Why is it when I bake a coffee cake I get all dreamy and gooey inside, like a knee-socked school girl in Latin class, riveted to the patch of peachy, fuzzy cloud against the swaying swatch of blue between the maple tree branches outside the classroom window, imagining love itself is out there, waiting, breathing, just beyond reach, ready to pounce. Like grace. When you least expect it, a gift arrives.
Often in a form you don’t recognize at first.
Like a plaid shirt.
And hands that juggle.
The truth is, I didn’t even know juggling was on my list.
My top criteria (scrawled in gel black ink one rainy night post divorce) listed kindness, a sense of humor, artistic.
It conjured images of tempered masculinity. Intelligence. Adept at conversation. Curiosity.
Likes women (a big one).
It mentioned nothing about juggling. Or fierce devotion to coffee. Or a willingness to wash dishes. It neglected to include the seductive power of coffee cake. The sexy allure of a cinnamon dusted chin.
So imagine my surprise when on our second date (post French roast coffee and dirt bomb muffins) he grabs three apples. And juggles. While whistling. I can’t remember the tune.
Because my knees turned to pudding.
And now, almost twenty years later, I hear a key in the door. And my heart is grateful. It’s him. The guy in a plaid shirt.
And once more, I accept.