Peanuts and Emeralds

This is the most romantic story I know; after so many years, it still has the same effect on me whenever I read it: silent tears, and if I’m reading it to someone else I pause towards the end, unable to continue for a few seconds, provoking an unpremeditated suspense.

“It was in a glittering New York salon that Miss Hayes, still rather shy, met Mr. MacArthur. In her best-selling 1990 autobiography, “My Life in Three Acts,” written with Katherine Hatch, she recalled: “I picked up a glass of sherry to fit in and retreated to a secluded niche. Twenty minutes later, a good-looking fellow with curly brown hair and sparkling green eyes came over, maybe because he felt sorry for me sitting there all alone. He held out a small paper bag. ‘Wanna peanut?’ he asked. ‘Thanks,’ I said. He poured a few in my hand and said, ‘I wish they were emeralds.’ Right then and there I fell in love.”

…In 1945 (after 17 years of marriage,) returning from a sojourn in India, he dropped a sack of emeralds in her lap and said, “I wish they were peanuts.”

(From NYT).

The original love gesture, the blasé attitude with the poignancy of his remark stirred in me, when I first read this story, a mixture of emotions and a sense of overwhelming helplessness caused by a scary insidious thought. I might one day feel I wish I can be back in time…a fatal combination knowing I loathe regrets and dread the feeling of not being in control of my personal life, decisions, choices…

Only recently, when looking at two pictures taken while on a cruise in San Francisco, I’ve realized my fears weren’t founded and that after all I’ve succeeded and passed the dreaded test; I don’t wish to be back in time! I see here centimeters apart, the photo of a 27-year-old young woman and that of a 51-year-old young woman with achievements. I’m where I want to be, I’ve a lot to be thankful for, and if I were back in time, my bucket list of the “places to see” would be mostly untouched. I would still be struggling with the children’s homework, birthday parties, orthodontists’ appointments, I wouldn’t know how my babies have turned out to be as adults…I would certainly miss the joy of having the grandkids around in my life!

                                                                                                                         3 November 2017


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