trial of the century

Trial of the century

February 11, 2021

Photo Credit: Lovisa Photo

   Carol had stumbled across an old blog where I’d recorded that Carolyn had once told me I was the most romantic man she’d ever met. “Wait,” Carol said, “she thought you were the most…etc., etc…” The incredulity that hung in the air was so thick you could hit it with a rolling pin.

   I was immediately aware my response would somehow prove pivotal in our still fledgling relationship. To take an overly defensive stance could leave me open to severe undermining during the discovery phase of what I was sure was shaping up to be the trial of the century. To go on the offensive, on the other hand, would be like trying to claim a sitting husband is immune from romantic prosecution.

   “Well,” I replied guardedly, “she’d spent most of her adult life single, so, you know, the bar was set pretty low.”

   I don’t know why I thought that would in any way exonerate me, so I began to gingerly probe around the edges.  “In what ways do you feel I’m not romantic?” I was simply claiming my Sixth Amendment rights “to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation.”

   Turns out there was a litany of – I’ll call them sins of omission, rather than commission. I admitted I could be more attentive to occasionally delivering unto her a rose from her garden (making a note to myself in the future to be aware of the rose garden’s existence).

“In what ways do you feel I’m not romantic?” I was simply claiming my Sixth Amendment rights “to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation.”

   I was somewhat surprised to learn that remaining in my morning jogging clothes until mid-afternoon showed a lack of romantic impulse, but I nodded affirmatively, choosing not to die on that hill.

   I thought for sure that opening car doors would be on the bill of indictment, but I think because Carol does most of the driving, plus waiting for my stiff, creaking bones to make it around to the other side of the car would cause us to miss part of the coming attractions or be late for our dinner reservation gets me a pass on that one.

   Knowing what High Crimes and Misdemeanors birthdays, anniversaries and Valentine’s Days can be, I was pleased none of the Articles of Impeachment included any of these areas (and their entries in my phone’s calendar, complete with extended and early notifications, help with the peace of mind here).

   All in all, it seems some form of community service (coffee in bed, taking over the driving duties occasionally and cutting back on ESPN were all accepted by the court) will cover past transgressions, while suggesting, say, a Meryl Streep movie instead of, say, Goodfellas for the umpteenth time, would go a long way to setting me on the path of romantic righteousness going forward.

   This, I have learned, is the difference between a woman who had lived alone for most of her life versus one who’d had a long marriage to a man who took care that the laws of romance be faithfully executed.

   You won’t be catching the likes of me getting caught up in any second impeachment, that’s for sure.

   And all I know is, if I ever learn to clean up the stove and the kitchen sink the way Carol does, I’ll never have to worry about roses or car doors again.

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