writing style.

Everything was fine until a giant hot air balloon of jealousy invaded my house. The balloon filled my living space, almost cutting off my breath. “Sounds like jealousy,” you say? To learn within a few weeks that four goddesses around my age recently found love…well, I couldn’t hold jealousy back! Not two, not three, but four women almost as mature as me. It’s simply too big of a mouthful to swallow. I have been single for over 40 years, my dismay overpowered me. Don’t I deserve a 007 agent, a Bradley Cooper or even a handsome nonagenarian like Sean Connery?

The first lucky lady to tell me the good news was my old college friend, back in our early awkward exchanges with the opposite sex. Mireille was certainly more educated than I was about matters of life, because at home, Mom thought that school would shape us into model girls. So I learned little about love and the parade of dashing fellows or dancing the tango. In short, like me, Mireille married a stranger. We lost touch with each other during those long years that we played mothers in different towns. I got divorced at 33 and saw her even less often, as I enlisted in the race for survival. Then it was business, a few trips and her tragic phone call telling me in 2016 that her husband had passed. I was in Tokyo for another 18 days and couldn’t console her. A widow still in love with life, Mireille met the most wonderful man some two years after her husband’s death. Also a widower, they hit it off right away. I met them a few months ago and was amazed at the obvious happiness that emanated from these two lovebirds. There was so much love and surreptitious kissing binding them together that I felt little bumps on my head. It was as if my horns had grown a few millimetres longer just looking at this affectionate couple. “Tenderness,” insisted Mireille. “My David is tenderness itself.”
- “Blessed angels, tell me quickly if tenderness can be detected with the naked eye and how to coax it to my heart’s harbour?”

Then it was Lilianne’s turn. The one I’ve seen the least because of her work across Canada. A very attractive divorcee who is flirtatious and daring. And yet, it was her grown daughter who found a partner for her mother: a neighbour who had lost his wife to cancer. She introduced them to each other and the attraction was instant. I too have a grown daughter. Maybe she thinks I’m too old to be introduced to a prince charming? And what’s more, her new fellow is about 10 years younger than Lilianne. I’m sure it was her smile that won him over. We ate together in Bromont, and I thought they were lovely. He attentively turned the burgers on the BBQ as he smiled; she served up the toppings of relish, ketchup and spicy mustard with a naughty, mischievous air. I was gobsmacked with happiness. Surprised that a newly reunited couple could be so dazzlingly in love. That day my little horns really grew long.

Then came Carole, who still works long hours. She is a real estate agent and was single for many years, always on the lookout for Mr. Right. She held out, and a good thing too! A month ago, she invited me to the town’s only Asian restaurant to tell me the news. Her shrimp curry got cold as she burst with excitement describing the new man in her life. She showed me a picture of him at dessert. I thought my whole body would go limp. A handsome, brown-eyed, former teacher, free as a bird, thoughtful and very skilled in home improvement. “And,” added the beautiful Carole, “my house needs some loving too.” Wow! My little horns grew faster than ever. Am I the only lonely one in the world? But how can I put my face on social media to promote anything other than a good breakfast? But that’s how Carole found the man of her dreams. Shame on me! You can no doubt see the little horns sticking out from my hair.

Barely a week later, Cupid visited Sophie, a beautiful woman much younger than me and a yoga teacher. We met at a mutual friend’s house and immediately hit it off; enough so that she confided in me that she had recently “found a match” on social media. Lord, I am thrown into despair! She too found a handsome lover.

She took her time, she confessed, considering several promising profiles. She also shared with me her horror of the lists she had to write to find the right match. "After all, Cora, It’s not like making a shopping list.” I had assumed the opposite was true. After all, don’t you have to know what to put in the basket in order to make a satisfying meal?

Deep, spiritual Sophie told me that the only thing you have to do is “ask yourself what you want to experience with a new partner.” She asked the question to a few of the candidates on the platform and the one who answered, “I WANT TO EXPERIENCE KINDESS” was the one she chose and who turned out to be a magnificent companion for her. “A true soulmate,” she added.

I don’t want to be jealous of anyone anymore. I just want to adopt a practice of kindness. To be understanding, forgiving, caring, gentle and attentive towards others. I truly want to open myself to happiness. To accept myself as I am, with my strengths and weaknesses. To be able to express my needs and to listen to the needs of others.

I want to live for many more years with love, courage and determination. And maybe one day, KINDNESS itself will take me under its wing. “Ask and you shall receive,” the wise men have been saying for thousands of years.


P.S. Of course, all first names have been changed to respect the privacy of my lucky friends.