February 20, 2008
No word from Karen on whether she liked the flowers, or if that pissed her off. Oh, well. Saw her Monday waiting for an elevator by the coffee cart. The line for coffee was long, so I opted out of waiting. Wanted to go over and say Hi! to Karen, but felt oddly nervous, and left without going over. I had wanted her to have time to forget the flowers before I saw her again, assuming that it was a bad thing to have done. She sure keeps me guessing.
Sunday was interesting. I ran into my ex-girlfriend Elaine from 30 years ago, at the Flying Star across from where I live. Happened to sit right down behind her and recognized her voice. She was enthusiastically happy to see me. She was eating breakfast with a friend. Turns out she is divorced from her last husband. She had discovered that he was seeing other women (plural), and kicked him out. That’s four husbands she’s been through, not counting the unlicensed pagan marriage we had together in between husband #1 and husband #2. She says she’s not good at picking men. Duh! She still looks pretty good. A little surgery, hair dye, and peroxide-whitened teeth helps with that, but overall, not bad. She said she’d gone into a long depression after her divorce, for years! Reminded me of the depression I went into after she left me for husband #2. Can’t say I’ve really forgiven her for that.
Anyway, I asked her and her friend if they wanted to come see my place, but her friend begged off. Elaine came over. She said it is a nice place. Finally someone has come by to see it. I was walking her back to her car when we ran into Benay, the woman I hooked up with after Elaine dumped me, who lives in this same compound. That was weird too, but they knew each other and talked a bit. When we got to her car Elaine asked me to come with her to see something, so I went. She took me to see a house she fell in love with. It’s not for sale. She was looking for houses at one time and chanced upon it. It’s not fancy or anything, but it has a view of the Sandia mountains that is totally unobstructed. Of course, many of the homes in that neighborhood have views like that, but she has a feeling about this one. They are fairly new, so I said, “Maybe you’d been here before they were built.” She said maybe in a past life. She’s still into that. She parked and told me some of her recent life, the divorce, the depression. Then she took me to her house. I’d been there before. When I was married (legally) the first time, my wife Irene had invited Elaine to my college graduation party. That was weird. What was stranger though, was that Elaine then invited us to her place with husband #3. We went back and forth like that for awhile, until one day my wife and I had a huge fight, and one of the main topics was Elaine! Irene said I had been sitting too close to Elaine; said there was something going on; accused me of wanting to get Elaine back. I got mad, and we divorced shortly after that.
I hadn’t seen Elaine since then. I’ve talked with Irene, since then, and we get along OK now, but she has a long-term (14-year) relationship, so we don’t get together.
Elaine made us a couple cappuccinos and we talked a bit, until she suddenly asked me if I knew the secret. Turns out there is an organization that promotes the idea that positive thoughts can lead to a happy life full of love and wealth or whatever you want, and they call it “The Secret”, which is based on a book of the same name written by Rhonda Bryne, a friend of Oprah. She dragged out a video for me to watch. Lots of common sense, celebrity interviews, and testimony to the wealth and life-changing results of thinking about what you want, not what you don’t want. Apparently there is “scientific” evidence to back up the idea that your thoughts go out into the world and influence things. Lost me there. It is of course common sense that a positive attitude helps you focus on a goal, and having a goal in mind helps one reach that goal. This is just a rehashing of a book called The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace Wattles written in 1919. Wattles promoted what he called “The Law of Attraction.” The Law of Attraction states that by the power of positive thinking you can achieve anything and have everything you always wanted. You can be rich just by thinking the right thoughts. Bryne picks up the Law of Attraction in The Secret. This group, based on the book, has that same cult-like appeal as the last one Elaine subscribed to, the chanting people. The belief of that group is that one can chant every day, not just for relaxation and inner peace, but to get what you want from life: money, cars, love, fame, whatever you want. I asked her, “What happened to the chanting?” and she said the group folded up after 9-11. I don’t think there was any connection between the chanting organization and Islam, but a connection was drawn in people’s minds and the organization’s power faded. So now, it’s “The Secret.” Same thing, without the chanting. She is pretty excited about it, and tries to change her life by thinking thoughts of what it is she wants. Doesn’t seem to be working just yet. The guy who got rich off of all those Chicken Soup for the Soul, etc, etc, etc. books is helping promote The Secret.
I got out of there as soon as I could, as I was dependent on her to drive me back to my house. Her place is overrun by animals, at least two dogs, and eight or nine cats, so her carpeting reeks of animal urine, pet food and hair. She says she has plans to replace it with saltillo tile. She also has plans to renovate other parts of the house, and replace her bathroom sink, which needs a washer real bad right now. I’d have offered to do that, but I don’t want to get back into being Mr. Fix-it just yet. I’m not sure about her either. She says it would be nice to meet for dinner some times. She doesn’t want another marriage or live-in relationship, but something like having dinner once in a while would be nice. I said sure, but we didn’t make a specific plan.
I mentioned this meeting up with Elaine in an email to my ex-wife Irene the next day. Irene had emailed me, telling me her son was getting married for the second time. As soon as I told her that Elaine had been depressed and that Elaine had said she’d like to get together for dinner or drinks, Irene said we should all three of us get together. As odd as that seems, I agreed. We’re trying to work out the place. Irene suggested a restaurant downtown, or a place that has mariachis and margaritas; I suggested my house for crab cakes, and she said she could bring margaritas. I am oddly interested in having this happen, but Elaine has not responded to my emails yet. I’ll have to call her and see what’s up.
Ah! All communications finished. Irene and Elaine will both come by for dinner Friday evening. Stay tuned.