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


My Secret Lover

This is for all the good times I enjoyed with my secret lover. Yes, I’m admitting it now, I’ve had one for many many years.

This relationship only brought me extreme happiness and fond memories. I still remember how I used to check furtively the time while helping the children out with their homework.  I’d steal a glance at my watch longing for our daily dates then I’d rush quickly – literally running outside  – in anticipation of the strong emotions I’d feel whenever I feast my eyes on my lover…and because being one minute late meant I’d be stood up!!

I didn’t mind this zero tolerance stance because of the flexibility I was allowed: my love never missed a date, followed me everywhere even to Lebanon and didn’t mind if I was too busy to show up!

The other thing I enjoyed about my lover: I could be myself; I didn’t have to dress up for our daily date…casual outfit, no salon visit.

How convenient is that!

How did I manage to keep this relationship going on for so long? Honestly it wasn’t arduous despite my lover ‘s dynamic schedule (a fluctuation range of one and a half hour plus or minus ) for I was fortunate we lived conveniently near the Corniche so I cleverly timed my routine jog according to our daily dates.

Our relationship came to an abrupt halt when we relocated to a new house, quite distant from the Corniche…just like that.

For all those waiting for me to reveal the identity of my secret lover, sorry to disappoint, no juicy info: it’s the Sun right before it sets…

Well it must be something really out of this world to be able to compete with my hombre


Aswan Egypt – 4 December 2016

Phnom Bakheng, Siem Reap Cambodia – 26 February 2003
U Bien Bridge Amarapura Myanmar – 5 February 2005
South Africa – 12 April 2009
The Canal des Pangalanes Manakara Madagascar – 8 May 2009
Bali Indonesia – 20 August 2012
Sant Josep de Sa Talaia Ibiza Spain – 14 June 2015
Temple of Kom Ombo Aswan Egypt – 5 December 2016
Duke Kahanamoku Beach Hawai USA – 23 April 2017
Athens Greece – 4 April 2018
Bhamdoun, Lebanon – 19 August 2018