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March 3, 2024

Your inspiring words

After my letter appeared recounting my shopping spree at the town’s grocery store (published on February 18), many well-intentioned readers reached out to console me. I always read all your comments, and this time, I almost wept.

That night, I was in a bit of a funk. I hadn’t eaten lunch and was starving, but nothing tempted me. The weather was mild, so I thought I might drive to the nearby Asian or Italian restaurant. My Mini Cooper, however, decided otherwise and drove me to a long-time acquaintance, the town’s grocer, for one of our usual chats. I arrived only to discover he had left for the evening. I felt like I had been left high and dry.

This morning, I turn to your comments, which I find so delicious, and have decided to share a few with you here!

Sylvie Choquette, a regular reader, consoled me by writing in her comment that she also felt morose that night in the aisles of her local grocery store. She realized it was a new moon. This celestial body that, according to her, turns our emotions upside down. “Let’s stay strong,” she urges! Many thanks, dear Sylvie.

Nadia Lesage shared this precious advice: “If you want to find hope again and convince yourself that it’s never too late, read my book entitled J’ai attrapé le bonheur au vol (“I caught happiness on the fly”). Dear Nadia, I love everything that flies in the sky: bees, butterflies, birds, planes, and most likely, your book that I’ll read attentively.

“Thank you for taking us with you to the grocery store. Many of us are alone, without a companion at the moment. We must keep up hope; our companion will arrive when we’re ready to welcome them. These blues you’re talking about often visit me too.” Dear Lilianne Blondeau, we’re all mature and magnificent women. Let’s stay positive.

Michel Tanguay, another one of my Sunday letter regulars, quizzes me in his comment. “Is the word AVAILABLE starting to appear on your forehead?” What a surprising question, dear Michel! As someone who still believes that all men of a loving age choose to skip their turn when they meet me, perhaps I should embroider the magic word on my jacket?

Sylvie Chamberland wrote: “Madame Cora, walking by your side in the grocery aisles was delicious and moving at the same time. I felt so much love in your moment of melancholy. I have to admit that I sometimes think of you as my grandmother.” What joy it would be to run our errands together, dear Sylvie! We could even cook together if we were neighbours.

Maria Domenica Sabelli is another very loyal reader. For her, reading my letters is “such pleasure! Your descriptions inside the grocery store make my mouth water.”

Thank you, Johanne Simard Pomerleau, who suggests I innocently drop a can of soup just like we dropped a handkerchief in the old days to catch someone’s eye. What a good idea, dear Joanne! Perhaps I could try to reach for a box of cereal on the highest shelf and a handsome fellow might appear to assist me?

“Madame Cora, don’t despair. Your man is nearby, just keep your eyes open. Perhaps he’s a mechanic or a doctor?” Dear Rachel Lavoie, I would prefer the mechanic who could cook for me and maybe wash my car on occasion.

“This morning, your melancholy hit me straight in the heart. Not the bit about not having a man in my life – for me that’s a done deal – rather the fact that I eat alone, that I go grocery shopping for one. It’s the biggest regret of my life as a single person.” Dearest Diane Gagné, I understand you so well. In an ideal world, we’d be the best of friends. We could share recipes and, from time to time, we’d eat together.

“Dear Cora, it’s so peaceful to no longer dream about men. We don’t die from it. Quite the opposite! We are reborn to life and to others.” Dear Michèle Paré, perhaps you’re right, but I still have hope! I only knew one man, and he wasn’t a good model. Please, let me hope! Let me dream of a nice white-haired head on my pillow.

“You describe the feelings I experience too well. Where’s the man who’s my perfect match? Should we resign ourselves to being married to celibacy until the very end? Let’s not lose hope!” I agree with you, dear Suzanne Duchaîne. We won’t give up.

“There’s a lot of emotion in this text and, as usual, I’m very moved by your words. I understand your sadness. There are days when even the sun isn’t able to warm our hearts. But love takes many forms and sometimes it hides in the unexpected. I wish it for you from the bottom of my heart.” Thank you, dear Danielle Locas.

“Madame Cora, I have an idea. Maybe you should invent an imaginary boyfriend, your ideal man and, by writing him sweet love letters, he’ll appear. Like a visualization exercise.” I will think about it, dear Lucie Beauregard! I love to write and my heart would be able to describe him. But would I have the pluck to publish his description in a letter? Probably. What do I have to lose anyway?

“Happy Sunday, Aunt Cora. You should come visit the ready-to-eat counter at the grocery store where I work. Maybe that’s where your Romeo is hiding.” Thank you, Ann Mary. I will certainly visit you!

“I so hope you find a nice man to warm your heart and your bed very soon! In the meantime, cook yourself something nice and enjoy every morsel with a small glass of that spicy rum.” That’s some very sound advice. Thank you, Louise Gagne.

“Madame Cora! We love your weekly musings. How I wish I were your neighbour. We could shop and eat together,” declares Jayne Amero Cogswell. We totally would!

“A sad read this morning. February blues, perhaps? Chin up, Cora. The sun will come out tomorrow.” Rest assured, dear Gayle Ginger, that the gloom has passed and the sun shines again.

“It’s so comforting to read you, even through the maze of your gloomy thoughts,” writes Paulie L’Italien.

“Those handsome and mysterious greying gents are just waiting for us around the corner,” assures me Katerine Ka.

“Love comes with its suitcase full of tears,” reflects Lorraine Bowles (91).

Thank you so much for being by my side so faithfully through this amusing adventure. I dillydally and have fun, interspersed with the occasional moment of doubt. I hope you’ve appreciated these inspiring words as much as I have.